December 12, 2023

Pandemic Legacy Season 2: May / June

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 lost April twice in a row, both times by a whisker
  • We discovered a lost laboratory in Buenos Aires
  • We explored a lost haven just off the coast from Peru
  • We reconned from London and discover Europe
  • We gained the ability to fast travel between havens and supply centres

May (First Attempt)

It’s only two weeks since our last play session, so we are able to go into this game with a bit less of a feeling of “so what was all this about then?”

There’s nothing of importance in the legacy deck, just some background lore about Hollow Men and Utopia, clearly setting us up for some upcoming story. We spend a lot of time debating which rationed events to put in the deck, as we have to pick 4 from a fairly sizeable selection.

Some guff about Utopia, of no immediate apparent importance

We play with our usual characters, which are:

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

First Turn

Karen goes first, and heads straight to Los Angeles. Usually the first person starts by heading to the worst-hit city to shore it up, but on this occasion the initial infections were quite well distributed, so there’s less urgency. Instead, we want to get new cities linked into the grid, and there’s a couple over there that are crying out for it. Also, we like the idea of a sea route linking Turtloise Rock to Los Angeles, as now that we can fast travel between havens, it would improve our network considerably. On this turn, she only has enough action points to link San Francisco into the grid.

The road to San Francisco

In case you’re wondering why there’s no supplies in Atlanta, it’s because in a previous game we destroyed the only infection card for it.

Pete then heads to Tripoli to top up the supplies there, and Susan goes to London for the same reason. Gammidgy goes to Sao Paulo to resupply there, and using his cool new Courier ability can also resupply the adjacent Buenos Aires. We’re quite happy with the state of the board at this point, and New York is the only city with no supplies in it.

Second Turn

Karen is still in Los Angeles, so uses this turn to link in Mexico City. With two new cities connected to the grid, that’s one of our optional objectives completed.

Mexico City connected up, so that’s one objective complete already!

The first epidemic comes up, and it’s in Jacksonville. A few supplies are lost, but no plague cubes are added.

Pete then heads to Cairo to resupply there. Another epidemic comes up, which is awful luck. Istanbul is the recipient, and because so few cards are being reshuffled back onto the deck, it’s inevitable that a plague cube will also come out in Istanbul. However Pete does now nearly have enough yellow cards to build a supply centre, and Gammidgy is currently sat in Sao Paulo with a spare Sao Paulo card.

Unavoidable disaster in Istanbul

Susan uses her ability to teleport Pete to Gammidgy, to enable card transfer. She also stocks up New York on her turn. The infection deck gives us Istanbul again, and none of us have had the chance to resupply it, so a second plague cube is added.

Gammidgy hands his Sao Paulo card off to Pete, then tops up the supplies in Bogota, ending his turn in Turtloise Rock.

Third Turn

Karen heads to New York to rendezvous with Susan, using her skill to pass over the Buenos Aires card. This leaves Susan with a good handful of yellow cards. Pete uses his handful of yellow cards to build a supply centre in Sao Paulo, then heads to Bogota to perform the innoculate action, as we believe there is only one Bogota infection card, and so innoculating it will mean that we never have to worry about this city again.

Sao Paulo – the site of our brand new supply centre

Susan builds a supply centre in Jacksonville. We had hoped to use those yellow cards to recon Africa in this game, but at this stage we’re worried about completing the mandatory objective, so we decide to focus on building the supply centres and accept that recon might have to wait. She also uses one of our finite systemwide production actions, as there are quite a lot of supplies in the stockpile and not nearly enough out in the world. And she also uses her special ability to move Pete to Gammidgy in Turtloise Rock, as he wants to go to visit Paris and this will save him some actions on his turn. At this point we realise we’ve made a bit of a miscalculation, as an unexpected Bogota card comes up in the infection deck. Since we’d left the city bereft of supplies, it now becomes quite antibereft of plague cube.

Gammidgy heads to Cairo and resupplies the adjacent Istanbul. He then fast travels back to Jacksonville, grabs some supplies from Susan (who is carrying an indecent number about on her person) and plops them into Washington. A very productive turn.

