Saturday 5 March 2022

Legends of Andor 2 - Legend 7 - Find the Cartographer

[A board game session from The Legends of Andor]

This huge expansion to the base game sees heroes DL the warrior, Mom the archer, Rose the tracker, and Joe the guardian meet new hero Juris the -fisherman- sea warden who happens to have a vessel they can use to begin their journey across a new ocean map! The sea warden's ability is that he is able to push the ship one tile for free. For those wondering "what happened to Legend 6? Was that the Star Shield?" the answer to that is no, Legend 6 is some downloadable adventure we didn't do (because really, just include it in the box next time?) that tells the story of why the dwarf hero is no longer around at this point. *shrugs* Who cares!? We're on a boat!

Alas, the "Journey to the North" (title on the box) is not complete without a cartographer so we must find one (because no one else knows how to steer North apparently). We arrive at the sea of four islands at around midday (because the game is scum and makes you lose half a day) and set out to visit each isle to find a suitable candidate and kill a trio of gors that show up to ruin our reputation. You heard that right! The narrator/time limit is not as bad on this board as it only moves for every two enemies slain now but a new "doom" track takes the form of "fame" tracked by a bard who sings about us. Fame takes a big hit per monster on land and should that fame ever reach zero we instantly lose... because ... we get sad and ... stuff? It's very stupid.

We quickly split up to discover the islands: "ship builder land" where we can upgrade the ship and sell logs, "the city of will" which boosts you to 14 will power if you end there and the third is home to sea shell purchasing dwarves and their traveling merchant Garz (and in another example of bad game design, of the four shell tokens one is valued ZERO. That's just a big middle finger from the designers I think). On the last island which is just a ruin, a ghostly specter points us to a nearby shipwreck where Joe finds a barely alive cartographer named Merrik! If we save him, we can guilt trip him into slavery! Huzzah! But wait - that's not the end of the mission. Looming nearby is a giant that looks a lot like Thanos, and for some reason we need to survive long enough until we can track him down? What!

Thanos on a boat!

With mermen, sea trolls, and giant fish horrors called arrogs all marching (swimming?) onto the islands we quickly gather up on the boat and kill all the weak ones as a team - taking their fame which then gets taken away by the bigger horrors making it onto land. Sounds a lot like GRINDING!? BECAUSE IT IS! STUPID DESIGN! Fighting from the boat is almost like everyone having a bow, and best of all it can move pretty fast depending on the wind. It can also screw you up as we found out when Juris positioned the ship nicely at the end of the day for a planned slaughter of fish dudes only for a storm to put us on the opposite end of the board. WTF.

Finally we kill/survive long enough for the giant to appear and, after ditching the comatose cartographer with the sea shell dwarves, we go to ask it some questions with our boat-bows and pointy arrows. It's very difficult to even land a hit on this guy, but when we finally do the mission ends as the giant simply smiles at us and dives beneath the waves.

Not a great start to this expansion. The hole filled story combined with bad mechanics that seem over tuned to the point of "if you do not kill all those gors in the round they appear, sorry you've lost the game" leaves us hoping the next few missions will be better.

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