J. Chris Miller
This is a great game by Flying Frog that captures a lot of the same fun, theme, and excitement that their other games do such as Touch of Evil and Last Night on Earth. In this review I will give a brief overview of the gameplay and my thoughts on the experience.
The core of the game is dice-checking like most adventure games of this nature (Touch of Evil, Arkham Horror). The goal is to discover and sell artifacts until you get 15 fortune points. Glory is gained by defeating dangers, and can be spent on special items. There are 4 phases per turn, each phase played out by all of the players before moving onto the next.
Phase 1 - Initiative - Roll to see who gets to go first, and ready any cards that were used last turn.
Phase 2 - Movement - Each person rolls a D6 and moves according to the die roll. Each space on the map is 1 movement except for sea spaces which are marked with their movement cost.
Phase 3 - Adventure - If you are on a space with a city, draw a city card, and you may purchase items with glory.
If you are on a space with an artifact, draw from the Danger deck. You make the dice check (usually 1 of two options) or choose to fight, which involves combat dice checking. If you win, you get a token towards the cost of recovering the artifact.
You can keep going as long as you want to try and recover the artifact as long as you keep succeeding in the dice checks. But if you fail one of the dangers, you lose all glory you would have gained from that round, and the last danger you attempted flips over and becomes a Cliffhanger. Your turn ends and you must face the cliffhanger next round. If you lose that encounter, you get KO'd. Which means you get sent back to your starting city and lose items/fortune/glory equal to a D6 roll.
If you choose not to press your luck, you can just set up camp and end your turn, and gain all of the glory from any Dangers you passed, as well as heal up any wounds caused by fighting.
Phase 4 - End Phase - Do any movements that the board AI will do, such as moving the Zeppelin, Villain Adventure phase, etc.
The game ends when someone has 15 Fortune and is in their starting city.
Why this game isn't just a random luck-fest
The dice-checks in the game do laden it with a lot of randomness. However, the skill involved in the game has to do with buying items in the city, and knowing when to hunker down or press on. I'll admit it is pretty luck-intensive, but if you play it safe and buy allies and items to aid you in adventuring, you will most likely have an easier time than your reckless counterparts trying to rush into every adventure.
I have been looking forward to this game for a while now, and am a fan of Flying Frog games. The components to the game are all of high quality. There are a ton of different decks, all with the movie-style art. There are also a lot of great miniatures. All of the cards are high-gloss and thick, and the character cards are thick cardboard with a high-gloss finish. The map looks great, and the game is basically gorgeous.
The theme is very heavy. You feel as if you're roaming the world searching for adventure and treasure. You can buy a map which will help you avoid danger, or you can buy a rope that will help with a dice check, but you have to roll to see if it breaks after you use it. You can sneak aboard the Zeppelin and try to steal some treasure, or get caught and have a fist fight with any Nazis that spotted you.
And it just goes on and on. There's less skill in the game than there is, "How can I make this feel any more epic?" Attempting one more treasure run at a Temple located in the deep Amazon Jungle, and rolling to escape because it's starting to collapse on you. The game is filled with these moments that often spurn laughter and high fives amongst the group.
The competitive game with 4-5 people varies greatly as far as gametime goes, but you're looking at about an hour and a half to 2 and a half hours. I imagine that will go down as people become more experienced with the game.
I have yet to play the single player or co-op for this, but I can tell you the competitive game is a blast. I'd say it's suited for 3-5 players, though the box says 1-8, and of course there is the solo game which I hear is quite good.
Bottom line is if you've been thinking about getting the game, go ahead and make the plunge, you won't regret it. Fortune and Glory is an instant classic adventure game that is filled with epic moments that are bound to live on in your game group for quite a while.
Well I played a solo game using 2 characters, which is virtually identical to playing cooperatively. I can tell you that the core co-op experience is the same as the competitive game except that you're working together, and there's the addition of Villain Events which happen every turn.
The Villain Events aren't usually that bad, a lot of them just make you take D6 in hits if your hero happens to be standing on a certain terrain. (Mountain, Desert, Jungle, etc.) Others simply give the Villains more health, or move them up the Villain goal tracker by one space.
All in all they're not terrible, but it can be a bit uncomfortable knowing that it will happen every turn.
The other big difference between it and competitive, is in the competitive game your main enemies are other players, while in co-op you're actually playing against one of the two Villain factions: The Mob, or the Nazis. In this regard, it's kind of neat having a common enemy to hate while you're going after treasure.
Another cool thing is you can band together when adventuring for an artifact. For instance, you can freely give gear or allies to your partner, and when you confront a danger, you can CHOOSE who does the dice challenge, which is a big help because most times one hero has better stats than the other on certain checks.
They've made it challenging enough that it's definitely not a walk in the park, but it makes it all the more rewarding if you do beat the Villains.
To be honest, I'm pretty picky when it comes to co-op games. I loved Lord of the Rings the card game when it came out, but I quickly grew tired of the game.
The thing that I enjoy about this co-op game is the board, and all of the cards and pieces are very tangible and really bring the game to life. I think the price tag may be a little high for a casual co-op game if that's all you're doing with it, but if you can justify it, go ahead and do it. I really love the experience that this game provides.
Some further quick notes
There are a lot of small rules in the game that just go along with different actions that you'll come across. The first game you play may be a little frustrating because the manual says you should try a Quick Start game at first. Also, Flying Frog usually has a ton of tokens in their game, a lot of which never get used. Don't be overwhelmed by how many tokens their are, and just look at the setup picture for setup.
There are a few enemy cards that are double-sided. Those go outside of any deck and are to be used when the game wants you to specifically fight a mobster, or nazi, etc., otherwise you just draw your enemies from the enemy deck. The common items are the same way. You can look at them at any time when deciding on a purchase and choose one, or you can purchase gear or ally cards at random from those decks.
My advice is to read the full manual before starting your first game, and really get a feel for all of the rules on sneaking, and checks, and things like that, and just go for the "Advanced Game", which is really just the actual game. It may take a game or two to get all of the minute actions down, but once you do it's second nature, so don't get too frustrated. Good luck, and happy adventuring!
- Last edited Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:30 am (Total Number of Edits: 5)
- Posted Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:42 am
Kevin B. Smith
Re: A Brief Review of Fortune and Glory
Nice review. Thanks.
I'm very interested to hear from people who have tried it cooperatively, since that's how we would play if we bought it.
[Edit: After I posted this, the reviewer updated the review to include information on solo/competitive play. Yay!]
- Last edited Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:39 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:37 pm
Re: A Brief Review of Fortune and Glory
Thanks. I've been on the fence about this one. Love the idea. Just wasn't sure I could commit to the cost. But I've enjoyed Flying Frog's other games and they do know how to push my buttons. Seriously, circus performers versus aliens? Gothic monster hunts? And now, Nazi-punching adventurers careening across the globe?
Yeah, I'm on board. Thanks for the push.
having read your review... It DOES sound awfully like A Touch of Evil. While ATOE is a nice game and all, is this one different enough to justify a purchase? Also, how is the replayability handled?