Godtear- An Epic 2 Player Miniature Battle

We were gifted God Tear: The Eternal Glade (and several expansions) by Steamforged Games for review. In this two player epic battle game, you control champions in a post-apocalyptic world. Long ago, the ancient gods battled as wars were fought and the earth was ravaged by battle. The death of these gods caused cataclysmic crystals to rain down upon the earth, destroying the landscape and destroying mountains upon landing. These crystals are known as Godtears and they have the ability to imbue survivors with the great powers of the gods, however, few can survive this immense power. Battles continue to occur as Godtear imbued creatures search for more power to claim as their own. You play as the powerful creatures that have absorbed the powers of the Godtears and have accrued armies as powerful leaders or have amassed followers as gods themselves.

Morrigan, one of the fiercest looking figures

Upon opening the Eternal Glade Starter Set, the quality of the contents is obvious. Steamforged Games has incredibly detailed miniatures and each and every set we reviewed is astonishingly well made. The miniatures come in three types, Champions (your main character), Followers (your pawns) and your banner (your claims to territory). Champions are slightly bigger and are your main source of power. Think of them as your kings in chess. They have higher hit points, movement and greater powers. They also have a special ability that can be used once per game. These abilities are greatly powered and can change the tide of battle if used at the right time. Followers are slightly smaller than Champions but by no means are they less detailed. They are your pawns, and while it is unfortunate when you lose one, they are replaceable and expendable at times. Depending on which player sets you are using (known as Warbands), you can more easily defeat Champions (Slayers), defeat Followers (Maelstrom), territory control (Shapers), and territory defense (Guardians). There are several Warbands to choose from, each one offering unique minis, player cards, and different abilities. Each Warband offers different play styles and when paired with other Warbands, they can offer even more unique combinations to play and strategize.

Skullbreaker ready for battle

Setup is simple given the scope of how in depth this game is. The game may seem daunting and rule-heavy but it is quite simple and flows smoothly once a few turns are played. To set up a game, you first select a scenario, a sort of storyline that changes the way the game is played, the strategies you will use and how the game shifts between rounds. Perhaps you will choose a scenario that will allow for each player to part ways and have equal footing or perhaps you will choose a scenario where players must meet head on if they want to make any progress, battling for dwindling resources. Each scenario offers a slightly different way to play and will change your strategy even if using the same Warbands. Simply put, scenarios will determine where objective hexes are placed, how they change between rounds (they may dwindle, they may increase, they may move around), and where your players may start on the map. The point trackers are also placed next to middle point and all other resources and status tokens are placed within easy reach of both players.

Hit points

Once the game is set up, gameplay occurs in rounds and turns have two phases. In the Plot Phase, you are planning your attack and are trying to get into advantageous positions. You first choose a Champion or Follower, then you may activate them (perform two actions). Champions are the only ones that may step on objective hexes (as followers do not have the power of Godtears) and they are also the only ones that may play a Claim action. Claim actions are a way for the Warband to claim a Godtear as their own. It is also important to note that Claim actions can only be played during the Plot Phase. Your other options are to Advance (move up to your maximum movement represented by a boot icon) and to play an action that is specified by your character’s card. The player actions vary greatly and can be anything from attacking, extra movement, or providing buffs or debuffs to other characters. You may only use an action once per activation. In this way, you must carefully assess what actions would be beneficial to you while also realizing that objective hexes are important for your Champions but impassable for your Followers.

Kailinn next to godtear and banner

Attacking in Godtear is unique and is close to D&D in terms of how the mechanics work. Should you choose to attack you must first choose a miniature (or miniatures if they are on the same space) to attack. Then you must see if your attack Range is able to reach the target (shown by an icon of hexes). If they are within range, you must check your Accuracy (a targeting reticle icon), and this represents how many dice you may roll for the attack. In terms of lore, your accuracy represents how accurate this attack is and whether or not you land the attack. In order to land the attack you must roll equal to or greater than the opponent’s dodge stat (a silhouette with a movement arrow). If you are successful then your roll for Damage; this, of course, represents the amount of damage your attack does. In order to do damage you must roll higher than their Protection Stat (a shield icon) and any damage done is equal to the amount of damage you rolled minus the protection. Any followers defeated in battle are removed from the map and may be brought back by a recruit action (an additional option for one of your actions. If a champion is defeated they remain on the map, but your opponent may move you up to two hexes away and your next turn is made up of a rally action and another action. So your turn is cut in half for that champion.


Any other action may vary, but you follow the same steps. First make sure that your range applies then perform the flavor text. For example, Morrigan’s Forward Minions! action has a range of 4, so any Cold Bones within a 4 hexes may be moved up to 2 spaces. Once your two actions are performed, you flip your card over from the Plot side (white background) to the Clash side (black background).

