Field of Glory: Empires - Catch All

Civilizations come and go; common men and kings they get covered by the dust of time in the same way. Monuments and wonders crumble under their own weight. But the cultural legacy is not bygone. Stories and tales about ancestors and their deeds pass through generations, the old knowledge is not lost forever. Soon, new societies, new kingdoms, new civilizations rise from the seeds of the ones which predated them. Decadence is not the end.

Will your legacy stand the test of time?

Field of Glory: Empires is Grand strategy game set in the Mediterranean during the Classical era. It can be played standalone as a Grand Strategy game but, if you have Field of Glory 2, the battles can be resolved in that. FOG2 is not required to play Field of Glory: Empires though.

Slitherine page
Player's Manual
Grognerd's Guide to Structures, Trade Goods and the Economy

Review over at Wargamer
RPS Review

I am one of us. Game sounds great, couldn't resist buying it.

Tim Stone's review.

There's an Empire that falls apart if it's not in at least six wars. I may be in love.

Well, that was unexpected. I got mauled in the warmup scenario. I officially don't know what I'm doing.

Anyone getting things like this Steam review mentions?

"Diplomacy is kind of strange. I jumped into the deep end and started playing as Carthage and I will get a message from, say, Numidia asking for further cooperation. I agree to it. Next turn it says we are now cooperating on deep and many levels. I ask them to be allies since I have a 51% of success. Next turn they declare war on me. Hmmm. "

Ok, here's the money question:

Is it better or worse than Imperator: Rome?

This game intrigues me but I've already dropped some cash and a little time on I:R, but if this is better I may have to shelve the other for a while.

I spent a bit more time with the game tonight, again with the short scenario that I thought was intended as some sort of tutorial. But outside of saying "Beat the enemies" there really isn't any sort of in-game tutorial here. The "Tutorial" section goes to some YouTube videos, but I figured I'd be better off by just learning as I play. That didn't work though.

I'm also not grokking the UI at all. Simple things like combining armies, selecting armies, and moving armies feels clunky and out-dated. How to organize army formations, likewise, totally eludes me. Information seems scattered about, and everything I tried to do intuitively wasn't working. This is the first time I've played a game from this developer, so that might have something to do with it.

Anyway, I felt like I was battling both the UI and the enemy, and ended up pretty frustrated.

I think I'm going to need to try a different approach.

This game is hard. Even on Easy. I've had three learning games come apart at the seams, all due to me not paying attention and covering my bases. The AI is ruthless - one game spiraled out of control when I was trying to finish off the Saxones and had all my forces in my NW when the Macromanni decided it was a good time to stab me in the back from the SE. Always check yer six!

There's a lot going on in it, it feels like everything has synergies with something else. And every decision involves a tradeoff, there are very few obviously right ways to go.

So far I've only played Germanic tribes, tomorrow I will play a "real" game closer to the Mediterranean.

AGEOD games are different than most other games of this type, most of the "minutiae" are handled by the game. There are no army formations you can control - your best/most powerful units will be in the middle of the formation, less good at the edges. How many units are used in battle is determined by the frontage of the region you are in. Forest has 6 for instance so you will want 6 skirmishers/light cav + 6 infantry to cover the frontage. Not having enough units to take up the frontage opens you up to flanking attacks. Any extra units go into the reserve.

More thoughts tomorrow. So far I like it even though I suck at it.

GB - take a look at these videos, I think they are better than the tutorials because they don't explain how to do stuff so much as how all this stuff fits together and why you may want to do certain things:

I spent most of last night playing deep into the game as the Hibernii. I managed to eliminate the Picts, but then struggled against the Brits for nearly 50 years. My current situation is decent, but I lost Wales to the Brits and they currently outnumber me about two to one - it doesn't look good.

Cool things that happened: One of my attacks on a neutral territory in Wales failed. Instead of waiting passively for me to come back with a stronger army, the spawned units went on a rampage. They took an undefended territory from me, and then two territories from the Brits before they ran out of steam. The formerly Brit territories stayed neutral for almost fifty years.

