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Subject: GLORY BE!...or...to Berg or not to Berg,that is the question... rss

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Steve Arthur
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On going American Civil War based activity on the forum plus a 10 year love affair with Shelby Foote's fabulous three volume history has finally prompted me to try and obtain one or two Civil War gaming titles that deal specifically with the battles as distinct from other large scale campaign games (I already have VG's The Civil War)...I don't want anything too big and super-detailed or too simple and superficial...recently I was offered the opportunity to acquire a couple of the games in the 'Glory' series designed by Richard Berg which on the face of it seemed just about right in scale,that is around about brigade level...I also liked the chit draw system used by Mr.Berg in Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812 that seems similar to that used in the 'Glory' games...before I make my decision,however I would like the educated opinions of my fellow Geeks on this series or any other American Civil War battle games at about this level of scale and complexity...
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Eric Brosius
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I'm a big fan of the Civil War Brigade Series.

One title that really works well is Three Battles of Manassas. Check out my review:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/183843/two-rookies-slug-...
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Magister Ludi
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I highly reccomend the 'Great Campaigns of the American Civil War' series, with the latest release being ' Battle above the Clouds'. Whilst mainly focused on the campaign, most of the games in the series have numerous small battle scenarios.

Before I got into this series my knowledge of the ACW was effectively zero...the system provides a great operational feel.
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Rev. Mark Fischer
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Berg's system has been developed over several decades and it is simply the best... the key is for the player to develop a group of others to dedicate the time to play through a battle or two. It will in the long run pay huge dividends... gaming is about relationships with others...
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Steven Bucey
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To expand on what Mark said the original Glory rules have been developed with the release of later games in the series so that there are some differences between Glory, Glory II and Glory III, but the later games give information on how to back fit them and it is not difficult (less than a double spaced page, or so, if I recall). I do like this system a lot (I have all three though I have only played the battles from Glory I).

Quote:
the key is for the player to develop a group of others to dedicate the time to play through a battle or two.


I think game length only really becomes an issue for those in Glory II and III, which cover very large battles -- the battles in Glory I are not so long that you couldn't play them in a long afternoon.

The Civil War Brigade series is an excellent series, but, if I recall (again, there's my memory issue) it requires "written" orders to be executed each turn so I'd strongly suggest getting an introduction before buying your own copy -- it's not to everyone's taste and certainly is not for those who's gaming buddies have rules lawyer tendancies.

Also note that the Great Campaigns of the American Civil War series covers campaigns, as the name implies, not individual battles. Again, they are very well done, but I just wanted to make sure you understood they where at a much higher level than your original question suggests you are interested in.

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Mike Owens
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I reviewed Glory III here.

I found Glory to be worth the deeply discounted prices you can find online these days.
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Ben Delp
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If you're buying a Civil War game(s), you must have a Gettysburg game in your collection. That's the law. And Thunder at the Crossroads (second edition) II is that game.
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Jon
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Nice to see that you are enjoying the Foote books. I too like to combo wargames and books. In fact, I picked up the habit playing Terrible Swift Sword: Battle of Gettysburg Game while reading some fantastic works on the subject. The nice thing about having the US Civil War as a point of interest is that there have been a plethora of great books on it detailing the battles and personalities involved.

I would guess that the Berg games from the GBACW series would be too detailed for what you are looking for. They are at the regimental scale, so the bigger battles take some effort. They are great fun though and are amongst my favourite games.

Although I have not played them, I would say the same applies to The Gamers/MMP RSS games. Same regimental scale with the written orders from the Brigade series.

Keep an eye out for the release of (and subsequent buzz about) The Guns of Gettysburg. I highly doubt it is a solo game, but I have his earlier works and enjoyed them. I advise that you let the initial hype slacken a bit though to see what more folks think about it before deciding if it will suit your needs.

Good luck with your search.
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Kurt La Botz
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I think I plated it when it was Terrible Swift Sword I would have to check a fun game
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Bob Mosdal
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I think the recommendations for the Civil War Brigade series are good.

The designer, Dean Essig, has been working on a refinement of the Regimental sub-system called "the Line of Battle Series." There is a pre-order up now on Multiman Publishing's (www.multimanpublishing.com site for the game "None But Heroes" which will cover the battle of Antietam. Should prove to be a quicker more accurate design and will be backwards compatible for exist regimental games.
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Pete Pariseau
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Atraxrobustus wrote:
at about this level of scale and complexity...


Glory is hard to match complexity-wise. None of the alternatives suggested above are comparable. The Civil War Brigade series is significantly more complex than the Glory series. Great Campaigns of the American Civil War is also more complex than Glory and its follow-ups. Terrible Swift Sword is more complex. All provide good gaming, but not similar complexity.

If T&G/Borodino is the rules-weight you're looking for, I'd go with Glory III, which is a bargain at etailers and GMT both right now. The new Decision Games redesigns of the old SPI ACW folios may be a good alternative when they become available, but I haven't seen the rules yet.

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Stephen Harper
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Capt_S wrote:
Nice to see that you are enjoying the Foote books. I too like to combo wargames and books. In fact, I picked up the habit playing Terrible Swift Sword: Battle of Gettysburg Game while reading some fantastic works on the subject. The nice thing about having the US Civil War as a point of interest is that there have been a plethora of great books on it detailing the battles and personalities involved.

