As usual, good stuff seems to come in bunches. Today Fortune & Glory: The Cliffhanger Game arrived at the local game shop and Star Trek: Fleet Captains showed up on the porch, courtesy of the Post Office.
My first impression of both games was "wow." They're both really great looking.
I've seen a number of complaints on BoardGame Geek about the Star Trek game, which seem to fall into tow general categories -- broken ship models and cheap components for the price. As far as the first, I didn't have much of a problem. Just two ships were broken, and each was easily repaired with a dab of super glue. As far as value goes, it seemed to be around what I expect a $100 game to contain. It may be that I'm just used to the somewhat inflated prices of wargames compared to euro games, but the game contains a large full-color mounted board, 24 clix-based detailed starship models, a bag full of die-cut counters, a thick stack of map tiles (thin, but easy to shuffle because of that), full-color rulebook and a couple hundred linen playing cards in several decks. There's a well-designed insert that holds everything and a huge box. About the only thing that's clearly cheese are the two dice included in the game, which are some of the sorriest little dice I've ever seen in a board game. Those will have to be replaced.
Fortune & Glory has few complaints about component quality as far as I can see. Like other Flying Frog games it's full of neat stuff -- lots of cards, mounted board, fistfuls of miniature figures, counters,etc. There have been a few complaints about the kind of game it is, and those have, i think, more validity in that you definitely have to understand that this is a very heavy themed Ameritrash game, not a euro. There's very high random element in the game, players will sometimes find themselves in a tough spot through no fault of their own and there's little variety in moves. Again, as a wargamer, I'm kind of inured to the Fates and I enjoy games with strong narratives, so Fly Frog's games are just my cup of tea. For those born and raised on Knizia euros, Fortune & Glory may well seem like a chaotic mess that too often fails to reward good play. Point taken, but I don't really care. The game's got Nazis! Mobsters and a freakin' Zeppelin! Yeah. About the only thing that concerns me about getting this on the table more often is that it's clearly a longer-playing game that the other Flying Frog games with a listed playing time of 90-180 minutes. It's been my experience that games can easily take twice the listed time with rookies, so that takes it out of the random game night appearance and means it will be better as the featured game for a planned game day.