Kickstart This! #165: Glorantha: The Gods War (Reprint & NEW Expansions)
Designer: Sandy Petersen (Arkham Horror, Cthulhu Wars, Glorantha: The Gods War)
Artist: Rich Fleider (Cthulhu Wars, Glorantha: The Gods War, Orcs Must Die! The Board Game: Order Edition)
Publisher: Petersen Games (Cthulhu Wars, Evil High Priest, Glorantha: The Gods War)
Genre/Mechanisms: action points, area movement, dice rolling, miniatures, variable player powers
Funding Status: At the time of this posting, Glorantha: The Gods War (Reprint & NEW Expansions) is already fully-funded. Pledges currently total more than 4.5x the initial funding goal, with 7 days left to go on the campaign.
Player Count: 3-4; 3-8 with the Empires Expansion
Solo Mode: no
What It’s About: A reprinting of Sandy Petersen’s Glorantha: The Gods War accompanies 3 new expansions. War Gods, Magic Gods, and Secret Gods each contain 8 new Gods for additional variability in this miniatures skirmish game with asymmetrical player abilities.
How It Works: “Each player takes control of an empire representing a cosmic force of the universe of Glorantha. Your goal is to grow in influence, accomplish Heroquests, acquire Gifts, and use your accumulated might to triumph over your enemies. In the end, you win by acquiring the most Victory Points, a sign of your cosmic importance and necessity.
Each empire contains Buildings (Shrines, Temples, and a Ziggurat for most players), and Units (mortal minions and a mortal hero; plus lesser and greater Gods). Each empire also has 6 Gift tiles, an empire sheet, and 2 markers, one for tracking Victory and the other for Power.
All Units and Gifts are unique to each empire. As you gather Gifts, your power and your options multiply. The empires play quite differently. A strategy which works for Darkness won’t be effective for Storm.”
Gameplay takes place over rounds, with each round consisting of an Action Phase, Power Phase, and Council Phase.
“In the Action Phase, empires take single action turns in order until all empires’ Power is spent. Most actions cost 1 or more Power. Actions include summoning a unit, building or upgrading a building, moving units, and declaring a battle that may result in killing and routing units and in the conquest or destruction of a building. Many abilities and gifts, such as Earth’s Quake gift, allow new actions.
Empires get new Power in the Power Phase. Sources of Power include each type of building in play, having achieved Heroquests, and from various abilities. For the first Action Phase, all empires have 6 Power and, except for Chaos, have specified unit(s) and/or a building in play.
The Council Phase sets the first player and direction of play. Empires gain VPs for buildings, for linked Heroquests achieved, and for some abilities. If the Rift is open, empires use the Chaos Rift Struggle to try to close it; Chaos helps keep it open. Later in the game, the Great Compromise distributes VPs. At many points, including from achieving some Heroquests and from various abilities, empires gain runes from a deck of 50 cards, all with different names and effects. Runes are played in the Action Phase of any empire’s turn for the Power, VP(s), and/or other, often unique, effects that they offer.
The game ends when an empire reaches 35 VPs. Unused runes that offer VPs can be played, and any unplayed runes are then worth 1⁄2 VP. Finally, the player whose empire has the most VPs wins.”
Comparisons: The easy comparison here is, of course, Sandy Petersen’s own Cthulhu Wars. Both are expansive dudes-on-a-map games with oversized miniatures and hefty all-in price tags. Going all-in for either of these games requires either a) a lot of disposable income, or b) the determination to make the purchase one of the shining center-pieces of your collection. On a smaller scale and at a much lower price point, some excellent dudes-on-a-map games include: Blood Rage, Cyclades, Heroes of Land, Air & Sea, Kemet, Lords of Hellas, Rising Sun (okay, perhaps not too much of a lower price point on that one), and Scythe.
What Should I Pledge?:
$49 War OR Magic OR Secret Gods: pick 1 of the 3 new expansions, plus two Exclusive miniatures to replace the Dragon Rune and Monster Rune tiles, and the Balance/Errata Pack.
$99 War + Magic + Secret Gods: receive all 3 of the new expansions, plus two Exclusive miniatures to replace the Dragon Rune and Monster Rune tiles, and the Balance/Errata Pack.
