Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Field of Glory II

Discussion in 'Strategy Gaming' started by Sranchammer, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. Sranchammergender: ⚧ Arcane

    Sranchammer
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    This game needs its own thread. When are we starting PBEM matchups?

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  2. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Strategy GOTY
     
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  3. Jazz_gender: ⚧ Erudite

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    wait, the multiplayer in this is PBEM like in Alea Jacta Est? How does it work since it's mostly engagements on the battlefield map? Are the battles a slow affair?
     
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  4. Sranchammergender: ⚧ Arcane

    Sranchammer
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    It's not simultaneous turns like AGEOD games - you can play at the same time but not necessary
     
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  5. hivemindgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    having to wait till next month to buy this is actually killing me
     
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  6. Ventidiusgender: ⚧ Educated

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    Yeah, this one looks very interesting, I will probably be getting it tomorrow. Seems like they finally added campaigns (skipped the first one because I heard they had none). Four of them in fact, each one centered around a different commander and including Caesar, Hannibal, Pyrrhus, and Mithridates. Seems like a good selection in terms of keeping things both engaging and varied, I mean, most of the interesting commanders they could have built a campaign around would have been Romans such as Scipio, Sulla, Lucullus, Sertorius, etc, but playing as the Romans over and over again would have gotten old, even for fanboys like me. On that note, it seems they have around 45 factions and 75 different army lists, so it sounds overall pretty varied, and the period allows for a lot of diversity in tactics and units, so I hope they do it justice. Also, FWIW, Wargamer gave it a glowing review:

    Show Spoiler

    BLUF – Bottom Line UP Front. Yes, Field of Glory II (FOG2) from Matrix-Slitherine Games is not only well worth while, but especially when compared to the first edition and other competing products, an absolute must buy. Is it perfect? From a personal preference perspective, no, due to one surprising issue. Nevertheless, this computer game in many respects remains definitive. Derived from the historical miniatures wargame rules of the same name by Richard Bodley Scott and last published in 2012, the game is not only easy to play and accurate, but stands as the ultimate example of how to port tabletop gaming into a PC environment.

    Let me tell you why....


    On the Road with Marius Mule

    The hardware specs for FOG2 are not great, but you likely won’t be able to run it on something like an office workstation with integrated graphics. I tried and found the mouse to be very slow and unresponsive, often wiggling its way down the lane even when the button had been released to stop it. My rig in the basement however, the Cray supercomputer wannabe, had no issues. Officially you will need Win 7, 8 or 10, a 2 GH processor, 4 GB RAM, 2 GB hard drive space, a DirectX sound card and a 1 GB DirectX 9 video card (2 GB is recommended). Meet those requirements and the game runs smoothly and fast, with no stuttering or pausing.

    The intro screen is an attractive dark green displaying an ancient mosaic of two warriors while in the center is a menu for a Tutorial (highly recommended), Battles, Campaigns, Multiplayer, an Editor as well as the obligatory Quit button. The campaign system is centered on the rise of Rome, and allows players to generate battles via the progress of four specific generals of the era. These include Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Mithradates of Pontus and Pyrrhus of Epirus. Otherwise the other buttons are pretty self-explanatory as to function with the exception of the Battles compartment where the real fun begins.

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    The Battles menu includes the following options – Fight Now, Quick Battles, Custom Battles and Epic Battles. The first in the list simply allows the computer to pick a battle and side for you at random so you can begin to swing spathas and cleave heads as quickly as possible. Quick Battles allow you to choose a side, at which point the computer will give you a list of historical enemies. Choose one, and the PC will allow you to choose from a list of historical wars where the two sides fought. Custom Battles builds upon this once more but allows you additional options as to the types of forces fielded, as well as modifying the type of battle, its location and terrain, the size of the armies, the size of the maps and whether you will purchase friendly units for your own force mix, or accept the computer’s default. Epic Battles are actual historical engagements such as Magnesia in 190 BC which saw the Romans and Seleucids strut their stuff. There are actually 45 nations in the game, with 75 different Army Lists. You can choose everyone from Celts to Indians and even Spartacus’ Slave army.

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    Loose Pila!

    When battle is accepted, you will often have the option to augment your army by “purchasing” various types of units, and then redeploying what you have within certain parameters. The battlefield is no longer hexagonal, but uses square tiles instead. After that play is sequential and quite easy. Each tile contains one unit with each soldier figure representing 60 men. Click on the tile and not only will an info box pop up, but also all of the tiles where the unit may move become shaded. Right click on the destination tile and a couple or three icons will pop up giving you options for movement and so on. Choose one and your Celtic warband trundles its way to its new location. At the end of the movement, you can go thru the click process once more and shoot arrows, sling martiobarbuli, darts or whatever at any enemy within range. If your destination was occupied by an enemy unit, melee occurs and is adjudicated. In both cases small numbers appear above the fight indicating losses in men, and also indicating if an additional result such as disruption occurs. Then your opponent fires back with any eligible units, ending your turn and moving to his.

