FIELD OF GLORY: EMPIRES | REVIEW – An Imperator: Rome Competitor?

FIELD OF GLORY: EMPIRES | REVIEW - An Imperator: Rome Competitor?



hey everybody it's party elite and today we're taking a look at field of glory empires a brand new turn-based grand strategy game set shortly after the fall of Alexander the Great's empire building itself as a bit of a competitor to Imperator Rome there are definitely some similarities before I dive in I just want to mention that I did get a free key from the developers for review purposes but as always that does not affect my opinion in any way a fact that will become evident further on in the review I think so without any more time to waste let's dive on in set during a very interesting time period with much happening across Eurasia and North Africa field of glory empires does its best to cover the most relevant regions centered around these successor kingdoms and Rome there is a short scenario you can play to get familiar with the game but the grand campaign stretches from the British Isles over to the Indus Valley and from the southern tip of the Scandinavian Peninsula down to the northern parts of the Sahara Desert seven major factions 21 remarkable factions and around 47 other factions are possible options to play as and contend against giving a fair bit of variety as far as start locations objectives and just overall replayability the major and remarkable nations are nicely handled with unique modifiers and distinguishing factors across all aspects of the game and the minor factions are plentiful but definitely a little less looked after that's not so much a ding against the game as it is just a clarifying statement while the plentiful faction count still offers differences such as start positions and situations there is a fair bit of overlapping as can be expected to this scale for quite a few of the factions multiplayer is also an option allowing you to play a turn at a time and submit so all players don't have to be online at the same time it's a good way to do it so that players have the choice of being online at the same time or not and plus the whole game works on a Wego system which means that you get your turn input you hit and turn and then all the players is turns whether it's AI or other humans they're all played out simultaneously and then you see the results now once in the game it becomes immediately apparent that there is quite a bit to manage as with all games of this nature it can a little intimidating at first but once you get used to it all it becomes second nature across the top are a few resources that are needed for running a nation money manpower metal and legacy the first three are acquired through somewhat obvious methods capturing territory building the right buildings etc legacy is obtained by completing objectives and legacy points actually determine the chance of winning the game as a whole field of glory empires is about creating an empire with a legacy whether you paint the map your color or die trying' if you have had good governance you were cultured completed all your objectives built amazing wonders and unique buildings and made the right decisions along the way you leave behind a legacy long after your empire has fallen and isn't that the best a glorious Empire can hope for not only is this an interesting representation of what really ends up mattering in the history books I like the way it gives multiple victory conditions without directly spelling it out and spoon-feeding it to the player it doesn't say build seven temples and three I don't know water mills it just says try to build some unique buildings if you want this kind of a victory capture all your military objectives if you want a military victory or do a little bit of everything and you can win that way as well a very nicely laid out system in my opinion now getting to that stage however will require a lot of work no matter what nation you start as you'll have a bunch of regions at your disposal now sometimes these regions get grouped into provinces and if you end up conquering all the regions of a province you can upgrade them to that provincial status if you'd like units are recruited on a regional or provincial level using varying amounts of gold metal and manpower and every unit has its own stats for attacking and defending alongside certain traits that affect how they behave on the battlefield where they work best compared to where they shouldn't be deployed the rate at which units are recruited is determined by your equipment stockpile and that's something made and stored at a regional level alongside a few other resources while some of these resources are shared at a national level like money manpower and metal others are used locally for various purposes like food for population growth infrastructure for construction equipment for unit recruitment and culture for well that's complicated we'll talk about that in a bit to obtain these resources you'll need to manage local construction at a regional level and you can only build one building in a region at a time it costs infrastructure per turn to build and your choices are actually randomized while this randomization can be frustrating at times like when you urgently need a specific building to take advantage of a decision or to recruit mercenaries I do like the implication of local politicians getting involved in you having to pick from their suggestions I do wish there was a way to override the RNG with an extra expense that might be a nice way of doing it because I found myself annoyed at missing options often enough for it to be well it definitely left a mark in my mind when I'd often find myself needing a certain building for a certain decision or they get mercenaries and it just wouldn't pop up no matter how many times I would try to refresh the stack of cards that I was dealt so yes while you are able to reshuffle the suggestions you have to spend a few turns in limbo and even then there's no guarantee you get what you want there's an interesting degree of management when it