It’s been a while since I had the pleasure to return to the excellent Field of Glory II. The last time was for the Immortal Fire DLC. There have been three more released since then. This time around, I’m going to cover all three in one piece! With a plethora of additions, this piece will probably be more informational than my normal rambling and carrying on. Probably.
First up: Legions Triumphant was released March 8th of this year. This moves Field of Glory II forward five centuries and is focused on the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. You’ll also see the rise of its various enemies” the Huns, Germans, Goths, and the Sassanid Persians.
Legions Triumphant gives you ten new factions:
Nineteen new units:
|Armoured Horse Archers||Late Roman Lancers|
|Auxilia Palatina||Legio Comitatensis|
|Auxiliary Archers||Legio Palatina|
|Early Imperial Auxiliaries||Limitanei|
|Early Imperial Legionaries||Pictish Spearmen|
|Expert Armoured Horse Archers||Roman auxiliary cavalry|
|Fierce Nomad Horse Archers (Huns)||Roman Lancers|
|Fierce Nomad Light Horse Archers (Huns)||Sassanid levy spearmen|
|Irregular Foot (trousered)||Veteran auxiliary cavalry|
Plus twenty-four new army lists — two were in the free patch. However, all combined now makes the army list total 132. You could combine various strategy games, all mashed together and still not have that many armies to choose from!
There are also ten new Epic Battles…
|Adamclisi 102 AD||Frigidus 394 AD|
|Adrianople 378 AD||Hormozdgan 224 AD|
|Argentoratum 357 AD||Maranga 363 AD|
|Chalons 451 AD||Nedao 454 AD|
|Emesa 272 AD||Watling Street 61 AD|
…along with thirty-six new Quick Battles.
Finally, there are 4 new historically-based campaigns:
‘Empire of the Huns’, ‘Stilicho’, ‘King of Kings’ (Sassanid Persia) and ‘Third Century Crisis’ The ‘Third Century Crisis’ will be my first one to jump into.
For me, some of the improvements that came with the free patch are every bit as important as the additions.
First, the ability to fight on after a lost battle is huge, especially for me. You can’t win ‘em all.
You also now have the ability to name your campaign units. It makes it a thousand times easier to keep track of everyone, for me anyway, if I can name them individually. Let’s say I’m playing as the Huns and have ten squads of Fierce Nomad Horse Archers. It’s easier for me to name them each in the beginning, place them how I choose, then I know: one through four is in the west, five through seven are in the middle, etc.
There are additional enemies in sandbox campaigns, not just your main opponent. Plus, the improved the AI. The game which was already tough just got deadlier.
The maximum number of battles in sandbox campaigns has increased, with more decision points and new possible decisions and events. Evaders may suffer casualties even if they escape their pursuers.
Units not only increase in quality following victories but will upgrade to higher quality unit types when they reach the required quality. (e.g. Raw Pikemen > Pikemen > Veteran Pikemen).
Finally, there is now the possibility of what-if campaigns. You can turn off the date and geographical filters so you can set up sandbox campaigns between any two nations covered by the game from 550 BC to 476 AD. That’s well over a thousand years with 132 armies to choose from. I’ll let the mathematicians out there figure out how many possible combinations that could be — it’s a lot… being the understatement of the year.
Age of Belisarius
Next, released on June 7, 2018, was Age of Belisarius. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, Age of Belisarius moves to 600 AD. Along with playing as the new barbarian factions that arose, you can also play as the resurgence of the Byzantine Empire — which mostly upgraded its armies from infantry to cavalry — led by (mainly) Belisarius. There’s, of course, their enemies, the Sassanid Persians — along with the Hephthalites, Göktürks and the Avers, just to name a very few.
Age of Belisarius comes with eleven new factions:
Seventeen new units:
|Bedouin Cavalry (Lancers)||Dismounted Noble Lancers|
|Bedouin Foot||Indian Light Foot (javelins)|
|Bedouin Light Horse (lancers)||Indian Light Horse (javelins)|
|Bulgar Cavalry||Pre-Islamic City Arab foot|
|Bulgar Light Horse||Raw Spearmen (Dark Age)|
|Byzantine Flankers||Sabir Foot|
|Byzantine Lance/Bow cavalry||Spearmen (Dark Age)|
|Dismounted Armoured Horse Archers||Veteran Byzantine Lance/Bow cavalry|
|Dismounted Armoured Noble Lancers|
Plus, twenty-nine new army lists — which now makes the total number of armies 166. Good lord, it’ll take me years to get through all of these. A lot of years.
