Mage Knight is an excellent game and one of the absolute best board games available for solitary play. The Lost Legion expansion for Mage Knight not only introduces great new ways to play the game solo or coop but also introduces an interesting and fun new Mage Knight. The Lost Legion also adds a new card to each of the original Mage Knights in order to help further differentiate their play-styles, new Monsters with neat and scary abilities, Units, Spells, Artifacts, Sites and Advanced Actions as well as some tweaked versions of the base game cards to help smooth out the game balance when playing with all of the new goodies that it brings to the table.
[caption id="attachment_36360" align="aligncenter" width="660"] There are a plethora of new enemies in The Lost Legion. Some change the existing formulas up while others bring scary new abilities to the game.[/caption]
The Lost Legion plays to one of Mage Knight's greatest strengths by introducing a brand new way to play the game solo/cooperatively in the form of a game-controlled character named General Volkare. Instead of using a 'dummy' player as a built in game clock, players can now play in scenarios that pit them directly against General Volkare. Facing off against Volkare not only smoothly fills the role of game clock but offers a very difficult and satisfying obstacle to contend with.
The biggest draw of The Lost Legion is that players can square off against Volkare in new scenarios. The first scenario has players race Volkare to a city in order to bolster their strength and defeat him in battle before he manages to conquer it. The second scenario has players moving across the map in order to gain strength as Volkare inexorably moves closer and closer to the players' starting portal. Players have to race to gain enough power to defeat him in battle before he reaches the portal. Both of the included missions are a ton of fun and both offer multiple difficulty levels for players of varying skill. Even on the easier settings Volkare's an absolute beast and managing to defeat him is hugely rewarding.
Players looking to tweak the original game's missions also have the options of replacing a city in the original missions with Volkare's camp. The variation that Volkare offers really spice things up and make even the most basic missions exciting and challenging, especially if players shuffle Volkare's camp in and don't know if they will actually end up facing him or not. Expecting to besiege a city and instead coming face to face with Volkare can make even powerful Mage Knights feel intimidated.
The new hero, Wolfhawk, is very versatile and my personal favorite Mage Knight. Wolfhawk has a wide range of skills and is a jack-of-all-trades style character. As opposed to the other Mage Knights that tend to favor a single style of play Wolfhawk lets you tailor your play-style based on the skills you choose as you level. She has a number of ways to increase her movement as well as skills that allow her to cancel enemy special abilities, gain crystals and heal wounds, reduce enemy defenses, draw cards etc.
A note on "chrome": The components in The Lost Legion are almost uniformly on par with Mage Knight. Volkare and Wolfhawk are pre-painted and the cards and chits are all good quality. The one big exception are the additional crystals included with The Lost Legion. Instead of being translucent and crystalline in appearance like the crystals from the base game they are murky and cloudy. It doesn't alter game-play but they do stand out and look ugly next to the originals.
The bottom line:
The Lost Legion is a must have expansion for experienced Mage Knight players looking to make the game more challenging and for players like myself who prefer to play Mage Knight solo. The new content blends seamlessly with the base game while adding enough new variety to keep the game fresh and exciting. Volkare is a challenging and rewarding opponent that is fun, if not intimidating, to face off against both in the new and original game's scenarios.
The Lost Legion rulebook can be found here.
The Lost Legion can be purchased via Amazon here.
The copy of The Lost Legion used for this review was purchased by the author.