Cardboard Children: Fortune & Glory

By Robert Florence on October 8th, 2011 at 6:42 pm.

Hey! Kieron again. Jim would have probably have done it eventually, but I want to dodge packing for a house move.

Hello youse.

I want to talk to you about a game that really makes me smile. It’s an expensive game, but I think that if you have a group of players who find the theme appealing, it’s certainly something worth chipping in to buy. I also think it’s the best game that the publisher has yet released.

It’s Flying Frog Productions’ Fortune & Glory.

I JUST FELL INTO A VOLCANO! Click through to see if I survive!

I did survive, I’m actually just sitting in my pants writing a column. Sorry.

Flying Frog, man. These people crazy. If you don’t know anything about Flying Frog, let a brother tell you. Every single game they’ve released features this fucking weird artwork. They get these, I dunno, models or friends or actors or whatever and pose them in costumes and shit. I dunno. It doesn’t look totally professional, it always looks like cosplay or something. But in a good way, mostly. You might have played their most popular game, Last Night On Earth. It’s a zombie game. And every character card is like, some dude or some girl dressed up. It’s amazing. It’s kinda tacky and kinda amazing. They also always give a soundtrack CD away with their games. Yeah, you heard right. A soundtrack CD. It’s a great idea, really. The standard of the music is… hey, look it’s okay. This isn’t a music review column. It’s free, give them a break. Yeah. A soundtrack CD. Cosplay. Their buddies dressed up as mad scientists. Yeah. Batshit crazy.

Fortune & Glory is a game with a pulp adventure serial setting. It’s Indiana Jones meets Rocketman by way of Jackie Chan in Armour of God. If that sentence doesn’t sell a game to someone, no sentence will. They should have put that sentence on the box. The sweet thing is that this setting totally fits with their crazy art design ethic. Suddenly it all looks right. It’s campy and cute, and it’s going to make you smile.

The game plays up to 8 players, and can be played both competitively and co-operatively. Now, I’ve only played the competitive game, so it’ll only be that I talk about today. Down the line I’ll play it in co-op and let you know how it goes. In the competitive game each player takes control of an adventurer and sets out in pursuit of valuable artifacts. These artifacts, when claimed, can be sold in a city for “Fortune” and the first player to return home with 15 Fortune wins the game. The game is played on a lovely big map of the world, and you can see it below.

I own Dreadfleet! It also have a map, but it's of a sea which you put a fleet of Dread on.

I bet you look at that photo and you say “Hey, Robert. Hey Rab. Hey Bob. Hey Rob. Hey Bert. That looks pretty complicated, that game.” And I say to you “Baby, no, just drink your drink. It’s actually really simple, there’s just a lot of stuff. It’s stuff, is all. Now drink up, baby. Shhh.”

When you set up for a game, you will be putting your characters into their home cities and then putting some artifacts onto the board. The artifacts and adventures are really cool. You draw an Artifact card and then an Adventure card. These combine, these two cards, to create an adventure that is “The BLANK of the BLANKETY BLANK CHEQUEBOOK AND PEN”. See the photo below to see what I mean.

The Spear of the Crimson Hand could be a euphemism, if you squint.

Once you create these, you draw a location card for where the adventure will take place. Four adventures will be there on the board for your guys and girls to chase down. Take a look at the photo above again. You see the number in the gold circle? That’s the Fortune value of the relic. If you acquire the relic and get it back to a city to be sold, you’ll gain that much Fortune. In the bottom right, with the red backing, is the number of Dangers you have to face down before you can claim the relic. So, of those two above, THE SPEAR OF THE CRIMSON HAND is the easiest to grab. Sweet.

Also, at the start of the game, you place a big fucking NAZI ZEPPELIN on the board. This bad boy travels randomly around the board and Fortune starts to build up inside it. As it reaches destinations on its journey, it drops off Nazi Soldiers, who hinder and block you. If you manage to reach the same area the Zeppelin is in, you can try to sneak on board and steal all that lovely Nazi Gold. This game is bananas.

Yeah, so the game kicks off. In a turn you first roll for Initiative to see who gets to act first. And then you have a Movement phase. It’s a simple affair. Roll one die and move from space to space. It costs more movement points to move across sea. And if you have some Fortune already, you can pay to fly from city to city. The Adventure phase is the meat of the game. If you’re in an empty land space, you roll a die to see of anything happens or if your journey is uneventful. You’ll either end up being jumped by an Enemy, or drawing an Event card, or doing nothing. But if you’re in a space where an Adventure awaits, you can set out on that Adventure.

