The Waving Flag: Back To Medieval Wargaming

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Back To Medieval Wargaming

I haven't used my many medieval armies for over three years; ever since I started playing Field of Glory Renaissance (FOGR).  I used to enjoy playing Field of Glory: Ancient and Medieval (FOGAM) but after Slitherine's  complete and utter botching of the launch of version 2 I stopped.  From what I can gather I appear not to be the only one.

About three months ago I began to feel the urge to play something other than FOGR and began looking around to see what was possible.  I've been following the development of the nascent UK Art de La Guerre scene with some interest and have even started painting some troops for Flames of War but these are longer term projects.  I wanted something more immediate.

The solution turned out to be simple: use FOGAM lists with FOGR rules and points.

In the last three years I've played quite few games with "medieval armies" by using very early FOGR lists.  Things like Mongol/Tartar and Polish/Lithuanian armies easily span the boundary between the medieval and renaissance periods as they are defined by the two  rule sets.  The only drawback is that the early FOGR lists don't give all the medieval options.  This is hardly surprising but the armies can be a bit plain as a consequence. The games themselves turned out just fine with no obvious glitches

Then ten days ago I remembered I'd seen something about a mixed 25 mm FOG AM/R competition in the summer. I used Tom's notes and some simple database mapping tools to identify what's missing: not a lot really! There are a few gaps (cataphracts & chariots) but most things are covered if not exactly the same.

To help anyone else who fancies doing something similar I've put together a simple document that collects all the issues that need to be considered.  

There are a few issues where I don't agree completely with Tom Elsworth's conversion namely:
  1. Undrilled HF/MF as warriors - reading the FOGR definition of warriors it is mainly for troops not in the "European or Chinese military traditions" so I've left it as choice dependent on list and weapons.  To me a blanket conversion to warriors seems to make things like undrilled medieval HF spearmen too good.
  2. Artillery as poor - I certainly agree with this for early artillery, say before 1425.  After that I think it's a little harsh.  Just think of the powerful and almost professional Ottoman & Burgundian artillery.
For completeness here's a list of things Tom also considered but which I've ommitted from the document:
  1. Compulsory fortified camps are optional.
  2. Impact foot with heavy throwing weapon cost as impact foot with bayonet & sword.
  3. Impact foot with heavy throwing weapon use light spear against mounted and impact foot otherwise.
  4. Spear armed mounted have light lance.
The main reason for omitting them is that they are very specific and they don't impact any of the armies I plan to use. I don't have any Roman armies.

I've now written my first list and plan to use it on Sunday in a 650 point game.  Wish me luck.

Update Wed, 14 Oct 2015 - I've been investigating the "undrilled MF to warriors" issue and I am even more convinced it should be optional.  I looked at Lithuanian axemen & archers: the former are undrilled MF with light spear in the FOGAM lists and Warriors in FOGR whilst the latter are MF in both.  I will keep looking for more examples.

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