Spiel 2013 Preview: Legacy

Posted by James (admin) on October 15th, 2013

The Legacy box

Legacy: Testament of Duke de Crecy is a game where players create a family tree and try to create the family with the most honour.  The game looks innovative as players grow their family tree by placing cards in a tree-hierarchy.  Each player starts with a couple who can have children who then get married, have children, buy mansions, and so on.  In each round, the gameplay is focused on the latest generation of family members.  So, children born from a generation in one round grow-up and become the focus of the actions of the next round, having their own children, etc.

The heart of the gameplay is a worker-placement game.  Players place action markers on their own personal actions (marry, have children, socialise, ask friends for money) and on action areas on the main board which any one player can use but these are first-come, first-served (acquire title, hire fertility doctor, buy mansion, initiate venture, undertake mission, and contribute to community).

Having children is important but these children also need to marry so they can have children too.  When a family member marries, the player places one of the friend cards from their hand to create the couple, receives a dowry (or pays for the wedding), executes any effects of the new family member (like gaining income, friends, etc.) and then places a child beneath them too.  (Yes, these newlyweds don’t hang around.)  You can even arrange marriages before the children grow-up.

The game offers more than just marriage and children too.  You can ask friends for money although that can lose you honour (and sometimes friends) if you ask for a lot; but, you can also spend money to socialise in order to gain friends.  Acquiring titles, mansions and business ventures can gain you special benefits, prestige, etc. but all come at a cost such as money, friends, honour, etc.  Players can also take on missions which will earn benefits if the task is completed.  Plus, players can give back to the community which has a cost but will raise your profile too.  So, there are various elements to balance.

Legacy Cards

Each generation consists of 2 to 4 rounds and players get 2 actions each round (plus occasional extra ones).  Players receive income at the end of each round, but at the end of each generation players also earn honour points based on their current prestige level and the number of children born this round.  Each player has a patron card which also scores extra points if the criteria are fulfilled, so each player has their own goals too.

The friend cards you add to your family through marriages have lots of special effects so you need to find good combinations and leverage special abilities.

Finally, it’s worth highlighting the single-player game too.  It can be played as normal but there is also a version where, rather than build a family from the top-down, you work from the bottom-up as you start with ‘you’ and discover your own family tree.

Overall, it looks like Legacy has a great blend of game mechanics and theme with each reinforcing the other.  It definitely looks like a good eurogame with its unique identity.

You can read the rules and see the details of the game on Portal’s web site: bga.me/thelegacy


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