Aeon’s End: Legacy – Hints & Tips for Game 1

This is one in a series of posts regarding the board game Aeon’s End: Legacy. You can access all my other posts HERE. This post contains Hints & Tips for the first game of the campaign, and will contain no Spoilers.

Aeon’s End is prepacked to make the initial setup simple. You can be playing within 15 minutes of cracking the plastic. All the separate elements of the game come in their own decks, so organising your first play is incredibly quick.

This post is not to meant to be a replacement for the rule book or the one sheet. It is a supplemental, that highlights some of the important parts. Normally I would recommend the Rodney Smith, Watch It Played video, but Aeon’s End Legacy starts with a simplified version of the game, so there might be Spoilers. I recommend you stay with the enclosed rule book. It does a very good job.

Punch Boards

There are only 3 types of tokens at the start of the game. Life tokens, used both for the players and the minions that they fight. Power tokens, placed on power cards. They count down to when the actual effect of the card will be triggered. And split turn order tokens which are only used in a 4 player game. You can see how that works on page 12 of the rule book.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Token Boxes

Page 2 of the rulebook lists the contents of the game. There are plenty of empty spaces, which will be filled with new content, as you progress through the campaign. I am using 2 small tackle boxes, that fit nicely in the space where the A,B,C,D boxes are at the moment. By splitting up the life tokens, into both boxes, it means 4 players at the table have easy access to them.


Aeon’s End is a deck builder, and it comes with plenty of dividers to keep the game organised. Place the dividers in the card well, in whatever order works for you. I play all the hero cards and supply cards at the front, nemesis cards at the back, and the legacy and evolved decks in the middle.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Dividers

Deck 1a

Deck 1a consists of the supply market cards for the first game. There are 3 gems (purple), 2 relics (blue) and 4 spells (yellow), and their cost, in aether, is in the top right. The gems give you more aether, to allow you to buy the more expensive cards. Relics have an effect that occurs instantly. And spells are prepped to a breach, then cast at the start of your next turn. More on breaches below.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Starting Market

Cards will reference “any player” and “any ally”. “Any player” includes the active player. “Any ally” means one of the active players team mates. So a player that played Ethereal Hand, cannot draw two cards. But a player who played Neural Wreath can focus their own breach and/or may prep a spell to a breach.

Store this deck in front of the “current supply” divider in the card well.

Player Mats

The 4 double sided player mats all work in exactly the same way. Choose your favourite character, or your favourite colour. You can see 5 obvious strips for stickers, where you will be modifying your character throughout the campaign. Some non obvious stickers are added as well. Choices are made during every game of the campaign.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Player Mats


Once you have chosen your character, you get to name them. You don’t have to do it immediately, but it will be important as the game progresses. You start each game with 10 life, and 3 breaches, in the configuration below.

Spells are prepped to a breach during the players main phase, and cast at the start of the following turn. Spells are prepped to an opened breach, or a closed breached that has been focused that round. Breach I is open at the start of the game, and you spend aether to focus or opening your other breaches.

Deck 1b

All players start game 1 with an identical 5 card starting hand, and a 5 card deck. 4 crystals to buy market cards, or focus/open their breaches, and 1 spark, to deal 1 damage. Each players starting hand and deck is stored in front of their specific mage divider.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Starting Hand

Deck 1b also contains a reference card for each player, and the turn order cards, which will decide .. well … the player/nemesis turn order. The turn order deck will be different depending on the player count. The specifics on creating the turn order deck are on page 8 of the rule book.

A Players Turn

Pages 12 to 16 of the rule book comprehensively explain a players turn. I’m just going to highlight some points for new players.

