Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Awoooooo... *guitar solo* :- Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Game: Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Publisher: Upper Deck Entertainment

Designer: Travis R. Chance, Nick Little

Year: 2017

Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a 1-5 player semi-cooperative deck builder in which you recruit the help of Buffy the Scoobies, and some of their photo-phobic pals in order to dust vamps and save the town of Sunnydale. Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer takes the core Legendary ruleset and adds a few thematic twists to complement the Buffy theme.

For those already familiar with the Marvel version of Legendary you will already know 90% of the mechanics, so feel free to skip the next two paragraphs.

Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer works as you'd expect of many deckbuilder, you start the game with a deck of 12, pretty bad, starter cards and each turn you will draw 6 cards from your deck. Once you play these cards you can spend the two main resources, attack lets you combat the vampires and demons, as well as eventually taking on the "big bad", which you must defeat 4 times to win the game. Each villain gives you a number of victory points, and should the good guys win the player with the most points is the overall winner. Recruit points allow you to add new cards to your deck which have improved abilities. At the start of each turn you must draw a card from the villain deck, this largely comprises of villains that you can fight, but also contains scheme twists which bring the villains closer to winning and master strikes which allow the big bad to attack you personally. To counter these enemies the hero cards you recruit can combo off each other in many ways, either based off their faction (Scoobies, Slayers, Vampires, etc) or their card colour.

The game comes with a roll-up mat which provides a great surface to play on while giving each card a specific space, unfortunately they didn't know how to spell cemetery.

One of the core selling points in Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is the amount of replayability Combine the 5 big bads and 8 schemes with different villain and henchmen groups that you select and different heroes in each game you have a system that guarantees each game is unique. This does have a drawback, setup is painful since you have to create hero and villain decks by shuffling together several mini decks. Tear down suffers from the same problem as you separate out these decks to put them back in the box.

The two main changes to the Legendary format are the light/dark tracker and the courage tokens. Courage tokens can be gained in numerous ways, but depending on your hero selection may be particularly common/rare. Each courage token you have can be stored until needed, and then discarded to add one point to either attack or recruit. The courage tokens are nice and they help balance out bad draws which I greatly approve of. The light/dark tracker is the biggest and best change. As certain villains (and even some less reputable heroes) get played they "advance the dark" moving the tracker down 1 space. Similarly defeating certain villains or playing some hero cards can advance the light, moving the tracker up 1 space. Many cards have certain effects which become stronger if the tracker is on the light or dark half of the track, for example a lot of Buffy's cards become very powerful when it is dark. This creates a very fluid gameplay mechanic that has real effects on how your game plays.

Oh look they made it so that the bad effects of Willow's cards can be easily countered if you use Tara cards that's... heartbreaking.

Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer suffers many of the flaws of the Legendary series, Sure you have a lot of replayability, but some combinations are simply not well balanced., either being far too easy, or impossibly hard Hopefully once more people have played the game some suggested combinations will appear. The first game is an absolute joy to play, the recommended setup gives you an incredibly tight game where you have to use the new features constantly if you want to win. The Buffy theme is well integrated, the cards feature screen-grabs from the show, which mostly look great, though some of the action scenes are blurry, and the CGI from the enemies in series 1 of the show is very dated. The playing mat is really nice, providing a great surface for moving cards about, though the corners can turn up a little bit and there is a typo on it which is quite embarrassing. Legendary: Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a great take on a deckbuilding game, it's fast and fun to play (once set up) and I think the addition of the new mechanics does wonders compared to the Marvel version, it's a shame that the theme won't appeal to as many people.

7.5/10


Legendary Buffy was a review copy provided by Esdevium Games Ltd. It is be available for an RRP of £59.99 at your friendly local game store or can be picked up at http://www.365games.co.uk/.

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