The Brigantes were eliminated pretty early in the game by the Brits and Picts. However, about turn 150 they re-appeared, apparently by revolting against the Brits. They then proceeded to gather a pretty decent army and started expanding again. I couldn't believe it.

robc wrote:

Anyone getting things like this Steam review mentions?

What I've seen is that if an enemy has one of your regions as an objective, this causes them to behave very aggressively - even if you would otherwise be natural allies, and even if you had a decent relationship. What probably happened there was a cooperation agreement at a low relationship level (less than 50), and they received an objective at the wrong moment causing them to declare war.

You can check their objectives by clicking on the little ... I don't know what to call it, star icon below their name on the diplomacy screen. If you own one of their objectives, you won't have any lasting peace - the best you can do is delay them. I will say that the diplomacy system needs polishing. It's functional and has a good variety of options, but the UI is confusing - things like their objectives, which are utterly critical to know, are practically hidden.

There's another release issue: the pathing does NOT take into account enemy troops or potential movement, including (and especially) fleets. If you're trying to send reinforcements to a distant army, they will sometimes path right through known enemy locations and die. I had this happen to me several times, and I completely destroyed a 100 combat power Brit army because they tried to move through my fleet instead of going around by land. You can get around this by CTRL+right clicking to force them into a particular path.

Other things I noted last night:

The semi-random building choices will sometimes have you pulling out your hair, but it's a great system to force you to adapt rather than quickly proceeding down an optimized path for a given set of regions.

Don't neglect your military buildings. It's a nasty surprise to find someone with improved mountain infantry and a defensive general dug into one of your objectives. It will seem like you can get away with province specials and standard troops, but when your neighbors upgrade it'll really knock you back on your heels.

Trade range is very important in determining how you build out your regions. Pay attention when it says what you can and can't trade for when you're choosing buildings, because even if you have something in your empire, it may not be close enough. You may need to build specific buildings in otherwise bad regions so that you have coverage, even if that region is otherwise being optimized for something else. Also, don't be afraid to destroy buildings if they aren't working. Also note that there are bonus-only buildings, like the Worship Center or something like that. These are a waste of time unless you have the required trade good.

If you don't have a general that can generate at least two extra dice in some way, try not to use them in the front line. The AI seems to make +2 dice their cutoff, and they generally won't engage unless they have that.

Okie dokie. It took four tries, but things finally clicked in that mini-scenario:


tboon: Thanks! I stumbled onto this mini-series by Das Tactic and watched the first 30 minutes while I was at the gym tonight. That helped me realize a bunch of assumptions I was making. After I watched that, I got completely mauled again, but at least I knew why it happened. I tried one more time and things clicked. I'll check out the ones you've linked as well. Never stop learning.

Now things are getting fun. I think it's time to try a full game.

Okay, this is definitely fun.

I just stayed up way too late trying a campaign game as Marcomani, a small one-territory nation in Germania. Early on, we had a hard fought war against an invader from our north, but we drove them back and then expanded to about seven territories. All was awesome, but then we started getting hit with a horrific decadence score which crippled us from within. Of course, just as rebels started popping up everywhere, the Saxons declared war on us. Within 20 years or so we were back down to one territory (a much weaker territory too), and only survived because someone else hit the Saxons from the other side just as they were ready to finish us off.

We're not dead yet, but we're barely alive.

Things I like...

- The decadence mechanic makes expansion ruthlessly hard. Or at least it did for me anyway. The Saxons, who expanded like mad when they rolled us over didn't seem to have any problem with it, though. Their nation was "glorious" while they expanded. And even though we're back down to one territory, we're getting a decadence hit for our "nation size". So yeah, I have no clue how decadence works. I can tell I've got to figure it out if I'm going to have any chance at this game.

- The game has great pace. Things swing back and forth and can turn on a dime. You can be kicking butt one second and suddenly fighting for your life the next. The AI seems quite aggressive and reasonably functional from what I can tell so far.

