We’re currently in the middle (likely pretty close to the beginning still) of the CoronaVirus event. Schools have been shutdown, I (Ben) have worked from home for the past week along with the rest of my coworkers, it’s hard to find toilet paper in the stores, and it’s all a little weird. So, we have a little bit more time for boardgames.

Last Friday we cracked open the game “Pandemic Legacy Season 2″and began the season. I’m planning to publish a series of posts on hubcrate.com that chronicle our adventure through the game. I technically had started playing the game with a grade 6 student that I mentor (meeting for 30 minutes once a week), but decided to co-opt it to play at home – as there won’t be any mentoring happening for a while with the schools shut down.

Pandemic is a line of cooperative games that has been out for several years. The general gameplay is that a group of players is trying to find cures for four diseases while the world crumbles around them. Infections and outbreaks occur and the players spend time collecting cards (to create cures), shore up defenses in cities, and try and find the cures before a variety of defeat conditions occurs.

Legacy games are games which change over time. These changes can include changes to the board (usually additions), introduction of new elements (cards, playing pieces, new rules, etc), and possibly destruction of current game elements (i.e. “destroy this card”). Often these changes take place over a number of playings of the game, each playing picking up where the last one left off (to some degree) and carrying on in this changed environment.

So, back to Pandemic Legacy Season 2. First a word of caution – there will be a lot of “spoilers” during this season of posts. I would recommend that if you ever plan on playing the game that you not read any of the posts. Save your curiosity for the experience. For those of you who are interested in following along but will never play the game, welcome.

Pandemic Legacy Season 2 (maybe I’ll just call it PLS2 going forward – and use there is a Season 1) is set in an apocalyptic world 71 years after the plague has struck and has decimated the world. When the game starts, there are three Sea Havens which have survived and been producing and delivering supplies to some of the coastal cities trying to keep them going. The game takes place over 12 months, with the possibility of 2 games per month. If you win the first game session of a given month (i.e. January), you move onto the next month. If you lose the first game, you replay the month before moving on to the next month (win or lose). The entire campaign therefore will be somewhere between 12 and 24 months. We are currently (as I start writing this initial post) in April and have won 3 times and lost twice, so I’m expecting there to be somewhere around 18 sessions.

Pandemic Legacy Box back
Back of box showing initial map

The beginning game map has three havens which we had to name. The chosen haven names are “Ragnarok” (the haven in the North Atlantic), “Xandria” (the haven in the Mediterranean), and Sargasso (the haven in the South/Central Atlantic). Given the legacy nature of the game, the city names were written on the board with indelible felt pen. Thee nine cities (all connected by sea routes) on the board come in three colors. The blue cities are London, New York, and Washington. The yellow cities are Jacksonville, Sao Paulo, and Lagos. The black cities are Istanbul, Tripoli and Cairo.

We also had to create the initial five character cards. This is the card for one of the characters, “Smith”:

To create the cards, there was a page of about 15 face stickers, five initial roles, and other boxes to be filled out. Smith was born at the Xandria Haven, is currently 28 years old yet, is still alive (but may die during the game so there is a place of death to fill out), and has the role of Radio Operator which allows him to allocate supply cubes to and from other players. At the bottom of the card are 7 scratch off areas labelled “Exposures”. If a player starts a turn in a city with a plague cube, one block gets scratched off. These can be blank (no impact), a scar (which requires the addition of a scar, something that limits the player’s future abilities, to the card), or a skull. There are a total of 10 character cards in the box, and we only created five to start with so it is probable that we will find additional characters during the game play.

So, if you don’t mind the spoilers and are interested in following us, um, keep following us.


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