I’m a big fan of the Legacy game format (as discussed in Episode 6 of our podcast) so this makes me sad to admit: I’ve never finished one. I’ve only started two (Risk Legacy and Pandemic Legacy Season 1) but the only reason I haven’t bought and played not finished more is that I put myself on a game-buying freeze about the time Seafall came out. So here I am with two games sitting on my shelf that not only are unfinished but are unfinishable as well.

I find myself in this situation for 2 reasons:

  1. I have a very young family which does not afford me much time to play games. It is hard enough to get any games to the table with a variety of groups, harder still to play a single game multiple times with the same group.
  2. The people that I started these two Legacy games with have since moved away.

Finishing a Legacy game just isn’t in my near future and I have come to a temporary truce with myself on this.

Sure, I could get new groups for them but I don’t want to. To me, Legacy games promised a shared story with a single group of people. That is what I am interested in so changing groups wouldn’t work for me.

Finishing a Legacy game just isn’t in my near future and I have come to a temporary truce with myself on this. This leaves me with two cardboard paperweights on my shelf. What am I supposed to do with an unfinishable Legacy game? Here are some options I’ve come up with.

Open Everything

One of the main draws to a Legacy game is the hidden components. If you won’t be able to see them come out during gameplay you should at least be able to see them. Go ahead. Open it all up.

Simulate the rest of the campaign

You could find a way to simulate the remaining games quickly. Or you could solo-play through the rest (especially if is cooperative). Either way, the goal would be to get some satisfaction and play out of it and bring it to a finished state.

Give it away

If you can’t enjoy it, find someone who can. An obvious person would be one who was part of the original group. Maybe they would be willing to finish it with a separate group. Or maybe they would be interested in it as an artifact. Salvation Army or Goodwill are always options if you must get it off your shelf.

Salvage the Components

Are you a game designer? There are probably some great components you could salvage from it to use in prototyping your next game.

Destroy It

While I would always prefer giving it away if possible, you might get some catharsis by disposing of it either in the trash can or a firepit. If a game sitting on your shelf is weighing on you this might feel good.

Alternatives

So, you and I can’t finish a Legacy game (yet). Sad, but not the end of the world. I never like to leave things on a down note so let’s talk about some alternative games that can give you similar experiences.

TIME Stories
Legacy games usually take at least twelve games with the same group to finish a campaign. I can’t make that happen. But I could do two or three games of a T.I.M.E. Stories scenario. Each game of a scenario builds on the last. So while it isn’t a Legacy game it gives a similar feeling in a much shorter time frame.

Escape Room Games
These aren’t even a campaign but the way they are similar to a Legacy game is that they are consumable. I am speaking of Exit and Unlock. There is something about playing a game that has a definite ending that feels good to me. The best news is that you can get a game of Unlock done in 1 hour – perfect for those with limited time.

Rise of Fenris
Admittedly, I have not played this one yet. What it promises is a small campaign for a game you might already own – Scythe. Fenris also allows you to use the campaign modules as standalone to change up Scythe a bit. The good thing here is that even if you don’t finish the campaign in Rise of Fenris you still have a great base game that you can continue to play.

Mechs vs Minions
If you are looking for a light campaign game that has some packets to open and secrets to unlock then this is a good one. There is nothing about the campaign that implies it should be played by the same players (to me anyway).

And these are just a few. What has your experience been with Legacy games? What did you do with one you couldn’t finish? What are some alternative games you like to play when you can’t play/finish a Legacy game? Please share!