Sam R
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I do not mean to start an argument about legacy games, I just want a nice clean discussion about legacy games and where Charterstone fits in that.

so to start off, why do people have this "one and done" mentality about legacy games.

I think charterstone is a great step forward into showing that a game can be legacy and after the campaign is done you have a full game that can be played infinitely after.

But what I don't understand is why people have this negative mentality about legacy games? I mean, look at EXIT or Unlock. Those are "one and done" games, literally. Definitely not legacy, because youre not leaving a mark of your playthroughs to be seen in future games. You just play the one time and know all the puzzles. Yet I feel like people are more accepting of these games than legacy games.

Why is that? is it the price point? is it the theme? EXIT and unlock being escape room theme while other legacy games are more of a regular board game theme?

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand the awkwardness some may feel about legacy games. The whole play the campaign thru once, and then put the game away to be a museum piece. Even the weird feeling that comes from tearing or destroying components. And the annoyance some may feel about having to learn new rules everytime they start a game session. But with Charterstone this shouldn't be a problem.

Yet I feel like Charterstone is being shoved aside in people's minds like "just another legacy game" (Not mentioning that there's only about 5 true legacy games out now). Many reviews I've seen and people I've talk to seem to just put it in the "one and done" category. Why is that?

For those of you who have never played a legacy game:
why did you decide to make Charterstone your first one?

For those of us who have played the other legacy games:
What drew you to this game?

And for Jamey if he happens to read this:
What made you want to create a legacy game that could be replayed after it's campaign was done? Why not make it a regular legacy game?
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Derry Salewski
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I think you're letting vocal minorities make you go start non-arguments on the internet. Aren't gloomhaven and pandemic legacy like the two top rated games on the site?

Charterstone was massively hyped and I bet has sold many thousands of units already.

But sure. I think legacy sounds dumb, but actually I mostly just thought risk and pandemic sound dumb. I still wouldn't go super crazy for everything to be a legacy game, but chartstone has a good name, a good designer, and good artwork, so I ordered it.
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We are enjoying Charterstone but I really don't see myself replaying it after the campaign is done.

Without the elements of discovery, story, board evolution and surprise, Charterstone is essentially an unremarkable, semi-random, worker placement game. No offense meant. As I said, we really enjoy the game and we will actually finish the campaign (we're on game 9, which is high praise), but the game play is simple and replaying the board once complete this isn't where Charterstone shine.

For us, when it comes to depth, strategy and balance, it is eclipsed by other "fully authored" experiences, so we'd rather replay those. For instance, even if you stay within the realm of Stonemaier games, Euphoria is a better replay experience.

If you have a limited budget, Charterstone is certainly replayable beyond the campaign, but if you are like me and have a backlog of 50 boardgames that are still in shrink and waiting to be played, there's no way to justify Charterstone hitting the table once you take out the best parts (discovery, evolution, story).
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Joao Rodrigues
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LateShacka wrote:
And for Jamey if he happens to read this:
What made you want to create a legacy game that could be replayed after it's campaign was done? Why not make it a regular legacy game?

I just want to point out somethin here: this whole idea of one and done is totally wrong. Every Legacy Game so far you are able to keep playing after the campaign ends.

Risk Legacy: after the campaign is over, you can still play it as regular Risk, only with this version of the world you just created.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1: After the campaign is over, you can play it like regular pandemic either taking in consideration all the markings in the world, or just by ignoring the stickers and playing with regular pandemic rules (that are included in the rulebook). I assume the same happens with Pandemic Legacy Season 2, that you will be able to play it after as a regular game, without unlocking anything else.

SeaFall: Much Like Charterstone, after the campaign is over you unlock a new set of rules that allows you to keep playing the game as a regular game, in this world you created.

So far these are the only Legacy games in the market (along with Charterstone) and they all can be played after the campaign is over. This "one and done" is just something wrong that "sticked" to the hive mind and everyone repeats it again and again. So, Jamey DID Charterstone just like any other regular Legacy game. He is just better in announcing it to the world because he understands this is a good selling point for people.

Not to mention that I feel very angry when people say "you only play it once!!" Well, to end the campaign is always something around 12 to 18 games. I think there are only 3 games in my collection that I've played more than 10 times in the past 3 years, and 2 of these games are Legacy Games. Legacy Games are not here to make you feel like "awn, I can only play it 12 times..."They are here to make you feel like "Yes! Finally a game I can play for 12 times!" (I guess it was Shut Up and Sit Down that said this in one of their videos.
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Jamey Stegmaier
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"What made you want to create a legacy game that could be replayed after it's campaign was done? Why not make it a regular legacy game?"

