Last Bastion

RRP: £48.99
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RRP £48.99
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Replayability.
  • Cooperation is key.
  • Player powers.
  • Simple enough ruleset.

Might Not Like

  • Can be punishing.
  • Difficult to win.
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Description

A handful of heroes have just stolen the powerful relics of the Baleful Queen. Without them, the immortal sovereign is weakened; recovering them is now her sole purpose. With the High Mages attempting to destroy them, the heroes have fallen back into the Bastion of the Ancient Kings, where they must defend the fort to the peril their lives. Unceasingly, the hordes led by the Warlords besiege the ramparts. If this citadel falls, an entire civilization will be swept away, and an entire world will fall into chaos... Last Bastion is a cooperative game in which the players take on the roles of heroes defending an ancestral Bastion against the monstrous hordes of the Baleful Queen. The players struggle together against the game, either they all win victory, or else they all suffer defeat.

Last Bastion is a one to four-player cooperative, dice rolling, medieval fantasy game. Last Bastion is a reworking/retheme of the hard as nails Ghost Stories. In Last Bastion, you play as a group of Heroes that have stolen powerful relics from the evil Baleful Queen. The Queen’s sole purpose now is to retrieve these artefacts.

Set-Up

The Heroes have taken refuge in the Bastion of the Fallen Kings. They must defend the fort from the onslaught of unceasing and unending monsters. The Bastion must not fall. If it does then the entire world will fall into chaos.

The board in Last Bastion is a three by three grid of Bastion tiles, that are randomly placed in each game. Four Horde boards are positioned at the edge of the Bastion tiles. Hero boards are placed below the Horde boards. All Bastion tiles feature an action that the Heroes can perform if they end their turn on the particular tile. Actions such as placing a net piece on a monster card to negate an ability, healing, removing grasps of evil tokens, placing traps and many more.

Gameplay

The game is played over a number of rounds. Each round has two phases; the Horde phase and the Hero phase.   At the beginning of the Horde phase, apply all effects displayed on the monster cards on your specific Horde board. Each Horde board has a power that is then applied. This usually involves drawing a new card (if the Horde board is not full) or some negative effect if it is. When a new card is drawn, the monster will be placed on the Horde board of the matching colour. Some of the monster cards will have effects to trigger when they are placed. Such as drawing additional monster cards, placing “grasps of evil” tokens, and a host of other nasty negative effects.   In the Hero phase, players can “act” and move. There are two “act” actions available, activating a Bastion tile and combat. A player can move one space in any direction.   For combat, a Hero must be on an adjacent space to a monster. Combat is resolved by rolling dice and matching the coloured symbols to the monster they are fighting. Additional equipment tokens of the matching colour can be spent to add an extra symbol to your combat roll. If you roll the correct number and colour of symbols then you defeat the monster and apply any “exit” effects it may have.

Call to Arms tokens can be used to allow the Hero to use the action of any Bastion tile even if they are not located on the same space.

Play continues this way until the Heroes take out the Warlord and win the game. If all Heroes are defeated, 3 Bastion tiles fall under the Grasp of Evil or a Horde card needs to be drawn and the deck is empty the players lose.

Final Thoughts

I am going to come right out and say it. Last Bastion is hard. Oh boy, this game is tough to win. But you know what? It’s a fantastic game. One that keeps drawing me back to play. Every time I get close to winning but lose, it is because I didn’t play smart and I can see where I went wrong. With each game you learn and develop, and eventually you’ll score a win. But the random nature of the Bastion tiles and the way the monsters come out means that next time it might not be so easy.

Plan, Plan and Plan Some More

The core rules are relatively straightforward to understand. However, the game requires you to plan, and plan carefully, each and every move. You can’t afford to play it safe or make mistakes/sub-optimal moves. There are times when fighting a monster is not necessarily the best move. You might need to take the hit for the longer-term strategy.

They Keep Coming

The monsters are never-ending. They keep coming at you round after round, so you do need to control them and keep on top of them. Activating the Bastion tiles can grant you huge benefits, so it’s essential that you plan out your moves a few turns ahead. Communication is key when playing with others (as opposed to solo). Figuring out who is in the better position for combat, and who should hold back and activate a Bastion tile, is a big part of the game. Last Bastion is not a roll and fight and hope for the best kind of game. It is a game where you need to calculate the risks of winning and decide if it is worth it. There are many ways to tackle the horde, and the Bastion tiles need to be used and activated effectively to be able to survive. Simply running around fighting will probably end in your demise.

Simply Surviving

Rules-wise it is not that complex. For sure, it is not a gateway game but it’s by no means a game with a complex ruleset. This is great as the rules do not get in the way of the gameplay. For the most part, you are simply trying to survive, taking out wave after wave of minions until the big bad makes an appearance. Assuming you last that long.

Despite losing more often than not, I still really enjoy Last Bastion. The wins feel so good when you achieve them and you breathe a sigh of relief that you have made it. This is a game that I keep coming back to time and again. There are different heroes to play with different abilities to keep the gameplay fresh. A fantastic game in design and intense gameplay moments, but not for the faint-hearted.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Replayability.
  • Cooperation is key.
  • Player powers.
  • Simple enough ruleset.

Might not like

  • Can be punishing.
  • Difficult to win.