Glory by Hogg Publishing arrived at my door just a few weeks ago after I backed it on Kickstarter on a total impulse last March. When I saw this on KS I was immediately drawn in by the incredible artwork and only became more excited after reading about the game. Could this be a dungeon-crawler game that can be played in less than an hour? A full adventure that does not require multiple game sessions?
Adventure awaits! In Glory each player chooses an adventurer and sets out into the world to complete quests, battle monsters, and gain new gear and abilities to achieve their ultimate goal of reaching 20 glory. The game oozes theme as the incredible artwork and fun flavor text on all the cards describes a world of fantastical journeys.
Although the theme is generic fantasy, it rises above classic tropes through an art style that brings forth so much character. It’s clear where the inspiration lies, Tolkien and D&D, but it is elevated above the crowd.
The artwork (I know I keep mentioning it) is simply top tier. See for yourself on the Components page (scroll down for the artwork). The cards are great, the map board is great, the character boards are great. The game includes a set of dry-erase markers to easily keep track of your stats and quest progress. You can write on the cards and your character board, which is a great system. My only complaint is the character standees. They feature the same fantastic artwork but, c’mon, they are standees and are simply not fun to move around the board. Luckily, I’ve got dozens of miniatures from other games to use instead.
Now, this could be a turnoff for folks but the main mechanic for Glory is roll and move. I know, I know, that’s not a great mechanic. Luckily there are many ways to mitigate the randomness and the frustrations of roll and move. You can always take a point of damage to move one space further, there are dozens of items and abilities that let you modify your roll and there are many ‘stop spaces’ where you character does not have to worry about rolling an exact number to land there.
Combat is also determined by a die roll. There are several modifiers in place to make your attacks more likely to hit or do more damage. When fighting a monster, you’ll fight for several rounds and you can always leave combat if it starts to break bad. Defeating monsters earns you glory (the victory points in the game), but that’s not your only option.
There are four towns on the map and each one has a quest for you to complete with rewards of both glory and coin. Multiple heroes can complete the same quest, with the rewards diminishing for those that don’t complete it first.
Coin can be spent on new gear to enhance your character and every five glory you learn a new ability. The character progression is fast and rewarding. Starting out you may struggle to defeat a lowly goblin, but by the late-game you’ll be going toe-to-toe with dragons and giants.
Honestly my only knock on the gameplay is the player elimination. If you die in combat, that’s it. Game over for you. Luckily, there are ways to alleviate this through both items and abilities.
Turns go around and around with each character moving to a location and then interacting with it. Interactions could be fighting a monster, starting a quest, flipping a Fate card or a number of other things. First player to 20 glory wins!
I have a weakness for campaign games. And looking at my collection, it shows; Descent: Journeys in the Dark, Grimslingers, Imperial Assault, OG Warhammer Quest, Journeys in Middle Earth, and Kingdom Death: Monster to name a few. I love the narrative and the promise of character progression is a siren song. But this is a major issue with all these games – time. All of them take a serious time commitment and it’s hard to get them to the table. And this is where Glory shines. It’s all the greatness of a full campaign packed in a 60-minute package. The simple and streamlined rules make it easy to teach and players can jump right in. Each game session feels like a full adventure and there is enough mystery remaining after a game to bring you back for another.
After four plays I can confidently recommend Glory – now available.