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"Field of Glory Napoleonic v2 - First Impressions" Topic


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1,005 hits since 25 Jan 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Trajanus25 Jan 2019 9:00 a.m. PST

The original FOGN appeared in 2012 as a game where the player is a Corps commander and individual table top units represent Brigades. I played it for a while and decided that ultimately, the scattergun layout and awful editing outweighed the enjoyable ideas and game play features, like unit cohesion and a very workable version of a "command points "system.

However, I have just purchase the Second Edition and it looks a different animal.

The rules did establish a following, I think partly because it they had a solid (but not exclusive) tournament element built in. Not something I have ever been interested in but somehow I feel this has kept things ticking over in the face of possibly wider take up of other rules in the past seven years.

For whatever reason, the rules seem to have established strong support in the Southern Hemisphere and that appears to have had a direct influence on where things are now. Originally, the rules were published by Osprey along with all the other FOG titles but now they hail from Word Cinnamon Publishing in Melbourne and I note clubs in Australia and New Zealand feature as play testers.

Interestingly they are produced using Amazons Print on Demand service and as far as I am aware, Amazon is the only way of buying copies, or at least that's how I think this works. Currently you are looking at around £26.93 GBP, $23.74 USD or your local equivalent, so pretty well priced in the current market.

The book is in softback format and slightly larger than the original hardback. It's very nicely produced, with many photos and diagrams like the original but with some important differences.

Firstly, the dreadful 1786 GLC Fournier Normal typeface has thankfully vanished, to be replaced by a larger and altogether clearer font, with a vastly improved and color coded layout. This is reflected in the color coordinated page banding for each chapter and goes a long way to counter the disappearance of previous, if somewhat limited, Index by repeating the listing of chapter sub headings on this right hand margin, as before.

The rules themselves have been cleaned up and clarified (hooray!) and the whole thing just looks like something you would want to read.

I gather that player input over the intervening years has been utilised and that some of the update has actually gone into removing sections that were seldom used, or mostly served to confuse the masses. A lesson a few more rewrites could benefit from in my view!

Over and above that, I'm also given to understand that the original games positives have also been maintained, so one hopes that previous players as well as new comers have something to be pleased about.

One question I would have is over the dread subject of play sheets which like in the original don't appear (I'm sure I had to down load mine from somewhere first time round). That said the turn sequence and every conceivable table (and there's quite a few) are clearly presented in the Appendix.

It may be that in this instance the new authors and or publishers decided to skip play sheets. There are twenty five (25) tables to contend with and while a number of these are literally only one to three lines, the sheets that were produced for the original rules (two double sided A4) were terribly busy and not a little annoying.

The tables in the book on the other hand are clear and easy to read making that twenty five just a statistic and to be honest, I never recall their existence being a pain when playing the rules anyway.

Please note I have deliberately not commented on rule mechanisms and game play in detail as its way to long since I last played and have yet to see how the new edition performs. It's always hard to comment on a new working of any rules without giving an impression of "same old stuff with a few tweaks" even if it's not true, so I really don't want to get into that on a basis of ignorance on my part.

All things considered I'm very much looking forward to getting back in to FOGN and feel that Richard Gordon and Brett Preston Thomas have done a fine job of updating, overhauling or whatever term they would feel best suits their efforts.

I note that Brett has been active on another FOGN thread so I hope he will be around to fill in the details and answer questions in what has become a custom of increased input from authors on TMP in the past couple of years.

beausant25 Jan 2019 12:25 p.m. PST

I was initially interested in version 2, however, I saw that army books will be required. And I am through with rules systems that require more money in army books than in the rules. If the authors decide to post the army lists on line, then I would reconsider the rules.

Trajanus25 Jan 2019 12:54 p.m. PST

Have to confess that Army Lists are not my thing. My early wargaming was back in the days of WRG ancients where they went through seven editions and everyone used to study the army lists each time a new edition came out to try and find the killer army.

If you do competition gaming I can see the need.

However it's a big supposition on my part that's what the army books are all about. I have never seen inside them.

I thought there was some suggestion on the other FOGN thread on this Board that things will appear on line?

John Edmundson25 Jan 2019 3:13 p.m. PST

Having played WRG ancients since 5th Edition, through to now having the new version of DBMM and the four army list books, I can confidently say that two things stand out for me personally I don't say this as a judgement on anyone else's opinion on this ever-contentious issue:

1 I love reading through army lists to see what else is out there and to get inspiration for another army, or, in the case of ancient/medieval armies, what can be morphed from one to another. As a non-competition player (although I may one day join an event) I started collecting Andalusians from looking at the (IIRC 5th edition) lists and thinking, wow, a unit of staff slingers would be fun and unusual.

2 The cost of the rules and lists combined is dwarfed by what we spend on figures. I don't have a lot of discretionary spending money available to me but I don't resent buying the lists. The publishers aren't getting rich off us.

I would consider the same to be true for Napoleonics, except that the majority of games don't seem to require army lists; they're based on our much better knowledge of divisional and corp compositions from actual armies and battles.

Cheers,
John

Trajanus25 Jan 2019 4:28 p.m. PST

John,

Well to tell the absolute truth I have been known to fiddle around with army lists in Ancients myself. Still do for the occasional Game of HC or the computer versions of FOG which I love playing solo.

Outside of that, not a chance.

Durban Gamer26 Jan 2019 5:17 a.m. PST

Nothing worse than constantly flipping through pages during a game. So if there are too many core tables to fit on a 2 sided quick reference sheet I will give it no more than a salute as I march past!

martinwilliams27 Jan 2019 5:26 p.m. PST

Very little reference to charts required once you have played a couple of times. I occasionally refer to rules but not the sort of things that would be on a QRS.

There have been QRS's in the past and I assume there could be again. I'm sure Richard or Brett can answer definitively but are playing in the biggest convention in Aus at the moment (Cancon) so probably a little distracted.

There will only be 2 list books so don't worry too much about it been like FOGA or R. I have limited funds to devote to gaming but am willing to lash out for this. I do enjoy competitions (and reading/discussing lists) though.

Martin

BrettPT30 Jan 2019 1:18 p.m. PST

Thanks for taking the time to pen a review Trajanus. I'll definitely try to answer queries on this site.

I'm working on a QRS that can be downloaded. Was supposed to get this done before Cancon but work commitments (and painting a new Neapolitan army!)got in the way. Will make a decent effort at getting a draft QRS finished in the next couple of weeks.

The rules contain a lot of tables, it is true. This was a considered choice, it being perceived that information is easier read in a table format than as script. Most of the tables would not need be referred to after your first game. As Trajanus noted, we've copied them all into the rules appendix so they can be easily found if needed.

My intention for a QRS is to select those tables that a non-experienced player may need to consult during a game, and include only those the QRS.

ScottS30 Jan 2019 3:15 p.m. PST

1786 GLC Fournier Normal typeface has thankfully vanished

YES!

Trajanus31 Jan 2019 11:59 a.m. PST

No problem Brett, looking forward to the QRS.

BrettPT10 Apr 2019 2:40 p.m. PST

QRS has been done and is downloadable from the FoGN Facebook page.

There's also an extensive list of the changes from v1 that is helpful for players of that set. An excel army list builder is also available. All downloadable from the facebook page.

The 1st of the updated army list books (Triumph of Nations, the Empire Period) is with the typesetters (still! they were apparently having a bit of trouble setting out the army list tables but I'm told they have this sorted now and should be finished in 3-4 weeks…) So hopefully the lists will be available from Amazon by June.

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