Another Dungeon Crawl….Could This Game Be That Different!
A continuous theme for Board Game Manufacturers is the dungeon crawl scenario. We have them in all guises, Descent 2nd Edition, Dungeonquest, Mage Knight Dungeons, Dragon Strike, Cave Troll, Dungeon Roll, Dungeon! and the list goes on. So what makes Lost Legends different to all the other board games? well it is a competitive card-based dungeon adventure game. Each player taking on the role of an adventurer to fight through three progressively stronger levels of the game.
It is Competitive….So Expect to be Stabbed in the Back!!
At the start of each level of the game, players will get a chance to acquire new skills, weapons, armour, spells and artefacts. This is done through a card drafting mechanism. Each player is dealt a random hand, they chose to acquire a new skill or purchase an item and pass the remaining hand to the next player, receiving another hand from an opposing player. This mechanism can put you in the dilemma of deciding whether to help your fellow players or screw them over by converting a weapon into a skill.
Personal Dash Boards….Information Available at Your Fingertips!!
Each player randomly selects a hero board, which when flipped becomes a personal dash board where all their information is laid out. This board has three separate record tracks, where you keep record your of experience, manna and health. The outer edges of the board match the borders on the cards, making it easier to know where to place them. On the top left of the player board is the basic skill levels and further skills are inverted cards that slide under the board until only the skill symbol is showing. Having multiplies of the same skill level will mean in the next levels, new weapons will be cheaper to purchase and do more damage. On the top right of the board is where you keep track of the monsters you slay, again inverting them on sliding them under the board until only the monster symbol is showing. Victory point tokens and gold gained is all placed on your board, keeping everything nice and neat and at your fingertips.
It is Time to Enter the Dungeon….And Kick some Butt!!
So after gaining new skills, weapons, armour, spells and artefacts you get the chance to see if your preparation is up to the task. A deck of monsters is prepared for each level, of three encounters per player and a spare deck for those that use spells or artefacts to dodge encounters. At the beginning of your turn, if you do not have a monster in front of you, you must encounter a new one. You can choose to take on the face-up monster in the middle of the table or you can draw the top card from the monster deck. If you don’t think it’s a good idea to fight this monster and another player also does not have a monster in front of them, you can evade that monster and it will attack them. If you do take this option, then you must take on the next monster from the top of the deck.
Or if You haven’t Prepared Properly….Get Your Butt Kicked!!
You are now ready to face your challenge and attack, determine the effectiveness and ferocity of your attack and dish out the damage. If this isn’t enough to take out the monster, mark the wounds you have inflicted and prepare yourself for the monster’s counterattack. Be aware, some monsters have special abilities that can affect the battle. For example, a monster can charge you, delivering damage before you even attack and others cannot be affected by ranged weapons, etc. If your health goes down to zero. You are knocked out of the round and will not fight again until the next level, losing one skill level of your choosing. When you defeat a monster, you gain gold and experience points. As the monster trophies grows you gain extra victory tokens for two of a kind, etc. With the first player to gain that token getting the higher value.
Each Level is Progressively Tougher….Until Victory is in Sight!!
So the second and third levels are the same with new decks of stronger, better equipment and tougher, meaner monsters to fight against. At the end of the third level you count up your victory points and determine the winner. As this game is competitive you have to be ruthless and to a decree spiteful, in hurting other players as much as possible to prevent them gaining victory points. If co-operative games are your thing, stay clear of this game. If you like a challenge then you will enjoy this game, the character develop is there through skill and equipment advancement. The monsters do get very difficult to beat and if you have put all your eggs in one basket, for example you have that fantastic sword, only to have other players push on monsters that are not affected by melee weapons, it will be curtains for you.
Playability….And More Importantly Re-Playability!!
In summing up, lets quickly talk about the production value of this game. The artwork is gorgeous and beautifully themed, the player boards and tokens are of a thick cardboard and are built to last. The cards are too with that woven feel them. Gameplay is simple, but effective and the player interaction only comes through the card drafting and passing on monsters that you either don’t want to face or know will probably mess up another player. The rest of the time you are on your own. Lost Legends is different enough to come back to table on a regular basis, what it really needs is some expansions to vary up the equipment and monsters decks, when this happens you will see this game grow in popularity.
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Paul Matthews is a Sales Manager for Gamesquest Ltd, as well as a part-time Board game Demonstrator and Blogger. After several years playing Yu-gi-oh at Tournament level, his latest passion is all things board gaming. Besides playing board games, Paul is a part time author and enjoys reading and archery. Paul has a Degree in Humanities Psychology/Counselling and several Life-skill Degrees in Parenting, Horse Management and Ecommerce.