Fourth Turn

Karen heads to Lima to resupply there, with the intention of dealing with Bogota on her next turn. We draw another epidemic, this one in Cairo.

Pete fast travels to London and then to Paris, where he places some supplies and also does a search, finding an engineer.

This is the engineer. Having them in your hand allows you to build supply centres with one fewer card.

The three cities that get drawn during the infection stage (Tripoli, Cairo, Bogota) are all currently devoid of supplies, so get a plague cube each. It looks like a lot of cities are going to be suffering some population loss today. That said, to win this game we only need to do one more search and build one more supply centre, and we have a plan for how to achieve that, assuming that fortune is on our side for one more trip round the table.

It’s very plaguey in Tripoli, Cairo and Istanbul now

Bogota also has an undesirable “plague” motif going on

Susan heads to Cairo to resupply there, and in Tripoli. Gammidgy also goes to Cairo where he produces some supplies and ends his turn in Istanbul. This last detail is crucial for our success, as you will see in a second.

Fifth Turn

Karen goes to Bogota where she does a search, completing our second optional objective. The actual outcome of the search itself is underwhelming, allowing us merely to remove a card from the discard pile. We draw an epidemic in Jacksonville, at which we all start to worry, but fortunately we are able to dodge any new plague cubes being added, and we’re in the clear. All that remains is for Pete to travel to Cairo, pick up the supplies that Gammidgy left there, hop to Istanbul, take Gammidgy’s Istanbul card off of him, giving him enough resources to build a supply centre, and win the game.

The state of the board after building the winning supply centre in Istanbul

End Of Game

The legacy deck gives us a few new character upgrade options and some more permanent supply centre stickers, so nothing sensational. We have 5 production units to spend, and we choose the following:

  • Permanent supply centre in Jacksonville (3 production units). Jacksonville is only one hop from a haven, meaning that this doesn’t significantly improve our travel network. However it has a population of 5, meaning that when we produce supplies there, we’ll get a lot of bang for our buck
  • Increase the population in Tripoli and Lima (1 production unit each). These cities are both down to 1 population each, and it makes sense to spend a couple of production units now to get them back up to 2 population, rather than allow them to risk falling to “forsaken” status

Permanent supply centre in Jacksonville

Tripoli’s population bounced back up to 2 after dropping to 1 as a result of this game

Lima’s population also boosted back up to 2. Sadly we were too late to save Bogota

June (First Attempt)

We’re liking these afternoon sessions, as they give us time for a second game. Again the legacy deck yields some lore but no rule changes, and we continue to play with the same characters.

First Turn

Pete goes first, heading to New York to resupply there, and ending his turn in Washington. Susan goes to Cairo, using the produce supplies card to get 6 supply cubes. She leaves some there and takes some to Tripoli. Our first epidemic crops up, in the hard-to-reach and barely populated Mexico City.

Gammidgy then goes to Turtloise Rock and charts a sea lane to Los Angeles, something we were talking about doing in the previous game but never got round to. From Los Angeles he can resupply Mexico City. Karen, on her turn, simply heads to Lagos to resupply.

Our first new sea route, linking Turtloise Rock to Los Angeles

Second Turn

Pete hops sideways to Jacksonville to give Karen his Jacksonville city card, then returns to Washington as it’s looking like he’s going to be building a blue supply centre this game. We draw an epidemic in Cairo, which is sad as there were quite a few supplies there. Plague cubes pop up in Cairo and San Francisco.

A plague cube in Cairo

San Francisco. It’s only got a bit of plague on it

Susan resupplies Cairo on her turn, but makes sure to end her turn in an adjacent city that doesn’t have plague in it. Gammidgy is next door to San Francisco so can resupply it without having to go there. He then heads to Mexico City to do a search there, where he finds a companion who can help with swapping city cards. Once again we find ourselves falling into the familiar pattern of focusing on the objectives that are easiest to get, and neglecting recon.

