Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 31 December 2011

FoG Test Game

Well I finally got round to trying out the Field of Glory rules in a solo game. I felt that I had the basic combat rules in my head but realised I would have to go stage by sage for a few turns to get all the different sections to fit together. I wanted to have a fair mix and also make it worth my while I used seven Macedonian against 11 Persian and set up with the traditional cavalry on each flank, heavy foot in the centre with skirmish troops to the front. But a couple of points, first up I have yet to paint up any Command for the Macedonian so I used a Persian Command stand and EHC stand from the Persian Cavalry not used. I also have not painted up the one camp I have so I used no camps at all.

Another good point is that the table is not a gaming table so it was rather narrow and not long enough. Good enough to move a few units, no where near what would be required if I was playing a real game.

The pike start on the long hill flanked by the Cretans and the lightspear armed LC. My plan was to move the pike each and every move to try and get into contact. I should have used the double move on these guys but never thought of it during the game! It was great to get freshly painted units on the table.

Facing these I had two units of Hoplites with two skirmish units out front, slingers and Persian bow whilst a medium lightspear unit flanked them. Nothing new for the Persians other than rebasing, the only question was would the more experienced but worn Persians beat out the shinny shinny new guys?

The first physical contact was between my venerable Persian HC and the just painted Prodromoi LC armed with Lance. First they had to pass a complex test just to charge. This they did. I was really looking forward to seeing how these guys could stand against HC. On the plus they had lance but being lights they lost one die in two in the Impact Phase. The + status for Lance was not that great of a bonus when you loose 50% of your dice, especially when they loose that bonus due to having a lower armour class. In the system you have three kinds of combat. Shooting, obviously but also Impact where just the front row gets to fight and only those in direct contact, no overlaps here. Lastly if both units remain in contact then you have melee. Though in reality shooting is normally sandwiched between the two close combat phases.

I found that whilst the rules worked well and as you use the same mechanics for all three combat mechanics were lumped together that whilst learning the rules it meant that much searching was required. The page labels letting you know what rules are covered on that page and indeed in the coming/preceding pages was useful but would be even better if the index and rules were better organised. I would prefer to have 50 more pages and some duplication to the constant dead end reading. Better yet instead of the rather annoying, 'Discussed Later' would have been a page number reference to where you would follow on the rules. After all when you look up shooting and read the section called shooting would it not be normal to expect shooting mechanic's to at least feature in that section of the rules?

In fairness once you get your head around the fact that much of the book really is padding and that the rule mechanic's for all combat is really never in the section labeled as Impact, Shooting or Melee and is in fact in 'The Combat Mechanism' and the results of this are in 'Cohesion Test' life gets a little less cumbersome. The fact they separate these two sections with another chapter speaks volumes of why it would be better to play with an experienced player.

Whilst the Prodromoi was tussling with the HC I also charged in on the opposite (Persian right) flank Eastern LC and against normal play stood the Saka LC against them. Whilst the Prodromoi managed to hold out through good dice and would eventually be defeated by the addition of another HC unit the Saka was fairly quickly put to rout. OK it took a couple of turns but each combat saw them loose a base.

The Persian Crescent Shields faced off against the Thereophoroi whist both units of bow faced off. I was happy to stand back with the bow but as the Cretans were getting the worst of the engagement I sent them into contact as well. Both melee's worked out for the Macedonian force with the quality re-rolls working for the Cretans. It's a mechanic I like.

The view from the Persian hill as the Greek Hoplites await the mass pike phalanx. The slingers were having no effect on the pike whilst the Persian bow was starting to fail.

The Macedonian view of things. No way was the Greeks going to come looking for trouble.

So as to speed up the demise of the Persian bow the phalanx moves to support the Cretans and it was all over for them from there. Both sides had beaten opposing flanks and the Persians were losing the screening forces. I had already started to move the as yet untried Companion Lance armed Cavalry to face off against the two Persian HC units which would be supported by the reduced strength lightspear armed LC. I would possibly be able to throw in the Medium Infantry but this would leave the phalanx facing the two hoplite units with little support.

End of the game. It had taken 4+ hours and to be honest I was happy to finish here. Further reading of the rules will only show up mistakes in the use of the rules and allow for a better understanding of what to do. I have previously stated that I really want to like the rules as I have invested both money (rules and 2 army lists) and time (rebasing one army and building another) but whilst a few rules are not yet sitting right I already prefer them to the Impetus light. However with Barry now owning the full rules and list III I will get a chance to play the full version. Something that I am looking forward too. My gut feeling though is that when I play Barry I will play Impetus, even looking at putting together a army for it! But when I play Lee and Matt we will swop heads and play FoG. Impetus would have to be a marked improvement to FoG to get me to re-base again and at this point it would take a lot of convincing. Still with only one game of FoG and no full Impetus I could have my mind changed fairly quickly.

Now I need to get that 2nd Phalanx finished and onto a few command stands for the new boys.


  1. Great looking game!!! I bought the rules and the Punic Wars book, I had a quick read and thought they looked very complicated, perhaps I'll give them another look.

  2. It's the layout that's the issue more than anything. The rules have a little of the WRG 6th and a lot of Impatus feel about them. The basic game will not take to much to get down but you coud go years missing a minor point or two, which is why it's best to play opponents from seporate groups if you can. I really need to consider a wargames club again really.

  3. That's my opinion too.

    And happy new year to you Ian

  4. Happy New Year to you as well.

    It miffs me that it's 2nd edition and these things are allowed to stay. It's obvious it's not layed out well but these issues stay.