  • The player mat lists the order that you construct your deck. So 4 crystals on top, and 1 spark on the bottom.
  • You never shuffle your cards. When you need to draw more cards, and your deck is empty, simply flip your discard pile over to be your new deck.
  • Cast spells go immediately on top of your discard pile, before you resolve the effect after the word Cast:.
  • You do not have to cast spells prepped to an open breach. They can remain prepped for an indefinite number of turns.
  • Cards bought from the market go immediately on top of your discard pile, unless otherwise stated.
  • You play relics and gems in front of you during your main phase to gain their benefit. They are discarded at the end of the main phase in the order you choose.
  • You must execute all the text on a gem or relic if possible. Being unable to execute all the text, does not prevent you from playing a card.
  • You can play cards to gain aether, even if you do not spend all the aether on your turn. Unspent aether is lost.
  • You do not have to play all the relics and gems in your hand. Any you don’t play remain in your hand for the following turn.
  • You cannot discard spells. They remain in your hand if you do not prep them to a breach.
  • You draw back up to 5 cards at the end of your turn. Any cards you did not play, reduce the number of cards you draw.
The Legacy Deck

The story of the campaign begins with the prologue on front of the rule book, and then continues in the legacy deck. Each card is printed front and back, and has a title, story text in italic, and instructions in a straight sans serif font. Cards are numbered so the deck can be rebuilt if required.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Legacy Deck

Unwrap the legacy deck and place it in front of the legacy divider.

The first Nemesis

Strictly speaking, the remainder of the setup is done as you read through the legacy deck. I have hidden it under Spoiler Tags in case you want to keep that a secret until you are ready to play. Read the one sheet from step 4, or come back here when you are ready to play.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Chapter 1 Envelope

Envelope Chapter 1 - The Ordeal
Open the envelope and remove the contents. The divider goes into the card well, and will hold the nemesis cards when you pack up the game. A nemesis mat has set up instructions and its difficulty rating on the back. The front of the mat shows the rules required when fighting it, and also its total life, in a red circle just underneath its name. Maelstrom has 99 life, so take the nemesis life dial, and turn the dials until they show 99.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Nemesis Mat

You will have noticed, that on a dial with 2 numbers, 99 is the largest number possible. So the first nemesis you fight in the campaign, has the maximum life that a nemesis can have. This may seem strange, but the challenge of a nemesis is based partly on the life it has, partly on its rules, and partly on its nemesis deck.

Deck 1c
Nemesis Cards
There are 2 parts to Deck 1c. Firstly you have an assist deck. Do not look at, or shuffle this deck. Place it, face down, to the right of the nemesis mat. Draw a card from it when ever you see the keyword “Assist”.

The rest of deck 1c is the nemesis deck. Do not look at, or shuffle this deck either. Place it face down to the left of the nemesis mat. As per the set up of Maelstrom, draw the first card and place it into play. You will draw a new card on each nemesis turn.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Maelstrom Setup

There are 3 types of nemesis cards. Attack cards, which have an immediate effect. Minion cards, that are smaller enemies with an ongoing effect that triggers on each nemesis turn. And power cards, that will trigger after a certain number of turns. A POWER 2 card, has 2 power tokens placed on it. Each successive nemesis turn, will see a power token removed. The cards effect will trigger when there are no power tokens on the card. Some power cards have a way of discarding the card, before it triggers. If a player can meet the requirements on their turn, you can avoid the effects all together.

Aeon's End: Legacy - Minion Cards

The Nemesis Turn

This is very clearly explained on pages 17 & 18 of the rule book. Some important reminders:

  • First resolve the effects of all the cards in play, from oldest to newest.
  • Then, draw a card from the nemesis deck.
  • When you draw an attack card, resolve its effect immediately and discard it.
  • When you draw a minion or power card, add it to the right of any cards currently in play, and place the required life or power tokens on it. Then resolve any Immediately: effect.
  • If you can only fully resolve 1 option on an OR card, you must choose that option.
  • If a player loses all their life tokens on a nemesis turn, they become exhausted. When an exhausted player suffers damage, instead deal twice as much damage to Gravehold. This includes excess damage when a player initially becomes exhausted.
  • When a card deals damage to the player with the lowest life, it always deals that damage to the non-exhausted player with the lowest life.
The First Battle

Fighting the first nemesis doesn’t require too many hints. The play is straight forward, as a first battle should be, and you will get a good sense of how a battle works. The assist and nemesis decks are preset, so the only randomness in game 1 is in the cards you buy from the supply. Use your 1 aether crystals to buy the smaller spells and relics. And use them to get gems, to get the buying power for the big ticket items.

Game conclusion

You …

  • win when you decrease the Nemesis life to 0.
  • win when there are no cards in the nemesis deck, and there are no minions or powers in play.
  • lose when gravehold has 0 life.
  • lose when all players are exhausted.

Good luck. And have fun.

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