Playing Pandemic Legacy In 2021 Was Not The Best Time

Playing Pandemic Legacy In 2021 Was Not The Best Time

As life in Australia slowly returns to something akin to normal – at least for now – after everything that has happened in 2020, my board game team has found our feet and resumed regular sessions. The first stop for 2021 was a long overdue run through Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, which … maybe wasn’t the best idea.

A little bit of information before we go any further, in case you don’t know what I’m talking about: Pandemic is an absolute classic board game that’s all about stopping the spread of multiple raging viruses. Z-Man publishers have released many versions of it over the years (I saw one again last year), and each one I’ve played has been pretty good. The point is, all the others were designed as standalone board games, once-play deals, but Pandemic Legacy takes the basics of the series and tries really hard to turn them into a long-running campaign where your actions in each game can be as important as whether you “win” or not.

The illustration for the article titled Playing Pandemic Legacy in 2021 Wasn't the Best Time

Beyond that, the “Legacy” in the name means in board game terms that it is a Legacy game, which is much like the Iron Man race of a video game, but more durable. . A Legacy board game is designed to be played once and only once, with instructions for covering your player cards with stickers and literally destroying them – like, tearing them into pieces – after use, with the idea that it creates tension and really gets players thinking about what they’re doing.

The overall Pandemic Legacy experience takes the same basic form as a regular Pandemic game. Players work together as different characters – soldiers, builders, virologists – to contain the spread of a number of viruses, work on vaccines, and build a global infrastructure that allows everyone to do their jobs and move around the world. as quickly as possible.

The big difference here, however, is that you’re meant to play over and over and over again, between 12 and 24 times, with a story connecting each individual session and special objectives throughout that must be completed in order to drive the events. forward. Some of them only make your life easier in the short term, while others can have a huge impact on the game as a whole.

The point is, when you play, you don’t know what decision is going to make, and this being a Legacy game, I found it quite frustrating. If this had been a whole new game, built from the ground up for the express purpose of serving this type of campaign structure, I would have approached it with a completely open mind and taken each piece as it presented itself. But it was Pandemic, a game I thought I was pretty good at, so I played Pandemic Legacy as such.

Big mistake! I would have been much better off approaching this as a single, bigger game with loads of chapters than as a group of individual Pandemic games, where winning each seemed to be the most important goal, because in the end, so that we did well – the game has a number of different endings based on a cumulative point total based on your decisions and results – we certainly didn’t get what I would say was a win, as that always involved the death of billions of people.

Getting to that end has become a frustrating task, as while Pandemic Legacy is a brilliant idea, she’s disappointed that it’s too tightly built on the original game, yet it requires you to play it 12-24 times. I love the pandemic, but man, that’s too much of a pandemic. It was also a huge drag for the evolving story to present new threats and objectives to contend with, but you have to keep fighting the same four core viruses you do to every other Pandemic game, which doesn’t. has never been a huge pain in the ass, not to mention a bizarre narrative oversight.

Another problem that I had, and I recognize that it is a deeply specific and personal problem, was that in our two games of the last month we were one lap away from victory and in both cases we had lost the game on a last card draw. A draw! Two in a row! I’ve said before that this experience was undermined by how it too closely follows a standard Pandemic game, but that was too much. Having months of effort blown away by two card draws – my least favorite way to solve stocks, as I have absolutely no agency in them – one after another broke my heart a way that I can’t remember a board game that has never broken it before. .

These gripes, big and small, weren’t enough to fully advise me on the game, and I feel like I only dwelled on them here because they were such a big part of the way. whose Legacy experience is different from a standard game. As boring that he’s played Pandemic over and over again, I still love Pandemic, and it’s hugely impressive how the creators were able to take a single standalone board game and turn it into a massive storytelling campaign that’s sure to go. in some places, and becomes particularly captivating as it draws to its conclusion.

What hurt me more than the game itself, however, was the timing of my game. You see, Pandemic Legacy was first released in 2015, and although many people shared some of the my concerns at the time, for the most part it was very well received, to the point that it now has two sequels. Playing it in 2021 was a little different, especially when my game ended in a frustrating way like it did because it hit a bit too close to my home.

No matter how hard we worked or how clear our path to victory seemed, we were constantly undermined every step of the way. There were dark forces deployed against us working for their own senseless agendas, and viruses slipped through the cracks of our hastily applied countermeasures.

It all felt a little too real, a depressing setback as we spent 12 months at Pandemic Legacy facing the same obstacles that we had just overcome or gone through in the past 12 actual months outside (or inside). ). I started the game wanting to heal these viruses and save the world, and the best I could do was stand helpless as billions of people died and I tried to make the ending less void. He was a huge downer.

All of that said, now that I’ve finished Season 1 of Pandemic Legacy, and have taken note of what it does so ambitiously well and what it does so terribly wrong (just like a game, everything which is 2020-21 is not his fault!), I’m very keen to play Season 2 which unlike its predecessor starts with a totally clean slate and a game tailor-made for his experience.

Although taking place in the aftermath of a world so ravaged by viruses, it is closer to Metro 2033 than our current reality, it may take me a few years to build up the courage.


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