Before I begin, I was provided a print and play prototype of the game in exchange for an honest review. This is NOT a paid preview.
If you would prefer to check out a video of this review, you can watch it below.
I feel as if I have been saying this a lot of late in my reviews. I am not a classic, head to head, card game kind of guy. I used to be. Way back in middle school I loved to play Magic, and even dabbled in a couple of other collectible card games, but money, and the pressures of being “cool”, eventually put an end to that. With that in mind I approached Legion, with not a little bit of nostalgia.
Legion is not quite the same as Magic, as it is slated to be a Living Card game, rather than a Collectible one. For those that do not know, this means that every set that you purchase is the same, there are no booster packs with random cards, no struggling to get that one card you are looking for. Though, like a CCG you are able to build your deck as you like.
Now, before I jump into specifics of this game, I do also need to mention that Legion is not entirely original. What do I mean by that? This game as an evolution from the Warlord: Saga of Storm card game system which ended in 2008, then again in 2011 after the IP was acquired by another company. I never played, nor have seen that game, and the designer was very clear when he sent me the game that he has changed the backstory, modernized the rulebook, and rebuilt the keywords and art from the ground up. All in all he calls the game an “unofficial successor” to Warlord.
This preview will also assume that you have a basic understanding of how CCG, and LCG games work, I am only going to highlight the things that stand out to me as particularly interesting.
To me, these are the things that popped out to me as particularly interesting. The first is you are able to set your army out on the table, and you do have a certain level of choice here. You get to select any of your characters out of your deck and place them out on the table. This brings me to the next thing that pops for me. The game is a, somewhat, tactical game. You advance your characters up and down your three ranks, this determines who you can and cannot attack with your spells.
The other two things that stand out to me are the use of a d20 for combat, all the other ones I have played simply have the damage they do already on the card, and there is also the use a changing initiative each round, and the loser of the initiative (which is significant here) gains a one time use “Aegis” ability which allows you to make a reroll during the round.
EDIT: It was pointed out to me that it is unclear if the die is used for damage or not. It is not, damage defaults to 1, and the die is used for attack rolls.
So what do I think?
I like the overall mechanics of the game. I enjoy the limited tactics of moving up and down the ranks, I like that there are different types of attack: ranged, melee, and magic. I like the implementation of the skills and feats, with chance of success or failure adding a bit of randomness to the game. I am also a huge fan of each card having the ability to do more than one thing per round. Only some actions “spend” the card, and even when “spent” you are still able to do a variety of actions with that card, should they have access to them. That is a delight.
To start with the theme, and art is fine. It is certainly possible that with the full version there will be more story revealed (remember I only have a print and play), but I do not feel any particular attachment, or attraction to any of the factions. This is a good thing in a way as it does certainly make it more likely that I would try many different factions. The art does not particularly attract me, or repulse me. It is solid fantasy art.
This game has a pretty high learning curve for a game that once learned is just not that complicated. However, to me, I found myself going back to the rules far more than I usually would, especially after watching a playthrough of the game. (Let me give a quick shout-out to Wes Woodbury who has been doing reviews of Table Top Simulator games.). However, it seems liked almost every turn I was back checking out something. This could be helped by cleaning up the text on the cards, and clarifying the verbiage a bit. It all makes sense as is, it just is a lot to learn.
The other thing that sticks in my craw a little is that it really feels like winning initiative is a HUGE advantage. The idea of the Aegis as a balance is good, but it just doesn’t seem to be as useful as that quick start. Perhaps it was just in my play that it worked out that way.
Bringing it all together.
Legion is a solid game. It seems, to me, that it is still working out a few kinks, but the core is certainly there. Yes, this is an evolution from Warlord, which may or may not be something that bothers you. I really like that the game, a card game, has a solid tactical aspect to it. I would love to have more story and theme to the game, and while the art is fine, it does not particularly pop to me. I had a tough time grasping the rules at first, and I think that has to do with the verbiage on the cards themselves, some additional editing will help I think.
Oh, I’m sorry all that jibba jabba put me to sleep.
*Evolution from the game Warlord
*Mechanically a sound game all around
*Cool, basic tactical card play
*Decent art, theme with potential
*Takes longer to grasp the rules than I expected.