This is cool. When setting out on the Adventure, you announce it. And you announce it by saying out loud “[Your Character Name] and The Tears of the Azure Jewel!” That’s pretty sweet, right? Really gets the setting across. And then, you start facing some Dangers.

You draw a Danger card. It will be a test of some kind. Let’s say the Danger is a CAR CHASE. You make an Agility check. If you pass, you get a choice of either Pushing On or Camping Down. By Pushing On, you get to draw another Danger, building towards the total you need to claim the relic. By Camping Down you get to turn in the Danger you just passed for the Glory value (and Glory is the currency of the game) and can take another Danger in your next turn. HOWEVER, if you Push On and fail, you lose any Danger cards you’ve already beaten and can’t turn them on for Glory. It’s a nice risk/reward thing.

Failing a Danger is never good. It means you flip the card to its Cliffhanger side, and your turn ends. This is my favourite element of the game. That CAR CHASE? If you fail that roll, your Cliffhanger might show OFF A CLIFF. Your character has gone off a cliff in a speeding car! Can she escape?! FIND OUT NEXT TURN!

That’s brilliant. I love that. Damn.

Now, why would you ever Push On? Why not just play safe, and face the Dangers turn by turn? Well, because you might be RACING ANOTHER PLAYER FOR THE PRIZE. If you get into one of these situations, you’re egging each other on, praying for each other to fail.

Here’s what happened in a game I played:

Would.

Joanne was Li Mei Chen, obviously, being such a hardcore Kung-Fu fan. She was working her way through THE TEMPLE OF POWER! Temples work differently from other Adventures. You gain Fortune as you progress through them, but you face many more Dangers. Each Cliffhanger you face also makes the Temple prone to collapse. It’s crazy exciting. Anyway, Joanne has been focusing on this temple, slowly building up her Fortune. In a Temple, the player who claims the last Fortune coin can take the Temple miniature itself, and sell that in a City for 3 extra Fortune. She’s two away from taking it.

Then I win Initiative. And we’d been playing nice. Until I moved into THE TEMPLE OF POWER and announced I was setting out on the Adventure. If I could get through two Dangers in a row, the Temple miniature itself was mine. It was THRILLING. I managed to scrape through and steal the prize. From that point on, all bets were off. Joanne was playing event cards on me, causing Volcanic Eruptions, you name it. It was delicious. It was some RICH SETTING JOY.

In that same game, I gained a bit of a reputation for beating up Nazis. I would chase the Zeppelin about the board, punching out Nazis, and sneaking on board to steal all their shit. It was fucking awesome, and I never say the word “awesome”.

Here I am, on a Zeppelin, with Nazi blood on my hands.

On a Zeppelin with Nazi blood on my hands also sounds like a euphemism. To me.

There’s just so much happening in this game. Each Character has sweet powers and talents. Mobsters pop up in the cities. Auctions are announced in Shanghai. You can gear up and gain Allies in the Cities, and then those Allies can die in quicksand, or turn on you. You can play Events on other players, and on the board. There are Nazis everywhere. You get delivery quests, and become a globetrotter. You get lost in the Jungle trying to find a Temple. You get attacked by Zombies. Named Villains appear, and then THEY start to go after the artifacts.

And this is just the competitive game. There’s a co-op game too. With Villain events, and vile organisations advancing their plans across the world.

Who actually made up the phrase 'feminazi'? It's not even a pun, you fucking sexist idiot.

Seriously, this game is MASSIVE. So much shit going on. And it’s superb. I had so much fun playing it. You see, there are games that I respect. Games that make me think. Games that have me awestruck by the sophistication of the design. This game is just fun. Just awesome fun, and there I go using that word again.

Flying Frog Productions make fun games. This is the most fun I’ve had with any of them. I think you’ll probably love it. It makes you feel like you’re travelling along one of those red lines in the Indiana Jones films, with the Nazis in hot pursuit. Cosplay Nazis. I tell you, these Flying Frog people are crazy. I hope they never change.

DOWNTIME TOWN

Thanks for all the feedback to the column a fortnight ago. I’m only just catching up now that I’m back from holiday. This week I will be talking to people about how to move this forward. I may even call out some of YOU by name next week to see how you can help. Let’s make this happen.

In the meantime, I’ll be painting my Dreadfleet ships and playing Dark Souls. AS YOU SHOULD BE!

ZOZ!

(Thanks to Ben at Esdevium Games for the look at Fortune & Glory – visit Find Your Game Store to see where you can pick it up, if you fancy.)

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56 Comments »

  1. raydenuni says:

    Not sure what’s up, but your website is consistently using 300mb in Chrome today. Might want to investigate that.

  2. Kaira- says:

    This was a really nice article, thanks, I guess I gotta find this from somewhe- wait, Kieron, is that you?

