Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

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madaxeman
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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by madaxeman » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:42 am

Robert241167 wrote:Well how about all those protected longbow swordsmen and of course my jannisary bowmen.

Rob
Aaah yes - they both were almost unplayable, and definately needed some help against their incredibly common nemesis, armoured spearmen :roll:
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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:47 am

madaxeman wrote:
Robert241167 wrote:Well how about all those protected longbow swordsmen and of course my jannisary bowmen.

Rob
Aaah yes - they both were almost unplayable, and definately needed some help against their incredibly common nemesis, armoured spearmen :roll:
especially now that they will get their impact shooting dice with no minus. They were good before that
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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by pcelella » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:55 am

Ian - if your format allows players to print their own copy out, I think that 90% of the concerns here are resolved. If that is not going to be possible, I think you have a guaranteed loser on your hands. And I say that as an iPad owner who is otherwise looking forward to having the game in digital format.

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IainMcNeil wrote:As mentioned by someone above the reality is that printed books are dying. Physical book stores are dying. Wargames rules are a niche product and if you take in to account the reduce access to customers and demand for print versions, the minimum print runs you have to do mean the price per unit goes through the roof. You'd have to double the price to make any margin and then again you'd be reducing the market because of the price you'd need to charge. And this is just the main rules - the army books are far worse off as they sell smaller numbers than the core system.

In addition, by going digital we take away the stock issue. There are significant numbers of Army books in the system and warehouse. Many of which will never sell, but because they are there we can't reprint.

Because we cant reprint we cant change the points values.

By going digital we can afford to change the points values of units and all the army books. This is never going to be possible in a physical rules system and why previous rules systems with army books avoided changing points values.

I understand there is some concern about how this is all going to work but we have been evaluating this for 2 years and are sure this is the best way forwards.

Other formats may come at some point but on day 1 there will be PC, Mac and iPad editions of the system. All formats share the same content so if we update a file, its automatically downloaded to all devices on all formats. This means everyone is always in synch. If we want to we can do yearly updates to the base system and tweak any errors/issues in the army books.

We'll definitely be listening to what you guys think but we think you need a bit of time to digest all the info.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by jdm » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:23 am

Hi All

Iain has already commented and some of his points are reinforced here, but we felt that a deeper explaination may also be appropriate and that it would be worth explaining some of the background to our decision to progress version 2 as a digital rule set.

The first and most important point to understand is that this is not some huge money making project. We are taking about wargames rules here, possibly the most niche of the niche things we do. From the outset FOG has been a labour of love both for us and for the writing teams. No one gets rich out of historical tabletop rules and our mates over at Games Workshop have just thrown the towel in on their venture into this space.
The man hours expended in originally creating the rules and by our forums in continuing to support the rules is astronomic and to a significant degree less than cost effective. The forums generate interest in the rules but also create a monster which hitherto rules writers were simply not aware of, so in the “old days” this volume of feedback and iteration was simply not a problem. I can assure you that our desire to support FOG is not driven by commercial interest and we do have to be realistic about the commitment we can give to the project.
We are also only too aware that it has taken far too long to bring the new version to the table, but there are a number of reasons why this has occurred. First and foremost is that we are not book publishers and rely entirely on our book publisher and distribution partner Osprey in this area. No one knows more about bringing military type books to the market than them and they had reserves about selling the same book again. Remember FOG was their first venture into table top rules and they simply did not understand the iterative nature of tabletop rule sets. We have therefore been discussing the commercial aspect of this with Osprey for way too long. In the last analysis this is just another of many commercial opportunities for them that they have to quite rightly evaluate and judge any proposal on its commercial merit. In addition they are deeply involved in their own moves to digitising their books. After protracted discussion they eventually felt that they may possibly find a slot for this in their release schedule in 2013, but we felt that by that time, especially with the weight of data that had built up in the forum that the rules would have died, but despite the commercial challenges and realities we still wanted to support the rules and so looked for alternatives.
Contrary to some of the comment here it is highly unlikely that we will make money out of this as development on tablets and other platforms does not come cheaply. It is also a reality that it is simply impossible to build code to run on every platform, unless we were prepared to commit additional development time for each and whilst we are committed to FOG, as I hope is apparent, commercial reality kicks in.
However, in moving to digital platforms we can continue to support the rules and players. Now that the hard work is done and the heavy lifting is out of the way we will be able to iterate the rules as often as YOU want. My own believe is that this should be limited to either annual or bi-annual updates. A decision for you the players I feel.
This is major change but it is necessary and arguably the only realistic way that we can continue to offer this level of support and keep the game fresh and enjoyable for years to come. Another huge advantage is that it is no longer off limits to change army list point’s values, as the digital versions can easily cope with these changes. This will allow the rules to be completely rebalanced where necessary. The problem of being unable to reprint books whilst old stock remains in the warehouse has been a peculiar but perpetual problem for wargames rules writers and book publishers and in fact in my view was the biggest factor in the demise of previous popular Ancients rule sets.
Finally, there is a lot of erroneous assumptions about various technical limitations being suggested in the forum which are largely inaccurate. Additionally there are not many gamers around without at least a PC, so I cannot accept that by our decision we have limited access to the rules. Gamers are used to lugging around armies, rule sets and rules, so I think problems, raised in this respect are greatly exaggerated. The ease of referencing points in the rules, the main benefit here, will revolutionise how the game is played and enjoyed and I feel that once players and event organisers see this in action they will never want to step back. Sure this is change, but not for change sake and if you embrace it, it will be fun as well