There are also six new Epic Battles…
|Bukhara 557 AD||Taginae 552 AD|
|Dara 530 AD||Tricamarum 533 AD|
|Raith 596 AD||The Volturnus 554 AD|
…along with thirty-seven new Quick Battles. Of course, and as always, all of the Epic and Quick battles are playable from either side.
The expanded Field of Glory II Custom Battles and Sandbox Campaigns now includes all 166 armies, so you can use any army from Immortal Fire, Rise of Rome, Legions Triumphant and Age of Belisarius.
Once again, they’ve added four new historically-based campaigns:
‘Belisarius’ (obviously, the first one I’ll play), ‘Clovis I of the Franks’, ‘King of Kings 2’ (Sassanid Persia), and ‘Rise of the Avars’.
Age of Belisarius is another monster DLC. With the resurgence of the Eastern Roman Empire, you can aid in the reconquest, obviously with Belisarius, then later with Narses, of the Vandal Kingdom of Africa. Finally, the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy and part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Spain are also included. I only thought’ Legions Triumphant’ would take me playing into the 2030s. Now, with ‘Age of Belisarius’, I better start looking at 2040 for getting through all of this.
Having just said that, on September 27th, Byzantine Games and Slitherine release Rise of Persia. Now, we go back to 681 BC. This time, we get to experience the decline and fall of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, the rise of the Median and Babylonian Empires, and the conquest of these and the Lydian and Egyptian Kingdoms by the Achaemenid Persians.
After Egypt’s powerful Ashurbanipal died, a series of civil wars broke out. After the rise of Babylonia, Medes and Lydia — with Egypt still holding its own, the entire region was divided between four powerful states: the Neo-Babylonian Empire, the Median Empire plus the Kingdoms of Lydia and Egypt. Later, of course, the Achaemenid Persian Empire conquered all of these to become the largest empire in the world — stretching from the Bosporus to western India.
Rise of Persia delivers twelve new factions:
Thirty-two units introduced this time!
|Assyrian-style Heavy Chariots||Elamite (Light) Chariots|
|Assyrian-style Cavalry||(Near-Eastern) Archers|
|Veteran Assyrian-style Cavalry||(Near-Eastern) Massed Archers|
|Assyrian-style Guard Foot||Mede Spearmen|
|Assyrian-style Heavy Foot||Early Cavalry|
|Assyrian-style Medium Foot||Unarmoured Horse Archer Cavalry|
|Raw Assyrian-style Medium Foot||Phoenician Spearmen|
|Hebrew Foot||Lydian Hoplites|
|Gibborim||Sassanid Heavy Foot|
|Hebrew Light Archers||(Sassanid) Massed Archers|
|Egyptian-style Heavy Chariots||Praetorian Guard|
|Egyptian Spearmen||Praetorian Guard (Late)|
|Egyptian Massed Archers||Greek Peltasts|
|Egyptian Light Archers||Thracian Peltasts|
|Egyptian Light Javelinmen||Massed Thracian Peltasts|
|Egyptian Irregular Foot||Thracian Spearmen|
Plus, twenty-one new army lists — which expands the total number of army lists to 191. We’re getting close to 200 now, folks. Just… wow.
Once again, six new Epic Battles:
|Carchemish 605 BC (Babylonians vs Egyptians)|
|Megiddo 609 BC (Judeans vs Egyptians)|
|Nineveh 612 BC (Babylonians and Medes vs Assyrians)|
|Opis 539 BC (Persians vs Babylonians)|
|Pasargadae 550 BC (Persians vs Medes)|
|Ulai 653 BC (Assyrians vs Elamites)|
…along with thirty-five new Quick Battles. Of course, and as always, all of the Epic and Quick battles are playable from either side.
The expanded Field of Glory II Custom Battles and Sandbox Campaigns now includes all 191 army lists from Immortal Fire, Rise of Rome, Legions Triumphant, Age of Belisarius and Rise of Persia.
Finally, they’ve once again added four new historically-based campaigns:
‘Ashurbanipal’ (Neo-Assyrian Empire)
‘Fall of Assyria’
‘Nebuchadnezzar II’ (Neo-Babylonian Empire)
along with the one that has to be my initial campaign, ‘Rise of Persia’.
Yes, that’s a chariot company’s load of new features. Sure, it could possibly at least seem overwhelming, but remember, it’s one battle at a time. Even with the incredible and lengthy campaigns, you still have to fight one clash before you can move on to the next struggle. Field of Glory II started with a lot of play and replayability. Now, it’s an absolute, supremely enjoyable behemoth. Remember how I was talking about having to go into 2040? Yeah, I better push that back a decade… or two.
Field of Glory II is available now on PC.