Review: Blue Moon Legends – where the moon still shines
We got up and went back to sleep with glow of a blue moon. It was a quiet time full of wealth and satisfaction. But then came night, that forced our horizon to redden. We will never forget this color. Above the town floated mist flavored with blood and swallowed all the blue glow, that gave calmness to our souls. Our city will never be the same.
The only way to try to correct the world, is to bring together all the fragments of crystal guarded by a trio of dragons. On the battlefield made of precious stones will meet two opponents in the game Blue Moon Legends, designed by Reiner Knizia. This box is fresh new version for 2014, but only on the eye. In fact, it is a new edition of the game, which has long been impossible to find. Originally published as a game Blue Moon in 2004. The company Fantasy Flight Games made many fans happy by their new deed.
New edition is hidden in a square box of classical proportions. It is not extremely high, but it’s not necessary. All major components are cards, which is there total over 340. Most of them are nations (296 pieces), namely characters that each have a name, strength in both core elements (fire and earth), but also a number of icons and text describing special capabilities. Place in a package are sharing with them also support cards. Rest is represented by number of specific cards.
But packaging also offers a game board. This is the space, on which distrustful dragons will move. But at the same time it serves as a battleground for two warring parties. Dragons are represented by beautiful plastic figures. Listing can be concluded with a few crystal tokens.
At the beginning of the game players place game plan between them and stand a trio of dragons in its center. There are 31 cards for every nation in this game, which can be easily recognized by the first letter in the lower right corner. This package is comprised of various members of the clan. Both opponents must choose one nation they will represent in the game.
Everyone will find a commander in his color and places it beside the board. Shuffled deck is then also placed on marked positions near plan. Both opponents still have to draw top six cards to make their starting hand.
Players take turns, which contains several consecutive phases, before passing chance to their opponent. And right at the beginning of each round, an active general has opportunity to play leadership card for its effect, but it will only lasts during this turn.
And because such a battle is full of small skirmishes, everything just revolves around them as is whole gameplay of Blue Moon Legends. Second phase are already challenges (engagements), which is chance to always choose between two options depending on the status of the battlefield. Player must do one of them: either start a new fight / continue existing, or he can also be cowardly and avoid a fight or back away from the current skirmish.
Cowardice can sometimes pay off. If a player refuses to launch a new battle, he may instead discard three cards from his hand and draw from his deck back to six. Whether player begins a new battle or continues in the current (= responding to an opponent’s turn), he will have to play character card from his hand to the combat zone on own side of the board. His army, then can still be supported by playing booster or support cards.
Composition of troops on this side of the battlefield is already clear. Now it is up to the player to announce his strength. This can be evaluated in element of earth or fire. Choice is up to the player, who started this particular fight. Using all the advantages and improvements, player adds strength of all his units and tells this value to his rival. Then player draws one card and his turn ends.
Both adversaries trump each other during the fight. Strength of an active player in the fight must always be higher, than opponent’s announced last turn. Generals repeatedly take turns until the moment, when one of them is forced to flee. Dragons go in the footsteps of stronger beings. In the event, that any of these creatures currently lives in the city, they jump under control of a winner. If the opponent has a dragon in front of him, such creatures has priority in motion. Such a dragon takes back one step to the city and opponent loses control over it.
After the battle, all units and supportive cards are cleaned and game continues. Once played cards will not return to player’s hand, because exhaustion of his reserves is one of the ways, how a player can lose. Victory can be recorded in the event, that one of the fighters can get three dragons under his control and win the next battle, which should entice favor of the fourth. Winner is always that player, who has more dragons on his side.
Blue Moon Legends is extremely simple game, which is actually a mere struggle for power. Players try to put not one deadly blow one battle, but instead wage a war. Each skirmish, although it is path to victory, is not a decisive step. These should be more of them consecutively in order to be successful.
Each battle is tactical. This is no war card game. Playing all cards should be considered carefully and a selection out of six in hand is usually sufficient. And when a crisis occurs, player always has option to instead turn to improve their hand. But by sacrificing his life energy, which cards represent. If your draw and pick and draw and do not weigh your decisions, you suddenly can find yourself on the battlefield with a blank drawing package. And it’s too late to regret or change anything.
Individual nations have already proven their value over time. There are many cards, that were available as an expansion for original Blue Moon. But this time, everything is straight in this complete set and thus you can enjoy enormous variability. Trying all nine factions and their performance against each other keeps you occupied for quite a few dozen games. In addition, due to the random drawing, even if you have some favourite faction, battle will not be the same.
But drawing from shuffled deck of cards is also an element, that can adversely affect the outcome of the game without player’s control. Simply just a bit of bad luck, bad cards on hand and all of a sudden, you can just watch wings of departing dragons waving at you. Yes, randomness and luck is here, no doubt about that. It also makes the game so tense and fun.
Game is extremely agile and all that could individual rounds delay your play is counting new strength with bonuses after playing new cards. During opposition’s turn, player has just enough time to think about his next step, and he must also adapt to sum of cards currently played. And we have not yet mentioned, that the characters have their own specific skills, which moves the game even further in tactical department and makes it even more interesting.
Simplicity leads also to nice playing time. Match fits easily within thirty minutes. Difficulty for beginners is then given only by a pile of text on the cards and learning curve is pretty fast-growing. However, rules are intuitive and even for beginners can understand them without any problems. New nations will distort this peace in learning, because they bring more techniques and goodies into the game. That guarantees, that you will really feel like you are playing really for other race.
Processing of this game is at a very high level. Cards have beautiful graphics and are qualitatively balanced from first to the last image. Board is here simply for decoration, but it makes you happy just as those miniatures. Oh and rules are able to simply explain the game, although people interested in the game may find its length intimidating, which is disproportionately against the ease of the game itself. But its because of all the faction history and many many examples.
A true legend is born in a box of Blue Moon Legends. It has happened even a few years ago, when Blue Moon was out. And this new edition is successor, that moves everything even further. There is everything you can wish for. Yes, emphasis on chance remains, but your job will now be to tame it all together with those fiery dragons. It makes great fun for two rivals, which overflows with cards and variability. Blue Moon Legends can be recommended to anyone, who likes to sit face to face with his opponent and dealt it out on the battlefield mercilessly till the last drop of blood is spilled.
Review: Blue Moon Legends – where the moon still shines
Blue Moon Legends is a card game for two players, in which one battle rages after another. Players always reveal their units, overshooting each other with sum of power and try to endure in combat longer, than their opponent. Only those, whose army eventually comes out stronger, attracts one dragon towards its side. Those are the main options for a KO victory. Deck of cards at the same time also serves as an indicator of life. Once its empty, it is end for that general. Yet, because the characters in it are shuffled, luck decides, what player holds in his hand. And it is only a scar (but making the game more tense) on an otherwise terrific, interesting and tremendously variable game. Blue Moon Legends is a pleasantly quick and nimble game, and you will never refuse invitation to play it!
Reader Rating1 Vote
elegant and simple gameplay
big offer or Nations = resulting variability
one match does not win a war
two player game
uncluttered design of cards and amazing illustrations
suitable for beginners (watch out for large amounts of text!)