Field of Glory: Empires is a brand new turn-based strategy game developed by AGEod and published by Slitherine Software. We know that Slitherine Software is not new to the genre of historic battle games and their past few titles such as the Field of Glory II have been really good. To me, these history battle games have thought more history than any history class in my school. Field of Glory: Empires is their brand new game in the franchise and this is our review of the game.
Field of Glory: Empires is a brand new direction for the franchise as it brings some brand new mechanics into the mix and after playing the game, I can say that they have made the game even better. On the larger scale, you have to focus on three main things of your empire which include your army, civilization development and people in your civilization. You have the option to choose from any of the whopping 70 factions and begin your journey of conquest.
You have the entire land starting from Ireland to India to conquer or make friends. The game is set in the 310 BCE, 10 years after the death of Alexander the Great. Civilizations are now getting ready to expand their territories around the globe. In the East, you have Alexander’s successor’s fighting for their own cause while in the West, Rome is starting its journey towards becoming the biggest civilization in the world and is at war with Carthage.
This is where it gets interesting. You can either pick a major faction which is already established and has a strong military and naval establishment along with some allies as well. Or, you can opt to begin your journey as a small civilization who is not known to anyone and slowly and very gradually work your way towards tackling the biggest nations on the map.
This is where Field of Glory: Empires shines the most as it gives you the complete freedom to pick your path. I tried doing both in which first I chose Rome and then I went for a modest faction which only had one region to themselves called Aethopia. When you pick a larger faction, naturally you would think that you would be pretty powerful and no one would be strong enough to challenge but that is all wrong.
The major factions will have their own problems to tackle in the game while the smaller factions will have their own problems. With the bigger factions, you will always be at war with someone because other factions are always looking to expand their territories. You can get allies on board with you to make your presence bigger however why make them friends if you can simply take them over. Growing and reaching the highest civilization is simply not enough here.
You must always be evolving and making your civilization better. The hardest part of the game is to maintain a civilization that has reached the last stage of its development. At this stage, you will be required to manage both the battles as well as the decadence of your civilization. If you fail to maintain discipline, your empire can fall apart as civil war will begin, tearing down your empire.
This just shows the level of micromanagement that you have to do in the game. There is never a stage in the game when you can simply just ignore one or two mechanics and focus on the other. However, since the game plays out in turn-based scenarios, you can have as much time as you would like in each turn.
You can easily manage every time according to your own will even if it takes hours however once you complete the turn, you can only change certain aspects until the remaining factions of the map have played their turns as well. You must always be looking out of your civilization as well as inside it to ensure that no one is trying to weaken it.
Most of the turn-based strategy games or even real-time strategy games today focus on improving the games visually and technically so much that they end up missing out on so much content. Field of Glory: Empires is not going to impress you much when it comes to visuals and mechanics. However, what it lacks in shine, it makes up in content. The game is absolutely huge and there are tons of things that you have to micromanage in order to survive the onslaught of civilizations.
The battles are also pretty boring to watch as everything is simply calculated based on your army’s stats and your opposing faction’s stats. However, there is a neat mechanic in the game where you have the option to export the battles to Field of Glory II and play the battle in it more tactically. However, you must own Field of Glory II for that and that means that you will be required to switch between the game as well.
However, there is a very important aspect to note here. Even if you export the battle and play it yourself in Field of Glory II, the results are heavily dependent on the stats from Field of Glory: Empires. I tried taking on a really strong military unit of 35 units with a small group of soldiers and I tried to use some sneaky tactics however none of them worked. I ended up losing my capital to my biggest rival and I was forced to restart the whole game because I was left with no army.
Another important thing to note here is that not all battles are supported by Field of Glory II. You can play most of the battles in this mode but not all are supported so this is more of a bargain. The process is very smooth if you own both the games. You simply use in-game commands to switch between the two games. After the battle is over, you can simply import the results into Field of Glory: Empire and go back to micromanaging your own civilization.
To advance to the next levels in your civilization, you will get different objectives and if you manage to reach your objective, you will get Progress Tokens. At the end of each level, the game will show all the nations and factions in a report where it will show whether a faction or nation has advanced in the previous turn or has gone back. This is a very handy screen if you want to know what is happening around you including your own civilization.
Along with the military management, you must keep a stern eye towards the happenings inside your civilization as well. Keeping your people happy is very important and this task gets harder and harder as you continue to expand in the game. As you grow bigger, you will get tougher challenges that will sometimes force you to delay certain attacks or defenses in favor of your people’s welfare. This is something that you will be faced with quite often in the game and you will need to decide between the two.
I will heavily recommend that if you are just starting with the game, go through the tutorials. There are no tutorials in the main game that could walk you through your initial stages in the game. The AI will absolutely chop you down right from the beginning and the game will simply laugh as you lose your capital and later as well when the entire existence of your civilization is wiped off the map. Play the tutorial and get up to speed with all the detailed game mechanics.
On its core, Field of Glory: Empires is a brilliant turn-based strategy game that is simple to look at but is very complex and deep when it comes to gameplay. It will not win any awards over its visual details however it is certainly a solid strategy game with tons of micromanagement features and an exceptional level of detail when it comes to managing your own civilization. The game is pretty demanding and requires every last bit of strategy that you can come up with to ensure your survival in the most brutal era of human history.
Gone are the days when reaching the top meant that your worries are over. Field of Glory: Empires teaches you that reaching the top spot does not mean that you’ve made it. The level of complexity and the details put into the game make it indeed a grand strategy game. Buy it at your own risk because Field of Glory: Empires is addictive and it will keep you occupied for hours to come.
Final Score: 9/10