After purposely throwing our fourth loss in a row, the Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club (info here ) now was ready to finish off the long campaign of Pandemic Legacy in December.
— SPOILER ALERT BEGINS HERE —
IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THE DECEMBER 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 eleven 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. In our first game in November we started vaccinating Faded cities and in our second November game we vaccinated ALL the Faded cities while losing our fourth game in a row.
We purposely lost in November in order to make December much easier (Funded Event total of 8, 3 bonus cards from Box 8, all Faded cities Vaccinated, etc.). Let’s see if it paid off!
The Mission Briefing asked us to tear up all our old objectives and replace them with new ones. We now had to destroy the secret stockpile of COdA and Vaccinate every Faded city. Good thing we already completed that 2nd objective in November, isn’t it?
The find and destroy the secret stockpile objective came with a search card. Unlike others in the past, this search would require us to discard player cards of specific colors in order to advance the search.
We drew the 9 infection cards and then selected our 8 Funded events: Local Initiative, One Quiet Night, Remote Treatment, Airlift, Borrowed Time, Forecast, Flexible Aid Package, and Resilient Population. We also inserted the 3 Experimental Vaccine cards that we gained in November. We picked our characters (listed below) and started in Atlanta. By random draw, Stew was going to go first.
Given that we had already completed the Vaccinate all Faded cities objective, we were going to concentrate on staying in or near Atlanta and finding that stockpile! We would mop up cubes and Quarantine cities as necessary to stop Outbreaks from chaining.
Characters and Turn Order
- Stew – Dispatcher
- Bob – Researcher
- Neal – Scientist
No surprise here folks! This tried and true three-way combo of characters should be able to trade cards quickly enough to get the search done.
Dispatcher — Searched with a Red card (search=1), Treated 1/1 cubes, moved to Washington D.C. and Treated 1/1 cubes.
Researcher — Shared Knowledge to give the Scientist a Yellow card. Flew to Baghdad, moved to Istanbul and Treated 1/1 then moved to Algiers. Drew Epidemic #1–but it got cancelled with the Experimental Vaccine. Thank you box #8! We then used One Quiet Night to skip the Infection Step.
Scientist — Searched (search=2) and Quarantined Atlanta, then moved to D.C. and Quarantined it too.
Dispatcher — Moved to Atlanta, Searched (search=5), then Dispatched himself to Algiers and Treated 1/2.
Researcher — Treated Algiers 1/1, moved to Madrid, Treated 1/2 and then Treated 1/1.
Scientist — Moved to Atlanta, Searched (search=8) and then forfeited his two remaining actions. He didn’t want to move out of Atlanta so that the Dispatcher and Researcher could return there.
Dispatcher — Dispatched himself and the Researcher to Atlanta. Shared Knowledge to get a Blue card from the Researcher and then forfeited his final action.
Researcher — Shared Knowledge to give a Black card to the Dispatcher. Moved to D.C. and then Montreal, Treated 1/1, and Quarantined Montreal.
Scientist — Searched (search=9), moved to Miami, Treated 1/1, then Quarantined Miami.
Dispatcher — Searched (search=10), dispatched the Scientist and Researcher to Atlanta, then Shared Knowledge to give a Blue Card to the Researcher. Drew the 2nd Epidemic Card (which is now our 1st Epidemic) in Vaccinated Sydney. The Search target moved from 12 to 13.
Researcher — Shared Knowledge three times: Yellow card to Scientist, Blue card from the Dispatcher and a Red Card from the Dispatcher. Searched (search=12) and forfeited his 5th action.
Scientist — Flew to Baghdad and Treated 1/1 and then Quarantined it. Then flew back to Atlanta. Drew Epidemic #2 (third Epidemic card drawn) in Chicago. We used Resilient Population to discard the Chicago Infection card. Then we used Remote Treatment in St. Petersburg (2/2). Then we moved the Search target from 13 to 14.
Dispatcher — Moved to Chicago, Treated 1/3, then 1/2 and then Moved to Atlanta.
Researcher — Shared Knowledge to get a Red card from the Dispatcher. Searched for the win! (search=14=search target). We found the Stockpile, completed the 2nd Objective and scratched off “The Stockpile” card.
What?!? We didn’t have to use the C4 that we were hoarding in our hands to blow up the stockpile? That was a complete let down. We were looking forward to actually “blowing” it up.
Anyway, we completed both objectives and had now won the game. We flipped over the winning card and read this…
That’s it?!? “Congratulations. At long last…it’s over.” What a crock! Huge let down. That was really awful.
But wait, there were still a couple cards in the Legacy deck. Maybe something cool still awaited us.
Nope. It was a card that allowed us to rank our success. We won…and now the game was going to tell us that we didn’t win well enough?!? What a double-crock. It just felt really wrong and misguided. I expect success/fail ranking in two-player games that can be played multiple times (think Avalon Hill, GMT, Decision Games, etc). But in a multiplayer cooperative game it fell flat. After all, in cooperative games the goal is to win. Failure is normal, so winning really counts for something. This ranking nonsense kind of cheapened it.
The back side of the card had the score sheet.
We tallied it all up and we earned a 637=recovery and progress. Who cares? We didn’t.
After 12 months of playing Pandemic Legacy, the gang at the Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club agreed on the following:
- It started out pretty fun.
- The Faded popping up was cool.
- The game waned badly in the last few months.
- The ending was awful.
- It ate up about 18 weeks of meeting for games–which pushed out other games that we could have played.
- We are NOT going to play another season of this game.
- And that I, your faithful narrator, needed to get on www.boardgamegeek.com and lower my rating of the game.
All right, there it is. I hope everyone reading along enjoyed the ride!