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Field Commander Alexander by  Dan Verssen Games   A madman wears the crown, and everyone around him, courtier...

Field Commander Alexander by Dan Verssen Games Field Commander Alexander by Dan Verssen Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Field Commander Alexander


Dan Verssen Games

 A madman wears the crown, and everyone around him, courtiers, generals, even concubines are not safe from his murderous drunken outbursts. He believed himself at one time to be the son of a God, but now he thinks himself a God. He is distrustful of the soldiers who won him the crown of the world. A besotted paranoid maniac; this is what Alexander has become. If someone didn't kill him out of self-preservation it would be amazing.

 This game shows the campaigns of Alexander in four scenarios, from the earliest battles when he had just gotten the crown, to his conquest of much of the known world. From Chaeronea to his hardest battle at the Hydaspes, his battles and campaigns are here. I want to thank DVG for adding in the siege of Tyre. Sieges, if represented at all in games, are usually just a die roll. The game is a solitaire one where you fill the shoes of the half mortal Alexander. This is what comes with the game:

4 11"x17" Campaign Maps
1 Counter Sheet
1 Six-sided die
1 Player Log sheet

The four Campaigns are

Granicus - 338 BC to 334 BC
Issus - 333 BC to 332 BC
Tyre - 332 BC
Gaugamela - 331 BC to 323 BC

First Counter Sheet

 This is the sequence of play:

  Advance Turn Counter
  Refit ( -2 Gold per Refit )
  Enemy Orders
  Enemy Operations
  Scouting Roll
   ( If roll > Forces suffer hits
   if roll < Forces lose Gold)
   Move Army
   Battle / Intimidate
    Gain Glory
    Raze or Govern
  May Repeat
  Gain Gold
  Spend Gold and Glory

Granicus Map

 This is the newest reprinting of the game, although there doesn't seem to be many changes between the versions. The main game mechanic is for you, playing as Alexander, to win gold and glory. In each campaign these can be used to continue your conquering ways. Glory points can be especially helpful because they allow you to buy Insight Counters and Advisor Counters. These are some of them:

Insight Counters
Anticipation - Play before the enemy 
 draws Battle Plans. Enemy does not 
 Draw any Battle Plans for this battle.
Courtesans - May play after seeing an
  intimidation roll. Add 4 to the roll.

Advisor Counters
Aristander (Seer) - After seeing each 
 Enemy Orders for roll, you may add 1
 to the roll.
Parmenion (General) - The enemy 
 receives 3 fewer Battle Plans in battle.

Issus Map

 Another major game mechanic is to accept or shun a prophecy when you move into an area that has an oracle. You must decide to accept or shun it before turning over the counter to see the actual prophecy. The number on the Prophecy counter is how many turns you have to complete the prophecy. Completing it on time means that your Alexander gains 1 Glorification, and just a smidgen more madness. Failing to complete it means that you have to drop 1 level of Glorification or remove an advisor for the rest of the game. If you cannot do either, you lose the game. There are 1- 8 Alexander counters. Each one measures his Glorification level, one being the lowest and 8 representing full blown psychosis. Just ask Kassander.


Player Log/Battle Board

 The game comes with one player log that you can copy to use over if you want to keep track of different campaigns you wage. The player log also has information about Battle Plans etc. At the bottom of the Player Log is the battlefield, which is more like a battle board. You line up yourself and your enemy's forces in two lines. "Arrange them from left to right in order of the highest to lowest speed". Both Alexander and his enemies have Battle Plans they can use. Depending upon the situation and the Alexander player's use of gold etc, this will determine the amount of Battle Plans both sides have. You resolve any Pre-Battle plans first, and then get down to business. The battles are set up so that the two heroic leaders (if an enemy leader is present) will have a go at each other. The only slightly strange rule is that only the Alexander unit in his army can attack the enemy leader. The enemy leader unit can attack other units in Alexander's force. Once the leaders have begun to attack each other, they must continue to attack each other until the end of the battle. As Alexander you can choose to retreat from battle (to your everlasting shame). However, unlike in history, this does not necessarily mean it is the end of the war.

