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Subject: Richard Berg, I Could Kiss You rss

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David G. Cox Esq.
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Glory



The Battles of 1st & 2nd Manassas and Chickamauga
Designed by Richard H. Berg
Developed by Gene Billingsley
Published by GMT Games (1995)




In general, I tend not to enjoy tactical wargames. I’m not sure whether I dislike them because I am not very good at them or if I am not very good at them because I dislike them.

At this point I think I should make two things abundantly clear. In the first place I actually really enjoy Glory – it makes me salivate. On that note I should add that were I to give Richard Berg a kiss, it would be done in a very manly way.

Anyway, my preference in wargames is operational and strategic games. I am more interested in fighting wars than fighting battles. There are several reasons for this. I am more interested in the big picture than in fine details. I am not interested in the technology of war – it seems to me that most people who prefer tactical games actually have an interest in things such as muzzle velocity, weapon range, armour penetration and other such minutiae. Also, particularly when looking at simulations of battles the scope and scale of the games has either been very bland (such as in the Blue & Grey system from SPI) or excessively detailed so as to require copious book-keeping and cause headaches (such as the GBOTCW system, also by SPI).

Lo and behold, I recently acquired a copy of Glory III in a trade and was so impressed by it that I went searching for, and was able to purchase, copies of Glory II and Glory.

Glory is a beautifully designed and produced brigade-level simulation of the battles of First Bull Run, Second Bull Run and Chickamauga. The system is truly delightful. All the mechanisms that drive the game are totally believable and intuitive. The battles develop in such a way that the each game creates its own narrative.



Aspects of Glory That Are So Good That Even My Arrows Quiver With Excitement

1. The Rules Are Short – this is a positive aspect of the game. In my younger days I enjoyed reading rules for complex wargames but those days are long gone. Glory has 8 pages of rules. The five scenarios are detailed in another 8 page booklet. The rules are easy to read and fairly easy to understand.

2. The Scenarios Give Variety – this is another positive aspect of the game. First Manassas has a fairly small number of counters, is quick and easy to set-up and takes about 3 hours to play. The Second Manassas scenario has more units, is a three day battle and can take up to seven or eight hours to play. Chickamauga was a two-day battle. Glory allows you to refight either of the two days or even both days. Consequently it should take between four and nine hours to complete, depending upon which scenario you go with.

3. Alternate Play Systems – there are even four different ways of playing the rules. The four systems are very similar but allow for differing degrees of control/chaos.

4. Great Components – the maps are clean, attractive and functional. Most of the counters are large, representing infantry brigades. There is a small number of smaller counters representing cavalry, artillery and general markers.

5. Artistic Verisimilitude – I like the system as, besides being fairly straight-forward, it is strongly laced with realism.



Activation Markers

One of the key elements of the game is the use of Activation Markers. Most brigades are colour-coded to a particular commander. Each commander has two activation markers which are drawn from an opaque randomizer or a coffee mug. This means that you don’t know the order in units will be activated. This helps create battlefield chaos where you don’t have total and complete control over your troops.



A Game Turn in Detail

Step 1 – Roll For Initiative: at the start of every game turn players each roll a d10 and the high roller has the initiative for that turn. This means that they get to select one of their activation markers as the first activation of the turn.

Step 2 – Filling the Cup of Fate: At this point in time the other activation markers are placed into an opaque randomizer. The number of markers that go into the cup will depend upon which Play System you use. In the Standard system all commands get to use two activation markers each turn. I prefer to use the Historical Reality Method where the number will vary from scenario to scenario. In First Manassas, for example, each command gets one activation, AND the US player selects two commands that will receive a second activation while the CSA player gives a second activation to four different commands. There are two other system to choose from – the Igo-Ugo Method which takes away a lot of chaos, and the Overall Command capability Method which adds a great deal more uncertainty into the battle.

Step 3 – Activation Phase: apart from the first activation of the turn which is deliberately chosen by the player with initiative, the order in which units are activated is random. This means that some units may have two consecutive turns. As the turn will end when there is one activation marker remaining in the cup, there will be one command which will only be activated once during the turn. I really like this system and think that it creates realistic command control problems on the battlefield.

When a command is activated artillery units may fire. Artillery can fire at long-range. Next units may move – except for artillery that fired. Artillery that fire do not get to move as well. After movement, infantry units of both sides fire at adjacent enemy units. When firing is complete, active units that are adjacent to the enemy and have not become disrupted may charge. Finally, disrupted units that did not fire or move during the turn may attempt to rally.

One of the optional rules that I like is that of Commitment. When using this rule, units to move adjacent to enemy units and to charge must roll a die and compare it to their commitment level – if they pass they act – if they fail their movement ends. Another interesting aspect of the game is that the units commitment level will vary during the game depending upon which of their two activation markers have been drawn from the opaque cup of fate.




Fire & Movement


I won’t go into much detail here. All that you need to know is that it is not complicated. There are no Combat Results Tables as such. When you fire or charge you just roll a die, check a small number of modifiers and see what the effect is. Movement and stacking are also very straight-forward. When you play this game you really feel that you are manoeuvring your troops and you don’t spend much time reading the rules or checking the tables. This game flows like the mighty river upon who’s banks two of the battles were fought.