Best Wishes
JDM

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by zoltan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:35 am

IainMcNeil wrote:As mentioned by someone above the reality is that printed books are dying. Physical book stores are dying. Wargames rules are a niche product and if you take in to account the reduce access to customers and demand for print versions, the minimum print runs you have to do mean the price per unit goes through the roof. You'd have to double the price to make any margin and then again you'd be reducing the market because of the price you'd need to charge. And this is just the main rules - the army books are far worse off as they sell smaller numbers than the core system.

In addition, by going digital we take away the stock issue. There are significant numbers of Army books in the system and warehouse. Many of which will never sell, but because they are there we can't reprint.

Because we cant reprint we cant change the points values.

By going digital we can afford to change the points values of units and all the army books. This is never going to be possible in a physical rules system and why previous rules systems with army books avoided changing points values.

I understand there is some concern about how this is all going to work but we have been evaluating this for 2 years and are sure this is the best way forwards.

Other formats may come at some point but on day 1 there will be PC, Mac and iPad editions of the system. All formats share the same content so if we update a file, its automatically downloaded to all devices on all formats. This means everyone is always in synch. If we want to we can do yearly updates to the base system and tweak any errors/issues in the army books.

We'll definitely be listening to what you guys think but we think you need a bit of time to digest all the info.
As a MAC user I support the digital approach - it is definitely the way of the future and I'll probably buy a digital copy. But of course I'm likely to print stuff off my MAC for my own ease of use. I expect some of my opponents may shamefully lean across the table and look at my printed pages. Some rogues may even accidentally pick up my printed pages after the game when I'm distracted (b'stards!). So by all means go digital for the full set of v2 rules but please give something back to the hobby that spawned your business success - perhaps a simple FREE PDF amendment sheet for the loyal supporters (like me) who bought the hard copy rule book and the complete set of army list books.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by Robert241167 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:37 am

Thanks for the response JDM.

Just 1 question still to answer, when and where can we get the V2 rules as the announcement seems to give the impression they are available now but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Thanks

Rob

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by IanB3406 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:46 am

Thanks for the reality check JD. It makes sense considering how other companies in our industry have operated. Sam Mustafa made one print run and went to PDF when it sold....and was very frank about another print run not being possible. Lost Battles went as a board game and have the rules available for sale for figure gamers, but it seems clear when these are sold there will be no more print runs.

GMT's Often emulated P500 plan has allowed many games to get published that might otherwise have not. And many don't make the cut. That's only 500 pre-orders required.....

The interesting thing is despite the low print runs we now have more games to choose from from the days when Avalon hill could publish 20k games copies and sell. We are a small niche hobby, and no one does this for the money (well except maybe FOW, and their recent announcement re BF figures only at their tournaments is a sign they are hurting from new competition)

I do wish there was someway for the lgs to make do from ancients. They do with FOW and I have seen NAW possibly take e lead from FOG N as they can push rules and figures. Any way, you won't loose me over this as long as I can find opponents......

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by madaxeman » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:55 am

jdm wrote:Finally, there is a lot of erroneous assumptions about various technical limitations being suggested in the forum which are largely inaccurate.
The key, and as-yet unanswered, question is whether digital versions will be available in a format which can then be printed. If someone can answer that, almost all of the speculation would end

If the answer were to be "yes" I suspect almost all of the objections would also evaporate too ....
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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:12 am

Sorry for the confusion - they are nearing completion. We are planning to submit to Apple next week and then expect 2-3 weeks before they approve it.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by batesmotel » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:25 am

I assume that the iPad, MAC and PC apps are all licensed separately and would need to be purchased separately for each platform?
Iain,

Thanks for the update on the requirements for actual PC use. The information I posted was based on what they had listed on the Abannan web site.