Tyre Map

 This marks my sixth review of a DVG solitaire game. Just like the others, the components are very well done, as are the rules. Field Commander Alexander seems to have more immersion than the others I have played. You as the player want to win, but you are also pitting yourself against the Great One's record. As almost any general before you since 323 BC, your victories and pace of conquest is measured against Alexander. Hopefully you don't also get a good dose of megalomania in the bargain. Thank you DVG Games for letting me review another great game.

Dan Verssen Games:

Field Commander Alexander:


Field of Glory II by Slitherine Games and Byzantine Games   Hello again, Peabody and Sherman here, we will be going into th...

Field of Glory II by Slitherine and Byzantine Games Field of Glory II by Slitherine and Byzantine Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!


Field of Glory II


Slitherine Games and Byzantine Games 

 Hello again, Peabody and Sherman here, we will be going into the wabac machine to help Lucius Tarquinius Superbus restore his crown, and to review Field of Glory II.

 To be upfront I am an ancient history freak, and would rather game and read about this period than any other.

 Just a caveat: these screens are based on the beta version of the game. Some last minute changes may take place.

 This game has been misnamed; it should not be Field of Glory II, but Field of Glory IV or V. The game is that much better than the original Field of Glory. I was not a fan at all of the older game, but I did only play it against the AI. The older game did have a large multiplayer base. The gaming system, which came from table top gaming, has a large following and has been used in gaming all the way to the Renaissance and beyond.

 The amount of ancient wargaming  in the game beggars belief. These are the campaigns:


 This is a list of the 'Epic' (historical) battles:

 The army list of the game for both editing and skirmishes is like the Energizer bunny it just keeps going. These are:

Ancient British 60 BC - 80 AD
Apulian 420-203 BC
Arab 312 BC - 476 AD
Armenian 331 BC - 252 AD
Armenian (Tigranes) 83-69 BC
Atropatene 320-145 BC
Atropatene 144 BC - 226 AD
Bithynian 297-74 BC
Bosporan 348-85 BC
Bosporan 84-11 BC
Bruttian or Lucanian 420-203 BC
Campanian 280-203 BC
Carthaginian 280-263 BC
Carthaginian 262-236 BC
Carthaginian 235-146BC
Carthaginian (Hannibal in Italy) 218-217 BC
Carthaginian (Hannibal in Italy) 216-203 BC
Carthaginian (Hannibal in Africa) 202 BC
Caucasian 320 BC - 476 AD
Dacian 50 BC - 106 AD
Galatian 280-63 BC
Galatian 63-25 BC
Gallic 300-101 BC
Gallic 100-50 BC
Germanic Foot Tribes 105 BC - 259 AD
Graeco-Bactrian 250-130 BC
Greek 280-228 BC
Greek 227-146 BC
Greek (Western) 280-49 BC
Iberian or Colchian 331 BC - 252 AD
Illyrian 350 BC - 25 AD
Indian 500 BC - 319 AD
Indo-Greek 175 BC - 10 AD
Indo-Parthian 60 BC - 130 AD
Indo-Skythian 95 BC - 50 AD
Italian Hill Tribes 490-275 BC
Jewish 167-64 BC
Jewish 64 BC - 6 AD
Kappadokian 260 BC - 17 AD
Kushan 130 BC - 476 AD
Libyan 220 BC - 70 AD
Ligurian 480-145 BC
Macedonian 320-261 BC
Macedonian 260-148 BC
Mountain Indian 492-170 BC
Nabataean 260 BC - 106 AD
Numidian or Moorish 220-56 BC
Numidian or Moorish 55 BC - 6 AD
Parthian 250 BC - 225 AD
Pergamene 262-191 BC
Pergamene 190-129 BC
Pontic 281-111 BC
Pontic 110-85 BC
Pontic 84-47 BC
Ptolemaic 320-167 BC
Ptolemaic 166-56 BC
Ptolemaic 55-30 BC
Pyrrhic 280-272 BC
Rhoxolani 350 BC - 24 AD
Roman 280-220 BC
Roman 219-200 BC
Roman 199-106 BC
Roman 105-25 BC
Saka 300 BC - 50 AD
Samnite 355-272 BC
Sarmatian 350 BC - 24 AD
Scots-Irish 50 BC - 476 AD
Seleucid 320-206 BC
Seleucid 205-167 BC
Seleucid 166-125 BC
Seleucid 124-63 BC
Skythian 300 BC - 50 AD
Slave Revolt 73-71 BC
Spanish 300-10 BC
Spanish (Sertorius) 80-70 BC
Syracusan 280-211 BC
Thracian 350 BC - 46 AD
Umbrian 490-260 BC

