What if I told you a tile placement game could be more than just building castles, roads and farms? What if you could play as a young hero going on an adventure to slay monsters, find magical artifacts, explore new places and find friendly characters, all while still playing a tile placement game? Sounds strange, right? But that’s more or less what Tales of Glory is.
What is Tales of Glory like?
You start of with just your hero tile and a few starting resources (combat power, magical power, potions and coins), and from then on, the fun starts. You’ll play 10 turns. Each turn you’ll have the option to add a new “adventure tile” to your board.
You’ll start with a set of cards numbered 1-8. Each turn you will choose (in secret) 1 of these numbers. The numbers match 8 “adventure tiles” displayed on a common board. Once everyone has chosen you all reveal what number tile you want. If you’re the only one with that number you get that tile (provided you can pay for it). If you picked the same number as one or more players, the player closest to the 1st player will get the tile and the others get to pick from what’s left.
The trick is of course deciding what the right tile is for you. There are 4 different types: monsters, characters, places and treasures:
Monsters require you to have a certain combat and/or magic level and generally gives you straight up prestige (victory points). So if you spend your turns acquiring more combat and magic power you’ll be able to defeat the more and more powerful monsters.
Characters do various things for you. Some provide you with extra combat and magic power, while others give you points at the end of the game for having a certain type of card or other conditions.
Places are interesting things. They normally don’t give you anything by themselves, but if you connect them to (i.e. place them next to) specific other “adventure tiles”, they will reward you with various bonuses.
Treasures gives your various resources (coins, potions, combat and magical power) and often provide locked chests you can unlock later.
So after you paid for one of the above tiles you get to place it somewhere connected to your already placed tiles. Placement can be very important here because some tiles have “half key” symbols. Matching up 2 of these will reward you with a key, that you can then use to unlock a chest symbol anywhere on any of your tiles, granting you various rewards. Placement of the tiles is also very important when you take the Places tiles into account.
You continue doing this for 10 rounds and then the game ends. The tiles are stacked in 3 ages, so the end of the game will bring more powerful (and more expensive) tiles.
At the end of the game whoever has the most prestige wins the game. Extra prestige is awarded for having the most coins, potions, combat power or magical power scores.
Tales of Glory is a great little game, combining simultaneous secret selection of tiles, with a little bit of tile laying, and set collection. It has charming art and a nice setting. There are multiple strategies to win the game and they all seem balanced. I really like it and I’ve enjoyed all my plays of it, with all of the player counts.
Only getting 10 rounds in each game makes it a fast and different experience each time. You quickly become very aware of what tiles are good for other players and what tiles you think are safe bets. Picking the same tile as someone else can be brutal if you are later in the turn order, so trying to predict what other people will pick becomes very important.
The tile placement is super interesting, especially if you have some of the Places tiles. But even without them getting the half-key symbols to match and unlocking a chest for rewards just feels so satisfying.
Another thing I really like about the game is how it scales. All tiles will show up with all player counts, so once you played the game a few times you know what tiles will show up later. You can of course not be sure that you will get them.
The game also comes with an advanced variant where all players start with 2 extra tiles at the beginning of the game. These tiles are not part of the pile you normally play with and are secret to all but you. You can play either or both on any of your turns. This gives you extra opportunities to score extra points at just the right time. These really add some nice depth and secret information and are great to play with once you know the game and the normal tiles.
- Very nice setting and theme
- Lovely and colorful art
- Nice insert
- Scaled well at all player counts
- Some tokens are very small
- Player order is critical at 4-5 player games
The rules for Tales of Glory are simply and easy to grasp. The rulebook is well written and has lots of nice illustrations. It’s a game that can be easily played with families but I still feel it has something to offer gamers too (especially with the advanced secret tiles).
- Players: 2 – 5
- Playing time: 30 – 45 minutes
- Suggested age: 10+
A review copy of this game was supplied by Ankama