Compare Joan of Arc to that great big bar of chocolate you have tucked away at the back of the cupboard. You know the one. You really want to get it out and gobble it all up, but you also know there would be consequences (a moment on the lips and all that…).
Joan of Arc has its flaws, but nevertheless is a great game, and getting it to the table has its consequences too, just like eating that huge bar of chocolate all in one go. Here, though, it’s all about the time it will steal from you.
Firstly, there’s the couple of hours you’ll spend sorting out the units for your scenario of choice and mounting them in those silly round bases – more on those shortly.
Secondly, there will be the time wasted playing through the scenario a first time whilst trying to figure out the scenario specific rules, and why they don’t quite work as advertised.
Then the fun begins, and you have a great time. The game produces some truly epic moments. It also, at least in my experience, provides nail bitingly close finishes, usually coming down to the very last throw of the dice.
We usually play the same scenario several times in one sitting; there’s no way on earth you’re going to set things up and play a different scenario in the same evening, so don’t even try (unless you’ve figured out some great way of storing everything, pre-mounted on, yes, those stupid round bases!). This has at least proved that things are well balanced, as the results have been close to evens, though I have yet to play all scenarios.
The scenarios are very replayable. We kept playing the same one but trying something new each time. The best tactics aren’t always obvious and it can take a few plays to realise there’s a better way of doing things – never underestimate the power of flight!
But then, once you’ve finished, guess what… Yep, you have to put it all away again!
I think, if I’d just bought the retail version of this game it would see more play. With the extras I have from Kickstarter (still more to come…), there’s just so much content it’s difficult to keep on top of, to store it in a manner that would be user friendly, and to sift through and find exactly what’s needed when it’s needed. Saying that, though, the extras are what see the most use, especially the Apocalypse expansion.
There’s nothing wrong whatsoever with the core rules, but the scenario specific ones let things down, feeling as though they were rushed out and only play-tested by people overly familiar with the game. But things, on the whole, have been improved on since its release and amended versions of the scenarios could be found on Mythic’s Website.
I say could…
Recently Mythic switched servers and there’s now no mention of Joan of Arc to be found, at least I couldn’t find anything more recent than a news post from 2018!
Sam Healy, known for his time with the Dice Tower and now working for Mythic, had this to say on BGG…
“When we switched our website to the new servers those pages we did have for Joan of Arc went 404, but we are slowly doing what we can to rectify that. But the website switch-over coupled with the fact that we’re updating the 1.0 stuff to 1.5 is just making things go a bit slower. Please be patient, for now the KS updates is where you can find things, but as soon as we have final versions of books we will make sure to update here on BGG, too.”BGG, Sam Healy, Sept 11
September 11th! Things aren’t very positive on this front. A company who have just run a Kickstarter for JofA 1.5, hit issues with the designer, and now have no mention of it on their Website… One can only wonder.
Things do appear to be moving towards completion according to updates on the campaign page. My worry is whether the game will see any support from Mythic when it has all being shipped and delivered. We shall see and I remain optimistic.
Right, last thing to address are those bases!
The bases hold two cavalry or three infantry miniatures, and this forms one unit. The problem with being round, though, is that they take up a lot more space than a rectangular base would, both in terms of storage and in play.
Trying to squeeze units into the designated areas on the hexes causes all sorts of issues – was this unit in this one or that one? It also makes things look messy; I pity anyone who plays this and has OCD.
My main issue is storing them. Painted miniatures mounted on round bases obviously takes up far more space than those on a rectangular one. I’m just about to take the plunge in painting the 500+ minis that I have with this game (wish me luck; at my pace I’ll still be at it in ten years time!) and I intend to mount everything on as small a rectangular base I can get away with – it’ll also make it them easy to use for wargames too – so it might just start to appear a little more on the table!
In terms of solo play, well, there aren’t many solo scenarios knocking around, not enough to warrant buying the game for that purpose, but I play the game against myself and have plenty of fun. It is much better, though, played against others and my daughter is my regular foe – fast becoming my nemesis – I just wish she’d let me play the evil side for once!
Knowing what I know now, would I still have bought it? Definitely. Despite the setup issues we’ve had some great games, and I’m sure there are plenty more still to be had. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have added the Legendary battles to my pledge, but would have added something that added more mythical elements, such as the Devil (added to my pledge in the 1.5 campaign).
Will it remain in my collection? Another definite. Even if the game doesn’t get played that often, the amount of miniatures it possess will allow me to put together a decent army for wargaming – I’ve just got to get them all painted!
One Year On – I really enjoy Joan of Arc and whilst it isn’t the most realistic interpretation of a wargame, it entertains and is very good fun. You can replicate, to a degree, the famous battles of the time or throw in the myths and legends to add a bit of fantasy to the occasion, and this aspect is by far my favourite part. The retail version sees the Kickstarter thinned down some, but that in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing and you’ll probably get it to the table more often in that form. If you can get around the drag of setup and you enjoy fast paced wargames, then this may be up your street.
13 thoughts on “One Year On – Time of Legends: Joan of Arc”
Actually wanted to ask about you painting them – good I read till the end! I wonder if some of the monsters would fit 28mm? That’s btw. what really really devasted me about the game: The designs were awesome, only to get to hear those are 10mm (15?)!
