Rogue Angels: Legacy of the Burning Suns – Crowdfunding Preview
Instead of doing my normal Back or Brick today, we are going to be looking at an upcoming Kickstarter that I was fortunate enough to be able to preview with the designer, Emil Larson on Tabletop Simulator. This was a little bit ago but I wanted to write about it closer to the Kickstarter date, which is in February. Why write about Rogue Angels: Legacy of the Burning Suns now, because I’ve had a chance to think on it, and as I start to look forward to board games in 2022 and I think a lot of gamers start to budget for Kickstarters and other board games.
Introduction To Previews
Before I dive in, let’s talk about a few things, what is a Crowdfunding Preview? I think that for a lot of gamers, they want to learn about games that are coming to Crowdfunding, but I haven’t had many chances to preview anything before. So, I wrote up some of what my plans for doing previews are, and what you can expect from them, here.
The big thing is that I want to let you know about a game, I am not going to tell you to buy it or not. I am not going to do a review on the game, if I do review a game I have previewed, that is separate from the preview. And I will let you know if a game is a paid preview or not, in the case of Rogue Angels this is not a paid preview, but the designer reached out to me asking me if I’d do a preview on the game.
Rogue Angels: Legacy of the Burning Suns
Adventure in a sci-fi world where your decisions really matter. Rogue Angels: Legacy of the Burning Suns (Rogue Angels from here on) is a legacy game where you, either solo or cooperatively, take characters through a journey of exploration, battle, and story. The choices you make will affect your relationships with different groups. They branch out, cutting off some choices and opening up others. Will you survive or will you perish and a new crew member join your ship?
Player Counter: 1-4
Game Length: 60-120 Minutes (per scenario)
Audience Age: 16+
Theme: Sci-Fi Adventure
Game Type: Campaign (Legacy)
Game Mechanics: Action Management, Story, Dice Combat, Combat/Tactical
Launch Date: February 2022 (currently)
Price Point: $100 + shipping
Game Play Highlights
Each scenario, I believe, is going to kick off with story to get you into the scenario. The whole game has narrative throughout each scenario that will give you decisions and progress what your missions on. This is one of the main mechanics of the game, in that the story unfolds as you go along. Compared to other games that contain a grid or hex based movement and scenarios, this limits how much you know about objectives, and those objectives change over time.
While there are a lot of games out there with stories in them, Rogue Angels also has interesting card play. Each character has a deck of cards. These cards have a “cost” level. When you play down a card, it goes onto a track at it’s cost, or higher. And at the end of your turns, the cards cool down. Some cards have 0 cost, so they come back immediately. While others might cost three, and not be available.
These cards help you do the basic actions in the game. There are attacks that you can, movement to get around the board, but then other much more specialized things. Beyond that, you can also rest to get back cards faster. And while there are basic cards that are similar, each character will have their own special actions or weapons as well.
The dice are used in a fun way. Cards will allow you to roll dice, and a set number of dice. You can reroll, but some of the cards, rolling the dice will modify the attack or movement so you can move further or deal more damage. What I like is that the dice are never bad, but maybe not what you want. They might give you extra movement, but that might not be useful. It might just modify a number on your card. Or it could give you more defense, which isn’t useful if you don’t need more. So it’s always useful, but it’s not always useful.
You can also push to reroll dice, but that is a limited resource as well. So you can reroll when you are in a high leverage situation, but if you run out of them, it takes actions to get them back, or possibly card play. Either way it is using up what you can do on a turn.
Another thing to talk about with Rogue Angels is scaling of the game. The more players you have, the amount of time you have changes in the game. And I believe the number of combatants might change as well. The game is set-up to scale to all the player counts. This isn’t something new, but some of these story driven games expect a certain number of players.
It is a good time to talk about solo game play. This is not a true solo game. By true solo, I mean controlling one character. You need to play with at least two characters when playing solo. I don’t have experience with the solo game, but from my play, I think controlling two characters would not be too difficult. The card play mechanics are simple enough that while it’s an interesting puzzle, you won’t lose what you are doing between turns per character.
I think the final thing to talk about with game play is the legacy element of the game. I know for a lot of people, Legacy can be concerning. And for myself, with the game having, I believe, twenty characters, what were the legacy elements? On the cards and character sheets there are spots where you can add in cards. The legacy elements are for the characters only, that means that while you can play with four, you can play it multiple times.
The abilities that you can unlock continue to make your characters more unique as you play. As well as items you find, though those are not legacy in that nothing is done to modify those cards as you get them. The cards all have secondary abilities that can be activated, and that is an area that you can upgrade cards as well.
Who Is This Game For?
I think this game is for people who like games like Mass Effect. Emil Larson uses that as can example of his own as well, and I can definitely get that feel for the game. It progresses through a story, but that story is mature at times. I didn’t run into anything too mature, but there is violence and it is a big in depth story. So if you enjoy that sort of adventure game like Mass Effect, this game might be for you.
Emil Larson is planning for shipping and production to place in Europe, Germany, if possible. With the current shipping situation, the feeling is that it might alleviate some of that.
Rogue Angels is also not going to have minis. This was done so that using clips and bases health and everything for the combatants would be visible on the standees. It reduces the amount plastic but also the size of the box.
Rogue Angels Initial Impressions
This is an interesting game to me because I like campaign games and I like legacy games. I was very impressed with how the mechanics of the game work, while I’ve seen games do a cool down track to get stuff or to get things back, Star Wars: Rebellion or Oathsworn: Into the Deep Woods. The additional complexity of when you use actions and how you manage that cooldown, though, is an interesting interaction.
I also think that the story was solidly written. I’ve mainly just seen the introductory scenario(s) writing and it is compelling. The story seems to be building and while the start is just getting you into the world, I think that it will develop into something bigger. To me, writing is a question mark, though, most of the time because it depends on taste and style. If you get the chance to try the game on TableTop Simulator, I would recommend at least glancing at the starting story.
The dice, I think, will also give people some hesitation. I do want to reiterate here, and that I liked, that the dice are never bad. They might not give you what you want, but it isn’t a situation where a bad roll can completely stop an attack or movement. Instead, it can just limit how effective it will be. And you have resources to reroll, but they are limited and need to be managed as well.
Overall, I think that the play was simple enough to make this game accessible to a lot of people. However, it isn’t so simple that it doesn’t feel like your choices don’t matter. You definitely get to make important decisions and that’s just in using your cards, let alone in the narrative. And the game doesn’t feel lucky, yes, the dice can be lucky, but the dice aren’t the focus. And, the legacy element, for those concerned, doesn’t mean you can only play the game once.