Godtear and Skytear

HELLO LOVELY PEOPLE

I’ve seen a lot of people posting about the Godtear and Skytear games in various threads, but I haven’t really seen much in the way of thoughts on these games. Even YouTube is kinda quiet on these two, and BGG is always a weird place to go for opinions.

What do you think of them? Is there a lot of deck construction or other pre-game fiddliness to the draft/set up? All comments or full on reviews welcome. :smile:

2 Likes

I can’t speak for Skytear, but Godtear is very fast to set up. Each warband only has 3 cards to worry about. No deckbuilding, and even with the campaign mode they put together, there’s very little to track. For a full experience, however, you’ll need an absolute minimum of four warbands, and six is what is required for the full game.

3 Likes

I won’t have a lot of hands-on input, with Godtear still on the way, and Skytear barely played, but I do have some initial impressions about the latter and can at least give a little insight into why I opted to try both.

Briefly, Godtear is incoming because of a perceived straightforwardness. I see this one almost more in the same vein as a game of The Duke. The only cards in the game are basically player aids that remind you of what’s available to each champion and minion set, in each of the two main phases of the game. Even though this is a heroes and minions miniatures game, I actually see this competing with War Chest more than Skytear because of this (minus the bagbuilding).

Skytear is a card game with a miniatures game supporting it. But the miniatures game supporting it is dynamic and exciting. Godtear was competing against Skytear for my money initially, but my partner has zero interest in the deckbuilding, and unless a friend or two dives in with me, it won’t technically be as fulfilling as it could be so I dipped into both. In short, this one is as fiddly as you want to get with respect to the heroes fielded and their associated decks, but it’s also a lot of fun just casually. Each hero has an associated base deck, so you can just play those straight, and the dynamics of the MOBA system really make for exciting decisions on the field.

It’s worth noting that Skytear really doesn’t offer much in the way of deckbuilding out of the (starter) box. This doesn’t hinder the gameplay experience at all, but it’s worth mentioning if that would be the primary appeal straight away. So far I’ve added the Outsiders expansion just for more variety in the domes, but I like the gameplay loop enough that I’m likely to dive deeper over time.

[EDIT] Just to tack onto what @bengeile noted above, that’s a huge consideration I failed to note. The price to entry for the full Godtear experience is about triple that of Skytear. Hard not to mention that!

2 Likes

Wow! I didn’t realise Godtear had so many packs.

So you need 2 starter packs and 2 single warband expansions for a full game of Godtear? I’m not someone who’s adversed to dropping big money on games, but that feels like a lot of packs just to get out the blocks!

2 Likes

For a full game, yes, but there are rules for getting started in the core boxes, with just two warbands. If you were going to do this, I’d recommend the Borderlands core, as a Blue vs Yellow is a bit more fun than a Green vs Red.

I’ve gone all in, but only because I needed a large scale painting project to keep sane in quarantine, and I’ll be using the elements of the game in my classroom this Fall. (if I have a classroom this Fall).

4 Likes

Thanks. I’m just curious for now. I have Aristeia for my 2p skirmish games (compact, easy drafting/set up, and multi-use dice were big draws for me), and Guards of Atlantis incoming for 4p (I like the card action selection/programming, and it was the most popular of this style at the time), so I’m not in urgent need. More curious about where they lie in a Venn diagram; what each games covers and lacks.

These sort of games are my bag, and I’m sure my brother and I would’ve been obsessed as teenagers, but it’s finding someone willing to deep-dive with me that’s the issue. So two games is more than enough for me for now.

Never say never though!

I’m planning a lot of painting in fall/winter, but I have Aristeia, Blood Rage and most of Rising Sun to do. So I have no excuse to buy more models. The Godtear minis do look amazing.

2 Likes

I found this reviewer’s insights helpful. I bought into Skytear when GoA2 was about to go live so I wanted to make the right choice for my tastes. No coverage of Godtear, but there are some helpful comparisons between other competitors. Note that Skytear stands on top of their heap, currently.

https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/103860/reviewing-moba-series

2 Likes

Thanks! It does seem to be all on a scale of luck vs no luck and easy set up vs depth of customisation.

1 Like

To some degree, yes. But I also think GT and ST both offer up something more abstract than other, similar offerings, which makes them a little more chesslike (for lack of a better term) than what I’d typically expect out of a true miniatures experience. Both offer an interesting and dynamic twist on area control as well, with both utilizing (actually quite different) tug-of-war mechanisms to keep things tense—and brief.

Something else that might not be obvious seems to be another feather in Godtear’s cap, at least going on what a lot of players have mentioned online about it: the division between plot and clash phases (essentially movement and staging, and then the fracas). The clash phase apparently adds a nice strategic layer to the proceedings, not something you generally get out of a reasonably quick, ground-level brawler like this.

