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Subject: Has playing legacy games changed your opinion of the legacy concept? rss

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David Buckley
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So far I haven't played any legacy games. My gut reaction to them was "meh" at best and I watched PL's rise up to #1 with a sense of bemusement. A couple of questions for people who have tried legacy games. What was your gut reaction to the legacy concept? Did your opinion change as a result of playing them?
 
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Zachary Pickel

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Seafall is only the third legacy game released so far, and the first that is an original game. I've played Risk Legacy twice, and part way through Pandemic Legacy. I liked Risk Legacy a lot more than Pandemic Legacy. It improved on Risk Legacy, adding win conditions and variable player powers. And it's still a very playable, customized experience after the game. I haven't really been impressed with Pandemic's additions, and it feels more scripted.

That said, I have Gloomhaven pre-ordered, intend to purchase Seafall soon, and eagerly await Chronicles: Origins.
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Michael J
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I learned that I don't really like the "forced march" of legacy games. Playing a game 15-20 times in a short period with the same group is just too much. I won't say "never again", but Pandemic is not quite deep enough to pull it off; it felt very scripted because no matter what we did, all the boxes were opened anyway. It was cool, but not 15 games cool.

If a Legacy game was as varied as an RPG, then it might be worth it. Only a game with a super broad gameplay spectrum would be worth playing that much again for me.
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Craig Somerton
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Being a huge fan of Pandemic, I was interested to see how the legacy aspect would change the game.

Fundamentally, the game plays the same as Pandemic, but because of the legacy design, your decisions tend to be far more considered because of the long-term ramifications.

When playing normal Pandemic, you often reach a point where you know you are going to lose the game, at this point you either give-up, or you try to push your luck a bit more.

But with Pandemic Legacy, if you hit that point, you tend to adopt a far more defensive stance, working to minimise the damage on the board or to become far more protective of your characters, because that damage can dramatically affect all the games in the future. You also invest time into developing the characters, you don't just want to lose them.

Because of this approach, our decisions became more widely discussed in the group, turns were slightly longer and the tension increased quite dramatically.

Overall, I think the legacy aspect really added a LOT to the game and it really was worth the time and investment, but the additional tension was proved demanding on the group. Even though we really enjoyed every game, we were quite keen to see the campaign finally reach a conclusion.

Due to timing and availability, our campaign took quite a few months to complete, and from memory, we played 19 games in total.

I think it will be a while before I tackle another game of Pandemic and I won't be rushing out immediately to get Season 2 when it arrives. But it still remains one of my favourites and the experience was definitely worthwhile.
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C&H Schmidt
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Not changed that much, no -- I thought it was a really cool concept when I first heard about Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, then I started playing it and it was an absolutely worthwhile experience from start to finish. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

For me it was not all that different from a regular campaign game, except there is much more compulsion to do everything right the first time around. We didn't destroy any components, but used all the permanent stickers and upgrades and so on.
Also, you somehow have more of a sense of going through this story together, and it became a fixed event for me and the two friends I played with -- something that brought us closer together as friends as well (we were not super close yet when we started).
I think for the most part it's a different type of campaign that lets you keep track of things between plays in a different way than an easily re-settable campaign and allows for more changes to the gameplay.
I don't think the "destroying stuff" aspect is at all integral to Legacy, which is why I always get a bit annoyed when people go "Legacy -- no way, I don't want to destroy my game!" Yeah, no, that's not actually what you're doing... (Unless you really want to, I guess.)

My next Legacy game will be Gloomhaven, an epic campaign-style dungeon crawler whose legacy aspects are in large parts about unlocking new content that will then forever be playable. You don't actually destroy anything, as far as I am aware, but you play in a persistent world where your choices can have consequences in later games. I think that's awesome and I'm very excited to start the campaign!

Edit: We took exactly 8 months to complete Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and I think that was quite a good pace.
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Yours Truly,
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There must have been a moment at the beginning, where we could have said no. Somehow we missed it. Well, we'll know better next time.
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mjacobsca wrote:
I learned that I don't really like the "forced march" of legacy games. Playing a game 15-20 times in a short period with the same group is just too much. I won't say "never again", but Pandemic is not quite deep enough to pull it off; it felt very scripted because no matter what we did, all the boxes were opened anyway. It was cool, but not 15 games cool.


