Review: Legacy – Gears of Time – build your legacy

Legacy: Gears of Time - packaging

Beware of gears! They have tremendous power and can crush anything, that gets in their way, between their blades. Does it reminds you of something? Yes, that’s right – time. He knows no rival, is constantly turning around and does not give you a chance to look back. Future turns into the past in a moment and becomes just a memory. But do not worry, you get used to it..

You married into a family of time operators. Task of these travelers is to keep a steady flow of history and to ensure, that all of the important inventions of mankind do not fade away. Number of necessary interventions to the past increases, because there is more and more machines such as yours. And while some other families are trying to help, there are many other people, who are trying to profit from modifying and destroying something. But time is the force with which is not to be trifled with. Get into the Antiquitect, cast an anchor into presence and see, what Earth and its inhabitants looked like many, many years ago..

is a board game, that has enjoyed its creation thanks to people and fans of board games. You are guessing correctly, we’re talking about community funding and . Author finished his idea for a board game about time travel there. And his concept attracted many players. Game was completed under umbrella of and you can finally have and feel the game. With its development helped Justin Stone and graphics are work of Peter Wocken.

Legacy: Gears of Time - game is ready

And because the game is not from any major publisher, it will surprise you with its box dimensions. Although it has portrait orientation, its bigger in both basic dimensions and it will be striking in every place, where it was standing. There is also a large colorful illustration on dark blue background, showing inventions of various ages. That is also main theme of the game. Inventions in time.

Inside waits a little disappointment given dimensions of the box. There is not so many components to talk about in there. But do not be disappointed, because the main thing – playing – is still ahead of you. To learn how to play Legacy correctly, you need a Operator manual (= rules). These are written clearly and you will easily see ways to use included game components.

In the first place, there is a game board, but it is intended not to move or put anything on it during the game. Instead, you will be playing card underneath it. Therefore, a thin oblong shape will be stretched across your desk and serve for maintenance purposes only. Its folded in half inside the box and is the main reason for size of the box. You can find storage space for drawing and discard pile on it, turn and move counter and also place to mark your victory points (legacy points).

Legacy: Gears of Time - game is ready

In the bottom part of the board, there is (in addition to image of different inventions spanning across time) one more line, which divides board into parts devoted to individual historical stages. A timeline, where will you later put a rail with roman numerals, indicating capacity for technology of given era. The more you go into history, the more technology will be possible to put there.

These cardboard pieces must be punched out of cardboard sheet as gingerbread. In addition to thin strips with Roman numerals I to IV, you will find more numbers up to the nines also in Roman style. You will be creating a long timeline out of them all during the game. These pieces are rounded on one side and with hole on the other, so they fit into each other seamlessly and hold shape. Then there are other tokens: markers of fifty points and larger arrow card to highlight the present. This is, where each round, players will set off.

What would a board game be without wood components? And neither Legacy: Gears of Time will not disappoint you in this matter. Main part is occupied by a hundred little cubes in four colors, unique to each player. Together with these, you get also also pawns for players and round/turn indicators, that look like real wooden gears.

Legacy: Gears of Time - game is ready

Last thing we still did not emphasize are thinner components – cards. First, there are four major character cards to help you determine technology, which would be your secret mission to maintain and dominate. But the main thing is 66 cards of technology and on top of these, also six action cards of fate. With them, you will create the main thing, the one whole game is about – the past.

In addition to the thematic image on each card, you will find there also price, number of victory points inside a crown and a table with the technologies, which it depends on. Without their existence, you would not be rewarded for placing and dominating this card. On the contrary, there are also reference points as you go down the technology dependation ladder, so players might get profit for some cards several times. This is indicated beside depending technology by a crown as well.

Each player randomly or according to their priorities, selects one character. In addition to the portrait on one side, it consists mainly of text on the other. This is dominated by decorated name in elegant lettering, and inscription of one technology. With a crown and number of victory points, which you get for it, if you control it at the end of the game. In addition, card also covers basic overview of turn, so you basically do not need anything else.

Legacy: Gears of Time - game in progress

But before you start to use this text, you must also prepare a board. Thus you unfold it to its elongated shape and lay shuffled deck of cards on it. On both indicators comes one wooden gear token. According to number of players in the match, you put a present tile on fifth (sixth or seventh) frame from the left over the bottom image. Above it, you prepare a thin ruler strip with Roman numerals. Number one should start at present time and going to the left until the end of the board, where numbers gradually rise.

Each player chooses one color and takes not only character, but also two cubes representing influence. Remaining cubes will wait alone in common stock. And yet you do not know, that even those two you have received, will not be used in the game. Instead, first is used to mark player order and second is put on victory points scale. Deck of cards gets shuffled and each player is dealt six cards of technologies. These are cards, which will you set out for the first time into the past with.

