• Suzzan Smith

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE in CHARTERSTONE

Updated: May 26

The perils of choosing your own adventure are permanently writing on the game boards, throwing away cards, and never opening a spattering of other boxes! We thought this might not be the game we are looking for; however, after the initial marking or ripping, we found ourselves gleeful, permanently altering our story in Charterstone.

BGG defines – Legacy games are board games that change over time based on the outcome of each game played and the choices made by the players. They will cause physical changes to the board game by, for example: marking the cards, placing stickers, destroying components, opening sealed packages, and so on.

   We have played three legacy games thus far, and two we veraciously played till the Campaign was complete. Agonizing over each decision and ultimately satisfied when we had completed the game. 

  The third legacy game, Charterstone, took our time and did our best to prolong and savor each game. It felt more like a fast-paced chess game crafting tactics before your next turn. This game, once we completed the Campaign, we were ready to start tout suite again. Good thing this game has a two-sided board. We should note that our introductory play was concluded at round six because half of the campaign players shuffled off to the other side of the state and not known for my patience, I ordered the recharge pack and played with the hubby on the convenient other side of the board.

Recharge Pack contains the components for a second campaign of Charterstone.

Smart to have a two-sided board for that result or if a dire mistake (not pleased with my handwriting) and want to flip it. We completed that Campaign in a month, two years ago. We had a hankering to play it again, and having the #stayathome orders, proved for a perfect time. Luckily, I had acquired a fresh Charterstone game after we played the Recharge pack for when we would have time to play a whole Campaign.

This legacy game has remarkable playability.

The starting point of Charterstone is a blank canvas, an unnamed land with a patchwork of empty spaces waiting to garner villages and inhabitants. The few given buildings to help you build your village, The Commons, have a steampunk zeppelin, a Charterstone, a Grandstand, a Treasury, and a Market. Why are we making these villages?

Because the Forever King of Greengully has commanded. The prosperous Kingdom of Greengully ruled for centuries by the Forever King, has issued a decree to its citizens to colonize the vast lands beyond its borders. In an effort to start a new village, the Forever King has selected six citizens for the task, each of whom has a unique set of skills they use to build their charter. 

There is a  Guidepost that gives a new goal to achieve whilst you are building your village and has a conseguence at the end of the round. That journey brought us surprising, uncommon, and notable developments. Each round the suplematary task,  proclaimed Guidepost by the King winner has choice to please or anger the King and scratch off the Kings declaration. Dylan won each Guidepost and, with great joy, angered the King. We were brash adventurers, were not favored by the favored by the King.

Each new round added layers of rules, worker placement, and plenty of variabilities. The story and regulations are streamlined, and as you unlock new rules, they are unquestionably well thought out and quickly followed.

Mechanically Charterstone is an excellent example of learning as you play, which makes it hugely accessible for newbies to the ever-expanding community and or Legacy games. Generally, we go through the whole rulebook of a new game before we play. Some of the game’s rulebooks are vast, and I start drifting off while hubby is reading aloud. Learning through gameplay is a more optimal process for me to grasp the nuts and bolts. In Charterstone, the adventure rules are introduced to the players as the game progresses. We could definitely chart where the strategy kicked in for all of us, which undeniably boosted the gameplay. 

 On your turn, you can place a worker on a tile or retrieve all your workers. Moving workers to any tile on any charter, each building has a different resource cost to use and a different purpose. The five initial spots in the commons that allow you  go to gain money, score objective cards, build a building, or open crates. Opening crates (LOVE) lets players draw cards from Index, which adds new rules to the game, open surprises and create your storyline for the Campaign. At the end of a round, you add a new Guidepost and score your personal Glory points on your village box. This is tracked throughout the Campaign. There are multiple choices to allocate you Glory Points that give different advantages the next round. The Final Battle for your village and the life of your villagers depends on the choices you make throughout the Campaign. 

We are fans of Stonemaier Games artwork and art by Mr. Cuddington, and Gong Studios is darling and whimsical. Don’t get me started on the metal coins!!! I adore the coins, and there is an abundance of upgraded detailed game pieces offered.

     All Stonemaier Games have online groups on social media for clarification on rules. This is the first game I have played that we were part of the group and able to utilize the forum. Our palyers usually have different interpretations of a rule, and we often went to the Facebook page with our conundrum. It never took longer five minutes to get a detailed response and or photo companion. The Stonemaier Community is swift and generous with their time. Fielding questions all day long. It is a pleasure to play Charterstone and have the tribe there with us when we needed them!

This journey of Charterstone took us seven days during our quarantine, and we were submerged in the many secrets and paths we took, and we have found it is just as enjoyable to play again and make completely different risks and the way was just as suspenseful and competitive.

Nerdz Garage highly celebrates Charterstone!

The Nerdz Garage

Suzzan Smith

Released: 2017

Designer: Jamey Stegmaier

Publisher:  Stonemaier Games

Players: 1 – 6

Playing Time: 60 minutes (per round)

25 – 35 minutes (2 player experience)

Category: Worker Placement, City Building, Resource Management, Legacy

View on Board Game Geek

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