 There are a total of eighty-six types of historical units, and each type can have multiple variants. Battles can be as large as eighty units per side. However, the ability to play such large scenarios completely depends on your computer hardware.

 There are three tutorials:

 This is the multiplayer screen:

 This is the first screen when using the editor:

 The game is based upon the Pike and Shot and Sengoku Jidai game engine, which if you haven't picked them up, what are you waiting for? The core game has been updated constantly since release, and for Field of Glory II it has been even more enhanced. As mentioned, the original Field of Glory did have a large multiplayer fan base. The multiplayer for Field of Glory II is based upon the seamless multiplayer setup from Pike and Shot etc.

 The game plays like an ancient battle game. It is not a generic battle system where the Elephant unit is interchangeable with a tank unit. The game is immersive and you feel like you are leading an ancient army.

 Just like in the Sengoku Jidai add-on Gempei Kassen (The Gempei War), the developers have erred on the side of caution with their list of Epic (historical) battles (there being so few sources on the type of units let alone the numbers for the Gempei War battles that it comes with none). The developers have given us only twelve battles preset for play of each side (that does not include the battles in the campaigns). As we have seen, the army list is enough to let any imagination run wild. I am also positive that modders will be in full swing bringing us new historical battles; there are actually some in the works now.

 For those of us who have been waiting for a great ancient tactical game, the wait is over. For those of you still stuck in the mud of the Russian front, please explore a new horizon, and see how good this game really is.

 The following are screenshots of my feeble attempt to play the second tutorial. I eventually win in a messy and very unplanned way. The AI broke my right flank, but the battle had progressed so far on my left and in the center that it didn't help that much. I have actually been spending a lot of my playing time as Antiochus the Great at Magnesia versus the Romans.

 Per the tutorial's instructions, I have moved my lighter Italian infantry to my right and the broken hilly ground. My plan is to smash their right and center with my phalanxes and Elephants.

  My plan was working until my units were bunched up in the choke point between the hills.

 Having been playing the Magnesia scenario too much, I forgot that my heavy cavalry are not cataphracts. My right flank has crumbled.

  My one remaining Elephant unit and the phalanxes are the only things that pull my irons out of the fire.

  Two of the elephants have routed and have gone berserk. This was always the extremely fun part of ancient wargaming. One hex full of even your own berserk elephants can pretty much destroy your painstakingly created line.

 The following are three closeup screenshots of Antiochus The Great Army at Magnesia.

 The Matrix/Slitherine/Ageod lineup for the next few months is incredibly impressive. It looks a little like murderers row from 1927. You not only have Field of Glory II coming out on October 12th, but also these games coming up:

Operational Art of War IV - The name says it all.
Desert war - Who hasn't been clamoring for a desert war game?
Wars of Succession - Marlborough and Charles XII what more can you say?

 Everyone talks about the 'good old days' , but with the books and games (boardgames also) that are coming and have already been produced, this is the 'Age of The Grog'.