$99 Core Game (for new initiates): The Gods War core game (including the new GameTrayz insert), plus two Exclusive miniatures to replace the Dragon Rune and Monster Rune tiles.
$198 Empires + Core Game: The Gods War core game (including the new GameTrayz insert), the Empires Expansion (which adds 4 new Empires, bringing the player count to a possible 8), plus two Exclusive miniatures to replace the Dragon Rune and Monster Rune tiles.
$699 Everything (for new initiates): include The Gods War core game (including the new GameTrayz insert), all 3 new expansions (War Gods, Magic Gods, and Secret Gods), the Empires Expansion, two Exclusive miniatures to replace the Dragon Rune and Monster Rune tiles, the Humakt first player marker, the 3-5 player Deluxe Map Pack, the 6-8 player Deluxe Map Pack, the Buildings expansion (with 73 plastic buildings, upgrading the core game’s building tiles), Elder Races (32 miniatures, including 12 new Mercenary allies, each with their own unique abilities), Dragons (3 enormous Dragon miniatures, adding new challenges to the game), Chaos Monsters (3 large Chaos Monster miniatures the players can command), Cosmic Monsters (3 large Cosmic Monster miniatures with gameplay-changing abilities), Battle Dice (15 custom dice), Chaos Rift Dice (8 custom dice), and Arachne Solara (an Exclusive figure, adding a new and unique win condition to the game).
$1,750 Everything + TGW 1 Resins: everything in the Everything (for new initiates) pledge level, plus a TGW 1 Resin Set. This is limited to 10 backers total, and only in North America; the Resin Set contains 29 large, highly-detailed resin miniatures from the first Gods War Kickstarter.
$70 Buidings: 73 plastic buildings, upgrading the core game’s building tiles
$99 Empires Expansion: adds 4 new Empires and a 6-8 player map, allowing play for up to 8 players
$100 Elder Races: 32 miniatures, including 12 new Mercenary allies, each with their own unique abilities
$40 Dragons: 3 enormous Dragon miniatures, adding new challenges to the game
$40 Chaos Monsters: 3 large Chaos Monster miniatures the players can command
$40 Cosmic Monsters: 3 large Cosmic Monster miniatures with gameplay-changing abilities
$25 Arachne Solara: an Exclusive figure, adding a new and unique win condition to the game
$50 War Gods: adds 8 unique War Gods, one for each Empire, each with their own special ability and Gift
$50 Magic Gods: adds 8 unique Magic Gods, one for each Empire, each with their own special ability and Gift
$50 Secret Gods: adds 8 unique Secret Gods, one for each Empire, each with their own special ability and Gift
$99 War, Magic, and Secret Gods: a bundle of the 3 new Gods expansions
$49 3-5 Player Deluxe Map Pack: two newly illustrated, double-sided neoprene maps (a 3-player map, two 4-player maps, and a 5-player map), plus a Plastic Spike mini and a Chaos Rift mini
$34 6-8 Player Deluxe Map Pack: two newly illustrated, double-sided neoprene maps (a 6-player map, two 7-player maps, and a 8-player map)
$15 Humakt First Player Marker
$15 Monster Pack, with two Exclusive miniatures to replace the Dragon Rune and Monster Rune tiles and Free Errata Pack
$15 Battle Dice: 15 custom dice
$12 Chaos Rift Dice: 8 custom dice
$25 Game Trayz: insert organizing the components for both the core game and the Empires Expansion; comes automatically with new printings of the core game
$20 War + Magic + Secret Gods Errata Pack: contains all of the loyalty cards and gifts for the 24 new gods, plus the Balance/Errata Pack, all localized into French
The Humakt First Player Marker, Bonus Monster Pack with Free Errata Pack, and Arachne Solara figure are all Petersen Games’ Exclusives that will not be sold via retail outlets.
All-In Total: Let’s forget about the 10-backer, $1,750 pledge level that includes the Resin Set. In the continental U.S., you’re looking at $699 for the Everything (for new initiates) pledge, sales tax (which in the state of CA, for instance, is 7.25% or $51), plus $76 in shipping, for a total of $826.
Glorantha: The Gods War (Reprint & NEW Expansions) completes its Kickstarter on Tuesday, February 4th and tentatively ships in November 2021.