Keeping FOG N growing

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richafricanus
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Keeping FOG N growing

Post by richafricanus » Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:19 pm

Having rebased all 5 of my Napoleonic armies for FOG N and still continuing to paint more, I am starting to worry about the longevity of this excellent rule set.

The biggest issue seems to be with the multiple grey areas in the rules that need continuous clarification from Terry, the generally poor layout of the rules meaning you don't always find things where you'd expect them, and the number of errata that are around, some still "what Terry said in a thread" and some official.

I know of a couple of local players who got in and out of it because of these issues, and I suspect this has happened around the world.

Are there any plans for a version 2 with a good re-write? Has the set achieved enough scale to justify this? The community on the forum seems mostly confined to half a dozen common names.

Any thoughts on what needs to be done to give the set a chance to continue growing and become widely accepted? I love the game it gives and would hate to see the community dwindle.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by hazelbark » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:18 pm

Agree entirely.

A lot of adapters were put off. I think a cleaned up refined, restructured rules would be terrific.

We did a re-fight saturday of the northern part of Katzbach and it was a lot of fun. This is a game that ought to have a bigger audience.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by deadtorius » Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:38 pm

I also love these rules. Having tried a few different sets at a local convention over the last 2 years has shown me just how good a set of rules it really is. Having played all the fog sets this is is my favorite and we play it exclusively. I would hate to see it fail due to a rushed set of rules to meet publishing dates.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Blathergut » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:19 pm

Ditto to all points.

I get the impression it hasn't sold vast numbers since there are, as mentioned, only a handful of us here who comment repeatedly. Perhaps others look in and leave no comments or questions.

That it all comes down to one person keeping up with questions/errata/improvements is probably one stumbling block. This board, if busier, could consume all your free time. At some point you probably want to do other things or other rules or who knows what.

I love playing the rules, as Dead. mentioned. I haven't lost interest or enjoyment at all in the two years they've been out.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Carriage » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:03 am

Yeah I'm really liking the rules too. I haven't really played any other Naps set but they feel right and are also corp sized rather than division sized forces. However I agree that the organisation and grey areas can be trying. Though, if you have a regular casual group a lot of things can just have a house rule, so it's more of an issue for tournament players or occasional players.

Personally, I'd probably still be playing if it was just one opponent and myself left. It would still be disappointing though.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Saxonian » Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:40 am

I think Richard hit the nail on the head.
The fact that that in the two years since the rules were released there have been 471 topics under "Rules Questions", with 3945 posts, says a lot.
That is an average of nearly 20 questions with 164 responses per month!!

The underlying principles of the rules are sound, at times elegant, but these have been let down by some poor editing, organisation and proof-reading, which is a real shame.
Carriage is correct, a lot of these issues can be sorted within a playing group. But this has the drawback of a lack of 'transferablilty' (yes, I made up a word!) from one group to the next if they arrive at different interpretations. This was demonstrated with Keith's recent visit to Melbourne.

I absolutely second the call for a V.2 rewrite, and would have no issue handing over the cash to purchase it.
And the suggestion I would make is that it be just the rules.
The lists have been published and there seem to be few issues with them. Eye candy is always nice, but it is by no means necessary.
Properly written rules with explanatory diagrams and examples of play will win me over every time.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Bar853 » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:00 am

We like the rule system and would support a V2 if it was published. This forum has also been a great asset to FOG N and not just for rule amendments but for tips on army list design and gaming hints. Great game system.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by hazelbark » Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:13 pm

Blathergut wrote:
I get the impression it hasn't sold vast numbers since there are, as mentioned, only a handful of us here who comment repeatedly.
This is a generic issue with Forums, especially ones that have a sign in mechanism unique to themselves.

I note across a number of communication areas that there is another real change occurring. A lot of list servs are less used as well.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:29 pm

Yes we should like to go for version 2.0 subject to Slitherine’s support.

To package up the errata etc but also to review some elements including the lists.

And to make it a much more practical document ditching all that Osprey eye candy :evil: ,the lousy fonts, including the colour palate and point size and the unhelpful page layout and size and the absence of paragraph numbers . I never liked it for FOG(AM) and still struggle to find stuff even in V2-although I have played well over a hundred games - far more than FoG(N)as I have no regular opponent(s) at all for FoG(N). :(

I would like to try for algorithms as a way of navigating the processes although I am probably not the best person to write them! Miniatures have become more of a hybrid with some board game aspects – the fixed base sizes become more like counters but without hexes , D6’s only, no rostas , stylised terrain – we need Avalon Hill/SPI styles of rule layout to match the greater precision. I am starting to use hex bases for 1/300 armour now so facing is clear.

