Keeping FOG N growing

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donm2
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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by donm2 » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:46 am

I don't post on this part of the forum very much, but as I am on holiday I am looking at parts I normally don't have time to.

We at the Clevedon club took part as beta testers and where very disappointed with the finished article when it was published. We kept trying the rules with the hope that a comprehensive set of clarifications would be released, some members even took part in competitions to support the rules. Eventually we gave up waiting and moved on to another set of rules. I think the moment to get new people into these rules has long gone. Many of the local players have sold their copies and moved on.

We enjoy the new set we are using so much, that we are hoping to re fight Waterloo this October.

Just my personal view.

Don

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Amra » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:56 am

Exactly ,
So dont frustrate yourself and make it hard for new comers to buy and play . Put your abilities into Osprey linked booklets that will grow the hobby .
Your rules are so much fun and work well but look at the Britcon numbers (for example) , tournament play is not their future IMO

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by vsolfronk » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:27 pm

Terry-players just need feedback from you/Slitherine.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Carriage » Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:56 pm

I think this all depends on what you're trying to achieve and what you mean by growing the community. Do you want everyone playing the same rules at tournaments so players can travel? Do you want more people playing the ruleset in general so people can share what they're doing and learn from each other to maximise fun? Do you want to sell more books?

These are going to need different things, some of them overlapping. One concern I have with a new version is if it's also hard to read and ambiguous which would give two different difficult sets of rules.

I would personally like a better index so that for example, when I'm resolving outcome/pursuit moves I know all the places I need to look at. I'm not that into tournaments so making rulings about for example, squares and support, I'd be okay with a club rule. It's just that with the ease of access to the authors it's convenient to just ask. However, I'm not really a fan of rules changes but rather clarifications of what was actually (or meant to be) written.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by bahdahbum » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:59 am

FOGN is a good rule set and I also second the call for a V2 and agree for the reasons already mentionned by other players .

Scenarios would be welcome and I think it would not be that impossible to play some battles such as Eylau, Waterloo, Quatre-Bras, Wavre...

It could be a downlaodable version :D

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:16 pm

"You can please some of the people some of the time..." etc. Blinding glimpse of the obvious.

Bear in mind folks, those on here ( this thread, on this forum) are a self selected small vocal (sic) sample so we don't really know who " the people" as a population are and what they really think -let one care much about. ( a common delusion of all online forum folk including myself)

So what are our options?

a)Do nothing - always an attractive option
b)Print some more v1.0- on what evidence of demand ? - we had a go - maybe this is as good as it gets? Why bother?
c )V 1.01-Minimalist - rules only - incorporate already accrued and promulgated errors omissions and clarifications - make it as cheap as possible but who'd pay even for just that let alone someone coming to it for the first time? - not me for sure - bfd
d) as for (c) but make some changes to lists as well - ditto as (c) who'd pay for that?
e) make some changes to the game itself - after Beta testing - see V2.0 FOG(AM) yeah a "great" success I am thinking really enhanced the brand didn't it ?! But very risky and we will displease most of the people for much of the time.
f) Do what we like so long as its sells ( whatever that is?).


None of the above have anything to do with SCENARIOS which we could ( all) do right now - all we need is a common format - and not the sort of thing that says "x bases of Average drilled line inf ; y bases ave vet light Inf; z bases med arty etc " as I see sometimes on the FOG(AM) forum ( or even this forum) which has all the excitement of cold custard( with apologies to those for whom that is their favourite dessert)

Right now - on the basis of this user feedback I am back in the option(a)( so move on to new projects) or the (f) camp.

Now who wants to convince me otherwise?

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by bahdahbum » Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:56 pm

Part of the problem is that there are so many changes and clarifications .

It is sometimes difficult to keep track of all this and a new book would be wellcome especially for new players .

