A Review of Gascony’s Legacy, Part I. Unboxing, Solo Rules, and First Impressions

Gascony’s Legacy was on Kickstarter back in April 2017. (Wait, is that right? Check around update 8 here: yup). I missed this Kickstarter somehow, but I was able to pick it up from Miniatures Market fairly recently (April 2021). I am pretty sure this JUST came out, because I was waiting for this particular game from my Miniatures Market order. I don’t have any idea if the backers are grumpy (4 years between Kickstarter and delivery?), and I don’t want to know. I just wanted to try this cooperative game!

Gascony’s Legacy is a cooperative game for 1-4 players set in the world of Alexandre Dumas’ Three Musketeers! For the record, the title is a bit of a misnomer: this is not a legacy game (in the sense that you tear up cards and put stickers on the board), but it does have an ongoing campaign with minimal saving of state between games. I have to admit, I am a sucker for the swash-buckling theme of the The Three Muskeeters! I was even thinking of doing a Top 10 Cooperative Three Musketeers Board and Card Games! Here’s the problem, I know of only two that I really like, so this would be a very boring and short Top 10!

  • Gascony’s Legacy: by Lynnavander Studios (2021). See more discussion below.
  • Mousquetaires Du Rey: An old Ystari game (2010).  

We have actually mentioned Mousquetaires Du Rey a few times here in the Coop Gestalt blog: Recently, in the Top 10 Games That Can Be Played Fully Cooperatively and a while ago in  More Cooperative Games Off The Beaten Path.  We really like Mousquetaires Du Rey ! The only question is, do we like it more or less than Gascony’s Legacy?



The game starts with the rulebook (see above). It’s a fairly lengthy rulebook of about 28 pages. Under the rulebook, you find a ton of cardboard: see below.



There’s a bunch of cardboard for the tokens, rooms, and character cards. Even some barrels and braziers? What kind of wacky game is this? It looks like we will be setting up rooms and encounters with the punchouts …

This is definitely a dice game of some sort: there’s a lots of decent six-dice dice with some specialized (!) dice as well (see below)! Most of the challenges in the game will involve rolling dice, but luckily there are tons of ways to mitigate this.



There’s some really nice little metal coins in here. These represent the gold in the game!! They are super nice, but there’s only 6 of them and they pretty small. Still, they are nice …

There is a quite a bit of game in the cards (see above): all the stories and campaigns are on cards, all the weapons/equipment is one cards, the bad news deck, the bad guys: most of the content of the game is here in the cards.


The cards are, unfortunately, not linen-finished. But they are pretty good and easy to read (see above).

Overall, the components are good but not great. I like the way the game looks, although I have to admit I don’t love the cover: I think the cover needs a chaotic, swashbuckling 3D scene to really show off it’s Three Musketeer’s theme!


Unboxing! You see The Rulebook first thing!

This rulebook starts off similar to most rulebooks, then takes a different tact when approaching the game. It starts with an overview (pretty standard):

I’ll be honest, that Table of Contents gives me some confidence that this will be a good rulebook. The next page is the standard list of components (it works fine):


Then the rulebook deviates a little. Instead of jumping into a set-up, it goes over all the components in the game.


You know what? I think this works. It helps me get a sense of what all the components are: this is helping immerse me in the game.

More descriptions of components

And finally we do get to a set-up!


I think this rulebook worked really getting me into the game and familiar with the components. The font was readable, the choice of layout and a few fonts was still suggestive of theme but not so much that it robbed me of readability.

Overall, this was one of the best rulebooks I’ve read in a while. The rules were presented logically, the text was terse but not unclear. There could have been a few more pictures, and the rulebook was a little long, but overall I was very happy with rulebook. I learned the game and had no problem looking up rules when I needed to. The rulebook did not get in the way of me learning the game.

One of the things that gave me the most confidence in this rulebook was that the glossary/index seemed very complete:



Solo Rules


The Solo Play is very clearly defined: see above.   It even leaves the door open to play multiple characters for some variety!  I dream and wish rulebooks will do this!!  Recall, I was a little perplexed that Burgle Bros 2 had NO MENTION of Solo rules even though the game clearly states 1-4 players on the box … so I was glad to see Gascony’s Legacy very clearly puts forth the solo rules. 

