Thursday, 1 December 2011

Fields of Battle: What's in the box?

During several recent trips to my FLGS (Orcs Nest in central London) I have found myself being drawn to Fields of Battle: Miniature Battle Rules for Castles and Crusades.  Unfortunately I like to know what's in the box (or book) before I buy it and scouring the internet for photos drew a blank.  Well here is a box content photo for those of you who may be thinking of making this purchase.

Fields of Battle Box Contents
Fields of Battle - Box Contents
As you can see the bulk of the content is made up from cardstock counters, wilderness battlemat sheets and the beautiful papercraft siege engines from Fat Dragon Games. The rules are contained in a slim 48 page book. Potential buyers may be turned off by this plethora of cardstock, particularly if they are intending to use this as a wargame with their own miniatures, but this would be an injustice.

I'll admit that this is probably a niche product, but I see it coming in veru handy as an adjunct to a regular RPG campaign session. I know that in my own games I have written storylines where PCs are involved in mass battle events, either as a group of fighters in a particular unit or in defending a castle from a siege assault.  RPG combat systems don't cope well with this scale of combat yet it is a quintessential part of almost every work in the genre which we use as our inspiration for our games.

The usual cludge is to focus purely on one or two encounters within the battle and your players will have no appreciation of the scale and in many cases will not have any impact on the battle as a whole.  Fields of battle attempts to bridge that gap by introducing a variant of the Siege Engine system which allows your Castles and Crusades PCs to get directly involved in the battle and their players can see the whole battle rather than just the tiny vignette you may have otherwise created for them.

In essence I just can't see myself carting around hundreds of heavy miniatures in order to stage a battle as part of my regular games session, whereas slipping this box into my backpack opens up a whole new scale of combat for my players.


  1. Orcs Nest are anything but friendly! They have a very good roleplaying range tho, and that's the only thing that stops me from recommending that you switch your FLGS to Dark Sphere, down by Waterloo. They have some roleplaying resources but sadly are focused on miniatures games and card games.

  2. I've been to Dark Sphere and It's as you say dominated by Miniature Games like War Machine and Flames of War and CCGs and I can't say I was particularly impressed with it to be honest. Orcs Nest has its flaws but its range is excellent and it makes a nice walk at lunchtime when I also visit The Cinema Store, Forbidden Planet and Fopp which are all quite close together.