#40 – Lost Legacy: Fourth Chronicle

IMG_20160523_235226.jpg
2-4 Players (up to 6 when mixed with another deck; 8 with two additional decks)
Play time: 5-10 minutes (one deck); 5-20 minutes (two+ decks);
BGG Link
Buy on Amazon (via What’s Eric Playing?)

I’ve reviewed 40 games at this point! That’s … actually a lot. What better way to hit number 40 than with an old favorite series — another Lost Legacy Chronicle. Previously in Lost Legacy, we had The Starship, Flying Garden, and the Second Chronicle and the Third Chronicle, all things I generally liked and appreciated. Lets see where this next set will take us. I also got new clear card backs, which is just… very exciting.

Keeping in line with the previous “just FYI King Arthur is in the public domain” that was the Third Chronicle’s Sacred Grail and the “hey Game of Thrones is cool” that was the Third Chronicle’s Staff of Dragons, the Fourth Chronicle brings us The Werewolf (“this Werewolf game people play is pretty cool”) and Undying Heart (“hey has anyone seen those Twilight movies”) decks, which are actually neat in their own way. Keep reading more to find out why.

Contents

Setup

In case you missed the previous Lost Legacy posts (covering the first two decks and the Second Chronicle and the Third Chronicle in a separate post), I’ll re-go over the rules and general setup, but with different cards.

You should notice that there are TWO decks within the box, each having a different bottom. Look at the top of this post for an example. One set has a literal fancy heart on the bottom — that’s the Undying Heart deck. The other has a werewolf on the bottom — that’s, surprising no one, The Werewolf. Separate these two, since you probably won’t want to mix two sets for your first game.

Each of the cards has a title, a picture, some description, and an investigation speed, which is the number in the top left corner. They look like so:

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This picture was voted on! Yay democracy.

So. You’ll need to shuffle the cards, and that’s about it. Just as a quick inventory, each set should have:

  • 1 “1” card (Villager, TW; Spectre, UH)
  • 1 “2” card (Fortune Teller, TW; Vampire Lord, UH)
  • 1 “3” card (Village Council, TW; Vampire Hunter, UH)
  • 1 “4” card (Beastmaster, TW; Crypt Raider, UH)
  • 1 “5” card (The Werewolf, TW; Undying Heart, UH)
  • 2 “6” cards (Premonition, TW; Force of Will, UH)
  • 3 “7” cards (Woodsman, TW; Dark Pact, UH)
  • 3 “8” cards (Full Moon, TW; Holy Ground, UH)
  • 3 “X” cards (Wolf Attack, TW; Blood Moon, UH)

You might notice that each card has some dots next to its investigation speed. That’s an easy reminder of how many of that card exist in the set. Just in case you’re trying to calculate some quick probabilities or haven’t memorized it. When you begin, shuffle the 16 cards together and set one card to the side of the deck. This is what’s known as the Ruins, and will be dealt with later. Deal one card to each player. Your setup should now look like this (if you’re playing with two decks):

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 007.JPG

Now that all the cards are set up, let’s begin.

Gameplay

As I noted the last two times, the gameplay is pretty simple — you draw a card then choose one of the now-two cards in your hand to play (usually). You play it in front of you and then resolve its effect. One of several things could happen:

  • You add a card to the Ruins! Play a card next to (horizontally) the current cards in the Ruins. Don’t play them on top and don’t mess with the ordering — it can be pretty crucial. If there are no cards in the Ruins, start a new Ruins next to the deck.
  • You are eliminated! Rough times. Discard your card face-up in front of you. You have lost, which some would say is the opposite of winning. Because it is losing.
  • Your opponent is eliminated! Hooray! Their death brings you one step closer to finding the Lost Legacy. Unless, of course, they were the last person in the game that wasn’t you. If that’s the case, you win! Hooray!
  • Nothing of real significance! If so, your turn ends. Hooray!

