Slitherine’s latest video briefing contains both heartening and disheartening news. Although Field of Glory 2 won’t be getting any more DLCs (“We’re actually thinking that FoG2 is kinda… finished”), the Crusader Kings-style meta game the Epsomites have in the works promises to keep FoG2: Medieval fresh and sought after for years to come.
While AGEOD tackle the development of Field of Glory: Kingdoms, FoGfather Richard Bodley Scott is working on another project “in the Field of Glory realm” that Slith aren’t ready to unveil just yet. Could that project be the Napoleonic spin-off that some series fans hanker for? It seems not. Somewhat surprisingly, Marketing Director Marco Minoli rules out a Nineteenth Century FoG on the grounds the theme simply isn’t popular enough – “You’ve got a lot of people interested in Napoleonics, but there are not enough to justify the development of a game.”
Eight years ago, Marco was much more enthusiastic about Bonapartian diversions. Talking to Pocket Gamer in 2015 he stressed the importance of innovation in game publishing and pointed out that “Slitherine released five Napoleonic games this year to mark the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, which means for the first time ever WWII is not our best-selling game”.
Judging from my 2018 review, MtG’s prospects were scuppered by serious mechanical flaws not setting. I enjoyed VGN much more, but low-profile, board game-like, and lacking a Coalition play option, it was never going to be a smash hit.
To this digital wargamer, Matrix/Slitherine’s new-found coolness towards Brown Besses and bearskins, Grognards and Grande Batteries, makes little sense. Chart-toppers like Total War: Napoleon, Imperial Glory, and Cossacks prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that punters will flock to 19th Century battlefields when designs are strong. A wargame specialist such as Matrix/Slitherine effectively turning its back on one of military history’s most colourful and fascinating chapters, isn’t something I had on my 2023 bingo card.