I never understand why people have this complaint, why people assume it's meant to be played in a short period of time. Why they feel "obligated" to play it weekly or something. Play it as often as you want, when you feel like it. My wife and I have been playing once or twice a month for 10 months now, and that's been a great pace, with plenty of time for other games in between.

I wasn't too enthused by the Legacy concept when I first heard about it. Sounded kind of gimmicky, and I wasn't sure I liked the idea of destroying game components and writing on them.

Then I sat in on a game of Risk Legacy, and thought it was pretty cool.

Then I started the current "campaign" of Pandemic Legacy with my wife, and both of us love it, it's my favorite new-to-me game I've played in 2016.

So, short answer is, "Yes" cool
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Matt Stokes
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We just got it a couple of months ago and thanks to our schedules, have only been able to play it about every three weeks. It is fun because we have three people and have been able to add a different fourth family member as they have visited. I really enjoy having something happen that says to destroy something. Letting the new player do it is priceless to watch.

But I agree hat it does feel like a novelty. Would defiantly be interested in an RPG type game.
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Tomáš Sládek
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I'm curious to try, but Legacy games have the same weakness as campaign games - you need a small, stable and unchanging group of people who can agree on a single timeslot. I already run a campaign game semi-regularly and have board game nights for friends on top of that where the players vary a lot, so no way I can fit a legacy game in. Which is a shame, as I just bought Mechs vs. Minions which tries to have a sort of legacy thing going on, minus the destroying of components.
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Cardboard Hustle
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My initial reaction to "legacy" style of games was "that's a cool idea, I wonder how it works in reality?". So, I bought Risk Legacy, assembled 4 friends and gave it a shot. I liked it so much that I assembled another group of friends and played Pandemic Legacy. I was blown away by how much additional tension the legacy element added to the game. With Pandemic Legacy I was impressed with how it made every game feel like it counted. Even when the writing was on the wall, and we knew a loss was coming, we would still try to set ourselves up for future success.

My first two experiences were overwhelmingly positive, I really like the legacy system. Now, that doesn't mean that I will purchase every legacy game that hits the market, but I will look at each one extra closely.
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Chris Graves
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I haven't played one yet. From what I understand, as you play, new items and rules are revealed, but most of the gameplay is the same, right? I mean, Pandemic is still Pandemic? If that is the case, it seems like, as Johnny $ said, you can play whenever. A game like T.I.M.E. Stories, on the other hand, seems better to play in a short time frame so everything is fresh in your memory...even if you are taking notes.

All that said, I am excited to play Seafall. The rest of my group has played a PL campaign and had a blast. I think a competitive legacy game sounds bonkers, but a lot of fun. Hopefully no run away winners...
 
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Pete
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I want more scripted games. I also want that concept divorced from the "stickers and destruction" mechanism.

Pete (thinks scripting would be even more popular if not for the destruction)
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Michael Tyree
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I was lukewarm on the general concept, as I felt it was basically an unnecessary take on a campaign game. I didn't see the need to permanently alter game components, since many campaign systems were already capable of keeping track of changing states.

That said, I've loved Pandemic Legacy and while I tossed ideas around for possibly trying it in a 'resettable' fashion, I think it truly is best to just go ahead and sticker/mark-up the game. It does improve the flow and immersion, plus it greatly speeds up game play.

I don't think legacy style games would replace their original counterparts for me, but I'm much more open to their appeal than I was before taking the plunge. Like most game mechanics, I feel it comes down more to how it is implemented than if it is good or bad just because. I think the most valid argument against them was stated above, the need to have a stable dedicated group to commit to multiple sessions. Beyond that, it's a question of personal taste.
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Phillip Harpring
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My opinion on them ended up a little more sour after playing, honestly. As a videogame fan, I thought I'd really enjoy them, but in order to make sure we actually finished the campaign, a few other members of my board game group and I played two games every two weeks, and it really wore on me. I know this is a personal thing, but I like to play a variety of games and I was real tired of Pandemic halfway through, even with the changes that the Legacy version was bringing. The board also started snowballing against us really hard after a couple losses, leading us to having an awful losing streak and getting the worst ending. It became a real grind, with me mentally checking out a number of times, letting the rest of the team do the thinking and just moving my piece and drawing cards when needed.