- I *think* the game has great balance between going wide and going tall, and both would seem to be viable strategies. There are tons of buildings to build, and they all give various bonuses and are intricately interconnected. Walking a fine line between expansion and empire management seems like a critical skill to develop.

Anyway, that was super fun tonight, even though I have no idea how to handle decadence yet.

Downloaded yesterday and started reading the manual last night. I'll check out some of the linked youtube vids today and give my first start a go tonight! Looking forward to it.

Does anyone know how many people can join a PBEM game? Maybe once we all get our heads around the game, we can give it a go.

EDIT: I just found this multiplayer AAR

Added link to Grognerd's Guide to Structures, Trade Goods and the Economy to the OP.

I will add resources as I find them to the OP. If you run across something useful, post it, call me out and I will add it.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Anyway, that was super fun tonight, even though I have no idea how to handle decadence yet.

By far the best way is not to get it in the first place. One of the serious problems with rapid conquest is that you take on the decadence of each region you grab. If you conquer several regions with high decadence, your decadence will quickly outpace your culture and throw you back. Except ...

You don't get decadence for taking an objective region. I'm not sure how it works, as obviously even objective regions will accumulate decadence, but it minimizes the conquest hit for sure. So waiting for objectives to appear and taking as few regions as possible other than objectives is pretty important in the early game for keeping your decadence in check and avoiding backsliding. Taking objectives also gives you a progression token, which can either move you up the cultural progression track or soften the blow if your CDR does drop too far and you start getting regression tokens.

If you do have to take some regions for tactical reasons, try to take enough regions in a province to activate it. Regions that are part of a province build up less decadence, and you'll get some bonuses and the provincial unit, which is usually quite good. You can also conquer other regions in the province once the province is established, and the decadence hit will be minimized.

Finally there are buildings, events, and leaders that you can use to reduce how fast the decadence builds up (or accelerate it). Pretty much nothing removes decadence, so it stays a race between culture and decadence, and your efforts go into restraining decadence so that your culture can keep up. It's a fascinating dynamic and while I don't completely understand it, it feels great and makes you think about every move.

^ Thanks, Aetius. That's helpful. I spent a bit of time looking through the manual sections on decadence too, and that's informative too. This dev diary post on culture and decadence seems good too, and it mentions some ways you can eventually reduce decadence.

Just for kicks I kept going with Marcomani (purple on the map below) to see what happens. I've been able to build them back up a bit, to a handful of regions that I've formed into a province. Decadence has slowly been dropping to the point where we're in the middle tier of countries now. Population is growing and we're showing signs of a mining/agricultural economy that could be profitable.

More realistically, Rome, who has been expanding quickly from the south, will wipe us from the face of the earth in just a few years. But hey, it's been fun while it lasted.


Uff. I apparently took one too many territories, because decadence started inching up for Marcomani instead of continuing to drop, and I just couldn't get control of it. Once a nation starts aging it's an uphill battle to get control of things again, for sure. Internally we started to fall apart.

And then the country to our north completely disintegrated into independent Germanic barbarians. And before we knew it this massive barbarian army led by a stud general just rolled over us. We had no chance. Losing our capital to him coincided with some sort of Roman uprising, and we simultaneously imploded from within as the stud barbarian army and Roman rebels sandwiched us. In about three turns we went from 7-territory nation to nothing.

I did manage to escape with the remnants of my army and take two small territories to the east, but everything around us is much stronger than we are. I just don't see how I could get to a point where we could own any useful land anymore.


I think I might call this one a day and start over.

Other thoughts...

- This game doesn't mess around. I'm playing on one level above the easiest, and enemies come after you with a vengeance.

- It feels quite unforgiving, but that might just be because I haven't wrapped my head around a lot of the mechanics yet. I feel like I merely grabbed one territory too many, and then everything started sliding to disaster. Everything I tried to do to stop it wasn't enough.

- I felt like turn processing started to slow down as my game progressed. By the end it was a noticeable wait.