    If this sounds familiar, it should. Perhaps the biggest change with this second edition from the first is the adoption of the same game engine as used by both Pike & Shot and Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun. Given Steam tells me I’ve logged over 400 hours with those two games, I’m a pretty happy camper with this development. Nevertheless, while the body style may look the same, under the hood the engine has been modified to not only reflect the nuances of ancient warfare, but also the unique game theory and supporting processes of the original miniature game as well.

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    Perhaps the biggest example of this is in the use of Points of Advantage (POA) as the foundation of the combat system. Remember that both Pike & Shot and Sengoku Jidai involved opposing armies that – in general – were composed of troops with similar armor, weapons, organization and capabilities. Not so in the ancient world where infantry heavy Roman armies engaged the super heavy cavalry of the Parthians, or where pilum met phalanx when Pyrrhus came calling in Italy. FOG2 uses the almost ubiquitous ancients’ wargame concept of subtracting or adding die roll modifiers depending on the type of weapons, armor, formation, with or without shield status and training of all units involved in combat. In this case the modifier is expressed in POA with 100 POAs equivalent to a 33% change in the odds for victory. POAs are also awarded for such things as terrain and whether a general is present (50 to be exact). For example, infantry armed with darts and light spears get a + 66 POA when engaged with charging armored foot or heavy horse, but a +100 POA against any other troops type. Better armor will get you +50 POA while defending heavy fortifications weighs in at + 200.

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    Obviously the computer takes care of all these calculations for you behind the scenes, but unless you know your ancient warfare, this might be one of those times where you really want to take a look at the Impact and Melee POA charts from the manual. While I know that slinging unarmored light cavalry with javelins against a heavy armored shield wearing phalanx toting a 20 foot sarissa won’t get you any “atta boys” from the boss back on the throne, others may not.

    There are other things as well. Cohesion checks are not only mandatory for units in combat, but also nearby units within two tiles under certain circumstances. Ranged weapons now have ammunition limits expressed in numbers of turns, while the typical and free 45 degree turn during movement may not be available if outside the command radius of a general. Fortunately, when a unit is selected his tile will be darkly shaded if it is in command and believe me, if it’s not the results can be substantial. And there will also likely be a bunch of other tiles with units that suddenly pop up sporting a gold border indicating all these lads are part of the same command. Now this is a nifty thing to know because the game allows all the units in the same command to turn or move as a single, large formation if outside a certain distance to the enemy. Most excellent.

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    When the Toga makes the Man

    The graphics in the game are over the top improved from the original FOG. Unlike Pike & Shot and its Japanese kin, the authors have chosen to make the computer game mimic the look of a FOG2 miniatures game. This means that while each tile (think movement stand on the tabletop) hosts one unit, the number, ranks and deployment of the 3-D figures in that unit will vary as to type. I thought I might not like this as much, but zooming in proved me wrong. The troops represented are spectacular with crisp, sharp lines, anatomically correct bodies and precise, smooth animation. Clothing and weaponry is correctly, if a bit vividly, displayed, with variations as appropriate to type. All warriors, not to mention terrain, have shadows. Here I am not just talking about Britons having varying dress, shields and weapons, but also regular troops such as Greek hoplites or phalangites having varying shield patterns within a uniformly clothed formation. I found the number and size of the vexilla style standards a bit obtrusive, but I can live with that.

    The maps are also far better than in the first edition, and quite honestly way better than anything I’ve seen on a tabletop game of FOG2. The style is no longer generic, but follows the textured look used in Sengoku Jidai and Pike & Shot, very accurate and realistic. It looks like a pewter tabletop, and a damn good one at that, pretty close to the actual turf in question. Yet here is my only criticism of the game, although it’s a personal preference issue to be sure. The map features are . . . I dunno . . . dinky, small or something like that. Seriously, if a Roman Triarii is placed next to a tree or Celtic hovel, the warrior towers above both. It looks like Zeus released the titans from Tartarus to man the legions of Rome, because otherwise Dobby the house-elf couldn’t fit into even a temple. Fortunately, with all the Epic Battles in the game this is not a problem as in many cases the terrain is devoid of any features at all. Ancient armies tried to pick battlefields where they could maneuver their cumbersome formations, and in many cases historians don’t even know where exactly the fight took place much less what the real estate looked like.

