Another new board game review is coming up, this time I played recently with some friends (aka last night), and took on the world of Andor as we tried to become legends. We only played through the into scenario, but we had a lot of fun with it, and it’s on the list to play some more as we do more small board game nights. By small board game nights, I mean with fewer people, so we don’t end up just playing party style games. Legends of Andor is a big fantasy adventure game where you play through a deck of cards that tells a story as you go along.
The first story has us facing off against monsters that are invading your lands, and you have to get a message to the elves that live in the woods to let them know. It’s not very epic, but the first scenario does an awesome job of teaching you how to play the game. It teaches you combat, it teaches you how fog works and how you can find things, and it teaches you have the action system works and how the story progresses. The action system and the story system are two of the really cool features of the game. The action system is set-up in a day, but they recognize that you can’t work 24 hours a day, so you can work hard for 7 hours a day without any issue, and you can push yourself, spending your willpower (a resource basically to determine your effectiveness in combat and HP), to work longer. The other fun thing is that story track. You are using these cards to tell a story, and there are letters that basically are parts of the story. So in the first story, only some letters had story bits on them, but whenever you move forward a day, the story track progresses, but not only that, whenever you kill a monster, the story track progresses, this means that you are deciding which monsters can be left alive so that you can complete the main objective, at the same time trying to figure out which monsters need to be killed so that they don’t make it into the castle and you lose the game that way. It is a fun countdown to try and figure out what is going on.
One thing that I don’t love about the game, though, is that you can play the same characters over and over again, maybe I really like to be the wizard (or the archer or the fighter or the dwarf???), and I want to play them again, the scenarios are built that your character doesn’t keep anything from what they’ve had in the previous legend. So every time I start out, my hero is my plain old vanilla hero. It would be way more awesome if we got to build up our hero over time. I realize why they don’t do that, the scenarios are balanced so that you start at 0, and leveling up your character in the strength of their attack or in their willpower goes pretty fast, so you’d have super powered characters by the end that wouldn’t need to do those strength or willpower actions anymore, and it would happen pretty early on in your third story out of the base five. But that would have been something cool that they could have done.
But going back to some fun things, one thing that I do like about this game is that the game isn’t too heady. Yes, it will be tough, and yes, you’ll lose, but it’s fast to reset the board and it’s a game that you can play with a middle school age kid and they’ll be a part of the game. Plus it’s cooperative, so that means that if they need help, they can get help, at the same time, anyone can point out something that you would have missed as well. And another cool thing to add onto the cool things stack is that you can buy more scenarios. Once you’ve figured out how to beat one you’ll have to forget before you can play it again (or come up with a scoring system to see if you can beat it), but you can buy more scenarios, which is cool, so it might be a bit of a money pit that way, but the base game comes with five legends, so five evenings of playing a game, that’s not too bad, plus it’ll probably be more because you’ll lose multiple times.
Overall this is a really fun game that does something awesome for a game that has a number of rules, it teaches you how to play in the first game. This game and Krosmaster are two games that do that, and Seafall is a game that pretends to hint that it might do that, and then completely lies about it. Legends of Andor is a game that I’d recommend, especially to people who enjoy fantasy based games. It feels like a light fantasy world that you get to play, or like YA fantasy would be a good way to put it, but that’s all it needs to be. And I’ve played it with three people twice and it’s fun to play at that level, and they do things to balance it out for fewer or more players.
Overall Grade: B
Gamer Grade: B-
Casual Grade: B+
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