The Shoulders of Giants
A Look at the Antiquity Team of Legendary Inventors
"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Legendary Inventors is a two to four player game that pits teams of history’s most notable and impactful inventors against each other in an effort to shape the course of technological history. In each of these contests, teams will leverage their inventors’ abilities in physics, chemistry, mechanics, and mathematics to contribute to such fascinating inventions as the zeppelin, the telephone, the sun dial, and more. By cleverly managing how and when players contribute to these inventions and which rewards each player receives from their completion, players compete to collect victory points in a variety of ways and become the most legendary inventor by the end of the third age.
Today, we’ll take a look at the Antiquity Team, its strengths, weaknesses, and how to maximize these inventors' considerable talents during your games of Legendary Inventors.
The Foundation Upon Which to Build
Among the variety of delightful components you’ll find in your copy of Legendary Inventors, the Biographical Booklet is a distinct prize. Each of the inventors included in the game is allocated their own page, detailing their successes, their failures, and their invaluable contributions to the advancement of the modern world. This also provides considerable context for why each of the inventors are teamed as such, grouped by the period in which they operated.
The Antiquity Team boasts such classic inventors and philosophers as Archimedes, Aristoteles, Hyppokrates, and Hypatia. Though forced to work with arcane tools and on an earth that was believed to be the center of the universe, the minds of these legends are no less sharp than any modern competitor. Each inventor boasts a suite of knowledge levels in the different scientific areas of:
For our green team here, Aristoteles boasts a starting level of one in both physics and chemistry, Hyppokrates brings a level two chemistry to the table, Archimedes a level one in physics and mechanics both, and Hypatia a level one in physics and mathematics both.
Right away, we see a lack of knowledge in the schools of mathematics and mechanics on the Antiquity Team. They certainly make up for this with their boon of understanding in the fields of physics and chemistry, but Hypatia is the only inventor dealing strictly with numbers, and she offers only the lowest level; the same goes for Archimedes and mechanics. Granted, this knowledge can be upgraded (something we’ll discuss later), but at the start, this seems like quite the disadvantage… or is it?
A player’s first instinct in Legendary Inventors will be to maximize their input, focusing on contributing to the inventions they can complete on their own or at least easily garner a majority contribution. This gets players their choice of reward when the invention is complete, but the top two contributors from other teams will still reap some benefit. Oftentimes, and especially in the first and second ages, even a small contribution can garner a secondary or tertiary reward, and this is where inventors like Hypatia and Archimedes can really shine.
Though the number of available inventions scales with the number of players, it’s very possible that, if a player focuses on it, a player can claim a reward from each completed invention by contributing to each technology. Spreading one's efforts thin may not garner the most coveted awards, but players will soon find that collecting the greatest number of rewards often outweighs the benefits of only getting the single reward wanted most.
In this example, the Blue player places the final cubes on The Flint Axe, but due to the Hypatia’s initial contribution earlier in the age, the Antiquity player will get the second choice among rewards, even though they placed the lowest number of cubes.
With this kind of knowledge available, the Antiquity Team can position their inventors so that, no matter what, they're always going to be getting a reward when an invention is completed. This can provide an invaluable boost, especially into the later Ages of the game.
A particular strength of the Antiquity Team is their competence in both physics and chemistry, and the particular distribution of both. Only one other team can match them in each category when beginning the game, meaning that your inventors’ particular combination of skills is invaluable, especially in the First Age. Among the available inventions at the start of the game, ten of the twelve require a knowledge of physics to complete. This means that, with three of the four inventors holding a level one in physics, no matter which invention they set to work on, their knowledge of physics will almost always add useful cubes. This means the Antiquity player can focus on each inventor's supplemental knowledge to inspire their work, knowing that they're are maximizing contributions without muddying strategy.
Another strength is the specific knowledge of chemistry on both Aristoteles, with a chemistry level of one, and Hyppokrates with his considerable level of two. Only half of the inventions in the First Age require chemistry, but having dedicated chemists at your disposal means that all other teams will actually require their contribution, giving the Antiquity Team a chance to focus on these rare inventions.
Being able to place two cubes on a single row is not to be underestimated, especially when the technology pool is so limited. Playing the Antiquity Team, consider their knowledge of chemistry a rare resource that others will need, if they don’t want to squander their efforts completing difficult and time-consuming technologies. Being able to commit Hyppokrates to a technology like the Oil Lamp to complete the invention, and quite possibly become the majority contributor, is something with which few other teams can compete.
All Men by Nature Desire Knowledge
Another strength of the Antiquity Team is their progress targets. One way to earn victory points in Legendary Inventors is by hitting progress targets—individualized goals of each inventor for personal scientific improvement. Individuals like Aristoteles appreciate all schools of science, and his progress target reflects this perfectly. Only requiring a level one in each school of knowledge, Aristoteles’s target is one of the easiest to hit. You see, every reward token to be accrued upon the completion of inventions has two sides: one with a progress level, victory points, availability, additional knowledge, or a classification number; and the other with a level one progress number. This means that, as long as the Antiquity player adheres to the general spread of the Antiquity Team’s contribution strategy outlined above, they will absolutely achieve Aristoteles's progress target. Nabbing three victory points at the end of the game from this progress target could very well be enough to put this team over the top!
The other inventors are slightly more challenging to upgrade, but with the spread of influence across all inventions in all ages, grabbing even the dregs of the reward tokens available, the Antiquity Team is sure to march into the modern ages as the premier influencers of technological advancement. After all, these are the giants to which Isaac Newton always accredited his success; now, you can bring them to life in Legendary Inventors!
Legendary Inventors will be in stores in the fourth quarter of this year.