Legends of Andor: The Star Shield Expansion Review

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Legends of Andor: The Star Shield is an expansion for the Legends of Andor game designed by Michael Menzel, published by Thames & KOSMOS. It is for 2-4 players. This expansion adds a new Legend with several different variations, as well as new tokens, figures, challenges and threats. For a full review of the base game and how to play it, follow the link below.

https://jlnelson73.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/legends-of-andor-review/

With this expansion, there are some additional things added to the basic setup. Let me explain.

To begin, the Legend deck has to be set up by taking one of each lettered card and placing them in the deck starting with A1 and going to N. The extra cards of the same number are set aside to be used in later games. Beginning players won’t be using the E card until they’re more experienced, so this card will also be set aside. The Threat, Gifts of the Andori, Clue cards, Wolf cards, Varkur’s Triumph and Starlight cards are all readied. Once this has been taken care of, the actual setup can begin. Using the checklist card that came with the original game, the game is setup. From there, several different sets of tokens are readied, including the key, woodland mushrooms, light tokens, ring marker, rubble tokens, parchments, green gemstone, medicinal herbs, logs, fire tokens and rune stones. The 6 threats are assembled and readied. Several new articles are readied as well, the torch, hourglass, horned falcon, flute and Star Shield. The farmer tokens are readied. The star tokens are placed on spaces C, G and N of the Legend track. The wolf symbol is placed on space B of the Legend track for the first game. Later games it will be randomly determined by a dice roll. All the creatures and dark mage figures are readied, as are the two new figures of Merrik the Cartographer and Ken Dorr the thief. The wolf figures are also readied. Once everything is set up and placed near the board and ready to go, play now begins.

Much like the base game, the Star Shield expansion continues the idea of fulfilling 3 Legend goals. However, in the base game the main idea is to defend the castle. This time there are prince tasks that must be completed as well as fending off one of the main threats that are determined through the course of play. There are some special rules that come into play for each threat as well as for the new tokens and characters. These are all spelled out in greater detail in the rulebook that’s included with the game. I won’t go into a lot of detail about each threat or the Legends themselves as that would spoil things for you. Let’s just say that there’s plenty to do to keep you busy.

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COMPONENTS
This expansions adds a lot of new pieces and parts. There are tons of tokens that were mentioned earlier in the review. There are new character standees as well as wolves that can become your allies through the course of the game. Also new to this expansion are the Threats, some of which have to be assembled, such as the Siege Tower, Catapult and Dark Temple. There’s new equipment like the Star Shield which by itself is one awesome addition to any character’s stash. The artwork on everything is in line with what’s already been released so it fits well. The quality of what’s here is really great and is a welcome addition to the base game. The box is kinda weird shaped as it’s fairly long and once everything is punched out, there’s quite a bit of room inside it. Of course it’s not a big deal as I simply added it all to the base game box anyway and put the expansion box away. As it is, I’m really happy with the look and feel of the pieces. There’s quite a lot included.
9 out of 10

RULEBOOK
The rulebook for this expansion is more of a pamphlet size as opposed to a regular rulebook size. This is probably due in part to the long box. The rules begin in a sort of introductory story form, much like a graphic novel or comic book. It looks really awesome! Once you get to the middle of the book, there’s a nice double page spread of the setup. The last couple of pages go into great detail on the Legend Goals, Threats and various tokens that are introduced in this expansion. Everything is once again explained really well and is easy to read. Also included at the bottom of the final page is a link for dowloading a couple of new heroes to be used with this expansion that are highly skilled at dealing with the wolves in the game. That’s a nice little added bonus to me. All in all, the rules for this in many ways mirror the feel and design of the orginal rules. I like it.
9 out of 10

GAMEPLAY
In many ways it doesn’t appear that this expansion adds very much to the game but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While there’s not a lot of stuff, there’s actually quite a bit of content, if that makes any sense. The game plays pretty much the same way with only the addition of a few new things but it’s the Legend and how many different permutations there are that’s the thing. Just to note, there’s only one additional Legend included with this. However, there are so many different ways that it can be played with the inclusion of all the different variations and Threats. As you see in the previous outline, there are several different ways to set up the game with the Legend cards so it would be a while of playing the game before you wound up playing exactly the same way a second time. Let me give you a little more insight into this, there are 5 A2 cards, 5 A3 cards, 4 G cards and 6 threats. You pick one of each when starting the game. Now, I’m not a mathematical permutations genius but that’s a lot of variations. See what I mean. I realize that there are gonna be some people that won’t enjoy playing the same Legend numerous times. These are probably the same people that don’t like playing the base game’s Legends numerous times. For those people, this isn’t gonna be your cup of tea. For everyone else that enjoyed the game, you’ll LOVE this too. For me it’s a no brainer, this is a must have addition.
9 out of 10

OVERALL
Legends of Andor: The Star Shield expands the Legends of Andor game in a spectacular way. There’s a small bit more added to the game setup but nothing that’s gonna take more than a few extra minutes to deal with. The artwork and theme merge very well with the base game and continue the story that you’ve been writing for your characters since the first Legend. I love the additional pieces and find myself blown away with the story. With so many different threats and variations, there is quite a bit of replayability, even with only one Legend to play through. Fans of the game will find this to be a must have addition. I highly recommend getting this.
9 out of 10

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For more information about this and other great games, please check out THAMES & KOSMOS at their site.

http://www.thamesandkosmos.com/index.php/kosmosgames

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About Gaming Bits - Jonathan Nelson

I'm a happily married man with 2 wonderful kids. I love my family very much. I'm a big fan of board, card and RPG games and have been playing for over 20 years. As a board and card game reviewer, I'm hoping that this blog will inform, educate and entertain you. If you like it, please tell your friends and have them join in on the conversations. Thanks and GAME ON!!
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