Field of Glory Renaissance

Not my cup of tea really, but you have to admire Field of Glory Renaissance.

Despite all its advantages of colour, diversity and information, warfare from the introduction of gunpowder through to the traditional ‘horse and musket’ era has been very much a poor relation.

In a tournament environment, DBR, RoF or Armati would have barely been viable, those rules favoured by period enthusiasts would not have registered a scratch.  FoG R is getting impressive turn outs, converting new players to the period and seeing old armies dusted-off, rebased and back out on the table.   There has to be some good in that.

ECW Regt. of Foot

Field of Glory is very much a player’s game, of course.  Armies are typically bought from a shopping list and ‘mini-maxed’ to get the optimal combinations (ECW Royalist seems to be a good one), and historical authenticity is clearly somebody else’s responsibility (the guy who wrote/approved the list – not the player picking from it).

Mark Fry's Ottomans

A cynic might describe that as ‘going the way of ancients’.  For most of us, it means books and guides coming back into free supply, new ranges of figures, remodelling of existing ranges and Ren/Ref blogs a-plenty.  If that puts you off, I suspect selling all those old figures will probably net you a better price now than it would have done.

Needless to say, the tournament lineage of Field of Glory means 15mm scale.  Oddly, a lot of the new figures are in 28mm as is a lot of the blogging.  Perhaps that is a cultural thing: given the surge of interest, 28mm enthusiasts paint a modest number of bigger figures and post photos of them on the web; 15mm enthusiasts dig out those vast collections from yesteryear and spend the weekend wargaming.

I suspect that impression will change when the shows season returns (2011 sees the 550th anniversary of Towton, but, in addition to a surge of WotR displays, maybe 2011 will see a renaissance of ECW … if so doubtless there will be plenty of big ones) ..

I use Armati with the adaptations published here for ECW, the Naseby game in particular.  Most of the ‘mainstreamers’ I know have dabbled with DBR and are back playing FoG-R. A number of Peter Pig enthusiasts play ‘Regiment of Foote’.  WD’s Richard Brooks has an ECW variant of his squared based system, and my local group has tried these plus Graham’s ‘VWS’.  We have played quite a bit of File Leader over the years – but not for quite a while.

All very different approaches, few of them able to fill a room the way FoG R seems to.  Is this just a fad, as disgruntled ancients players look for something more varied to spice up their table tops?   Or is this a real upsurge in interest in the period?  And one from which the English Civil War enthusiast can benefit?

I’m looking forward to 2011.

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6 Comments on “Field of Glory Renaissance”

  1. Keith Says:

    Down these parts DBR is going from strength to strength with reasonable numbers of players at competitions.
    NZ Nationals (2010): 16 players
    Cancon Australia (2011): 14 players
    Individual World Championships (2011): 26 players

    Of course competitions are but one means of measuring popularity.

    • yesthatphil Says:

      Thanks for the input, Keith. Intriguing. DBR had virtually died in UK competitions, and FoG-R has caused (or at least been part of) a revival of interest in the period.

      Mind you, I’m unsure how big an impact FoG itself has had in the Southern Hemisphere: SA stuck rigidly with DB games, I think … Stephen L gets about a bit, and flies a NZ flag in FoG events (UK resident Kiwis do all manner of diferent things, of course) and my buddies in Oz just seem to moan about it all …

      • TWR Says:

        FOG has support in NZ in 15mm while DBMM dominates in 25mm. DBA has been the big growth area in Ancients with DBA sometimes having more players than FOG. Lots of new Ancients gamers as well as many old hands returning to Ancients.

        The FOG Ancients players I suspect transistion to FOGR but I wonder how many “new” players will be drawn in once the excitement of a new rule set is forgotten.

        For the Worlds the competitions are all in 15mm. The numbers are:
        FOG: 34
        DBR: 26
        DBA: 19
        DBM: 14

  2. yesthatphil Says:

    Patrick said …

    My only complaint about the whole weekend…Artillery…

    Seemed more like Napoleonic Arty than ECW Arty…

    (not the only one who commented in that way)

  3. yesthatphil Says:

    Well I know what you mean, but re the lists, there were 2 French Wars of Religion Huguenot armies in the Usk event (so the lists must be out there) … maybe the book titles were misleading and FWR armies were not in the one where you expected to find them.


  4. Trebian Says:

    I fear that they might as well be Elves and Pixies as far as the players are concerned. They lavishly produced Army List books don’t even have French Wars of Religion armies in them.

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