Having said that, there was something mystifying during set-up: if you NEVER play fewer than 2 characters, why does the set-up seem to allow for 1 character?   (See set-up card below).  If you are playing two characters for the solo game, it seems (for balancing reasons) that you should play with just as many bad guys as 2 players!  So, I played the solo game as a 2-player game.  This oversight seemed like a rare misstep in the rules.  




This is a Three Musketeer’s game, so of course you have to control of some of the characters from the book! I decided to play my solo game with 2 characters: Athos and Porthos (see above). Each character has a talent (upper part of part) that can be activated by the “wreath” face of the die, and they also have a support (lower part of the card) that can be activated by the “crown” face. The starting equipment is listed under the name.

As you get set-up, you get your standee (with stance token: we’ll get to that) and life, equipment, and “destiny” tokens. Notice the player reference cards off to the right: very helpful!


Let’s talk about the equipment: Gacony’s Legacy has a real interesting idea: when you equip an item, you either (a) equip it on the left (b) or the right. How you equip your sword has a real impact on what spaces you can attack on your turn! The light blue squares (see above) indicate where the Royal Epee can attack, depending on how you equip the sword!! Later in the game, you can get two weapons so you can attack on the left AND right! This is really thematic! And you can only change how your grip by using your action during your turn (which is different from you fight)!

The game set-up is controlled by the story cards: the first one is above. You can play through a full campaign, lasting 40? 50? cards if you like!

The story cards show you what terrain tiles come out. Yes, there are barrels. Yes, they can be rolled over your opponents (but we are getting ahead of ourselves).

All the different “base” enemies you can fight

The story card will show where to put your enemies: at the start of the game, you are just fighting some of the “base” enemies (see above). Later, as you progress into the campaign, you will see the named villains .. they have their own decks!! (See below)

.. but we don’t get the big bad guys until later.

Following the direction on the story cards, you set-up the game! You put barrels, enemies, your standees, and the terrain tiles out to form your battlefield! En garde!

The set-up on the story cards works ok, but it would have been nice if the terrain cards were labelled and the story cards indicated which terrain tiles we needed. It’s not a big deal, since the game doesn’t have a large number of components, but it’s a little thing that could have made the set-up go just a little faster.

Overall, set-up was fine.



The game is all about the swashbuckling sword play!  The way you face and the way you equip your sword (left or right-handed) matters!


In the first game, we see Athos is equipping his rapier on his right and Porthos is equipping his broadsword on his left.  The front of the character is the red and blue “stance” token faces. See below: when you see the characters from the side, you can see the stance token and how they are equipped.  The “blue” side is the primary side where the weapons are equipped!

IMG_8970  If you want to switch hands, you have to use your “action” during your turn.  (On every turn, you have a move, actions, and attack which you can do in any order).  So, you might move to engage an enemy, switch hands, then attack!! 

Now, the enemies have a simple set of rules to follow and attack.  They aren’t quite as complicated as, say, Gloomhaven, but the enemies are no slouch.  When they move to you, they TRY to stay out of your attack zone!  Full rules are well described in the rulebook.

The core of almost everything the players do is a dice role.  4-5 counts as 1 success, 6 counts as TWO successes, and 1-3 fail. The number of dice you roll depends on your character and other factors, but it’s usually about 3 or 4.  There are many things that give the players more dice and re-rolls: Most importantly are the “stones” in the middle of the board which players can use/share when needed:

Even though the dice are pivotal to getting stuff done, (defending, attacking, etc), I never felt I was a slave to the randomness of the dice: there were just so many ways to mitigate them!



I really like Gascony’s Legacy.  There are some similarities to Gloomhaven (the set-up, the movement, the feel, the advancement), but Gascony’s Legacy is a smaller game with smaller feel.  But here’s the thing: I think I’d rather play Gascony’s Legacy than Gloomhaven!  Because it’s so thematic and fun!!  I actually giggled reading the rules when I realized there were rules in the game for:

  1. Jumping on a crate!
  2. Rolling a Barrel towards your enemies!
  3. Throwing a Brazier on your enemies!
  4. Hiding from attacks behind statues!
  5. Gliding from a chandelier!
  6. Dropping a chandelier on your enemies!
  7. Helping your fellow Musketeers (the Support abilities)!
  8. Changing Hands of your sword!  (“I’m not left handed either!”)
  9. Fighting 1 or 2-handed!

