It was only a couple of weeks ago I was writing about a deck builder game with a strong Dungeons & Dragons flavour, and here we are again with a similarly themed effort; Village of Legends.
“Village of Legends is a two to four player (six-player with expansion pack) deck building/dueling game where players choose a unique hero and enhance them throughout the game by combining their individual skills with purchased items from the market including; weapons, spells, scrolls, treasures and more,” began the game’s recent successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the game.
So like the aforementioned Hand of Fate, reviewed Jan. 9, Village of Legends is much like a role playing game in the sense players ‘grow’, gaining better weapons and such as the game progresses. In an RPG it is done by accumulating experience points, earning gold and seeking out merchants to buy from.
In a deck builder you essentially use some cards in your deck as currency to acquire things, in this case everything from magic spells and potions to weapons and minions.
Yes, there are minions to be hired in Village of Legends.
“Players can also hire creatures to do their bidding and distract their opponents preventing them from accessing the market. By killing opponents’ monsters heroes gain experience points and learn new abilities by reaching defined experience point levels becoming even more powerful,” explains the game over view.
Here again you can see how the game borrows heavily from the world of RPGs.
At the beginning of each game player’s will have the choice of deciding on a hero or selecting one at random. With the expansions there are a varied array of options, from fighter to cleric, to a dwarf, or elf, so there is good replay built into the character options alone.
Each hero has a unique skill set including an intelligence value, weapon bonuses and/or other abilities and weaknesses written on their sheets, which of course is to be expected.
During the match the players will also have the possibility to strengthen their hero by reaching defined experience levels, again think D&D. When these levels are reached by killing wandering monsters the hero’s ability is automatically unlocked. This is a nice touch as characters get better as the game evolves.
Of course you need weapons to slay the monsters.
“When a weapon is played from a player’s hand the player rolls a die to see how much damage will be inflicted on the player to his left. The total amount of damage is the sum of the bonus indicated on the bottom left of each card plus the number which the die lands on. This damage can be used to defeat any or all of the enemy’s defenses, depending on the amount of damage (the attacking player decides how to distribute this damage before rolling the die) however, any remaining damage will not affect the character’s life points. Once any damage is inflicted on a character the counter must be moved accordingly keeping track of the life points,” again notes the game over view.
The character cards are nice and large, so tracking things such as like points and experience is easy.
It should be noted as well the art on the character cards and the deck cards is all really nice. It is highly stylized to be sure, so it might not please everyone, but it has our group as a fan.
Any number of weapons can be deployed during a player’s turn repeating this method and inflicting damage, with an odd exception. It does seem strange to be able to use multiple weapons on a turn but against a growing number of monsters at times it is required to be competitive.
Players can also gain defence cards, which soak up damage until they are over come and go to your discard pile to hopefully be accessed again when most needed.
As for the minions “just like other items purchased, wandering monsters can be purchased and placed into the discarded pile. When drawn from the player’s deck, these monsters can be placed in front of any opponent. At the beginning of that player’s turn the player will be attacked by each monster they have in front of them. This monster will remain and attack at the beginning of each turn and block the player’s access to the market until it is killed forcing the player to discard any available money,” notes the overview.
Some heroes also have a level of intelligence which allows them to cast spells.
“Every spell has an intelligence cost in order to be played. Intelligence value of characters can be strengthened on each turn by using certain scrolls or magical items. The player must have enough intelligence points to play all of the spells they select from their hand in each turn,” notes the overview.
Like Hand of Fate, Village of Legends hits a sweet spot for me as a long time RPGer and lover of deck builders. The two games fill a similar niche for me and while you might not want both, both are fun offerings, with Village certainly worth a close look.
Check it out at www.villageoflegends.com
Thanks to fellow gamers Jeff Chasse, Trevor Lyons and Adam Daniels for their help in running through this game for review.