This Legends of Andor review was made after playing the game six times.
What is Legends of Andor?
Legends of Andor, also known as Die Legenden von Andor, is a fantasy co-op board game. The kingdom of Andor is under attack and your group of heroes is the only defense against the oncoming horde. Throughout every game of Legends of Andor, you’ll be adventuring, slaying monsters, and attempting to protect your kingdom.
Legends of Andor Gameplay
Legends of Andor comes with five different campaigns (Legends) to choose from, each with its own storyline and slightly different gameplay. Each Legend has its own deck of cards and each can be made more difficult with different cards and/or by shortening the time track. The first Legend is a tutorial that was designed to walk players through the mechanics of the game.
The choice of characters is relatively standard for a fantasy setting with the player’s choice of archer, dwarf, wizard, or warrior. Each character has his or her own abilities and plays a bit differently than the others. Each hero can be built on with equipment and special skills that you pick up while out on your campaign.
During the game, heroes will take turns moving around Andor and taking actions. Along the way, they will reveal fog tokens, gain willpower (health), gain money, buy equipment, fight monsters, and more. After the heroes have taken their turns, an event card will be revealed and then the monsters will move around the board.
The overall objective is to complete the tasks for each Legend without allowing the monsters to overtake the castle. If the monsters make it to the castle a certain number of times, the kingdom falls and the heroes lose. You also lose if you fail any tasks before time runs out.
Obviously that is a very brief overview of how the game works. To learn more about how the game plays, check out the official Legends of Andor rulebook (PDF).
- Legends of Andor includes a time component that keeps the action and the story moving along, which is fantastic for a fantasy co-op game. As the stories progress, the monsters get harder to deal with. These mechanics make it impossible to get bogged down in just trying to get to one item that you need or trying to fight your way through an area. The stories are really well put together and fun to play out.
- This is a surprisingly easy game to learn how to play. It takes little time for one person to go through the rulebook and you can easily talk other players through the rules as you play.
- It also plays very smoothly. You take your actions, then bad things happen. Solving each puzzle isn’t easy by any means, but you don’t have to worry about fiddliness like you do in many other adventure co-ops.
- The heroes are very balanced. No matter which one you choose, you can be sure that you will have your chance to help out the team multiple times during each game.
- Cooperation is vital in this game. You will often have to decide whether to stay together to have a bit more fighting power or separate to get more done. If you don’t talk it out with your teammates, you’ll have very little chance of winning.
- This game has one of the most attractive artwork that you will see in the board gaming world. Michael Menzel has created really well-designed, beautiful boards that make the setup relatively easy and visually helps the flow of the game. Everything, from the character cards to the different items that you pick up, looks great.
- Because Legends of Andor relies on the campaign cards to drive it, there is a limit to how many times it can be played before it gets repetitive. However, Legends of Andor expansions have been published, as well as the ability to create your own campaign if you’re interested in keeping the game fresh yourself. EDIT: There is one Legend (Legend 3) that has a semi-randomized setup, so you can get plenty of games out of that one.
- Even though most cooperative games have puzzle elements to them, Legends of Andor can feel a bit too much like a puzzle game at times. The dice and fog tokens do give the game some randomness, but you always know where the monsters are going since they have a predetermined path. Knowing so much information can take you out of the theme at times.
If you are a fan of fantasy and adventure games, chances are you will enjoy Legends of Andor. It has a fantastic look to it, the Legends are challenging, and it does a great job of making each player feel like an important part of the team. The players who may not be as interested would be those who are looking for more in-depth battles or a bit more randomness in their board games.
Legends of Andor is one of my group’s favorite cooperative board games. It is a unique co-op experience that combines solid gameplay and excellent storytelling. There may be similar fantasy themes out there, but there really aren’t any other games like Legends of Andor (at least none that we’ve played).