That actually sounds... Accurate...

You definitely want this on an SSD if you can. All the AGEOD games I have played do a lot of file I/O - this one doesn't seem any different. I think the AI writes everything out to file and then the game reads it back in - their older games did this and this one seems to as well. I moved my install to an SSD and noticed a marked difference in turn speed.

Late game will still slow down because the AI is busy "thinking" about more stuff but at least the I/O part should stay close to the same.

Edit: Oh and I think I found a good starter spot: The Bretones (sp?) in England. Start pretty strong, stronger than the 3 region nation to the north (Brigadines? doesn't sound right but something like that). Get in an early war and take them out then can form a province for decadence relief. The you have to deal with the Picts who are a pain in the ass in this game as they were in real life but they are beatable. Then you have a nice big nation with a couple of provinces and some options. The chaos in Europe is a distant rumor and you can (hopefully) build up before heading over there. Or just make a strong navy and sit back and let the legacy pile up. Or take out Ireland.

Lot of possibilities - I have to finish the Picts off first, they have 10 lives it seems.

Britonae and Brigantes. The Brits are pretty good, and their heavy infantry is great - no clumsy penalty and a bonus fighting in woods.

I started again as the Hiberni using the lessons learned from my first game, and managed to conquer Britain by about turn 70. Stamping out the Picts was pretty easy, but that was because they got mauled by a powerful independent army to their north, which I then had to beat down in order to establish the province. I think I was able to keep them down because I'm also Caledonian ethnicity, so they pretty much accepted my rule and the north has been quiet and productive ever since.

Stamping out the Brits and the Brigantes was ridiculously hard. At one point I had them both down to zero provinces, but some of their units had fled by ship and were out there waiting to make a comeback. A druid-incited revolt first made one of my regions independent, and then their units moved in and re-established both the Brits and the Brigantes in the same turn. I had to re-declare war and wipe them out again. So far I've put down three different revolts including that one.

And here's where it gets interesting. Those revolts are a result of my conquering regions with Celtic ethnicity, and there are two special buildings in the south of Britain, Druid Hideouts, that are inciting the revolts. I don't want to destroy them, because they grant 0.5 Legacy and 10 Culture each per turn. Hilariously, they also require Nuts and Seeds, which they are only getting because the source is within my trade range. So in order to gain Legacy and Culture, I have to maintain those buildings and deal with the resulting rebellions until I can convert the region's ethnicity.

I think I love this game.

For whatever reason I decided to try Getae again. The first time I tried it I got wiped out on Turn 2. I figured the same thing would happen this time, and sure enough, something like 6 nations declared war on me on the first turn. But unlike my first try with Getae, this time they didn't seem all that serious about actually fighting the war right away. I was able to build up a small army and steal a coastal territory to the east before they showed up in earnest.

Then I got my butt kicked every which way, but they left me the coastal territory after they were done taking my original territory. I hung about and developed that for a while, and then Macedonia came knocking on the doors of all my enemies and proceeded to scrub them from the face of the earth. I've been able to stay on good terms with Macedonia, with the result that 120 years later we are a little nation resting in their shadow.

We're the little dark blue patch in the sea of light blue that is Macedonia.

It's been a slow game because I can't do too much each turn, but it's been a good game to learn how to control decadence and whatnot. I've got Getae up to a Glorious Tribal Chiefdom, with only three more pips to go to evolve to the next thing.

I'm going to keep going with this, to see if I can survive the game with this nation. Macedonia is so huge now but they are struggling with decadence. They currently lead in the legacy score by an astronomical sum. I'm curious to see if they fall apart, which would make things very interesting.

Like Aetius I'm also playing as the Hiberni, but I feel I may have missed my chance to make a mark on mainlaind Britain.

I actually got my nose bloodied early on by the unaffiliated Celtic tribes in the west of Ireland, which was funny, but bounced back and consolidated the whole island. Then jumped across and took the Isle of Man.