I think the best way would painting them and get yourself those magnetized boxes- you then magnetize the bases and the minis so that you can safely story them side by side in the boxes without them getting too dusty and to grab them easy out there again – if you don’t find those boxes, I think they’d be rather easy to make them yourself by simply taking boxes, putting in strong magnetic plates, glueing another botton-plate on top and your good to go. You could easily make more stores that way if you put in hinges in between and as most of the stuff is so small you’d quickly get the whole box in two tall boxes I’d figure.
On another note, please tell me you’re also a Kingdom Death Monster-backer and I’m going to see that stuff here? I always wanted to get see something about how this was played, as I only collect the minis.
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The majority of the minis are 15mm, the humanoids etc., but there are several larger figures that would work with almost any scale, including 54mm – The Beast, Leviathan, Griffin, Tarasque, Cockatrice, and The Devil are the main ones, but some of the others would work too.
I magnetise all my painted minis and keep them in metal storage, it’s definitely the way to go. If you use metal chocolate/biscuit boxes you can stick them to the lid as well!
Kingdom Death Monster. If they run another Kickstarter then I’ll definitely jump on that, but to buy it retail is just too expensive at $400. I’ve thought about buying a few of their minis, though, they really are some of the most detailed out there.
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That’s great to hear for the monsters. I might pick up some off ebay one day then!
Well, then all is settled I’d say … for an eternal painting marathon!
KDM has a black friday sale every year, where you can get the main game for 350 I think – the contents are actually worth it considering its single prices, you get 3-5 big monsters – and I mean BIG – and a bunch of minis, a ton of cards, dice I think and so on.
I don’t really know how their ks and backerit stuff works but I think the regularly add new stretch goals or new waves? I’m sure if there is a an 2.0 or something similar every mini-page will talk about it and I’m pretty sure there will be another one, as the last one pulled in 12mio $… (12 mio $ for a board game – ridiculous :D)
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Glad you’re still enjoying this! 🙂 That’s a lot of minis to paint! Just nipping off to the hidden chocolate stash . . .
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Ah, John, a man after my own heart… can’t keep his hands off his hidden stash!
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It looks to me like (yet another) fun ganme, but given the number of models, the new (to me) scale and the price, I’m glad I skipped this one, as I feel like it’d get a very small amount of time on the table while demanding a large amount of storage space. Much like most of my CMoN and gaming collection, really…
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Yep, you summed it up about right there.
It is a good game, but getting it to the table is a slog; worth it though, but then you have to put it all away again!
Kickstarter has a lot to be held responsible for, what with all those deliciously tempting games containing hundreds of lovely miniatures… it’s difficult to resist!
Hey, I backed JoA 1.5 initially just for the dragon, but ended up going almost all-in as I love the aesthetics of the 15mm scale (I’ve got enough massive AoS models lol). The 1.5 Kickstarter is now a month and a bit overdue and, I suspect, it will be another year at least until backers get the game. It doesn’t seem like Mythic has started production yet on the minis. Factor in all the other Kickstarters Mythic has thrown up and I must admit, I’m growing slightly concerned. Every update is just about the scenarios and rulebook – nothing about manufacturing. From your update, it sounds like you’re still waiting for product from the original Kickstarter?! Is that right? Thanks!
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No, I received everything I pledged for from the original Kickstarter. In the 1.5 I just pledged minimum to get into the pledge manager where I ordered extra dice and The Devil expansion from the original campaign, just enough to get me the 1.5 upgrade for original backers.
The game is great, but Mythic’s handling of it all leaves much to be desired and I for one will never back another of their campaigns.
Customer support is horrific. I e-mailed them during the original campaign several times to no avail and I know there are people out there who are still awaiting their pledges.
As for the 1.5, I just really wanted dice but I just couldn’t resist the lol of that Devil! Then they had the dispute with the designer and it was as if they’d washed their hands of JOA; as you say, the updates seem to be shying away from production and the question of when!
It’s such a shame really, because in the right hands the game could have become much bigger than it has.
Agreed! I love the 15mm scale. I’m not big on the historic or religious aspects of the game but love the mythical part (dragons, undead, etc). For me I couldn’t resist the Siege & Village expansions. I’m honestly tempted to ask for a partial refund and just leave enough for the dragon expansion. I’ll probably miss not getting the leviathan and other cool monsters but at least if they don’t follow through I won’t lose a ton of money. With all that’s going on in the world, Mythic seemingly having moved on to better things, and the overall complexity of the scenarios and setup might be a bit of a turn off…fine for me…maybe not for my wife&kid. :). As you said, it’s too bad really because the game seems to have a ton of potential. Thanks for the info!
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I have the base game painted and based with Tuetonic up to assemble next. I have the models glued on their bases and store them sideways in GW type foam trays. I use trays that are as deep as the diameter of each base, 3 fit in a base game box. The bigger models are mostly in their plastic trays.
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I bet it looks fantastic!
It’s a bit of a catch-22 for me. I don’t play it very often because it’s a pain to set up, but if I had it painted and based it would get more game-time. But, I don’t want to put the huge amount of time in that it would take to paint it all, as it’s not a game I play very often!!
So, it only comes to the table every now and again, when it does though, we have a great time😀