Once the deck has run out of cards, you switch to what’s called the Investigation Phase. Now, those of you at home who are paying attention but managed to miss my previous explanation on the topic (how?) will note that I already referred to the numbers on your cards as investigation speeds, which might make you think these two are related. You are correct! The lower your investigation speed, the sooner you get to investigate. Now, you might ask yourself, what are you looking for? The answer is simple. One of these!

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 004.JPG

Now, one player calls the numbers in order, from 1 – 8, and each player in turn tries to guess where the Lost Legacy is by revealing any card in the Ruins or in another player’s hand. There are three caveats to this:

  • If you have an X in your hand when the Investigation Phase starts, you DO NOT get to investigate. X is not a number unless you are trapped in Roman times (if you are trapped in Rome, protip: do as the Romans do), so you never get called. This is sad. You have not won.
  • If you have the same investigation speed as another not-eliminated player, you DO NOT get to investigate. It’s unclear why this is the case, but them’s the rules. This is sad. You have not won. Some cards might modify your investigation speed (especially cards in the Third Chronicle), so you may have different cards but the same investigation speed. Be careful.
  • If nobody finds the Lost Legacy during the Investigation Phase, EVERYONE LOSES (USUALLY). This is double-sad. Nobody has won. There is one exception to this — if any player has the Villager (TW 1) face-up in their discards, they win! I haven’t see this happen yet, but it sounds very funny.

However, if you find the Lost Legacy when it’s your turn to investigate, you HAVE won, and you win! Hooray! If you investigate your own hand and you’re holding The Werewolf (TW 5), you get an extra point! (Those are the blue cubes that you can use to keep score between rounds, but I don’t play that way so it’s kind of useless to me.)

Let’s talk strategy in general, and then we can go through each deck and talk about them individually.

Strategy

A lot of this is rehashed from the previous posts on this.

  • Do not let people know what cards you have in your hand. Many cards eliminate players with specific cards, so it’s usually a bad idea for someone else to know what card you have. If someone sees it, try to play it on your turn. Especially if it eliminates them instead. There’s an old saying that the best way for two people to keep a secret is if one of them is dead. Just a thought.
  • Try to get rid of low-numbered cards. Both The Werewolf and Undying Heart have cards that will usually eliminate a player holding a 1, 2, or 3, so it might be best to get rid of them as soon as possible. Also, generally, they have really great effects when played, so why not?
  • Play fast, play loose. This is not a very serious game, and often you get unfortunate combos (especially in two-player games) where one person just automatically loses. This is a light game, so try to play it that way. It’s okay to spend an entire game devoting yourself to revenge against the person who beat you last game; in fact, that’s usually how I play, especially if the round only takes like, 5 minutes or less.

Meet the Decks: The Werewolf

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 002

So, this is The Werewolf. Apparently lore-wise, the Lost Legacy here turned some person into a werewolf and now the town has a werewolf problem. Maybe you can get the werewolf, but it’s highly likely that the werewolf will get you.

Major focuses of this deck are elimination but also turn modification — Premonition can give you an extra turn, Beastmaster can force your opponents to skip their next turn, and the Fortune Teller lets you effectively control another player’s turn, which is interesting. Lastly, the Village Council turns the hand-comparison logic from Vorpal Sword on its head and eliminates the player with the lower card, rather than the higher one. Weird.

Strategy

As always, a few recommendations:

  • NEVER let someone keep the Fortune Teller. The card is brutal to play against, so either use the Woodsman to take it and replay it yourself or put it in the Ruins, or eliminate that person before they can start making your life difficult. The other way to get around them is to play the Beastmaster and hope they don’t draw any low cards that they can play, so they have to skip their turn.
  • The odds of eliminating another player via Full Moon are … pretty low.  If you have the 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 and Full Moon, it’s impossible (since there’s only one of those cards in the deck), but otherwise it’s still not particularly likely. Honestly, sometimes it’s just worth playing it to see a card in someone else’s hand.
  • Always play the Villager. The  Villager prevents you from being eliminated for the turn it’s in front of you and it lets you win if nobody finds the Lost Legacy. Seems like a win-win. Note that if someone takes it out from in front of you, its effect still persists until your next turn.

