Good day one and all! This will be my first blog as a new dad so with that in mind I thought I’d cover something celebrating the wonders of life… But instead I’ll talk about Last Will.
Unlike Paddy’s in depth coverage of Rex and Roll for the Galaxy, this is a post based entirely off my first impressions of Last Will. I’ve only played one game of Last Will so it’ll be interesting to see if and how my opinion of it changes when I get a few more plays under my belt.
In Last Will your Scrooge McDuck-esque uncle has croaked and left you and your extended family his wealth. Well, he’s left you a piece of it – if you want to get all of those shiny shillings you need to prove that you need it most. How exactly? By spending what little he’s given you as fast as possible of course! First person to go broke, wins.
This wonderfully dark comic setup sets the tone for the rest of the shenanigans you’ll get up to in your time at the table playing Last Will. You’ll splash your cash on beautiful and expensive mansions, only to let them fall to pieces so you can sell them at a huge loss; take frequent trips to the theater with your horse sitting in the booth next to you as your guest; and throw lavish parties to let the rest of the cultural elite use your home as a toilet.
It’s a fantastic premise where you’ll find yourself gleefully flinging money around while desperately trying to stay poorer than everyone else! It’s also a really nice twist on other resource management games which typically see you hoarding resources to claw your way up a victory point track.
I think there are two key elements that contributed to my enjoyment of Last Will. The first is the different strategies and options that are immediately available. Our friend Craig was explaining the rules to us and he did a hell of a job because it was a lot to take in! One strategy could be to slowly chip away at your wealth by going to the theater, hiring helpers, or throwing parties. Another could be to blow a lot of money very quickly on property, but then let it fall into disrepair and sell it for less – the crux here being that you cannot win when you own property. I tried a bit of both and managed to walk away with the inheritance!
The second, and what I think is the major factor in the enjoyment I had, is that rather than a round tracker and point score that slowly tick up, you instead have a type of countdown as you wait for someone to lose all their money. It keeps you invested (no pun intended) in other player’s moves. You’re mentally tracking who has what left – maybe someone seems like they’re on the verge of bankruptcy but in truth they have actually invested a lot in property, maybe they’re hiring a tonne of helpers, or maybe they’re spending all their time at the theater. You have to keep an eye out and make your move at the opportune moment!
In case it wasn’t clear I really enjoyed my first game of Last Will, and I think everyone else at the table did too. My wife Marie in particular couldn’t say enough good things about it and is really looking forward to playing again. I’m excited to give the game another go, maybe trying a different strategy, and seeing just how much depth there is here. Maybe it will burn bright and fade away, or maybe it’ll become a stalwart in our game rotation! Who knows. Check back here soon to find out!