Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm not the best strategist but Field of Glory helps

Finally downloaded and installed Slitherine Softwares fine wargame Field of Glory which is a almost direct to PC translation of the popular ancients miniature gaming rule system.

EDIT: As a follow up the Rise of Rome expansion has been announced as well

You can find out more about it here:

I decided to see how easy it was to learn and did something rare. I jumped straight in with no reading or no research on the battle or the units. I simply loaded the game, picked my scenario and started moving and clicking units around. I didn't even know what types I had or what the stats were. However the game is so intuitive and so easy to pick up, much like the tabletop game, that I was having fun and protecting my flanks in no time. I played the Clastidium scenario with a synopsis of

The Roman-Allied town of Clastidium was under siege by the Gallic King Britomartus and his army. The Roman general Marcellus set off boldly with a force of just under 4,000 Roman Cavalry and Velites to relieve the siege. Celtic War (225-222 BC)

I cannot say I know exactly how well I did, but fumbling through the game using common sense tactics and the fact I had a hardy Roman army helped me withstand a huge assault early, recover and strike back forcing enemy units to flee. By the end of the battle which I somehow managed to rally in I had won the match however very sloppily. The game is so easy to pick up yet deep enough to use smart tactics that I was rather impressed. The interface is perfect and quick and the scenario editor included in the game is easy to pick up and learn. I managed to get the game for 20 dollars thanks to a holiday voucher Slitherine sent me in my email so the game has been worth the price. I also do not mind helping developers make wargames like this as they are a dying breed.

You Tube has a video up demonstrating the flexibility of the scenario designer and I think it will go a long way toward expanding the life of the product.

Lastly some images of my battle with the Victory Screen Results. Enjoy.

My units have the green bases and the screenshots are a bit ugly due to my low resolution. You can see over the course of a few turns how I shored up my flanks and finally learned to group my units together and backtrack to fight off the enemy forces. After doing that I turned and struck back squeaking out a victory without even learning the game properly.

You can find a batch of great scenarios here along with historical links: