Please note that a copy of this game was provided by the folks at Minion Games for review purposes.
Here ye, here ye! The King is dead, Long live the King! And in Legitimacy, designed by Chuck Whelon and produced by Minion Games, you find yourself as an illegitimate heir to the throne, faced with completing a quest (yes of course, this is a fantasy game…) for three Crown Jewels and returning them to the Throne room at in the kingdom of Legitimant before you are thwarted by your fellow illegitimate so-and-so’s.
This is Minion Games’ attempt to knock the behemoth that is Talisman off its throne as the King of the roll and move type fantasy board games. And you know what, I think it does! Legitimacy is a fun and sillier take on the genre. A mashup of Talisman and Munchkin that you can finish in reasonable time. Now that I’m interested in.
If there was one thing that drove me crazy whenever I played Talisman, its that it took way too long and the fun dried up. Legitimacy takes a slap at Talisman’s seriousness and dryness and has a go at being silly and more compact. The game board is made up of one central hexagon for the Castle region and then scales out with another board hexagon for each player adding Mountains, Plains, Swamps, Fields and Hills. With each region, you also add cards which are the central feature of the game system.
You start with a character and a pet each of which has modifiers for movement, magic and/or attack. You then move. A roll and move game, yes, and the movement is regulated through circles connecting throughout the regions.Some circles are black where you can collect cards and others are green which although on short cut path may mean you stop and lose a turn.
The fun begins as you stop and collect cards from the draw deck. The cards can be creatures, magical objects, cursed objects, magic spells, all of which can be useful in adding modifiers, giving special travel actions and allowing you to cast spells on other characters or not so useful in placing a cure on your character. There are also Quest cards which need to be collected and then achieved in order to find the Crown jewels which are needed to win the game.
So you spend most of your time traveling around collecting stuff, and completing quests. The problem is, that there are a limited amount of quests and if the other players are getting them, that’s just not cricket!!! This is where the game turns nasty as players attack each other through melee in adjacent circles or from a distance using magic. Whoever wins the battle can take a card from the other player. So its not about killing so much as thieving. This is a really good aspect of the game as even if you don’t complete quests, you can wait to attack with the right cards and steal the crown jewels.
Because there is a lot of humour in the game it makes it a lot easier to live with being attacked. And the humour works well. Shades of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This is not a game for the serious fantasy gamer but a lighthearted take on the genre.
The components are pretty good. The art work is comic-like and is very good indeed, fitting the theme of comic fantasy. The cards are varied and should make for replayability as will the game board which can change each time you play. The only let down is the use of plastic pawns for the characters. This games cries out for figures!
Did it work for me?
Generally it did. Legitimacy is much more varied and interesting and certainly more fun than any of the other roll and move fantasy boardgames I have played. It doesn’t take too long to play either which helps a lot. The rules say that it should take 20-30 minutes for 2 players and add 15 minutes for each additional player. Sounds about right. The game is nice to look at as the artwork is excellent and fun. The humour adds a lot of fun and silliness which, with the right group is a good time for all. The system works well and the roll and move function works well as the modifiers mix things up. It is perhaps aimed at a young audience but its a nice change from the seriousness of many fantasy games. This is a very fun game which works rather well. The system is clear, simple and moves along. A good buy and alternative to Talisman style games.
Probably not unless it is played with older kids.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 7 out of 10
For more information about games produced by Minion Games, go to – www.miniongames.com