Updated: Oct 24
Even if you weren't one of the Kickstarter backers for Mythic's Time of Legends: Joan of Arc, you'll surely have seen have seen photos of the massive pile of boxes making up the recently delivered core game and its numerous expansions and accessory packs. The game incorporated a lot of options, including an RPG (role-playing game). Unusually for a game not based on a pre-existing IP (intellectual property), Time of Legends has already spawned its first separate standalone game, published by Lucky Duck rather than Mythic.
Time of Legends: Destinies isn't an expansion for Joan of Arc. It's an entirely separate game set in the same universe. That means it combines the historical Medieval setting with elements of fantasy and the supernatural. With art by Karolina Jedrzejak and Magdalena Leszczynska, Time of Legends: Destinies incorporates micro-sized minis like those in the Mythic game but it offers a very different player experience.
Lucky Duck are best known for their ports of established video games and apps to create board game versions. With Chronicles of Crime last year, they introduced a board game that was itself integrated with an app. Designers Michal Golebiowski and Filip Milunski have followed a similar path with Time of Legends: Destinies. They've created an engrossing storytelling game for 1–3 players where the app functions like a games master (GM) in an RPG. Players choose a character, explore and interact with the locations and non-player characters (NPC) they encounter. The app shows them what they see (for example, telling them what to place out when their character moves to a previously unexplored tile), offers them options and then tells them what happens in response to the number of successes they roll on any strength/power, agility/dexterity or wisdom/intelligence tests they are set. The app also makes use of your smartphone or tablet camera: character and artefact cards all have QR codes that you may be asked to scan in when interacting with a NPC.
If you've played Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth (FFG), the board game/app synergy will feel familiar, but Time of Legends: Destinies is no Journeys clone. It introduces, for example, a novel system for spending experience to boost your likelihood of success. Player boards include tracks that start off with two or three success points for each type of test but, through the course of the game, you will find artefacts that insert more success points and you can spend the experience you earn to add further success points. When put to a test, you roll the custom six-sided dice (1,1,2,3,3,4) and the number of successes is the number of points you have marked off to the left of the total rolled. You always have two main dice to roll for every test but you can choose to also roll additional 'effort' dice (1,1,2,2,3,*) [the * counts as an extra success]. You start off with three of these 'effort' dice but they are spent when used and you only automatically get one returned at the start of your next turn...
In an unusual feature for an adventure game that can be played solitaire, the two- and three-player games are competitive rather than co-operative. The story that unfolds incorporates different arcs and agendas for each of the characters. My interaction with a NPC as the Herbalist will probably yield different responses to the interaction you have as the Deserter. Without giving away any spoilers, we can confirm that there's certainly tension and excitement as the story develops, creating a genuinely immersive narrative as each player tries to manipulate the narrative in their favour so that it is their character's Destiny that s fulfilled.
We've so far played only a cut-down preview prototype of Time of Legends: Destinies, and that's what's shown here on Board's Eye View. The full game will have more scenarios and a Windows, Mac and Linux scenario editor is being made available so that fans can create stories of their own. Time of Legends: Destinies is an exciting venture. It's due to launch on Kickstarter on 24 September: we'll add a link when the campaign goes live.
(Review by Selwyn Ward)