First, thanks to Petersen Games for making the P&P available. The current version is very nice looking even without the miniatures.
It took about an hour for me to provide some thematic context to the Gods' War and to explain the basic rules. We drew factions at random and I ended up with Chaos. Sky ended up the runaway leader with a winning margin of something like 13 points after 5 or 6 turns. Only Chaos ended up with all 6 gifts; Sky made do with 4, while Storm and Dark only got 2 as far as I can recall.
Several things contributed to this. At the start I told the players that Chaos could swamp them if left unchecked and they gleefully took this to heart; I think this distracted them and me from noticing how entrenched Sky was becoming. (I can't help but think that the Buildings miniatures will make it harder to not notice something like this.) It didn't help that I failed to make clear that the Great Compromise, once started, continues turn-after-turn.
Another problem was that Dark had to leave early, after only 3 turns. We tried to follow the rules for this eventuality (Section IV.A) but the map seemed too open. Sky commented that it hardly seemed worth the bother to take out shrines, as there was plenty of places to put down replacements.
Due to the misunderstanding regarding the Great Compromise, the ending came as a surprise to the other players. The abruptness of the end was the one major criticism the players had. They had an appreciation for the power the Greater Gods wielded but a feeling that there wasn't enough time to enjoy/experience this.
Runes played no role. Only Storm and Chaos ended up with a Rune and mine was "Illusion". I don't think Storm ever used its Rune. Chaos should have ended up with more but I made a poor showing as Chaos, and wasn't helped by our messing up the Chaos Rift struggle. (I only ended up rolling two dice, forgetting about Dark and that Chaos itself was supposed to be included.)
On the advice of the rulebook (to consider something other than "I Fought We Won"), I chose "Embed" as the first Chaos gift but didn't know what to do with it. I still don't. I embedded a nest on the first turn (after summoning Malia) but it seems cheaper to just let nests be destroyed and rebuild them elsewhere, preferably in an area with an unguarded enemy building.
Sky didn't know what to do with Yelm. I think we failed to appreciate that Dawn applies any time Yelm moves to an area outside Hell, not just when leaving Hell.
Another criticism was of a perceived lack-of-clarity in some of the rules. We wondered (without Internet access) whether Fear could be used to send units to Hell; we decided correctly that it could, so Hell was pretty crowded for a while. (Is the final Hell map going to be large enough to accommodate full-sized figures like the Champion, Yelm, and Thed all ending up in one area of Hell?) We made some other errors that made little difference to the final outcome (Storm conquered a nest and replaced it and his shrine in the same area with a temple).
I hope and suspect that later editions will incorporate answers to questions posted at BGG and elsewhere. We would have found it easier to find answers if they were located in appropriate regions of the main text, instead of lying in a large FAQ at the end.
Three final notes on the P&P. First, the VP tokens are a bit large compared to the Power tracks on the faction sheets; I hope this won't be true of the final version. Second, although the instructions didn't specify this, I glued Kylerela to cardboard, which made it easier to transport the continent to other seas along with its occupants. Third, I glued the two (laminated) halves of the surface map onto a single piece of cardboard using 3M's Super77 spray, ending up with a single 24" by 24" map which I think looks rather nice and lays nice and flat.
- Last edited Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:43 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:15 pm
Sounds like there were some rules errors afoot. Getting a handle on the strategies can be tricky too - the Cthulhu Wars rulebook has mini-guides on how to use each faction and the relevance of the spellbooks, so the final version of the Glorantha rulebook will probably have it too. (Although, if you're like me, you'll prefer to futz around with Black Goat for 5 games wondering what the hell you're supposed to be doing.)
Hope you get to try it out again soon!
I wrote the first-ever Lovecraft game.
The Otherworld sideboard (Heaven/Hell) will be significantly larger in the published game - we wanted it to fit on a single easily-printed sheet for the P&P. So that should help in the "overcrowded hell" category.
It is indeed true that ignoring Sky can lead to a big win (also true of other factions, of course). But after all if you can't make mistakes the first time you play a game, when CAN you?