Legacy of Yu

Legacy of Yu

RRP: £64.99
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Legacy of Yu is a solo-only, fully-resettable, nonlinear campaign game in which you step into the role of the legendary hero of the Xia Dynasty, Yu the Great. It will be your job to build the canals ahead of the impending flood, while also defending your growing village against neighboring barbarian tribes. With each game, stories will be shared and new gameplay elements added. The …
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Awards

Rating

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

You Might Like

  • A very compelling puzzle.
  • Simple enough rules with interesting gameplay choices
  • Fully resettable campaign

Might Not Like

  • Some brutal events
  • Some randomness with card draw.
  • Getting off to a bad start can hinder you.
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Description

Legacy of Yu is a solo-only, fully-resettable, nonlinear campaign game in which you step into the role of the legendary hero of the Xia Dynasty, Yu the Great. It will be your job to build the canals ahead of the impending flood, while also defending your growing village against neighboring barbarian tribes. With each game, stories will be shared and new gameplay elements added. The campaign features a self-balancing system which adapts to how well you are doing. The campaign ends once you either win or lose seven games.

Features:

Fast, tense gameplay with quick setup and teardown between sessions!
Worker placement, deck management, resource management and action chaining make for an exciting and dynamic experience.
Captivating stories and moments to discover with each game as you progress through the campaign.
Contains:

Custom Insert for easy storage
Rulebook
Story Book
Gameboard
Story Deck (71 Cards)
30 Townsfolk Cards
16 Barbarian Cards
7 Victory Cards
7 Defeat Cards
6 Hut Cards
10 Canal Cards
21 Punchboard Pieces
34 Wooden Workers (in 5 colors)
11 Wooden Buildings
9 Wooden Clay & 9 Wooden Wood
1 Wooden Barge & 1 Wooden Flood
At a Glance

Number of Players: Solo (1 player)
For Ages: 14+
Playing Time: 60 min
Game Type: Solo, Campaign

Legacy of Yu is a solo only, fully resettable campaign with elements of worker placement, deck building and hand management. It is from designer Shem Phillips (best known for the north sea, west kingdom and south tigris trilogies) and published by Garphill Games.

Legacy of Yu is set during the reign of Emperor Yu and the time when ancient China was plagued by devastating floods along the Yellow River. You play as Yu the son of Gun. Gun tried for nine years to calm the deadly floods with dams and dikes but ultimately failed and his employment came to a questionable end. Yu has inherited his Father’s work and learning from the failures of Gun sets out to create a series of canals to direct the river and quell the deadly river.

In Legacy of Yu you will be using workers to perform various actions, collect resources, build canals whilst using your deck of citizens cards to aid you in this task. Each time your deck runs out the flood advances. If the Flood ever hits a point where you have not built a canal, you lose. Build all the canals and survive to the end of the round, you win. Your workers can be used to perform various actions and to fight off barbarians which are a constant threat and forever hindering your advancement. When you defeat a barbarian you gain certain rewards/resources. There are several different buildings you build to unlock beginning of round bonuses such as more workers and resources. Constructing certain buildings opens up more worker placement spots for you to use and additional slots to place workers that will, on future turns, grant you additional rewards at the beginning of each turn.

Various cards will link to story elements contained with the story book. These stories will remove cards and add new cards, gameplay elements and new mechanisms to the game as it progresses. Depending on the result of the end game (win/lose) this will also provide narrative elements to the game and various elements being added.

The campaign is fully ressettable with no components of the game being destroyed during your playthrough. However, there are branching/random narrative elements so successive playthroughs will provide different gameplay experiences as certain cards/mechanisms will come out in a different order or new elements added not seen previously.

The above hopefully gives you a good idea of how the game works and is not intended to be a full rules explanation.

Final Thoughts

A solo only, campaign style game that was fully resettable from a designer (Shem Phillips) that I really like, had me intrigued from the first time I heard about it. There was no doubt that I was going to pick this up and I was very excited when my copy finally arrived. So, does Legacy of Yu live up to the hype? Let’s find out.

The game itself is really easy to set up and learn, which for a solo game is a big plus for me. I don’t want to spend 30 minutes setting up a solo game. Ruleswise, the game is relatively straightforward. The rulebook is clear and well laid out and with one pass over the rules I was ready to crack on. I very rarely found myself checking the rules throughout the game.

Compelling Loop

The core gameplay loop is very compelling. The game is in essence a giant puzzle which I thoroughly enjoy. Working out how to get to your goal with the cards in your hand is always exciting. I also like that as the game progresses you get more powerful with more resources/workers unlocked and are able to do more each round. However, the game does get more difficult each round and I found the balance to be pretty spot on. I rarely felt like I was breezing through the game. It felt like a very tight balance between winning and losing. It was difficult at times and the odds often felt stacked against me, but with clever card play and worker placement I always enjoyed reaching the end goal and my aim for that round. Pulling off certain moves just felt good.

I liked how the designer balanced the winning and losing of each game and the campaign progression. If you lose a game you generally have some boost for the next game or two. Win a game and more bad stuff is added in to make it harder for your next game. It seemed very balanced which I think was reflected in my final score of 7 wins to 5 defeats.

Starting Right

There can be elements of luck involved and I found the games I did lose were generally related to poor starting cards. There does seem to be a flow to the game that I found to be necessary to give yourself the best chance of winning. Cards with coloured workers at the bottom are the best to be tucked under your player board. Certain buildings that give you a coloured worker each turn and the building that lets you place a coloured worker to get another coloured worker seem to work well. I don’t necessarily see this as a negative, you may do though, but I found after a few games I could see what I needed to do first to be in with a good shot of winning.

Some of the events/new cards that are added to the game can be brutal. Without going into spoilers some of the cards really hamper you. I quite enjoyed the curve balls the game throws at you meaning you have to adapt your strategy as you progress through the games. Again, some of these elements felt impossible at first but with clever use of cards and strategy clearing these threats was always a welcome relief.

The fact I did not see all the cards in the story deck gives me confidence that there is some replay-ability in the campaign and I will definitely be coming back for more plays.

Overall, Legacy of Yu felt like a game that fell dead center in my wheelhouse. Solo only, easy set up, campaign elements that can be reset, easy to digest rules but interesting and compelling gameplay. I loved my time with this game and have already reset it ready for another play through. Highly recommend.

Zatu Score

Rating

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

You might like

  • A very compelling puzzle.
  • Simple enough rules with interesting gameplay choices
  • Fully resettable campaign

Might not like

  • Some brutal events
  • Some randomness with card draw.
  • Getting off to a bad start can hinder you.