Pandemic Legacy November Playthrough

After a rough loss in both games in October (see Pandemic Legacy October Playthrough and Pandemic Legacy October Playthrough Part Two) the Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club (info here ) now was moving on to November.

— SPOILER ALERT BEGINS HERE —

IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THE NOVEMBER EPISODE OF PANDEMIC LEGACY YET, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG UNTIL YOU DO. PLENTY OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE EPISODE IS REVEALED HERE.

— SPOILER ALERT ENDS HERE —

Recap: In the first ten months, the disease in Asia (i.e. the red cubes) mutated into the non-treatable and incurable COdA virus. In April the virus further mutated into the COdA-403c virus and the afflicted became the Faded, with ground zero for the new mutation in Ho Chi Minh City.  We suffered a crushing defeat in our first attempt at the May episode as Moscow melted down, while the Blue and Yellow viruses spread like wildfire across the Americas and Africa.  In a heroic effort in the second episode of May, we triumphed and kept the diseases under control.  A rather lucky draw of cards in June allowed us to triumph in our first attempt.  But now the government was barely funding events and in our first attempt in July we lost so quickly that one of the three players didn’t get a second turn! We did however find the Virologist.  In our second July attempt we managed to triumph despite long odds.  In August, we had an unlikely victory and found the Immunologist. In September we found the Paranoid Solider and learned that we had been duped!  A mysterious organization known as Zodiac instigated the COdA virus in order to control the world.  Now we would have to dismantle the oppressive military state that we helped to build up.  We wiped out in both attempts in October, but we did find Patient Zero and a possible vaccine.

November Setup

We had no permanent military base stickers left, so we did not have to add any new military bases to the board.  We drew the 9 infection cards and then selected our 4 Funded events: Local Initiative, One Quiet Night, Remote Treatment, and Resilient Population.  We picked our characters (listed below) and started in Kolkata.  By random draw, Stew was going to go first.

Characters and Turn Order

  • Stew – Dispatcher
  • Bob – Immunologist
  • Neal – Scientist
  • Lee – Researcher

Gameplay

Turn One

Dispatcher — Shared Knowledge to take Osaka from the Researcher, moved to Bangkok and then Jakarta (by discarding Osaka because Jakarta has a 4 on it), and then Sabotaged the military base that gave us fits in October.  During his draw phase, the Dispatcher drew the Bioreactor and puts 3 doses at the Vacc Center in Kolkata.

Immunologist — Picked up 4 doses in Kolkata, moved to Chennai, Vaccinated the city, then moved to Kolkata.

Scientist — (5 actions this turn) Shared Knowledge with the Researcher to give away Tokyo (which is also the Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells), moved to Bangkok, picked up 2 doses, then moved to Ho Chi Minh City and then Vaccinated it.  City Zero of the Faded epidemic was now a safe place!  During the infection step, he drew Bangkok which had been Vaccinated in a previous game.

Researcher — Picked up 2 doses, moved to Hong Kong, Vaccinated 1 Faded and then Vaccinated Hong Kong.  Six Faded cities were now vaccinated so Objective #1 was met and we tore up the card.  ** Note: we were very suspicious that the game wanted us to vaccinate only 6 Faded cities.  We suspect that we should keep vaccinating cities because this smells like a set-up, much like the military base fiasco.**

Turn 2

Dispatcher — Moved to Chennai then took flight to Khartoum, moved to Lagos and then used Shady Background to Sabotage the military base there by discarding the Bogota card.  That was now 2 military bases Sabotaged so Objective #2 was met!  He then drew Epidemic #1 in Milan.  We used Resilient Population to remove the Milan infection card from the game.

Immunologist — Picked up 2 doses, moved to Hong Kong, Shared Knowledge with the Researcher and took a yellow card, then cured BSNL-419 (Yellow, no action) and Vaccinated Taipei remotely.

Scientist — Moved to Manila, then San Francisco, then Chicago and treated 1/2 cubes.  Drew a Bioreactor card and used it to put 3 doses in Kolkata.  Drew Epidemic #2 in San Francisco.  During the infection step drew San Francisco (what bad luck for Outbreak #1)!

Researcher — Moved to Kolkata, flew to Atlanta, moved to Chicago and then treated 1/2 cubes.  During the infection step both Madrid and Sao Paolo got their 3rd cube.

Turn 3

Dispatcher — Dispatched himself to Chicago, Shared Knowledge to give Chicago card to the Scientist, moved to San Francisco and treated 1/3 cubes.  Played One Quiet Night.

Immunologist — Moved to Manila, Vaccinated 3/3 Faded, then remotely Vaccinated Sydney, and treated the single blue cube in Manila.

