November 28, 2023

Pandemic Legacy Season 2: April

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 March
  • We unlocked South America
  • We spotted the lost haven from Los Angeles, but have not yet visited it
  • The number of epidemic cards will now increase, according to how many city cards are in the deck

April (First Attempt)

It’s been nearly 4 months since our last play session, so setting up the board and reminding ourselves of the lay of the land took nearly half an hour. There’s nothing new to report in the Legacy deck, though the new “stretched too thin” rule means that we’re now putting 6 epidemic cards into the deck instead of 5. To be honest, this seems only fair – as we add more and more city cards to the player deck, if the number of epidemics had stayed at 5 then they would have come up less and less often, so this is an essential rebalancing.

Having won three games in a row, we naturally chose the same characters as before:

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

We also now have a funding level of 0. While having no rationed event cards is obviously not great, at least we saved time during setup as we no longer had to spend 5 minutes choosing which ones to include.

First Turn

Susan went first. While New York has been left devoid of supply cubes by the initial infections, for now our eyes turned towards South America, as there’s a lot to do there. There are new cities to add to the grid, a lost haven to explore, and Susan was also holding a Buenos Aires card with two scratch-off search panels. She used 3 actions to get there, and so was able to do one search, discovering a supply cache at sea. A few more supplies are not to be sniffed at.

Additional supplies in Buenos Aires are muy bueno

We now had two cities cleared of supplies – New York and London. Karen went to New York on her turn, to make and deliver some supplies. But we’re playing whack-a-mole, as now it’s London and Tripoli that are empty. Pete deals with Tripoli, Jacksonville pops up. Gammidgy deals with London, and our first epidemic erupts. We have a plague cube in New York already.

It’s already a bit plaguey in New York. Not ideal.

Second Turn

Susan does her second search in Buenos Aires, discovering Laboratory Opal there. It gives us a few useful upgrades, including a new character and the ability to manufacture supplies in slightly greater quantities.

This is what Laboratory Opal looks like

New character – when making supplies, they take cubes from the reserve instead of the stockpile. Will be useful later in future games when the stockpile runs low.

We also discover the location of a remote lab in Lake Baikal, which is something to look forward to. With Susan’s second search, we tick off one of our optional objectives for the game, and before handing the baton to the next player she uses her special ability to airlift Karen out of the plague-ridden New York and into Sao Paulo.

There’s something interesting in Lake Baikal, can’t wait to get there

Karen has the necessary yellow cards to build a supply centre in Sao Paulo, so she does that and then heads over to Jacksonville, picking up some supplies en-route. A second plague cube comes up in New York, just up the coast.

A supply centre in Sao Paulo

Pete also heads to the North American coast, to resupply Washington. An epidemic is drawn, and we experience an incident in that very same city.

Gammidgy deals with Tripoli, and yet another plague cube crops up in Washington. We can all sense that this game is going badly, and start preparing ourselves for the worst. Our goal is no longer winning this game, but mitigating the damage.

There’s quite a lot of damage to mitigate, with two cubes on New York and two on Washington already

Third Turn

Susan continues to be the MVP in this game, using her ability to hoik the helpless Pete out of Washington. She then establishes a supply line from Sao Paulo to Lima and travels to the lost haven.

New supply line to Lima

The lost haven seems to be located somewhere near the Galapagos Islands so Pete suggests naming it Turtle Rock. Everyone agrees with this suggestion, and Pete manages to write the first five letters in before Susan points out that the Galapagos are generally associated more with tortoises, so Pete gracefully pivots mid-word and we end up with Turtloise Rock instead.

Turtloise Rock, I Am In You

We gain some more useful skills here, including the Innoculate action, which allows us to remove infection cards (and city cards) from the game. It has some caveats (we need to be in the city in question, the card must be in the discard pile) but it doesn’t cost an action and seems very powerful indeed.

The Turtloise Rock Effect – bonus supplies every month!

And here’s the scale of the Turtloise Rock effect

Full details of the very impressive-looking Innoculate action

Karen moves through Washington and New York to London, innoculating as she goes. A third plague cube crops up in New York, so she uses her rationed event card to remove all three of them.

Our first innoculations. These go into box 6, and may at some point be reintroduced to the game

The rationed event card that saved New York

Pete innoculates while he is in Sao Paulo, and resupplies in Lagos. Cairo loses its last supply cube, so is now at some risk. Thankfully Gammidgy is nearby, so is able to produce lots of supplies and do an innoculation while he’s there. He sails all the way to Washington, and makes and deposits some supplies there too. A very successful turn, though the bit where a plague cube showed up in London wasn’t great.

Washington has cubes of all sorts, and a Gammidgy

Fourth Turn

Still in damage limitation mode, Susan uses her ability to teleport Karen to Pete in Lagos, with the intention that she gives him her Chicago card on her next turn, leaving him with enough blue cards to build a supply centre. Susan also builds a supply line from Lima to Bogota, adding one more city to the grid. With the two supply lines she’s built in this game, she’s now single-handedly completed our two optional objectives. After drawing cards, she also now has 5 black cards, meaning that if we can survive through to her next turn, we’ll have built enough supply centres to win the game. We allow ourselves to feel a glimmer of hope.

On Karen’s turn she gives Pete the blue card, as planned, and then heads to London. She innoculates Lagos on the way out and London on the way in. The next epidemic hits in London, and the subsequent infection draw causes a plague cube to appear in Istanbul, which has been empty of supplies since Gammidgy’s last turn. The infection tracker is now nearly at the bottom, and one more plague cube will kill us.

Pete is able to get to New York and build a supply centre there.

A supply centre in New York. Only one more required to win the game…

But sadly an infection in Denver means a plague cube, and the end of our game.