The actual gaming principle is based on gaining dominance over technologies in history, but especially for inventions themselves. Every player has three action points during his turn. These can be divided according to your total discretion among four options. You can repeat some actions more than once and their order depends entirely on your choice.

Legacy: Gears of Time - game in progress

Besides classical drawing of cards (first action), we have here the most important playing of new technologies from hand to time, where your traveler is actually located. All you need to have is enough cards in your hand. They are your currency. But when you decide, where to place technology, a lot of different information will affect your thinking. For now we can say only, that you must discard many cards, as is a number in the gear on played technology card.

Once you play this card, you get control over it. You take cubes of your color from common stock (bank) according to price, you have payed. These cubes are put on the card. Invention is at this moment in your possession, but as travelers shift through time, they may also interact with already completed technology. You understood correctly. This is precisely third of total of four actions. But to influence already existing technology, you need to own cubes in your supply (not in bank!). And you have no such at the beginning of the game.

The last option is simply to take your traveller deeper into history. Per action, you can go any number of time spaces. But you are never allowed to move towards into the future, only more and more into history. There is also one free action, giving you option to play a card of fate any time during a turn, if you have it in your hand.

Legacy: Gears of Time - game in progress

Every time all players use up their actions once, you move turn counter forwards. And once you arrive at the last fourth checkbox, it means the last move of current round. Following its completion, all travelers come back home, to the present. Now its time to evaluate their first successes. But time is running out, so the presence also shifts forward by one (to the right).

So how works evaluation of those technologies? You advance from history towards the present. Any technology is successful only, when there are all its prerequisites also successful further in history. The only exception are fundamental cards, which have not demand and are successful, when containing at least one cube. Every successful card brings points to its owner, a player who has most cubes on it. Points are printed in crown symbol.

You can get points also for technologies, which are prerequisities. You can see it easily, if they also have a crown symbol with a number next to them. But they bring points not to owner of the evaluated technology. Instead, players who dominates that distant card can rejoice. This is the main driving mechanism of the game.

Legacy: Gears of Time - cards

However, when evaluating that cards step-by-step into the future, you must make another important activity. From each technology card, you remove one cube and give it to its owner. He takes it back instead of returning them to common bank. This is the only way, how can you gain cubes for future rounds. You can use them for influencing existing inventions.

If there is no cube to remove from technology, that knowledge simply disappears in a whirlwind of time. Taking this card off simply cancels flourishing of any of its related technologies in future. NO player will get points for these cards, because they failed in maintaining it. As soon as you evaluate all the cards on the axis, you can start playing the next round.

But be careful. Each timeframe has only limited space. It is the only use of timeline with Roman numerals. They show you, how many cards can fit in this particular time. You can invent only one technology in the present, two in first place backwards, and so on up to most opened distant past. This space requirements are demanding on planning, particularly with regard to the more complex technologies, that have a lot of requirements located in the past.

Legacy: Gears of Time - game in progress

The game is ends after fourth round. The last traveler returns to the present, all heroes evaluate final leg of their timerace. All possible technologies are deployed and they will now decide, who left the greatest legacy in the river of time. Most legacy points on the point track shows you a winner.

Legacy: Gears of Time is game for anyone, who ever wanted to change history. Because this is, what will you do here. Often you take credit for inventions, which originally belonged to someone else. But no one will know about it, because you simply erase original on a temporal level. Only your truth exists. And gears of time spin slowly, but with certainty.

This gives the whole game totally unique atmosphere. This is really best game with time travel theme and cleverly designed domination system, which changes not only depending on the decisions of the players. History is unstable, and if you do not reinforce your link, is will simply gradually dissipate. Or your work can simply be attributed to someone else. Or did it really not happen?

Legacy: Gears of Time - cards

The topic is treated with such precision and love, that you really feel like time travelers. Yet fortunately Legacy: Gears of Time does not forget, what it should be in first place: a game.

Thanks to bigger openness of the older times, players are forced to travel more in history, but they also must have in mind fulfillment of advanced inventions. These bring a lot more points, although have to be completed with several requirements in the past. You must build a timeline beyond all your expectations. Plan and play, while maintaining card limits in each time. It can be rather difficult and results in frequent wrangling.

Much larger battles, but tend to happen, when it comes to dominance over some technology card. Some key inventions bring you several points not only for playing them and keeping them alive, but also when other advances depend on them, you can get points without even trying. This mechanic of giving multiple profits is, what we like most of all about Legacy. Players with a limited supply of cubes are walking on thin ice, often risking, that their antagonist will simply take over control of their card in next move. But sometimes everyone has priorities elsewhere. This is what makes it so unique on common board.

