Forge of Freedom

2006 JUL 25 - Matrix Games Announces Forge of Freedom!

Western Civilization Software Revisits the American Civil War

Matrix Games and Western Civilization Software ( are pleased to announce that later this summer they will bring a new American Civil War strategy game based on the Crown of Glory engine to gamers around the world. More than seven-score years have passed since the start of this conflict that pitted state against state, brother against brother and broke the chains of slavery. Forge of Freedom gives you a chance to relive history from either side in a work of grand strategy.

Forge of Freedom: Features and Snapshots



Western Civilization Software presents:

The year 2005 marked the 200th anniversary of the start of the Napoleonic Wars, the commencement of one of the most gripping decades in human history. It was an era that saw cobblers become princes and emperors become exiles, an age of legendary diplomats and brilliant tacticians. In our flagship product, Crown of Glory: Europe in the Age of Napoleon, the player controls one of the crowned potentates of Europe in the Napoleonic Era, wielding authority over his nation's military strategy, economic development, diplomatic relations, and social organization. It is a very thorough simulation of the entire Napoleonic Era - spanning from 1792 to 1820, from the dockyards in Lisbon to the frozen wastes of Holy Mother Russia.


Matrix Games Signs Western Civilization’s Crown Of Glory

Matrix Games and Western Civilization Software are pleased to announce that they will be bringing the Napoleonic-era strategy game Crown Of Glory to gamers around the world. Two hundred years after the start of the Napoleonic Wars, Crown Of Glory gives you a chance to change history as the ruler of a nation.

David Heath, Director of Operations for Matrix Games stated, “Crown of Glory is truly a revolutionary game for the Napoleonic genre. The designers and developers have left no stone unturned in realizing their vision of historically immersive and exciting gameplay. Even if you’ve never looked at a Napoleonic game before, don’t miss this one!”

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Crown of Glory:
Europe in the Age of Napoleon


Crown of Glory wins the Charles S. Roberts Award
for Best Pre-20th Century Era Wargame for 2006
Consim World CSR Winner Archives
Matrix Games CSR News


Crown of Glory wins
Readers' Choice Bronze Award for 2005!

Crown of Glory has won Wargame of the Year
from the newsgroup War-Historical!

GamersHall has given Crown of Glory a silver award:

"A marvelous classical War-Game
of strategy and tactics mixed with depth."




Scope of the game covers all of Europe and North Africa from 1792 to 1820.

Main map is divided into more than 200 provinces. There are eight national powers from which players may control, and more than 90 minor powers controlled by the computer. The national powers are France, Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia, Turkey, Spain, and Sweden.

Turns at the strategic level correspond to one month of game time; turns on the tactical level correspond to twenty minutes of game time.

Players control military, diplomatic, economic, and social aspects of their nations. This includes such activities as drafting and ratifying treaties; offering and accepting trade routes; moving and assigning activities to diplomats; levying and supplying military units.

Troops are controlled at the division level and can be arranged into corps and armies.

A wide diversity of troop types is implemented, including: light and Jager infantry; cossacks and cossack cavalry; heavy and horse artillery; howitzers; guerilla infantry; Janissaries; merchant ships; diplomats; frigates and privateers. There are more than thirty types of units in all. Units have individual strength and quality (morale) ratings that are determined by the level of barracks and dockyard improvements in the province in which they were created.


At the player’s choice, battles can be resolved either by quick combat or by detailed combat. In quick combat players make the choice of the initial placement of their units, and then the battle is quickly resolved. Detailed combat is a comprehensive battle simulation.

Some of the features of detailed combat:

Hex Map. Detailed combat is resolved on a hex map 50x50 hexes in size. The map uses a full complement of terrain -- heights, forests, mountains, deserts, rivers, bridges, roads, villages, swamps, marshes, tall grass, mud: drawn using more than 800 tiles arranged in four layers. The map is dynamically generated at the beginning of each combat based on the terrain features found on the map of Europe and also the population levels and developments found in the province in which the combat occurs.

