Introduction to Field of Glory
Field of Glory has been designed in an approachable and easy to learn manner that allows players to concentrate on realistic deployments and battlefield tactics, eliminating much of the extraneous minutiae of past rules and allowing us to capture the atmosphere of battles ranging from the dawn of history to medieval times. This series is intended to give both beginner and expert wargamers everything they need to play the battles of the ancient and medieval worlds on their tabletops.
This book is designed to both explain the game and be a reference guide when playing. To make the rules easier to follow, we have included numerous diagrams and photographs, together with a number of useful TIPS to assist your game-play.
We have also included detailed systems, examples and explanations, such as the precise definition of troop types, along with some guides to choosing and painting an army and battlefield tactics to get you going, but these have been put in appendices at the end so as to make the reading of the core rules easier.
What is miniature wargaming?
Historical miniature wargaming as a popular hobby can be traced back to 1913 when the famous author H.G. Wells conceived and wrote the first commercial set of wargames rules “Little Wars.” In fact it goes back further still with Kriegsspiel in the early 19th century, and the ancient pharaohs were rumoured to have used model figures to plan their military campaigns.
We've come a long way since then. Today wargaming is an absorbing and fascinating pastime involving elements of tactical skill and chance, where armies of accurately researched and painted figurines march across realistically modelled battlefields to re-fight bygone wars. Have you got it in you to become an Alexander the Great?
Games can range from re-fights of actual historical battles to speculative “what ifs” matching armies against foes that never met. They can be stand-alone games in which a points system is used to ensure that both armies have a fair chance, scenario games with unequal forces such as an attack on a marching army or the defence of a river line, or even complex campaigns in which logistics and strategy are as important as tactical skill.
Ancient/Medieval wargaming covers the widest period of all, from the first organised armies circa 3,000 BC until the rising dominance of gunpowder weapons at the end of the 15th Century AD. The armies are colourful and varied and come equipped with all sorts of weaponry ranging from simple slings to the dreaded war elephants and scythed chariots.
This section explains the rationale behind the different terms used, and outlines the design concepts and approaches that we have adopted.
Each member of the Field of Glory design team has a keen interest in ancient and medieval history, and between us we have amassed over 100 years of wargaming experience.
In this Field of Glory rulebook, you take the role of the army commander and his senior generals, giving the rules a top down style and feel. Historical accounts describe battles as a series of events and phases, rather than solely an account of constant action. With Field of Glory, we have also tried to reflect this ebb and flow of events on the battlefield.
Armies of this era had a common theme, whatever their organisation at the micro level. Each had a commander-in-chief and a few senior commanders who would take control of a wing, or the centre, or a sweeping charge. Subordinate to these was another layer of commanders who controlled the various tactical formations which generally consisted of a number of units grouped together. In Field of Glory we call these formations battle groups.
In Field of Glory you will take command of an army which consists of approximately 10-15 battle groups led by the C-in-C and his senior commanders. The game has been designed to ensure that, just as in reality, the commanders (you) are fully occupied with decision making from the outset. Your key objective is to outmanoeuvre the enemy army and concentrate your forces at critical points in the battle. This will then destroy the enemy's will to fight, deal a devastating blow to the morale of their commanders (your opponent) and allow you to win.
Our companion army list books will contain historical overviews and the organisation of hundreds of accurately researched armies, ensuring that your battles will be able to have a realistic and historical feel.
Also, in reality, some armies would be relatively small, consisting of as few as 5,000 men, whilst others would be enormous. Field of Glory will allow you to see what might have been had these forces been equally matched, using a points system, as each army can then be scaled up or down whilst retaining an individual mix and balance of troops to create “what if” encounters.
We started with a blank sheet of paper and looked at a wide range of possible mechanisms. Some concepts are entirely new. Others may look familiar at first glance, but interact with the rest of the rules in a completely new way, giving Field of Glory a style all its own.
In Field of Glory our most important objective is to make the game fun to play whilst retaining a strong historical feel. So whether you fancy being Alexander the Great or Ghengis Khan, it's up to you, happy gaming and may your dice roll high!
WHAT YOU NEED TO PLAY FIELD OF GLORY
• An opponent: games can be played with one player on each side, solo, or with multiple players on each side.
• A tabletop/board – the game is ideally designed to be played on an area of 180cm (or 72") x 120cm (or 48"), but smaller or larger spaces can be used.
• Two opposing armies of miniature figurines, painted and mounted on bases of the same width. These figurines can be of any scale. However, those which work best with the rules are 15mm or 25/28mm tall. These can be easily obtained, either painted or unpainted from a wide range of suppliers.
• Terrain for your battlefield, such as hills, rivers, marshes and so on. These are all commercially available and described in more detail later.
• Dice: Normal cubes numbered 1 to 6 (d6). Ideally, each player should have about 10 of one colour and 5 each of two other colours.
• A means of measuring distances: a tape measure or a set of measuring sticks marked off in inches or mm.