Thoughts on Field of Battle for New Players and Convention Games

First, let’s be clear; with players of some experience, or solo games, I like Field of Battle just fine as written.  In fact, it’s my favorite game by far!  However, the vagaries of the sequence deck can sometimes be challenging, especially when it is a long time between MOVE cards, which drive much of the game’s energy. Hence the following thoughts, which I plan to employ at the next FoB game I will be running, the battle of Eylau, February 8, 1807. 


For FoB3, each side’s sequence deck has almost the same composition:


3 Each:

MOVE
MELEE
ARTILLERY FIRE
INFANTRY FIRE
ARMY MORALE


2 Each:

TACTICAL ADAVANTAGE

1 Each: 

MOVE ONE COMMAND



Variable
1 – 3 LULL
2-4 LEADERSHIP
? 1 SPECIAL EVENT






Without unduly changing the character of the game, it could be played with small 10 card decks, with one each

MOVE
MELEE
ARTILLERY FIRE
INFANTRY FIRE
ARMY MORALE
LEADERSHIP
TACTICAL ADVANTAGE
LULL
UNIQUE EVENT
MOVE 1 [D6] COMMAND[S]

The MOVE ONE COMMAND becomes Move D6 (or it could be D4, or D8, etc depending upon the game/size), BUT the commands activated cannot belong to the same player (unless there are more activations than players, but even then no more than 2 per player). This is mostly to avoid players standing around with little to do.

For Eylau, the  UNIQUE EVENT card will be used as follows:

Each time the Russians turn the card, roll a D6; on a “1” heavy snow develops. All movement is halved, and all fire takes place at one range band farther than measures; no long range fire is possible. Once heavy snow begins, it lasts for the rest of the game; no need for any additional rolls thereafter!

For both sides, may propose a special action for any ONE unit or officer. 

GM will judge if the action succeeds, or if there will be a die roll to determine success.

Initiative:  Roll C-in-C’s LD vs LD as usual, but compare the results similar to the Initiative roll:

Tie = both sides pick up all their cards, shuffle their decks, and then roll again
Difference of  1,2 = 1 Card
Difference of  3,4 = 2 cards
Difference of  5, 6 = 3 cards
Difference of  7,8 = 4 cards
Difference of  9, 10 = 5 cards
Difference of  11, 12 = 6 cards


I have also updated the back of my QRS with a summary of the cards and their effects. 

Also, for Eylau, at the start of the game, roll for one special characteristic for each player; it may be assigned by the player to any one officer they are playing:


D12 roll

Special Effects

1

Poltroon: DOWN 1 for all Rally rolls, BUT may always withdraw at FULL rather than half speed! 

2

Epileptic: LD roll of 2 also = no move. May re-roll failed leader survival tests

3

Fabian: DOWN 1 die type for MOVE rolls (Can go down to a D6!), BUT may *always*  expend 1 segment to change facing or formation.

4 – 9

No special effects

10

Aggressive:  UP 1 die type for MOVE rolls. 

11

Charismatic: UP 1 for all Rally rolls

12

Heroic: all units in his Command Group get UP 1 in Melee while he is in charge, but roll for Leader  loss on D8 instead of D12


Blunders On The Danube