Scientist — (5 actions) Shared Knowledge with the Researcher and Cured Fischer-Titus (Blue).  Two viruses down!  Then moved to Montreal, New York, Madrid and treated 3/3 cubes.  Drew Milan during infection step for Outbreak #2.

Researcher — Treated Chicago 2/2 cubes, moved to Montreal and then New York, and treated 2/2 cubes.

Turn 4

Dispatcher — Direct flight to London, moved to Essen and then St. Petersburg and treated 3/3 cubes.

Immunologist — Moved to Ho Chi Minh City, Vaccinated Jakarta remotely, moved to Bangkok and grabbed 11 doses.  Drew Epidemic #3 in Karachi.  During infection step drew Sao Paolo for Outbreak #3.

Scientist — Moved to Paris, treated 1/1 cubes, moved to Milan and treated 3/3 cubes.  Used Remote Treatment to take both Moscow and Karachi down from 3 cubes each to 2.  During infect step both Mexico City and San Francisco went up to 3 cubes.

Researcher — Moved to Madrid, Paris, and then Milan.  Shared Knowledge with the Scientist.  Drew Epidemic #4 in Essen.  During infect step drew San Francisco for Outbreak #4.  There were cubes all over the place at this point!

Turn 5

Dispatcher — Moved to Essen, treated 3/3 cubes, moved to Milan, treated 2/2 cubes.  During infect step drew Sao Paolo (Outbreak #5) and then Mexico City (Outbreak #6) which led to chain Outbreak #7 in Bogota and then chain Outbreak #8 in Buenos Aires and the game was over!  We came up just short as we almost ready to cure Sprague (Black) in the next couple moves.

The board at the end looked like this:

pan-leg-nov-1

Panoramic view of the end–outbreaks of BSNL-419 (Yellow) everywhere!

End Game Upgrades

After 3 losses in a row, we were demoralized but determined to make the board look better in future games.  We chose to give the Researcher the Hero upgrade (can Self-Sacrifice at any time with an action) and to add 3 equipment stickers (Parachute, and 2 Grenade Belts).  We moved our Funded Event total to 6.  We also wondered whether it might be useful in the next game in November to lose on purpose in order to see what was in Box #8 (the “open this box if you lose 4 games in a row” box).  After all a win would lower the Funded Event total to 4 and give us a Win Bonus, but a loss would move the event total to 8 and open Box #8.  Which way to go?  I guess we will just have to wait and see how the next game goes and choose at that time.

Pandemic Legacy October Playthrough Part Two

After a rough loss in the first game in October (see Pandemic Legacy October Playthrough) the Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club (info here ) now was giving it a second try at winning in October.

— SPOILER ALERT BEGINS HERE —

IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THE OCTOBER EPISODE OF PANDEMIC LEGACY YET, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG UNTIL YOU DO. PLENTY OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE EPISODE IS REVEALED HERE.

— SPOILER ALERT ENDS HERE —

Recap: In the first nine months, the disease in Asia (i.e. the red cubes) mutated into the non-treatable and incurable COdA virus. In April the virus further mutated into the COdA-403c virus and the afflicted became the Faded, with ground zero for the new mutation in Ho Chi Minh City.  We suffered a crushing defeat in our first attempt at the May episode as Moscow melted down, while the Blue and Yellow viruses spread like wildfire across the Americas and Africa.  In a heroic effort in the second episode of May, we triumphed and kept the diseases under control.  A rather lucky draw of cards in June allowed us to triumph in our first attempt.  But now the government was barely funding events and in our first attempt in July we lost so quickly that one of the three players didn’t get a second turn! We did however find the Virologist.  In our second July attempt we managed to triumph despite long odds.  In August, we had an unlikely victory and found the Immunologist. In September we found the Paranoid Solider and learned that we had been duped!  A mysterious organization known as Zodiac instigated the COdA virus in order to control the world.  Now we would have to dismantle the oppressive military state that we helped to build up.  We wiped out badly in our first attempt in October, but we did find Patient Zero and a possible vaccine.

October Part Two Setup

By random draw all 3 of the x3 infected cities were Faded cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta-which also got a military base b/c it was drawn first-, and Hong Kong)!  9 Faded on the board after drawing 3 cards, yikes!  We selected our 2 Funded Events (One Quiet Night and Local Initiative) and added them to the Player deck.  We selected characters and decided to start in Kolkata.   We used our September Win Bonus to add a Grenade Belt to the Johannesburg card held by the Dispatcher.

We didn’t know it yet, but that randomly placed military base in Jakarta was going to ruin our game.  Because you get penalized extra actions to vaccinate when a military base is present in the same region, we were not going to be able to vaccinate any Faded in Southeast Asia for the entire game.  We really needed to sabotage that base immediately, but we never had the card to do it.

