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The Legacy of Legacy games

This is probably best described as an opinion piece rather than a specific set of advice, so I apologise if you’re looking for Kickstarter or game design advice, but I’m sure we’ll get back to it next week. For now, I want to express some opinions on what I’ve thought for a while to be one of the most interesting developments in boxed tabletop games in some time, the Legacy format of games.

For those who are unaware, ‘Legacy’ is a catch all category of game genre used to describe games that are in some way permanently altered during campaign play, originating with the release of Risk: Legacy and largely centring on the output of Rob Daviau and coming to prominence when Pandemic Legacy Season 1 claimed the coveted top spot of Board Game Geek’s overall ranking. They feature three general systems:

1) Change by unlocking, where not all of the game’s features are available to players during games when the game is initially opened and instead have to be unlocked during repeated play-throughs of the game.

2) Change by alteration, where game elements are retained but altered in some manner during play, either significantly or in an entirely cosmetic fashion.

3) Change by destruction, where game elements are removed or destroyed in some way during play.

This system leads to player