Monday, January 17, 2022
Clank! Legacy - Acquisitions Incorporated - first thoughts
As I mentioned previously, my wife and me invited friends over to play a board game they got, Scythe. Between the 4 of us we were vaccinated 12 times, so we decided that the risk of sitting around a table was manageable. Over the last two years there were a lot of times where getting together with friends wasn't advisable, so a "Scythe & Pizza" evening felt really good. And so we parted with "we should do that again", and looking at other board games.
At first I thought we could play Roll Player Adventures (RPA), as this is currently the most played game in my household. There are however a number of flaws with that plan: RPA has a system to "save" the campaign when you need your table for something else and have to pack everything back into the box. But it doesn't have a system to run more than one campaign at a time. RPA has game trays that allow you to store your deck between play sessions, but if you wanted to play multiple campaigns you would need to write down all the cards you have, sort those cards back into their market decks, and then reassemble your deck at the start of the next session of this campaign. And then RPA involves a lot of reading text aloud in English, which isn't perfect when 3 of the 4 players are native French speakers.
So I was looking around for other games to play, and discovered Clank! Legacy - Acquisitions Incorporated. Not only does the game exist in a French version, it also turned out that the French version was the best option to get the game for me. According to the official website, the English version is "currently only available in the USA". Imported versions are sold at inflated prices over here in Europe. I was thinking of just buying one from Amazon.com, but between shipping cost and added VAT that wouldn't have been cheaper either. So paying €120 for a French version, when the American version MSRP is $110 was still the cheapest option. So, problem of reading story text aloud: Solved, as long as it isn't me who has to do the reading. My French accent is horrible!
Now Clank! Legacy will be my first full legacy style board game. These are board games which change over time. Cards can be "destroyed", and that literally means that you are supposed to rip them up. Self-adhesive stickers can be applied to the board or to cards, and they don't come off again. We had a bit of that in Gloomhaven, but as destroying expensive game material makes me uneasy, I bought a set of removable stickers. And in Gloomhaven you can still play the early scenarios again. There is no such option for Clank! Legacy. It really is a game in which you play a campaign of 10+ sessions which constantly add new rules, modify the game map with stickers, and require you to remove certain cards permanently from the game once used, whether you rip them up or not. At the end the game is some sort of final state, in which it could theoretically be played repeatedly. But then everything story-related, and all the fun of modifying the game, is over. It is possible that I'll throw the game away at that point. The last time I got rid of some board games, I donated them to a local board game club, but that obviously isn't a great option for a legacy game.
What makes me more open towards the idea of playing a board game through and then throwing it away is the realization that I am increasingly having a storage problem for my board games. The kind of game I play usually comes in a rather large box, and where do you store all those? According to my collection tab on BoardGameGeek, I already own 38 board games (counting expansions), and have 11 more preordered from various crowdfunding services. That is a lot less than I have Steam PC games, but Steam games don't take up any shelf space. With a lot of interesting new games being released all the time, and prices going up, the reality of things is that you don't necessarily play an expensive board game often enough to get its cost to below $10 per session.
So why it may feel strange to write with a permanent marker on my board game, apply permanent stickers to the map and rulebook, and rip up cards (hmmm, maybe I just put them aside), I think I should try with Clank! Legacy. It somehow fits the Acquisitions Incorporated style, being both very commercial and not very serious.
Labels: Board Games