Player board examples

Scoring points in Godtear is quite simple. The score tracker moves back and forth between the center line and any time a player scores, the marker will move closer to their side. The player with the marker on their side of the tracker wins the round and scores points. In order to move the tracker towards you, you must perform certain feats. If you defeat a Follower, you move the tracker 1-2 spaces (1 space if a small follower as is the case for most Warbands, or 2 spaces if a large follower as is the case for Kaillin). If you defeat a Champion it is 4 steps. Making a claim action nets you 1 space. Having your banner still present at the end of the round nets you 4 steps (if both players have the same amount of banners present at the end of the round, no one gains any points). It is important to note that the Warband types mentioned earlier (Slayer, Maelstrom, Shapers and Guardians) gain an additional step if they meet their goals. So for example, if playing as Nia (a Shaper), she gains 2 spaces when making a claim action instead of 1. The game ends when a player gains 5 points. Each round varies in point amount but can vary in length and amount of rounds played.

Followers defeated on the side of the board

The game feels like it plays quickly but a game can last anywhere from 45 minutes to 120 minutes. This depends on what Warbands you play with and how many Warbands you play with (anywhere from 1-3 per player, with each player playing with the same amount of Warbands). The contents are very easy to keep in order and the miniatures are the game’s high point in terms of components. One die had a misprint and was missing some of the paint but other than that everything was of very high quality. The die by no means changed the gameplay or hindered gameplay in any way, but we jokingly stated that it counted as a half instead of a full point. The player mats are helpful in keeping things in order, but we thought it odd that there were 3 player mats. The game is a two player game, so having an odd amount of player mats seemed strange. It would have made sense if 2 player mats or 4 player mats would have been included but 3 made us wonder if we were missing a mat or had an extra mat included accidentally.

Blackjaw’s followers, the Unburnt Reavers back to back

In terms of asymmetric balance, despite having so many Warband options, each character is very well balanced. Nia and her quartzlings are not designed for heavy battle and she plays very well as a shaper, trying to take control of territory. Kaillin is the fastest(most movement speed) of any character and she can encroach on other characters very quickly, her only caveat being that she cannot step into objective hexes, so having her as support is the better idea. She does also have two large followers that may each use an action, so she is very powerful to play as but opponents will score more points should they defeat her followers as they are large followers. Blackjaw is an intimidating force, gaining a bonus action for defeating opponents, and whenever small enemies are alone on a hex within 3 spaces of his Unburnt Reavers they lose accuracy due to fear. Morrigan gains additional bonuses and whenever her Cold Bones are defeated the opponents that dealt the final blow are debuffed in their dodge stat making them expendable bonuses at times. Skull Breaker and his Tooth Bearers are a daunting force that can easily take out opponents. Skull Breaker can plow through enemy hexes and whenever the Tooth Bearers defeat an opponent Skull Breaker gains a bonus. Mournblade is extremely frail having only 1 hit point. However, when defeated he is worth only 1 step instead of 4. His Knighshades are just as frail and have a unique bonus that any adjacent enemies have a speed of 0. Mournblade can also make a rally action whenever an opponent is defeated. This makes Mournblade extremely expendable and a great support for fast moving or hard kitting Warbands. Helena and her Rallied Peasants are high scoring frail humans. Helena cannot make claim actions. Ever. However, as long as she is not knocked out, she counts as a banner herself. This makes her invaluable as a character as she automatically “starts” with a banner in play. Her followers also gain dodge and defense buffs when they are within 2 hexes of Helena. Every character is unique and well balanced. Any combination would work well within the game and it is really up to you how you decide to play. You can win the game without ever having to defeat an opponent with the right combination. Conversely you can also win the game without ever making a claim action with the right combination. You can also win the game with a mixture of attack and defense. The game’s rules, minis and maps make the game seem more complicated than it actually is. The nuance of this game is how you decide to play and strategize. A two player strategy game of epic proportions.

Mournblade, surrounded
Mid battle

Language Barrier Playability: Do not recommend playing this game with a language barrier. This game is very text heavy and any strategy would be very difficult to do. If each player had cards of their own language the game would be easily playable but if both people do not speak the same language and both people are using the same language cards then it would be close to impossible to really strategize without consulting the native speaker.

Replayability: Very replayable. This game offers a modular board and offers tons of options in terms of characters. With about 25 different warbands available that leaves the game with over 10,000 character combinations if players are NOT allowed to use the same character.

Morrigan’s followers, the Cold Bones

Artwork: Excellent. The artwork is wonderful. The board is pristine, though difficult to see the hexlines on some parts of the board. The rulebook offers excellent artwork, the cards are beautiful and have we already mentioned how great the miniatures are???


Strategy: The game is very heavy on strategy. It seems like an easy game but you’ll quickly find yourself finding new combinations to try out or you’ll find that your initial strategy is horrible and must switch it up.

Mid battle

Quality: Excellent. Everything in the box is of great quality. Lightly textured cards, easy to store minis, hefty well-balanced custom dice, and epic miniatures.

Instruction Manual: Very well made. The flow of rule explanation is a little strange but once you read the manual there will be minimal questions you have to return to. We needed a reminder on what to do when a champion was defeated as it is not something that seemed to happen often.

Organization: Excellent. Everything fits neatly and tidily inside. Cards are easy to store, minis are individually molded so their places are easy to find.

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