Turn Based Tactical Rules. Detailed combat is turn-based. Each turn units are assigned an initiative rating and then proceed to act in order of initiative. Units attached to a corps have a significant initiative advantage and also have the advantage of acting on the same initiative segment as the other units in their corps: this allows them to move as a group without risk of having their movement interrupted by enemy divisions.

Fully Detailed Combat Simulation. There is as much detail in this tactical combat as there is in the strategy-level of the game: supply, weather, morale, fog of war, zones of control, formation, disordered and shaken units, fatigue, facing, leadership, time of day, terrain, and fortifications are all modeled in depth.

Night Turns. Night turns last 90 minutes game-time; during the night all units have their sighting reduced to one hex.

Weather Effects. Weather can vary from turn to turn – for instance, rain might clear up periodically throughout the day, or a clear day might be punctuated by a brief flurry of snow.

Special Unit Abilities. Special types of units, such as guerillas, Jager infantry, and howitzers, have unique abilities in detailed combat. For example, guerillas can bypass zones of control and have special rules regarding terrain; Jager and other light infantry have increased performance when fightin in, entering, and leaving skirmish order; howitzers can fire over friendly units; light infantry can avoid the charge of a regular infantry unit.

Beautifully Rendered Animated 3D Units. Over 13,400 frames of units graphics.

Excellent Sound Effects. Over 100 digitized sound effects put the player into the thick of the battle: horses braying, men cheering, cannons roaring.

Eagles. Units can “lose their eagles,” making it much harder for them to rally.

Fresh Units. A unit begins a battle “fresh” which provides a significant attack bonus when the unit delivers its first attack of the battle.

Command and Control. Units have a chance to "misinterpret" orders given to them. Units engaged with other units in fierce fire fights may be pinned in combat and unable to respond to commands..

Smoke! Realistic looking battlefield smoke accumulates on the map wherever there is intense fire-fighting. Smoke has an effect on visibility and on combat values. Smoke gradually drifts and dissipates according to prevailing weather conditions.

Other Unit Specialty Orders. Units can deploy and recall skirmishers, split into half-sized units, attempt to form impromptu squares when charged by cavalry, capture enemy artillery and caissons, surrender, retreat from the map, and be ordered to force-march.

More Than Seventy Historical Military Leaders Simulated. Military leaders are attached to divisions in the detailed battle and augment several aspects of their division’s performance in such aspects as: movement, morale, rallying, formation involutions, and cavalry actions. Some military leaders possess “special abilities,” such as Lord Wellington’s ability to allow infantry to resist cavalry charges, Michel Ney’s propensity for routing defending units in a charge, or Marshall Murat’s greater chance of re-forming disordered cavalry units. Leaders begin the combat attached to a random division within their assigned army or corps but may be re-attached to any leaderless division within their current unit’s movement range. Leaders are also rated from one to four stars indicating the extent of their command.

Complex Morale Model. Morale rules are structured to allow a smaller force to win a battle if it can prevail in a quick set of localized victories and cause a cascading loss of morale in the larger sized force. Guard units -- elite infantry units -- are a tactically important factor as the presence of guard units helps to bolster the morale in a localized area of combat.

Military Upgrades. Performance of units is modified by the technological and training upgrades that are possessed by their controlling nation. There are more than fifty different upgrades, such as: march training, skirmisher training, esprit de corps, elite guard, flanking tactics, and efficient foraging. Most of the upgrades improve the performance of units in both the quick battle and detailed battle segments of the game, though some augment performance on the strategic map or make modifications to the nation’s economic performance (such as levee en masse.) Nations begin a scenario with a pre-determined list of upgrades, which give the units belonging to each nation a distinct flavor. A nation that builds or captures increasing levels of barracks improvements can qualify for additional upgrades. In this way, players over time customize their nation’s military performance.