  3. zapatapon says:

    Robert Florence is finally revealed to be Kieron Gillen? I’m confused.

  4. Rab says:

    The truth is out. Me and Kieron are like the DC hero Firestorm. We combine with, strangely, Leslie Feist to create another being.

    • President Weasel says:

      I would very much like to combine with Leslie Feist to create another being.

      Can you put links in RPS comments? Let’s find out

    • Esc says:

      I’m envious. It’s always been a dream of mine to “combine” with Leslie Feist for the purposes of creating a new being, if you know what I mean.
      ….
      Ok, I actually mean Kieron. He looks really cute on that medical show, with the doctor!

  5. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Florence is Kieron’s Jungian shadow.

  6. Mike says:

    Wow. What a great-sounding game. I’d heard of Last Night On Earth before but I didn’t know much about the publishers. I really enjoyed this week’s Rab, cheers!

  7. esoltys says:

    So, of those two above, THE SPEAR OF THE CRIMSON HAND is the easiest to grab.

    Not according to the photo I’m looking at. Lower number means less danger, yes?

    • Rab says:

      That was a joke about how bad I am in board games at making the right choices. A far too subtle joke, I know.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      Aaaaahhh… was so confused there for a minute too. Rob exercising obscurity…. Robscurity?

    • Zakkeh says:

      And here I was thinking it was a phallus joke

  8. Xercies says:

    This may be out of place but I’m trying to make a board game club in my city of Swansea which I go to Uni, I got the pub already which is fine for me to basically take sundays and play some boardgames in there. I got an advertising place in the form of Uni walls and places like that. Unfortunately I don’t really know what kind of game to take on one of these things. I mean I don’t know if anyone is likely to come its just a hope that some people will come and I really need a good game to basically play with people and get them hooked. Plus it has to be cheap enough to buy on a whim that people will come.

    Anyway long story short, any recommendations on the boardgames I should be looking at in this great endover of mine?

    Mor on topic, I think Kieron should be doing the alt text every week!

    • hoobajoo says:

      I firmly recommend 7 Wonders; it’s scales well for groups of indeterminate size, is accessible without lacking strategic options, and I’ve never once found someone who wasn’t immediately taken by it’s many charms, gamer or otherwise.

    • JackShandy says:

      Well, how many people?

      Personally I’ve had massive amounts of success with Ghost Stories – it’s never failed me, always a fantastic time for all. Helps that it’s co-op, too, so it doesn’t matter if people are terrible, you all just band together to help out. You might want something that has more than four players, though.

    • Orija says:

      Watch Quinn’s Shut Up and Sit Down, offers soe fantastic recommendations for new players. One of those, I think, was The Resistance.

    • Xercies says:

      @Jack

      Unfortunatly thats the problem, I have no idea how many people will come after advertising it on uni walls and hoping that people will come to it. I have to start from scratch really since I don’t have any housemates or friends that play boardgames here so basically I have to start my own boardgaming club

      But yeah Shut Up and Sit Down is very good for recomendations.

  9. AfternoonTea says:

    hmm – either I don’t understand this game (unlikely) or Keiron is bad at maths (likely) because I am pretty sure that the THE SPEAR OF THE CRIMSON HAND in the example has four dangers while the TEARS OF THE AZURE JEWEL has two. Two is usually less than four.

    Also, although you mentioned this game is expensive, you didn’t mention the price, expensive is apparently, around £70. £70 is alot for a game, more than I will be paying for. On the other hand, if you have a few friends who are interested in splitting it, then I think it would be a great buy – the sheer amount of “stuff” in the game makes it clear you are not being ripped off. (If my teenage 40K years taught me anything its that small moulded bits of plastic are never cheap.)

    • Rab says:

      I’m regretting that joke now, but I can’t change it. The guys here don’t give me the keys, they just let me climb in the window sometimes. Be glad I can’t get inside properly, I’d break everything.

    • AfternoonTea says:

      ahh jokes, I tried to google for that ascii art of something going way over my head – but all I could find was a bad ascii art plane, so I guess you can have that instead .
      ____ _
      | __\_\_o____/_|
      <[ ___\_\_——–<
      | o'

    • Premium User Badge TheTourist314 says:

      It looks like you just punched the keyboard after you got done typing.

