The new edition of Glory to Rome is within striking distance of the record for the best-funded Kickstarter project in the board & card games category. That record is currently held by Eminent Domain with $48,379; Glory to Rome is 95% of the way there as I write this, with 11 days still to go.
Update: And, the following morning, it’s made it!
The game itself is very well-regarded, sitting in the Top 100 rated games at BoardgameGeek.com. Keep in mind that this is out of a database of many thousands, about 7000 or so of which have enough user votes to be ranked at all. Anything in the top 1000 or so is usually considered to be a very good game.
And yet, I’ve never played it. So any recommendation implied above is not based on my personal experience. Why have I never played it? Because of the art in the original edition. I’m sorry, but it’s just not good. There are people who say that this shouldn’t matter if you’re in it for the gameplay, but they are making a mistake. The mistake is to imagine that you can just ignore the art. In reality, any good experience can be ruined by tying it to another, bad experience. It’s like it’s the 90’s again, and I’m visiting a Geocities page (kids, ask your parents). Okay, nothing’s that bad, but every time I was on the verge of picking it up, I’d see it, curse my eyes for the traitors that they are, and stop.
The new edition uses a clean, fairly minimalist design based on handmade papercraft images. While one could argue that the Roman theme is muted by the iconic style, it’s certainly pleasing to the eye. Moreover, it’s just an interesting story to see the old Kickstarter record being approached.
For context, professionally printed board and card games have significant setup costs, so you need to sell a fair number of copies before you break even. A typical preorder campaign is the “P500,” which is a 500-preorder commitment before going to print. Glory to Rome’s funding goal was similar, the equivalent of 600 copies, and they made it in the first 48 hours. Since then they’ve added various promotional cards and such to the campaign to keep fuel on the fire.
Congratulations to publisher Ed Carter, co-designer Carl Chudyk, and graphic designer Heiko Günther on a splendid success story.