None of these better ways of presentation were on offer from Osprey and the process of proofing was a nightmare where they complained we had made too many changes - many of them down to them anyway . Virtually no editorial support eg on the index, print ready read-only pdfs to proof, so all changes had to be typed into a separate document . I had to print the proofs out to do it at all and sometimes needed a magnifying glass to read stuff . And ridiculous turn round times .

I wouldn’t ask them to print my shopping list. :twisted:

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:40 pm

hazelbark wrote:
Blathergut wrote:
I get the impression it hasn't sold vast numbers since there are, as mentioned, only a handful of us here who comment repeatedly.
This is a generic issue with Forums, especially ones that have a sign in mechanism unique to themselves.

I note across a number of communication areas that there is another real change occurring. A lot of list servs are less used as well.

We were told only 5,000 copies were printed and that will be for all three books and Amazon keep asking for returns so presumably they are short sometimes . So not that many available to begin with nothing like FOG(AM).

Comparing this forum to the days of WRG ancients and Slingshot in the 70's and 80's this type of discourse is much more rules mechanisms and game focused and much less historical in content and on- line forums are more conversational and short if not pithy .Not the place for a 500 word or longer essay on fine - not to day nerdy - points on new research into - I don't know" daggers of the third dynasty :roll: " . Ultimately are they are a kind of fast food? :shock: But people are often much more polite here :lol:

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by BrettPT » Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:49 pm

MikeHorah wrote:Yes we should like to go for version 2.0 subject to Slitherine’s support.
Maybe Terry and/or yourself could phone whatever powers-that-be in Sliverine to see if they would support this, and if so, get the ball rolling on a version 2?

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:08 am

Just making the point we are not the decision makers and it is not our resources (for the most part) that we commit - and they include time which in business is at a premium .

Terry has been trying to set up a meet with JD for some time - not just on this as there are other irons in the fire . He and JDMc know each other very well and go back a good way in tournament wargaming and they live on the same southern side of London.

I don't suppose I have met JDMc more than four times and I am nearer Cambridge 40 Klicks north of London . So I am only just in peripheral vision. Which is not surprising as the part author of one product in their overall and expanding oeuvre. I am not complaining: I am a realist not an egotist.

But I too needed to be convinced to put MY time and emotional energy into a version 2.

The old "reinforce success not failure" maxim and Miamoto Musashi's 9th " Do nothing that is of no use" are material. I am sort of there now and some of the comments in this thread help to push that along.

If I get the chance I/we will say be saying something to JDMc at SALUTE this Saturday. But it needs proper "facetime" more than a call which I gather they do regularly.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by shadowdragon » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:12 pm

Mike, just let me add my words if support to keep FoG alive and thriving. Napoleonic so has always been the miniature war gaming period nearest and dearest to me. I've searched a long time for a good corps level set of rules that emphasized the coordination of an all arms force and not deployment into column or line. I have found that with FoG(N). The only other rule set that is close to comparable would be Corps d'Armee by Geoffrey Wootten which was only an experimental set and never really supported by WRG but it had some innovative concepts. Of course there are those who can't conceive of Napoleonics without manoeuvring individual battalions so will never play FoGN but there are others who can't get past the rules layout. Something else that might be useful to counter the "it's only a tournament set of rules" would be scenario supplements. If we went PDF for those and did them as a collaborative effort it might be affordable in terms of both money and time.

Amra
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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Amra » Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:18 pm

I've posted my feelings about constantly 'touching" the rules on the FoG R site ( a wonderful set of rules BTW ) .

Simply , IMHO, the small scale sales of the rules will NEVER justify a V2 . Anyone involved knows this so stop ad hoc adjusting it .

Fix errata and explain what is meant by the rules but don't try to fix problems/mistakes/mechanisims . No rule set of any version will be perfect.

Simply the rules are what they are . Let local groups work it out . As I said elsewhere if you pay $50 for a book and someone says "thats not all the rules" , that rule system is dead .

Rather , spend your efforts to do as ShadowDragon suggests , a scenario/ campaign book that may grow the game.

