August 4, 2023

Pandemic Legacy Season 2: March

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.

Previously, on Pandemic Legacy…

  • We won our first attempt at February
  • Chicago fell to “forsaken” status
  • We built a permanent supply centre in Cairo

March (First Attempt)

Starting a new month meant some new briefing information. We received a mysterious message about needing to recon South America soon, something to do with a threat from the Hollow Men. No explicit deadline was given. Best hurry up and do that then.

The Hollow Men are going to sabotage something important if we don’t recon South America soon. Apparently.

The number of objectives we’d need to complete this month increased to three. We were also given some more optional objectives. Our list is now:

  • Build three new supply centres (mandatory)
  • recon another new area (optional)
  • connect 2 cities to the grid (optional)
  • access a lost haven (optional, new, mysterious)
  • complete 2 searches (optional, new)

Objectives up the wazoo

There’s a few mysteries in here, most notably the existence of a lost haven somewhere. No more information is given, so that’s something that will hopefully unfold later. Additionally, the card that told us to hurry up and recon South America included a second scratch-off panel, with no instructions on when to scratch it off. Gammidgy wanted to scratch it off there and then, I wanted to wait for some other event to tell us to do so.

As usual we distributed our initial stockpile of supply cubes quite evenly, though we left the havens empty this time, as any cubes placed there would just need picking up and carrying to other cities to be useful. The advantage with having initial cubes on the havens is that it allows us to grab them and take them to the worst-hit cities without needing to manufacture more supplies first.

As usual, the top 9 cards from the infection deck determine the starting state for the board. We broke with our usual tradition of finding Lagos empty – this time it was Sao Paulo and Jacksonville that were hit very hard.

Sao Paulo and Jacksonville hit hard in the initial infection setup

The next step of the setup here is to choose rationed event cards. Due to a string of wins, we could only pick 2 this time, and it was a hard decision.

Twenty minutes into the game setup, and it’s time to choose our characters. Not wanting to interfere with strategy that was apparently working, we selected the same ones as the previous game:

  • Gammidgy – Maggot (Farmer)
  • Susan – Lucius (Administrator)
  • Karen – Ophelia (Instructor)
  • Pete – Bez (Labourer)

At last it’s time to begin!

First Turn

Gammidgy starts by heading to Sao Paulo. There’s two good reasons to be there – one is that it’s currently got no supply cubes, so needs a resupply pronto. Maggot’s farming skills makes him a good candidate for this task, as he can place supply cubes without consuming an action if he manufactured them on the same turn. Another reason to be in Sao Paulo is that it’s the location from where South America will be reconned. We’re eager to do that this game, both because it will serve as an optional objective completed, and also because there’s apparently some time pressure there. However, this will require a lot of yellow cards, as we need to build a supply centre there before we can recon. This could take up to 9 yellow city cards in total. Thankfully we’re off to a good start, as Gammidgy and I already have 2 each. We also note that Gammidgy and Karen have 2 blues each, so we’re starting to think about the supply centre that we might build in that region.

Susan wasn’t really sure what to do on her turn so mainly made supplies, and also used her special ability to move me to Sao Paulo to rendezvous with Gammidgy. Karen headed to Jacksonville to resupply there, and then drew the first epidemic, which popped up in Denver. Having topped up the cities that were empty at the start of the game, we now have Denver, Cairo and London devoid of supplies.

And now the empty cities are all over here

On my turn, I was able to hand my Sao Paulo card to Gammidgy, giving him three yellow cards. I then immediately drew two more yellow city cards, which was frustrating as it meant that if I hadn’t given Sao Paulo to Gammidgy, I would now have enough yellow cards to build the supply centre there. Too late to undo it now though. In the infection step of my turn we also got our first plague cube, popping up in the newly supply-devoid Denver.

Denver is the first city to get a bit plaguey today

Second Turn

Gammidgy has a plan. He’s got a Los Angeles card in his hand, with two scratch-off search panels. If he can get to Los Angeles, two actions will allow him to scratch off both of those panels. We’ll complete an optional objective, and we’ll get whatever goodies are under those panels. So he leaves Sao Paulo and heads north. He doesn’t want to end his turn in Denver, so pulls up one city early.

Another plague cube appears in Denver on Susan’s turn, and Karen ends her turn in Lagos, which means that on my turn I am able to pop over there, take her Lagos city card off of her, zip back over to Sao Paulo, and build the supply centre. Thanks to Bez being a Labourer, instead of it costing five yellow city cards, it’s only four yellows plus two supply cubes, which I’ve been holding onto, just in case.

Our first new supply centre for this game, in Sao Paulo. Recon opportunity ahoy!