2 Likes

Thought I should probably post here, as I’ve played both? Though I have limited experience at this point (thanks to lockdown), so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.

As @VictorViper said above, I think Godtear is easily the more accessible of the two.

Skytear possibly has more “up front” info to learn than even Aristeia, which has a fair amount. There is a simplified side for the heroes, which is currently all we’ve played, but you lose a lot. There is an entire action you lose (something akin to prayer/focus that is unique for each “class”), and it seems to really impact the game.

I don’t plan to dive into the deck construction of Skytear, but it is an option, and I’ve heard it’s fairly deep if you want get into it. If not, there are pre-con decks for each hero online, and you can draft and “shuffle build” your deck.

Also, there is a very active Discord for Skytear, and the designers are often there to answer questions Asia the community (which seems to be great so far).

While Godtear doesn’t have the deck construction, how you draft your team still has a strong impact. The dual phase (Plot/Clash) is really interesting, and opens up some really interesting decisions. In some ways, Godtear is a mix of big old school skirmish games (like 40k) and smaller more modern skirmish games.

The Plot phase is very similar to 40k as it’s an “I go, you go” system. Champions are placed in an alternating fashion, but than the “first player” moves all of their units, and performs any Plot phase actions (no attacks generally, but there are units that break this rule).

After the Plot phase is the Clash phase, which is an alternating activation system, and where the majority of the combat will happen. This phase is very reminiscent of Warhammer Underworlds, minus the card play. The variable scoring of Godtear is interesting as well. The rounds escalate to Round 3, than calm back down. Leads to a fairly unique flow, and (so far) can help alleviate the idea that you’re not really in it.
To break down;
Rounds 1 & 5 = 1 point
Rounds 2 & 4 = 2 points
Round 3 = 3 points.
Sure, you can lose 3 straight, but even if you lose 1 and 2, you know you you’re still in it (usually).

Skytear is more of a direct MOBA inspired game, and you can win by destroying an enemy Nexus (home base basically), or on the standard 2-lane map, by achieving one of 3 randomly drawn goals; note that one downside is there are no tokens to track the ones that need to be tracked, so you’ll need to get creative, lol).

The larger 3-lane map can only be won by destroying the enemy Nexus, but we’ve not tried this yet. I hope to soon. There is also a smaller 1-lane map coming soon, that promises quicker games (20-40 minutes), which will be nice. This can be a big plus, as Godtear feels like it would loose too much if you cut the size down, and had fewer Champions (though maybe an alternative map would help?).

So after all that rambling, where do I stand?? No idea, lol. I really do enjoy both. While they have many differences, there are some similarities;
Drafting your team
Positioning is very important in both
Unique feel from other skirmish games (though Skytear possibly takes the edge here as it feels more akin to a true MOBA from my understanding).

All of that said, never forget that I also have a problem and have more skirmish games than any other single genre, so grain of salt and all that.

If I were to recommend one over the other, it would depend on a few factors; Skytear has a lower buy-in, and the starter box is actually a full game. Godtear requires 2 starter boxes, plus 2 Champion packs, or 1 Starter and 4 Champion packs for a full 2 player game. That would still only be 6 Champions, which would not be a ton of variety, especially as there is no deck construction to add to said variety. Makes it hard for me to really recommend.

However, Godtear is (imo) significantly more accessible, once you grok the Plot/Clash phases.

Given that you already have Aristeia, I would possibly lean towards Skytear. All three games have area-control elements, but Skytear has the option of the smaller map and shorter game, which may or may not be a factor, plus variable win-cons on the “standard” map.

On the positive side, both games seem to be getting a fair amount of support. Both have all of the KS content at, or soon coming to, retail. Both also have more announced content, though I believe Godtear is further down the line; I don’t think they have a released planned until August.

TL:DR - I would probably recommend Skytear, even though I suspect Godtear may end up being my preferred of the 2.

As an aside, I asked my son what he thought, and he said Skytear for similar reasons. He prefers Godtear (in part because it’s easier for him to understand), but given what you need just to have a full game, he wouldn’t recommend it on general principle.

Hope that long ass posts has some useful info in it! :joy:

3 Likes

My copy of Godtear was delivered on Friday. I’ve got the rules read and I’m left with a few lingering questions, but it was a breezy read and should be a short teach. I’ve got all my warbands laid out on the table right now, ready for a drawn-out 3v3 solo game (god help me) or, I hope, a 1v1 game with my partner this afternoon.

@Derelicte & @bengeile: any tips for a 1v1 matchup? Having gone through all the champion and follower cards, the game’s balance around 3v3 is immediately apparent. Some champs seem particularly weak without other bands to make them shine (curiously I’m getting that sense from Morrigan, who’s in a starter set). Any thoughts? The Finvarr/Titus matchup seems like an obvious pick, but I have a feeling my partner is going to want to give Nia and the Quartzlings a go (I’ve got both starters, Grimgut, Shayle, Mourneblade, Rangosh and Rattlebone).

