When people tend to think of playing board games, some of the most common first images are table flipping after some roll goes horribly wrong in a four hour game of Monopoly or Risk. So something like Sorry where you just are rolling turn, after […]
I’ve done these battles a number of times now, but we’re going to talk about Legacy (if you’re a WWE fan, you might have a few legacy jokes going through your head). If not, we’re going to be battling it out between the four legacy games that I’ve played thus far. Yes, I said four, and technically I’ve played five different legacy games, but we’ve already had a battle between Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and Pandemic Legacy Season 2, and I think they are close enough in feel and tie in that they are going to go into a single entry.
As I have talked about it before, it’s the first to enter the ring for the board game throw down. Pandemic Legacy is a strong contender as it works in a great story line with nice cooperative play. Season 1 is very similar to regular Pandemic where each person takes on the role of a CDC member and you are fighting various outbreaks. However, soon after you’ve started, you get a lot of twists and turns. The second season is much the same continuing after the first game by a little ways and able to be played without having played the first, but you’ll appreciate it more if you have played the first season.
Now, I’ve written about this game as well, and I will say that I haven’t played through whole game, and likely never will. SeaFall is an exploring sea faring game where you take on different tribes and try and expand explore the unknown. There is a story running through the game, though, it can be a bit tricky to find all of the story in the correct order or to feel like there is a ton of story to it.
This variation on classic Risk takes you to an alien planet, that somehow looks exactly like Earth, except that all the borders are made up of short straight lines. At that start of every game you pick your group of people and where you want to start, but instead of it being a slog to total world domination, it’s a race to see who can be the first to the victory point total. This move cuts the game time down a long long ways and makes the game much easier to get to the table than regular risk.
The final game in the battle is a worker placement game where you are competing against others to win the favor of the king as you work and build up a town for him. You build buildings, use what comes out of them to build more buildings, and you can explore crates which open up more opportunities to build and develop your section of the town into something unique. The game board evolves as the buildings you place are stickers, so everyone’s game is going to be unique.
Let’s talk about the tale of the tape with these games:
Time: Seafall games are by far the longest of any of these games. I don’t think that any others come close, in fact, Risk Legacy, the next longest game time, is probably about half the length of a single game of Seafall. Charterstone and Pandemic Legacy both generally clock in at under an hour, and Risk Legacy is just over an hour, whereas Seafall is probably three hours per game.
Story: Only in one of these legacy games would I say that there is a ton of story. Pandemic Legacy is full of story and twists and turns. I might get some disagreement, but Seafall has the next most story. While the story isn’t told the best, and you can get story out of order, there is definitely story in Seafall, it just isn’t presented or paced all that well. Risk Legacy and Charterstone basically have no story. Charterstone has a story slapped on the game, but the game wouldn’t play any different without the story, so I consider it completely optional, though it does pace out better than Seafalls, seeing as the story doesn’t really make a difference, it goes lower on the tape.
Ease of Play: Risk Legacy is probably the easiest out of all of them to play because it is just Risk with victory points. There’s plenty of familiarity with Risk out there in the world, and while not everyone might like it, they can probably pick it up easily. Charterstone is the next easiest as the mechanics of the game, while they do grow more complicated, still basically always remain, place a worker, or pick your workers up, so turns go by quickly. Pandemic Legacy is next, while at the start of the game it might be easier to grasp than Charterstone, Pandemic Legacy quickly adds in a lot of rules that you have to remember. Finally, Seafall, to no surprise, is a beast when ti comes to play, you have a lot of hard decisions to make every turn, and there is a decent amount of luck involved. Add in a poorly written rule book, and Seafall is not a game to pull out with beginners.
Now, I think that all of these games can be okay games. I have plenty of issues with Seafall, mainly a horrible rule book, and a poorly paced story, there are some solid mechanics behind it, and a lot of interesting and tough choices to make. However, it’s also the only one that is prone to a ton of analysis paralysis. So it’s the first out of the match, which is a shame, because I had high expectations for the game, which is some of the problem, because the game didn’t align with those expectations at all. Next out of the match is actually a double count out, so we’re getting to the winner which is Pandemic Legacy. No surprise there, but Pandemic Legacy has the story element and thematic ties that I look for in games. I will say this, though, about Charterstone and Risk Legacy, if your group is going to play a couple of games of it every other month, they are going to be better games to play, because you aren’t going to add in rules that vastly change the game between plays. However, the speed of play of Pandemic Legacy, the cooperative nature, and the great story telling makes it the winner.