That's a great question. There are a few different reasons, and I think the biggest one is theme. The whole idea of permanence in Charterstone is based around the thematic idea that if you construct a building today, it's still going to be there tomorrow. In the same way, if you've spent 12 games building a village together, that village is still going to be there the next day.

Another reason is variability. In a Charterstone campaign, I wanted each player to have a sense of ownership to their charter and connection to their character. So you use the same charter for the entire campaign. However, after the campaign, you're no longer limited in that way, and it creates opportunities to try the game from different perspectives and new strategies. I didn't want to deny players the ability to do that.

There are probably other reasons too, but I can't skip over the fact that it helps the marketability of the game. While I and many other people who understand the fun and appeal of permanence that cannot be undone in games, there are still plenty of people who simply will not buy a game if it isn't infinitely replayable (even though it's impossible to play a game an infinite number of times). So I was hoping that the post-campaign replayability would be an open invitation to those players, even if they never actually play Charterstone after the campaign.
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Sam R
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Thanks for the reply Jamey! I figured it had something to do with marketability but I couldn’t think of anything else. It’s so interesting to get the designer’s motive for certain choices in design.

It’s interesting, as I read the replies thus far, the differing opinions for everyone.

I myself love legacy games. I love the fact that the entire focus in a legacy game is to create a situation where you feel the weight of your choices. And I’ll say, above all I think charterstone captures that feeling perfectly. I can’t tell you how many times I struggled trying to figure out what buildings to build and how to improve my charter. And those choices were completely separate from the choices I had to make game to game as more choices and rule changes happened!

But I’ll be honest with charterstone my main draw was the art. So vibrant, full of color. Even the first time opening the board and seeing it so empty didn’t disappoint me because of how bright and well illustrated it was.
 
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Sam R
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Johnnymaxx wrote:


Risk Legacy: after the campaign is over, you can still play it as regular Risk, only with this version of the world you just created.

Pandemic Legacy Season 1: After the campaign is over, you can play it like regular pandemic either taking in consideration all the markings in the world, or just by ignoring the stickers and playing with regular pandemic rules (that are included in the rulebook). I assume the same happens with Pandemic Legacy Season 2, that you will be able to play it after as a regular game, without unlocking anything else.

SeaFall: Much Like Charterstone, after the campaign is over you unlock a new set of rules that allows you to keep playing the game as a regular game, in this world you created.


While I do agree that you can replay these games after the campaign is over, that is not nessesarily the point of their design. Rob Daviau has stated himself that the main point of the design is within the campaign (check out his GDC presentation on YouTube for pandemic, really good). But yes I do agree they can be replayed, but in the case for risk legacy, I don’t know how you’ve played it after the campaign but we had to ignore and modify a couple of things to be able to play on the board. Same with pandemic. With seafall I can see that a little more. With these games I don’t feel the draw to play them after the campaign though, with Charterstone I do. I don’t really have to ignore or modify anything to keep playing it after the campaign, but I could be wrong.
 
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LateShacka wrote:
But what I don't understand is why people have this negative mentality about legacy games? I mean, look at EXIT or Unlock. Those are "one and done" games, literally.


I want to throw out a hypothesis here, but considering I've not played any of the games mentioned, I'm willing to be corrected on this.

Risk is, easily, an Ameritrash game. Pandemic, while not really Ameritrash, has enough randomness to it that I don't think you can put it in the category of a strategic euro. For Seafall, while 4X games can be strategic, PvP combat is again traditionally not part of eurogame mechanics. It seems to me like legacy games thus far are aimed at the story based non-euro gamer. By extension, while some eurogamers I know are interested in the "escape room in a box" type game, I've not seen what I would consider "hype" for those games within those circles. Maybe (and again, I acknowledge I am hypothesizing) there is some kind of correlation or mindset a eurogamer has against a destructible game that a non-eurogamer doesn't seem to mind.

At least for me personally, the crossover aspect is actually part of the reason why I've actually jumped on the hype wagon for Charterstone. I am at least interested in the idea/concept behind a legacy game, but the legacy games offered so far have no appeal to me as somebody who is primarily a eurogamer. This is the first legacy that is squarely aimed towards my gaming preferences.

