First Play Friday: Fortune and Glory – The Cliffhanger Game

It’s another First Play Friday!

I got to play Fortune and Glory last night. If you’ve never tried it before, I heartily recommend you do so right now. Flying Frog Games can be a little bit hit and miss, in my opinion… for every Last Night on Earth there’s a Conquest of Planet Earth, but thankfully Fortune and Glory falls on the good side of the fence, if only because of the sheer deranged scope of the thing.

Think of it being like Indiana Jones: The Board Game. Players are heroic treasure hunters seeking – shockingly enough – both fortune and glory. Glory is the main in-game currency, gained by exploring the world and attempting to hunt out mysterious objects that are randomly generated and located. Things like “The Shield of The Azure Glory” and “The Heart of Medusa” are the artefacts you’ll be seeking, made by combining two cards – one with a Fortune value on, the other marked with a certain number of dangers.

It’s these dangers that drive the game. Your chosen characters have four different attributes that can be boosted through picking up items and allies, and each danger is beaten by scoring successful rolls against one of your skills. Get through enough danger and the artefact is yours, as well as a lovely stack of Glory that can be traded in for new gear or to heal yourself. However, if you manage to screw up your roll (which happens a lot!) you flip your Danger card to reveal the ensuing Cliffhanger. Your next turn will see you trying to deal with that – again with another dice roll. Mess that up and… well… further bad things will happen, often seeing you knocked out, losing lots of your stuff and getting dumped back at your starting location.

You’ll also be getting in plenty of fights as well while you seek these mystical trinkets. With Nazi soldiers and Mobsters aplenty getting in your way, you’ll be facing off in plenty of scrapes; there’s even Big Bads to take on who will not only try and beat seven bells out of you, they’ll also try and steal artefacts from under your nose. Should you manage to actually get your hands on an object, you don’t get the Fortune immediately – you have to head to a city to sell it, and it’s possible to lose them even at the last minute should you get attacked and knocked out.

Big, dumb and awesome, Fortune and Glory is well worth a spin. Just make sure you've got a big table!

Fortune and Glory is the very definition of an Ameritrash dicefest. It’s utterly ridiculous and fantastic in so many ways. Insane storylines, cliffhangers all over the place… definitely a game not to take too seriously. The usual Flying Frog art style is firmly in place where photos of real people are used instead of drawn pictures and it really works in this context. It’s also one of the most over-produced games in history, with hundreds of cards, tokens and bits of plastic coming in a huge coffin box – exactly what you want from such a crazy game. And you get a Zeppelin floating around the map dropping off Nazis! What more do you need?!

There were only three of us playing it last night and the game went along at quite a speed. It can handle up to eight but if you choose to go down that way, you should apparently be prepared for a lot of downtime. It’s not a game I want to play every week, but I’ll be more than happy to see it hit the table again sometime in the future.

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