The scout, who has city card swapping capabilities

We’re in quite a strong situation now. Gammidgy and Susan are both each one yellow card short of having enough to build a supply centre, and Karen conveniently has two yellows. Pete is two blue cards short of having enough to build a supply centre, and Karen conveniently has two blues. The quicker we can get those cards from Karen’s hand into ours, the better. We decide to prioritise Pete, and so on her turn she heads to Washington and gives him her two Washington cards. She then returns to Jacksonville so that Gammidgy or Susan can meet her there on their next turn, and take her Jacksonville card.

Third Turn

Pete builds a supply centre in Washington, and resupplies Jacksonville.

The new supply centre in Washington

Susan moves to Jacksonville and takes the card off of Karen. She has enough action points to get to Lagos, but will need to wait for her next turn to build the supply centre there. We’ve chosen Lagos as the site, so that we can convert it to a permanent supply centre at the end of this game, setting it up nicely for a recon in the next. New York and Washington at this point are now both empty of supplies.

Gammidgy does a global supply production to pull the 13 supply cubes from the stockpile and into the world. Karen heads to Buenos Aires to resupply there and connect Santiago into the grid. We get an epidemic in Sao Paulo, but no plague.

Fourth Turn

Victory is close. We need to build two supply centres, do one search, and connect up one more city, which sounds a lot but all of these plans are close to fruition. Pete resupplies Istanbul, and a plague cube pops up in New York.

Plague in New York? That’s the last thing we need!

Susan builds the supply centre in Lagos, as planned, and also resupplies Sao Paulo with her available actions.

A supply centre in Lagos. They’re popping up everywhere!

Gammidgy builds a supply centre in Lima, which completes our mandatory objective. Another epidemic comes up, this time in Paris.

And a supply centre in Lima makes three

Karen heads to Lima for our second and final search of the game. This just finds Turtloise Rock again, so the game gives her an action back. This works out really nicely, as she now has enough actions to go to New York and remove the plague cube that recently appeared there, thanks to the herbalist companion.

We laughed at the herbalist, but are now developing a grudging respect

Fifth Turn

All that remains is for Pete to travel to Istanbul and build a supply line to Frankfurt, which will grant us our second optional objective and another victory. Before he does so, Karen plays her “play at any time, not an action” event card to remove the plague cubes from Cairo and San Francisco, meaning that there is not a single plague cube left anywhere on the board!

The “Drastic Measures” card that allowed us to end this game with not a single plague cube on the board

It’s an interesting coincidence that in both games the final winning move was played by Pete from Istanbul.

This was probably our most comfortable victory left, and in hindsight we could have survived a bit longer. We perhaps should have made more of an effort to recon one of the new regions, but felt it was better to consolidate our existing area, since there are still some cities not yet linked into the grid.

The legacy deck yields a couple of new characters:

  • the captain can freely travel between any two ports at the mere cost of any single city card
  • the sanitation officer who can take city cards and produce supplies cards out of the discard pile at the cost of any two player cards

New character – the captain. Let’s be honest, we’re not going to play this character unless something bad happens to one of our four favourites.

The sanitation officer. Another skill that, while useful, doesn’t feel like it justifies using this character in place of one of our favourites

We also get a new rationed event card that allows us to make one free sea lane that can cross any number of red region lines, and one that is like a supercharged innoculate action.

Two new rationed event cards

We have 6 production units to spend at the end of this game, and chose the following:

  • Permanent supply centre in Lagos (3 production units). We will need a supply centre here to be able to recon the middle east, so this is useful.
  • Increase population in Mexico City (1 production unit). As in the previous game, we should aim to keep all cities at 2 population or more.
  • Infrastructure (2 production units). This is a city card upgrade for one of the Jacksonville cards that will make the card worth 3 when building a supply centre. If we can make it easier to build supply centres, that frees up more yellow city cards for recon purposes.

Jacksonville, now with added Infrastructure!

Our next play session will be over the new year weekend, and hopefully our good luck continues.


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