Sunday, July 15, 2012

The End of Field of Glory?

With a heavy heart, I must say that it appears that Field of Glory may soon no longer be commonly played as a Ancients wargaming system. Slitherine has announced that they are going to a digital only format for the next version of the rules, and although there is a part of me that applauds this decision as a forward looking approach to the future of niche hobby publishing, I think that have gone about this is in the worst way possible. Field of Glory V2.0 will be released as a iPad/iPhone and Windows/Mac app that will have no printing capability like a secured pdf has. This means that while playing, the ONLY way to use the rules will be to have your Apple tablet or laptop at the table with you - and the Android operating system will unbelievably not be supported either.

I can't imagine that there is any way that this is going to be a success. I haven't heard from a single gamer yet who is interested in purchasing the game under these circumstances. No one is going to be bringing their laptops to tournaments, and I would prefer not to bring a tablet myself (and I say this as a satisfied iPad owner). I suspect that this Historicon may be the last time that Field of Glory will have a place in the Ancients tournament hall.

Hopefully Slitherine will see reason, and understand that this is a venture doomed to fail, but there has been no indication on their forum that they have any intention of yielding on this. I think that the gaming community understands that given the economics of modern publishing, it may no longer be feasible to have large print runs like the First Edition had, but I think Ancients gamers would accept this situation, even if reluctantly, if Slitherine would at least make a printable pdf available to purchasers. All indications are that this is not going to happen. I guess it may be time for me to reopen my Warrior book for Ancients gaming and to get more serious about promoting Hail Caesar games.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi....

10 comments:

  1. I think it's too early yet to say what will happen. Being in partnership with Osprey makes the move even more baffling, unless a fallout has occured through Osprey printing to many copies of the rules? The changes sound good but like you I have yet to hear anyone say yep I would buy that, but then again no price has been mentioned yet.

    Ian

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  2. That you can't print it is very strange.

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  3. I have to say that I don't understand not being able to print out your own copy if they aren't going to do a print version themselves. There is plenty to be said in favor of digital versions of wargames rules, especially if they take advantage of some of the neat capabilities of that medium to be more than "just" and electronic version, but I would think that either a limited print run that they pretty much know will sell out within 6 months, or a print on demand execution (which is pretty much what Piquet does with their products, seldom printing more than 30-50 copies of a title at a time.

    This may be a situation where Osprey's experience ONLY with functioning as a traditional publisher will wind up hurting the product instead of helping it! OTOH, if you can access your copy on your cell phone *as well as* an i-pad, etc., well, you'll pretty much always have THAT with you now days, eh?

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  4. It's a shame. I really like most of the changes I've seen but in our group, only two of us have any interest in a digital V 2.0. If nothing changes, the update will be DOA locally and worse, interest here had been fading. I'd hoped the update would renew interest but perversely, it may kill it altogether.

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  5. Slitherine had a serious brain fart I think!

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  6. I believe Osprey and Slitherine have parted ways. I do not think this will kill FoG or that it will not be played anymore at tournaments. I think everyone who plays now thinks that the current rules work fine and will continue to use them.

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  7. Field of Glory always had its lovers and haters. Put me in the hater camp. Over complex IMHO for the game it gives.

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  8. One way, although a bit tedious, would be to use a program like zap-grabber or others to capture each and every page to create your own pdf file. I am sure that the younger, more knowledgeable computer kids might know a quicker way to do this. But I am very sure anything electronically available on your screen can somehow be printed out. It may take a day or two to copy all the pages, but it is doable.
    It is strange, if this is the way they are doing this. I understand that they want to prevent people from printing for free, but why not at least sell pdf version copies?
    Thomas

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  9. DRM protection is a waste of time and mainly acts to make life hard on Newbs when it gets in their way. Anyone tech Savvy can easily find a way to break DRM (for example, image capturing every page). People need to understand that IP is dead, and only wankers are trying to keep it alive.

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