Reinforcement Rules. Players can call reinforcements from adjacent provinces. In a detailed battle these reinforcements arrive slowly over many turns. (Reinforcements may also be called in a quick battle.)

Powerful Artificial Intelligence. The artifical intelligence (the AI) used for the computer controlled units is finely tuned to use all of the options available to it. The AI maximizes along both local and global parameters so that AI controlled units not only seek to find the best target but also coordinate with units around them to attempt to break and rout enemy units as quickly as possible.

Playing Time. A moderate sized detailed battle takes about 30 minutes real time for the player to resolve. Larger battles at the climax of a campaign may take several hours of real time to complete.



Types of Resources. The game employs a robust economic model. There are a dozen commodities, including: money, labor, horses, food, iron, timber, wool, wine and luxuries.

Economic Parameters. Players not only control national level parameters such as tax rate, feudal dues, and military readiness, but they also control economic development at the provincial level, allocating labor and building improvements in ten areas of development: defensive guns, walls, roads, barracks, banks, culture, farms, factories, courts, and shipyards. Each of these improvement areas has ten possible levels of development.

Banks and Loans. Nations can take out loans on which they must make payments each month. The lending rate is proportional to the number of wars in which the borrowing nation is involved plus the total number of wars declared overall.

Food and Population Growth. All resources of a nation are kept in a single national pool with the exception of population, which is tracked at the provincial level. A nation must provide food resource to maintain and increase its population and also to feed armies in the field. Population decreases when new military units are built and slowly increases over time, provided that sufficient food is available for population growth.

The Reinforcement Pool. A player manages his nation’s reinforcement pool by setting the level of draft, the age range of men drafted, and the training time for new draftees. Population factors are removed from provinces to make men available for the reinforcement pool. When a nation’s military division loses strength factors, men are drawn from the nation’s reinforcement pool to help restore the division’s strength.

Repairing Damaged Ships. Ships have a maximum of 10 strength factors; they rebuild strength by resting in port provinces, and their rate of healing is proportional to the level of shipyards in the province.

The National Morale. A player manages his nation’s aggregate mood – the nation’s National Morale – by providing his people peace or victory, and luxuries to keep them happy. A nation whose National Morale dips too low experiences production loss, insurrection, rebellion, riot, and is eventually forced to sue for peace.

Trade Routes. Trade is an important activity in Crown of Glory. Players can propose to set up trade routes between their provinces and provinces controlled by other players, including provinces controlled by the minor countries. Trade routes can be disrupted by treaties, political action, military action, diplomatic pressure, and the presence of privateers. Players can voluntarily break trade routes once established, though penalties are applied for doing so.

Merchant Income. Players also gain monetary trade income by placing merchant ship units in sea zones outside of port provinces. The player controlling the merchant ship and the player control adjacent ports both gain income from the activity of merchant ships.

Colonial Income. Nations also maintain an abstract level of colonies not represented on the map. Colonies may be exchanged between nations as terms of treaties. Colonies provide monetary and spice resource income. A nation's colonial income is blocked when its ports are blockaded, and since much of the colonial income arrives over land through the Middle East, the player who controls Egypt can deny his enemies some of their colonial income.


Many Computer Controlled Neutral Countries. The nations of the game vie for control and support of more than ninety independent countries. Many factors affect the attitude of the minor countries toward the player-controlled nations. A country can become a protectorate of a nation or can be conquered by it. Protectorates maintain semi-autonomy: they maintain a separate economy and spend their resources as they see fit, however, their military units are controlled by their protecting nation. Countries can become protectorates through various mechanisms: military threats, diplomatic intrigue, or through the overwhelming influence of a national power.

Customizable Treaty Proposals. Players design treaties to propose to other players using a treaty editor that allows players to create treaties from a palette of more than twenty-five clauses. When a nation surrenders to another nation the victorious nation can impose a terms-of-surrender treaty upon the defeated nation. A treaty need not be bilateral but may include any number of nations in the clauses it proposes. Examples of treaty clauses are: pay reparations, transfer colonies, lend unit, lend province, pledge of defense, embargo, enforced alliance, feudal reformations, share supply depots, arms limits, scuttle ships, remove general, and terms of surrender.