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by BrettPT » Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:14 pm

Throwing in my 2 cents, it is worth mentioning that everyone here in NZ who has played a game of FoGN seems of the opinion (to the best of my knowledge at least) that the mechanisms are either good or excellent.
My personal view is that FoGN gives the most realistic simulation of any set of rules for the period I have played, and gives a great and challenging game.

Every individual will always have an opinion on tweaks to improve any system, but the only consistent criticism is over organization and internal inconsistencies in the drafting.

I didn't appreciate the difficulties Mike and Terry were having with Osprey which explains a lot.

These rules IMO are an edit away from being excellent and it would be a great shame to not make an effort to tidy them up and reprint or make available as a paid download if a reprint is uneconomic.

There are a group of us here in Auckland, who have now been involved in 5 tournaments who would be happy to do a redraft/edit, with Terry and yourself Mike being supervising editors, if that would help reduce the workload.

Cheers
Brett

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by Amra » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:58 am

I agree with everything Brett said except the last part ! :)

Changes to rules fragment your base . Opt in downloads are even worse .

Terry has clearly said no V2 due to economic reasons .

If you can have something like "when in NZ play like this " then thats all you need

Then I start agreeing with Mike , we can start to pool scenario ideas etc here on the forum .

Again , I must stress,these are just my opinions

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by richafricanus » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:57 am

I'm not sure fragmenting the base is a problem when your base is so small. I like the idea of scenarios, but if the rules are off putting to start with, will scenarios solve the basic problem? The growth of the game will only come from current players recruiting new players in their area, but you won't get new adopters in different towns as the barrier to entry is so high.

A downloadable or print to order 2nd edition would be far more appealing to me. And a few of us in Melbourne, I'm sure, would also be happy to help with drafting/editing/ play-testing this.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:54 am

Having chatted to JDMc at SALUTE the position is that the ball is in Terry and my court re FoG(N) . And while the Osprey route is available ( talk of a split on this forum seems to have been exaggerated :shock: ) that is probably not the best value approach for users.

So now we have to decide on what the least irritating and most helpful approach would be :roll: . A cleaned up, shortened ( as in eye candy etc) better edited version is the easy bit . We have all the material already but thanks to those who have offered help 8) . Taking stuff out like pics and the redundant lists is easy . It will not change the way the game works in any fundamental way and JDMc's point -that it has still to be a good game - needs to be well taken by us all.

That approach and making it a choice of print on demand or downloadable at least enables you all to carry on using FOG(N) while not obliging anyone to have it just to carry on playing and does not render your first editions obsolete . This is a 2nd edition not a Version 2. And it makes no difference to any who have stopped using it because they never liked it in the first place :?

Re the lists there are a number of options - do we really want to re-do both books, as such, or just publish a supplementary set of those that have been amended or corrected with the odd new one(s)? If they are limited in number and as a percentage we could use the space saved in the rule book to put them in there having taking out the ones in the rule book - which were superseded anyway - as well as the eye candy. Or we could make them available on line as individual files - or maybe do both . Both these avoid rendering the list books obsolete and give you the choice.

Going beyond that to actually tinker with game mechanisms is risky in my view . That needs more time thought and beta testing and a bigger user base to support a Version 2 as such . I don't sense we are there. A simple second edition also has the advantage that it is in our own time and at our pace with no retail and publisher driven timetable.

Terry and I are getting together soon to try a first draft 18th century set :o ( prior to beta testing) and will talk over how best to get this project moving in parallel.

See separate thread on scenarios where I have put in some ideas.

My view is this really ought to be a community of interest collaboration which can evolve and expand at whatever pace the community chooses. I am very happy for my scenario ideas to be taken up ditched or tweaked by anyone or to collaborate with anyone off line. In my 40 plus years of gaming scenarios have generated the best most fun and memorable games regardless of period or rule set. But it helps to have the latter - even if you tweak it - so you don' need to invent one every time!

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by shadowdragon » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:58 pm

From what I've seen on the TMP forum when people ask for a recommendation for Nap rules the current rules format seems to be the one of the top two criticisms of FOGN. The other is that a unit is not an infantry battalion – cavalry regiment level game. We can't do much about the latter but we can do something about the former.

