FOGAM3

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terrys
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FOGAM3

Post by terrys » Fri May 27, 2016 9:26 am

Some of you may have heard rumors that Version 3 is being developed.
The current situation is:
1st round of Beta testing is about to start
No publisher has been agreed as yet - but it won't be Osprey
Release date will be 2017 - as early as possible.

It will contain much more substantial changes than did V2 (which could/should have been handled by a PDF download).
However, it won't fundamentally change the the mechanics or style of play.

Changes are being tested that will affect the following (in no particular order):
> Terrain will be much less likely to be (totally) unsuitable for your army.
i.e. Foot armies will be less likely to have to fight Steppe, and mounted armies will be less likely to fight in Tropical or mountains.
The center of the table is likely to be more open.
> Skirmisher will be much less effective, with numbers likely to be much reduced (with a knock-on effect of reducing/removing the 'Benny Hill Effect')
> Heavy Foot will become more prominent in time-limited games
> Medium foot bow armies lose some of their effectiveness - but not enough to render them unusable.
> Certain army types, that are rarely used currently, will become more viable. (Byzantines, Warband armies, Light Chariot armies being examples)
> The impact phase becomes more important (relative to the melee phase).
> Superiors are reduced in effectiveness relative to average - and poor will become more effective.
> Players will have to be more careful with the placement of commanders and of committing them to combat.
> Base losses (attrition) will be higher than at present.
> A number of other tweaks to improve play balance.
Of course skillful use of your army will still be the most important factor in winning or losing your battles

vexillia

Re: FOGAM3

Post by vexillia » Fri May 27, 2016 2:17 pm

Superiors are reduced in effectiveness relative to average - and poor will become more effective.
Interesting. This will compress the whole range from poor to superior.

Is this an admission that it was/is too wide to start with in v1-v2? If not are you deliberately looking for less differentiation?

terrys
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Re: FOGAM3

Post by terrys » Fri May 27, 2016 9:59 pm

It's more about bringing more variation into troop selection.
We still want superior to be better than average - but average (and even poor) should be be perfectly good troops in the right situation.
It's not that superiors are too good, but that an advantage in numbers doesn't make enough of a difference.
We'd basically like a BG of 6 average to be the equal of 4 superiors - if they can make their overlap count.

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by martymagnificent » Sat May 28, 2016 3:47 am

Interesting announcement. Look forward to seeing V3 and/or participating in Beta if it is possible.

Didn't think the gap between the different troop qualities was too big, it just didn't cost/save enough points to go from one to another so everyone always took superior whenever they could (except with skirmishers) and poor were avoided like the plague. It was the decision to not change the points for V2 that made this impossible to fix (after a range of other options were, for various reasons, discarded during the beta).

Interesting times

Martin

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by marty » Sat May 28, 2016 4:54 am

Skirmisher will be much less effective, with numbers likely to be much reduced
Does this mean lists will be re-done? Republished? extensive errata?

Martin

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by thefrenchjester » Sat May 28, 2016 10:06 am

marty wrote:
Skirmisher will be much less effective, with numbers likely to be much reduced
Does this mean lists will be re-done? Republished? extensive errata?

Martin
Hi everyone,

my personal preference should be NO ( for the same reasons explained before the release of the V2) , YES (for ease of use ) , NO (for ease of use too :wink: );

be seeing you :wink:

thefrenchjester (ready for the migration to the promised land of FOGAM V3)

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by LEmpereur » Sat May 28, 2016 11:23 am

thefrenchjester wrote:
marty wrote:
Skirmisher will be much less effective, with numbers likely to be much reduced
Does this mean lists will be re-done? Republished? extensive errata?

Martin
Hi everyone,

my personal preference should be NO ( for the same reasons explained before the release of the V2) , YES (for ease of use ) , NO (for ease of use too :wink: );

be seeing you :wink:

thefrenchjester (ready for the migration to the promised land of FOGAM V3)
:?: :?: :?: More "poor" !More figures to paint! :wink:
L'Empereur Bête et Méchant vous invite à visitez :
Le Blog : https://lempereurzoom13.blogspot.fr/
Le projet 2020 : http://2020batailledeloigny.blogspot.fr/
Cons se le disent!!!

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by timmy1 » Sat May 28, 2016 11:28 am

I would be interested in being considered for the beta testing program if possible.

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by thefrenchjester » Sat May 28, 2016 8:29 pm

timmy1 wrote:I would be interested in being considered for the beta testing program if possible.
me too if you're pleased, it could stop or at least reduce the speculation effect of the new things on old minds and habits in France :wink:

Be seeing you :wink:

thefrenchjester

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by scuzi » Sat May 28, 2016 9:10 pm

Hi Terry
The FOG series are a great set of rules glad your looking at AM
if I may so bold as to suggest some things to look at
Eastern elephant armies elephants should shoot 1 die as heavy chariots
Western elephants in small numbers have a attachment FOG N style
Every army should have the ability to have at least one superior unit

Will v3 be released on the apple app, always thought that was a great idea :D

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by marty » Sat May 28, 2016 11:26 pm

my personal preference should be NO ( for the same reasons explained before the release of the V2) , YES (for ease of use ) , NO (for ease of use too :wink: );
I understand the reluctance and don't think many lists need to change but the points contained in the lists are another matter. To my mind changing a set of rules significantly but not been able to change points is a serious case of "tail wagging the dog" and was one major flaw in the V2 process. In effect you are then designing a set of rules to match an existing points system. Hardly ideal from a design point of view.

