Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 1-4
Amount of time to play: 60-90 min (depending on the scenario and number of players)
Age requirements: 14+
Set-up time: 5-15 min
Legends of Andor is a fantasy-themed, cooperative board game. You need to work as a team to complete quests and overcome the hordes attacking Andor.
Legends of Andor has a story-driven scenario system. The linked scenarios are called legends and five are included in the base game.
You start each legend by choosing your hero and placing the well and fog tokens on the board. The legend will tell you some of the story and your tasks to complete the legend successfully. It might also have you place some initial monsters and tell you where each hero starts.
The game takes place over days which consist of seven hours. On your turn you either move or attack. For each space you move or round you attack you must spend one hour. You can take actions in hours eight through ten but they cost you two willpower.
Your hero starts a legend with seven willpower and at least two strength points. If you are reduced to zero willpower you lose one strength and gain three willpower. But if you are reduced to zero strength your hero is dead.
In combat you roll a certain number of d6s (depending on your hero and their current willpower) and keep the highest result. Then you add your strength and that is your combat value. Different monsters roll a different type and number of dice and the harder they are he more strength they have. Monsters cannot initiate combat and get to keep doubles when they roll them. The combatant with the greater combat value does the difference in willpower damage their foe. If you do not reduce the monster to zero willpower you must choose if you want to fight another round you must spend an hour. If you stop the battle and return later to fight the monster it will be back to full health. If you kill a monster you gain some willpower and/or gold and advance the narrator pawn on the track.
The narrator pawn and track keeps the story moving. The track is lettered A through N and on certain letters you read another legend card. Legend cards reveal more information about your goal and how you win or add additional help, monsters or challenges to the game.
You can buy equipment from merchant spaces on the map. For two gold you can get a bow which lets you attack from adjacent spaces, a helm that lets you keep doubles you roll, or other useful items. And for the same price you can also buy a point of strength.
Once you have used up the hours in the day another one begins. Each day starts with a random event card being read. Some events help the heroes and others zap their willpower or present other challenges. Then the monsters on the board move toward the castle and if able enter it. Lastly you advance the narrator pawn one space up the track.
If you successfully finish the legend’s tasks, you win. However if the castle is overtaken by too many monsters or you fail to complete the legend’s tasks, you lose.
Legends of Andor is an immersive cooperative board game. You’ll want to play the scenarios until you beat all five. You can play this with kids and it even plays well solo.
The components for this game are great. The art is very nice and everything is well made. Miniatures instead of standees would be nice but would also drive the price up a lot. The rules are easy to read but you barely need to read them. The first legend is pretty much a guided tutorial of the game basics. Some situations do come up that aren’t in the rules. But a quick google search or glance at the FAQs should get you the right answers for your questions.
I really like how the actions, hours and days work in this game. How you spend your time is important. Taking too long on a fight or task can lose you the game or at least make it harder. Being able to spend willpower to gain time is a nice touch too. And that as the days click by the narrator moves up the track bringing the end game closer. It is just really well designed.
The combat system is efficient and easy to resolve. Tough monsters get more or more powerful dice but you can team attack with other heroes to help even the odds. You need to be judicious about the monsters you kill. Sometimes you need the rewards from the harder monsters. And since killing a monster moves the narrator pawn, you need to consider time even during combat.
The heroes are all unique with their own special power and number of dice they roll. You will want to try them all and probably settle on a favorite.
Legends of Andor is not perfect though. The set up time can be long. You probably want to run through a couple scenarios at a time. This can cut down on this issue. The scenarios are pretty unique and one even uses the back of the board. But there are only five and once run you kind of know the best route to win. This is not to say once you pay a scenario there is no value in replaying it. Or that once played a scenario is always beatable. You’ll just know the legend cards and the main events that will take place. Thankfully there are expansions and even a legend or two available online.
If you and your group like cooperative board games or like fantasy-themed ones, you should pick this up. It is really a lot of fun. My son and I have tried all five legends at least once and really enjoyed it. If you are not sure if Legends of Andor is up your alley and you get a chance to try it you should. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 3 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 4 out of 6
Replay Value 4 out of 6
Complexity 4 out of 6
Fun 5 out of 6
Overall 5 out of 6