The Waving Flag: Field Of Glory :: Viva Voce

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Field Of Glory :: Viva Voce

Last Sunday saw another attempt at getting to grips with FOG.  Graham was bored with fielding Russian armies and turned up with a Byzantine army; lancers, fortified camp and all.  I stuck with my Mongol Conquest army, who won for a change, as I’m a slow learner and somewhat stubborn.

James Hamilton kindly agreed to help us once again.  This time by acting as a “silent umpire” pointing out any errors and omissions on our part. I suppose it was bit of a test hence the title of this post.  To keep himself busy between umpiring calls James brought along some work from his day job.  Look how happy it made him:

I’m pleased so say that we both played quicker.  I felt that there was more wargaming going on than in previous games and less “struggling with the rules”.  James did have to help us once or twice but not too often.  Overall the game felt more decisive but needless to say we continued to learn:

Specific game mechanics
  • When a battle group is pinned by two enemy battle groups the player may select which enemy battle group to respond to.
  • Pursuit ends immediately if the pursuers fail to catch their routing opponent.  Obvious when stated like this but it’s not the case in DBMM.
  • Routers cannot be bolstered if there is any enemy within 6”.  This means you can push routing battle groups off table without risking formal pursuit if you wish.
  • Previously I had struggled with the effect of Commanders in combat and this game saw some clarity emerge.
  • There’s no risk to a Commander if they aren’t fighting in the front rank and then only if the battle groups receives at least two hits.
  • Likewise Commanders only influence quality re-rolls in combat when fighting in the front rank.
  • Finally, fighting Commanders do not influence the cohesion test of other battle groups; only the one they are fighting with.
  • As a result of all this I will try and keep a tighter rein on my use of Commanders in the next game.
Speed of play
  • Once we correctly applied the Points of Advantage, see last post, combats became both more decisive and quicker.
  • The effect of Commanders, again once properly applied, diminished somewhat.  This speeded things up; it made battle groups taking cohesion tests less resilient. 
  • The play sheets from the FOG website don’t suit.  I always seemed to choose the wrong page. As the game progressed, and I got tired, my selections got worse not better.  I maybe drawn into writing my own.
The game was notable from a pure wargaming point of view.  Prior to the game Graham had devised a cunning plan.  It depended on him gaining the initiative and avoiding fighting on the Steppe.  Graham lost the first dice roll and we fought on the Steppe. To make matters worse the battle took place on a completely open Steppe; not one piece of terrain survived the set up process.  It’s fair to say that Graham knew he was in trouble well before we’d deployed. The photo below seems to capture his post deployment mood perfectly.

Graham and I will be having another game a week on Sunday and then we plan to try either a medieval battle or games against new opponents.  I don’t propose to write any further reports on our progress for a while.  We’ve reached the stage where we just need to practise and, unlike our early struggles, I don’t think this will make very entertaining reading.

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