One of my most hit postings is one of my shortest. I think it's because it has "wargamer" and "Christmas shopping" in the labels. I think it might be spouses in search of inspiration for gifts for their partners thrashing around the internet in vain. In any case, the post has very little of use in it. This one might be different.
I play ancients, with figures. That much is clear from the blog. I also play board and card games and I like Martin Wallace at Treefrog's designs and have played test versions of numerous of his games at CoW. This Christmas he has several games out, one of which should make the perfect stocking filler for the wargamer.
He's done a card game version of FoG. It's a two player game which will play in less time than a typical game of FoG, and is small enough to fit in your pocket. So very convenient for those moments when you can't actually get a game in because you don't have figures/space/time. At only four pages the rules are really manageable as well. Especially if you've mastered FoG.
Martin's done a really good job of making a card game that works like a figure table top game. It's based round the 2nd Punic Wars, but I would guess that if it proves really popular it might be possible for other decks to be produced. Some of the cards represent terrain features making up the battle field, and then each player gets their own deck to build their army. The cards represent both units and also the resources needed to get them into battle. (BTW the card art is really, really nice as you'd expect from a Slitherine approved product).
Regular readers will know I'm a glutton for different and ingenious rules mechanisms. This has both of them. It has a good mix of the simply abstract and the clearly historical. You have to make decisions about how to deploy your army, eg light troops are easier to deploy in difficult terrain. This is a historical situation. The process by with the game enforces this is abstract.
I haven't played the final version yet (it was previewed at CoW this year, and has only just been released). However it's very definitely on my Christmas present list.
One final thought, - because of how it works it might make a good "entry game" to get people from general games into table top games. Cards are deployed like units. Being in depth and outflanking your opponents is physically represented by the laying of the cards (ie where they are is as important as what they are) which crosses over into figure gaming. It might also be a good way of resolving campaign battles with a minimum of fuss.
Buy a copy. It'll cost about £12. You can buy it from here:Treefrog - FoG. The price is quoted in NZD (Martin Wallace lives in New Zealand now) but the exchange rate is pretty good and the orders are despatched from the UK.
Go on. Get one. It's fun.