Out of curiosity, will there be any easy way to produce hard copy of the rules or portions of them? The currrent Abannan reader for the PC did not seem to provide any way but you obviously have more experience with it than my limited testing.

Chris
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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by Delbruck » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:27 am

madaxeman wrote:
jdm wrote:Finally, there is a lot of erroneous assumptions about various technical limitations being suggested in the forum which are largely inaccurate.
The key, and as-yet unanswered, question is whether digital versions will be available in a format which can then be printed. If someone can answer that, almost all of the speculation would end

If the answer were to be "yes" I suspect almost all of the objections would also evaporate too ....
I suspect the fact that this has not been answered directly is an answer (i.e., no)

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by prb4 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:33 am

Yes the key questions are:

Will the downloadable version be printable?
Will the downloadable version be tranferable to multiple computers (it must be to be useable)?

Will Slitherine pay for my printing and binding costs (or give the rules away free)?

I don't keep my computer connected to the internet, how will my version of the rules be updated?

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by IainMcNeil » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:43 am

Initially there will be no way to print the rules out but as this is a fast moving digital environment things are always changing. If there were a way I assume it would only be possible by PC/Mac and not via iPad, but I'm not up on the technical issues of if you can print from iPads.

The way it works with Apple there is no way to give you something based on what you purchased elsewhere. So we cant give you an iPad app because you bought a PC version. It's completely banned by Apple policy and we'd get removed from the store if we did this.

This means the base rules will need to purchased on PC/Mac and iPad. However we are working to see if it will be possible to allow the army books to be available on all the platforms you have. This is still TBD and we're trying to see if this is permitted or not.

The PC/Mac versions have unlimited installs so you can have on all your devices. Apple limits you to 5 devices synced to a single iTunes account.

An internet connection is required.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by philqw78 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:55 am

IainMcNeil wrote:Initially there will be no way to print the rules out .
I think that will wave goodbye to most of the current players.
If you could be bothered to screen shot every page, then copy it to jpeg or bitmap it could be done. But I couldn't be bothered.

Perhaps free rules are the way forwards then. Write your own, put them on the internet and let people print them off. Perhaps everyone will come to an agreement over which to use.

At least you have p!55ed everyone off at the same time as Battlefront so there will be lots of people looking for something new to play.
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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by zoltan » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:16 pm

philqw78 wrote:
IainMcNeil wrote:Initially there will be no way to print the rules out .
I think that will wave goodbye to most of the current players.
If you could be bothered to screen shot every page, then copy it to jpeg or bitmap it could be done. But I couldn't be bothered.

Perhaps free rules are the way forwards then. Write your own, put them on the internet and let people print them off. Perhaps everyone will come to an agreement over which to use.

At least you have p!55ed everyone off at the same time as Battlefront so there will be lots of people looking for something new to play.
Won't current players simply print the initial post on the FoG site that lists most of the changes and use that as a de facto amendment sheet for their printed v1 rulebook? Eventually some innovator will buy the digital version to get the full wording changes and simply write up a comprehensive amendment sheet for personal use.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by list_lurker » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:31 pm

I think perhaps a concessionary printed 'upgrade pdf' might work (FOC) for existing players - for perhaps 2-3 iterations of your upgrade cycle. If the app version is great then people will buy ... let market forces decide. I agree that this technology is the future, but not for the current audience. If you've got plans envigorate the hobby and bring new (young) blood in - then this is good.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by grahambriggs » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:51 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:Initially there will be no way to print the rules out.
Thanks for clarifying Iain. Can't see me using them until they are printable. So it looks like I'll focus on FOGR and look at other ancients sets for now.

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by Robert241167 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:56 pm

Hi JDM

Looks like them not being printable is a deal-breaker at the moment. I have a home PC and a work laptop but there is no way I'm bringing the work laptop to tournaments.

How can you expect people to carry on using your ruleset if they no longer have any way to print off the rules?

We already have people shifting back to DBMM from FOG at our club and I'm afraid non-printable rules is probably going to ensure the remainder shift away too.

Please reconsider this crucial aspect. :oops:

Rob

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Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by vexillia » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:58 pm

When will the pricing information be released?

It would help if there was an indication of the cost of updates too. I don't fancy getting tied into a series of even annual updates at an unknown cost.

vexillia

Re: Field of Glory goes 2.0 !

Post by vexillia » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:00 pm

list_lurker wrote:I think perhaps a concessionary printed 'upgrade pdf' might work (FOC) for existing players - for perhaps 2-3 iterations of your upgrade cycle.
This is a good idea and even a nominal charge would be bearable.

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