comes to the building construction thanks to a few limitations placed beyond the RNG as well you can only have a maximum number of buildings equal to your current population that population changes over time of course growing with food surplus and the population has its own needs that need to be fulfilled by the building's you choose to make oftentimes running counter to what you might need at a national scale at any given time for example do you ensure that the people are well-fed and healthy do you provide cultural buildings that help reduce unrest change local ethnicity to your own and also help you gain more legacy points do you focus on infrastructure so that the future constructions are faster do you focus on the economy through commerce and resource gathering or do you work towards more metal and manpower and equipment so you can march larger armies against your enemies faster and that's not all population actually has to be assigned to the various categories of buildings so you can't just build whatever you desire and expect it to just work you have to balance the work force as well food and sanitation fall under the same category and military and infrastructure fall under the same category as well while wealth and culture related structures have their own categories each so smaller cities will really require some specialization but as cities get larger you'll be able to meander between the categories a bit more comfortably the decision-making is further compounded by the trade aspects of the game while not entirely involved trade does exist as a bit of a secondary factor and its automated nature actually means you have to be a bit more cautious about what you build and chase after as you can see some buildings work at their best when they have access to certain special goods trade goods are either locally available in a region available from an adjacent region in your empire or imported from elsewhere if none of these options are available the building's you construct will still work but it will drain your economy by charging you thrice the trade price of the goods I suppose that's to imply an expensive long-distance trade deal going on either way you'll want to keep an eye on the types of goods you're producing the types you're importing and the types are exporting yes you can make money through trade as well of course your armies and navies meanwhile will require their own degree of decision-making not only will you have to pick and choose the units within the army based on traits and stats and the battlefields they're about to fight on you'll also have to choose suitable generals and make the right call for composition again based on where an army is headed different regions have different front line widths and stacking 20 of your most elite melee units into one army in a front line that's four units wide isn't going to do you any favors heavier units will require metal to recruit and maintain while lower tier units only cost gold for the same yet another thing you'll have to balance as you move from region to region either fighting wars against other nations or fighting local independent tribes you'll have the option of watching the battles play out seeing all the dice rolls in action or you can simply see the end result if you own field of glory – you can actually fight the battle yourself but I'll give you more details on that later even though the battles are automated I found it quite satisfying when you get the army composition just right different regions have different frontline widths like I was saying earlier they also have different terrain types and range units engage first potentially applying fatigue to the enemy but for behind the meili lines who then proceeded to engage and cause additional fatigue damage alongside hit point damage to the unit across from them so if you manage to match your army composition to the frontline widths and the terrain type of multiple engagements in a row before you hit and turn you get the joy of watching the dice God's work with you rather than against you it is a great feeling growing your nation through war and battle is of course a core part of the game but even here you have to be careful growing too quickly increases your decadence a representation of your nation being so full of itself and its successes that it starts to burst at the seams picture it as resting on your laurels basically I think it's really interesting to see decadence modeled like this you're forced to balance it against culture pacing your growth and ensuring that newly conquered regions are properly pacified and kept happy lest a civil war break out apart from that the ratio between your decadence and culture levels are compared to the same ratio for all the other factions in the game those who have a higher ratio with more culture than decadence will prosper those who have a lower ratio will age slowly crumbling away to be forgotten by history this prospering and aging is represented through tokens that are given to nations that find themselves in the highest and lowest ranks of this list and won enough tokens of either kinder gained a nation will either decay or while prosper what happens depends entirely on where a nation stood before attaining enough tokens in a worst-case scenario there might be civil war in the best case scenario a new better government type might take hold and usher in a new era perhaps a golden age so warring is all well and good and Empire management seems to be quite an interesting and intricate beast – what if diplomacy and interacting with other nations well this is the part of the review where we start to talk about some of the low points of the game diplomacy is something I've always found intriguing it's all about nuance and it's often about being clever things that AI is perhaps not the best at or perhaps it's just really difficult to code it well and so many games dance around diplomacy most grand strategy games have diplomacy filled mediocre it rarely is it any good really and field of glory empires Falls