What I hate about FOG, and hope will be fixed in new FOGs

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NickBowler
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What I hate about FOG, and hope will be fixed in new FOGs

Post by NickBowler » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:57 am

I am not complaining about the rules.

1. But I am complaining about the games that get played. The standard game is 'line em up and march foward'. And while there were historical battles that matched that format, there were also ambushes (Lake Trasimene), desperate last stands (Agincort), attacks on unprepared armies (Stamford Bridge), etc.

I REALLY hope that in the upcoming FOGs there will be well thought out scenarios, much like there are in FOW.


2. The way my group plays games is at the club night we all agree what will be played next week. E.g., Fred and I can agree to play 1000 pts Romans vs barbarians. This is good -- I get to spend a week picking my army, getting it ready, etc. There is often a panicked purchase of an extra figure or two for that killer unit! But the current FOG terrain system does not fit in with this. I hope the new FOG system has a terrain system where I can plan my army, and pick my terrain to some degree and bring it to the game night. Because the current system has people bringing beautiful armies, and forests of green felt. I am thinking along the lines of something where I can bring 4 pieces of terrain and get to place three, but they are randomly positioned. The exact system doesnt matter -- what does matter is we end up with a system where people actually bring some nice terrain to the club meetings.


Just my 2 cents!

paulburton
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Post by paulburton » Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:37 am

For scenario games, refights and the like, then it is not necessary to use any terrain placement rule. The rules are intended as a balancing mechanism and additional tactical thought for players. Seventh edition had deployment options (attack on a marching force, encounter battles) but competitions tended to stop them being used as the luck factor could mess up a player's chances.

Use the rules for qhat they are for - generate an equal points game with resonably balanced army capabilities and throw out rules where needed to play specific scenarios.

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Post by Mehrunes » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:00 am

What stops you from using nice terrain instead of felt forests with the current rules?
What stops you from playing scenarios instead of pitched battles with the current rules?

I really don't understand the problem.

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Post by chubooga » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:19 am

maybe if theres was a 'scenario book' launched for FOG.

Giving guidelines on terrain and objectives along with special rules for that scenario?

Ccore rules dont change, but various historical engagements can be modelled and played using any armies within the scenario special rules.

jon

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Post by Eques » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:34 pm

On point 1 I agree that a lot of historical battles were not nicely pre-arranged tournaments where the the winning side was the one who's general out-thought his counterpart. Most of the battles of the Wars of the Roses (Towton, Bosworth, Wakefield, Barnet) hinged on the result of a cock-up of some sort.

Don't really see how you can get round this in tabletopwargaming, though, you just have to go with it and imagine that your battle was one of the more formal-set piece ones, that did occur.

Although I suppose you can build in rules for ambushes and the like (eg have the legions at Trasimene fight as poor or undrilled for the first 2 turns).

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Post by Eques » Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:46 pm

Also for Trasimene the initial set up would play a part in recreating the ambush.

Don't really see how you couldn't recreate Agincourt with the existing rules.

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Post by Skullzgrinda » Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:56 pm

Mehrunes wrote:What stops you from using nice terrain instead of felt forests with the current rules?
What stops you from playing scenarios instead of pitched battles with the current rules?

I really don't understand the problem.
Agreed. Ditto for simple add-on house rules for boats, weather, caravans, etc.

Rules that covered every eventuality would cost 3 - 5 times as much, and be so cumbersome as to be work rather than hobby, or so scant and abstract that the new complaint would be they are vague and lack details.

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Post by ShrubMiK » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:31 pm

If you want to have your own special in-house rules for terrain selection and placement, why not just agree them among yourselves?

There are already books out there defining scenarios, with special rules and objectives. Not specifically for FoG, but that shouldn't stop you using them.