Character Selection and Turn Order

For the first time in a while, Stew is not going to go first!  Bob was drawn as the first player, so the turn order looks like this:

  • Bob – Operations Expert
  • Neal – Quarantine Specialist
  • Lee – Immunologist
  • Stew – Dispatcher

Our plan was to try and Sabotage military bases and build Vaccination Centers.  We would try to cure the 3 non-COdA viruses if we could, but winning the game wasn’t the first priority; trying to get the board ready for November was our overriding concern.

Gameplay

Turn One

Ops Expert — Because the Ops Expert is a family member with the Dispatcher, he will get 5 actions this turn.  First, he put a Vaccination Center in Kolkata, then moved to Bangkok.  Put a Vaccination Center in Bangkok then flew to Chennai by discarding the New York card.  He then put a Vaccination Center in Chennai.  Objective #1 (3 Vacc Centers) completed on the very first move!!!  Then he drew Epidemic #1 (boo!) in Manila.  The Immunologist played One Quiet Night in order to skip the Infect Cities step as the deck was only 10 cards deep and 4 cities had 3 cubes/Faded in them.

Quar. Specialist — Quarantined Jakarta then moved to Hong Kong and quarantined it too.  Then moved to Bangkok.  The Ops Expert used Airstrike on Ho Chi Minh City just in case we were about to draw it.  We didn’t.  We drew Jakarta (which removed the quarantine marker) and Mumbai (2 cubes).

Immunologist — Picked up 2 doses in Jakarta, moved to Bangkok and vaccinated Bangkok (our 1st Vaccinated city).  He then remotely vaccinated Hong Kong (1/3 Faded).  He used Tactical Centers Now Online to place roadblocks around Faded areas to limit their spread.  He then drew San Francisco (2 cubes) and Manila leading to Outbreak #1.

Dispatcher — Picked up 1 dose in Jakarta, moved to Shanghai and Vaccinated it (Vacc city #2).  He drew 2 yellow cards and immediately cured BSNL-419 (no action required, nor being in a research center, and 1 card less).  In the infection step Tehran (3 cubes) and Miami (3 cubes) both got worse.

Turn Two

Ops Expert — Moved to Kolkata, flew to Atlanta, moved to Miami and cured 1/3 cubes.  During infection step drew Khartoum (3/3) and Ho Chi Minh City (Outbreak #2) which led to chain outbreaks in Jakarta (Outbreak #3), then Manila (Outbreak #4), then Hong Kong (Outbreak #5) and turned Chennai and Kolkata into Faded Cities.  Things were getting bad very quick due to the rough draw at the start of the game.

Quar. Spec. — Quarantined Hong Kong, picked up 2 doses, moved to Jakarta and vaccinated the 1 Faded there.  During the infection step he drew Hong Kong and removed the quarantine marker and then Istanbul (2/3).

Immunologist — Picked up 3 doses, moved to Jakarta and Vaccinated (now a Vaccinated city) and then vaccinated two Faded in Hong Kong (1/3 now).  Drew Lima (1/3) and Delhi (1/3).

Dispatcher — Flew to Miami, moved to Lima, and treated it (1/1).  Drew Mexico City (1/3) and Paris (1/3).

By this point we were running around putting out fires more than getting anywhere towards sabotaging military bases or curing diseases.  We didn’t have any cards in our hands that were where the military bases were located and no one had any C2 either.  We realized that we were not going to get it done and just hoped for some good luck to give us a few more moves.  That random military base in Jakarta was crushing us because we couldn’t vaccinate those Faded cities in the same region.

Turn Three

Ops Expert — Moved to Atlanta by discarding the Khartoum card then treated it (3/3) and flew to Lagos.  He drew Epidemic #2 in Karachi.  During the infect step he drew Mumbai (3/3) and then Ho Chi Minh City.  We could never get HCM City vaccinated because of that military base in Jakarta…and now we were going to pay for it!  HCM City had an outbreak (#6), which led to and outbreak in Jakarta (#7) and then Manila (#8) and the game was over!

Here is a panoramic photo of the end:

pan-leg-oct2-01

The short of the story: sometimes Pandemic Legacy is all about luck of the draw!  Drawing 9 Faded onto the board right next to each other on the first 3 draws led to a mess.  Having the military base be placed in Jakarta compounded the problem.  Then, NOT drawing the Jakarta card nor any of our C4 led to us never being able to sabotage that base.

Endgame Upgrade

We exchanged our temporary Vaccination Centers in Kolkata and Bangkok for permanent centers.  We then moved the Funded Event total to 4.
Onward to November and hoping for some better luck.