Breaking Treaties and Secret Treaties. Players can choose to break treaties (except terms of surrender) but pay steep penalties for doing so. Players can also propose and ratify secret treaties – treaties that are known only to their signatories. The penalties for breaking a secret treaty are only half the penalties imposed for breaking a public treaty.

Diplomatic Options. Beyond treaties and trade, players have a number of diplomatic options for dealing with other nations. Players can declare war – though there is a delay of one turn between the declaration and the start of the war -- or they can make an ungentlemanly sneak attack and begin attacking immediately. Nations can suspend hostilities by offering a cease fire. A defeated nation may offer either a full or limited surrender. Nations can choose to violate the territory of other nations and countries, trespassing on their territory, though this is a casus belli that allows the offended nation to declare war without penalty. A casus belli is also provoked simply by massing troops along the borders of a non-allied sovereign nation.

Total War. Nations may also declare total war on another nation -- the bold move of declaring another nation's government null and void. In this case there is no surrender, except by the capitulation of the aggressor. The nation targetted by total war bitterly resists, receving additional support from its own populace, and it gains the sympathy of the other nations in Europe.

Control of Computer Controlled Allies. A human player who gains allies among computer controlled nations can attempt to coordinate strategic movement with these allies by suggesting rallying locations to the computer controlled players.

The Great Diplomats. Players also control the great diplomats of the period – Tallyrand, Metternich, Hardenburg, Caulaincourt, etc. The diplomats are capable of more than a dozen special tasks, such as spy, delay battle, charm, malign enemy, propaganda, pressure peace, trade stop, foment coup, and organize insurrection. Each diplomat has three statistics – espionage, influence, and law – that determine how adroit he is at accomplishing each of the diplomatic tasks.


Game Play

Game play at the strategic level is structured around a simultaneous turn: players issue orders to their units during the order phase; during the subsequent move phase the orders are executed simultaneously in six sub-phases.

Movement Rules. Units move using unique movement rules. Each movement has a percent chance of success – the initiative of the movement – that is determined by factors such as weather, types of units moving, terrain, presence of generals, roads built in the province, moving through friendly or enemy territory, and whether the unit has been order to force march. During each sub-phase of the move phase units attempt to move by making the initiative check associated with their next move; a unit that fails its check on a sub-phase fails to move for that sub-phase.

Special Unit Orders. Units can be ordered to force march. This increases the initiative of the unit when moving but decreases its combat readiness should the unit engage in combat during this turn. Armies and corps can be ordered either to seek battle or to attempt to avoid battles.
Units can be ordered to pillage a province. This provides supply to the unit but decreases the attitude that other nations and countries have toward the pillaging nation. Pillaging has a chance to destroy improvements in the pillaged province, and a pillaging nation also has a chance to steal artwork and thus lower the culture rating of the victimized province and increase the culture of one of its domestic provinces.

Cities. Each province has a city unit attached to it. The city acts much like a stationary corps, to which military divisions can be garrisoned to maintain control of a province.

Siege Warfare. Military units outside of a city garrisoned by enemy units automatically besiege the city if they began the turn located in the enemy controlled province. Corps and armies can be ordered to execute one of three types of sieges: starve the city, attack the walls, or charge the walls. Each type of siege has certain strengths and weaknesses: for instance, charging the walls can capture a city quickly but at a huge cost to the attackers, whereas starving the city is more of a slow but steady sieging technique. Port cities are much harder to capture unless they are also blockaded by naval units hostile to the port city.

Fleets and Port Attacks. Fleets of ships can be ordered to attack enemy ships in port. All ship combat is resolved using the quick combat interface.An attack on a port provides significant bonuses to the defending player.