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Post by Rekila » Sat Apr 03, 2010 6:49 pm

I fully understand your position; more or less something similar happens to us. Being only two of us here with basically two armies –Ordenance French and Italian Condotta- the danger of ending in a boring series of similar games was very great. To avoid that, we develop an easy campaign based on Charles VIII invasion of 1494. But the crucial point is that we use a special system for selecting the armies and the terrain based on the Article”Ancients Bridge! Ancients Spades! Ancients Poker!” by Jim Long. (Wargames Illustrated 175). We use it on our first games when Fog was released, because the armies we have them were different of those in the army list. Later as the armies grow we used a more conventional system based on the list, with armies with the same points value, but have came back to the other system in order to give battles more variety.
Basically you use a pack of cards. . Red suit give you BG, Hearts full size units, Diamonds depleted ones. The black suits give you Generals, Camps, Fortifications, veteran units etc. And also a better control over the selection of the battlefield. The result is that instead of selecting the perfect (and always the same) army you have to content with what you get (much more historical) also normally there is one side stronger in units (The attacker) and other weaker (the defender) but with FF, veterans etc and more possibility of selecting the terrain.

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Post by Mehrunes » Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:51 pm

But the crucial point is that we use a special system for selecting the armies and the terrain based on the Article”Ancients Bridge! Ancients Spades! Ancients Poker!” by Jim Long. (Wargames Illustrated 175)
Any chance for someone to get hands on that article?
Unfortunately one can't order old issues of WI since they were bought by Battlefront.

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Post by paulburton » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:56 am

Slingshot has published some articles on alternative army selection systems so worth a look. Almost any battle can be created as a scenario if you have a reasonably detailed account of the forces and terrain. I have done this for several battles which would fit into an equal points format in the popular rulesets (the Society of Ancients are publishing a revised compilation of my 'Fair and Open Battles' articles with additional material for FoG, Armati and Ancient and Medieval Warfare.

At Oxford we have recreated other battles (most recently Tannenberg for a demonstration at the Abingdon show) for a variety of rule sets.

Rules can be ignored (by mutual agreement) at any time so don't feel you have to abide by the competition aspects of the game.

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Post by Rekila » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:13 am

Mehrunes wrote:
But the crucial point is that we use a special system for selecting the armies and the terrain based on the Article”Ancients Bridge! Ancients Spades! Ancients Poker!” by Jim Long. (Wargames Illustrated 175)
Any chance for someone to get hands on that article?
Unfortunately one can't order old issues of WI since they were bought by Battlefront.
I have a copy, obviously and also our home-made version for Fog (this need to be translated). But the original is better, having an interesting bidding system we have not yet adapted. Maybe the author can be convinced to make a new version for Fog. :wink:
The Deal.
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The Game:
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Last edited by Rekila on Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mehrunes
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Post by Mehrunes » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:40 am

I'd be very interested in that article or your adapted version. If you could scan the original/translate your version and upload it somewhere, that would be great.

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Post by Rekila » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:55 am

Mehrunes wrote:I'd be very interested in that article or your adapted version. If you could scan the original/translate your version and upload it somewhere, that would be great.
Well I’ll try for sure to send you it. Some time will probably be needed. I’m afraid, as I need to gather some help! Nothing closer to a computer expert myself. Almost defeated now, while trying to post those photos. :D

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Re: What I hate about FOG, and hope will be fixed in new FOG

Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:06 am

NickBowler wrote:I am not complaining about the rules.

1. But I am complaining about the games that get played. The standard game is 'line em up and march foward'. And while there were historical battles that matched that format, there were also ambushes (Lake Trasimene), desperate last stands (Agincort), attacks on unprepared armies (Stamford Bridge), etc.
I think many of the games I've played have not been line em up and march forward. Usually major advantages are to be gained by off center deployments and assymetrical advances.

Scenarios and such are fun, but i would not want to be required to play Custer at every Little Big Horn.

As for terrain. Bring good bits and have fun.

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Post by timmy1 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:38 am

I think Dan's point

'
I think many of the games I've played have not been line em up and march forward. Usually major advantages are to be gained by off center deployments and assymetrical advances.
'

is a very valuable contribution.