Third Turn

Gammidgy completes his journey to Los Angeles and gets his search on, completing our first optional objective. Searching on land unearths some supplies, but it’s the searching at sea that’s particularly interesting. We spy the lost haven, though currently have no way to get there. He draws more yellow cards from the player deck, meaning that he now has enough to recon South America, but will need to journey back to Sao Paulo first.

The results of our first searches

Ah so that’s what a lost haven looks like

We have a lot of those “Produce Supplies” cards in our hands. All the havens are empty, so Susan does a system-wide production. Sadly this means that that particular card has to be destroyed, but the number of supply cubes that get immediately teleported into existence at our havens and supply centres is huge, and turns out to rescue our game. A long-overdue epidemic hits, in Tripoli, but thankfully it’s absorbed by the supplies we have deployed, so there’s no crisis.

This card has produced its last supply

Karen heads to Jacksonville to resupply there, though New York is empty and will need urgent attention. I resupply Tripoli, and get a very nice city card draw – the New York card with the Foundations upgrade. Why is this so nice? Because with that card, my two other blues, and the two supply cubes I’m carrying, I have enough to build a supply centre in a blue city. And wouldn’t you just know it, I’m three steps away from London. I guess we know what I’m going to be doing on my next turn.

A couple of very nice cards from the player deck. Lucky me!

Fourth Turn

After some quick sums, we decide that I should play the rationed event card that I picked up a few seconds earlier, to give Gammidgy 3 extra actions for this turn. With his 7 actions, he is able to travel from Los Angeles to the desperate Denver, deploy some supplies there, continue on to Sao Paulo, and recon South America. Not a bad little turn. We open box 5 as instructed, and it contains all the usual new region stuff, similar to what we picked up when we discovered North America. It also indicates that there’ll be a route to the lost haven from Lima. Tempting as it is to build a road from Sao Paulo to Lima so that we can find the lost haven, we can’t afford to get distracted and throw away this game. Supplies in the cities are running low, and while we’ve completed two optional objectives, we still need to build two more new supply centres before time runs out. I’ve got a plan for one of them, but the other is still in jeopardy.

Huh, I’m sure this continent wasn’t here a minute ago…

London has been stripped of its supplies. Since I’m going to be wanting to go there next to build a supply centre, Susan heads over in advance to resupply it. Sao Paulo has also lost all of its supplies. We have our fingers crossed that no plague appears there – any city with a supply centre will have its population count increased at the end of the game, but this will be negated if there are any plague cubes there.

Karen is able to deliver some supplies to New York and Sao Paulo on her turn, and then I finish up this round by executing on the London plan, exactly as foretold. With a supply centre in London, our eyes are on Cairo. Susan has the black cards required, we just need to stay alive for long enough.

Fifth Turn

Gammidgy places supplies on Sao Paulo and Cairo. Some cities are devoid of supplies but we seem to be getting very lucky with the infection deck draws, and the cards that come up tend to be the city we’ve just recently resupplied. It’s a game of whack-a-mole, but it’s keeping us alive. Susan zooms over to Cairo, builds a supply centre, and the game is won. The final state of our supplies is dire – while North America is in decent condition, the cities in the rest of the world only have 3 supply cubes to share.

The final state of the board. Note the shortage of supply cubes in… well… almost everywhere

End Of Game

Denver is the only city that had any plague cubes, so is the only one to lose population count. This brings it down to one – we’ll need to protect it carefully in the next game to avoid it falling to Forsaken status, like Chicago. On the plus side, we have four cities with supply centres, so they all increase in population count.

The game debrief gives us a new capability – we can now chart new sea lanes! This is of limited use right now, but does offer some potential for travelling fairly long distances with a single action. It also gives us another possible way to access the lost haven, by building a sea lane from Los Angeles.

There’s a very nasty adjustment to the rules in there too – the more city cards we have in the player deck, the more epidemic cards there will be in the deck. We sorta suspected this might happen one day, as the “infection rate” tracker on the board is longer than on other Pandemic boards, and has space for 2 extra epidemics.

What have we here? Oooh… MORE epidemics

We have 5 production units to spend for our game end upgrades. We choose to upgrade London to be a starting supply centre, as this will assist when we want to recon from there. We also give Bez the “Broker” skill as we feel like of all the characters, he’s the weakest. All characters should ideally be making frequent use of their skills.

Bez is now a Broker, allowing him to trade in a city card for a discarded one of the same colour

In conclusion, a successful game. Only one city lost any population, no-one had to roll for exposure at any point, and we’ve unlocked some new areas that we can hopefully make use of in the next game. Getting Lima linked to Sao Paulo and accessing the lost haven is very alluring. There’s lots of things that are alluring. Linking more cities into the grid. Searching in them. Reconning new areas. Spending some of our end-game production units on increasing the populations of cities to stop them becoming forsaken. All things to bear in mind, if we get the chance.


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