Legitimacy is a game by Chuck Whelon, published by Minion Games. It is for 2-6 players. In this game, players will take the role of heirs to the throne of Legitimant. Along the way, they will acquire magic spells and items to help them to retrieve 3 crown jewels and return to the castle. Their opponents will be trying to stop them and achieve the same goal themselves. The player that is best able to do this and avoid attack will be declared the winner.
To start, each player will choose a character card. They will also receive a pet, either randomly or each player can choose their favorite. Personally, I like the randomness. Each player now takes the corresponding land tile for their character and places it where it touches the castle tile. Players now take the appropriate deck of cards that match the land tiles. All these cards along with the cards for the castle are shuffled together and form a deck. The first 4 cards from the deck are placed in the Marketplace section on the Castle tile. We will discuss that in a little more detail in a moment. Players now take the colored pawn that matches their character and places in in the correct spot on their land tile as designated by their character card. Play now begins.
On the first player’s turn, they will roll the dice and add any modifiers that their pet may give them and then move their pawn up to that many spaces. Each player will try to land on the black spots that are scattered across the land tiles. Landing on one of these allows the player to draw a card. This card could be an item, a creature to fight or possibly a quest that will reward them with one of the three crown jewels they need to win the game with. Players may also visit the Marketplace where they are able to look through the 4 cards that are on the board and swap out one of their cards for one of them. Another thing that the player is able to do is to cast a spell from one of the cards in their hand, if they have any. These spells can be cast on themselves or if they’re close enough, on their opponent. Also, when attacking an opponent, it is always an evil action and will turn the player evil. This is represented by flipping the character card over to the black outline side. When taking on a quest, the player must maneuver their token to the correct location on the tile and then they will take one of the face down crown jewel cards. That’s all there is to it. The first person to retrieve three crown jewels and make it to the castle first, will be the winner.
First off let me address the 500 lb gorilla in the room. Yes, when I opened the pack of cards that came with the game, they were stuck together and missing half of the pets and some of the other cards as well. They were very cheaply made and several ripped off chunks onto the other cards. Truly horrible cards. HOWEVER, I contacted the company which directed me to the designer. He sent me a set of very nicely polished and shiny cards that were absolutely GREAT! KUDOS and THANKS to both Minion Games and Chuck Whelon for providing the replacements. With that out of the way, the replacement cards are amazing. They are easy to shuffle and I love the artwork on all of them. It’s very humorous and on par with Munchkin and other games of that sort. The land tiles are really nice and thick and have appropriate artwork on them. The dice are your normal every day dice. Nothing amiss here. The only thing at this point that I can see possibly wrong, is the pawns. They are very generic. I’d really have loved to seen miniatures with this. I’d have even taken some cardboard standups that looked like the character. That would have been a little better. Still, the pawns don’t take you too much out of the game. Apart from that, I really like everything.
8 out of 10
The rulebook is really easy to read. It has lots of examples in it on how to play. It also has a great overview of the inner workings of each card. One thing though, there is an update online at the BGG for the card overview that changes a few minor things. Best bet is to check that out before playing, just to be clear. I saw nothing here that was difficult to understand. Only took a few minutes to read and I was ready to play.
9 out of 10
The game is pretty simple to play. Basically you roll the dice and you move your pawn. Nothing hard about it at all. That might sound a little bit boring to you and if not for the cards, it probably would be. There’s not really a lot of interaction between characters as you will probably be on opposite sides of the board a lot of the time. I would really have loved a little more than what I got with this one. On land tiles like the swamp, there are very few black spots for encounters, so you will have to go to other tiles to find things to do. I felt myself disliking that part, as I really liked the idea of playing the Frog Prince. I do like the chaotic nature of the game as you never know what the deck will provide you with when you finally land on an encounter spot. That had to be some of the most fun of the entire game. Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t bad. It just felt like it was missing something. Hopefully there will be an expansion to take this from a good game into a GREAT game. Still, it’s a very simple game to learn and doesn’t take a long time to play.
8 out of 10
Legitimacy is a light and humorous game of rolling dice and completing quests. There’s a lot of great humor in the game that reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The artwork is really great and is very humorous as well. The game is fun and with an expansion could very well be a top ten game. I really wanted to like the game more than I did. As it is though, it’s still good. I would still recommend this game, especially for anyone with teenage boys as they will enjoy the humor in the game better than anyone. My son, really got it and laughed quite a bit. Unfortunately, I’ve raised him on much meatier games and so it fell a little short for him as well. To him, it’s kinda like Munchkin, not a bad game but something he’d really have to be in the mood to play. All in all, I liked the game. I just wanted there to be a little more to it. I will say this though, I prefer the roll and move mechanic here a lot better than in most games of the same type. It’s definitely worth giving a try.
8 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out Minion Games at their site.