[EDIT] to add: quality is quite good! A big part of the appeal of GT is the razor focus on minis, so components are minimal, but what’s there is excellent. GT and ST both really impress in that regard. ST has slicker graphic design sensibilities though.

3 Likes

My son and I only played one 1v1 game, and I believe it was Titus vs Finvarr. It was…fine, but as you said, the game doesn’t shine until you get to 3v3. The 1v1 does work well as a learning game though, as you still have all of the core mechanics at play.

I do agree that Morrigan in a 1v1 game would be a bad choice, and I don’t think she should have been in a starter box. She’s probably the most difficult Champion we’ve used, as she really needs support and to build up, which your opponent can see coming.

I think that using the same class on both sides might help in a 1v1 game, but I’m not sure. Maybe if you both went Slayer or Maelstrom. I expect a 1v1 of either the other two (sorry, can’t recall their names and I don’t have the rule book handy, lol) would be less exciting, especially using the first scenario (Life?) that has minimal objective hexes.

I also wonder how well Nia would do without support. I believe her minions can attack, but I don’t recall them being very mobile (could be mistaken though).

TL;DR for a 1v1 I would probably go for Slayer vs Slayer or Maelstrom vs Maelstrom, or maybe a mix. Especially if you are playing on the first scenario.

Edit: the main reason I say that is that keeping an objective claimed for an entire round can be very tough, and I’m not sure how likely it would be with minimal support and objectives on the board.

1 Like

I’ve found that pitting Maelstrom v Maelstrom is fun and easy for a 1 v 1 , same for Slayers. It keeps thing straightforward for a learning game. Having said that, Morrigan and Grimgut are both a bit trickier to use alone. If Nia is a favorite, then I’d put her up against a Maelstrom, as a Slayer might take the champ out too early to be fun, and a Shaper or Guardian might make for a too slow game. One the other hand, if you want a slower game for the teach, that could be a way to go.

My experience has been that Reds and Yellows are more bombastic, and Blues and Greens are more strategic, but the game is so quick that it’s easy to try a bunchbout. In a short period of time, so don’t sweat it too much.

Enjoy! (And don’t forget to mess around with the objective hexes between rounds)

3 Likes

No chance - the main appeal of the whole game for me is the dynamic objectives, so I’m eager to try out all the scenarios.

Thanks to you both for the insights. I was thinking about keeping to a single class for the learning game, but I had concerns that there wouldn’t be enough contrast between playstyles to keep it interesting (less a concern with slayers/maelstrom, moreso with shapers/guardians, I suspect). Though I can see Nia vs. Shayle being interesting…

We’ll see who she picks. Primary concern to start is that she doesn’t get a bad taste in her mouth, so I think I’ll just do another run-through of all the cards and be prepared to make a favourable counterpick.

2 Likes

Having dug into both a bit more. I have to admit, I’m a bit disappointed in ST’s character design. It’s so dull and generic, and kinda mushy/indistinct? I can see the appeal in the card play of the ST, but if I was paying for minis to be in the game, I like effort to be put into their design and how they’d look different on the board.

GT character design on the other hand looks damn neat. Not sure of some of the choices (like dropping in dwarves, because…) but on the whole the minis look great and reads pretty well on the board.

2 Likes

I completely agree, and actually the art direction and character design of Skytear were serious hurdles for me prior to digging into the gameplay more. I think in some ways it was a savvy choice, since no one character is tied to a given deck aside from their ultimates… but of course the other edge of that knife is lower impact characters. If you care much about lore with these kind of games, they’ve got a couple of published artbook/lorebooks at this point, and I suspect that would lend some depth to the individual units, but I couldn’t care less about that kind of faff.

I just finished mentioning to a friend and fan of Cthulhu Wars that Godtear ends up with a similar table presence (the colours help), which is pretty high praise indeed. But—BUT! Here’s a game of Skytear set up and a few turns in. Even unpainted, tell me that doesn’t look enticing:

2 Likes

It’s been reading about the mechanics that sells me on ST tbh. Its general appearance is jumbled and messy to me. The cards and mini silhouettes (which are the two biggest parts of the game by the looks of things) could be so much cleaner. The mechanics are the most important parts obv, but walking by a game completely blind I don’t know if this would attract me.

I imagine the mini silhouettes won’t be so much of a problem in person though.

2 Likes

From the very little I’ve played of ST so far, I can at least confirm the core is pretty compelling. Playing in basic mode really puts the cardplay in the background so you can focus on the board mechanics. They’re fun enough on their own, and it’s easy to see how adding in the worship ability will really intensify the challenges at the control points. Time will tell if both games will stay in the house though. We’ll see how it all shakes out over the next few months.

2 Likes