On the horizon I’m hoping to play Rise of Queensdale and Betrayal Legacy. And I have yet again massive expectations for a Legacy game with Betrayal Legacy.
How many legacy games have you played, are there some that you haven’t that look interesting to you?
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I mentioned the topic in the Kickstarter FOMO post, but I wanted to talk more about different game mechanics that you might here people talk about when it comes to describing a board game, this will be a bit more focused definitions than the Jargon […]
Now, as I normally do, a disclaimer/clarifying my title since I just write catchy titles, or something like that. This isn’t only going to be about gaming with a baby around, it’s going to cover a number of nerdy things.
So, for those of you who aren’t friends of Kristen and myself, I can’t remember if I posted anywhere on Twitter or on Facebook for Nerdologists that we’re expecting our first kid. Which is super exciting, stressful, and life changing. One thing that I’ve been thinking about is how that’s going to affect the website, playing games, D&D, anime, movies, books, etc. I mean, clearly it’s going to affect it, but how much is it going to affect things.
First, I think that the Dungeons and Flagons podcast is probably going to take a bit of a break. Though I’m not sure about that, it’ll depend on a number of things, but at least a little bit of a break and more so than it has. We did just record recently, but once the baby is around it might be more of an official break.
However, I don’t want to get away from my nerdy roots and stop doing things that I’ve loved doing the past few years for the website as well as just in my life. I’ve found that a lot of these things, like playing Dungeons and Dragons, going to AcadeCon, starting up board game night and playing games like Risk Legacy, Gloomhaven, and Charterstone regularly have been great experiences. They also help me because I’m an extrovert and being around people keeps me energized and ready to go as well as keeping me in a better frame of mind.
So what are some tips and tricks for this? How do you balance wanting to do nerdy things and having a kid?
I don’t have a ton of answers for this, and for every person, it’s going to be different. But I think that there are a few things that I’ve been thinking about, that may or may not work, but that I think we’re planning on trying.
- Be fine taking the kid places. They have to get used to being at other peoples places, and while we have to take care of their needs as they arise, just because they want something, doesn’t mean that they are going to get it right away. Also, with our friends, we have friends, who are already modeling this some with taking their young children to our place another others places. There just has to be flexibility with Kristen and myself, as well as with others, because things aren’t going to run as consistently with a board game if Kristen or I have to step away to check on the baby, feed the baby or change the baby.
- Be fine having people come to a messy house. Small children and babies are horrible messy monsters, or something like that. But seriously, it’s going to be hard staying on top of cleaning when there is a small child who needs a lot of attention and makes a lot of messes so our house isn’t going to be as clean as it might be normally. And Kristen and I aren’t over the top and think that our house has to be completely clean when people come over, but we do try and keep it neat. It just might be a little less neat until the kid can pick-up after themselves several years down the line.
- Make intentional space for nerdy things. Now, with this, some of it is creating physical locations for these things where we can kind of keep board games separate from the baby by me finishing cleaning up and getting my games sorted and set-up in the basement or the corner of the office set-up for retro video gaming. But it’s also time wise, keeping going things like board game night or the Wednesday nights of playing Charterstone and Risk: Legacy or the Tuesday nights of Gloomhaven. But being flexible with them, which we already are, but trying to keep those things on the calendar will be important for me. And for Kristen, helping her keep time where she can play Breath of the Wilds or Dragon Age: Origins.
- Find faster nerdy things to do or fit them in where we can. Right now, I will probably watch a couple episodes of an anime before Kristen gets home from work. That might not be as possible in a few months, but watching one during down times and being intentional about those things is going to be how we can get in some more nerdy things. Probably won’t be able to play Arkham Horror every night, but getting in a quick round of Sushi Go! Party with Kristen after the kid has gone to bed and before we do, that’s certainly possible. Let those every day nerdy moments still happen whether it’s reading while in bed for a little bit a new fantasy book or watching an anime or sci-fi show.
So, I’m not sure how well most of these will work, and how much brain power Kristen and I’ll have on nights without a ton of sleep. But these are ideas that I wanted to get out of my head and into an article now, because otherwise, while I’m sleep deprived, I’m probably not going to remember any of them.
Do you have kids, or know someone who does, how do you keep nerdy things going yourself or with those people? What changes in nerdy things have you made, and what opportunities has it opened up? I know I’m excited for a few years down the line when I can start playing board games, not the normal kids ones, but some of the new kids games with our kid or introduce them to D&D or some RPG for the first time or until they can do better than me at Mario (that last one probably by the age of one).
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