The Art of War & Field of Glory II

Boggit takes a look at Field of Glory 2’s units on parade ~

Boggit, 5 May 2018

One of my favourite games is Slitherine’s Field of Glory, which in Field of Glory 2 has seen a facelift in its graphics and a whole new game engine developed by Byzantine Games. Field of Glory 2 continues to use the Pike and Shot game system introduced a couple of years ago in Pike and Shot Campaigns, and subsequently Sengoku Jidai  – Shadow of the Shogun. It is not an exact clone of Pike and Shot, as several new rules and features have been added. Where it is truly different from Pike and Shot, and Sengoku Jidaiis in the map and unit graphics, which are totally different, and in my opinion very attractive.

Developed by Byzantine Games
Published by Matrix/Slitherine

Field of Glory 2as I mentioned is an upgraded version of the Pike and Shotgame system, and is in many ways very different from the older Field of Glory, which has different game mechanics, and a lot more units on the map. Field of Glory 2does come with a slight drawback on older machines compared to the original Field of Glory, and Pike and Shot/Sengoku Jidaiin that panning around the map and the speed of reaction to mouse commands is noticeably slower – most likely because of the vastly improved map and unit graphics, however, more modern graphics cards should cope easily with this issue.

I still enjoy playing the original Field of Glory as it has a very different feel to the gameplay of Field of Glory 2, which is something noticed by quite a few of my on-line opponents. This takes nothing away from Field of Glory 2, being just a matter of “apples and oranges”, as both are good in their own ways.

So let’s have a look at how Field of Glory 2 changes the presentation of ancient warfare, and showcase the artwork with a varied selection of units selected from the Immortal Fire and Legions Triumphant DLC…

 

Starting with the original Field of Glory, graphics are OK, but basic. On the flip side there are several times more units available to play with than that in Field of Glory 2 here with a medium point allocation of 600pts. It is also quite a fast playing game, compared to Field of Glory 2 game mechanics, which in my opinion feels much more deliberate.

 

And here is the Persian army of Cyrus the Great in all its glory, and up against the Lydians.  Immediately you will notice that the army contains around 18 units, which compared to my Persian army of Cyrus in the original Field of Glory of 56 units is quite small. However, as I mentioned earlier, the game has a different feel to it and different mechanics, so it’s just different, not a problem.

 

Impressing the Lydian host is the basic bow and spear line infantry, on a hill and backed up by the Immortals.

 

Lydians to the left and right of me – and even behind the line forces a unit of Immortals to cover the flank, as we shoot chunks out of their units.

 

Yep, those Lydians got hammered. One nice feature on the final losses screen is the total troops lost. This was never shown in Pike and Shot, nor in Sengoku Jidai, and one would have to manually count up losses to get a total. Now that Byzantine Games has worked out how to do this, perhaps they’ll update the final losses screens in Sengoku Jidai, and Pike and Shot with the total losses.


 

Early German Tribesmen await the Legions of Germanicus! Note the variation of shield patterns on the Roman shields. The variety and attention to detail is really nice.

 

And then we clash! The brown boxes with crossed swords indicate units engaged in melée.

 

I took this shot from one of the quick battles options. You can find historical opponents from actual campaigns. Here I am playing the Alans against the Huns, as they try to take over the steppes.

 

As the Alans approach the cavalry shoot at each other prior to settling things at close range.

 

And crunch! I try to exploit the numbers of the Alans, as well as their lancers over the superior quality horse archers that are the Huns. It pays off.

 

And here we are in the wars of the Diadochi, with me playing the Antigonids against the Ptolemaics. The forces are very similar, and the units very attractive with much variety in shield designs. This very much has the feel of a table top ancients game.

 

While my pike phalanx on the right is constantly getting pushed back by a Galatian warband, the Argyraspides (“Silver Shields” – second on the right)are about to break their opponents.

 

After several turns play, organised chaos takes over. My cavalry on the left flank are about to win and turn in on the centre. Unfortunately they’re a bit fragged from the fighting.

 

Zoomed out you can see one of the new features to the game engine – each general can have a command, and a neat aspect is being able to move the whole command rather than individual units if there is a bit of distance between the armies. Another feature of Field of Glory 2 includes a number of Pike and Shot engine rule changes, like limited ammunition for missile units.

 

Here the Anglo-Saxons are in pitched battle with the Sub-Roman British, which are a mix of late Roman infantry and Brythonic infantry, which are similar in appearance to earlier Celtic troops. Interestingly both armies have hardly any missile troops, so the battle is a mass brawl.

 

More brawling, as the Anglo-Saxons push back the Sub-Roman British. Unfortunately, this also means they can get a charge in the flank.

 

Here my army of Jewish rebels hold a hill against a Roman assault. Not exactly a Masada, but it does give them better ground to defend from. Meanwhile my Jewish light troops constantly harass the Romans who find it hard to reply.

 

The last stand. Ironically Roman morale broke in the end. The Romans are tough troops, and kill a lot. However, they can be ground down by the numbers of barbarian and irregular armies after several rounds in melée.

 

And here for comparison is a screen of the map and units for Sengoku Jidai, whose blocky units are quite similar to those found in Pike and Shot. I show it here to illustrate just how different the units look like compared to Field of Glory 2. Although the two games play very similarly, they really look quite different.


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