April 17, 2023

Pandemic Legacy Season 2: January (Part Two)

WARNING: This blog post contains shameless spoilers for Pandemic Legacy Season 2. Reading this blog post if you have not yet played the game will impair your enjoyment should you decide to play it in the future.

In October we started playing Pandemic Legacy Season 2. And then for one reason or another it has taken us 6 months to get round to scheduling a second session. Disgraceful.

Previously, on Pandemic Legacy…

  • We lost our first attempt at January
  • The mission briefing for January was to build three supply centres and recon North America
  • We were unable to complete both objectives, so focused on the latter (as it would leave us with only one necessary objective for our second attempt)

January (Second Attempt)

Setting up for this game took a long time, as we needed to refamiliarise ourselves with what the heck all of this nonsense was.

The initial board setup phase left Washington and Lagos completely empty, so we knew that getting some supplies into these cities would be an urgent priority. We selected the following characters:

  • Karen – Paphoestra (Radio Operator)
  • Susan – Ophelia (Instructor)
  • Gammidgy – Maggot (Farmer)
  • Pete – Lucius (Administrator)

This would give Papheostra her first outing, her special ability being that she can transfer supply cubes to and from a character in another location. Reading this now, I’m not convinced that we made much use of this skill in this game.

Our sole objective for this game was to build 3 supply centres, as the objective to recon North America was completed in the previous attempt at January.

The game got off to a somewhat rocky start, with a very early epidemic in Chicago before we’d even completed one turn around the table. At this early stage we are very much focusing on just keeping the cities resupplied, waiting to see what city cards people pick up so that we can get an idea of who’s close to gathering 5 of the same colour, so that we can then come up with a suitable strategy to top those people up by transferring from other players. I was very lucky with accumulating blues, and Karen and Susan had enough yellows for a supply centre between them.

We were also able to establish our first supply line, from Jacksonville to Atlanta. We didn’t go overboard with building supply lines across North America in this game, as very quickly we found ourselves swamped with other tasks.

Our first supply line, from Jacksonville to Atlanta

Another epidemic came up in Chicago, but we weren’t too worried. The behaviour of epidemics in this game is subtly but significantly tweaked compared to the previous game – as long as you’ve got supply cubes in all locations, epidemics are less threatening. But if you have locations with no supply cubes, the epidemics are much, much scarier.

Our first disease cube landed in Washington, not through an epidemic but just through an infection in a location that was already depleted of supplies.

A disease cube in Washington which we were powerless to prevent despite all of us being in the vicinity.

I didn’t get any blue cards in my next turn, so was still stalled on 4. We had made a plan for Gammidgy to transfer his Washington card to me, but we couldn’t execute on it because of that damned disease cube in Washington – neither of us wanted to risk ending our turn there.

The third epidemic came out, and it was in Washington. Thankfully we had dropped a few supply cubes off there, so we simply lost those supplies, rather than having a second disease cube added. Unfortunately, due to there having been quite a small gap between the second and third epidemics, there was a very small reshuffle pile. This meant that Lagos (which had very recently become depleted) immediately popped up again, and we found ourselves with two disease cubes there, and also a second in Washington.

Lagos very quickly turned ugly

At last Karen had managed to accumulate five yellow cards in her hand and was able to build a supply centre in Jacksonville. At long last we were making progress towards our objective, instead of just fighting fires.

Our first supply centre, in Jacksonville

A disease cube appeared in Chicago while I was parked there, which meant that at the start of my next turn I was potentially going to be exposed.

I was there first, then the disease cube showed up

The mechanic here is again tweaked from the first season. In the first season, if you started your turn in a location with one of the Faded, you automatically picked up a scar. In this game, you scratch off a panel on your character sheet. You may get a scar. You may get nothing. Or your character may die there and then. It’s very exciting.

My first exposure, and I got lucky.

I managed to draw another blue card on this turn, so at last I had the 5 blue cards in my hand that would be required to build a supply centre. Things are looking touch and go though, as there are now three disease cubes in Lagos.

At this point we had a good stroke of luck, as a rationed event card popped up that would allow a city card trade. This couldn’t have come at a better time, as we were struggling to find a way to transfer a fifth black card into Gammidgy’s hand

A very fortunate rationed event card

Things were getting very shaky in North America. Susan and I finished our turns in New York, thinking that it was a fairly safe place to be, until a disease cube showed up there. Oh dear. That’s the second time that’s happened to me in this session.

Once again, we were there first!

Fortunately, the second exposure panel was again clear. My luck will surely run out very soon.

A second exposure panel scratched off, a second bullet dodged

I was now onto my final turn of the game. I was able to build a supply centre in my current location, New York.

Second supply centre built, in New York

It had been half an hour since our last epidemic, almost half of the game. It erupted in Jacksonville, which thankfully was very well protected, so no significant harm was done at this point.

We were now into the closing stages. We just needed to hold out long enough for Gammidgy to build the third supply centre. As Susan wrapped up her final turn, she debated placing supply cubes in Jacksonville and Washington, but ended up placing them all in Washington, as we had just a few minutes previously played a rationed event card to remove the Jacksonville cards from the infection pile, so it wasn’t at risk. This turned out to be a lifesaver, as on drawing infection cards, two Washington cards then came up. If she hadn’t changed her mind and moved that cube from Jacksonville to Washington, we would have lost the game there and then. As it was, Gammidgy was able to take his final turn, and build our third supply centre. He had started his turn in Lagos, so had to scratch off one exposure panel, but it was clear.

supply centre number three, in… is that Istanbul?

Here’s how close it was

For our game end upgrades, we had 5 production units to spend. We applied the lockdown upgrade to the Atlanta infection card, meaning that it can be permanently destroyed by spending a player card.

Atlanta “lockdown” upgrade

We also gave Lucius Keswick the “Architect” skill, so they can build supply centres with only 4 city cards. This cost 3 production units.

Lucius Keswick’s new ability, “Architect”

And finally we put the “Foundations” upgrade on a Lagos city card, so it now counts as two yellow cards when building a supply centre.

Lagos with the “Foundations” upgrade

Let’s hope that the objective for February doesn’t turn out to be “hey, this game is not about building supply centres any more” because that would mean we’d wasted a lot of game end upgrade points here.

So, in summary, a win – but only just.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *