Review: Godtear (Steamforged Games) – English

Those pesky mortals have lost all semblance of faith in the old gods and are wasting away their time fighting bloody wars. They proverbially bleed the world by leaving it in ruins, ashes and general havoc. The old weakened gods die out – unhappy, weeping, while nothing remains of them other than their tears: the so-called Godtears. These tears are imbued with immeasurable and mysterious powers far too powerful for most of those mere mortals. Those who seek out these tears await a devastating fate as the tears leave the world in an apocalyptic state. Only a handful of champions manage to control the power of the tears. Legends say that the Godtears may even contain the power of immortality… In Godtear, 2 players go head to head to fight out a skirmish with their champions and their followers of choice to conquer the tears. Will you leave your opponent weeping or will you need a tissue to wipe away your own tears?

How to win?

Godtear, published by Steamforged Games, is a miniature skirmish game: a game in which players fight out a battle with colourful and/or painted plastic figures. Not an overtly long war that lasts for hours upon hours and takes up all of the available table space. No, Godtear is a compact blitzkrieg where two camps duke it out. Each game the players play a certain scenario with its own set of specific rules. The skirmish has several rounds and each round takes place in 3 phases (plot, clash and the end phase) where players will tug (of war) for power during the round. The winner of the round gets a certain amount of victory points and the first player who manages to collect 5 points wins Godtear.

Each battle is fought on a game board consisting of different hexagons. Depending on the scenario played, objective tiles are placed on the board in a specific pattern. On the side of the game board, players will find a turn tracker that indicates which player has the upper hand during a round. By performing specific actions during a round, players can move the tile on the turn tracker in their direction like a literal tug of war. Players may move the turn tracker one or more steps if they:

  • Defeat a champion (4 steps) or follower (1 or 2 steps) of the opponent;
  • Perform a claim action and manage to place a banner (1 step); or
  • Have a banner on the field at the end of the round (4 steps).

Special abilities may allow a player to move even more steps.


Each round has 3 phases. During the plot phase, players plot and prepare for the clash. During the plot phase, players activate all their champions and minions at once. During the subsequent clash phase, players again activate all their figures, but now players take turns activating a single champion or set of minions.

Each champion or set of followers has a so-called two sided action card. During each of the two action phases, a different side is used. After the champion or set of minions is activated, the card is turned over to show new abilities for the next phase, but this also serves as a reminder that this champion or set of followers has already been used during this phase.

Each figure that a player activates can perform up to two different actions. The champion or set of followers can move or use skills. A champion can also place a banner on a Godtear during the plot phase to collect steps on the turn track. Fortunately, by moving a unit over an opponent’s banner you can easily get rid of those pesky things.

Due to the fact that you can only perform two actions per figure and you can’t repeat a specific action or skill ánd because you have to deal with different skills and special abilities and effects during the different phases, players need to plan their moves well in advance.

Skills and battles

Each champion and set of followers (a warband) has its own set of attributes and skills that must lead players to victory. The different skills are detailed on each of the action cards. Some actions can be used to assist other units or to attack enemy units. Some skills have a range limitation and for the skills you use to attack/affect/damage opponents, you often need to roll a quantity of dice to check whether or not you achieved a hit.

For a skill, it may be described how many dice the player must roll to determine whether an attack is successful. You compare the result of the dice throw with the dodge value of the figure being attacked. Is the result equal or higher? Then the attack is successful. Hit! Any special abilities will be applied and possibly damage will be done! If an attack can deal damage, the player rolls a number dice to determine exactly how much damage is dealt. Any defense value of the attacked figure is deducted from the damage dealt. Did you manage to knock-out an opponent? Great! You may now take a step on the turn track and you might smell victory already!

Through special skills, players may receive boons (positive bonuses) and/or blights (negative bonuses) that may impact accuracy of attacks, damage, etc. In addition to skills and attacks, players may also be able to bring knocked-out units back into the game as an action.


For a miniature game, it is important that the figurines are of high quality, and fortunately that is always the case with Steamforged Games. Godtear’s figures are distinctive and full of character, detailed and beautifully designed. The game is available as several starter sets with different champions and their followers, as well as individual sets containing warbands of champions and their followers. All these warbands play in their own unique ways. Some warbands have many followers while other warbands rely primarily on large and strong followers. All the different champions and followers also have varying powers and skills. During a game of Godtear each player can play with 1, 2 or 3 champions and their associated following allowing players to create many different and varied combinations of warbands, ensuring each game is different.

As a minor nitpick: the rulebook of Godtear is unclear on some parts due to the structure of the rules sometimes feeling illogical. The game itself, however, is extremely intuitive and logical. Each round there are two phases with different types of actions characterized by the two sides of the cards. This makes it clear which figures still need to be activated and how long a round will last. Rounds are quick and snappy and you really need to plan ahead due to the positively restriction on the amounts of actions a player can take. Planning your actions is a brain burning puzzle and pulling of moves feels rewarding. The goal of a round and game is always clear. Players try to make as many moves as possible on the score track. It is clear who has the upper hand during and players can use this knowledge to adjust their strategy.

Godtear is a very elegant miniature skirmish game that is intuitive and fast paced. The game manages to combine a miniatures game with cards, dice and all kinds of special features so elegantly that it almost feels like you are playing a huge thematic game of chess. A big plus and highly recommended for two tactical players!