square in that exact same spot diplomacy feels like it was never really a core mechanic I'm sure there are a handful of options that you have when speaking with other nations and sure the potential outcomes are calculated based on past actions but I mostly felt that the diplomacy was pretty plain nothing special nothing to write home about but it's there and it works with that said it is nice to see that the AI actually pursues diplomacy rather actively often I'd get requests for cooperation or alliances that I'd never chase after myself unfortunately the most common use the AI seems to have for diplomacy is to declare war almost every campaign I played had me flung into multiple wars more or less instantaneously and in at least in one case I had war declared on me by a nation that had just one turn prior asked for a cooperation treaty which was really weird and I get it it's a game about war but this swiftness to war makes things feel a touch narrow it's like the game has a little bit of tunnel vision at times I enjoy empire building I enjoy choosing the right structures and trying to become an economic hub or a cultural center if you're familiar with the channel or if you're in our discord you'll often hear me talk about about my interest in playing tall rather than wide I always want to see choice in games and tall versus wide in my humble opinion should be a core choice in any strategy game that involves empire building now sure even a tall campaign involves war but when three neighboring nations declare war on you at the same time while you're playing a small city-state without the resources to recruit units you don't really feel like you have much of a choice other than focusing on military might as soon as possible at all times I quickly started to feel like this game is just a vessel to take you from battle to battle which really is too bad because I enjoyed the empire building concepts concepts that feel like they only really start to matter later in a playthrough so maybe it's just a matter of getting through those early stages where it's war on all fronts and then it becomes about Empire management at a really large scale the big thing though on top of all of this is that battles aren't even played they're just dice rolls and again that's fine or at least it would be if it didn't have this whole weird tacked-on situation where if you owned a completely different game in the franchise you could actually play the battles perhaps the strangest decision here is to exclude tactical battles from the game now let me be clear when I say strange I mean bad in order to play a tactical battle you have to export the battle from field of glory empires open field of glory to a $30 game from two years ago that you might not own play the battle export the battle results open field of glory empires again import the results and continue your game the exclusion doesn't make sense and the pseudo inclusion bothers me because it makes field of glory empires feel like a marketing scheme for an older game if you're literally just playing the older game when fighting I don't see why they couldn't just lift that part of the game and attach it to the new one that's certainly not a good option either don't get me wrong but it's definitely better than requiring a second purchase it basically becomes DLC $30 DLC $30 day one dlc now even if you already own the game the process is cumbersome and completely breaks the flow of gameplay and this really is too bad because again I enjoyed the tactical battles I played you have to think about your maneuvers plotting flanking opportunities organizing units and maintaining morale I've been told it's very representative of the tabletop game it uses as source material now unfortunately all that goodness isn't really a part of field of glory empires so all that goodness has to be ignored for the purpose of this review and instead we get left with a sour taste of clever marketing in our mouths I believe this issue is easily fixed however and I sincerely hope the developers do so a quick patch to include battles into this game will instantly make it a much better purchase for those of you that care for playing those tactical battles there are many other strange issues that crop up from time to time in a game that are more like minor bothers more than anything moments that break the flow of the game or a scene like oversights every time a turn ends for example your with a screen that shows you how the different factions have moved up or down the rankings while it's good to know where you sit in faction rankings because of how directly it influences your faction status through the token system I always felt like having this screen was awkward and flow breaking I'd much rather have the choice to review it myself whenever I wanted rather than be forced to see it in this awkward way it's a it's a UX flaw and again UX is something I used to do for a living so I can be hyper critical of it sometimes I apologize I guess now that's a minor offender compared to battles that lasts more than one round yet another UX flaw because of how battles are auto resolved any battle that lasts more than one round is divided into multiple little battles each round has two to four phases ranged units fire and fallback potentially dealing fatigue damage then melee units engage across from them then any unit able to flag get some flanking attacks in and in the battle either ends in a draw or the winner pursues the loser causing some more damage every round is this same method rinse and repeat not only does this not make sense because why would melee units disengage to allow ranged units to fire again but it's also very cumbersome in how its executed forcing you to enter the battle screen accept the result and enter it again and again and again now of course you are able to skip the actual visual element entirely but it's not just about the visual elements the game itself recalculates range units effects stacking them on top of the results of the previous rounds like I said earlier it just