Pros, Mehs, Cons

Pros

  • Some really interesting new cards. I haven’t seen anything like a lot of these cards before, which is awesome. Special props to Full Moon, Premonition, Beastmaster, Village Council, and especially Fortune Teller.
  • I’m amused by the Werewolf thematic connections. There’s clearly the Villager, The Seer, The Hunter, and some other classic roles from most Werewolf games, and I like that a lot.
  • Some players get hilariously confused by Village Council and end up eliminating themselves. Some people just … don’t read the cards all the way. Very funny.
  • Syncs well with some aspects of other sets. Wolf Attack (look at a card in the Ruins or another player’s hand for every X in your discards) is strictly better with more decks, among other things. I like that a lot, but I usually play it with Undying Heart.

Mehs

  • Full Moon seems kind of lackluster. It notes on other cards to guess a number, not a card, so we’ve house-ruled that Full Moon only eliminates players with the exact same card, which seems pretty not great. We’re not 100% on that, though, and it’d probably be better if that weren’t the case (we rarely play with one set).
  • Fortune Teller seems a bit strong. It makes me dislike two-player games with this deck, as I noted in Cons.

Cons

  • Sucks with two players sometimes. With the Fortune Teller in play, unless you can eliminate them it’s going to be a long, miserable game, since they control what card you draw on your turn. I imagine it’d be less bad if we swapped it for another set’s 2, like Lord of Rot (VS 2). Usually it just means you have to get rid of the Fortune Teller, fast.

Overall (TW): 8.5 / 10

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 005.JPG

Honestly, as a standalone expansion this game is pretty great! I’d highly recommend it. It’s short, it’s sweet, the theme is fun enough and it plays quickly and well without ever feeling too cheap or obnoxious. Sometimes you get lucky, more often than not you don’t. It starts to struggle a bit when it’s paired up with other expansions, but I don’t think that takes away from how fun it is overall. Like I said, check it out.

Now, let’s talk about the other deck — the Fourth Chronicle’s vampire-themed Undying Heart.

Meet the Decks: Undying Heart

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 003.JPG

Undying Heart is an interesting bunch, as you might imagine from this picture, here. There’s no real clear theme, as it seems to be a “Greatest Hits” of other sets:

  1. Spectre is exactly the same as Flying Garden’s Storyteller.
  2. Vampire Lord is Flying Garden’s Saint.
  3. Vampire Hunter is pretty similar to Sacred Grail’s Cardinal / Baron, except instead of placing cards in your discards you put it on top of your deck.
  4. Crypt Raider is The Starship’s Swordsman, except it eliminates players with X’s in their discards instead of their hands (much more powerful, imo).
  5. Undying Heart is The Starship’s The Starship, since it’s a Lost Legacy you cannot play.
  6. Force of Will is Vorpal Sword’s Vorpal Sword.
  7. Dark Pact is Staff of Dragon’s Separation.
  8. Holy Ground is Sacred Grail’s Grail Quest, except it skips a player of your choice.
  9. Blood Moon is The Starship’s Swordsman, except it eliminates players with a 1, 2, or 3 rather than an X (same overall probability, since there are three of each per deck).

That’s a bit odd to me, but it’s definitely an interesting set for that reason. As a result, it’s a fairly elimination-heavy set with no clear theme other than wrecking other players, similar to Flying Garden and Vorpal Sword.

