The legacy style board games have completely revolutionized the board games industry and brought with it, thrills and excitement never experienced before. Legacy type board games are a concept where the actions occurring in a single game have the power to influence future games as well. Not only are some of the changes permanent and everlasting, but they also tend to evolve as you play. The best way to think of a legacy game is that it remembers past playthroughs; events that occurred in game one might have repercussions in game 3 or 7.
New cards, new stickers, envelopes, pop-out cardboard sheets radically transform the board you’re playing on. Because of the continuous nature the legacy games employ, it’s highly recommended that the same players play the games together so that everyone gets to experience the twists and turns that these games seem to borrow akin to narrative tension of the latest TV dramas. Much like a season of a TV show, once the story is told, the game is complete. So without further ado, let me present to you my favorite list of legacy board games ranked from 10-1.
2-4 Players • Ages 8+ • 30-45 minutes to play
Deckvilization is a unique deck-building legacy game modeled on the legendary Civilization series of games and can be played in two modes namely legacy and fast mode. With 11 cards to choose from, players need to develop the society of the Stone Age tribes they represent by playing a card and also further having the option to purchase another one from the market. Every single card has a value attached to it and has other unique attributes like effects, costs, and colors. Players need to choose a new leader at the end of every game and the player with the maximum number of points at the end of each game gets to pick the next leader. Furthermore, wonders can be purchased at any time, limited to one wonder per era, in place of another card from the market which provides more ways to score those extra points or bonuses required to win the game.
9. We Didn’t Playtest This: Legacies
2-15 Players • Ages 12+ • 1+ minutes to play
We Didn’t Playtest This at All is a tongue-in-cheek Legacy version of a really light card game containing 60 cards along with a bunch of mystery cards which can also be combined with the cards of the original game to create a truly compelling and enjoyable experience. The goal of the game is to take ownership of the card by winning a game and then write or draw on the cards to claim them as your own. By jotting down your name once in the ownership box on the card, it becomes your card forever, gaining you its powers forever and additionally providing immunity to it, even if it asks you to lose next time you happen to draw it. Legacy card games like We Didn’t Playtest This at All are fun, energetic, and short with a high re-playability value.
8. Chronicles 1: Origins
3-6 Players • Ages 14+ • 30-60 minutes to play
Chronicles: Origins is a four player game and the first game in the Chronicle series, where you need to team up your pals and help build a civilization. It’s a series of five civilization games; each game takes place in a different era of time with unique game play elements. Essentially a worker placement game, players need to don the leadership role of a small emerging tribe, in the early Stone Age while producing resources , exploring new areas, and dealing with potential threats head on. Once your tribe has been established, players need to compete against fellow players while gaining traits and using culture and religion for building your tribe to a position of growth and stability which in turn will help maintain the stability of your blossoming civilization.
7. QuickFight: A Legacy Game
3-5 Players • Ages 10+ • 25-45 minutes to play
Quickfight is a super quick deck building legacy board games where your goal is to create the greatest army the world has known while fighting for troops and new buildings and ultimate supremacy. As you go through the game’s 12 round cycle, you not only start off with troops at different power levels but also end up writing on cards and ripping them apart. You also have the option to permanently upgrade some of the cards as well. The goal of every round is to earn victory points and additionally acquire the 3-4 cards which are up for grabs, at the end of each round and the player will the maximum points, in the end, wins the game.
1-6 Players • Ages 10+ • 30-60 minutes to play
Charterstone is worker placement based legacy game where you need to expand and colonize the prosperous kingdom of Greengully as one of the 6 citizens specially handpicked by the King himself. Each player is equipped with unique and special skills, which he can use, to build a village by way of construction of various buildings. Each building is depicted by stickers and becomes a permanent action space that players can use and even carry forward to future games. Initially, when the village is new, you are posed with simple decisions and have only a few workers at your disposal. But as you begin to grow in the game, you are presented with a bustling village and tasked with a lot more choices to choose from. Like any legacy game, this game is best played with familiar players over a period of time as its experience is unique to you and your group that will last about 20 games.
