Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gloria Mundi Unboxing and Component review

Gloria Mundi in all its... gloria?

I recently purchased a copy of Gloria Mundi online for a really cheap price, and when it arrived, I thought I'd take the opportunity to do a little unboxing and component review.  If you're looking for a general gameplay or rules overview, you'll probably want to look elsewhere,  I'll talk briefly on the rule book, but you wont get a sense of how to actually play the game.    This is also my first Rio Grande Game, so I'm not sure what the norm for their packaging or components typically is, please keep that in mind as you read.  That said, enough babbling, on with the review!

The lid is popped!

Popping the lid, this is exactly what I saw.  When the box arrived, it was a bit disturbing to hear/feel that there was a ton of shuffling going on inside.  I was initially worried that things were gonna be a bit beat up, but it turns out to have been the board shuffling back and forth.  Luckily, nothing got beat up, and all the edge look crisp and clean. That said, as you can see, the game board does fit rather awkwardly in the box...

The first look under the hood...

 Underneath the game board and rule book, in the larger section we have the player screens, resource tokens, player tokens, and a catalog.  In the smaller section we have two decks, the "Builder" cards, and the resource cards.

The Box contents...

All the components inside. (clockwise from the left) 
You have the game board, the player screens, rules, player and Goth tokens, 
big bag of resource tokens, and two card packs.

The game board...

The board is pretty standard size, and as durable as any other game board I've come across.  
The art is is crisp and clear.  All pretty basic, normal stuff here!

Resource tokens...

A big bag of mixed components!  4 different types of tokens, 60x of each, to represent the different resources within the game.  Purple octagons for glory,  green cubes for farms, gold circles for cities, and white bricks for peace. (or the Roman Legions to keep the peace)  I ended up splitting these up into smaller bags to make set up easier.  They seem to be your basic, painted, little wooden tokens.  Don't chew on em, and I'm sure they last just fine!

Player tokens... and the big guy is the Goth!

6x player pieces, and the large, horned guy represents the invading Goth.
  Pretty basic plastic, transparent pieces.

The player screens..

The player screens, given to each player to hide their resource tokens and resource cards.  Both side feature the same fat roman.  This is one downside, and would have been a good opportunity to put some simples rules on the inside.  Something like the different phases, or perhaps the rules for the various card icons.  Also, it took me awhile to realize this, but the roman goblet is color coordinated to the each player.  It was hard to notice on it own, and maybe could have been better implemented.  Perhaps putting the player's colors onto the toga, either as trim to the toga or even just the entire toga color.

The builder cards...

The first of the two packs of cards, are the "building" cards.  They feel like your average board game card quality.  They are slightly taller, and thinner, than the "standard" card size, so you may have to do some minor hunting for card sleeves that fit if you'd like to sleeve them.  The builder cards are easily identified by the hammer on the back.  The art is nice and clear, and the colors stand out from each other.  Some of the icons can get a bit confusing, but if you've ever played 7 wonders, then these should be easy to grasp.

The resource cards...

These are the resource cards that get divided up amongst the players.  Green farms, gold cities, and white "peace".  Same size, and quality as the building cards, with the main difference being the plain, hammerless, card backs.  Which does bring me to another complaint...

Nyan, Nyan, Nyan, Nyan...

So, the cards were designed to fit into their own section of the box, using the white card board to keep them in place, however that section runs the entire width of the box.  Placing the cards in there as intended would probably force you to have to reorganize the cards prior to each game as there is nothing to keep the cards separated and within their respective decks.  Worst case scenario, the cards themselves start to get a little extra wear and tear to them.  My solution was a simple Nyan Cat deck box!  The downside is now there is an issue with them fitting within the box.  The game box is a little too thin to accommodate the cards and the game board, and will not shut properly if I try to continue to use the white cardboard insert.  Maybe I'm just used to other games having better, designated, and secure sections for their cards and components, but this was a big issue for me...

The rules... don't rule...

The rule book, again basic construction with clean, clear art and text. (excluding the text on the cover)  It comes in 3 languages, and the actual rules for the game is only 6 pages long.  That said, the actual writing of the rules within is atrocious!  If you search around, you'll see I'm not alone in thinking this.  The rules within are a bit unclear, and take some reading, rereading, and rereading again just to get some clarity.  I think I've got the rules down, but I wouldn't be surprised if I muck something up.  Needless to say,  the rules could have been written better.

All parts back in their new home...

Finally, everything is back in the box!  Again, due to some fitting issues, mainly with the cards themselves, I had to ditch using the white cardboard insert.  The box itself is kind of awkwardly proportioned.  A bit too long,and a bit too wide to fit all the contents comfortably.

So there you have it!  To sum it all up, I'd say the following:

- Nice art on the boards, cards, etc.
- Basic, sturdy game board, cards, and tokens

- Odd box size, causing things to not fit well.
- Poorly designed white cardboard insert will keep nothing secure.
-  Poorly written rules.

Still, not a bad purchase by any means, especially considering it is probably the cheapest board game of this kind I've ever purchased!  

Hope you enjoyed my little unboxing of Gloria Mundi!  Feel free to comment with any thoughts, or questions you have and I'll do my best to address them.

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