There are so many places in Gascony’s Legacy where the theme shines through like a bright light!  It’s fun, it’s silly, but the rules are still very clear and very consistent.   Even though this is a dice game, there are so many ways to mitigating the dice roles! Your equipment helps, you can spend destiny tokens, you can get support from your fellow Mustketeers, you can take a “stone” dice!!  You can still be strategic in your actions, but have the elements of luck give the game “spice!!!”

I realize that part of my enjoyment of this game is the theme: the game captures the theme so well.  The campaign seems ok (I was annoyed that you have to get rid of all your coin between campaigns), but I’ll be curious how far I get!




Gascony’s Legacy is a good game! I like it a lot! I think the theme radiates from the box! It’s fun jumping onto crates, rolling barrels over my enemies and strategizing with my compatriots of how to attack! The campaign itself isn’t totally immersive, but the gameplay is! The rulebook is very good, if a little long, but it presents a game that I really enjoyed.

Is it better than Mousquetaires du Roy? Mousquetaires du Roy is a simpler, card based game that unveils a Three Musketeers story: it’s a different game. I like them both, but Gascony’s Legacy theme shines so brightly I think it elevates it above other Three Musketeers games! Having said that, if you want a simple cooperative Three Musketeers game, Mousquetaires du Roy is the right choice. If you want a fun, thematic, cooperative romp with slightly more complex rules, Gascony’s Legacy is a fantastic choice!

A Review of The Dead Eye: A Solo, 3D Gaming Experience

The Dead Eye was a solo card game on Kickstarter back in July 2020. It promised delivery in November 2020, but it just fulfilled this last week (April 20, 2021). Honestly, I was never worried because the team was very open and transparent about everything going on. A Kickstarter only 6 months late in a COVID year? That’s still excellent! Seriously, these guys ran a nice little Kickstarter.


The Dead Eye is a solo card game … for only 1 person (see back of box above).  There is no multiplayer mode.  


But of course, the main reason I picked it up: it’s got 3D cards and glasses!


Let’s hope it has a good game behind the 3D gimmick!


Kickstarter and extra cards (3 only)

As a Kickstarter backer, I got some extra content … 3 extra cards. Not that much, but it was 3 extra cards (see below). Better than a sharp stick to the eye …. (which is kinda funny in a game where things are 3D, really). The cards below really give you a sense of what the art looks like in the game.

The 3 expansion cards

The game box opens to …

… some plastic baggies. These will be used later in the game to “save your state” (some cards get retired, some cards stay) because it’s a basically a 3 stage game: You have to reach 3 Home Bases (in order) to win the game.

Underneath the plastic bags are the three most important things in the game …


The red and blue 3D glasses!


You get not one, not two, but THREE pairs of glasses! And in fact, they go out of they’re way to give you two different styles of glasses! Little clip-ons (if you like put them on your glasses or just look at the table like a monocle) like above or more “glasses” like that fit over your ears (see below).

I have a big head (no comments please) and the glasses fit fine on my head.

Next comes a 3D comic book. It’s not very long at all, but it has a 3D story and gives you a flavor of what the theme and the 3D visuals will be like in the game. We’ll see more of the comic book below when we talk more about the 3D experience in the game!


Next is the rulebook: we’ll discuss the rulebook a lot more below (foreshadowing).

Next comes your main player board. You can see it folds out.


Front Side of Player Board

The Front Side of the player board has a bunch of Icons that tell you where cards will be placed.

And finally, the cards (see above). They are NOT linen finished.

The cards look pretty cool and the art style is consistent throughout the game. As is the 3D.

There’s one last thing: the plastic slider which will be used to notate where you are in the game (there are 3 stages to the game).


I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty cheap little device and it kinda dents the card when used. It’s used on the SATMAP (below) to make which stage you are on.

But overall, the game has a really unique and thematic art style that permeates every component of the game. The game components (besides the little plastic marker) are really neat.

And we haven’t even talked about the 3D experience yet!

