Like Chess, But With More Colors

HIGH Classic tabletop tactics with all the bells and whistles.

LOW Matches can take a while to complete.

WTF The character models are twice the size of houses.

In the so-called dark ages of history, there was little available to occupy people’s time. So naturally, people started waging war with one another. This European era is defined almost solely by the widespread conflict in the region, which has led to it being a major inspiration for war games from the period and since.

Field of Glory II: Medieval is one of the latest, setting out to emulate the tabletop experience of waging war.

Wargames tend to be intimidating beasts, with numerous rules that influence everything from what units can be used to how they can move and what actions they can perform, which is all multiplied together once two units engage each other in combat. Fortunately, FoGII:M offers three tutorial battles of increasing complexity that go into detail on nearly every aspect.

To be clear, this sort of wargame is not to be confused with ‘grand strategy’ titles of the kind that come from Paradox or Sid Meier. no, FoG is emulating old school tabletop wargames, which means battles, battles, and more battles. These battles take place between two factions on a square grid map, and combat is a turn-based affair where unit type, terrain, and tactics such as flanking must be considered in order to win. The AI is surprisingly competent and offers a challenge to newcomers even at the lowest setting.

While I had some trouble understanding everything I was doing or exactly how units interact and when they can or can’t, figuring out the puzzle of it can be satisfying. Because of the complexity, every encounter where I lost less units than the opposing forces or successfully routed a squad of enemy troops truly felt like a victory. While the overall encounters can be long, each turn can offer several victories (or defeats) to keep momentum going. 

Field of Glory II: Medieval includes five structured campaigns based on historical real-world battles from the time period. The game also includes an alternative campaign where players can choose factions to create their own alt-history scenarios.

Other single player options include quick battles, custom campaigns, history-based one-shots, and even a “Fight Now!” option if someone can’t wait even one more minute before playing. There’s also a campaign editor and an option to pull custom campaigns from other players online.

FogII:M includes a multiplayer mode as well. Unlike most traditional multiplayer, lag is never an issue this is not a ‘live’ connection where one player is waiting for the other in real time. Here, players have a personal, local file of the game and essentially ‘send’ their turns to each other, switching back and forth until a victor is decided.

Overall Field of Glory II: Medieval offers just about everything one could ask for in a tabletop wargame simulation. The odd quirks and complexity are part of the charm for fans of the genre, although there’s little here to draw in fans who haven’t already become converts.

Rating: 7 out of 10

— Mitch Zehe

Disclosures: This game is developed by Byzantine Games and published by Slitherine Ltd. It is currently available on PC. This copy of the game was obtained via publisher and reviewed on PC. Approximately 4 hours of play were devoted to the single-player mode, and the game was not completed. 0 hours of play were spent in multiplayer modes.

Parents: According to the ESRB, this game is Not Rated. It’s a dry, historically-based game. There is combat, but it isn’t graphic and there is no visible blood.

Colorblind Modes: There are no colorblind modes available.

Deaf & Hard of Hearing Gamers: This game offers subtitles. The subtitles cannot be altered or resized. As it is turn-based, there are no audio cues needed for play, this game is fully accessible.

Remappable Controls: Certain functions are remappable in the sense that mouse controls can be adjusted for one or two buttons. The tutorial offers a full explanation of controls, and there are numerous hotkeys. The basic controls consist of left click to select units, right click to choose action for unit(s) selected. WASD and mouse scrolling can be used to move the screen. The mouse wheel can change zoom.

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