doesn't make sense from a in-universe perspective and it's also just a little weird is the best way to put it because it doesn't make any sense and again just like this can be a disadvantage you can use it to your advantage as well once you realize how the game calculates these battles again in a way that doesn't make any sense once you accept that and you start metagaming a little bit you can use it to your advantage I guess I'm just not comfortable with the idea of having to metagame i much prefer role-playing and it's unfortunate when my army compositions have to be based off of how the game works which seems like it should be the obvious way but when the game doesn't mimic reality that's where it starts to bother me melee units wouldn't just disengage too skirmishers to launch javelins again it just doesn't make sense now from an audio-visual perspective we have a bit of a mixed bag here I think the music is spot-on it's actually it's fantastic it fits the themes and the moods and there's really no room for complaint here the sound effects are mostly okay as well although battle sounds can get a little grating it's very repetitive and at times the sound effects stack to create what can only be described as a nails on chalkboard effect from a visual perspective the game is nothing to write home about unfortunately I think the UI is okay and information is communicated clearly enough for the most part but the actual 3d game world feels a little mediocre now visuals are not the most important thing of course and I wouldn't call the game ugly it just feels a little dated I feel like there's definitely room for added Flair with the battle animations and some of the information is presented in a slightly maybe abrasive way I suppose that colours don't really match nicely the font selection really clashes it's a little weird it's a little mishmash II at times and really it's kind of unfortunate more than anything else also not sure what category to slot this critique under but some of the writing really misses the mark and when it's such a text heavy game where flavor comes through the writing it can get in the way of immersion and mood building a little bit and it was quite unfortunate you'll do something great or another faction will send an insult your way and it reads rather chizel II rather than in an epic sort of I'm building an empire type of way so just little immersion breaking again it's a bit of a nitpick but it's something that matters to me more often than not has anybody who frequents this channel will know I'm not the type to give numerical scores for reviews I think they can be a little arbitrary and they often lead to irrelevant comparisons between irrelevant games instead I look back on my time with a game and judge it based on whether or not I had fun it took me a while to get into the flow of things with field of glory empires but once I did I really started enjoying it Empire building is a lot of fun with lots of things to manage as your Empire grows bigger and bigger and while factors like trade and diplomacy aren't focal points they are present enough for the type of game field of glory empires is trying to be population management unit recruit and building management are all very easy and pretty clearly communicated most times I would say and the costs and benefits are always outlined and that streamlines the decision-making process a lot without making it feel dumbed down which is a very easy rabbit hole to get into now battles are the big miss here while there's fun to be had in nailing composition to match the battlefields and whatnot their reliance on a separate game to play the turn-based tactical battles means one thing and one thing only to me at least it was a feature that was excluded if you don't care much for fighting battles that works out just fine and in all honesty I did enjoy the game just fine without the battles but if you want the extra tactical element you'll have to shell out an extra 30 or so dollars for a separate game and go through an extremely cumbersome process on top of that neither of those things sit well with me really kind of bothers me and I don't understand the decision and that's the biggest ding in my opinion sure the audio-visual experience is all right at best and the writing is a little off at times but the interesting ideas such as legacy culture and decadence mixed in with interesting population unrest and empire management systems makes for a pretty fun game worth a handful of playthroughs at least in my opinion now it could use some significant variation between some of the lesser factions at times but there's definitely fun to be had here I certainly enjoyed my time with it and I intend to play it quite a bit more especially once I got into the flow of things and I realized oh this is how all the systems come together it's really nice to see how when all the puzzle pieces come together it all starts to flow smoothly it all makes sense and you start having a lot of fun with the game so overall I hope you found this review of field of glory empires to be helpful is it an Imperator Rome killer no I wouldn't go that far but it is certainly a good competitor and if nothing else paradox needs some competitors in the sphere where they've kind of dominated and created a bit of a monopoly I would say now there are some interesting concepts that are very well executed a few issues here and there with just the one big problem in feature exclusion which may be the make or break depending on what you care for as a player again if you do care for the tactical battles this is a Miss if you don't care for the tactical battles and you want a good Empire in game this is actually a hit and I was enjoying it quite a bit as always make sure you subscribe to the channel for more strategy gaming reviews previews Let's Plays and more I'd like to give a big thanks to all of my patrons and channel members for supporting the channel on a monthly basis of course a big thanks to all of you for watching as well and until next time Cheers