    • Koozer says:

      In other news, I just did an ASCII TARDIS instead of reading a CS paper. Shame it looks horrible on here:

      _
      |o|
      _____|_|_____
      |_____________|
      | _____________ |
      | |POLICE_~_BOX_| |
      | _______________ |
      || _____ | _____ ||
      ||| | | ||| | | |||
      |||-|-|-|||-|-|-|||
      |||_|_|_|||_|_|_|||
      || _____ | _____ ||
      ||| --- ||| |||
      |||| ~ |||) |||
      ||||___|||o |||
      |||-----|||-----|||
      ||| ||| |||
      ||| ||| |||
      |||-----|||-----|||
      ||| ||| |||
      ||| ||| |||
      |||_____|||_____|||
      _||_______|_______||_
      |_____________________|

    • westyfield says:

      Aaawww, the light on the top looks like it’s saying “lol”.

  10. Chris D says:

    Cardboard Children and Shut Up and Sit Down on the same day? Truly we live in a golden age of boardgames journalism.

    • Premium User Badge Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      A 36 minute golden age, to be exact. However, its golden-ness is beyond reproach.

  11. Casimir Effect says:

    At first glance I thought Li Mei Chen had 4 Wombs

    • Wounder says:

      … then you had a second look and could assure her, as a professional, she only had one?

    • Casimir Effect says:

      That would only have disappointed her

    • Sleepymatt says:

      I heard she auditioned for a part in the James Bond film Octopussy.

  12. Chickenfeed says:

    I don’t like boardgames, but I found this really, really interesting. Shame it’s so expensive :/

  13. The Innocent says:

    The only thing that would make this game sound any better to me is if it came with little red lines that you could place on the map as you traveled between cities.

  14. QSpec says:

    Sounds awesome. I am a big fan of the Flying Frog games. I know for Zombies, the more the better. Is the same the case for this game? I can only get about 4 people to play (on a good day), so I would hate to invest in a game that isn’t really that great until you max out the players.

    • Rab says:

      I’ve had fun at two-player and in fact I think the game might slow right down beyond four or five players. In competitive mode anyway.

    • IggyJReilly says:

      As someone else who owns, and has played the absolute shit out of, this game, I can confirm it actually plays worse as you get above the 4-5 player mark.

      We’ve found that increasing the points required to win helps a lot to make a 2 player game more interesting, but it still plays just fine with 2. Any more players than about 5, and you are better off sticking people on teams of 2 or whatever to play the competitive game as a team competitive game. 8 people all taking their turn just grinds the game to a halt with way too much down time for the depth of strategy involved.

      The Co-op version is fun, but we’ve only played it once so can’t comment too much on that, except to say that it most certainly is not just an afterthought variant in the rulebook. It is a full blown alternate way to play the game with extra components and everything.

      One of my favorite games that I own, just an absolute blast to play if you’re into the theme at all. Giant squid attacks? check. Smoky nightclub brawls? check. Planes with no pilot that you must crash land yourself? check.

  15. Teddy Leach says:

    I can’t play Dark Souls because it’s not on the PC. Sorry.

  16. Dave Mongoose says:

    You say at the start it’s an expensive game but don’t seem to mention the actual price anywhere?

    Looks amazing but I lack board-gaming friends so I’ll just imagine the awesomeness and sigh quietly. :P

    • Chickenfeed says:

      From what I’ve seen it’s anywhere between £50 and £65.

    • Torgen says:

      $79.99 for us filthy colonials

      (cries quietly in the corner)

  17. Ergates_Antius says:

    This has been on my want list since before it was released. I’d promised myself I was going to be good and wait for christmas or something….hnnnnggghhh…must…resist…..I…wants…so….bads…..

  18. Vexing Vision says:

    There seems to be an awful lot of die-rolling.

    If you’re looking for a similar game, I can really, really recommend 1000 Nights, which is a multiplayer competitive Choose Your Own Adventure with a massive board in which also a lot happens. Or City Of Madness, which I can’t find anymore anywhere. :(

  19. liance says:

    How would one obtain this…board game? I am one of the filthy colonials living in the southern “New American” colonies, and have never purchased a board game before. Despite that, this review makes me extremely interested in this game.

    Is it best to buy these things online? Or is it better to find a local gamestore and get them from there?

    • JackShandy says:

      Ah, a fellow man! How did you survive the brutal rum wars this morning?

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      I would suggest opening up one of those new fangled internet search engines and searching for either a local boardgame shop, or a shop that sells online.

      Try BoardgameGeek too – look under forums, there are ones for various countries.

      Failing that, I know a number of UK online retails are willing to sully themselves by shipping to dirty foreigners. e.g.
      Games Lore
      Boardgameguru
      As 2 examples. No affiliation, other retailers are available, etc. etc.

  20. JackShandy says:

    ———–

  21. wodin says:

    Looks like a must for downtime town…

  22. darkbhudda says:

    You had me at Nazi Zeppelin.

  23. Ultra-Humanite says:

    That dude on the box with the eyepatch reminds me of Bas Rutten.