Players can just line up and smash forwards but, just as in another popular ancients set, for drilled armies that tend to be smaller that can be a mistake. I suspect that Nik and Pete did not become IWF champions using just those tactics, I suspect they used some of what Dan describes. Indeed unless you have a large, average, undrilled army it probably makes little sense to try to win that way. With flank attacks being ++PoA and causing (in most cases) a cohesion drop, they are worth more than almost anything in the game, so to my mind the rules positively discourage 'line em up and march forward' as a plan unless your army covers the whole table. Yes, you have got to be good to make a flank attack happen but when it does the results can be devistating.

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Post by Mehrunes » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:48 am

Rekila wrote:
Mehrunes wrote:I'd be very interested in that article or your adapted version. If you could scan the original/translate your version and upload it somewhere, that would be great.
Well I’ll try for sure to send you it. Some time will probably be needed. I’m afraid, as I need to gather some help! Nothing closer to a computer expert myself. Almost defeated now, while trying to post those photos. :D
I believe in you. Go, go, go! :D

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Post by Rekila » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:39 pm

Well here it is a translated (?) version of our adaptation:

For this system a Pack of 52 cards and three jokers is needed.

Red cards represent units. As: the better one. the 2 the worst in the list. Hearts: full strength units or better options. Diamonds depleted unit or worst options. So a list of 26 units should be made for each army. We make it on equal points for all countries (1800pts) without generals. In some cases, like with rare units, heart and diamonds of the same number could be different type of units. In other cases for some countries it will be necessary that diamonds represent one unit and hearts two, in order to reach the necessary point’s total. If you have two cards of the same number and only one such unit in your collection, the heart card should be change for the immediate superior diamond. The diamond for the following inferior heart.

Black suits:

The two black As give a fortified camp.
Black pictured cards (K,Q,J) Give more or better generals. The army begins with 3 TC. The K allows to make one of them an Inspired commander. The Q upgrades a TC to FC. And the Jack gives an extra TC.
As an army can only have one fortified camp and Inspired commander, having the two blacks As or K: As of spades= 9 of spades, K of clubs=J of clubs.

Clubs. The 2 to the 10 of clubs are initiative and terrain cards. After the deal both players announce the number of cards held. The player with more cards or in a tie the highest has the initiative. After that the club cards allow to place a terrain piece without a placement roll. For that, the table is divided in 9 parts, each card representing one. The 10 of clubs is the Initiative player right corner. 2 clubs: right corner of opponent. The adjustment roll is still made but with a -1
Club cards not used for placement can later be used for ambush or outflanking march. In an outflanking march if you have the club card of the arriving area add 1 to both arrive and strangling dice. (But you don’t need to say you have the card until you wish to). For ambush any club card allows to make an ambush anywhere in the table, outside initial deployment areas, without the use of an ambush marker.

Spades. 2 to 10 of spades are tactical cards:
2,3,4: Allied contingent 2: Two full strength units and a TC. 3. Three depleted ones and a TC. Four: 3 Depleted units and a FC.
5, 6 Veterans: upgrade one depleted unit one quality level.
7: Reserve . After deployment 3 new cards are picked. Not difference is made between Red or Black suits. Majors suits=full strength Minor suits=depleted. The units come with a TC. They can enter anywhere on our own long edge. They enter following the full rules for outflanking marches. Begin rolling on the 2º turn.
8. 9: 16 bases of FF or PD.(or 2 guns)
10: Vanguard. The first batch of cards can be deployed up to the middle of the table but only in the central section.

Jokers.
The red joker can be used as any red card we don’t have. The black jokers could be treated as any card we don’t have, but only if we have in our hand a card of the same rank but different color. e.g. having the K of diamonds we can use the joker as the K of clubs, having the 10 of hearts can use the joker as the 10 of spades. ( clubs=diamonds, spades=hearts).