20 thoughts on “FIELD OF GLORY: EMPIRES | REVIEW – An Imperator: Rome Competitor?

  • The Successor Kingdoms Era: Battle Royale – two games enter, only one leaves. But which one is the winner? Let me know your thoughts on Field of Glory: Empires if you decide to pick it up! Especially if you also picked up Imperator: Rome.

  • Random guy buys Warhammer II, and finds out he has to buy another $60 game (+$75 in DLC) to play the grand campaign of Mortal Empires. Just saying. But remember, as you said at the start of video, this game is competing against Rome: Imperator where you don't have the choice to fight the battles (not Rome II or any Total War game).

  • A game with content? Nice. Hate waiting years for Paradox to finish their games. Wish Slitherine would revisit the Distant World's series.

  • Seeing how you are faring in the ranking is critical to surviving and winning the game, you need to know whether it is safe to attack a few regions this turn or not, or if doing so will push you down the ranking into a worse type of status that may lead to your country falling apart.  Especially  Later in the game you want to look at that ranking every turn to see what you can get away with the next turn in terms of can I spend a little less on culture or can I safely conquer a few more regions or will their decadence kill me?

  • You get a discount if you buy both games.  Going from one game to another is a simple and quick process that is very reliable.  If you haven't played Field of Glory 2 then you're probably not interested in this game, either, since they are both set in the ancient world and there aren't any spaceships or tanks.  Empires adds a lot to Field of Glory in that you get some very interesting armies and match-ups that you would not get in Field of Glory.  Field of Glory also improves Empires by forcing you to use ancient tactics and armies whatever method you use to resolve battles – and the huge variety of armies possible with in Field of Glory makes the Empires armies so much more interesting.  Using these ancient armies also means you benefit from using balanced armies that can work in any terrain (in either game) rather than picking one super troop type.  Field of Glory gamers will love this game and if you don't want to fight out the battles using Field of Glory you don't have to – generally I only do it when there's a chance I could lose or the battle looks reasonably balanced.  However you do it the translation forward and back between the games is reasonably quick and painless and the battles are a delight to fight out that way  if you have any appreciation of battle tactics.  Why should Empires develop its own tactical system when Field of Glory already has one and when Field of Glory can provide all the details you need of what must be hundreds of different troop types that you can build?   Having said that, watching and waiting for a result in Empires often predicts the result in a Field of Glory game fairly accurately.  You can't export games if it's a siege or a multiplayer game.

  • The more I look at this game, the more I want to buy and play it while waiting for Imperator to get itself together. But again, won't buy until they add more detailed diplomacy and such.

  • Had Alexander survived and turned west as he planned, Rome never would have been a thing. Crazy to think how one man's bout with a sudden illness shaped the fate of the entire world.

  • Which grand strategy games have detailed tactical battles? None. We have been left with Civ type battles for years. That is okay for most people because they are more interested in resource management and grand plans rather than the nitty gritty of battles at the tactical level. For the first time, FoG Empires gives you the choice to use FoG 2 for tactical battles. These games are made by different developers and it is a great idea. Many people won’t export battles, anyway. Some of my friends are just going to do it for big battles and that makes sense to me.

  • You miss the point entirely with respect to tactical battles. The game is self contained as it stands and has the quick battle option. If you have FoG II and want to fight out a much longer or critical battle it is your option. It is done quite simply with, I think 3 clicks at most. Now OTOH if this wasn't offered day one, folks would be happy this option was added and few if any folks would complain as the added utility would be lauded. I can't imagine exporting more than a few battles during a campaign due to the length and involvement of those battles. I love the built in battle mechanic shipped with empires – as melees are resolved down the line hoping that you win the melee match ups as they occur. Missile equipped units would fire the entire battle so allowing them to do so in separate rounds makes absolute historical sense and from a thematic sense as well.

    This review I can make an analogy – is like holding up an Orange and saying its a bad Apple. They designed a game with set a philosophy and it may be not to YOUR taste, does not mean it is a less of a game for others…. No game is for everyone and I get that. Graphically it looks great in my book and is better than many military strategy turn based wargames. I will take high quality game play over graphics 6 days a week and twice on Sunday as the pretty game will be shallow over time and removed from my computer much sooner than the game what while not a wonderful looker, has me coming back for the quality of game play. Verdict on your review 7.0 out of 10. Eye candy alone makes not a game.

  • I don't know that I'd call exporting/importing battles an "extremely cumbersome progress". Its fully automated and takes less than a minute to go from one game to another.

  • The in-game battle system is based on the writings of Sun Tzu, "Win the battle first, then fight it." So you don't need to spend a penny on FOG2 to fight an interesting, challenging battle. If you do a recon of the enemy region defensiveness, garrison, leader and faction modifiers (know your foe) and assemble a well balanced force of trained soldiers lead by a good General suited to the terrain with ample supply (know yourself), then yeah, it's just really "meta-gaming". It's also not weird that one day's battle ends in a draw and then the armies fight a new battle on a different day, starting over from the beginning with ranged fire. One turn is after all an entire year. I hope that you do another review once you learn how to play the game.

  • The $ exploit to make you buy 2 games is understandable (they are a company with people to pay), but what is less forgivable is the clumsiness of the interface that results from that revenue strategy. At least they should have got that right and the transitions be seamless. Hopefully they are working on a combined version and/or a better interface.

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