Epic Adventures: The Legends of Andor - Eternal Frost Board Game ReviewEpic Adventures: The Legends of Andor - Eternal Frost Board Game Review

Several games have been held at the Indore range. Starting with Legends of Andor which you can watch a short one-minute review of here. Since then, there have been numerous expansions such as the 2017 release Legends of Andor: Dark Heroes, and standalone sequels such as 2014’s Journey to the North. It’s been a bit quiet lately but 2023 saw the release of a new stand-alone sequel, Eternal Frost. It uses the same mechanics and ruleset as the previous Andor, but with four new legends to play through, and let’s be honest, a bit of a Game of Thrones feel! Let’s bring it to the table to see how it plays out.

How To Set Up The Legends of Andor: The Eternal Frost

Lay out the main board with the fort visible and the lake face down. This is the board used for your first game. Then, I suggest you put the main rulebook away, you won’t really need it. Just follow the quick start guide instructions. It’s very simple and means you learn as you play. You can really get cracking with it.

The most important thing you need to do is choose a character and get ready for some adventures! All of these are bidirectional to present differences in gender.

How To Play The Legends of Andor: The Eternal Frost

Once you’re done, take the first legend card and start reading. It will define what you need to do next in terms of both mechanics, and rules, but also goals and objectives. It will teach you how to play and fight, much better than reading it here or in a rule book.

Is It Fun? The Legends of Andor: The Eternal Frost Review

First, to manage expectations, it needs to be said, there are four legends in this game. Each legend will be a complete game. Lasts about an hour. If you lose one, you have to answer it until you win. The last legend has three different endings, determined by a die roll. And of course, you can replay the whole thing very easily. There are also ways to make the game harder by adding extra enemies and reading extra red cards on cue. Or, you can avoid them if you prefer.

As you play through the game, your main options are to move or fight on your turn. As you play, other options will come up, but this will always be your first option.
The game, like others in the series, operates on a game clock. Each movement or round of combat costs you one hour. And as we all know, there are only so many hours in a day. You’ll have more than one day to complete your objectives, but each day at sunset, the monsters activate. And if too many people reach your base, the game is lost. Their moves may surprise you, too, as they often leapfrog each other’s spots and progress much faster than you think. Careful calculation of this during the day phase is critical to your success.

Which brings me to my main concern with these games. The main way to win here seems to be to work on the number of monsters you kill. You can’t infiltrate your base too much, but there is some leeway. But you can’t fight too much either, because it will consume all of your time both in the game clock, but also as the story progresses. Each time a monster is banished by battle, you must move the marker up one space on the right side of the board. It’s game over when you reach the top, and you fail if you haven’t completed your goals. It also plays every night, but you can really speed up the game and drastically reduce your available turns by fighting a lot. But, if you can strike the right balance, you will always win, with a few good rolls. Also, there isn’t much strategy to the game other than working the shortest route to certain parts of the board. But the story will make up for it for most of you.

However, there are moments when you do something smart that keeps you going. There are methods for using willpower to put in more time.
Some items will also help you make smarter use of your character’s powers. Deciding who will do what, and working together on occasions to fight difficult monsters will greatly increase your chances of victory. And these smart choices will leave you thirsty for more. I wish there was a little in the way of dice manipulation, or more special options though. The game does a great job of building tension and making Legends difficult enough to make victories feel satisfying. But I think one or two other ways to influence your luck would be interesting. Sometimes, a game can be won or lost by the roll of a single die, or by the placement of a random object. It can be frustrating if it causes you to lose near the end of the game, when otherwise, you played flawlessly. But that’s only because I find repetitive fables annoying and a bit of a waste of time. If you enjoy repetitive missions, you’ll love this one.

At one point, Legend Three, a monster spawned in a random place quite far from where we were. We had no way of getting to him in time and the mission was essentially lost. Where the monster spawned was determined by a die roll, so we decided to re-roll. We did, the monster was born elsewhere. We won easily and with plenty of time. This is cheating. Undoubtedly. But I didn’t want to repeat an entire mission based on the roll of a dice. Some of you may enjoy repetitive missions. Some may find the above admission of cheating disgusting! I only mention that this is an important part if you will enjoy the game or not.

Tooling up your heroes is a lot of fun. There are several ways to acquire additional weapons and items that will aid your cause. It’s fun to physically place them on your hero mat when you get them, and it works well as a visual aid, reminding you what options are available to you.

Combat also works well. This is the sum of your current Strength, added to your highest dice roll, with the amount determined by your current Willpower. You must also spend an hour of your day, so it really becomes a resource management game. Your highest roll and your power will then go against an equal number of monsters, and the difference between the two will be subtracted from the losing player’s power. This continues until one player’s Willpower is reduced to zero. At this point, if you win, you claim a bonus Will or Strength and the monster is banished. If you lose, you lose power, but more importantly, you’ve wasted a lot of time. It’s all clearly labeled on the board with this clever chart.

The monsters you encounter will mostly be the first three shown on this chart, but the odd giant monster will appear along the way. Legend Four also includes one of the three in the final battle. It’s a minor spoiler I guess but you take them all out at the start of the game and see them. The only small thing is that you only get to face one of them, not all three. They all offer a completely different Final Battle experience that makes The Last Legend replayable. Two monsters will appear below, the other being a character you’ll work with to avoid spoiling the image too much for anyone scrolling through this paragraph.

Anyone who liked the first Andor games should play this one, in my opinion. If you haven’t played them yet, you don’t have to play them in order, although I would suggest you do. If that intrigues you, I’ll get the first game before I get this one.

However if you haven’t played Andor, like the idea, and prefer the Eternal Frost theme to this game, then by all means, go ahead and jump right in, this game won’t screw up any other game in the series.

The story is the main thing that will draw you in. And I like how cards serve the story and your game objectives well. The experience is close to flawless when you cross the four legends. For example, when you reach this encounter token at space 450, read the matching card with the same image. It all works very well. However, there were two moments when the name of the card I was referred to for the reading was incorrect. Do I understand a translation error? On those two occasions, it was frustrating to take my head off the game and have to figure out which card they meant. It wasn’t hard to do, there was only one other card that could and the names were similar. But in a game about a story, you want to be in it all the time.

But when you’re into the story, which is 99% of the time, it’s absorbing, exciting, interesting, and a lot of fun to play. I’m not sure how soon it will be until I try these four legends again, but the four legends in the box were great and a 10/10 experience for me. I score it an 8 as I ask the question, are four legends enough?

Leave a Reply