5. Ultimate Werewolf Legacy
Ultimate Werewolf is about villagers trying to hunt down werewolves who are causing havoc in the town and is a delightful game to play especially amongst a group of friends. The game assigns different roles to each player and everyone needs to be talkative and interactive while bluffing so as to keep the identity of their card a secret. The game is about bluffing so that villagers and werewolves are oblivious to each other’s identities. Each day the villagers must vote to eliminate someone they think is a werewolf and every night the werewolves, who are aware of each other’s identities, must eliminate a villager. The game is over when either all the villagers or all the werewolves are eliminated. An array of 70 cards helps makes every game unique and challenging than the previous one thus adding to its re-playability.
1-4 Players • Ages 12+ • 60120 minutes to play
In Gloomhaven, you get a chance to spend time exploring different towns, go deep into menacing dungeons, and unlock various events while leveling up as a wandering adventurer. There are 97 different scenarios which need to be played out and every scenario takes an hour to finish and you can even replay missions where you night have missed out on a loot or forgotten to explore a specific dungeon. Players need to cooperate with each other to take out various menacing monsters while clearing and exploring numerous dungeons and ruins and in the process, earn loot and experience. There’s also a random scenario and dungeon generator as well, thus making it for a unique Legacy game that never becomes unplayable where the Legacy element is more about unlocking additional content.
3-5 Players • Ages 14+ • 90-120 minutes to play
Seafall is an exploration game where players take on the role of seafarers and set out to explore a previously unexplored world coming out of the dark ages. Players, in their turn, need to consult with the guild which gives out instructions on what needs to be done; whether it is to explore new islands, go on raids , develop trade relations or partaking in ship to ship combat, which earns the players points. Furthermore, exploring areas on the island enforces the players to read a passage and every passage you read, throws up a choice on the path one could take. In all, legacy board games Seafall is a fun and engaging game, which evolves as players play and open up the world, setting up a variety of different and exciting narratives.
2. Risk Legacy
3-5 Players • Ages 13+ • 60 minutes to play
Based on a paradigm changing environment, Risk legacy board games adds more complications to the original risk by incorporating more Actions/Powers, and a board that evolves with you. This version of risk allows players to win the game outright by acquiring stars, as opposed to simply knocking players out, as it was in the original Risk, which lets the games be much shorter and be even completed within a couple of hours. Board games like risk legacy are best played with the same people again and again as every time a winner is declared, they get to name a continent and place a city to start off with until the next time you play. Even the various items, events and other special moments which might have unfolded in the previous play, stay on the map until the next time you decide to play, thus making every play-through, a compelling and unique experience.
2-4 Players • Ages 13+ • 60 minutes to play
Adding a ‘legacy’ twist to a timeless classic, Pandemic Legacy is one of the best legacy board games. With the world on the brink of disaster, every player dons the mantle of a medical expert and works together to prevent relentless outbreaks of four major diseases around the world. There are unexpected revelations in the form of envelopes and boxes which add the surprise element into the mix. Pandemic Legacy takes this core design and adds the concept of time.Divided into episodes spanning 12 months, each month brings with it a whole new set of threats, testing challenges and mission objectives while every decision you make, whether it is to prevent an outbreak or upgrade a character, has permanent and far-reaching consequences.
Although, legacy games like Pandemic and Risk have revitalized the board games genre, board game purists are still on the fence because of the permanent nature of these games as it isn’t designed to “reset” in the end. Once you’ve gone through all the changes the game has to offer, there is no way to “start over” which might irk some people. However, Legacy tabletop games are a fantastic innovation and should be played just to experience the manic and frantic nature of legacy games. It is the personalization process which makes it so unique. If you haven’t played legacy mechanic board games yet, go get your copy of any one the fantastic legacy board games on Amazon right now!