In August, we announced that Legends of Andor is coming later this year, and the land of Andor is in dire need of heroes. Monsters stalk the plains and forests, and King Brandur is under siege in his castle, trying desperately to fend off the crowd of creatures.
Legends of Andor is a cooperative adventure board game for two to four players in which a band of heroes must work together to repel invading hordes. To secure Andor’s borders, the heroes will embark on dangerous quests in one of five unique scenarios (as well as a final scenario created by the players themselves). But as the clever game system keeps monsters on the march toward the castle, the players must balance their priorities carefully. Will their heroes roam the land completing quests in the name of glory, or devote themselves to the defense of the realm? In this preview, we’ll examine how the heroes can spend their hours of daylight to accomplish their quest.
Traversing the Land of Andor
Andor is a vast realm filled with foggy forests, sweeping plains, majestic mountains, and rushing rivers. Your heroes will have to cover a lot of ground if they want to save the castle from the encroaching monsters. When exploring Andor, a player can move or attack on each turn, but he cannot do both.
There is only so much time in a day for our busy and besieged heroes. Each player must manage how his character spends the hours allotted to him within the span of a day in the game. Work with your fellow adventurers to determine the best course of action in order to save the realm. Who will gather the powerful runes, who will clash in combat with the monsters, and who will venture into the fog of the forest in search of the witch and her brew?
The wizard Liphardus (who has a purple base and marker) has spent three hours by moving three spaces, while the warrior Thorn (who has a blue base and marker) has chosen to remain in his current place and spent an hour on combat with the gor (red base).
The heroes each have a total of ten hours to work with, and each time a character moves to a new space or makes an attack against an enemy, one hour passes on the time track.
The first seven of these hours take place during the relative safety of daytime. The night brings its own perils, and there is a price for pursuing your goals past the seventh hour of the day. If you choose to continue moving about the map or fighting, your heroes steadily weaken. Players spend their hours until they choose to end the hero’s day, and their time track marker returns to the sunrise box. When all heroes have ended their day, night falls and the monsters roam ever closer to the castle.
A New Day Dawns
When the heroes have all decided to set up camp for the night and all players have returned their markers to the sunrise box, then players must resolve the steps depicted along the bottom edge of the sunrise box.
The player with the purple token, the wizard, was the first to end his day. This means his token goes in the rooster space, and he takes his turn first when the new day dawns.
The heroes must first contend with whatever surprises lurk in the shadows. Players draw an event card from the top of the event deck, and be they good tidings or bad, the effects are resolved as the first step of nightfall.
Once the event card has been dealt with, the monsters begin their dreaded march on the castle. While the hero characters can move freely about the board from space to space, the monsters move one space in the direction of the arrows printed on the board. Thus, with the passing of each day, the monsters move inexorably onward toward the castle. Monsters move in the order depicted in the sunrise box, and a wise hero would do well to note that the sleek and deadly wardrak gets to move twice during each night!
The gor follows the arrows on his path that will inevitably lead to the gates of King Brandur's castle.
When all the monsters have completed their movement, the players refresh any drained wells on the board. Finally, players advance the legend marker one space on the legend track, and the story of your heroic struggle continues!
The Legend Proceeds Apace
In lieu of providing players with a rulebook, Legends of Andor plunges you directly into the action. The legend track lets you learn as you go through the game’s objectives. It consists of spaces along the far right side of the board labeled with letters from A through N.
Each legend tells an exciting tale of heroism through its own deck of cards, and these cards are marked with the same letters found on the track. Star tokens signify when the next card in the legend deck should be revealed. So, your story begins when the legend marker is first placed on the A space, and the first step in your quest is revealed. Players advance the legend marker as the last step of each day. The story of the heroes’ quest to save Andor continues as the monster horde moves closer to the castle and the days pass.
In the above image, the legend marker has just moved to the C space, and the players will now turn over the C card to reveal the next step in the adventure.
The first legend of the game is specially designed to teach the basics. While there is no full rulebook, Legends of Andor does make use of a set of Quick-Start Rules the first time you venture into the kingdom. These Quick-Start Rules work in conjunction with the cards in the first legend to assist chiefly in setting up the board, and help players get into the game as quickly as possible.
Backing up a few rounds from the example seen above, the players begin the game by turning over the first two legend cards, labeled A1 and A2. These cards give your heroes their first set of tasks to complete, and give players a direct reference to the Quick-Start Rules (pdf, 1.6MB). The heroes immediately set out on these four quests. These objectives put the heroes on the road to glory and teach the players the rules of the game as they go.
In this way, Legends of Andor introduces players to new gameplay concepts alongside the narrative, developing the story and your skills right alongside one another. Grow in knowledge of the land of Andor as your characters build up their strength in defense of the kingdom.
The hero’s path is never easy, and in our next preview, we’ll take a close look at our heroes themselves and the various equipment they can use to aid them in their quest to save the kingdom in Legends of Andor!