Dark fortress of demons cast its shadow over the valley, but it was still a distant threat. Road ended, just where they stand, and the scrubbing sounds would discourage every ordinary person from continuing. But David was not ordinary, he could not be intimidated by mere sounds. He knew, that he needed to get to the fort and this was the only way. Only there can he get enough fame and fortune, in order to ask for the hand of his beloved princess..
Maybe it sounds a bit like a fairy tale, but Lost Legends are adventurous and bloody funny, nowhere near bedtime stories. You wil slaughter enemies and keep their parts as trophies, so you can apply for a knighthood. It’s all there, in the game from Queen Games and foremost from designer Mike Elliot, author of the famous and popular Thunderstone (review). Game is illustrated by trio Marko Fiedler, Oliver Schlemmer and Claus Stephan.
It is interesting, that this game has gained quite a lot of support on Kickstarter site, which Queen Games started using for riskier projects. Thus they have pre-arranged financing for the first printing and secure their position even before the game actually hits the stores. This model eliminates the risk, that is uncomfortable even for such a large company.
The game can be found in a large square box with a picture, that will not leave doubt in you for a moment, that you are in for a great adventure. You can find heroes facing a real horror on it. Inside you will not find any big game board, but instead five interestingly shaped player boards. Together with more than 100 tokens (injuries, money, fame, but also trophies) must be punched out from cardboard sheets. Chips are all round except for the square trophies.
All of these components are accompanied on course by 150 cards divided into three decks, according to level of the game, in which you can encounter them. Their composition is always divided in the ratio of three to two in favor of the equipment, while twenty cards are showing various monsters. Cards contain different types of items (weapons, armor, magic or artifact), their price, but above all its ability. Icons at the bottom describe ability, that is here to improve your hero’s qualities.
Monsters do not have just attack and number of lives, but also some special abilities and are particularly vulnerable to certain types of attacks. This difference is shown using damage modifiers, which can bisects, multiply or even completely ignore some type of your attacks (melee, ranged and magic).
The most important place for each player is his board, where he will add all the card of equipment, trophies and skills. Around the central figure illustration winds trio of scales – life, mana, and especially the longest for experience. The first two have an initial value framed in golden circle, where your markers will start.
At the beginning of the preparation of the game, players will choose one of the characters, také printed amount of money from the common pot, but also three cubes – green for tracking the number of lives, blue for mana and black is experience. Plus you get two more tokens, which will also go on the scale health and magical energy to indicate the maximum value for your hero.
Decks of cards are divided to three decks by their rear determining the level, for which they are intended. Then you must divide each of them once more to monsters and equipment. You throw away some equipment cards according to number of players, in which you play. You put three monsters in main deck for each player, the rest will create a supply. This must all be done for each level, so you get three decks lying underneath each other in three columns. Since you have created environment, we can go on an adventure now.
The game takes place in three stages according to places, where heroes arrive in your imagination. At the beginning you are in ruins, which are not as dangerous, but at the entrance to the caves uncomfortable cold surrounds you. And once you hallway leads to the Demon Fortreess, your breath will skip with fear. Each of these rounds is divided into two phases – preparation, when you can spy on monsters waiting around the corner, to properly prepare for them, and then, as second part of round, fight.
Each player reveals one monster – turns one card from a common deck and put it in front of him, to the center of his player board. In addition, one more card is turned and placed next to the drawing pile. Then everybody gets six random cards from the equipment deck. But players can choose only one of them. The remaining five cards are sent forwards to the next player on your left. Before you can look at them, you must first decide, how to use the one, you have chosen. And this can be done in two ways – either as an object or as an acquired skill represented by the icon at the bottom of the card.
Improving skills is free, you turn card upside down and slide it under your player board in the upper-left corner. Plus you get coins from the bank according to level, in which you are located. Why would you actually do that? Better equipment cards require you to have a higher level of skills to use them.
Equipped cards are a way to successfully fight the bloodthirsty enemy. For using card as item, you have to pay amount specified in the upper right corner. Costs can be reduced, if you have the right skills. You then place card by aligning into the appropriate place on your board. Pay attention, when choosing a card, because you can always have only one piece of each type of the weapons and armor. In both cases, there are three (melee weapons, ranged and magical), defense items are a shield, helmet and breastplate.
Each of them can hold up to three different cards. In the event, that you would exceed this limit, you can take one of the existing card and turn it into a skill. However, you will not get any gold for using card this time.
Then the players look at the remaining five cards, a neighbor sent to them, choose one and send the rest back on. Rinse and repeat, until each of the opponents gets five cards. Each must be immediately used to prepare the hero for the most important thing, that awaits him – fight with a monster. And because you know from the start, which monster you’re dealing with, you can prepare yourself by the right choice of cards. But beware, that’s not the only enemy you will meet this level! The more you can beat, the better for you.
This time, players alternate in turns and combat phase of each turn is divided into five parts. Most of them provide only options for player, who does not have a monster in front of him. If not (because you beat it in former turn), you can take either face up card lying next to the deck or the top card of drawing pile. During the unveiling of encounter, you have one of the most important tactical options – you can pass this monster to another player, who has not currently no monster in front of him and draw again!
The player can choose to fight with any weapon they got and place wound tokens corresponding to your offensive capabilities. Power of weapons is strictly given on the card. All weapons have more lines, but only the first does not need any condition, while the others require you to have some skills to take advantage of their abilitites.
During the attack, but you must also take modifiers on monster card into account, which can reduce or increase injury dealt. If your monster survives the attack, it will return to you some amount of damage corresponding to its power, part of which may be blocked by your armor. The rest of the points pass through, you have to cut down lives on your board.
