Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Learning Field of Glory

After a little side show into DBM(M), I've decided to go back to Field of Glory. Even though I prefer DBMM, I think FoG is the future. It is much better supported than the other two, and much easier to get a game. Its definitely worth learning both the rules and some basic tactics.

For my demo game, I departed from the all Rome all the time and fell back on an old favorite... the Normans. Since I don't have enough guys to make a decent Anglo-Danish army, I decided to use one of their other opponents... the Fatimid Egyptians. I put together two 600 point armies (listed at the end) and went at it.

The basic strategy for the Normans was to attack on the right with the knights, hold the line in the center with the spearmen, and use the French cavalry to sweep around the left. The Egyptian plan was to use the heavy cavalry in the center to fix the knights and use the light horse to hit them in the flanks. The Dailami would demonstrate on the right and the other infantry would hold the center.

I learned a couple of things in the first two turn. First, 600 points doesn't really fill up a 6x4 table. Second, knights only fight in one rank, so there is no reason to set them up in 2x2 blocks if you are just advancing. Doh! Luckily, two of the battle groups were able to expand before the big charge. Finally, there is a BIG difference between what skirmishers, drilled troops, and undrilled troops can do. The Norman knights are pretty much wind em up and let em go, while the mamluks have a bit more flexibility.

Of course, the two sides pretty much closed and charged. At the point of impact, the knights had a slight numerical advantage over the arab cavalry. When the numerical advantage was coupled with the decisive attack advantage of the knights, the arabs took a beating. Even the flank charge by the Bedouin light horse didn't do much. In three turns, the arab cavalry was put to flight, with the knights bearing down on the arab infantry.

On the other flank, two small battles developed. One pitted some Berber light horse against the Norman archers (light foot). It turned into a marathon slug fest, with neither side losing cohesion but the light horse losing bases due to death rolls until it auto broke. The other saw two battle groups of French cavalry charge a unit of Dailami. One of the cavalry units did well, but the other didn't, rapidly deteriorating and eventually breaking. The Dailami eventually broke with the remaining cavalry unit nipping at its heels.

At this point, I decided to call it. Three BGs of Egyptian infantry remained to fight the bulk of the Norman army, and their prospects weren't real good. The final tally was 7 BGs lost by the Fatimids, 1 by the Normans.

I found the game to be very educational. I tried to be pedantic by strictly following the sequence of play, but I still missed a few things. To be more correct, I kept finding things throughout the game that I had done wrong. Still, I'm going to revamp the army lists a bit to reflect my experiences. Lessons learned: knights are bad news, Dailami are semi-bad news, Egyptian infantry is kind of weak, cavalry MUST concentrate to have a chance of defeating knights. I don't think its worth it to use light horse to work flanks, since they are so weak on the attack. I'm thinking that they would be much more valuable trying to get shock troops to charge and break formation. Interesting stuff.

As promised, here are the army lists:

Norman - 600 points
2x Generals, TC
4x Milites BG, 4 stands of Kn, armored, superior, undrilled, lancers swordsmen
1x Spearmen BG, 8 stands of HF, protected, average, undrilled, defensive spearmen
1x Spearmen BG, 6 stands of HF, protected, average, undrilled, defensive spearmen
1x Foot Archer BG, 6 stands of MF, unprotected, average, undrilled, bow
1x Foot Archer BG, 6 stands of LF, unprotected, average, undrilled, bow
1x Allied General, TC
2x Frankish Cavalry BG, 4 stands of Cv, armored, superior, undrilled, lancers, swordsmen

Fatimid Egyptian - 600 points
3x Generals, TC
2x Arab Lancer BG, 4 stands of Cv, armored, superior, drilled, lancers, swordsmen
2x Mamluk BG, 4 stands of Cv, armored, superior, drilled, bow, swordsmen
1x Berber light horse BG, 4 stands of LH, unprotected, average, undrilled, javelins, light spear
1x Bedouin cavalry BG, 4 stands of LH, unprotected, average, undrilled, lancers, swordsmen
1x Dailami BG, 8 stands of MF, protected, superior, drilled, impact foot, swordsmen
2x Abid al-Shira BGs, 6 stands of HF, protected, average, drilled, light spear, swordsmen + 3 stands of LF w/bows
1x Berber foot BG, 6 stands of HF, protected, average, undrilled, defensive spearmen + 3 stands of LF w/bows

EDIT: It turns out that I calculated the point values incorrectly. I used one of the army list spreadsheets and didn't account for the cost of the generals. It turns out that both army lists were about 700 points, not 600. Doh!


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