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Charterstone; An Enjoyable Legacy Experience

The problem with creating new weekly emails, is that most of the time I don't have a picture. A good amount of my game time these days has switched to online only, and the problem with online only, is the pictures aren't as nice. That being said, we figured that being stuck at home does give us the opportunity to finally  break out Charterstone

(spoiler free picture and review)

Charterstone is a legacy game from Stonemaier games, and at 4 games in so far, I'm enjoying it but while loving it. Legacy games tend to get more leeway from me, think of it as a TV show on in the background. Even if not great, sometimes you want to finish it just to find out what happened that season. Don't get me wrong...I'm never looking to play a bad game and there was even one legacy game that was uninteresting enough that I didn't finish it...but that's the exception, not the rule. Charterstone is a totally ok experience, I like opening seeing all the new cards, and adding all the new buildings to the board. I like seeing the new sequences I can create and looking at what path to victory I'm going to pursue one game to the next. It's an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Like taking a walk at the end of a long day.

Why is it not great then? Well so far, certain buildings seem way overpowered, requiring people to go there to be competitive that game. Not the end of the world, but takes away from the feeling of being a well balanced engine. And often I find the players are forced to choose between the exploration of new aspects of the game, vs rushing in for the finish. Some pathways will allow you to rush in for the win, but also lower the length of the game and kind of taking away the fun from everyone. And finally, some of the various things you can get in the game, end up being so easy to acquire through different loopholes, that they lose the value of acquiring them (sorry for the vague way of talking, trying to keep this spoiler free).

Charterstone is very comparable to Queensdale, another legacy game my wife and I enjoyed. And while I prefer Queensdale, Charterstone is simpler, prettier and a little less fiddly sometimes. Queensdale just felt more balanced and rewarding in the actions I was taking.

None of those critiques stop Charterstone from being enjoyable. And the fact that you can even play it on Steam makes it something to consider even more these days. I'd even wager there's a decent chance I'd play it again in the future, it's a great entry level legacy game in its complexity (at least so far), and it plays decently at all player counts, although supposedly better at 3+

I wholeheartedly recommend Charterstone. It doesn't do anything groundbreaking, but nonetheless it's a very pleasing and accessible experience.


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