For Christmas 2016 I bought my kids Pandemic Legacy. This is our story There will be game spoilers in this post.
The legacy deck told us to draw a card before the game setup started. We were told to open several items from the dossier. Several things happened, and the game really started to deviate from standard Pandemic.
First C0da-403a mutated!!! C0da-403b is now not treatable and incurable! We named it Super Ebola. This is the yellow disease in our game. So part of Africa, South America, Central America, plus Miami & Los Angeles can become huge problems. Also drawing yellow city cards from the player deck are kind of useless now.
Second we got to open one of those black numbered boxes. Inside there was our first stickers to add to the rule book, Relationships and Quarantine.
Quarantine is a new action that prevents disease cubes from being added to a city. A token is placed when quarantined, and then removed when that city is to be infected. Players must be in that city to quarantine. NEAT!
Also in the Legacy Deck was a new player sheet, the Quarantine Specialist. She has the ability to place a Quarantine token anywhere on the board once per turn. And if she is in a quarantined city its token is not removed if it is to be infected. DOUBLE NEAT!!
Since we won January the government decided our funding should go down. (It’s a game mechanic.) So we only get 2 Event Cards. We chose Resilient Population. That allows us to remove an infection card from the deck. Then we chose the Quiet Night card. For one turn we can skip drawing the infection cards.
We still had the People’s Center for Very Much Good Research in Ho Chi Minh City.
The infection setup blew up in Europe. London & St. Petersburg got a triple dose of blue e. coli along with one for Milan. Manilla was full of red SARS. Black death was spread throughout the mid-east & India. A double dose of yellow Super Ebola hit the board in Johannesburg. We were happy to see so little yellow.
A win in January gave us the bonus to remove a cube from the board before the game started. We removed a yellow since we can’t even treat it.
Finally we chose our roles, assigned relationships, and decided to start in Atlanta.
Me – Dispatcher (again) – Family with Medic
Kenzie – Medic (again) – Co-worker with Medic
Alex – Generalist (again) – Friend with Quarantine Specialist
Carson – Quarantine Specialist (new) – Rival with Generalist
Relationships are little bonuses that we get to chose to put on our characters in pairs. Family gives you an extra action if you start in the same city.
Co-workers can share a city card if only one of them is in the city.
Friends ….which I can’t remember right now
Rivals can discard two cards to pick up a card discarded by their rival. REMEMBER THIS.
The Game Begins….and Blows Up!
We were really worried about yellow. But e. coli had other plans.
Again we hit an epidemic early. Algiers got hit, but worse the reset infection deck immediately brought up Milan putting another cube there. Not much later a second epidemic came along & hit Paris.
I can’t remember exactly how it happened now, but Milan got slammed. In short order we went from calm to two outbreaks in the same city! So Milan was rioting. No flights into or out of that city. Istanbul had two major disease infections in it, and Europe was awash in blue e. coli.
We ran all over the board putting out hot spots, and had a few more outbreaks. Then I noticed a major problem. With half the player deck gone. No one had more than two cards of any color group. We were spread out, and hadn’t cured a thing.
Loss is Inevitable Even if You Cheat
We didn’t cheat, but it felt like it. We found a good strategy for exploiting the Resilient Population card. This card allowed us to remove a city from the infection deck. Event cards can be played at ANY time, even out of turn. Alex & Carson had made their characters Rivals. That ability means a player can immediately discard two cards to pick up a card that was just discarded. They went back & forth playing the card, then discarding two cards, three times to get rid of three cities!
Did we cheat?
The advantage was obvious. Yellow Super Ebola was starting to get out of hand, and we certainly didn’t have time to deal with it. Two yellow neighboring cities were on the brink of outbreak. We pulled two yellow cities from the deck, and then Beijing because it was far away from any of us. This gave us a chance. It cost 6 cards, but 4 of the cards were yellow and two were black which we had just cured.
We spent a lot of time strategizing, but it was too late. We just couldn’t get together, and get lucky draws to get five cards of one color together three times. The player deck ran out.
We played it out, and had there been 3 more cards in the deck we would’ve won. BAH!
It is amazing how close the game comes to going either way on the final moves. Our first game ever finished on the last possible turn before the Player deck ran out.
The game dragged on for awhile, but only because we didn’t want to lose. If we don’t play we can’t lose, right? RIGHT!? …..no.
The Legacy Deck left us with another victory card to scratch off. But we lost. So we just sat there and stared at it in shame. ( ._.)
Next game we’re back to four on funding, and we’ll get to use the January win bonus again since it will still be February.
We forgot to pick out game upgrades. (Win or lose you get two.)
Alex got the game back out, and I told him to just choose two. He decided to build the El ala Carte Center for Disease Research in old Algiers. He also gave the medic the ability to fly to a city without discarding that city card. Very handy!
We’ve played two more games. Come back soon for updates.