I completly agree with all that has been said . These rules are great, the more I play them the more I enjoy them but constant well meaning fiddling kills them .

In Australia the rules are doing well in Melbourne where there is a strong club to promote and teach them , elsewhere they arent cutting thru .

My opinions only.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by dvorkin » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:35 am

Fully agree with Amra, I don't see the utility to have a V2 for the time being but the idea to have a scenario /campaign book is the best idea to get more people attracted to this game especaily in France.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by vsolfronk » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:14 pm

I disagree- how do you grow a player base if the present published rules create such problems? All present players agree that the present rules are poorly printed and not very well edited. How do you entice new players if they face such rules? How do you sell them onthe rules if they look at forums and see all the negative statements about the rules?

Eventually the authors of the rules should be confident in their own revisions to publish a second edition of the rules.

I suggest that if the new rules make the game a more positive experience, we will again get new players.

Amra
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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Amra » Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:49 am

There will be no Second Edition , the print run is too small .Even if there were , there would be other issues. Simply , all rule sets are flawed.

There is no need for all the world to agree on interpretations , local groups can apply their own .In the past that is always what happened with rules in wargaming , local groups had local interpretations, and why not ? We are not all going to meet at some Worlds somewhere. When differences occour between groups interpretations , you just declare what ruling this event is following .

Youre right that the uncertainty of the Forum can put people off ( it does have a lot of info for new players however and is a great resource ) but the error lies in trying to interperate and ad hoc "fix" mistakes rather than "these are the rules if you dont like the mechanism, adjust it "

With all three FoG rule sets the pattern is the same . A product launch with no marketing support , initial interest , a watering down effect thru unoffical rule changes and interpretations , a drifting of interest as entry to the game becomes too complicated ( You cant just buy the rules and play , you need to study the Forum) . I personally feel all 3 sets missed the chance to do something other than equal point encounter battles, FOW have used "missions" very successfully to maintan interest in their rules .

IMO FoGN will go the same way unless the Forum ( writers? ) concentrate on tactics of the games not "do these words mean this or that " .

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by vsolfronk » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:34 pm

A: "Simply , all rule sets are flawed."
V: Shouldn't stop authors for sending out revisions. I played DBM, and extremely popular game that underwent many revisions, revisions that probably added to it's popularity and forcing players to try new armies.

A:"There is no need for all the world to agree on interpretations , local groups can apply their own "
V: Sort of sucks when you go outside your own group to play at a convention or tournament, and FoGN is a tournament game.

A:"With all three FoG rule sets the pattern is the same..."
V: I completely agree. It the authors/publishers do not support their product and keep it fresh and in the marketplace with updates/additions/expansions it will wither away.

Amra
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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Amra » Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:35 am

Im saying that resolving questions of the rules dont sell any more copies . A revision always splits the existing base , unless done very well . As for history ,look at the shambles of DBM ,it is the monument to bad marketing . I was in the Worlds in Rome 2004 where the whole ancient gaming world played the one set . Constant "revisions" destroyed that , by V 3.01 the rules couldnt even be purchased

The days of big tournaments are gone , look around the world at attendance . To base a rules system and its revisions on tournament play ignores the reality .

On those rare occaisions when a player from some where else is playing in a tournament , the tournament lets everyone know the interpretations they are using . I dont believe the majority of rule users get them to travel with . Rather people play in their own groups .

Imagine how much better it would be if the FoW model was copied and we had campaign books for each of the Napoleonic campaigns ? Designed to work for FoG n and using the Osprey relationship ? Non FoG N players would buy them and the rules would grow . We could then be talking about historical refights , campaign games and scenarios rather than "do the rules really mean this ?" . I really believe that if your rules arent contained in the rules book your system is on the way out .

Our Club (the largest in Australia) grew the number of FoG N players by running a campaign . We will soon have a tournament ,using scenarios and while it will be great fun , I'll bet it doesnt encourage one new player.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by terrys » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:25 am

We'd like to create a V2 of the rules, but I'm not sure it would get Osprey's backing.
Even if it was just a more structured version with all the errata added (with an emphasis on clarity) it would be useful.
The cost of the book isn't high considering the relative cost of buying figures - even if it was 'Print on Demand'
There are a number of new ideas that could be added (with some Beta testing), and we'd probably look for something to replace the example armies (campaign or siege rules perhaps).

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