Robert Evans
United States
Rossville
Georgia
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Fortune and Glory, a Cliffhanger Game is a thematic game that takes place in the late 1930s. The best way to describe it would be Indiana Jones, the Board Game! Players take on the role of various heroes as they trot the globe, searching for lost artifacts, battling and racing Nazi's, the Mob, and each other, in an attempt to get to a certain number of fortune.

What is in the box?
Opening up the box you are greeted to a rule book, a quick play print out, and a gorgeous, color, 3 panel fold out board of the world map. Under the board sits several punch out boards that feature many icons that will (and will not) be used in the game. But there is a surprise. A CD soundtrack?! Yes, this game comes with its own action/adventure serial soundtrack. There are several bags, 3 containing miniatures, and 2 containing the fortune and glory chips. Also in the box are multiple decks of cards, and there are a lot of cards.

The miniatures are of fantastic quality. They look great, you have the heroes, villains, and henchmen, all in different colors. Sturdy, balanced. It is the chips for the Fortune and Glory that really take the cake. While they aren't the same as the minis, they are modeled off of Aztek Gold coins, and really help add a flavor to the game.

The cards are thick and shiny, though they aren't typical of card stock. The images are fantastic, each deck has its own back that makes it easy to distinguish. I feel that these are great cards, but I would have preferred a more traditional card type stock simply because of the amount shuffling, and it wouldn't feel like a loss because of a bent corner.

The player roles and villain sheets are of a much thicker, cardboard print. They are sturdy, and easily to read. All needed information is nice and presented, so nothing takes very long to find.

Now for the rulebook. This thing is a beast. It is more akin to a magazine. The artwork and photographs in the rule books is great. The rules read fairly clearly. However, and this is a big one, the rulebook layout is sorely lacking either a Glossary or Index. This makes looking up rules a cumbersome task, often halting the game down to a crawl. What makes this even worse is some rules are broken up into multiple sections. Even so much as listing a page number for the other iterations of the rules would have helped.

How does it play?
Right out of the box, you have 2 modes of play, and a ton of variant rules to mix it up further. Both modes uses basically the same format.

The base mode of play is competitive. This is a game where you race against the other players in an attempt to be the first to reach 15 fortune and get back to their starting city.

The other mode is cooperative. This pits the players in a race against one of two enemy factions, attempting to reach a set number of fortune (determined by the number of players) while the enemy rushes towards a goal.

The game plays out in turns, with each turn broken down into phases. Each play does their action for the phase, then you move to the next. Once you get your flow down, the rounds move quick.

Setup can take a little bit as there are a ton of components. Each deck is to be shuffled and placed around the board. Fortune and Glory chips and the other minis need to be easily accessed. This takes up a lot of space. A standard 3'x3' card table holds the game but with no room left for the players. So you will need a decent amount of table space.

Once play begins, everything is thematic. Every space has a chance to yield something, be it good or bad. Adventures are randomly generated using decks of cards, and the dangers faced are always shifting. Nothing feels unfair, and there are things you can acquire to help your chances. Even rolling bad on initiative or movement can yield you a card that may help you (or hurt you). It has that very Saturday Matinee Serial/Indiana Jones feel to it all.

Each turn is broken down as follows. Initiative, Movement, Adventure, End (or Villain in Coop). On the initiative phase, each player rolls a D6 to see who is the first player. If you roll a 1, you get an event card (which can be good or bad, but most are of a benefit). Then, starting with the first player, each player rolls for movement and moves. If you roll a 1 here, you also get an event card. After everyone has moved, based on the space you are in, you then begin the adventure phase. You can interact with the current city, search a temple if you are on one, or roll to see if something happens on an empty land space. After this, the round ends, the game check for winning conditions, then you repeat the process all over again until the win conditions are met by one or all players.

The game plays solid, even if it does feel like it runs long. The game says that it runs about 90 minutes, but the average game is closer to 150 to 180. So if you pull this game out, you will be spending the evening playing the game. The game is a blast, so it is time well spent, but the time needed might turn away some players.

Once you have played a few games, there are then several optional rules to help change things up.

In the end, Fortune and Glory as a game outshines it short comings and troubled rule book for a highly enjoyable game. While it isn't a game for everyone, most will find it to be a fun game to sit down and tick away an evening with family and friends.

Final Rating: 8/10

Pros:
Highly Thematic
Fantastic miniatures and pieces.
Turns move fairly fast so players aren't out of the action for long
The game potentially rewards bad rolls in initiative and movement phases
Art/Photographs are great

Cons:
Game can take a long time to play, upwards of 3 hours.
Rulebook seriously needs a glossary or index to help with rules searching
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Benjamin Maggi
United States
Loudonville
NY
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Microbadge: ChristianMicrobadge: In love with my spouseMicrobadge: Merry ChristmasMicrobadge: I sneak board games into the house - Ho ho ho!!!Microbadge: Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
Great Review! Thanks!
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Robert Bos
Canada
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Good review. Thanks
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Darkraven Ravenus
United Kingdom
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Excellent review and thanks for posting. Starting a run of plays of Fortune and Glory today after giving the game a rest. After playing Arkham Horror for the last 2 months this will feel a bit light regarding running time and set up!

Agree with you totally regarding the rule book. Needs an index. Looking up stuff can be a bit tortuous. Luckily I have most of the rules down pat now and am using the expansions. Once you've played a dozen or so games it becomes a bit easier. At least the rules are easy to interpret once you find them.
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Mattias Elfström
Sweden
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May I suggest you check out the Complete Rulebook (on the files page) for a more structured take on the rules?
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Robert Evans
United States
Rossville
Georgia
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Mattias wrote:
May I suggest you check out the Complete Rulebook (on the files page) for a more structured take on the rules?
Well the review is based on the games as it cones. To me, I shouldn't have to download anything. This seems to be the thing with flying frog games. Great games, mess of a rulebook. I have downloaded thevquivk reference sheets which help a lot. I will check out the file you mention.
 
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