Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Fortune and Glory

Will our heroes get to the Spear of Atlantis on time? Stay tuned, folks!

Type: Strategy / combat
Players: 1 to about 6
Time to explain to others: 20 minutes (basic rules are very simple, though)
Time to play: About an hour and a half,
Difficulty: To play 4/10, Game difficulty 6/10
Portability: Not without a car and/or porters and/or a van
Overall: 9/10

This is an epic game, on several different levels. The board is HUGE (the type of board that might need a bigger table, requiring a trip to IKEA), and by the time you displayed all the necessary cards and tokens, you are going to occupy a serious area. Let this not dissuade you, this game is insanely good.

Your character(s) are pulp heroes, occupying the same sort of universe of Prof Henry Jones Junior (of Indiana fame). It is the early 30's, the nazis are becoming a force to be reckoned with and a number of artefacts have been found across the globe. It is now a race against the clock, to collect them before they do!

Well.... Not quite.

Fortune and Glory plays in a number of different ways. You can either play against each other and the nazis, or you can team up against them. There are two other evil factions, the Mafia (?) and the Brotherhood of the Crimson Hand (in a separate expansion), a really pervasive and influential cult.

A lot of the rules are so flexible, that not only can you adjust them, but you can - almost literally - make house rules that you like. There were a number of tokens in the game that didn't seem to account for anything, so, upon consulting the rulebook, it turned out that.... There wasn't a point to them. They just included them as 'hey guys, here are some tokens with piles of skulls. See what you can make of them!' Absolutely brilliant.

The random way in which the artefacts appear (they respawn upon being collected, so that there are always 4 in play), and the way in which more nazis keep showing up means that a) you need to travel and b) you need to travel FAST.

To reach the artefacts, you need to go through Danger cards. If you pass a danger, you can choose to stop, or to continue to the next one. If you fail....

If you fail, you not only lose any accumulated passed dangers, but you flip the danger card over to its Cliffhanger side. Yes, if the heroes are crossing the bridge, and the bridge starts to collapse, the actions stops FOR A TURN, in a cliffhanger, before it can be passed. You can just see the heroes hanging by a thread and a scratchy voice narrating 'Will our heroes survive the Bridge of Sorrows? Stay tuned and don't go away!'

Rui's conclusion: Although perhaps not an introductory game, Fortune and Glory is still simple enough to be played by newbies, under some guidance. The sprawling feel and the atmosphere are hugely fun to play, and the choice to be cooperative or competitive opens a lot of possibilities. If you liked Indiana Jones, and you have a big table, this one of for you!

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