What is it ?
The DAG is a comprehensive system that allows player to design armies from the ground up. It then lets you take your army in to battle in single player or online against human players using the Slitherine’s revolutionary PBEM server (Play By E-Mail). Each army is based on a nation from history and limited to the types of equipment and training that the army had historically. The first thing a player does is select which army they want to use. Once a player has selected the army they wish to use the list of troop types available to that nation are displayed.
For example the Roman armies include powerful infantry – the Hastati, Princepes and Triari. Roman armies were based around this core of heavy infantry and DAG requires players to take a minimum number of these troops. DAG also sets an upper limit on how many of them the player can use in an army. As well as these compulsory troops there are huge number of optional troops such as supporting cavalry of various types, light foot, elephants and even artillery.
Each unit type is rated in various ways such as armour, training, quality, equipment and fighting style. These combine to create a value for a unit – the more expensive it is the better it is, though all units have strengths and weaknesses. For example the Elite Roman Legions of Julius Caesar might cost 17 points each, while a light foot archer might cost 4 points. The player then designs an army that fits their play style or just one they enjoy using and takes it to the battlefield. Some players prefer small powerful armies, while others prefer a swarm of cheap and weaker warriors. One thing to bear in mind is that the larger your army, the more casualties it can take before defeat.
The next step is to select which generals you want to purchase. Inspired generals are the best and most expensive. They give large benefits to units nearby and have a long range of effect. Field Commanders are next and the mainstay of most armies – they are competent generals capable of commanding an army or one wing. The lowest is a Troop commander. These only have very local effects and should be used to control a small group of troops that will maintain close contact with each other or his influence will be wasted. Generals are attached to a battlegroup and the choice of where to attach them is important. Generals give significant combat bonuses but once in combat their command and control is vastly reduced. Should you attach your general to your infantry to bolster the centre of your line or attach him to a more mobile but weaker cavalry unit behind the lines, so he can help shore up any potential weak points. In addition players can choose to purchase an Ally general. Ally generals are recruited in the same way as normal generals but they unlock the allied contingent.
For example the Late Republican Romans can have a variety of Allies – Arab, Armenian, Bithynian, Jewish & Numidian, though only 1 Ally per army. Allied contingents are similar to the main army. They compulsory and optional troops and the player must decide which they want to take. Allied troops can only be commander by their Ally General and this general may only command his allied troops.
Some armies, such as the Romans, also have the option to purchase temporary fortifications such as palisades which appear on the battlefield and are placed at deployment.
DAG battles different from historical scenarios as they can be between any two armies, some of which may not have fought historically. The DAG system allows you to try what if scenarios such as what would have happened if the Armenians had risen to power and invaded central and Western Europe – how would they have fared against the Spanish or Illyrians. Once Storm of Arrows has released a range of medieval armies will also be available. Players can select to fight only historical opponents or if they want can find out what would have happened if medieval knights had met the mighty Roman legions.
The DAG battlefields are randomly picked based on some calculations about the 2 sides involved and the terrain their commander prefers. Each player select the density of terrain they would like and then an initiative roll is made. Inspired commanders give bonuses to initiative – as does an advantage in cavalry numbers. The winner of the initiative is much more likely to get the type of terrain density they were looking for.
For example, the Spanish army can have a lot of Medium Foot, who are not best suited to fighting in open terrain against mounted. A Spanish player might choose very dense terrain when coming up against Armenians to limit the mobility of the Armenian light horse and give somewhere for his infantry to take on the lethal Armenian cataphracts. After the terrain has been determined players must deploy their baggage camps and initial troop positions. Camps should be protected as if they are looted by the enemy it reduces the armies will to fight and could be enough to make the army plunge in to full retreat. In the latest Field of Glory update Line Of Sight (LOS) has been added so that you can hide troops in or behind terrain or other units. You can use a skirmish screen to hide your main force from the enemy or hide an ambush behind a hill.
After this things progress very much like a historical scenario, with each side having a break point limit based on the number of battlegroups they purchased.