Blockading Ports. Fleets can be ordered to blockade an enemy port. A blockaded province suffers significant economic penalties, income to and from adjacent merchant ships is lost, trade routes may not pass through the port location, and its city is much easier to besiege.

Naval Combat. Ship combat determines the weather gage before battle (the attacking player has a slightly increased chance of getting the weather gage); having the weather gage provides the player with an outright combat bonus and also gives him movement bonuses and significant initiative bonuses. Fleets victorious in battle capture a proportion of destroyed enemy ships as prizes, using these to re-stock their depleted ship strengths.

Interception. Fleets have a chance to intercept enemy fleets passing through adjacent sea zones.

Retreat and Prisoners of War. Divisions that lose a battle attempt to retreat to an adjacent province not occupied by enemy troops; failing this, they surrender and are captured as prisoners-of-war, to be returned to their rightful nation’s control when they are liberated or when the war comes to an end. Similarly, military leaders can be captured and held as prisoners-of-war.

Achieving Imperial Status. A nation that achieves a certain level of conquered provinces, protectorates, or colonies can elect to declare “empire” status. An empire receives a decoration to its national flag graphic wherever it appears and receives several military, diplomatic, and economic bonuses. A nation that no longer qualifies for imperial status suffers harsh penalties as the status of empire is stripped away from it.

Supply Chains. Players must supply their divisions either through foraging or by maintaining supply depot chains. Supply depots are very expensive to maintain and thus players must plan their deployment very judiciously.

Weather at the Strategic Level. Weather conditions are simulated on the main map – storms; rain and heavy rain; snow and heavy snow; floods; etc; and are indicated by an animated rain or snowfall graphic. Weather affects initiative ratings and combat. Severe weather can destroy supply depots and leave units unsupported.

Strategic Fog of War. The main map also uses fog-of-war so that players cannot see too deeply into foreign controlled provinces.

Reports. There are many report windows that the player can pop open to inspect the details of the previous turn in such aspects as events, income, supply, production, battle, rumors, and treaties.

Special Events. There are special events sprinkled throughout the game, for instance: the Vatican could request a contribution from a nation; paying the contribution increases the attitude with the Catholic minor countries whereas refusing weakens this attitude. When National Morale falls too low your nation's citizens may begin to riot, staging insurrections, riots, and rebellions.

Rumors. One of the reports to which the player has access is the rumor report. Randomly each month players will receive bits of information – which are most likely true but may not be true – concerning things which would normally be secret information, such as troop locations within the fog-of-war, enemy units under production, the existence and nature of secret treaties, etc. Furthermore, in a multiplayer game players can spend a diplomatic action to attempt to plant false rumors, though there is a chance they will get caught doing this.

Full Power Multiplayer Support. Robust multiplayer options are supported using Microsoft’s Direct Play: play by internet, LAN, play-by-email, serial or parallel connection, or hotseat. Find online opponents at the War Room on the Matrix Games' Crown of Glory forum.

Complete Spectrum of Scenarios. Players can choose among a handful of starting scenarios corresponding to different starting years; the standard campaign runs from 1805-1815. Other choices range from 1792 to 1820. The 1820 campaign employs greater balance between the powers and allows nations total control over customizing the technology and training upgrades with which they start the game.

Advisors to Automate Aspects of Play. Every major aspect of the game – trade, diplomacy, treaties, production, labor, troop movements, fighting battles, etc. – has an associated advisor. Players can activate advisors to deal with aspects of the game that they wish to ignore. Even when an advisor is activated players can, to some extent, override their decisions with specific actions.

All for the Glory. Nations play to accumulate score called glory. There are more than twenty ways to gain and lose glory: winning battles and conquering territory, having high levels of culture and happy people, importing or producing ample luxuries. Additionally, each nation has a list of political interests – a list of provinces which they either want to control or do not want to see fall into enemy control. If a political interest is met then the nation receives a glory bonus each turn -- or a penalty if the interest is one they want to avoid.