What’s Gus Playing? Field of Glory 2 – Part 1

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Ancient antagonism with the armored army ant ~

Lloyd Sabin, 30 April 2018

Field of Glory 2 is an ancient PC gamer’s fantasy made real.

Spring has sprung and so have I…I’m in love! I bought Field of Glory 2 after missing out on the first PC iteration and regretting it forever, so I was hell-bent on not missing out on this new version. And I am ecstatic that I got it, because I have to tell you, Field of Glory 2 is something else.

Simple, fun, chess-like rules, a massive amount of single epic battles, custom battles, multi-battle campaigns and multi-player, along with content that spans history (as of this writing) from around 600BC all the way to around 500 AD (when the Immortal Fire and Legions Triumphant DLCs are included – not to mention an as-of-yet undisclosed third DLC coming soon)…Field of Glory 2 is an ancient PC gamer’s fantasy made real.

There are literally dozens of different factions to play as – name one and most likely it is included here. Fancy the Seleucids (I can’t blame you) – they’re in. Thebes? In. Illyrians? Also in. More of a world-destroyer? Try out the Persians or if you are more into the fall of Rome, try the Huns. There are so many factions to choose from that most players will probably never play them all.

And Field of Glory 2 is accessible enough for newbies – but with six different difficulty modes, wargame pros will definitely enjoy it when the challenge is ramped up. I kept my difficulty on the second setting, sometimes moving it up to the third setting, which often became too difficult for me. The second tier became my sweet spot, if occasionally a little too easy. Most of the time it offered a consistent challenge.

User content is prolific too – just in the last few days the game has notified me that not only new battles are available, but whole new campaigns are also regularly released by fans, like the Silk Road mod built by our very own jomni. And a lot of these campaigns are of truly obscure ancient battles and conflicts. Field of Glory 2 has single-handedly made me interested in areas of ancient history that I’ve neglected up until now – specifically the wars of Alexander the Great and his Successor Kingdoms. Multiple battles and campaigns are available for each.

When a game literally knocks down doors for players and opens up entire new subjects that they neglected – I just can’t come up with a better compliment than that. There is something really engaging and even tense about it’s battle system…it really is not difficult to embrace but at the same time just does not get dull. Watching the back-and-forth, as units take damage, rout and rally feels like a true, tension-filled contest. Some battles do turn in to chaotic melees, but then again they did in real life too. And it is always possible to regain control of a battle that has run away from you, with units regaining some cohesion after they have broken and the positive influence of officers and generals nearby.

Field of Glory 2 just gels – it runs smooth and engages your mind and challenges you to try to turn the enemy’s flank and try out new maneuvers, all while remaining fantastically fun. Unit variety is great – war elephants and cataphracts and armored hoplites and Cretan archers – I could go on and on – they are all here, all modeled simply but elegantly, and are never boring to play with.

Campaigns are linked together with simple but effective cut scenes, troops carry over between missions, and difficult decisions are to be made assigning troops to your garrisons vs. your field armies. And its very enjoyable purchasing and deploying new units – as a player I put some genuine thought in to what troops I should garrison, which ones I should take with me to the next mission and hoping I had enough credits to make some decisive new purchases, besides bolstering my veteran units with fresh recruits.

I also have to mention the hardback manual I chose to get along with the game – it’s a welcome throwback to when manuals were basically works of art. Field of Glory 2’s manual reminds me of an oversized, hardbound Osprey ancients text. I think it’s still available if you upgrade to the ‘boxed’ version over at the Matrix site…it’s a little hard to tell.

All that said, obviously I will be playing Field of Glory 2 for a long time, which means it will be covered here for multiple installments. I have to admit that this is probably my favorite game that I’ve played since writing this column. I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to a series like Total War, but it is just as fun and can be played in short, 15 minute bursts if you must. And if you’ve grown weary of Total War, it’s a solid alternative. So enjoy the below shots and if you love ancient warfare, you owe it to yourself to pick up Field of Glory 2…an awesome world of ancient combat awaits!

This is the intro for the first tutorial I played, as the Celts (Ancient British) versus the invading Romans.


Celtic chariots can be seen here, ready to take on the Roman formations.


Eek! Roman troops charging up hill to get to one of my British generals! Hopefully I can charge down and get at them before they draw first blood.


Sweet, sweet victory. First tutorial battle won!


Final losses screen. Numbers here are in the hundreds, so it’s was a pretty small encounter.


Next up, Pyrrhos versus the Carthaginians.


My first chance to use war elephants against an enemy!


Didn’t get too many shots of Pyrrhos versus the Carthaginians, but I was able to beat the Carthaginians too. Forgot to take a shot of the final losses screen this time though…you’ll have to take my word for it 🙂


Next up – the final tutorial – Carthage vs. Rome, with Hannibal in Italy.


Clearly a bigger battle here.


Battle lines meet and engage.


And my first loss…Rome kicks Hannibal’s buttocks back to Carthage.


I did replay the last tutorial again and won before I moved on to some epic battles and finally began a multi-mission campaign. I’ll cover those in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading!

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