One other possibility, and this goes in a different direction, is that escape rooms are really more logic puzzles than they are games. Somebody who is interested in going to an escape room can expect to pay around $30 per person. So buying an "escape room in a box" for $15 is something that can be thought of as getting a discount on that kind of experience. If you agree with the mind set that a board game and an escape room are completely different and non-comparable experiences, it doesn't make sense to compare EXIT to Pandemic Legacy, even if they happen to be sold in the same kind of store.
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Andrej Medved
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I know that my next words can be called blasphemous in our world but I realized that deep down I like the limited no. of plays of the Legacy games.
Our collection has grown out of control. With all the games that offer infinite amount of plays, I'm actually looking forward to games that can be finished and then put away for good (ok, I still can't convince myself to throw away my Pandemic Legacy 1&2 boxes.. I'm not completely crazy).

And lets be honest here.. if I get 15-20 plays out of a 1-2 hours game, it's an amazing accomplishment. The legacy aspect is what pushes us to play them so much.


I agree about the Euro vs. Ameritrah idea of David. But I guess there is also the big vs small collection problem. If I only had a few games in my collection, I would much rather buy another infinite game than something that would give me limited replayability.
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Gunther Schmidl
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FWIW we have played every EXIT game nondestructively and passed it along to other groups who did the same. All you need is some paper and transparent sheet.
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Charterstone was (is, actually) our first Legacy game. The reason we chose this and not the others is mainly that it's not cooperative. The idea that there's still a game after the campaign definitely also was a factor - personally, I don't consider a game purchase a great success if I only end up playing it 12 times. In fact, I only rate games higher than 8 if they manage to keep our interest after a number of plays (how many depends on the game, but it's often 20+ times).
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Rich A
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kompanjon83 wrote:
I know that my next words can be called blasphemous in our world but I realized that deep down I like the limited no. of plays of the Legacy games.
Our collection has grown out of control. With all the games that offer infinite amount of plays, I'm actually looking forward to games that can be finished and then put away for good (ok, I still can't convince myself to throw away my Pandemic Legacy 1&2 boxes.. I'm not completely crazy).

And lets be honest here.. if I get 15-20 plays out of a 1-2 hours game, it's an amazing accomplishment. The legacy aspect is what pushes us to play them so much.


I agree about the Euro vs. Ameritrah idea of David. But I guess there is also the big vs small collection problem. If I only had a few games in my collection, I would much rather buy another infinite game than something that would give me limited replayability.


This is an interesting point and highlights how gaming has changed. The hobby has grown such that many game groups play a game only a few times and then move on to the next game. Constant discovery of new games. Legacy games force a group to spend more time with it than they otherwise might, like how it used to be in the hobby game world before the current golden age where we are now drowning in high quality games.

This is akin to video gaming in the past where you completed something or played a game a number of times then moved on

Legacy games capitalise on the excitement of constantly discover a new game and presents that experience in one box. It's the ultimate gamers game in 2018.
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Scott Bender
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There are very few games in my collection that I have played more than a dozen times. Any game that I get to play even six times I consider a "success." So, the infinite replayability argument does little for me under the best of circumstances. It's an ideal situation that never really occurs with any game, legacy or otherwise.

That said I do love deeper dives into games and would love to be able to really explore the intricacies of more of my games. And for this I actually find that Legacy games are actually MORE satisfying than "regular" games because I do typically get to play them more times. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is among my most played games of any type.
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I only skimmed but I didn't see another potential reason listed here.

My group tends to churn through a lot of different games, and a lot of others may be the same. This stays affordable because people will buy a game, we play it once, and then they re-sell it for around what they paid for it. But with a legacy game, that's no really an option. At least I assume its not. I imagine people aren't going to pay much for a used copy of a legacy game even when it does have post-campaign playability. So, people could be resistant to the idea of a legacy game because once they buy it that money is permanently spent.

Personally I go more for games that we will play a bunch and I can keep, and chose Charterstone based on that expectation. The result is that I own a lot of dungeon crawlers I can play solo when my group is tired of them.
 
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Brian M
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Quote:
But what I don't understand is why people have this negative mentality about legacy games? I mean, look at EXIT or Unlock. Those are "one and done" games, literally. Definitely not legacy, because youre not leaving a mark of your playthroughs to be seen in future games. You just play the one time and know all the puzzles. Yet I feel like people are more accepting of these games than legacy games.

Regarding Exit or Unlock; after you play them, they can be traded, re-sold or given away. Or you can stick them in a closet for a few years until you've forgotten the puzzles and play again.

As far as I can tell, a big drive behind the "legacy" games is to kill the secondary market for the games so every new group has to buy a new copy.

Still, I bought one of those escape room games and it has sat around for over a year so far because, with only one play, we want to be sure we play it with the right group/in the right situation. Which most likely means we'll just never play it.

