Legends of Andor: New Heroes is an expansion for the Legends of Andor game designed by Michael Menzel, published by Thames & KOSMOS. The base game is for 2-4 players, however this expansion makes it possible to play with 5 or even 6 players. This adds 4 new playable heroes, components and rules to play with 5 or 6 players and several new game variants with figures and rules for including them. For a full review of the base game and how to play it, as well as information on the basic setup, please follow the link below.
First off it should be noted that the first Legend included with the base game, should not be played with more that 4 players. Beginning with Legend 2, 5 or 6 players may be included with some minor changes that are listed in the rule book for each legend, including the Era of the Star Shield legend. I won’t go into detail here, just be aware that they’re there. I will, however, explain a bit about the basics of playing with 5 and 6 players.
To begin with, the colored heroes time markers are not used. Instead there are 4 black wooden discs that will be used instead. These are placed in the sunrise box of the board. These black discs are neutral time markers that all the heroes will use. I will go into more detail on these in a moment. There is also a sunrise token that is included with this expansion that should be readied. The expansion has two new creature track boards which are placed over the top of the appropriate track of the board. This makes the creatures a bit stronger for each additional player over 4. Other than this, all the rules for the 4 player game are followed.
When using the neutral time markers, the player chooses one of the markers and moves it forward on the time track just like it was their colored marker in the base game. The player can not split up the time between multiple markers. Just like using their own color, when the chosen neutral marker moves into the overtime hour range, the hero must sacrifice willpower points like usual. When a hero wants to end their day, instead of moving their colored marker into the sunrise box, they will lay down their figure instead. The first hero to do that is given the Sunrise token with the rooster on it. This shows that they will begin the next day. Once all the players have laid down their figures, all the black time markers are returned to the sunrise box. All the symbols in the box must then be carried out before the players may stand their figures back upright. The hero with the sunrise token then starts off the new day.
Let’s take a look at the 4 new heroes. With this expansion you get Kheelan/Kheela, Fenn/Fennah, Bragor/Rhega and Arbon/Talvora. Kheelan/Kheela is the Warden of the Riverlands. He/She receives help from the Water Spirit. It starts on the same space and can only be moved by this character. Every time it’s moved an hour is removed from the time track just like if a hero was moved. However, it can be moved up to 4 spaces for each hour used. If a hero occupies the same space as the Water Spirit, they are allowed to use the special white die in battle. This die only has higher numbers on it. Fenn/Fennah is a tracker from the Southern Woods. He/She has 3 items that can be used once per day. They are placed on the 3 extra storage spaces on the character’s hero board. The character has a raven, horn and knife. The raven allows the character to uncover all the tokens on one space. The horn allows the character to roll all the dice available to the character during a battle round. It even affects other heroes fighting with this character in battle. The knife allows the character to re-roll one of his already rolled dice in a battle round. Once the item is used, the token is flipped upside down to show that it’s been used. It will not be turned back face up until the next sunrise. Bragor/Rhega is a Tarus from Sturmtal. This character is unable to wear a helmet or carry a big item. However, he may attack a creature by rolling all his dice at once when they’re standing on the same space together. The character also has 4 rows of dice for willpower points instead of the normal 3. The character is also able to attack in ranged combat just like an archer. Arbon/Talvora is a renegade keeper of the Black Archives. In the beginning of a battle he’s in, the character can decide to use his ability. This ability allows the character to lower a creature’s strength by moving it to the left.
The last things that this expansion adds are 3 new variants that include new rules and either a token or figure. These variants will make the game easier or harder depending on which one is used. The 3 variants are the Brother Shield, the Black Herald and the Drunken Troll. I won’t go into detail on the rules for each, instead I will give you a short overview of what each one does. The Brother Shield reduces the level of difficulty. A hero that is carrying the Brother Shield can use one side of it to trade their strength points with that of any other hero. Once it’s been used twice, it’s removed from the game. The Black Herald raises the level of difficulty. There’s one for playing with 5 players and one for playing with 6. This figure is added to the game when the final adversary is revealed and it raises the strength points of that creature by 4 or 8 points, depending on the version used. The Drunken Troll is more of a nuisance than anything. It could be viewed as a mild increase in difficulty level. It starts at the tavern and then is moved randomly each time an event card is drawn. It can’t be attacked or defeated. However it does affect other creatures movements but causing them to advance to the next free space, much like if it were a regular creature. This gives a wider range of movement to some creatures, mildly increasing the threat.
As you can see from the break down above, there are lots of new pieces that this expansion adds to the game. Unfortunately there’s no new Legend cards or anything like that. What you do get is still pretty cool though. You have the 4 new hero boards that are double sided with a male on one side and female on the other, just like the ones in the base game. The only thing different is that the Bragor/Rhega board is a bit larger than the others due to it having 4 rows instead of 3 for willpower. There are also figures for both male and female characters as well as for the Water Spirit, Black Heralds and Drunken Troll. The artwork on all these fits in well with the base game and has a lot of the same look and feel as those do. There are also a couple of new tokens for the game. There’s the Brother Shield, a star to be used with the Drunken Troll variant, the raven, horn and knife tokens for the Fenn/Fennah character and a sunrise token. The expansion also includes extra dice, wooden discs and cubes. There are also the 4 neutral time markers that I described earlier as well as 2 creature track boards that are placed on top of the board for 5 and 6 player games. A fairly good amount of new stuff that looks great.
9 out of 10
Much like the rulebook for the Star Shield expansion, this is more pamplet size than rulebook sized. I’m sure that it’s due to the size and shape of the box. This one is really more of a reference guide than anything, only to be used when needed. If you’re playing with 5 or 6 players, you simply flip to those pages and follow the instructions there for whatever Legend you’re playing. If you want to add in a new hero or two, you flip over to the page with the new heroes on it and you can check out the short summaries of each of these. If you’d like to add a variant or maybe two to your game, then simply flip over to those pages and follow the instructions for setting them up and the rules for how they work. Everything in the book is explained quite well and is easy to find. There are plenty of pictures and some examples of game play inserted here and there as well. Overall I feel that everything is really well designed and looks nice. Another great job in my opinion.
9 out of 10
It might not seem like a lot, but the expansion does seem to add a bit more flavor and theme to the game. It reminds me a bit of the character add on decks for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. You can add or subtract whatever you want or don’t want to play with. It’s as simple as that. While it might not add any new Legends, the new variants do add a bit more content to the game. I especially enjoy the new characters which can replace or be added to any of the original characters. Also, it’s nice to be able to play with more players if you have more people interested in playing. There’s not really a lot that I can say about gameplay that hasn’t been said earlier. Suffice it so say, I like the expansion and find it a great addition to an already enjoyable game.
8 out of 10
Legends of Andor: New Heroes expands the Legends of Andor game with new characters and variants. It also makes it possible to add a 5th or 6th player to the game. There are only a very few minor alterations to the rules. All of which are covered really well in the rule book. The artwork and theme compliment what’s already been established in the prior expansion and base game. I really love all the new characters especially the tracker. The new pieces are quite interesting and add new challenges to the game. Of course, as I’ve said before you can add or remove whatever you like from this expansion. It depends on your personal taste. Fans of the game will no doubt enjoy this and want to add it to their collection. While not essential, unless you plan to play with more players, it’s still really cool. I would recommend it especially for die hard fans of the series. It’s definitely worth taking a look at.
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out THAMES & KOSMOS at their site.