An annoying review - Frogs & Wogs by Richard Berg - and my possible ban from CSW Social

I have finally decided to voice my disapproval/dislike for a certain review.

Whilst I am typing this, I am still trying to work out exactly how to word this post, without making myself look silly or as bad as the reviewer.

Maybe the best way is to list the issues I have with it, and then, once others have read it, they can comment as to whether or not I am making more of this than I should.

1. Frogs - for me this a little type casting/stereotypical phrase to to refer to the French. If I were French, I would feel a bit aggrieved at the use of this word.

2. Wogs - Very much a racist word these days and really has no place in a review for a war game. I know in years gone by it was not seen as a racist word, but that was a long time ago.

3. The first paragraph, he seems to want to do a little bit of British/English bashing (I am not too sure if he can differentiate between British and English!), which really does not bother me, but he seems to think that he knows that enough of us British/English feel superior to everyone else. If that is how he feels because of possible conversations with British/English people or by other means, then I would love to know who from, as I have not yet come across anyone in my country who feels how he has described

In case you have not noticed yet, he also seems to have had a slight mix up with words. He constantly refers to the "English" in this paragraph. Unfortunately, this is wrong, as it should have been the "British", since the Act of Union in 1707 brought together the Kingdoms of Scotland and England.

Not that I give a shit as far as how big the British Empire was, but he has also shown that he does not like the fact that the British (not English) Empire was the largest Empire by 1920, and that this is a claim mainly placed in British history books.

What has he got against the British? Why disrespect the French and use a Racist term in a game review?

My conclusion of this man is that he is just full of hot smelly air which comes out of his arse, and if I get banned from CSW Social for this post, then I really do not give a shite, as I have had to air my grievance over this awful bloody review.

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Comment by Jerry Tresman on February 22, 2016 at 8:00am

I was very surprised by his Review and  any opinion of him as been updated. I think it shows some sort of complex , ego yes  and he clearly believes his own publicity. 

If 230 + years on  and many many generations ago he  feels aggrieved that  North America was once part of a British colony then I would say he is out of touch with reality.  

I have noticed English are stereotyped in American popular Media but even that is beginning to change. Surely any one who has studied any History over the last two hundred years would no better , I think he is just doing it for effect and his own self indulgence. 

Certainly the History books state the British Empire was the largest 18th Century to early 19th century empire the age of Sail and Steam and probably in population.

In many ways it points to his general ignorance and there is no excuse for publishing blatant racist rhetoric, even by those who delight in being offensive. 

If he can be so inaccurate ,insulting and incorrect then he certainly doesn't deserve air time. 

Comment by Roger Morley on November 9, 2013 at 5:16pm

Ha ha never know....or sin binned

Comment by Kurt Keckley on November 9, 2013 at 4:24pm

Banned?  What do you think this is, BGG?

Comment by Roger Morley on November 3, 2013 at 4:08pm

I have a couple of his games, and these were bought before I really learnt more about him.

As far as his reviews, I do not find him witty at all, not unless you class sarcasm as wit, but as we all know, it is the lowest form of wit. He also tends to be very scathing, which can be rather unpleasant.

I maybe mistaken on this, but it was said to me that the word "WOG" actually meant Western Orientated Gentleman, which meant that someone, asia or black, being dressed like their white counterparts. In the olden days, WOGS may have been a term of endearment, but these days, especially in the UK, it is an offensive term. In America, there is a famous word to describe a black person, which may have been acceptable a long time ago, but is really frowned upon now.

But on another level, he seems to want to "have a go" at the British for some reason, and he seems to think he knows how a lot of us Brits think. He could not be more wrong even if he tried.

I do not know anyone who has bragged about how great Britain's History is, or the fact the Empire was the biggest in history (and only just!). Even the British media do not dwell on this, or miss-lead anyone on anything that happened in the past.

I have read a few of his reviews, and have recently had the pleasure of seeing him blow his own trumpet on a number of posts on Facebook - only to be put down by many other people.

He sees himself as always being right, and everyone else is wrong, and sometimes comes across like he feels himself to be omnipotant- and that he is not, regardless how many games he has designed.


Comment by Jack Radey on November 2, 2013 at 9:57pm

Are you familiar with Richard's work?  As a game designer he was quite talented, though I have not been following the field for many years and have no idea if he still designs or is still showing talent.  But his reviews... RBROG was famous.  For one thing, Richard is quite witty, not as over the top as, say, Charles Vasey, but very clever at expressing himself.  If you designed for a company who published Richard's stuff you might get a positive review, albeit a not notably well informed one, but it would be clever.  If you were published elsewhere, god help you.  The consensus among designers and publishers I was friends with was that Richard seldom seemed to be very familiar with the games he reviewed; it certainly looked like he hadn't actually played them.  But he would scan through quickly and find material to make cutting witicisms about.  Zing zing zing.  After a while one learned either not to read them, or to read them for their wit, and ignore the content.  I suspect that Frogs and Wogs would have been a sarcastic take on British attitudes, and the old Brit saying, "On the other side of the Channel its all Frogs and Wogs."  It was a racist statement, and par for the course with the typical "Colonel Blimp" type.  That may be a little over the heads of many of his readers.  I would keep my powder dry, I'm very confident a better target will heave into view shortly...

Comment by Enrico CS Viglino on October 18, 2013 at 11:31pm

He definitely likes to joke around with titles.

Comment by Roger Morley on October 17, 2013 at 4:20pm

Maybe I am being a little sensitive, as it was written by Richard

Comment by Enrico CS Viglino on October 17, 2013 at 1:07pm

I found the title the best part. 

Then again, I delight in being offensive. The review probably managed to tell me enough

to understand that I'm not interested - but, IF it hadn't, it wasn't sufficient to really give

a feel for the game. That's a lot to ask from a written review though.

Comment by Steve Trauth on October 17, 2013 at 5:48am

Every day another shark gets jumped that didn't need to have gotten jumped.

I agree with you Roger (and Dave summed it up for me as well.).

Comment by Roger Morley on October 17, 2013 at 5:03am

Ha ha ha John...I did my best!

I guess by the fact I can still sign in I am not banned, but I do apologise if this post is not in the usual great spirit of wargaming, but I felt something had to be said, as this review, in my mind has crossed a number of lines.

In the four years that I have be back to board wargaming, I have encountered nothing but friendly & helpful gamers, and not once have I come across any kind of resentment or bitterness as a result of what historically has happened in the past.

But this review obviously shows that this designer/reviewer has some chip on his shoulder with regards to the English/British. Why? Who knows?

What is ironic, is that he states that " Brits - well not all, but enough - tend to feel superior to everyone else....."

I do not thinks so. But I can think of ONE person who feels he is a level up from everyone else, and he is certainly not British!

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