MikeK wrote:Someone today mentioned a reason for not seriously trying FoGN is the lack of national characteristics - all nations are basically the same.*
This got me thinking about finding out what are the various objections and obstacles a well as the evaluation and response to these. It is very relevant to this topic, but perhaps needs another thread discussing obstacles to trying and playing FoGN.
*"True? Seems to me yes in the sense of a bonus or malus assigned to all units of a particular ethnicity or nationality.
Seems to me no in that the sets of armies a nation has, and even individual armies, have a different character from most other armies in the way the lists and special restriction rules apply.
It may their ( "Someone today") expectation of national characteristics and the kinds of differences that would throw up are just not there to be built in for the period,or not sufficiently for their taste, or are based on myth and anecdote, or are harder to model at some levels of games than others. The lower down the scale of engagement the easier to build that in it I would say .Ours is grand tactical model and focused on combined arms. A bit mechanistic maybe for them- not enough hats on sabres -not enough romance ( always a dubious element when ascribed to war) ? If so fair comment I would say.
And it changes. The French armies of the Republic of 1792-95 were different from those of 1803-07 and 1813 different again . So just what are the common " national" bits of those? Also the Prussia of 1806 versus the Prussia of 1813.
We cover 23 years of history in Europe where the basic technology hardly varies and where over that period the way armies were organised and fought gradually merged into one style . And it is much harder with the wide range of nations involved to identify consistent and different national characteristics for all- other than by battle outcomes some of which are scarce- Sardinia Piedmont, the Batavian Republic, Denmark etc . France, GB Russia maybe.
The AM period covering over 4 millenia and world wide has much more scope for wider variations ,albeit some of them arguable for want of evidence. In drawing up the lists for FOG(N) I was conscious of not putting in variations based on personal prejudices and half baked unresearched assumptions - no hiding place for those I felt
And it is also a game. You could assign some nations a " Combat effectiveness(CE) " bonus - such as the late Col Dupuy's concept ( (in "Numbers Predictions and War") which identified a significant CE value for German arms from 1860-1945 ( see also his "A Genius for War").I am doing that for my own Western Desert rules for example for DAK, ANZAC, British and Italian infantry in assault situations . The CE is often a way of trying to reflect hard-to-measure and model factors like junior leadership.
But that would probably put more people off than it won over.
Too much skewing is bad for a game design especially one based on a points system. Remove the latter and some things might be more possible.And is it a game or a simulation? My own personal rules and games tend to be simulations and are far too complex and process dense to be foisted on others for the kinds of games the FOG series provides.
That said it may be the main categories we use - Elan and Training and having three classes of each plus irregular - are insufficiently nuanced for some . We did create the Reformed and Unreformed concept . I would have quite liked to do more with the French republican armies and the emigre and insurgency armies- Serbia, the Tyrol. Not sure exactly what but there are ways. Maybe the continuing discussion over the treatment of light infantry and infantry deployed in open order will support some greater variations.