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Subject: I'm considering purchasing Andor... a few questions rss

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Mark Johnson
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Being that I tend to like puzzle-y sort of coops (ie Pandemic, Ravens of Thri Sahashri, and Ghost Stories), I thought Andor might be a good fit for me. That said, after some (but not exhaustive) research, I had a few additional questions:

1) If playing with 2 people, is it better to to play 2 characters each or a single character each. How difficult would it be to play 2 characters each? Do players have a hand of cards? I just ask as the BGG page says it's optimal to play this with 4 people.

2) In my experience, scenario driven games are a pain to organize/store compared to general coops. Do you find this to be true of Andor? I'm not willing to by plano boxes or such for this game.

3) I hear some Legends are worth playing over and over. Is that true of some of the Legends? If so, which ones and why are the more replayable than others? Feel free to also mention any of the expansion Legends that are very replayable.

4) How necessary are these expansions:
Legends of Andor: Journey to the North
Legends of Andor: The Star Shield
Legends of Andor: New Heroes

What do they add? Which are the most necessary for replay value? I'm more interested in components that will add long-term replay value of any Legends that's very replayable than simply additional Legends.

5) Which promos have been released in English and what do they add to the game?

6) Anything else I should know?

Thanks in advance for anyone willing to answer any of these questions.
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Nicholas
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Eeeville wrote:
Being that I tend to like puzzle-y sort of coops (ie Pandemic, Ravens of Thri Sahashri, and Ghost Stories), I thought Andor might be a good fit for me. That said, after some (but not exhaustive) research, I had a few additional questions:

1) If playing with 2 people, is it better to to play 2 characters each or a single character each. How difficult would it be to play 2 characters each? Do players have a hand of cards? I just ask as the BGG page says it's optimal to play this with 4 people.

I have played with any player count, and they all work. There are no cards, just player sheets. I don't think it's difficult to play 2 each, but one each works perfectly fine.

Quote:


2) In my experience, scenario driven games are a pain to organize/store compared to general coops. Do you find this to be true of Andor? I'm not willing to by plano boxes or such for this game.

Ziplock bags are enough. You need almost everything each game, except for the legend cards (huge cards).

Quote:

3) I hear some Legends are worth playing over and over. Is that true of some of the Legends? If so, which ones and why are the more replayable than others? Feel free to also mention any of the expansion Legends that are very replayable.


Legend 3 is more replayable than the others, because of different win conditions/final enemy. You can play any legend multiple times. For me, the base game held up for ~20 (maybe 15, don't know exactly) plays in one year, including one bonus legend. Now my GF wants to play again, after a one year break and I'm eager to do so.


Quote:

4) How necessary are these expansions:
Legends of Andor: Journey to the North
Legends of Andor: The Star Shield
Legends of Andor: New Heroes


What do they add? Which are the most necessary for replay value? I'm more interested in components that will add long-term replay value of any Legends that's very replayable than simply additional Legends.


I've only played the Star Shield. While it does have signifcant replay value (it's just one scenario with a lot of permutations), I don't really like it. It has just too much stuff in it. But it IS very replayable. New heroes is niec to have, but really not important. Each of the new heroes has a new twist.
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Corey Hopkins
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1. I play almost exclusively two player and we never play two heroes each. The game has built in scaling mechanisms so this is unnecessary.

2. I use a Plano box, but bags would be fine.

3. Legend 3 is the most replayable, but we have a fine time replaying 2-5. There are random elements in each.

4. I am a big fan of the star shield legend. It is massively replayable and feels like an epic adventure. I also enjoy the new heroes. They add some interesting strategy and let you play with up to 6.

There are several free legends available for download at legendsofandor.com.
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Joe Macfarland

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I agree that regular Andor has at least 15-20 plays in it. The harder scenarios (#4 and #5) may well take several plays to win just once--you'll be so close, that you can't not try again.

Journey to the North requires regular Andor, but really feels like a new game: one new character, two new boards, new scenarios, several new mechanics. You won't want it until you've played the original 10 or 15 times, and when you do want it and get it, you'll have another 15 plays ahead of you. Several scenarios in Journey to the North have built in variations to the set up, to add the kind of variety you find in scenario #3 of regular Andor.