The 3D Experience


Normally, I would go to the rulebook here, but we all know the first thing you will do when you get this game is put on the glasses and look at everything!!! (C’mon, it was the first thing I did). How does everything look in 3D?


So the title on the cards and some of the Icons kind of “float” (see card above) and the background pictures all have some element of 3D to it.

Here’s the thing, this came out MUCH BETTER THAN I EXPECTED. I expected a lot of “red-blue” cards, and there is SOME of that, but the color scheme works really well with the 3D. EVERY CARD in the game has a neat little 3D effect. In the picture above, the little rocket bursts out of the card when you have the 3D glasses on!


Once you are into the game (and know the rules and don’t have to look anything up), the 3D really is fairly immersive!! You can play the whole game WITH your 3D glasses on and read the cards: they are quite legible even with the glasses on. I also recommend keeping the box art up too (see picture above for a game in progress) because that cover picture REALLY POPS with the 3D glasses on!

Let’s be honest here, you are either going to LOOOOVE the 3D or HATE it. And you probably know before you even buy the game (some people get headaches from the red-blue 3D glasses). I was hopeful that the 3D experience would be good. And you know what? The 3D effects on the cards and boards REALLY DO WORK. AND You can still read everything! Once you are playing the game, the 3D effect is very immersive and thematic.

The Comic Book!  More 3D!

The Comic Book works pretty well with the 3D. If I had one complaint about the 3D is that it sometimes it doesn’t span the pages of the comic book very well. The first page looks great, and has a haunting 3D galaxy behind it!

But the next page doesn’t seem to pop because it spans two pages and doesn’t fold down very well. I think the 3D kind of breaks down when it crosses a fold.


But the next page this is probably my favorite scene from the little comic book! 


Overall, the comic book was fun and add a little flavor to the game.  It wasn’t really needed but I’m glad it was there.  It gave me more 3D!!

The Rules and The Rulebook


The rulebook has made some nice graphic design and the font choices are good. You can read it just fine and it’s pleasant to look at. See above.

Continue reading “A Review of The Dead Eye: A Solo, 3D Gaming Experience”

A Solo Mode for Incoming Transmission

Last week, we did a review of Incoming Transmission, a space-themed cooperative game for 2-7 players which is fun game with a logic puzzle feel. The game works by having one player (Mission Control) give information to the other players who are trying to interpret said information (which is garbled in some way). I said in that review that there’s not really a way to have a solo mode in Incoming Transmission. And I was wrong! Let’s take a look at how we can play Incoming Transmission solo!

Changing Perspectives

Shipwreck Arcana

We said previously that “there’s too much implicit information” to do a Changing Perspectives idea for Incoming Transmission. But we were wrong!! The main idea of the Changing Perspectives idea is that the solo player simply changes roles in the game, and plays each role “pretending” not to know any information from the previous role. For example, in the case of Shipwreck Arcana (a game which readily embraces the Changing Perspectives solo idea), the solo player alternates between a clue-giver role and a clue-guesser role. In the clue-guesser mode, the solo player “forgets” everything the clue-giver knew! This is feasible because all the information needed for the clue-guesser is on the board! The state of the board is the ONLY information given to the clue-guesser! See below.

The Shipwreck Arcana on Tabletopia
All information needed by the guesser is on the board!

The key to this idea working is that there’s no critical implicit information: the clue-giver tries to deduce what to do based solely on the state of the board. In case there is a need to make a random decision, the clue-guesser rolls a die.

See this post for more information on Changing Perspectives.

Incoming Transmission has a similar model to The Shipwreck Arcana. there’s two roles: Mission Control (the clue-giver) and the Cadet (the clue-guessers). And it turns out, all information that the clue-guesser needs is either (a) on the board or (b) in the cards.

The state of the board (see above) has the information the clue-guessers need: no more, no less. So, this Changing Perspectives idea can easily be applied!

Too Many Permutations?

The real reason I think I didn’t think this Changing Perspectives idea would work is just how many different permutations there are for the clue-guesser. Mission Control gives 5 cards (“the transmission”) to the Cadet and the Cadet has to arrange the cards in the proper sequence to execute “some plan”. Strictly speaking, that’s 5! = 120 possibilities! And later in the game, “the transmission” can be garbled further by the addition of a random card. That’s puts the possibilities to 6! = 720 outcomes!! Thinking about this, that just seems ridiculous to have to try as a solo gamer!