I would guess that the Berg games from the GBACW series would be too detailed for what you are looking for. They are at the regimental scale, so the bigger battles take some effort. They are great fun though and are amongst my favourite games.

Although I have not played them, I would say the same applies to The Gamers/MMP RSS games. Same regimental scale with the written orders from the Brigade series.

Keep an eye out for the release of (and subsequent buzz about) The Guns of Gettysburg. I highly doubt it is a solo game, but I have his earlier works and enjoyed them. I advise that you let the initial hype slacken a bit though to see what more folks think about it before deciding if it will suit your needs.

Good luck with your search.


Earlier this year I re-read Shelby Foote's trilogy as I was solitairing For the People. I can truly understand how that would fire up your interest in ACW.

You should at least take a look at the GBACW series. While Terrible Swift Sword is a large game, there are several other smaller battles (Pea Ridge, Kernstown, Cross Keyes, Port Republic, plus several that were S&T magazine games) that are much more manageable, and IMHO this system is the most enjoyable at the regimental, or perhaps it might be called "grand-tactical", level. The system is a good fit to the Foote books, and gives a good flavor for the period.

I guess that the only drawback is that most are OOP. But they might be easy to find in the used game market.
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Hunga Dunga
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Eric Brosius wrote:
I'm a big fan of the Civil War Brigade Series.

One title that really works well is Three Battles of Manassas. Check out my review:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/183843/two-rookies-slug-...

This would be my choice, too.

More of the flavor of the ACW than Glory.
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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Peter Pariseau wrote:
The Civil War Brigade series is significantly more complex than the Glory series.


I don't think it's more complex, but I'll agree that it takes longer to play through a given battle in CWBS.
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Steve Arthur
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Thanks everybody for your incisive comments...like the other Australian guy above I knew virtually nothing about the ACW for a long time...what first got me going (and I suspect lots of other non-Americans) was Ken Burns wonderful doco which led by natural progression to Shelby Foote's books...I was aware in the old days of the TSS series of games and the old SPI quads but they never really piqued my interest for some reason (probably because there were no tanks involved)...Burns,Foote and BGG has now changed all that...and hence,my post
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Rich Trevino
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I would have been a fan of the Glory system, would have bought all the games (Napoleonic as well) but for the fact that the one most important factor of gunpowder era combat has been left out-- attrition. Attrition of either strength OR morale.

I'm not talking about counting the loss of every 50 man increment, or four different morale states. But even Across 5 Aprils had step losses in the combat results table. Without attrition of some sort, a game will play like a session of bumper cars, no matter the amount of chrome.

I have high hopes for the new "folio" system from Decision Games. These games won't require an understanding of rocket science to play, but at least force casualties upon brigades locked in combat:

http://www.decisiongames.com/html/chickamauga.html

And Berg might be adding step losses to the Napoleonic Glory system in his upcoming "1813: GLORY'S END:"

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@531.2YfObhPOgG9.78@.1dd4...
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Tom Stearns
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Hey Steve,

I own about 9 CWB series games and 1 regimental series game from The Gamers and Dean Essig. I have owned some of Berg's earlier ACW games, but none of his Glory system. Even his early games used chit draw and I never really liked it. CWB is not a hard system by any means. I think it is very well designed, very sensible. I like the written order system. It prevents perfect reactions and perfect moves. Orders may be lost, delayed, misunderstood. Once orders are accepted, new orders are required to get the unit to do something different. Really requires some planning. I have played this system ftf and solo and it shines either way. These are the same guys Steve that designed the Ardennes game you are trying to acquire. Anyway that's my 2 cents.
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Mark D
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Across 5 Aprils has five battles which vary in size from Small (Bull Run 1, Pea Ridge) to Epic (Gettysburg) and it isn't overly complex.
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Steven Bucey
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Quote:
Across 5 Aprils


Ick. I know a lot of people like it, but I find chit pull for sequence of play produces some results I can't accept.
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Steve Arthur
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cratex wrote:
Quote:
Across 5 Aprils


Ick. I know a lot of people like it, but I find chit pull for sequence of play produces some results I can't accept.


Oh...how so?...I've found the chit pull system surprisingly good in Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812 as a way of imparting some uncertainty and a sense of simultaneousness...or is it used in a different way in '5 Aprils'?..
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Steven Bucey
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Quote:
Oh...how so?...I've found the chit pull system surprisingly good in Borodino: Battle of the Moskova, 1812 as a way of imparting some uncertainty and a sense of simultaneousness...or is it used in a different way in '5 Aprils'?..


Oh, no. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

In Across Five Aprils, it is the Sequence of Play that is chit driven, not formation activation. You'll have a chit for "blue attack", a chit for "gray Move", etc.

So, he is an example of how it works. We are playing Second Bull Run. Your Confederate units are defending the rail road cut. We pull a "blue move" chit and, since I know the "blue attack" chit has already been pulled but the "gray attack" chit is not, I move my Union troops right up next to your units -- note that it is a MOVE only chit, so not only am I not required to attack you but I can NOT attack you -- I need a "blue attack" chit for that. We pull another chit, sure enough it is the "gray attack" chit, and you are then faced with the very annoying situation that your gray units MUST attack every adjacent blue unit...a FAR better situation for me since now I don't have to attack you while you are entrenched...

Sorry, it doesn't work for me.

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Mark D
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In fairness there are plenty of ways to House Rule it so you don't end up doing a dance in game. There's a lot of suggestions on how to in the A5A forums.
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