End of Game

That plague cube in Denver has meant that it is our second city to fall to Forsaken status.

The legacy deck gives us a few new available end-game improvements. For this game, we spend our 4 production points as follows:

  • 3 points on a character upgrade for Lucius, allowing recon with one fewer card. We’re going to have limited opportunities to use this, but it feels useful. We put it on Lucius because they only have one skill at present (though, to be fair, it’s turned out to be one of the most used ones)
  • 1 point on Foundations on Tripoli – counts as two black cards when building a supply centre

Lucius Keswick’s third upgrade, allowing them to recon with one fewer action. This character is getting very powerful.

This Tripoli card now counts as two black cards when building supply centres

Second Attempt

It’s about two hours since we opened the box on today’s session, but we have time left, so we embark upon a second attempt. Same characters, though we now have a funding level of 2 so can put in some rationed events. We’ve also added more cities to the grid, so will now be playing with 7 epidemics.

First Turn

It’s Karen’s turn to start. She has an Atlanta card with a scratch-off panel, so heads over there first. What she finds there grants a one-off action – we can pick one of the infection cards in the discard pile and remove it for the remainder of this game. We have few options to choose from, so early in the game so we select Bogota as it is the hardest city to get to.

A very well-scratched card, permitting us to remove one card from the infection discard pile for the remainder of the game

Pete resupplies London on his turn, and thanks to his character ability and the Tripoli card upgrade, will only need one more black card in order to build a supply centre.

Gammidgy targets Sao Paulo with his resupplying and innoculating intentions, and Susan resupplies Istanbul. She also uses her special ability to teleport Karen to London, where Pete is currently resting.

Second Turn

Karen uses her ability to give the Cairo card to Pete. His turn is up next so he moves to Istanbul and builds a supply centre there.

It may surprise you, but this is what the pile of materials to build a supply centre looks like

And this is what the resultant supply centre looks like

For the second time today, Pete draws an epidemic on his second turn. It’s Tripoli, and by the end of the infection stage, there’s a plague cube on it.

Obviously it would be preferable if there were not a plague cube in Tripoli

Gammidgy heads to Lima, where he does our second search of the game, completing an optional objective. He finds a herbalist companion, and is overjoyed.

The unnamed herbalist

Susan plays a “produce supplies” card in Cairo, where it’s worth 5 cubes. She warps Gammidgy to Karen, as he’s collecting blue cards, and she’s got two to spare. Susan ends her turn sat in the supply centre in London, poised to do a recon on her next turn with her collection of blue cards.

Third Turn

On Karen’s turn she hands off blue cards to Gammidgy as planned. Washington has run out of supplies, which is a mild concern. Pete deposits some supplies in the plague-ridden Tripoli, but makes sure not to end his turn there. Gammidgy plays a global supply production action, which brings loads of supplies in to all the havens and supply centres, and then heads to Lagos. He doesn’t have enough action points to place any supplies, but can at least innoculate, as that’s a free action.

On Susan’s turn she plays the recon action from London. A new region is unlocked, and we now have 2 optional objectives completed.

Paris, Frankfurt, St Petersburg and Moscow all added to our view of the world

We also gain access to a new fast travel ability – for one action, we can fly between havens and/or supply centres. We’re all very happy about this. Sadly, at the end of her turn we have a plague cube in Lagos. Gammidgy gets very nervous, as that’s exactly where he is right now, and since Susan’s just played, he won’t be able to rely on her for an extraction.

Gammidgy abandoned in Lagos to his doom

Fourth Turn

Karen resupplies Washington. We draw an epidemic in Istanbul, and Bogota picks up a green plague cube. Washington is empty already, so Pete also goes there on his turn to resupply, and also draws an epidemic, which is terrible luck. This one’s in Tripoli, but the fact that only three infection cards are being shuffled back onto the top of the deck means that we know what’s going to happen – Bogota picks up a second plague cube, and Tripoli too. Karen plays her rationed event card at this point, clearing the plague cubes from Lagos to avoid Gammidgy having to start his turn in a beplaguened place. At this point we can see that Gammidgy is getting very attached to Maggot, and really doesn’t want to have to roll for exposure. He’s already had one close shave, where he got away with no damage, but who knows what the next encounter will bring? It could be a scar, or it could even be death.

Gammidgy makes and places some supplies in Lagos before leaving for Washington. He arrives with no actions left, which is a shame, as the whole reason he’s here is to transfer blue cards from Pete. His hand is filling up with blue and yellow cards, so we decide that he’ll focus on yellow, and Pete will focus on blue. We formulate a new plan – if Pete can take one of Gammidgy’s Washington cards on his next turn, he’ll be able to build a supply centre. Similarly if Karen can give Gammidgy one of her yellow cards on her next turn, he’ll be able to build a supply centre too. So we again find ourselves in the situation of just needing to survive one more trip around the board. Another plague cube lands in Istanbul – we have only two lives left.

Susan uses our new fast travel ability to get to Istanbul quickly. She innoculates it, and Tripoli too, and also places some supplies on Tripoli. Another plague cube on Istanbul. One life left, and we still need to survive Karen and Pete’s turns if our plan is to succeed.

Fifth Turn

Karen gets to Washington as planned to give Gammidgy a yellow card. But poor Istanbul receives another infection, and the game is over.

End Of Game

Bogota and Tripoli both lose population. Istanbul, thankfully, has a supply centre, so despite all of the plague cubes there, it does not lose any population.

We again have 4 production points to spend, and allocate them as follows:

  • 3 points on a new skill for Maggot.
  • 1 point on another Foundations upgrade.

Maggot upgrade

We’ve booked our next gaming session for two weeks’ time. With our new fast travel ability, we should be able to move around the board much faster. And let’s hope we don’t regret having done so much innoculating.


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