28 July 2017
‘The game is designed so you can continue to play your copy post-campaign, but you no longer have that feeling of starting from scratch and building a village with your friends,’ Jamey Stegmaier explains
As the number of legacy games grows in the wake of Pandemic Legacy, one of the nascent genre’s more problematic elements continues to get hotter. Namely, the question of replayability.
The majority of legacy games depend on players being able to write on, alter, apply stickers to or even destroy cards, boards and pieces to deliver their evolving storytelling over a set number of games.
In the case of some, such as Pandemic Legacy, the altered components can still be used to play a round of the game once the story or campaign has been completed, but other games rely more fully on the permanent ‘one-and-done’ experience, meaning that the finished game is good for little more than kindling.
Other games have had separate packs released, both officially and unofficially, that allow players to undo some of their changes – for example, a custom sticker set for Gloomhaven allows players to peel the previously permanent locations, enhancements and achievements back off the main board, as well as including stickers to reseal the envelopes, boxes and books that come out of the box locked up.
The latest legacy game to try and solve the sticky issue is Charterstone, the much-hyped upcoming release from the designer of last year’s acclaimed strategy title Scythe, Jamey Stegmaier.
Stegmaier has confirmed that Charterstone will be playable once players finish the 12-game campaign in the box, but will lose certain aspects of the ongoing progression.
“The idea was that after you play a 12-game legacy campaign of Charterstone, you will have permanently altered a number of components,” he explained. “The game is designed so you can continue to play your copy post-campaign, but you no longer have that feeling of starting from scratch and building a village with your friends.”
To remedy this, Stegmaier has announced a ‘recharge pack’ for the game, which will refresh all components permanently changed during the course of a campaign, as well as allowing the wooden tokens and metal coins in the box to be re-used. The game board itself is double-sided, meaning it can be used twice without needing to be cleared.
Stegmaier wrote that the idea came after discovering that almost a third of fans were interested in picking up a pack to allow them to reset the game.
The recharge pack will cost $30 (£23), just under half of Charterstone’s $70 (£54) price tag.
It sounds like you’ll need to buy a brand new copy of the main game if you want to go through the campaign for a third time, but it’s nice to see more designers tackling an increasingly common concern as legacy-style games become the norm.