Legacy: Gears of Time - character cards

Excellent idea is technology disappearing. It fades away in public memory and may even disappear completely and totally change the situation on the board. You have to watch your important inventions and add cubes to them as times goes by. You do not have to worry about new inventions, which get cubes out of common stock. But influence cubes from your pool can be used also to override dominance of your rivals. You do not have any at the beginning, but as time goes by, you will really like and often use action of affecting dominance of some cards.

Similarly, an excellent system is build around paying with cards. I usually like this idea, when used in card games. It puts player in front of tremendously difficult decisions. And it does in here too. Which cards should you keep? Those worth more points, which maybe I fulfill in future turns, or the simpler ones, where their successful playing is sure? There are also secret tasks guaranteeing points at end of match. Only player knows this bonus technology. But there are only four. There could be more of them.

The more I think about it, the more I do not know, what can be actually reprehended about Legacy: Gears of Time. Yeah, someone may be disappointed with fate action cards, which bring chaos into the game. But there is nothing easier, than to simply pull them out of the deck and play without them. Most of the inventions is present multiple times inside game deck, so luck does not play so crucial role. Additionally you can also (not willingly) help your rivals, when playing cards. And there can be more instances of one card on timeline. Only the sooner one will preserve. You can simply take control of a technology like that, without using precious influence cubes.

Legacy: Gears of Time - cards

Maybe disappointing for some is fact, that a single mistake can decide the whole game. But we would expect it in strategic game like this. Legacy is more demanding in larger player numbers, brings less transparent gameplay and especially begans to be time-consuming. More colors = more complex ownership relations. Actually, only real criticism can be directed towards length of scoring rounds, which are not done in a minute.

Above it all stand beautiful illustrations and luxurious processing. Each technology has a beautiful, colorful image, that fits perfectly into theme. Everything is timeless, crazy and abstract. But the game spread on the table simply shines and this is a measure, that is important.

Legacy: Gears of Time brings a unique experience, which you can not get anywhere else. Every action and move has its meaning and importance here. Was it right decision? You wont know it for sure until the end. Uniqueness of mechanics combined with elegant domination gameplay. All this is wrapped in beautiful graphics and perfect workmanship. Time will break its teeth on this one. At least I hope so, because such a game should leave its distinctive legacy in our history.

A Kickstarter campaing for expansion is here:

DesignerBen Harkins
ArtistShamas Demoret, Steve Maggart, Peter Wocken
PublisherFloodgate Games
Year Published
# of Players2 - 4
User Suggested # of Players Best with 4 players
Recommended with 2, 3, 4 players
(27 voters)
Playing Time60
Mfg Suggested Ages13 and up
User Suggested Ages12 and up
(5 voters)
Language DependenceSome necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(8 voters)
CategoryCard Game, Exploration, Science Fiction
MechanicArea Majority / Influence, Hand Management, Modular Board, Open Drafting
ExpansionLegacy: Forbidden Machines, Legacy: Forbidden Machines – Deep Vault, Legacy: Gears of Time – Gen Con Indy Promo Card, Legacy: Gears of Time – Kickstarter Backer Promo Card, Legacy: Gears of Time – Mini-Expansion
FamilyCrowdfunding: Kickstarter, Theme: Time Travel
Primary NameLegacy: Gears of Time

Infos courtesy of More Infos.

Review: Legacy – Gears of Time – build your legacy
Final word
Legacy: Gears of Time is a game, where you will become a time traveller. You will change history, but mainly try to keep it on track. All inventions you bring into history and anchor it there, will bring you legacy points. But because time is an unstable quantity, you must constantly maintain them and strenghten their position in history in future rounds to come. Inventions are dependent on some other, older ones, so you have to go right from the start of human skills. For every technology played, you pay with cards from your hand, which you must throw away knowing the risk, that you may not see them again. But each time window has only a limited space for inventions and you consider carefully, where you put which card. Travelling is allowed only deeper into history and you return to present only, when round ends and evaluation kicks in. This scoring round is interesting, but also a little lenghty at the same time. And it interferes with game pace. Players have their secret assignments, but there are only four in whole game, which is a little low number. There is also luck meddling with your intensions, when you play action cards and temporarily change some rules. This might seem inapropriate and overpowered to some players, but you simply do not add these cards into deck and that’s it. Legacy: Gears of Time can be proud about its simple rules and extraordinary experience, which makes the whole history crowded around one table. And when you feel the elektricity around you, do not forget to play its card to tame it! Your track in history just got bigger. Prepare to write your own legacy!
Reader Rating0 Votes
different in each player number
original illustrations
precisely transferred theme
domination is fundamental element
paying with cards from hand
you get your cubes as technologies fade away
limited place to play new cards
simple rules
more same cards in deck lowers luck
technology dependencies bring points for slave cards
not enough secret tasks
fate cards are too powerful and bring luck to gameplay
lenghty evaluation rounds
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