A few months ago, I asked y’all for recommendations for cooperative board games. I got some great recommendations, thank you all, and my local board game librarian also suggested a few things. Legends of Andor was at the top of his list, so we had to give it a try!
Legends of Andor is a cooperative adventure game. Up to 4 players can go on 5 different quests, 5 chapters of a story set in a medieval world with sorcerers, trolls, dwarves, and a dragon.
Before you start playing, you set up the (huge) board and its pieces, and pick your character. Each character sheet comes with female and male variants.
You then turn over event cards to let the story unfold. Each one of your actions takes time, and you have a limited amount of daylight each day. Each night, the story progresses and you get closer to the endgame. You must discuss with your companions and be as efficient as possible to reach your goals before the end of the story.
Count about 1h30 to 2 hours per quest. The first chapter is a special one, where you discover the rules as you play. This was really nice. Instead of having to spend hours reading through game rules, the first chapter is designed to introduce you to every important rule.
The first quest ended up being the most satisfying one for me: it was very rewarding to complete the quest while also having a good grasp of the rules. We were immersed in the story right away, instead of having to focus on the rules more than the story. This was one of the best onboarding experiences I’ve had with a complex game.
The other chapters were nice too. We managed to complete them all, except for the last one. Turns out fighting a dragon while defending a castle is pretty hard to do, especially when you’re short on time.
That leads us to time. Time management is probably my only gripe with the game.
I was looking forward to exploring this vast world, uncovering secrets, and getting into a few fights. That’s not how the game is meant to be played.
Instead, you must carefully plan your every move. Exploring and fighting takes precious time away from your quest. Killing a monster makes you happy for a second, then gets you a bit more stressed and concerned about the outcome of the game. Every time a day ends, and every time you kill a monster, the story moves forward towards the end of the game. If you decide to stop and fight everyone, or if you take a detour to explore a foggy forest to maybe find treasures, you may run out of time.
That didn’t take away all the fun though. We spent a lot of time before each turn, planning our actions and counting our future moves.
If you like stories like The Lord of the Rings, you’ll like this game’s setting. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll have fun!
Next on our list will be Andor: The Family Fantasy Game. This re-edition is more kid-friendly so we’ll see if our 9-yo likes the story!