At that point both the Picts and the Britonae declared war on me, but they've been mostly too tangled in their own war and in smashing the repeated Brigantes uprisings to do much about me. The Picts did take the Isle of Man from me for a year, but outside of that our only contact has been when I try to get a foothold somewhere in Great Britain.

I've landed in western Scotland and Cornwall, but my most successful point continues to be Anglesey. Unfortunately the Britonae just decided they'd had enough of that and cleared me out of there again.

Their strongest army is better than mine, but they have to use it to fight the Picts and it can't be everywhere at once, so my next step will be to land in Cornwall again.

I figure the best thing I can do right now is watch the Pict-Britonae war and just try to annoy whoever is winning at the time to keep that conflict going as long as possible.

I mean, I could sit in Ireland and accrue legacy points and cash from what's turning into a pretty nicely developed homeland, but where's the fun in that?

Sounds like getting across the water for good might be challenging!

I wonder, would it be fun at some point if a bunch of us played the same nation with a shared start file?

Is anyone playing with the FoG tactical battles as part of their game? How is that going?

Robear wrote:

Is anyone playing with the FoG tactical battles as part of their game? How is that going?

Well, I took my first move in my first game and it caused a battle. The implementation is a bit odd, but, it worked.

PWAlessi wrote:
Robear wrote:

Is anyone playing with the FoG tactical battles as part of their game? How is that going?

Well, I took my first move in my first game and it caused a battle. The implementation is a bit odd, but, it worked.

I haven't tried it yet, tbh. I'm still wrapping my head around the strategic game.

A game is 500 turns, and I'd guess I'm running into about one battle per turn on average. So from an "I want to finish a game in my lifetime" line of thought, I'd think you'd only use the feature for epic/critical battles.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:
PWAlessi wrote:
Robear wrote:

Is anyone playing with the FoG tactical battles as part of their game? How is that going?

Well, I took my first move in my first game and it caused a battle. The implementation is a bit odd, but, it worked.

I haven't tried it yet, tbh. I'm still wrapping my head around the strategic game.

A game is 500 turns, and I'd guess I'm running into about one battle per turn on average. So from an "I want to finish a game in my lifetime" line of thought, I'd think you'd only use the feature for epic/critical battles.

That's my thought exactly and why I have not tried it yet. But I plan to!

It kind of reminds me of that summer where a friend and I decided to play Federation and Empire and use Starfleet Battles to decide all the combats. That lasted to the third or fourth battle.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

I wonder, would it be fun at some point if a bunch of us played the same nation with a shared start file?

I'm not sure how to do a shared start file, but I'd be in for starting as the same nation and comparing notes every 50 or 100 years.

Robear wrote:

Is anyone playing with the FoG tactical battles as part of their game? How is that going?

I haven't yet because I want to learn the "simple" system first, since you can't avoid using it in some cases. I suspect that it will be required for the higher difficulty levels where you're always going to be outnumbered and out-generaled.

Godzilla Blitz wrote:

Sounds like getting across the water for good might be challenging!

I made it!

Ireland-vs-Scotland-vs-England-and-Wales-vs-Ireland had been going on for about three decades and everyone was getting really tired of it and I had a new leader with spectacular diplomatic abilities, so I sent out the peace envoys... in the same turn that I sent out my largest army to land in Western Scotland.

So everyone agreed to peace in the same turn that we captured the Tinea territory.

Then we sat for eight years before people got equally tired of peace, declared war on the Picts and steadily cleaned them out. There was some back and forth in the first three or four years of war, but after we soundly beat them in their capital it was just a matter of time.

Although I did have a heart attack at one point when they appeared to magic an army from thin air with a power of 234.

It turned out to be an army of 23 and an army of 4 standing next to each other.

Better yet... when we finally beat the Picts the Brigantes appeared for something like their eighth uprising in England, so although the Britonae had declared war on us again it will take them a few turns to deal with the Brigantes before they can come get us.

Ding dong the picts are dead.

I'm sure they won't be back.