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....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Ogres with a Historical Flair

I've been trying to organize some of my gaming models, moving stuff up to the attic that I play infrequently with in order to make room for the figures that I actually play with on a more regular basis. Up until several years ago, I played more frequently with 28mm scale figures, but as time has gone by I have switched almost exclusively to the 15mm scale. I just can't justify the expense of the larger figures anymore, and I've run out of room to store them in. Also, since I prefer large scale battle games to skirmish ones, I really find the look of a table top of 15mm figures more "realistic" than 28mm ones. Finally, 15mm figures can still be multi-based on WRG standard basing, while with scale creep that is prevalent, that has grown more and more difficult with modern 28mm figures.

Unfortunately for me, the 15mm-28mm divide appears to have fractured the gaming group of guys who are most immediately local to me. Quite of few of them only use 28mm figures, and they also seem to prefer smaller scale games with individually based figures. I like games that feel more like a clash of battle lines representing armies of tens of thousands - this was always my biggest objection to Warhammer Ancient Battles. A fine game, but with its long distance shooting with no priorities, lack of pre-measuring, and super-powered characters, it seemed more representative of a Viking village raid than the Battle of Cannae. At least there is a reasonably large group of Field of Glory gamers within a longer drive distance of me (but still within 2 hours) that I can scratch my gaming itch with, but occasionally one does long for something more.

Anyway, while moving things around from one side of my gaming storage space to another, I came across these spiffy Ogre figures that I painted up a few years ago:

They are 28mm GW figures, but from a time when that company modeled in a more realistic style. These are ruffians that I can picture appearing in a fantasy novel, while the newer lines are so silly, I can only imagine them like anime characters.  These are much more to my taste, and maybe I'm simply turning into another grumpy old man, but they are an aesthetic that I really miss.

Here are a few more photos of the individual figures:

I don't know what exactly I'll do with these Ogres. I love the way they look with their outfits reminiscent of Landsknecht mercenaries. I'm sure that someday I'll find a place for them in a fantasized version of a Late Medieval or Early Renaissance army.