Willing to help in as I can as FoGN is the definitive Nap rule set for me - and that's after 50 years (lol) of war gaming. I remember a key inspiration being a Life magazine special on the 150th anniversary of Waterloo.

Willong to help on an 18th century too but certainly I have less knowledge there.

Fully agree on scenarios producing a lot of fun. Willing to help there too but apologies for posting cold custard scenarios here. :D

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:24 pm

shadowdragon wrote:From what I've seen on the TMP forum when people ask for a recommendation for Nap rules the current rules format seems to be the one of the top two criticisms of FOGN. The other is that a unit is not an infantry battalion – cavalry regiment level game. We can't do much about the latter but we can do something about the former.

Willing to help in as I can as FoGN is the definitive Nap rule set for me - and that's after 50 years (lol) of war gaming. I remember a key inspiration being a Life magazine special on the 150th anniversary of Waterloo.

Willong to help on an 18th century too but certainly I have less knowledge there.

Fully agree on scenarios producing a lot of fun. Willing to help there too but apologies for posting cold custard scenarios here. :D

Re Btns versus regts - that is FOG(N)'s usp of course . Having done the former I found people would create a Corps from 7 Btns one battery and two cavalry regiments ( for example) in order to be able to model the big battles as they did not have enough figures ( or space!) to model a proper sized corps but which was neither one thing nor t'other as a result.

It's the usual conundrum of folk wanting to be several levels of command at once and not managing to model it right for any level :roll: . There may also be the residue of an anglo-centric element there thinking Peninsula not Wagram, Wellington ( who controlled much more personally ) not a Davout who Napoleon could trust to get on and do things out of sight. The legends of British single Btn regiments have become a bit hardwired maybe.

Thing is there are Btn level game sets out there and it is perfectly valid to have different base levels for gaming. In WW2 games we are used to one tank = one model as well as a base or element representing a unit from a troop up to a company . Few expect those games to be the same or would think either invalid.

Hah :lol: it was the Life magazine edition on centenary of the American Civil War ( 1961)that first got me into wargaming as such, as a kid- included a proper board game with counters a map and rules which my dad stuck onto card - long since disintegrated of course.

I am learning a lot about 18th century now :D but there is far less published on it than on Napoleonic by several orders of magnitude .

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by KeefM » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:26 pm

Yahoooooo . . . let's get going with the 2nd edition then !!!

This is a great set of rules and I (for one) would hate to flag away the Napoleonic period by allowing the fustrations of a 1st edition win out over a tidy up. Count me in for 2nd edition !!

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by JJMicromegas » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:20 pm

There's a group of about 8 of us at the Central London Wargames Club that play FoGN regularly. I've played two games this month and there is usually a game going on at least once a week. We have introduced some new players at the club to the rules but the same barrier to entry with regard to understanding the rules that has been mentioned always seems to come up. I think a 2nd edition that cleans up the rules, includes clarifications and makes whatever minor tweaks are needed would really help to keep this game going.

I think that scenarios are needed not just for the fun of play but also to force the action, often times I find myself in a situation where neither player wants to commit to an assault and neither has enough firepower to seriously hurt the other and the game tends to stalemate. I think scenarios or objectives would help in forcing one side or the other to commit to action and also provide variety in the games.

Wargaming is wrought with examples of games that survive because of a dedicated fanbase after the publisher no longer supports the product.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by sonic » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:26 am

Personally I am mostly a tournament player. My particular viewpoint is from having only a rudimentary knowledge of the rules before I played tournaments (2 now). Also I have extensively played tournaments for FOW and it was this that attracted me to FOW. The possibility of a tournament ruleset for Napoleonics attracted me to FOGN and knowing that there was a solid group in NZ that were playing it.

FOGN is a viable tournament ruleset.