I had a similar experience with Imperial Assault's campaign, where things snowballed in the Imperial player's favor and it really felt like Rebels couldn't do anything to win halfway through the storyline.

I still like them in theory, and the changes in mechanics were fun, but in practice they just haven't worked out. Perhaps if it was more condensed... like a filler-length game that could be played campaign or legacy style.
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Lina B
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Borghal wrote:
I'm curious to try, but Legacy games have the same weakness as campaign games - you need a small, stable and unchanging group of people who can agree on a single timeslot. I already run a campaign game semi-regularly and have board game nights for friends on top of that where the players vary a lot, so no way I can fit a legacy game in. Which is a shame, as I just bought Mechs vs. Minions which tries to have a sort of legacy thing going on, minus the destroying of components.


I don't know that I agree that you need a set time slot. The group I formed for Risk Legacy only got together a few times a year because one of us lives out of town. That worked fine. The group that's playing Seafall has made a general commitment to game at least once a month, and we agree as a group, that a certain day of the week works best most of the time. But we're not stuck on it.
 
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Ryan Keane
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I've just played 1 game of Risk: Legacy (I think it was the 3rd round for that box), and only through to September in my copy of Pandemic: Legacy, so I don't have a complete picture. Personally, I don't see much added value in the new gimmick (of permanently marking up the game) applied to what has already existed: campaign narrative games that you can't really replay once you've learned the story, with Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective from 1981 being the one I am most familiar, which I enjoyed playing several scenarios when I first met my wife in the early 90's, and then returned to in the late 2000's when I had forgot the solutions.

There's really 2 issues with Legacy-like games:
One-and-done narrative with reveals, such that replaying through the sequence of gameplays has limited value

Permanently marking up the components, opening boxes, etc. such that new players that have never played it before cannot experience the game fresh using the same copy.



I very much enjoy the first and am perfectly happy to buy a game that I personally can't really enjoy again once I've completed the campaign. But I think it's unfortunate that the second characteristic has become synonymous with the next big thing Legacy. I believe there's a lot of design space to build upon the ideas Rob Daviau used in his Legacy games without following his model directly.
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Matt E.

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mjacobsca wrote:
I learned that I don't really like the "forced march" of legacy games.


Very well said. My group did P:L like everyone else. We enjoyed it but I was definitely glad to see it over with, burnout was rapidly approaching.

I hope that Season 2 is shorter in # of sessions and also a bit cheaper.
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Jamie Specht
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Years ago I went searching for a game that changed as you did. That could take what you did in one play and apply it to the next play... I can't seem to find that thread, maybe I deleted it....

but anyway, I guess I've been in love with the concept since before there were Legacy games.

My opinion hasn't changed... but now that there are options, I want to make sure the game is solid, too.
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I thought it seemed like a cool idea before I played Pandemic Legacy, and turned out to really dislike it. I will probably play Gloomhaven without the Legacy-ness if at all possible.
 
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Anon Y. Mous
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Gloomhaven's legacy mechanics are just unlocks, every scenario can be replayed indefinitely. You could also just use character sheets instead of the stickers, no need to completely ignore the legacy mechanics to be able to replay scenarios.
 
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Stephen Miller
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Intrigued by the idea and potential the idea had initially, and having played most of the way through Pandemic Legacy with my husband, liking it a lot but wouldn't want every game to be in that format.
 
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Rob Doupe
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JohnnyDollar wrote:
mjacobsca wrote:
I learned that I don't really like the "forced march" of legacy games. Playing a game 15-20 times in a short period with the same group is just too much. I won't say "never again", but Pandemic is not quite deep enough to pull it off; it felt very scripted because no matter what we did, all the boxes were opened anyway. It was cool, but not 15 games cool.