BUT what makes this idea possible is that only certain cards can be played at certain times! For example, you can’t move off the edge of the board, you can’t swap an item with another item.

If you have a “fix-it” card, you deduce that Mission Control “probably” wants you to fix a broken device or station. (At the start of the game, many of the locations are “broken” (on their red side)).

So, when you start arranging cards, there is only subset of permutations that are legal and a further subset of permutations that are logical. (“Why would you give us a fix and there’s nothing to fix? This must be a garbled card…”) Putting all this together, there are usually only a few permutations that make sense. Once the Cadet has the solution down to just a few, he can role a die to have the choice made.

Solo Rules for Incoming Transmission

To make it easier to enforce the idea of Changing Perspectives, we suggest putting the Mission Control and the Cadet on opposite sides of the table. When it’s time for the Mission Control to give a clue, the solo player moves to the Mission Control side of table and does everything Mission Control does normally. When it’s time for the Cadet to interpret the transmission, the solo player moves to the Cadet side. It’s not strictly necessary to change sides of the table, but we found it really helps to change perspective if you are “pretending” by physically switching sides.

Set-up Incoming Transmission normally, putting Mission Control on one side of the table and the Cadet on the opposite side of the table: Put all Mission Control cards (the mission cards and the transmissions cards) on the Mission Control side of the table. See above.

Set-up the Cadet so the station tiles face the Cadet (and away from Mission Control side). See below.

When it’s time to play, play proceeds normally with the solo player simply alternating sides of the table as he changes roles from Mission Control to the Cadet and back.  In the Cadet role the Cadet is ONLY allowed to use information available on the board to make a decision!   As a Cadet, if there’s multiple permutations of the cards that make sense, the Cadet must randomly chooses a permutation and move forward.   The Cadet can assign value from 1-6 for each possibility and then roll a die.


This isn’t a great solo mode for playing Incoming Transmission, but it’s still pretty fun.  It gives you a way to learn the game solo before teaching the game.    It also is a nice little logic puzzle for a solo player.  In my plays of this as a solo game, I don’t think the Cadet mode (the clue-guesser) ever had to choose between more than 4 different card arrangements, so the game never felt too random.  It was a nice little puzzle.

HOWEVER, this solo mode is NOT for people who like to take wild swings at luck.    Some Mission Control players really like to take wild swings with optimal transmissions that will win the game if the players choose right, but would give the Cadet waaaaay too many other arrangements that could fail miserably.  It can become too hard to count “how many ways can we permute the cards?” and just make the game miserable.  The game only works with this solo mode if the solo player is really trying to restrict the number of permutations.  And that’s why it’s not a great solo mode, it tends to pigeon-hole the solo player into playing a certain way.

A Review of Incoming Transmission

Incoming Transmission was a smallish cooperative board game on Kickstarter back in Februrary 2019. It promised delivery in February 2019 but it only delivered last week (March 2021). It’s about 2 years late! These days, a year late isn’t that bad, but two years late is pushing it a little.


I am still very excited to get Incoming Transmission! It made our Top 10 Anticipated Cooperative Board and Card Games of 2021! Incoming Transmission is a smallish game for 2-5 people lasting 10-30 minutes. This qualifies it for our Top 10 “Small” Cooperative Board and Card Games! Would we have put it in that list? Let’s check out the game below!


The box is a fairly small box (about the size of Solar Storm, another smallish game we looked at).


The game comes with plenty of plastic bags (too many? I suspect I will steal some of these for other games) and some really nice little wooden meeples. The orange meeple is the “cadet” one team will move around the space station. The green meeple is for an expansion that comes with the game.


The rest of the game contains two types of components: tiles or cards (see above).


The tiles are thick cardboard and very readable.  You can see that the game has really embraced the 8-bit computer art aesthetic!


The cards aren’t linen finished, but they are easy to read and decent (see above).. Again, the game really embraces the 8-bit theme.


Overall, the game is very consistent in the 8-bit theme. Assuming you like that look (I do), the game looks pretty.



The rulebook is pretty good. It was readable and I was able to learn the game pretty well. It is a fairly simple game.