I've played Andor with 2, 3, and 4, and enjoy it the same. We play two characters when we have two players.
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Dmitriy Razumov
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Pretty much agree with other posts, but:

Eeeville wrote:

1) If playing with 2 people, is it better to to play 2 characters each or a single character each. How difficult would it be to play 2 characters each? Do players have a hand of cards? I just ask as the BGG page says it's optimal to play this with 4 people.


2 players/2 characters = more immersive, 2 players/4 characters=more epic. 2 characters work as good as 4 characters.

Eeeville wrote:
2) In my experience, scenario driven games are a pain to organize/store compared to general coops. Do you find this to be true of Andor? I'm not willing to by plano boxes or such for this game.


It's true for Andor! And baggies is bad decision! I cut out the boxes from cardboard milk pockets.


Eeeville wrote:
4) How necessary are these expansions:
Legends of Andor: Journey to the North
Legends of Andor: The Star Shield
Legends of Andor: New Heroes

What do they add? Which are the most necessary for replay value? I'm more interested in components that will add long-term replay value of any Legends that's very replayable than simply additional Legends.


Legends of Andor: Journey to the North - almost completely new game! Legend 9 is fully replayable as Legend 3 from base game.

Legends of Andor: The Star Shield - long-term replay value for small price. Minimum 6 plays.

Legends of Andor: New Heroes - 5/10, only 2 heroes are solid, other stuff not really interesting. 5-6 players rules are bad, but it's good to have this possibility.

Eeeville wrote:
6) Anything else I should know?

There's a ton of official and fan-maded content for this game.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Eeeville wrote:
1) is it better to to play 2 characters each or a single character each.

Single character each is my preference. 2 is easy if you want to do so. I played a couple solo 4-hero games, and it was fine. I prefer playing just one hero per player for thematic immersion.

Quote:
2) I'm not willing to by plano boxes or such for this game.

Baggies work just fine for me.

Quote:
4) How necessary are these expansions:

After 17 plays of the base game, I have only played legend 4 twice (both losses), and haven't tried 5. I feel like I could play 3 again 5-10 times at least, and wouldn't mind playing 2 again from time to time. So it's pretty replayable without expansions. I did just buy the Star Shield, and plan to buy the Journey North. But if I couldn't, I would still continue to enjoy Andor for a long time.

Quote:
6) Anything else I should know?

If you kill too many monsters, the timer will advance quickly, and you will lose. Some people still buy the game without realizing that, and then are disappointed and write negative reviews. This is not a hack-and-slash game.

You already know that it is a thinky puzzle. If you don't plan several moves in advance, it's quite possible for monsters to move extremely quickly and cause a sudden loss. Sometimes heroes have to move slowly in order to meet up with another hero at a specific place and time. If you are a quick/intuitive player like my wife, that level of planning can be frustrating. However, Rahdo is an intuitive player, and loves Andor.

There is randomness, such as the dice for combat.

I find the world and the storylines quite compelling and beautiful. Some of the legends have very strong narrative arcs, with twists and surprises the first time you play that legend. Others have more flavor than Pandemic, but about as much story.

Aside from the built-in stories, there are also emergent storytelling opportunities, like when my personal quest was to kill a troll, and we had an extra troll show up due to an event, and then our final boss turned out to be a troll.
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Alexander Steinbach
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Eeeville wrote:
Being that I tend to like puzzle-y sort of coops (ie Pandemic, Ravens of Thri Sahashri, and Ghost Stories), I thought Andor might be a good fit for me. That said, after some (but not exhaustive) research, I had a few additional questions:


I agree; Andor is a great game for you to buy. Here are some answers to your questions:

1. I have been playing with 2 players for over 3 years now. In my opinion it is the best player amount as with more players it may become subject to the "alpha player"-problem. We always do play with 4 heroes. However, this game scales pretty nicely with 2-4 players, so you can do it either way. Maybe play the first few games with 1 hero each before you get the hang of it, then switch to 2 heroes a player.
Don't play with 5-6 heroes. Even though the Legends of Andor: New Heroes expansion allows for it, it is tacked on and thematically does not make much sense.