I never understand why people have this complaint, why people assume it's meant to be played in a short period of time. Why they feel "obligated" to play it weekly or something. Play it as often as you want, when you feel like it. My wife and I have been playing once or twice a month for 10 months now, and that's been a great pace, with plenty of time for other games in between.

I wasn't too enthused by the Legacy concept when I first heard about it. Sounded kind of gimmicky, and I wasn't sure I liked the idea of destroying game components and writing on them.

Then I sat in on a game of Risk Legacy, and thought it was pretty cool.

Then I started the current "campaign" of Pandemic Legacy with my wife, and both of us love it, it's my favorite new-to-me game I've played in 2016.


Easy to play a game as often as you like or when you feel like it when it's only you and your wife. It's a different matter when you have a group of five people who commit to playing a legacy game together. If the campaign drags on too long you run the risk of people growing disinterested, or dropping out because of other commitments.
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Tomáš Sládek
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Lina688 wrote:
Borghal wrote:
I'm curious to try, but Legacy games have the same weakness as campaign games - you need a small, stable and unchanging group of people who can agree on a single timeslot. I already run a campaign game semi-regularly and have board game nights for friends on top of that where the players vary a lot, so no way I can fit a legacy game in. Which is a shame, as I just bought Mechs vs. Minions which tries to have a sort of legacy thing going on, minus the destroying of components.


I don't know that I agree that you need a set time slot. The group I formed for Risk Legacy only got together a few times a year because one of us lives out of town. That worked fine. The group that's playing Seafall has made a general commitment to game at least once a month, and we agree as a group, that a certain day of the week works best most of the time. But we're not stuck on it.


I didn't mean the timeslot needs to be set (god forbid adding another hurdle!), just that in my experience it's hard for 5 working adults to find on any given week a single evening that they all have free to spend. Some people only a day or two in advance, others need to know a month before the occasion...
 
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Scott Forbes
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Pandemic: Legacy was my first foray into the Legacy format games. We purchased it immediately at release (my wife being the biggest Pandemic fan North of the 49th) and the first play that we did was one of the most interesting, engaging, and rewarding gaming experiences I have EVER had. We finished our campaign in about a week (the perks of having three people in the household that wanted to play it) and had an absolute incredible time doing so.

Fast-forward a couple of months and my wife came home with another copy and we proceeded to plow through that one as well (in a couple weeks this time). At this point I decided to pick up Risk Legacy on a whim, fervently wanting to inject more "legacy" into my life. We started this with three (the wife opted out, she's not big on directly combative games) and have only managed to get a few games in. Not as big a hit.

In the mean time I have backed and am eagerly anticipating Gloomhaven. We have recently finished a third box of Pandemic: Legacy (the wife nearly had a dance party when the images of Season 2 peeked their way onto twitter) and myself and 2 others have jumped headlong into Seafall.

TL;DR

I didn't even know of the existence of the Legacy mechanics prior to Pandemic: Legacy and have been thoroughly and continuously satisfied by the format! I (and my family) look forward to the future of this fascinating style of game!
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Buckersuk wrote:
So far I haven't played any legacy games. My gut reaction to them was "meh" at best and I watched PL's rise up to #1 with a sense of bemusement. A couple of questions for people who have tried legacy games. What was your gut reaction to the legacy concept? Did your opinion change as a result of playing them?
I think I would like it, but as my gaming opportunities with dwindled, getting regular fare has been difficult, let alone Legacy games. In the same vein, I don't even want to pay another more than half of list price only to get in a game 0 to 3 times a year. And I hear with a game like Pandemic Legacy, 3 times a year won't cut it.


In theory, I could just buy it and play it solo, but as I'm too lazy to set up solo bg, I may consider doing it if they come out a digital implementation for that.
 
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Rob Doupe
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Borghal wrote:

I didn't mean the timeslot needs to be set (god forbid adding another hurdle!), just that in my experience it's hard for 5 working adults to find on any given week a single evening that they all have free to spend. Some people only a day or two in advance, others need to know a month before the occasion...


It's the problem RPG groups made up of working adults with families run into. The group I'm in now is lucky to find one Saturday night every five or six weeks we all have available.
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