Also, I've spent the last 25 years wishing for more campaign board games, so getting legacy crap instead is an enormous slap in the face. I haven't spent any time at all wishing for board-game versions of escape rooms.
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StormKnight wrote:
As far as I can tell, a big drive behind the "legacy" games is to kill the secondary market for the games so every new group has to buy a new copy.


As far as you can tell? Well, that's certainly a very cynical view of the hobby. If this were really true there would be a much larger drive to make more games legacy, but it seems, for example, Matt Leacock, is still making non-legacy games (in fact, non-legacy versions of Pandemic!). In the case of Charterstone, the board is two sided to allow 2 campaign play-throughs and there's a recharge pack available, so it is, to some extent, resellable on that basis alone.
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StormKnight wrote:
Also, I've spent the last 25 years wishing for more campaign board games, so getting legacy crap instead is an enormous slap in the face.


"Instead"? This is the problem - people act like every game that is released is being pushed in their face for them to buy. It's not. There are plenty of campaign games out there right now, this one legacy game does not have to conform to your tastes. And each legacy game that comes out isn't "instead" of a campaign game. It's alongside all the campaign games being released.
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Brian M
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Jjdelanoche wrote:
StormKnight wrote:
Also, I've spent the last 25 years wishing for more campaign board games, so getting legacy crap instead is an enormous slap in the face.


"Instead"? This is the problem - people act like every game that is released is being pushed in their face for them to buy. It's not. There are plenty of campaign games out there right now, this one legacy game does not have to conform to your tastes. And each legacy game that comes out isn't "instead" of a campaign game. It's alongside all the campaign games being released.

Plenty? Really? Great, point me right to all the campaign co-op deck-builders! Or the non-legacy campaign version of Pandemic*. Campaign non-legacy worker placement games? I'll wait...

As far as I know, there are a tiny handful of campaign games (and most of them are pretty bad). As far as I can tell, "legacy" has mostly devoured "campaign". There were KS games I pledged for that were not originally supposed to be legacy but that have since added legacy content.

I mean, you aren't talking about worker placement vs. deck builder here. You are talking about "I want this exact game but without the CRM". (Cardboard Rights Management)

* Granted, I thought Pandemic Legacy was absolutely awful, and just having reusable stickers instead wouldn't have changed that. But I strongly got the idea that lots of design effort went into "how to make this un-replayable and use stickers" rather than "how to make this good". But apparently most people loved it.
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Joseph Cochran
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Johnnymaxx wrote:
So far these are the only Legacy games in the market (along with Charterstone) and they all can be played after the campaign is over. This "one and done" is just something wrong that "sticked" to the hive mind and everyone repeats it again and again.


I don't know if I agree with that. Yes, "one and done" is the common perception about Legacy games. But I don't think it's because of a hive mind thing. I think it's because everyone realizes that the point of these games is to do the Legacy. Play afterward is just lip service. That's not meant to be pejorative: as is often pointed out many new hobby games purchased don't get as many plays as a full Legacy run would, and even if you don't play it again your price per play is good. But I don't think Legacy games will ever be designed to ensure that after-campaign games will be attractive or played often.
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Tom Stearns
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I guess Gloomhaven is legacy game but when I began playing it I didn't think of it in those terms. We are not stickering the game board in Gloomhaven nor destroying the road and town cards.

I really consider Charterstone my first true legacy game. Risk and Pandemic held no interest for me as regular games so playing them legacy style was not going to happen. I own all of Jamey's other games so I was initially drawn to Charterstone when it was first announced. When I read more about it and saw it was legacy my interest waned. I observed it from a distance but did not pre-order. Shortly before release the pre-order price dipped below $50 so I was enticed by the price to give it a shot.

I am a war gamer primarily though my collection is full of Euro's and AT as well. I like most all games. My primary game group is also primarily made up of war gamers. Playing Charterstone 3 player, no automa's, with two war gamers who do not tend to like Euro's, but have played and like other designs by Jamey.

All of that being said we have really enjoyed playing Charterstone and we find ourselves pushing to get the next session scheduled and played. So far two sessions and 5 games in. The fact that we will have a complete game to play going forward once the campaign is over is simply a bonus. I am 100% sure I will buy recharge and play another campaign of Charterstone. I also acquired SeaFall at a steep discount and will attempt to get that played as well. The theme for SeaFall is attractive and I hope that by the time we get around to it many of the rule issues will have been ironed out.
 
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Jamey Stegmaier
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Tom: I agree that Gloomhaven isn't a legacy game. A legacy game features permanence that cannot be undone--it can't be played without permanence. Charterstone fits into that definition, but not Gloomhaven.
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