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  • Writer's pictureGrumpysarn

7 Reasons Godtear is a Great Game

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

This game is truly great. If you’ve come to this blog because you already play it, then you know this already. If you are considering getting a start with Godtear, I’m here to say unequivocally that you should do so. 

1 It’s Easy to Collect

I have collected a lot of miniatures games in the past, but usually I did not stick with them long enough to get in a lot of games. This was kind of tragic; all the effort and expense yielded only mediocre payoffs in terms of game play. Sure, I enjoyed painting (though I’ve never been great at it), thinking about strategy, and reading fluff, but playing the game was always the point. It turned out that this was a hassle. Any wargamer can tell you that there’s a lot of expense and space required to transport and store an army of miniatures. 

Godtear solves this basic problem. You really only need three champions to play a fully competitive game. This means twelve to eighteen models. Yes, you’ll want to own more than that if you intend to get seriously competitive, but it is truly not a requirement. Similarly, you do not need to assemble or paint your miniatures at all. They are honestly ready to play out of the box. You should definitely paint them if you enjoy that sort of thing. The models are beautiful and very pleasant to paint, but you get to decide the level of engagement you have with the hobby side. Zero is an acceptable level of engagement, should you prefer it that way. 

With other miniatures games, I have encountered the problem of collecting a faction only to decide that I want to switch factions and start all over again. This proves expensive and time consuming because I must then either shelve the models I had previously painted and assembled with so much care or else sell them. Godtear is totally factionless, so your shiny object syndrome is totally fine. If you see a model you like, buy it, paint it, and rest assured that you can use it any combination with your other models. 

2 It Has Free Online Tournaments

I never played much in tournaments before Godtear came along. I didn’t live near a group of gamers who played the games I wanted to play most of the time. The expense and time of travelling to tournaments seemed a bit much for my life. Fortunately, Godtear has a burgeoning online tournament scene. This is one of the small silver linings of the massive tragedy that is the pandemic. Godtear is fully playable for free in your web browser via Tabletopia. There is also a very good Tabletop Simulator mod as well. I’ve played two online tournaments in the last two months. The community is delightfully welcoming and helpful. There’s also a  really good website called Battle Ladder which collects lots of interesting data about the game. If you’re interested in learning the game, hop on the Discord Channel and ask for a game. I’m sure someone will oblige you. Best of all, it won’t cost you a thing. 

3 It Eliminates Some Common Negative Play Experiences

It sucks when you know you can’t win, but you still have to play the game out for another ninety minutes. Godtear solves this through its unique scoring system. The game ends as soon as one player reaches five victory points. Victory points are won by winning turns, and the tug of war for each turn resets every time victory points are awarded. This means that the instant one player can no longer win, the game ends. 

It sucks when you really want to do stuff with a model, but it gets killed right away. Godtear solves this by never having a model permanently leave play. Getting your champion KO’d is bad, but it does not remove that champion from the game. Every follower unit has built in recursion which ensures that it stays relevant throughout the whole game. 

It also sucks when there is a dispute about measuring range or line of sight. Godtear solves this by being played on a hex board and simply not having line of sight. No more arguments over fractions of an inch. 

4 It’s exquisitely balanced. 

This is probably my favorite thing about the game. The publisher, Steamforged Games, did a massive yearlong open beta, so they got an unusual amount of fine-tuning done prior to release. Some champions are a little ahead of the power curve and some are a little behind, but honestly any champion is viable and no champion seems to have broken the game. If you doubt me, go check out Battle Ladder. 

Of course, no asymmetrical game will ever be perfectly balanced, and SFG’s beta won’t enable them to tweak the game for upcoming releases, but fortunately there are several other factors that help maintain the game’s balance. First, each game has a different scenario, so some champions are going to be stronger into certain scenarios, meaning no one champion can ever really break the whole game. Moreover, for competitive tournament play, champions are taken in and out of rotation which allows Steamforged to shake up the meta however they feel they need to. 

5 It Will Never Really Be Solvable

There are a simply staggering number of champion combinations available and scenarios which might be played. The dice are also very swingy, which means that even the best laid plans can go awry. Fortunately, there are so many meaningful decision points in a game that this randomness very rarely prevents the player who is making better decisions overall from winning the game, but it is just enough randomness to make sure that both players have to react to the unexpected in every game. As previously mentioned, there is a champion rotation for tournament play, so Steamforged can shake things up whenever the game gets stale. It’s also not hard to imagine them releasing new scenarios in the future. 

6 Its Two Turn Phases Give the Best of Both Worlds

  Alternating activation turn structures sometimes  prevent players from setting up cool combos. Godtear turns are split into two phases. In the first (plot) phase, each player does their whole turn uninterrupted. The abilities available in this phase are usually about positioning, buffing, rebuffing, and otherwise setting up combos. 

I go, you go turn structures soemtimes lead to someone getting alpha striked into oblivion, meaning that whoever gets to go first usually wins. Nope. Godtear shifts to an alternating activation structure in the second (clash) phase. This is typically the phase where models attack each other which means that there is immediate counterplay once the swords start swinging. 

7 It’s Deep but Sleek

There is essentially no bookkeeping in Godtear. The game comes with “dashboards” for each player which easily organize and display the game state.  You indicate that a unit has finished activating by flipping its card over. You indicate the presence of a wound, buff, or debut by placing a counter on the dashboard. At a glance you can check the state of your models and your opponents models without cluttering the actual board at all. It’s great. You never need to write anything or even mark wound boxes. 

The game also combines immense depth with absurdly lightweight core rules. Godtear’s core rulebook is 23 pages long (plus the scenarios). It has very large text and lots of huge pictures. The core rules are very simple. Most of the depth and complexity comes from the variation in the models and their rules. This very manageable, though, as there are only three champions and three follower units on each side in a full-scale game. 

Final Thoughts

I have always had friends who like board games (Catan, etc) but who are baffled by miniatures games. Seasoned wargamers forget what a massive hurdle assembly, painting, terrain, etc. are for folks like that. Even the simple idea of measuring distances to move models is mind blowing to folks used to board games and not miniatures games. Godtear is actually accessible to these folks. I know because I have tried it. It’s really amazing to have a game deep enough to scratch my wargaming itch and accessible enough to play with with my friends who are not wargamers. 

I have never had a negative play experience with this game. Yeah, it felt bad when the dice betrayed me a time or two, but I’ve never felt like I won or lost a game overall because of the swingy dice. I’ve never really had a rules dispute. I’ve never felt like a matchup was unwinnable for either player at the outset. 

This game is super fun. Play it! The online version is free! The core rules and every champion and follower card are available for free!

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