Monday, 16 February 2015

Lost Legacy series

Plays: 4Px3.

The Game

The games in the Lost Legacy series are successors to Senji Kanai's Love Letter. You also have just 16 cards. You also have a hand size of one card. On your turn you also draw one card and play one card. Cards are also numbered and have special effects. The key difference is your objective. You can also win by being the last person standing, but if that doesn't happen by the time the draw deck is exhausted, you try to win by finding the lost legacy (one of the cards in the game).

One new concept is the Ruins. At the start of the game a card is drawn and placed face-down in the Ruins area. Initially no one knows what it is. The card powers in the game vary, some appear once, some appear on up to three cards. One lets you see a card in someone else's hand or in the Ruins, and if it is the lost legacy you win immediately. One is a trap - if someone else peeks at your card, he is eliminated. Another one is a counter-trap - if you catch someone holding a trap card, he is eliminated instead. You can see there's some psychology here. Some cards let you manipulate the Ruins, e.g. adding a card to it, peeking at a card in it, or exchanging your hand card with a card there.

When the deck runs out and there are still two or more players not yet eliminated, you enter the search phase. Everyone will be holding one card. There will be one or more face-down cards in the Ruins. You start counting from 1. Whoever's number gets called shows his card and gets a chance to guess which card is the lost legacy. Guess right, and you win. If nobody guesses it, there is no winner, and the lost legacy lives up to its name, while the players blame one another for screwing up the mission.

The Play

I played two games of Lost Legacy: The Starship and one game of Lost Legacy: Flying Garden. The rules are the same, just that the card powers and distribution are different. In fact there are variant rules to mix and match the cards from the two sets. I played too quickly, and didn't have enough time to think about the strategies. We made the mistake of not reviewing all the card powers before our first game. We just read the card text as we drew cards. In hindsight, I realise we should have reviewed all the cards together and also get some idea of how many copies there are of each type before we played. This is important information for decision-making during the game. I don't mean to make a microgame sound complicated or very sophisticated. You need to know this information to have some basis for decision-making. Else you would be playing rather randomly, which is less fun.

The Thoughts

I only have this one lesson learnt above, and no thoughts yet. Our games just flew by and I didn't have time to think and chew on the subtleties. The game is slightly less simple than Love Letter, but is still very quick. There are many similarities in mechanisms, but I am surprised the feel is quite different.

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