The player can upgrade his experience, which will brings benefits at certain stages of the scale (healing, gold). You divide gold gained from monster pockets among yourself and your two direct neighbors (to the left and to the right). You then slide the card underneath your game board in section trophies, and if you defeated the right kind of monster, you can get trophies. In case you could not beat the enemy, but both still stand on your feet, you will continue the battle in the next round. When your lifeforce reaches zero, then you have been defeated and must surrender one of your abilities before resurrecting.
Game continues with another fight until you empty monsters in stock for current level. At that moment, everyone has one last chance to defeat the monster, he is currently fighting. Then heroes go together to the second and then to the third level. At the end of the game, player gets points for accumulated experience, all his trophies and also for the largest amount of gold in their pockets. Winner is the player, who has accumulated the most legend points and one such (by title lost legend) he has now become.
Lost Legends offers us an adventure, we can experience together. Meet monsters, equip and coach our heroes, but especially fight with the monsters on our way to glory. There is even a little help from your buddies in splitting the treasure. But in the end, the main reward is waiting for just one player – whoever earns the most glory.
The game as a whole is pleasantly simple and it is not complicated to learn it. You play it during one hour, which makes it really interesting adventure. The game is fun, because all players enjoy neverending combat with monsters. Most important of all, however, is equipping and upgrading your hero, which takes the form of draft picks. Because you have control over it, it is far from random. Five cards in each of the three levels together provides enough entertainment.
Plenty of cards guarantee variability and different matches each time. You’ll never fight the same combination of monsters and you look forward to next time meeting those, that were now chosen by your rivals. Usually you have to deal with what you meet, but sometimes you can get cowardly and pass it to another player.
We really like the way cards of abilities and weapons are linked together. Support works both ways (skills enhance weapons, weapons enhance skills), so sometimes you do not know, what is better. In addition, each card play goes two ways, making the choice in the draft even harder nut to crack.
Well, of course, this is a place, where also the first major problem binds – the length of player turn. You often examine cards for a long time, combine them with the ones your already have (thinking which you should throw away), and the whole game gets a little slower and boring for others. While all are planning at the same time, you’ll often still wait for hesitant players. Game time itself is not overdone and you will peek into the final stage before hour passes. Lost Legends are recommended from three players up, but surprisingly works quite well in two, when you look away from some mechanics becoming obsolete.
Most problematic, however, is distribution of gold in the game. The money raised for defeated monsters are divided between yourself and two closest neighbors. This allows for your success to be decisive, where you sit, in greater number of players. Therefore, we recommend a game primarily for exactly three opponents, where this problem does not occur – gold is split among all.
For higher player numbers would be better, if the money were shared always with the weakest – so either players with the least lives (not so good) or with hero of lowest level of experience. It is this second option, we tried and worked quite well in two games played like this.
The second complaint possible players elimination during each round. He/she then has to wait for everyone else to defeat monsters in front of them, finish a level and can start playing, when other enter the second level. This can sometimes mean a long 20 minutes wait and is very uncomfortable. It could surely be solved by other punishment for being killed.
Small problem then is the ability to move enemy cards to others. While this is a good option for you to avoid the monster, that is beyond your strength, you can at the same time put an opponent up an obstacle, he can not avoid and is unable to overcome (for example because of his equipment). Therefore we recommend to introduce a rule, that a player can refuse such monster for sacrificing a life point – runs away with a scratch. Such a card is thrown away for remainder of the game.
Cards contain lost of informations and icons, but they are clear and concise. Overall, the graphic processing is very interesting, ranging from asymmetrically built gaming boards to the illustration on all the cards.
Lost Legends is really good and successful game, but needs a few pushes forward to become excellent. Such adjustments should not be necessary and it is a shame, that such a situation even occurred. They’re not crucial issues and you enjoy the game even without modification thanks to the great atmosphere, but if you want a straight and fair fight, then beware mainly the distribution of money in more than three players. That does not change the fact, that we like Lost Legends. It is a game, that is worth the attention of all lovers of fantasy adventure.
Lost Legends is one big adventure in a box. Each player becomes one of the heroes and walks through three levels filled with bloodthirsty enemies. But you will not be ambushed, but you can prepare yourself properly for those encounters. With this, item and weapon cards dealt at start of each round will help you. They will bring you not only weapons, but also skills. This is where it gets interesting, because these two sides of one battle coin are closely connected and make for quite a ride, when trying to pimp your hero. Rivals are passing these cards as a part of preparation in a draft, so this dealing is not so luck dependent, as it may seem. The battle itself contains no chance and is a matter of readiness. The more you will regret some immature parts of the gameplay. Its nicely balanced for three, because winner of battle shares his gained money with both his neighbours. But when more players are on a quest, then your wealth depends on where you sit. And that’s bad, trust us. You can also decide not to accept a monster and pass it to other player, which makes an interesting way of interaction. But it can cause (just like single appearance of too powerful monster), some player will die and must wait the whole long round, before he gets back on the train. But for us, all these fuzzy edges disappear because of atmosphere, which bursts from Lost Legends. You will experience unexpected adventures, when you can improve your heroes and make them more powerful. Variability in this game is at really high level and its all really really fun to play. If there were not those hiccups, Lost Legends might be a game you won’t forget. But even now, it still remains a game floating hight above average..
Reader Rating0 Votes
skills and weapons are nicely connected
card dealing is done by draft
a little luck
very nice processing and excellent illustrations
interesting loot sharing idea
splitting gold is getting out of control in more players
too powerful monsters might let player sit the whole round, waiting for others to finish it