Of course points could be changed in the rules without re-doing the list books, it just requires people to accept a little bit of extra work when writing lists but as most now seem to use various on-line list generators it shouldn't be a big deal.

Martin

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by marty » Sat May 28, 2016 11:33 pm

On another issue, If I was going to work towards a single change for V3, ahead of anything else, it would be to make the game quicker/more decisive. By far the most common criticism I hear of FOG is that you can play for well over 3 hours and not get a result. V2 improved this situation a bit and some of the things on your list may address this (like more rapid attrition) but that still requires actual contact to happen.

I sometimes find myself wondering if the game would be better if MU's were base widths rather than inches. Players who wanted to run would find the back of the table much more quickly!

Martin

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by hwpf2014 » Sat May 28, 2016 11:58 pm

Most interesting series of posts on FOGAM3.

One thing I think is lacking in both FOGAM1 and FOGAM2 is a mechanism modelling the peculiarities of elephants loosing control ("breaking"), but not necessarily routing away from the enemy. I like the mechanisms in GMT's "CC-Ancients" and the "Historical Battles" series where the rout direction is variable, and seems to model what the available records indicate was one of the hazards of using elephants - rampage into one's own forces adjacent to the Elephants, or occasionally a benefit - rampage into the enemy forces.

As indicated in an earlier post, some elephants used integrate screening forces with limited missile capacity, and I too hope FOG3 will address those screening forces.

Another matter I am curious about is the (-) POA wrt slings used against Cataphracts. I have read that the Romans found slings to be particularly useful against Parthian Cataphracts. Therefore would it be better to have no (or even a (+)) POA for slings? I am curious what more experienced and historically knowledgeable players think.

Many thanks for answering.

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by terrys » Sun May 29, 2016 1:40 am

On another issue, If I was going to work towards a single change for V3, ahead of anything else, it would be to make the game quicker/more decisive. By far the most common criticism I hear of FOG is that you can play for well over 3 hours and not get a result. V2 improved this situation a bit and some of the things on your list may address this (like more rapid attrition) but that still requires actual contact to happen.
FOGAM was designed to last about 3 1/2 hours - long enough to complate a game in an evening.
In club games that's normally enough for most games to reach a conclusion.
In competition games we get a result about 50% of the time - Mainly because as soon as things start to go wrong a player will start avoiding contact rather than lose his whole army.

During early testing we've found that the changes being proposed has made the game play much faster, with most games being over in about 2 1/2 hours.
Of course these are test games where players are not avoiding battle, but it does seem that V3 will play much faster.

marty
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Re: FOGAM3

Post by marty » Sun May 29, 2016 3:14 am

In competition games we get a result about 50% of the time - Mainly because as soon as things start to go wrong a player will start avoiding contact rather than lose his whole army.
Yeah the whole "Well that didn't work so now I'm going to dance around for an hour and a half and we can call it a draw" needs to go. This is also partially a scoring issue. You shouldn't be able to, just as an example, throw 3 or 4 units of knights at an opposing army, have them fail/die but get a draw because your swarm of LH/Cav mugs the enemy light troops. Scoring, and probably army morale/breaking, needs to reflect the value of the troops lost.

I'm glad to hear what you are trying is making things faster and I look forward to seeing what is involved.

Martin

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by terrys » Sun May 29, 2016 6:45 am

One thing I think is lacking in both FOGAM1 and FOGAM2 is a mechanism modelling the peculiarities of elephants loosing control ("breaking"), but not necessarily routing away from the enemy.
The current rules for elephants produces the right amount of threat and brittleness.
We've looked at moving broken elephants in a random direction but can't really see it working.
We accept that they did panic and cause damage to their own troops. This was usually to friends to their rear as they ran away from the danger (which was often fire-related).
I don't see us introducing anything that would do more than that - all it would do is stop players using them.
They were usually defeated by an army that knew in advance that they'd be fighting elephants and took steps to prepare for it. Certainly in competition games that situation doesn't normally occur. Even in club games you don't always know what you'll be facing. Players don't invest points in something that may not be used (even if we had rules for flaming pig, camels and carts).
We are looking at introducing some variation into elephant battle groups but haven't finalised what that will be as yet.

Elephants even under the current rules are dangerous but brittle, and certainly frighten me whether I'm using them or facing them.
We want to enhance that, but not at the risk of making them too dangerous to use.