Aspects of Glory That Are So Bad That I Cringe At The Very Thought of Them


At this point in time I can think of nothing in the game that displeases me. The game components and the game system make playing this game a joy.

If I was to make a criticism of that game it would be that I think the rules should have been personally signed by Richard Berg.


Come on Richard…pucker up!




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I request a post-kiss session report.
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The play's the thing ...
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Going thirty-eight, Dan, chill the f*** out. Mow your damn lawn and sit the hell down.
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Glad that you enjoyed Glory III. I thought it was a good game but the battles didn't grab me. Glory on the other hand looks like a lot of fun.
 
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Dear Mr. Berg,

If you fail to get Glory I and/or Glory II re-published or at least P500'd over the next calendar year, we won't make you kiss da pyrate.

Otherwise, pucker up! We are going to "ship" da pyrate your way....shake



No, seriously though. We will.
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Alexander Meyer
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Be a prince and kiss the Sleeping Beauty already. Then everyone in the castle will wake up and will continue work on the next installment of 'The Ancient World' series (Hannibal!). I am waiting ...
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Chris Drake
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Are you sure that is Richard and not Meathead from All In The Family?
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David G. Cox Esq.
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Gamesmeister99 wrote:
Are you sure that is Richard and not Meathead from All In The Family?



Fairly confident. whistle


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Doug Adams
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Eww for the title. RHB and I parted ways a while back, but I've always had a soft spot for Glory and Blackbeard (the first one!).

Nice review.
 
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Steve Herron
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I wonder too why Glory and Glory II has not been on the reprint list? There has been no word about The Crimean War Glory game that was in the works. Me, I would still like to see a Glory series having Gettysburg and Shiloh.
Richard Berg reminds me of my wife's brother-in-law.
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Eugene
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da pyrate wrote:
At this point I think I should make two things abundantly clear. In the first place I actually really enjoy Glory – it makes me salivate. On that note I should add that were I to give Richard Berg a kiss, it would be done in a very manly way.

Let's hope that doesn't involve lots of saliva.
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David G. Cox Esq.
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garygarison wrote:
da pyrate wrote:
At this point I think I should make two things abundantly clear. In the first place I actually really enjoy Glory – it makes me salivate. On that note I should add that were I to give Richard Berg a kiss, it would be done in a very manly way.

Let's hope that doesn't involve lots of saliva.


Real men don't use a lot of saliva...blush


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Andy Daglish
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da pyrate wrote:
garygarison wrote:
da pyrate wrote:
At this point I think I should make two things abundantly clear. In the first place I actually really enjoy Glory – it makes me salivate. On that note I should add that were I to give Richard Berg a kiss, it would be done in a very manly way.

Let's hope that doesn't involve lots of saliva.


Real men don't use a lot of saliva...blush


I was thinking, Mr Berg could have his beard and moustache shaved off live online for charity, by NYC's best gentlemen's hairdresser, and THEN we kiss him. Possibly in uniform.

its all in a good cause....
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Carl Paradis
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The Glory series is one of my favories. imple, fun, quite realistic.
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Eugene
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da pyrate wrote:
Real men don't use a lot of saliva...blush

A testament to our maturity that we've all practiced the restraint to riff on the title of the game in question.
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David G. Cox Esq.
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Rob Ryan wrote:
The use of activation chits ruined the game for me. Glad somebody enjoys the system but frankly not impressed with this one...


So, did you use the Ugo-Igo rules system where each turn you put two US and two CSA activation chits in the cup and when you draw yours you move all of your troops?

 
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da pyrate wrote:
garygarison wrote:
da pyrate wrote:
At this point I think I should make two things abundantly clear. In the first place I actually really enjoy Glory – it makes me salivate. On that note I should add that were I to give Richard Berg a kiss, it would be done in a very manly way.

Let's hope that doesn't involve lots of saliva.


Real men don't use a lot of saliva...blush


Didn't think the game was called Morning Glory... shake
 
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Rob Ryan
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da pyrate wrote:
Rob Ryan wrote:
The use of activation chits ruined the game for me. Glad somebody enjoys the system but frankly not impressed with this one...


So, did you use the Ugo-Igo rules system where each turn you put two US and two CSA activation chits in the cup and when you draw yours you move all of your troops?



based on the comments on this thread (ok some of the comments...ignoring the bits about kissing) I have decided to give this system another go. It has changed some since I first played Glory I and ...I was able to order Glory III for $19 (+$11 dollars shipping..ouch) from wargamers depot...
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Nigel Twine
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sherron wrote:
There has been no word about The Crimean War Glory game that was in the works.


It was mentioned - fleetingly - by Berg himself when he was a guest on the "Guns, Dice & Butter" podcast recently. I`ve been trying to find out more details (as I`m itching for a good Crimean War game) but I can`t find anything anywhere.
 
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Rob Ryan
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Go check out Consim world forums, post a message under Glory or (I can't recall) there might be an entry for the crimean game already...
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Nigel Twine
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Thanks. Good idea! I`ll go and have a look around.
 
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