Eight-Minute Empire: Legends
For those of you who missed my “Eight-Minute Empire” review, let me save you a lot of trouble…it’s a fantastic game! Needless to say I was thrilled to receive a press copy of this stand-alone successor, courtesy of Ryan Laukat from Red Raven Games. “Eight-Minute Empire: Legends” is similar in play-style, but introduces some new rules and mechanics that gives the game a bit more depth.
Setup & Gameplay
The boards are laid out together to form one large map. The number of people playing the game will determine how many boards are used. The cards are shuffled (some are removed in a 2-3 player game) and six are dealt along the top row of the board. Each player gets 18 armies and 3 cities, with 4 of the former being placed onto the start space. In a two player game, players take turn seeding ten armies of a third color onto various regions. Each player also gets some coins, again the amount is determined by the number of players. Players will bid with their coins (hide a number of them in their hand and reveal them all at once) to determine who goes first. Only the first player has to forfeit the coins they bid.
On their turn, players will use their coins to buy a card, the cost of which depends on where the card is located on the row above the board (0, 1, 1, 2, 2, and 3). The player, after buying a card, takes the action listed at the bottom immediately. Cards also list an ability along the top, which can be used throughout the game to help them break the normal rules and pull ahead of their competition. Some even score the player victory points at the end of the game. The remaining cards are shifted to the left (they become cheaper to buy) and a new card is drawn for the sixth spot on the row.
The game ends when each player has a certain number of cards (which depends on how many people are playing the game). The player who has the most victory points from regions, continents, and abilities has the most powerful empire and wins the game!
The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played. For more information, you can check out the rule book here:
First, let’s briefly recap what’s new. The boards are modular, allowing you to switch up the aesthetics and configuration every time you play. Instead of containing goods that are counted as VP at the end of the game, cards now of abilities that have long-term effects. While some cards encourage players to collect sets of a particular type, there’s more variety here. In “Eight-Minute Empire”, you tried to collect as much of a good as you could to score more points. “Eight-Minute Empire: Legends”, just to name one example, features a card ability that awards players VP for the coins they have left in their possession. If it’s regions you’re after, you can forgo the VP abilities and go straight for the ones that allow you to “fly” or place extra armies by default. Oh, and the art on this title is most certainly an improvement!
I won’t go too in-depth here because I’ve already done so in my review of “Eight-Minute Empire”, but I will say that I enjoyed this title just as much (if not more) than its predecessor. Again, this is a stand-alone product, so you won’t need to own “Eight-Minute Empire” in order to play this. With that said, you could use the maps from “Eight-Minute Empire” if you so desired. As a whole, “Eight-Minute Empire” is simpler and makes a better gateway game to the series, I feel, with “Eight-Minute Empire: Legends” taking it slightly to the next level. Both are easy to teach and are relatively quick to play, so you honestly can’t go wrong with either of the two games. My only complaint is that “Eight-Minute Empire: Legends” only supports four players as opposed to “Eight-Minute Empire’s” five, which may be a deal-breaker to larger families…still, it’s relatively fun to play regardless.
Final Verdict: 9/10