The Glory of Kings
The Glory of Kings (also known as La Gloire Du Roi ) is an award-winning play-by-mail game recreation of the real world of the 18th century, run by Agema Publications. Players take part as one of the leading figures of the time, who can range from King Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, down to the likes of the infamous pirate Blackbeard terrorising the West Indies. Established in 1989 The Glory of Kings is notable for the length of its games, with some games now running for nearly twenty years and for its depth of historical atmosphere and accuracy.
The game is an example of counterfactual history, allowing players to play out historical questions.
Each turn players supply written orders to the referee (known as Agema) including troop movements and dispositions, state expenditure and diplomatic activity. Players write letters to each other on behalf of their characters. These actions are bound only by historical reality, which means that the game is enormously rich in detail. In turn the referee provides players with an in-game newsletter which outlines the known activities of all players and provides a forum, as an in-game newspaper, by which players can make public statements.
Wars are fought on land and sea, and players command armies based initially on the armies of the period of the War of the Spanish Succession. The armies and their tactics develop over time as players introduce new tactics and inventions such as Carronade Frigates. Players can decide whether they want to focus on building up power by peaceful development and trade or military conquest.
Players often play historical characters such as King Charles II of Spain. Players can employ Vauban to help them construct Vauban-style Star fort or Sir Isaac Newton to help make technological advances.
Main Player Positions
Hundreds of player positions are available and the main positions include:
Some player positions are expected to be played independently (for example the Kingdom of Spain) and others like the positions in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or the Ottoman Empire are expected to benefit from co-operation with other players who are directly linked by constitution or by a single sovereign (such as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire). However whether or not players ultimately choose to co-operate is a matter for them.
There are currently seven games running. Games start in 1700 but as the game has now been running twenty years the initial games have moved on significantly. For example, Game 2 is currently in 1737 and Game 8 is in 1700, as of 1 February 2011.
Game 2 is currently set in 1737 and Prussia and Great Britain are the main protagonists. Prussia holds the crown of the Holy Roman Empire and having defeated the Habpsburgs is attempting to unify Germany. Great Britain is allied to Prussia and is providing substantial subsidies. Prussia and France have clashed in the Rhineland and are at war.
Game 8 is currently set in 1700. As the game has just begun there has been little significant military activity. However, the Ottoman Empire players are unusually united and thus potentially provide a powerful counterweight to Russia and the Austrian Habsburgs.
The Glory of Kings won the Best Historical Wargame 1998, 2000 and 2001.
- Title taken from Vauban’s book, De la Gloire du Roi au Service de l'Etat 
- Agema Publications
- Flagship magazine
- PBM website
- Flagship magazine, Issue 94, p24 .