Wargamer.com, the website of choice for discerning grognards, has reviewed Crown of Glory. Bill Gray liked it a lot more than I did. Admittedly, he left a lot of the decisions to the AI, including economic development and diplomatic activity. Maybe if I had made more use of the virtual viceroys I would have enjoyed it more, too. It seems a bit like cheating to just let the computer handle everything that isn’t all interesting, especially in a review. Did Gray understand the economic system before ceding control? Because a lot of it still puzzles me.
I don’t begrudge anyone who likes a game more than I do, especially a marginal title like Crown of Glory. Bill Gray knows what Bill Gray likes, I know what I like. And I wanted to like Crown of Glory more than I did. Gray doesn’t address the utility of a lot of the functions and his review is largely a six month play of the 1805 scenario. The mid and late game is really where the game breaks down, in my opinion, and I am curious as to what happened to Gray later on in the game. Six months in, he says that his people are clamoring for food but he’s happy in his victory. Let’s see him deal with the revolt factor and then proclaim a win.
Gray is right on that this game will provoke different reactions from different audiences. I wouldn’t worry about the “Arcadians” as he calls them; the glitz and glamor brigade haven’t heard of this game. I disagree that this is a game that would appeal to a mainstream wargamer; I even think that a lot of grognards will be annoyed by it, especially if they don’t trust the computer to make their decisions.
As always, though, the review is well written even if the conclusions are quite different from mine. I agree with Gray that Crown of Glory is a classy game. I just think that it needs a little more than that.