23 Dec 2013

First Time Playing: Legends of Andor

I need to start this with a warning to any dragon lovers out there. If you intend to play this game, be prepared to get completely and utterly distracted from the other players' attempt to teach you the rules of this game - as you will pretend to fly the dragon figure across the board map, have it land in the pile of golden coins, making Hobbit references the whole time. Legends of Andor is a visually stunning game that makes you want it to be a great playing experience before you as much as glance at the rules. I'm not kidding, it's absolutely gorgeous.

I should mention that I have only played the tutorial scenario for this game, and thereby cannot give a clear indicator of what the game is actually like. It's a co-operative fantasy game, where players take on the roles of up to four heroes, each with their own special ability. The game comes with different scenarios to choose from, which have a set of story cards marked with letters to indicate which game round they come into play. These cards can depict anything from arising dangers, like enemies showing up in certain areas of the board (specified by race and the number tile they appear on) or forests burning; to added difficulty like the removal of certain wells or bridges; to new tasks like having to deliver a scroll to a specific area before a certain round completes.

Game rounds are depicted as days in the game, where players are able to move and/or take actions depending on how many hours they have left. All daytime hours are free to use, but night time hours cost willpower. If players engage in battle with an enemy (whether it's a solo or co-operative battle), the enemy will only sustain damage for as long as the player fights it - meaning the player will have to kill the enemy within the same battle. Each attack in a battle cost an hour, and the number of attack dice depend on the player's willpower. To cause damage, the player's highest die roll and strength need to total more than the enemy's highest die roll and strength. Defeated enemies will spawn at the edge of the game map, and at the beginning of each day, enemies will progress one step on the board (the game board details the order which the enemy races move). Whenever an enemy is defeated, a bonus of either gold or willpower is awarded to the player(s) that defeated it (if it was a co-operative battle, the reward is divided between the players that participated).

Now, as I previously said, I have only ever played the tutorial scenario of this game, so I don't really feel I can make a real verdict on it. It certainly looks amazing, and I definitely think abundances of humour and fantasy references elevates the experience (we certainly had a lot of laughs while playing it). I think it has potential, at least if the complexity and difficulty of the actual game scenarios are a lot higher than the tutorial one. We didn't really feel we were in any real danger of losing the game as any enemies that approached the castle were easy enough to kill and they also moved slow enough for us to be able to catch up. But I recognize that a tutorial scenario has to be easy in order to teach the game properly, so I am assuming the game's actual scenarios bring a lot more to the table.

As any other co-operative game, it's not too hard to learn, as you have several other players to ask for advice. But if you are a newcomer, make sure at least one of the other players are already familiar with the game.

This gorgeous thing completely distracted me!!!

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