I’ve been intrigued by Slitherine’s turn based miniature Ancient Warfare game, Field of Glory (FoG), however my success within the game has been elusive. I think its down to the fact that I’m trying to play the game like a straightforward “Panzer General” style hex game, basing movement and attack decisions on unit strength and composition, rather than digging down into the details of the miniature rules.
So, I decided to recruit some help. I asked on the friendly Wargamer.com forums, if there was a Field of Glory player who wouldn’t mind acting as my Coach. Luckily a kind chap known as ‘Makris‘ (or ‘Constans’ in-game) offered up his help. I’ll attempt to document my training here, with a view to not only become more proficient at the game, but to lay bare my inexperience, and how any newcomers to the game can learn from my mistakes.
Makris, as tutor, decides the arena of our conflict and it shall be amidst the Battle of Tunis 255B.C.
FoG has an extremely easy to use multiplayer setup that facilitates play between combatants, as long as they have a Slitherine login. You start the game, log into the Multiplayer server, and then you can see your turns listed in an almost email-like interface, or you can initiate a game challenge to another player, or accept an incoming challenge. The system has basically automated the Play By EMail (PBEM) mechanism, via Slitherine’s FoG server, and has made it effortless to use. A additional bonus to this, is that Slitherine can keep a ranking statistics and presumably can hold organised tournaments using this authenticated mechanism.
To set the scene, I’ll present the information garnered at the beginning of the scenario.
The Battle of Tunis 255 B.C.
Carthaginians vs. Romans
Xanthippus vs. Marcus Atilius Regulus
First Punic War
High complexity, 56 battle groups, 15 game turns, Carthaginians move first
The Spartan mercenary general Xanthippus lead the Carthaginian forces. He made the Romans fight on open ground, which allowed him to maximize the effect of the excellent Carthaginian cavalry and Nubian elephants. Regulus was keen to gain another victory and accepted battle on Carthaginian terms rather than risk the chance that someone else would get the glory of eventual victory.
The battle started with an attack by the Carthaginian elephants. This tied up the main force of Roman infantry. The outnumbered Roman cavalry was quickly defeated. Then the Carthaginian cavalry charged the already shaken Romans from both sides, destroying what cohesion was left. The battle ended in a decisive Carthaginian victory.
The battle is also referred to as the first Battle of Bagradas River.
Copying the Spartan general is the best plan. Tie up the excellent Roman infantry while getting around their flanks and rear. As the Roman player you need to prevent this, but this will not be an easy task.
From this description I am a little intimidated by the phrase ‘high complexity’ in the game summary, especially since I’ve been chosen to play as the Romans. I’m sure I’d prefer a heard of Carthaginian War Elephants as my initial assaulting troops, but I’m certain Makris knows the scenario pretty well, and can guide me through the initial stampede, or if I’m downtrodden by it, at least I can learn from it. *gulp*