This is one in a series of posts regarding the board game Betrayal Legacy. You can access all my other Betrayal posts HERE. This post is Hints & Tips before the Prologue Game, and as such will contain no Spoilers.
Betrayal Legacy, like the original game, has a very quick set up time. This is the advantage of a game which starts so minimalist. A clean slate, building the house from scratch, and finding Items or spooky Events as the players take each turn. Shuffle some decks and a stack of room tiles, and you’re good to go.
Because of this, and the fact that the Campaign starts with a limited number of cards and room tiles, the prep work required before you start the Prologue Game is also very minimal.
Most of the prep work regarding everything we saw during the Unboxing is in removing, and sorting, all the components in the punch boards. The 5 Player Boards make up a large portion of this, and they get set aside. You can put 4 clips on all of them, pointing to the starting stats (in green), which will make sure they don’t get lost, but you can also leave that for the players to do, which might help them take ownership of their House. The stats on the 5 boards are slightly different, and you play with the same board throughout the campaign. If you think having players choose the boards might cause problems, you can roll dice to see who chooses first, or even have people randomly choose the coloured bases and assign player boards that way.
The next largest area in the punch boards is taken up by room tiles. And I will say for the first time, that you only punch the room tiles from the large punch boards and you DO NOT PUNCH THE ROOM TILES FROM THE TILE PLANKS. The Tile Planks are Legacy components, and will be added during the campaign. Feel free to leave them wrapped in plastic until you are instructed to grab some for the first time.
There are 4 starting tiles in the game, marked STARTING on their back. One 3 rooms long for the Ground Floor (Entrance Hall, Hallway and Ground Floor Staircase), an Upper Landing, a Basement Landing and a new addition in this game, the Front Steps, which expands out into the grounds near the house on the hill.
The Starting Tiles are placed on your playing space, leaving some room between then, and during game play, as you move through the doorways of the House, or the paths Outside, you discover new tiles. You check the back of the top tile on the tile stack, and draw it if it matches your location. If it belongs to a different level of the house/outside, then bury the tile to the bottom of the stack, and check the new top tile. Repeat as necessary. Some rooms can belong on more than one floor, and so will have more than one name on the back. Once you have drawn a tile, flip it over, and match a doorway/path to the tile you have just left.
Each room/outside space will have a Symbol on it that will match 1 of the 3 decks in the game, Item, Event & Omen, and when you reveal a room, you draw a card from the appropriate deck. More on that below, when we’ve finished sorting the punch board components.
There are a lot of tokens in this game, because there is so much variability in the scenarios. My suggestion is to keep the most used tokens in a small box, for easy access. The box I’ve got has 8 compartments, and so I’ve organised them according to the suggestion on Page 6 of the rule book.
- Small Monsters
- Small Obstacles
- Searched Tokens
- Character Traits
- Numbered Tokens
- Character Shields
- Item Piles
As more room becomes available in the game box, it might be worth putting the other tokens in a second box. For the moment, I would suggest placing them in the wells found underneath the Tile Planks. This will help keep them in place, and it is no hardship to pull the Planks out when you are instructed to grab one of them.
The only other thing in the punch board is the numbered track. This is used during some Haunts to keep track of the statistics of some Traitors and Monsters. Place this with the Ground Floor starting tile for the moment, while we look at the decks of cards.
The Legacy and Purgatory Decks do not have to be touched before the start of the Prologue Game, so it is fine to leave them shrink wrapped till then. It is just the starting deck we need to have a look at. Opening it up we find we have 20 cards to organise. It won’t take long, and it is probably best just to deal with the backs of them, so that you don’t give any of the surprises away.
The last 2 cards of the Starting Deck are reference cards, for when the Haunt begins. These give the special rules for the Traitor(s) and any Monster(s). If you are new to the game, these will make a lot more sense when a Haunt is revealed, and will be invaluable the first time you play the Traitor. The Monster card is also placed to the left of the last human player to act in a round, to indicate when the Monster(s) take their turn.
The rest of the cards get sorted into two piles; Item & Event Cards. You grab one of these when you reveal a tile with the appropriate Symbol. Like the Tiles themselves, they are labelled with a House Floor and/or “Outside”, so if necessary, you bury cards from the top of the deck until you find one for your location.
The Event Cards generally (but not always) have a one time effect for the person who first enters a Room, and then they are buried at the bottom of the Event deck. Follow the instructions as written on the card, which may include writing on the card, adding a Family Crest, or destroying it after a certain number of uses.
Item Cards are things you keep, and are placed face up in front of you for everyone to see. Most information is available for all players (again, not always) before the Haunt is revealed, and someone becomes a Traitor. Items may give a continuing effect, such as increasing one or more of your stats, or they may be an object which you can choose to use at some point. Some of them require naming, and some of them allow you to make them a Family Heirloom.
Once per game, each player can label an item they discover as a Family Heirloom. Family Heirlooms give you an extra benefit when you control them. There are 9 Family Heirloom stickers for each player, and that is the maximum number you can make during the Campaign. A player can only choose to make an Item an Heirloom on the turn when it is first revealed, and no other player may Heirloom it that game.
People who have played the original game will notice that there are no Omen cards in the Starting Deck. These were the way a Haunt was triggered, revealing the Traitor, and moving the game into the second phase. Things obviously work differently during the Legacy campaign.
The Rule Book
That’s all the prep work required for the components. The only other thing to do is for at least one of the players to read the Rule Book. I would recommend a player that has played the original game should be the GM, though that’s certainly not a necessity. The rules are spelled out very clearly, and game play is very straight forward. Move according to your Speed, and discover new tiles as you go through doorways. Draw a card according to the symbol on the tile, and follow the instructions. Next player takes turn in the same way, etc.
If you have not played the original, I would recommend reading Haunt 0 in the Survival Handbook and Traitors Tome. It is a dummy Haunt, which clearly spells out how the second stage of the game works, and example win conditions for the Heroes and Traitor. Again, it’s clearly spelled out, and easy to follow.
Packing up the Game
Dice go in the well in the bottom right of the insert, and the coloured bases for the characters can go in there, or under the minis themselves. Next to them is the Purgatory Deck, and the sorted cards from the Starting Deck. Finally along the bottom is the Starting Tiles (except the Ground Floor) and the small number of rooms required for the Prologue. Plenty of space there for the new tiles that will be added soon. The large tokens can be placed in the wells at the top of the insert, or in with the dice, perhaps in bags.
The Legacy Decks sit in the top right well, with the Tile Planks in their space holding down the Large Tokens, and covered by the ground floor Starting Tile and numbered track.
Player Boards cover the dice and minis, and the token box sits on top of the Tile Planks. It might sit up a little bit high at the moment, but once the Tile Planks start getting used it will allow the game box lid to sit flush. We obviously need some permanent pens, and my group likes to match their player colour.
The 4 Books sit on top of the Player boards, then the sticker sheet and Folium Infernum cover everything. And with that, you are all set for the Prologue game, and ready to get to your game group.
I hope you have a lot of fun with it. And when the Haunt begins, I hope you have a Lindsay Daviau in your arsenal.