PS.... The reason we decided not to have a firing factor for elephants is because that the numbers involved are so small. A base of bowmen has about an 8:1 advantage in numbers of bowmen over an elephant base. The last thing we want is for elephants to stand around shooting - we want them to get stuck in!
You also have to consider the

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by Vespasian28 » Sun May 29, 2016 6:31 pm

A couple of statements caught my eye as they run counter to the many games of FOGAM I have played.
The center of the table is likely to be more open.
Great if you have a Heavy Foot army(and I have plenty) but getting terrain in the centre if you have a medium foot army is not that easy at the moment.
Medium foot bow armies lose some of their effectiveness - but not enough to render them unusable.
OK, I only have one of these, Classical Indian, and have never won a game with them so that doesn't ring true with me. Then again I only fight historical opponents so does that make a difference?
The impact phase becomes more important (relative to the melee phase)
I thought V2 had already done that quite nicely.

As always, wait and see what comes up after all the playtesting.

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by PaulByzan » Sun May 29, 2016 8:11 pm

OK, shorter reply than the one I tried to post and probably screwed up. I've always thought FOG was the best and most playable set of ancient rules.

FOGAM3 has a lot of interesting ideas, that look like improvements.

Glad to see there's a recognition that certain armies popular under other rules need to get playability upgrades. IMHO opinion, this was the main weakness of rules. I'd be interested in the playtest and also to be involved with the Byzantine upgrades that are my area of specialization.

Paul G

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by stevenneate » Mon May 30, 2016 4:58 am

One of the major flaws viewed from here is that the game is too slow. Increasing movement rates to base widths as suggested is a good idea. Match HF movement in the open to MF to help this process. After all, both types are trying to move in formation, the MF aren't jogging around the battlefield unconcerned that their formation is becoming ragged! The advantage for MF is that they are less hindered by terrain, the advantage for HF is they don't test as often when they're losing.

Skirmishers can be easily reduced in effectiveness by reducing them almost all to Poor. This is an army list problem that stems back to old WRG days. They're skirmishers who shoot and throw stuff and then run away and yet they can dominate a battlefield, defeat an army with their firepower alone and have the morale to equal Alexander's phalanx. They're handled poorly by a competition game mechanism approach rather than an historical effectiveness approach. The skirmishers should do their thing for a turn or two, with little effect bar the odd lucky hit, and then clear off.

And I'll take someone's point above about destroying the cream of an enemy army only to find that in the next two hours of skirmish and retreat the game ends in roughly a draw. The scoring system needs to reflect the quality of what was lost, not just battle groups.

Ah, the Byzantines. It's funny but they are often useless in most commercial rule sets. I wonder why? FOGA, the major problem for the Thematic Byzantines is the compulsory second rank for Theme armoured horse archers. They cost a fortune and yet are pretty useless on the tabletop. From reading John Haldon's work on the Byzantines there also appears to be no historical evidence for them either and that armoured to protected, poor to average, drilled lancers is about the best mix. The Tagmata were the best equipped and drilled troops but no Emperor worth his salt would throw them away. Their loss should pretty much spell doom for the army.

We will be watching Australia with baited breath to see what happens. The FOG community here is on its knees and is just one rules group amongst many. There weren't enough numbers in January to run an Australian championship this year.

Steve

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Re: FOGAM3

Post by terrys » Mon May 30, 2016 10:58 am

One of the major flaws viewed from here is that the game is too slow. Increasing movement rates to base widths as suggested is a good idea. Match HF movement in the open to MF to help this process. After all, both types are trying to move in formation, the MF aren't jogging around the battlefield unconcerned that their formation is becoming ragged! The advantage for MF is that they are less hindered by terrain, the advantage for HF is they don't test as often when they're losing.

Skirmishers can be easily reduced in effectiveness by reducing them almost all to Poor. This is an army list problem that stems back to old WRG days. They're skirmishers who shoot and throw stuff and then run away and yet they can dominate a battlefield, defeat an army with their firepower alone and have the morale to equal Alexander's phalanx. They're handled poorly by a competition game mechanism approach rather than an historical effectiveness approach. The skirmishers should do their thing for a turn or two, with little effect bar the odd lucky hit, and then clear off.

And I'll take someone's point above about destroying the cream of an enemy army only to find that in the next two hours of skirmish and retreat the game ends in roughly a draw. The scoring system needs to reflect the quality of what was lost, not just battle groups.

Ah, the Byzantines. It's funny but they are often useless in most commercial rule sets. I wonder why? FOGA, the major problem for the Thematic Byzantines is the compulsory second rank for Theme armoured horse archers. They cost a fortune and yet are pretty useless on the tabletop. From reading John Haldon's work on the Byzantines there also appears to be no historical evidence for them either and that armoured to protected, poor to average, drilled lancers is about the best mix. The Tagmata were the best equipped and drilled troops but no Emperor worth his salt would throw them away. Their loss should pretty much spell doom for the army.
We have identified all of the issues mentioned above as things that need addressing, and changes are being tested that affect all of them.
My last test game was using Tagmatic Byzantines, and they are now a very effective army. It's too early to say if they are good enough to win a competition, but they are an enjoyable army to use, with a very reasonable chance of winning against almost any opponent. I certainly found that Tagmatic cavalry (average, armoured, 1/2 lance, 1/2 bow) in 6's were very useful indeed. I'm now thinking of painting up all those unpainted Byzantine figures that I've had for years (If I could only remember where I stored them !!)

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