Time of Legends: Joan of Arc

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Review: Magnificent, with some flaws

December 29, 2019 by fiore

Intrigued

I really want to love this game. But in the end I think of it as a magnificent effort, with some flaws.

First the things I do love.

The components are out of this world. These are some of the best 15mm miniatures I have ever seen, beautiful sculpts, excellently produced. And the whole project was approached with a bold verve which is admirable and exciting. It was brave to go for 15mm when hardly anyone else does, but it adds epic scope to the whole thing. No one needs a dragon as big as this one. No one needs a castle as big as this one. But having the chance to own them is exciting and awesome! And they are great value for what you receive.

I also love the setting. The hundred years war is one of my favourite periods of history, and adding the extra spice of a fantasy twist is great for me. I love that they didn't just add a load of orcs and elves to the historical troops - the "what if medieval man's beliefs were all true" approach to the fantasy elements gives it all a fresh resonance I enjoy.

So far, so awesome.

The game itself. I've had fun playing it. There are certainly all kinds of interesting ideas in the mechanisms and rpg elements. Its bursting with content. There are decisions to be made and exciting moments that lead to a good game.

But I found the gameplay a bit fiddly and gamey at times. The basic mechanisms are simple enough, but the special rules don't always seem clear - this is not a game where the rules "get out of the way" and became transparent. At least for me. And often I found myself doing things because they work well in the game rather than because they are things that might happen in a real battle. This led to some unsatisfying moments that didn't quite seem fair or reasonable.

The biggest stumbling block for me is the really long time it takes to set -up the game. This makes me slightly reluctant to get it all out and play, which is a shame.

So overall, I'm still very glad I backed this game - it is magnificent in many respects, though for me the game itself doesn't quite deliver as much as I really wanted it to. I'm looking forward to painting up all those beautiful figures and getting them on the table, but I may well look for other "full wargame" rules that I can use them with to create the battles I see in my mind.

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