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    Triumphus

    In conclusion a final note. The games I played nearly always saw a slugfest until one side broke en masse and the slaughter began. This is what the tabletop game tended to portray and I am told, how it was for most of the ancient military era. When this sort of realism is fused with all of the above, this makes FOG2 a must buy, with maybe a Roman triumphus in order as well. And as for me, looks like Steam will be recording a couple hundred hours more of game play.

    Ave Caesar! Morituri te salutant!
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
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  7. ssergender: ⚧ Arcane Cuck

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    It's a very good game. It could use more 'macro' content, particularly better campaigns and the like, but otherwise the actual battles are great. They very much have a chaotic factor to them with a lot of kinetic ebb and flow. A big part of this is how formations can easily break if you go too offensive. It's actually a nice simulation of the sort of actions that got armies annihilated in a variety of historical battles. The actual content in the game is already quite immense which gives them plenty of room to keep adding campaigns going forward.
     
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  8. Ventidiusgender: ⚧ Educated

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    Whoa, you weren't kidding about this. Have been playing it for the last couple of days, and I have noticed it is very difficult for things to go according to plan and you have to be able to improvise and react to the changing tactical situation. Sometimes I enter a battle and pick my army comp, then I start deploying with a clear plan, such as rolling their right flank; but it quickly turns into something else entirely, and I find myself fighting all these mini-engagements all over the place and quickly reinforcing from one side to the other as soon as I win one. Perhaps it is due to my not entirely understanding the ruleset just yet (never played the PnP), but still, it's pretty awesome, as you never get the feeling that it is over until it is. Also, the ruleset seems to be very nuanced, the maneuver and morale mechanics have quite a bit of meat to them, and the game really encourages you to RTFM.

    Also, personally, I am fine with how barebones the campaigns are. I've always thought all you need for a campaign in a game like this is some kind of simple linear narrative to follow, proper mission/battle design, and suitable pacing. Once you add a lot of other stuff, such as heavy character customization or some sort of geoscape/strategic layer, you really take away a lot from the tactical aspect by making it more strategic and more about winning the battle before it starts. That is not to say that I don't enjoy such hybrids, or that they aren't any good, it's just that there have been a lot of good tactical games coming out lately like Mordheim or Xenonauts, but very few of them (except maybe Sanctus Reach to an extent) really go for the pure tactical approach and they all throw in some RPG or strategy elements. This is just a balls-to-the-wall, grognard tactical game, and it is great at what it does. In fact, I can't think of any recent game that does turn-based tactical combat better(except maybe some others from Byzantine Games).
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  9. ssergender: ⚧ Arcane Cuck

    sser
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    Let me know if you wanna try some multiplayer games -- I'm interested if it's live.
     
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  10. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    I'm in a few multiplayer games right now, it's great stuff. A lot like the old FOG multiplayer; I just wish they'd remake the old systray application that would let you know when you have a turn waiting.
     
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  11. hivemindgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    are you winning?
     
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  12. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Yes.

    Well, I am winning most of the games so far. There are a few games going where I'm worried that I'm about to get flanked badly. In one, the bad guy hid some infantry in the trees and next turn is going to be ugly.

    A big part of military strategy is effective communication. I'm pretty sure one guy is on the verge of rage quitting because I made fun of him when my elephant stepped on his general.
     
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  13. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    If anyone else hates the zoom level restriction:

    Go into the game directory, open up the data folder. Open up the mapview text file.

    Find the following line:

    ZOOMINLIMIT 200 // 50

    change to:

    ZOOMINLIMIT 100 // 50

    Now you can zoom right in on the battle. It still looks great; the quality of the sprites is a lot better than P&S/SJ.
     
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  14. holla_cabezas_de_mierdagender: ⚧ Cipher

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    wow it looks way better than the old one. There are single player campaigns now?
     
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  15. Gaius maximusgender: ⚧ Learned

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    hooly fuck this looks interesting,does it have any campaign mode?
     
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  16. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    Yes. I tried the Mithridates campaign mode, it was a bit meh. I heard the Pyrrhos one was meh, too, but some people liked the Roman ones.

    There are some user created campaigns already with new textures. Haven't tried them.
     
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  17. Gaius maximusgender: ⚧ Learned

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    thanks man,what about the units?do they use historically accurate names or generic english ones like 'gaulish swordsmen'.

    in campaign you can recruit/build staff or you just go from battle to battle?
     
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  18. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

    Agesilaus
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    I only played the Mithridates campaign, which I understand to be the worst of the lot. Basically, before the first battle you build your army. Then after each battle you get a certain number of recruitment points; those points are used to replace your losses, and then you get to spend whatever is left over on more units. Eventually, you institute military reforms and all your units are refunded, whereupon you design a new army with a new, reformed army list.

