The battle for the safety of the land of Andor and King Brandur rages across the entire realm. The mighty heroes must face and defeat the horde of trolls, gors, skrals, and wardraks before these creatures invade the castle and destroy the kingdom.
Legends of Andor will be on sale in just over two weeks! In our other previews, we looked at the process of journeying through the realm of Andor and the powerful heroes of the kingdom and their equipment. We also heard from the game’s designer, Michael Menzel, for a look into the process of creating Legends of Andor. In this preview, we’ll examine the mechanics of combat as the heroes attempt to rid the land of the foul invaders!
Joining the Battle for Andor
The monsters have one goal: get to the castle. These foul creatures don’t consider the humans of Andor to be a real threat to their march, and they won’t initiate combat as they make their way toward their final goal. It’s up to the heroes to attack the beasts that threaten their homeland and defeat them before they can make their assault on the castle.
A hero in the same space as a monster can initiate combat, and since the brave hero takes the initiative, he always gets to strike first. The attacking player rolls a number of dice as determined by the hero’s willpower score. The higher a hero’s willpower, the more dice he can roll for his attack score. The player rolls his dice, and then he picks the one with highest value to add to his hero’s strength value to determine his battle value
Each monster’s attributes and the rewards for defeating it are indicated by its picture next to values on the monster display. This is an example of a battle setup for a gor.
Once the battle has begun, a monster will take proper notice of its assailant. The monster’s number of dice, willpower, and strength values are printed on a section of the game board, and the monster’s battle value is determined the same way as the hero’s. So, in the example above, you can see that the gor has a strength value of two, and starts the battle with four willpower points. This starting willpower means the gor will roll two dice. The reward for defeating a gor is either two willpower points, two gold, or one of each.
The creatures assaulting the kingdom are superhuman in their strength, and even the weakest among them can rend the average person to bits. When a monster rolls two dice that result in the same value, then those two values are combined for a massive strike at your hero. The higher value determines the winner of the round of combat, and the difference between the two scores is dealt as damage to the loser’s willpower.
The heroes can increase their chances of destroying these creatures by investing in their equipment. As we saw in another preview, the merchants of Andor offer an array of items that can give a hero an edge when facing the creatures in the countryside.
The first combatant to have his willpower reduced to zero loses the battle. If the vile beast is killed, the legend marker moves forward one space on the legend track, and the hero also wins the rewards printed under the monster’s icon on the monster display.
If the battle takes a bad turn for the intrepid adventurers, then your hero may suffer enough damage to his willpower to be defeated. Falling in battle weakens a hero, and he loses a point of strength in order to regain a three points of willpower.
In the above example, Thorn has won the combat round, and the gor takes four points of damage to its willpower (the difference in Battle Values).
Each round of combat takes an hour from the hero’s time track. If your hero isn’t brimming over with strength, it may not be a good idea to begin a battle late in the day. If there aren’t many hours remaining before nightfall, your hero will have fewer chances to wear down the monster’s willpower and all the resilient creatures regain their full willpower if they are not defeated.
Allies in Battle
Some of the foes that plague the land of Andor are too mighty to be felled by a single hero. These battles are better fought with your allies at your side. There is truly strength in numbers, and any heroes occupying the same space can engage in a team battle if they come up against a particularly tough enemy. In a team battle, the strength values of all of the participating heroes is combined. Each player rolls his dice and picks the highest value, just as in normal combat.
The combined efforts of the heroes have a much better chance of overwhelming a mighty beast. The values of each hero’s combat roll are added to the combined heroes’ strength to get the team battle value. This battle value is compared to the monster’s, and victory and damage are determined just as in normal battle.
The warrior Thorn and the archer Chada team up with Prince Thorald to take on a troll
An advantage in numbers comes with a risk, however. A particularly powerful monster may still defeat the team of heroes, dealing the difference in the two battle values as damage to each participating hero individually! If, on the other hand, the combined power and coordinated efforts of your heroes eventually defeats the creature, then the spoils of victory are divided amongst the heroes at the discretion of the players.
The heroes may be the kingdom’s best hope, but they are not alone in facing the vicious horde of monsters. The brave son of King Brandur, Prince Thorald, has set out into the land to lend his aid to the adventurers. In some of the legends, the mighty Shield Dwarves may also bring their axes to bear against the invasion. If either of these powerful allies are in a space with a monster under attack by a hero, then players add four to the final battle value versus that creature. Utilizing the might of these helpful friends may spell the difference between victory and defeat in a difficult battle.
Monsters in the Castle
Should any of the monsters manage to evade the heroes and make their way to the castle, King Brandur’s guards must hold the line. The castle’s forces can only handle a few of the foul beasts. If too many creatures make it to the castle, then it will be overrun...and the kingdom will be lost.
In this three-player game, one skral has made it into the castle, and the heroes have brought one farmer for reinforcements.
The number of monsters that the guards can fend off is represented by golden shields on the board. Each time a monster enters the castle, its marker is placed on an empty golden shield, and it can no longer be attacked by the heroes. If a monster makes its way to the castle and all the golden shields are already occupied by the foul invaders, then the kingdom is lost!
Fortunately, the common folk of Andor are always willing to help king and country in a time of need. But while the farmers in the countryside will gladly take up arms to defend their king, they can’t make it to the castle alone. If a hero comes across a farmer in his travels, he can choose to escort him.
While the farmers can’t help the hero in battle, once they are brought to the castle and properly outfitted, they will take up arms to help reinforce the castle against any invaders. When the heroes bring a farmer to the castle, an extra golden shield is added, making it harder for the monsters to conquer the kingdom. On each turn, therefore, a player must decide whether his time would be better spent offensively by fighting monsters, defensively by bolstering the militia at the castle, or in some combination of the two. After all, the extra defense provided by the escorted farmers may make all the difference as they fight to save the land of Andor!
Engage the terrible invaders in combat in order to keep them away from the castle, and bring reinforcements to King Brandur’s guard. In Legends of Andor, the land is threatened by all manner of evils, and it’s up to the brave heroes and their allies to save the kingdom. Legends of Andor will be on sale in just over two weeks, so prepare yourself to defend the kingdom soon!