2. We store everything in the base game box in bags. Works fine for us, but if you are an OCD type of person who like things neatly and ordered, you may need to look for alternative methods.

3. In my opinion, only 1 legend is worth playing "over and over". That is the legend included in the Legends of Andor: The Star Shield expansion. All of the other legends you will play until you have completed them once or twice and then move on. Of course you may revisit them later on, or chose to try again with different heroes or players, but in my opinion, once you beat them, the mystery is gone. (and yes, this includes legend 3 in my opinion, although I can see people wanting to play this one a couple of times more after beating it as it comes with 3 possible end bosses.

4. In my opinion, the replayability of Legends of Andor comes from its many different legends. There is only a single expansion that adds stuff to existing legends. The others basically add new legends to move the narrative forward. I would get the legends in this order:

First Legends of Andor: New Heroes as it adds 4 new heroes to be used in any legend (except legend 1). It also adds some other optional rules with which to increase or decrease the difficulty of any legend. Great to use if you are having trouble beating a legend or if you find the game too easy.
If you are serious about getting in to the game I actually recommend you get Legends of Andor: The Star Shield together with New Heroes. The Star Shield adds a single legend to the base game. But this legend comes with a variety of different objectives, uses variable monster placement and includes six different end bosses. Of all the legends I have played, this is the best one, in my opinion.
When you have played Legends of Andor
I advise getting Legends of Andor: Journey to the North only if you have played and enjoyed the base game multiple times and are looking for more. The base game and Star Shield contains enough content for over a year of gameplay (obviously depending on how much you actually play). Deciding to get this is a no-brainer. If you enjoyed it; get it. If you don't, then don't get it. This expansion will not make you like the game if you did not enjoy the original, nor will it put you off if you did like the original. It's just more Legends of Andor.

5. A number of fan-made and official bonus legends have been made:
The King's Escort (official bonus legend)
The Curse of the Beast (fan legend, solo)
Liberating the mine (official bonus legend)
The hunt (official bonus legend, solo, requires the star shield expansion)
Return of the black cog (official bonus legend, requires journey to the north expansion)
There's more available in the file section of this site.

6. The third (and last) part of the Legends of Andor Trilogy (Die Legenden von Andor: Die letzte Hoffnung) has just been released in Germany. This will probably be released in English somewhere next year.

Legends of Andor is a game unlike any other. It has a strong thematic and adventure feel to the game, yet it does not resemble anything you might be familiar with of the same genre. There will not be "levelling" as you know it, there are no decks with skills and abilities, there are no decks with items and stuff like that. It is in some ways very basic and accessible, yet it still manages to be a deep, immersive and challenging game.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Vardaine wrote:
in my opinion, once you beat them, the mystery is gone. (and yes, this includes legend 3 in my opinion, although I can see people wanting to play this one a couple of times more after beating it as it comes with 3 possible end bosses.

I'm curious about why you think this. I have played legend 3 five times now, and it still seems fresh.

Legend 3 has 4 possible bosses, and you don't know which one you will face until mid-game. Each player randomly draws one of a large number of possible personal quests. Only a subset of the monster tiles are used each game, plus there is random placement of herbs, runestones, and the witch, plus Prince Thorald is on his own random schedule. And of course a random event comes along each day, from a large deck.

That seems like it should/does make it as replayable as any other co-op (Pandemic, Eldritch Horror, Zombicide). If you think Andor is less replayable than others, why do you feel that way?

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5. A number of fan-made and official bonus legends have been made:

Any thoughts on which fan-made and official bonus legends are worth trying?
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J A
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@ Vardaine:

Excellent overview (mini-review), Verdaine!

Vardaine wrote:
3. In my opinion, only 1 legend is worth playing "over and over". That is the legend included in the Legends of Andor: The Star Shield expansion.


Vardaine wrote:
The Star Shield adds a single legend to the base game. But this legend comes with a variety of different objectives, uses variable monster placement and includes six different end bosses. Of all the legends I have played, this is the best one, in my opinion.


Totally agree with everything you said about the Star Shield expansion!
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