February 21, 2013

Small games of Field of Glory (or how to get people playing FOG)

Today I wanted to touch on the subject of getting people to join in and play FOG. As I’ve stated before (at least I think I have) FOG is a wonderfully simple game hidden under a rather heavy looking set of rules. Fog 2.0 has cleaned things up a little but the game itself still looks complicated to the new player.
On top of this when you set up two 800 point armies (Which I always stop and think how awesome they look) your new player is faced with looking at these large armies and working out just how much he will have to buy and paint to get into the game. For many players a full 800 point FOG army is a monster
undertaking, easily 150 miniatures or more. Whether you collect and play in 28mm or 15mm the cost is not inconsiderable (certainly easier on the wallet for 15mm, but 28mm plastics are making the more common ancient armies far easier to do in 28mm).

Just recently (well over the last 6 months) I’ve been working on a way to make the game of FOG easier to get into and play for a beginner with the aim being that the new player will eventually build their army up to a fully fledged 800 point force. This is hardly a new concept – this was always the goal for us back in the day when I worked in Games Workshop Retail stores. The concept is play with smaller forces and less terrain on a smaller table – in essence you are getting a cut down version of the main game.

The format I’ve been using which has proved to be very successful so far is:

- 400 point forces.
- Only one general and it must be a troop commander rather than an inspired commander or force commander.
- Army minimums still apply. So you must observe minimum BG size and compulsory units. (So far I haven’t found a single army that doesn’t fit within 400 points. If you find one let me know.
- Battles are played on a 4 foot x 3 foot playing area.
- Terrain is limited to compulsory choices and 1-2 pieces of terrain per player with the standard terrain placement rules.

Under this format a standard army is 5-8 battle groups on average and the playing time of a game is usually under 2 hours (often far less than this). This makes this format fast and fun to play and perfect for evening gaming after work when you can’t afford to stay up into the early hours of the morning because of work the next day. The painting side of these smaller forces is far easier as well as the battle groups are often only 4 bases or 6 bases each in size (although we did have one game where the Gaul player took 2 battle groups of 12 Gaul’s as the solid centre of his force!).

Thanks to this format I’ve slowly converted all my regular gaming buddies into playing FOG and we are slowly working our way towards all having 800 points with some talk of second armies in the not too distant future.

Id love to here what others are doing to get their friends into Fields of Glory.

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