Strategy

  • Blood Moon is great, but beware the Crypt Raider. If you play the Blood Moon, that counts as an X in your discard that the Crypt Raider will eliminate you for. That’s generally not good, so perhaps hold on to Xs until after you’ve already seen the Crypt Raider. That being said…
  • Holding on to high cards is bad news, especially with Holy Ground and since there are two Force of Will cards. Generally you’d be safe holding on to Xs, but if someone plays Force of Will X is treated as the highest card, so you’ll almost certainly lose. Careful careful. Holy Ground makes this even worse as you might get stuck with the same card in your hand for multiple rounds, unable to play it, since you can get your turn skipped a lot.
  • Watch out for Blood Moon when using the Vampire Hunter. You might try to steal someone’s Spectre or Vampire Lord and then on the next turn someone plays a Blood Moon to eliminate you since you have the 1 or 2 in your hand.  Be mindful of how many Blood Moons are left, or perhaps use that Vampire Hunter to steal a Crypt Raider instead…

Pros, Mehs, Cons

Pros

  • The cards synergize well together. There are a lot of interesting combos and victory paths, and it’s a pretty fun set to play.
  • Blood Moon is a great card, so having Crypt Raider to penalize its use and Vampire Hunter to let you raid more crypts is a great combo. It would not be nearly as good if Blood Moon affected the 4 card, so I’m glad that’s not a thing.
  • Dark Pact (UH 7) is also a great card … if you have more than two players. It’s still pretty fun to force other people to swap hands.
  • A very solid deck to combine with other decks. Gives you more targets for the Blood Moon and the Crypt Raider (makes playing with Flying Garden complicated, since the Lord of Rot lets you win with 3 X’s in anyone’s discards but the Crypt Raider punishes X’s very aggressively), since effects are repeated between cards you can have a lot more interesting games (Vorpal Sword + Force of Will, for example).

Mehs

  • Bit disappointing that it’s not a particularly unique set. I can respect the cards they chose to put in, but this does really feel like a “Lost Legacy: Greatest Hits” set, and that’s kind of disappointing that it doesn’t really have its own theme. Makes it feel a bit generic because of that.
  • Blood Moon makes other decks a bit less useful when mixed. I try to avoid mixing this with Vorpal Sword since Medusa (VS 1) eliminates a player when it’s played, so you’re somewhat forced to keep it in your hand. This makes you an easy target for the Blood Moon. It mixes well with The Werewolf, though.

Cons

  • Having another unplayable Lost Legacy card sucks. I really dislike The Starship card, and having another dead weight Lost Legacy card doesn’t really add anything to this deck. I’d much rather a Lost Legacy that’s more thematically in sync with the rest of the deck, like, you cannot be eliminated while it’s in your hand or something, making Dark Pact more interesting.

Overall (UH): 7 / 10

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 006.JPG

I do generally like this deck, though I prefer The Werewolf deck if I have to play with any one of them. If I’m playing with two, I think they work pretty well together, so I’d play with these two, yeah. While I find it somewhat disappointing that this doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table, it DOES mix together a bunch of cards and general styles from other decks that I really liked, making it a cool set to have. It’s also a pretty good set for teaching people how to play Lost Legacy, similar to The Starship, but I think it has more interesting effects, so I’d probably pick this to start with over The Starship.

Overall (Fourth Chronicle): 8.25 / 10

Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle 014

This is a really solid Chronicle, and probably is the one I’d recommend to new players who are looking to get started, since Sacred Grail is a bit weird and I don’t personally like Whitegold Spire all that much. That being said, I think the Third Chronicle adds the most to the game in terms of gameplay, so it’s slightly edging out the Fourth Chronicle for my personal favorite overall, which is totally fine.

Generally, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Lost Legacy Chronicles, but if you’re looking for a good start, I think this might be the one to go for. If you’re looking to advance your collection, it adds a few new fun things via The Werewolf and a few solid strategies and synergies via Undying Heart, but it doesn’t particularly synergize well with the other Lost Legacy sets, from my experience. It’s not as bad as Whitegold Spire or Sacred Grail + other sets, but it’s definitely no Flying Garden / The Starship / Vorpal Sword / Staff of Dragons combination, which I think are the main four to combine. Overall, I’d still suggest picking it up and trying it out and figuring out what works for you! It’s a very enjoyable microgame.

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2 thoughts on “#40 – Lost Legacy: Fourth Chronicle

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