    The Mithridates campaign is meh because it doesn't really involve many plot choices, and the narrative is dry and short. The only plot choice I think I made was whether to fight enemy A or enemy B, every other time I have just been railroaded from one battle to another, and they have ALL been open battles without any special conditions.

    That said, I haven't completed the Mithridates campaign yet. I have gotten pretty far, repulsed a few Roman invasions, but I am expecting a new computer tomorrow; my current computer is really old and the frame is smashed up, so I'm starting to get concerned about whether it will electrocute me.


    To add context to the campaign complaints above: FOG 2 actually adds new game modes. Original FOG just had open battles where two sides would clash without any special conditions. Now they have versions where you have reinforcements trickle in, where you have to hold certain territory for a period of time, I saw (but haven't yet tried) a game mode where you have to escort some units, also a survival mode, etc. It looks really interesting, and right now I am playing a multiplayer game where each turn you get points for having units inside your enemy's territory, and whoever has the most points at the end wins. The Mithridates campaign hasn't made use of any of these yet, although I've heard they do make use of them in other campaigns.


    In terms of unit names, it depends on the army list. I don't have the game in front of me right now, but some of the hellenistic armies have appropriate names; for example, a 3rd century Greek army will use terms like thureophoroi and thorakitai to distinguish the medium infantry types. Archers are called archers, though, not toxotai. Some armies are just entirely in English, I believe, such as some of the barbarian forces.

    The user interface identifies the essential features of any unit you want to examine (armour, experience, weapon type, etc). I played a game recently as the Indians (fun army to play as, really), but if memory serves they just used names like "light chariot", "heavy chariot", "elephant", etc. It really depends on the army list. If you want an accurate answer about a particular army I can just screen shot their army list for you.
     
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  19. Makabbgender: ⚧ Arcane Shitposter Bethestard

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    So basicaly blood bowl? ;)
     
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  20. Galdredgender: ⚧ Generalist Patron

    Galdred
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    I eventually tried the game. It plays way better than the older Great Battles of History series.
    I have yet to find a way to use light infantry effectively, and manage reserves.
    How many units do you usually keep in reserve in %?
    I usually put almost everything on the main line, but then, the units that push forward get isolated and flanked without support.
    My Roman cavalry keeps getting mauled by almost everything ( I play during the first era).

    I cannot wait for a Greek DLC (Macedon and Greek armies start after 320 BC iirc) and a medieval expansion.
     
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  21. Make America Great Again Agesilausgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Light infantry is crucial in certain contexts. As a Roman, you have high quality heavy infantry, so as long as the two battle lines clash in decent terrain you should typically win or at least have a fighting chance. It's not the end of the world if you have to charge uphill, but what if you go into a forest or rough terrain?

    If you're stuck with average heavy infantry, or a predominantly medium foot army, you'll get victory by using terrain and flanking. Skirmishers are a way to achieve this; if you overpower the handful of Roman skirmishers, the big blocks of heavy roman infantry will have to actively move forward into your trap or else be whittled down by arrows etc.

    Also, skirmishers are great for attacking elephants. Light horse skirmishers can catch and kill foot skirmishers. Sometimes you get lucky and disorder a unit through missile fire, too.

    Anyway, there's nothing more annoying than a foot skirmisher on rough terrain flinging rocks at your heavy infantry or other valuable unit.


    In the original FOG, reserves gave a cohesion bonus. I don't think that happens anymore, so it's not as vital, but there are a few reasons to do it. Like you pointed out, units get pushed back and forth (being Roman, you are probably pushing forward weaker infantry), and units obviously break, so it's nice to have a few reserves if your line is already long enough.

    I tend to keep two units of infantry behind the main line. Then, if it looks like my line will be enveloped on one of the flanks I use them to extend or support that section.

    Do you play multiplayer? The game has a very active and fast paced multiplayer community, just like the original. The original was terrible single player, so I got in the habit of having at least 3 or 4 games going at one time. Whenever you log in, there's almost always a turn to take.
     
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  22. Make America Great Again Latrogender: ⚧ Arcane

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    fall of rome expac would be cool
     
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  23. AwesomeButtongender: ⚧ Cut a deal with the authorities Patron

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    I thought Fields of Glory was a Napoleonic period DOS game, or I may be mistaken about the name.

    Anyway, this looks great. I'm getting it this black friday, since there are no signs it's just a dumbed down modern tbs with pretty graphics. I'd normally be suspicious.

    Wish they would make a Napoleonic game with such graphics.
     
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  24. Make America Great Again Taka-Haradin puolipeikkogender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Bubbles In Memoria
    This is Field of Glory, not Fields of Glory.

     
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