Yesterday Graham and I played Field of Glory Renaissance (FOG R) and got two 650 points Italian Wars games in an afternoon. I lost both but who cares! This was the first time my French army had seen the light of day for years. You should have seen the layer of dust on top of their tool box.
Chatting to the other members of MAWS I learnt that the 2013 Northern League will not be using FOG AM v2, the newest Field of Glory rules, for their Ancient & Medieval FOG competition; rather they will stay with original version FOG AM v1. This wasn't a surprise but the spread of probable venues was. The list of venues isn't public yet but one of our favourite locations (if not my favourite venue) wasn't on the list.
All this set us thinking about our plans for the rest of this year. In the pub we tackled the key questions:
- Whether to use FOG AM v2 this year?
- How many Northern League rounds to do?
- Do we focus on Medieval or Renaissance?
We started by discussing FOG AM v2 and it's impact on the competition circuit. It will doubtless become the standard set for UK competitions; it's just a matter of how quickly this happens. Sadly, the cost of the new rules is an issue. FOG AM v2 is expensive at roughly £31.00 delivered. It's not an impulse purchase and only worthwhile if we are going to play a fair few competitive games. This year all of these will have to be outside the Northern League.
After kicking this around a bit more we moved on to consider the Northern League itself. After last year's performance it's clear you can't do well unless you play in all five rounds. Graham & I have never managed this. Plus the likely locations and venues for 2013 mean we won't do more that 3 rounds this year. So our Northern League outings will definitely be scaled back it's just a question of how far; it could be as few as two rounds.
To add to all of this Graham & I have lots of DBR Renaissance armies so we could switch periods altogether. We already own the FOG R rule books. Graham's played more FOG R than I have but I've had few test games. We did identify one drawback: we have very few options at 800+ points in FOG R. In fact earlier today I spent my lunch hour working out that I can just about field two 800 points armies. Sadly, they are based on what I have painted rather than any notion of an optimised list. Yet more to ponder and yet another layer of complexity.
This year we fully intend to play in other weekend competitions be they singles or doubles but have nothing decided (there's a pattern here). Given this our options seem to be:
- Look for FOG AM v1 medieval competitions (which may become harder to find as the year progresses) supplemented by a few rounds in the Northern League.
- Bite the bullet, buy the new rule book, learn the new rules and look for FOG AM v2 medieval competitions outside the Northern League.
- Switch to FOG R completely and play in both the Northern League (which is singles) and other competitions be they doubles or singles.
- Look for FOG AM v1 medieval competitions and switch to FOG R in the Northern League.
Option 2 has two sub-options as it could be coupled with a few rounds of the Northern League be they Renaissance or Medieval (v1). However, the later is not ideal as I've never liked switching between versions of the same rule set; it always gets confusing.
Options 3 & 4 have the added benefit of allowing us to switch to FOG AM v2 later in the year at our own pace and once all the errata have been spotted.
As I said I don't think we've reached any firm conclusions yet except that we will scale back our participation in the Northern League in favour of other competitions. We have to make up our minds and I think we will by the end of the month in time for the first round of the Northern League on Feb 24th.