Monday, November 25, 2013

Untested Variant - Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy

I'm a little apprehensive about posting a variant in which i have yet the opportunity to try, but seeing that i won't have the chance to play the game anytime soon ( i don't own a copy ), i was wondering if others who own the game may have a chance to test the variant and see if it's any good ?

I had thought about it before falling asleep last night and decided to jot it down before the information gets lost along the way.

The variant came about because of one aspect of the game i didnt like, which is the random action token drawing at the beginning of Generation II and Generation III.

I got hosed twice by drawing tokens that i had no particular interest in or perhaps were obtained at the wrong time.
My first game i had 2 "initiate a venture" tokens which were helpful but by the 3rd generation i had upped my income significantly enough that it was redundant to my plans.
In my second game, i had 2 "undertake a mission" tokens which were particularly useless back to back ( Gen II & Gen III ) as one of it was really too far away from achieving and the other in Gen III could only help to activate the side mission on my patron card which i wasn't gunning for anyway.

I felt that the way the game was structured, a player with an unlucky draw could potentially be missing out on 2 turns/actions compared to those with favorable draws. Its a 21 turns/actions game so that's 10% of your game right there. Whether its considered a lot or extremely little, i shall not debate over that.

Anyway, the variant works as follows:
( its really simple to implement - honest ! )

Old Rule
Players will draw friend cards and decide to take a mulligan or not
Players then get a starting action token based on their chosen Head of the Family card
Players will draw 2 random action tokens throughout the course of the game - 1 before Generation II and 1 before Generation III

Variant Rule
Players will get their starting action token based on their chosen Head of the Family card
Players will then immediately draw 2 more random action tokens ( *Settlers of Catan Style )
*Settlers of Catan Style = 1st player draws one, 2nd player draws one, 3rd player draws one, last player draws one, then reverse the order with the last player drawing another one, 3rd player one, until you reach the 1st player
Therefore, each player will start the game with 3 action tokens
Players will then draw friend cards and decide to take a mulligan or not
Players will no longer be drawing a random action token at the beginning of Generation I and the beginning of Generation II
The action tokens must be utilized evenly over the 3 Generations ( so each player may use only one during each generation, failing which, the player decides which action token to discard when the generation is over )
~The action tokens are not limited, if a friend card requires you to draw a particular colored token and none are available, use a substitute token or item instead

The Pros & Cons below are only Perceived Pros & Cons as the variant is yet untested

- no longer will a player get hosed by a random draw of an action token that he/she is not prepared for ( resource wise ) or simply not interested in ( plan wise )
- players are able to better manage their resources so as to be able to activate the action space associated with their drawn action tokens
- players will have the power to decide the order of which their tokens are activated
- strategies may be formed and executed in a more meaningful way and with a directed approach

Could be a Pro or a Con depending on You
- makes the game more strategic
- enables the other players to see the direction you are heading for and thus the ability to block is enhanced
- reduces the randomness and luck in the game to a certain extent
- opens up the number of choices you have early in the game ( unless you drew 3 same colored action tokens, boo hoo hoo )

- will most likely increase the playing time slightly ( my estimate is about 5 mins per player )
- players may feel that the color of action tokens drawn at the start may lead them to play in a certain way ( makes the game slightly more linear )
- perceived imbalance right from the start ( if others value certain color tokens as more valuable than others )

Well, that's about it.
Actually its just a simple change of drawing the action tokens at the start of the game rather than through the course of the game. And taking the tokens before the friend cards so that you could do a little more planning when deciding to take a mulligan or not

I do hope to try this variant for myself if i get the chance and perhaps do my own report from there.
But for now if anyone would like to try this variant, do let me know if its workable or not !




  1. Interesting variant. You're definitely addressing a weak spot in the game.

    Why draw tokens in such a defined order, if it's just a random draw? If it was a draft, then the Settlers order would make sense, but random is random.

    1. hi Gil,

      the reason for the defined order is as such

      there are 15 colored action tokens in the game ( 3 of each color )
      so even before the drawing begins, in a 4 player game there would only be 11 tokens left in the bag as each player gets one specific colored token from their Head of Family card

      so if each player were to draw 2 at a time instead of the order stated, the poor last / 4th player would only have a choice of 2 tokens from 5 left ( 11 minus 6 )

      and not only that, the probability of 1 or 2 colors running out even before the 4th player gets to draw his/her tokens is very high as the bag only has 2 of each color except one color having 3 tokens. so as the last player you will be choosing from the scraps so to speak, without even a chance to randomly draw a color you might be hoping for.

      so the specified order is good ( i feel ) as the first player gets the wealth of colors to pick from at the start ( albeit randomly ), but for his/her second token he/she will get a lesser range of choices.

      random is random but it would be good to give each player at least a fighting chance to pick a color from all 5 colors instead of whatever is left and that could be only 2 or 3 colors out of the possible 5

  2. Ahh, I forgot about the limited amount of tokens. Makes sense.

    I'll try this variant the next time I play!