My only comment is that it would in my opinion benefit from developing scenarios that work in a tournament setting. Also, many would no doubt disagree with me, but I have found preset terrain to have advantages. I found that with FOGN you can develop your army list and terrain setup in conjunction, and I far prefer to force more generic lists that have to be able to fight in a variety of scenarios and terrains. The other significant advantage with preset terrain is the time factor - u can spend a lot of time sorting out terrain.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:56 am

Might I suggest that any who want to explore scenarios do so on the " Scenarios?" thread? I totally get that they are one way of supporting and sustaining FOG(N) so lets collate peoples ideas etc in one place.

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:29 am

JJMicromegas wrote:
Wargaming is wrought with examples of games that survive because of a dedicated fanbase after the publisher no longer supports the product.
That is very true.

If you mean Osprey that seems to be fair comment . But of course it is Slitherine who owns FoG(N) and FOG as a whole and I do not think one can accuse Slitherine of no longer supporting it - far from it.I am not one of their staff and have no "interest" to declare . It is just my observation from the side - they are founded and run by wargamers and that makes a big and positive difference to their culture and aspirations.

As we approached a final draft Osprey may have been , shall we say, a bit lukewarm . They suggested at one point just publishing the rules and no lists . Then when we made it clear that was quite unacceptable they/we came up with two lists books in hard cover and enough in the rules to enable people to play. They appear to have hedged their bets by only printing 5,000 copies. When they got the rules they commented that there seemed rather a lot of emphasis on manoeuvre - to which our response was " yes - well spotted"! So not a business that is tooted in wargaming I am thinking.

I agree totally about keeping rules that are out of fashion - or print- alive. There is now John Curry's History of Wargaming Project ( just Google that) where he is capturing and archiving much material - potentially for free down load where had can get permission, and also ,with the permission of their estates, re-editing and republishing the works of people like Don Featherstone and Paddy Griffith. So if anyone's club has something they think could be archived to keep it alive then do contact him.

There is one aspect that people might think about. I have found I can adapt our lists to other Napoleonic game systems eg Grand Manner in a useful way. There are no lists for that ruleset and we now have a comprehensive set of lists that can be adapted to suit - for what is a Btn and Sqdn level game . Not all the elements of FOG(N) fit but it does not take much to make it work. The lists( IMHO as an author )have potentially more long term traction than the game by itself may prove to have . And let's face it choosing and designing your armies is a great deal of the fun in miniatures gaming .

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:31 am

"Rooted " in wargaming not "tooted" doh

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Re: Keeping FOG N growing

Post by MikeHorah » Tue Apr 22, 2014 8:45 am

sonic wrote:Personally I am mostly a tournament player. My particular viewpoint is from having only a rudimentary knowledge of the rules before I played tournaments (2 now). Also I have extensively played tournaments for FOW and it was this that attracted me to FOW. The possibility of a tournament ruleset for Napoleonics attracted me to FOGN and knowing that there was a solid group in NZ that were playing it.

FOGN is a viable tournament ruleset.

My only comment is that it would in my opinion benefit from developing scenarios that work in a tournament setting. Also, many would no doubt disagree with me, but I have found preset terrain to have advantages. I found that with FOGN you can develop your army list and terrain setup in conjunction, and I far prefer to force more generic lists that have to be able to fight in a variety of scenarios and terrains. The other significant advantage with preset terrain is the time factor - u can spend a lot of time sorting out terrain.
How do you think equal points armies might work for scenarios in tournaments? One of the attractions of scenarios is asymmetrical forces but with objectives matched to force size. Might the scoring in a tournament operate like a kind of
" handicap"? Smaller force more points scored?

With regard to pre-set terrain I assume that the organisers/game masters would set that up? Charles Grant Jnr's works on scenarios under the WRG banner provide a pretty good generic model to build from for " horse and musket" . From what you say I would assume FOW tournaments already do this? I have never gotten into FOW but it looked that way at a couple of UK events I attended .

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