The font is legible and the pages are very readable.  


We see the  components list on one page (pretty good: it shows all the components with pictures so that always help) plus some gameplay overview.

The next page (not shown) has the set-up and into the rules.

It’s a simple game and the rulebook was good enough.  I am actually fairly happy that I didn’t have any big issues with the rulebook: in the last few months, a few rulebooks have been less than stellar. 



The game sets-up quickly to a 5×5 grid with the cadet starting in the middle. (Strictly speaking, the green “hat” is for the expansion that comes with the game, but we thought it was so cool we put it on the cadet for our game).

Some locations are in red (which means they are broken and need to be fixed), some locations are in green (which mean they work), and some locations are just empty.

Solo Play


There is no solo play! (Boo for not following Saunders’ Law). This game is a hidden information game with two types of players: the clue-giver and the rest of the players trying to interpret the clues! The premise is that the Space Station is malfunctioning and the lone cadet on the station (being controlled by most of the characters) has to fix things on the station. The communications are ALSO malfunctioning, so Mission Control (the clue-giver) can only send bits of information on what needs to be fixed and sometimes that information is garbled! It’s up the cadet (and the players playing the cadet) to figure out what the Mission Control (the clue-giver) needs!

It’s hard to offer a solo mode in the “clue-giver/clue-receiver” situation. For games like Shipwreck Arcana, where all information needed in available on the board (and there’s no “connotations”), a technique like Changing Perspectives can work. That idea won’t work here because there’s too much implicit information. So, you pretty much always have to have at least 2 players to play: one clue-giver and (one or more) clue-receivers. So, Incoming Transmission has no solo mode.

!!!!! EDIT !!!!! I was completely wrong!!! There is a nice solo mode in Incoming Transmission!!! See a later blog post here!!!


The object of the game is for the cadet to complete 3 missions before the transmission deck (7 cards) runs out. (The 3 mission objectives are hidden from the cadet players). Each mission needs the cadet to fix “something” on the ship. Fixing something means two things: (1) Turn item(s) to the green side (so they are operational) and (2) moving the fixed items/locations next to each other. In the example above, you need to move the Android item next to the Comlink module to complete the mission.


The missions have a lot of “flavor text” but the idea is to get card A next to card C in the 5×5 grid.

The clue-giver character gives 5 cards to the cadet characters every transmission. These 5 cards tell the cadet how to move arround the station and what things to pick up and fix. The only problem IS THAT THEY AREN’T IN ORDER! The clue-giver has to give directions (move n, fix, pick-up, drop) in such a way that he gives enough information to fix what’s broken but still “imply” what needs to be done! This is a logic puzzle where the clue-giver tries to “imply” things or make it clear what needs to be done! The 5 cards (in some random order) are the ONLY informations bits given to the players!!

The players have 7 turns to complete 3 missions. The missions don’t have to be completed in order, and in fact, you NEED to be completing multiple missions at the same time to win! There are ONLY 7 turns (“transmissions”). If you haven’t completed all 3 missions at the end of the 7th turn, the space station blows up and everybody loses.



This is a puzzle game. It’s pretty straight-forward. The clue-giver has to figure out the best way to give info to the players, and the players have to decipher what the clue-giver meant. It’s fun. It’s not super-deep, but it’s also not a light filler game. There’s just enough depth to make this a challenging little puzzle without frying anyone’s brain too much.

Our first play was 3 people and we think that either 2 or 3 people is the right number of people: the game says you can play up to 6, but it probably be boring for a lot of players who aren’t right next to the cards (the 5 clue cards). If you have some younger kids, they could probably “help”, but at the end of the day, 1 clue-giver and 1 or 2 clue-receivers seems to be the right amount. It’s nice to have a second clue-receiver “verify” and “bounce ideas”, but too many more would muddy the waters too much.



We waited 2 years for Incoming Transmission … was it worth the wait? Yes. This is a fun little game that probably would have made our Top 10 “Small” Cooperative Board and Card Games had we gotten it earlier. It’s not a super deep game, and it probably won’t come out all the time, but it’s a light cooperative puzzle for 2-3 people (too many more is probably not recommended) that’s a fun 10-30 minutes of gameplay.