Back when Risk Legacy came out, I was intrigued. I’ve still never played Risk, but the very idea of a campaign board game that let you modify stuff and required you to wreck parts of it while you played through was thrilling to me! I had friends who played through, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was not drawn to it enough by the game/theme, however – but when I heard that Pandemic: Legacy (Season 1) was going to be a thing, I basically flipped out. I already love the concept of Pandemic, the cooperative board game – it’s unique and well-executed. I really love the scaled down dice version, Pandemic: The Cure, too! I’m all about fightin’ them germs, I guess.
So far, the game has been a great experience. So much so, I want to write about it not just from a gameplay perspective to give you an idea of how the legacy part of the game works, but also our personal experience of playing through. So here’s the first update from a few games in! (PS. We’re totally playing team red!!) This will spoil up to and including April, be warmed! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
Game 1: January
Players: Nicole, Sean & Adam. Characters: Scientist (Heather McScience), Researcher (Ada Marie) and Medic (Bro Jackson).
As in any regular game of Pandemic, our team started out at the research centre in Atlanta. Things started off fairly slowly, but infection ramped up quickly. The Asia-Pacific region of the board started to get hit pretty badly, as did the Middle East/Africa/Eastern Europe section. We established a research centre in Jakarta to attempt to be close to both of those regions and work on treating the red and black diseases.
We weren’t quick enough to treat the black disease and our first outbreak happened in Baghdad. Thankfully our trusty medic, Bro Jackson, was in the area which helped stop a chain reaction outbreak. Things could have been really bad. Eventually over in the Asia-Pacific region there was a subsequent outbreak, and we then got a mission update. I’m The most prevalent disease – red, now known as CodA-403a) had now become incurable by any known means. We could still treat it, but it was going to be a band-aid solution without being able to fully cure it.
Our initial objective to win the January game was scrapped – and by that I mean that I ripped the objective card into shreds. It had been replaced by a new objective: we now only needed to cure black, yellow and blue to win. And we did, but not before the red disease was able to cause several more outbreaks. I’m thankful for our scientist, who made it relatively easy to find those 3 cures!
We then regrouped to be briefed and head back out into the field. A decision to upgrade the Jakarta research station to permanent was made, and our medic had some quick training that means his treatments have a wider reach in the areas he’s in.
Game 2: February
Players: Nicole, Sean and Adam. Characters: Medic (Bro Jackson), Researcher (Ada Marie) and Quarantine Specialist Felicia Tomkins)
Our researcher Ada Marie’s sister Felicia joined the team, as we were in desperate need of a quarantine specialist due to the issue with CodA-403a. As we travelled about the board treating the various diseases, Ada Marie placed a quarantine in various Asia-Pacific areas to ensure there wouldn’t be outbreaks, which was enormously helpful. As a team we also placed some quarantine areas in Europe to contain outbreaks there.
We managed to cure blue and black, and then cure and eradicate yellow, now known as Old Yeller (which we then made easier to cure anywhere, with an upgrade). Unfortunately, due to further development, red has been upgraded to CodA-403b, and cannot be cured or treated now. This will make our further work quite difficult going into March.
As our funding has now basically run out, we will be relying a great deal on unfunded efforts, such as our Grassroots organizers who will be on the ground in some cities for us, treating what they can with their resources.
Game 3: March
Players: Adam, Sean & Nicole. Characters: Operations Expert (Leroy Malone), Quarantine Specialist (Felicia Tomkins), Researcher (Ada Marie).
Heading back out, we had a new team member join us and give our medic a bit of a break. Ops Expert Leroy Malone works with our Quarantine Specialist Felicia, and it was great to have him on board to get some more facilities out on the map – plus as coworkers, their ability to connect and share information more readily was so great.
Unfortunately, the start of the month was pretty bad for CodA-403b. Lots of outbreaks in the East, which meant we had to get some of the team out there ASAP. Leroy started traveling, establishing military bases which were hugely helpful. We also had our Grassroots organizers come up at a very valuable time to help remove some of the threat from CodA-403b.
The tough part of getting to this moment in the campaign was making sure we could keep CodA-403b under control with quarantine while trying to keep everything else within treatable reach. Two epidemics in a row really pushed those limits for us! It got tough. While putting out CodA-403b fires and getting to a point where we eradicated the blue virus, Old Yeller nearly overtook and ended the game! So close..
We did in the end complete two objectives – cure 3 viruses, and eradicate one. We thought long and hard what our upgrades could be and how they might help. So we make the military base in Paris permanent and now our Quarantine Specialist will be better able to anticipate where we’ll be needed to prevent outbreaks.
Game 4: April
Players: Sean, Nicole and Adam. Characters Characters: Operations Expert (Leroy Malone), Quarantine Specialist (Felicia Tomkins), Researcher (Ada Marie).
Once more into the fray! As a bonus, we got to establish a temporary military station. Unlike our last time out in the field, we had a lot of initial outbreaks around North Africa and Europe. It was great to have that permanent military base in Paris! Leroy worked hard at establishing another two military bases as soon as possible to make transport far easier for the team.
While we thought we had things under control just like the last few months, in reality this just got much bigger than we figured it could ever get. It was discovered that CodA-403 had mutated again, now to CodA-403c. The infected are behaving much differently, and are being referred to as ‘Faded’. There is now no ‘red’ disease, but these faded figures infecting the East.
The first breakout of the mutated CodA-403c was in Seoul, now that virus’ city zero. Reeling from the shock of that we barely had a chance to react to a massive chain of outbreaks of the black virus which left that area of the world overrun and we’d failed..
While we did fail, we will go forward armed with a little more help to combat the Faded, with an unfunded Air Strike which will hopefully be useful. In addition to that we’re ramping up Leroy’s expertise and having him be able to issue quarantine from military bases to surrounding areas. Here’s hoping we can get ahead next time!