Deal and deployment.

Deal an equal number of cards to both sides. 15 to 20 works fine.

Decide who has the initiative and place terrain. Divide your cards in four batches. You can reuse the club cards used to place terrain now as decoy cards. Deploy alternatively the cards on the table, upgrading cards are placed on top of unit card. Then place the unfortified camp and FFs and units not represented by a card. (This can happen, as you don’t have to place the entire FF together, and in some cases a card can represent two units or you prefer to deploy a big skirmishing one as two smaller.) Also all the guns must be discover now. The player without initiative first.
Discover the rest of the cards, except those committed to outflanking marchers and ambush that are left face down on your table left or right corner to be discover in due time (or never if they are club/decoy cards.) Finally place generals not represented by a card.

A note on artillery. The FF and HA cards can be useless e. g when you have a lot of units and are clearly to be the attacker. So we allow trading them for two light guns.

Allied contingent. On deployment you place the card where the commander is going to be, the units must be placed within 4MU. The units are selected when the card is discovered. To select the units use any system you like, we have found that a simple one, picking the most characteristic units of that allied and a little sporting spirit go fine here (few units are left by now in the shelves!)

Here as a sample are the armies of our last battle (the one on the photos)

Ordonnace French:

1x 4b Italian men-at-arms
1x8b franc archers
1x6b Mounted ordonnace archers
3x6b Gendarmes
1x2b heavy artillery (deploy as light)
1x8b Swiss pikemen
1x6b Ordonnace archers (upgrade to superior)
1x6b French polearmsmen (drilled, poor, upgrade to average)
1x8b French crossbowmen (drilled, poor)
Inspired Commander, Field commander, 2Troop Commanders
Milanese allied contingent:
Field Commander
4b Famiglia ducale
4b Mercenary men-at arms
4b Mounted crossbowmen.

Naples:
1x6b Feudal men-at-arms
1x4b Feudal me-a-arms
2x6b Mercenary men-at-arms
2x4b Mercenary men-at-arms
1x2b Organ guns
1x8b Handguners (deployed as two units)
1x6b Militia crossbow
1x6b Archers
Inspired commander. 2xField Commanders
Fortified camp
16FF (only 12 deployed)
Venetian allied contingent:
2x6b Stradiots (cavalry)
Troop commander.

Naples won the Initiative and placed most of the terrain also makes use of one ambush and outflanking march.

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Post by Strategos69 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:42 pm

I know that standard battles can get boring in the long run. Some people take FoG as a chess game but with miniatures and some variability. Other people prefer different things in every game. What we did (not with FoG but with other points based system) when we were starting was creating a mini-campaign. In our case we set up a minimum of points for all players. We were allowed to play only with painted miniatures.

Then we started playing. The loser had to paint some extra points for his army for the next week/game sesion. The winner did not have to change anything. Then next week we arranged new games with different players (we were 6). That way it was possible to find unequal points battles, which make it more interesting, plus the fact that losing a game forced you to paint some miniatures (and lazy people had an incentive to win!). The winners could be awarded with "extra features", like choosing the scenario (meaning the only one to be able to flank march in the next game and negating that to a player who lost previous week), etc. Planning it can be fun and even some experience system could work for troops. For example, winning 1 consecutive game - no rerolls, 2 consecutive games 1 reroll in the game, 3 consecutive games won - 2 rerolls and so on. As players winning games always play with less points the system gets balanced, avoding that people who lost in the first games could lose interest as they did not have much chance to win. New players can be easily incorporated too with this system. It is just a way to get around of the equal points system.

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Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:45 pm

Strategos69 wrote: What we did (not with FoG but with other points based system) when we were starting was creating a mini-campaign. In our case we set up a minimum of points for all players.
Sounds like fun and a fun way to play. I think more variations like this ought to exist, as the "equal points tournament style" is a totally differnent beast.

Both have advantages.

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