Got in some quick games with Justin and Halen on Thursday of my birthday week. The main event was a big win in Pandemic Legacy (which we hadn’t played since November I think). We also got in some quick games of Sherlock 13 and The Grizzled.
We had to complete 3 objectives to get an August win in Pandemic Legacy, and one of those had to be curing 3 diseases. There were about 5 other options including 2 search missions and having a military base in each of 6 world regions. From the start, we already had 6 military bases, so that was 1 down.
Our next objective was a search mission. We decided to focus on getting the virologist first as that was the first to come up and would give us a new useful character to fight a mostly unstoppable disease. At this point, it is mostly only possible to slow it down with quarantines, blockades, and basically killing zombie like people with the disease. We had a lucky start with Justin able to discard a card of the matching color to search and Halen able to do 2 searches. Along with some bonuses for certain search conditions, that gave us another objective complete in the first round but also a first epidemic in the same round.
The final mandatory mission involved a lot of trading information between players and luck of the draw, but we were able to hold things together long enough to get the cards and cure the diseases. I played the scientist, who is able to cure a disease with only 4 cards of a color, and Halen was the researcher making exchange of information easier. I cured the red disease early on and a few rounds later Halen and I both had the cards to stop yellow then blue consecutively in a single last round.
The biggest struggle we faced this time around was holding back outbreaks in the untreatable disease zone. Justin had the soldier who has the ability to stay in a city with a faded figures without getting a scar. He was able to hold back the outbreaks a little with strategic quarantines by moving in and out of cities with 3 faded figures next to each other. We also got a new ability that allowed us to trade a scar for a turn with no infections which we used quite liberally this game. With the new virologist, the faded figures should be less of a problem next time hopefully. We also probably should have used the colonel instead of the soldier (…) because the colonel had an additional upgrade that removed faded figures by just leaving a city. Could have knocked them out by just moving through. Oh well. We won at some cost and have hope for September when we will hopefully get the immunologist.
Next came a game of Sherlock 13 with some alternate rules. Justin recommended a rule where the cards get rotated in a way that allows players to give less complete answers making deduction more challenging and uncertain. It was interesting, but we decided the Grizzled would be a better use of our short time.
So far our group only has 1 win against the box in the Grizzled game on record. Justin added the expansion rules, but they don’t change the feel or strategy of the
game much. The Grizzled is still a fight against the inevitable in the horror of war. It is about a slim chance at survival but not getting out undamaged even with a win. We played 2 losing games. The first was a quick loss. We were less than lucky and the cards worked against survival after just 2 missions ending with a lost mission and Halen with 6 hard knocks. The 2nd game went longer but didn’t progress toward getting rid of enough cards in missions to get out of the war zone alive. We took one final chance with all the remaining cards but went out in a blaze of glory. That’s war.
Justin, Halen, and Evan played the 2nd game set in June and the 1st game set in July on November 19th, 2016. Justin played using a military unit with the ability to get rid of faded figures. After losing the quarantine expert last game, Justin’s military unit was necessary slow down the spread of the disease with quarantines and removing faded figures with his special ability. Justin took care of this untreatable problem while Halen as the dispatcher and Evan as the medic dealt with the other diseases. Halen had the ability to use cards for travel without having to discard them which was very useful. She also had a relationship with the military unit played by Justin which gave an advantage for sharing information and finding cures more easily. Evan’s doctor was able to predict the spread of diseases and treat disease outbreaks more easily.
Unfortunately, the game set in June ended in a loss because there were too many outbreaks in a short time between cities with faded figures. The players were focused on finding a cure and let the faded figures get out of control quickly. The one good point of the June loss was the addition of another military base which allowed the players to move around the globe more easily.
June was a loss, but the players were able to get a win in July the first time around. There was a new option to search for another strong character as another objective, but the players just focused on curing 3 diseases (mandatory for a win) and the quarantine objective. Three objectives were needed to win, but one of those was having 1 military base in each of the 6 areas. That was already complete from the beginning and was one less thing to think about. The strategy was effective this time around. Nothing got out of control. Another research center was also added to give more options for curing diseases and more starting positions for the beginning of a game.
The 3 completed objectives were eradicate at least 1 disease (yellow eradicated by the medic), have a military base in each of the 6 major regions of the world (already complete, actually have 7), and discover cures to the 3 normal diseases (mandatory objective). We didn’t complete the search, but that may be possible in a future game.
Justin was able to keep the faded figures in check and share information with Halen with their characters’ special relationship. Evan was mostly just playing clean up. The 2 upgrades the players chose were keeping the research center (after losing Atlanta and having 1 in the middle of the faded figure area not really accessible for most players). Justin’s character also gained 2 upgrades in the 2 games. He got Local Pressure and Paramilitary Escort upgrades shown in the picture below. Both make dealing with faded figures more possible.
A hard fought battle for the first game set in June but a loss to the Box once again. This loss tragically saw the first death of a player character. We lost Jackie Brown the quarantine expert as she got 2 more scars during this single game. She got one by starting a turn in a city with a faded person (the result of an untreatable disease that can only be quarantined). The 2nd scar came from being in a city in the middle of an outbreak. This 2nd scar would be the 3rd for the character total as she already had 1. The end result was losing the game by having too many outbreaks and the death of Jackie Brown. The only good result is that next game our funding goes back up to 6, and that we now have 6 military bases at the start of the game giving us one less task to complete in game.
The new version of Pandemic that is still cooperative but takes place over a calendar year. The events of each game effect the following games and the characters creating evolving game play and lots of interesting results. Characters are added, diseases change or mutate, new rules are added, etc. Very challenging but enjoyable. Once the calendar year is up however, the storyline and game are finished…hopefully to be continued in Season 2. 2-4 players 60 minutes.
Finally a win. The end of May brought an end to the losing streak that started in April with the addition of the faded disease carriers. There is now a way to fight them using the new character Mark “the Yurinator” Jackson, and we had enough funding and the strategy to succeed completing 3 objectives. We cured 3 diseases, eradicated 1, and set up military bases in each of the 6 regions. Hopefully, that continues in the next games. This game was won by Justin, Halen, and visiting player Yuriy on March 24th, 2016.
Another loss but more hope for the next game. Funding goes up to 6, and there is a new character to help take care of the faded disease carriers. If we can’t win this next game, we have to open a special box. This game happened March 19th with visiting player Yuriy who got his own character set up…
Played March 12, 2016 with Justin, Halen, Katie, and Evan (versus the Box). Previously completed gameplay up to April objectives. The games set in April were when it all seemed to get out of hand. The objective seemed simple enough at the beginning, but the 2nd epidemic created a mutation of an already untreatable disease. At this point the disease could only be quarantined to contain it and stop its spread. This disease became more serious and could now spread to cities that previously were infected by different diseases. The infected now have translucent skin and are violent (zombie like). The new rules gave new pieces to replace the black cubes. They now appear as little green figures. Players can also be easily scarred by being in cities with these diseased figures, so it becomes more difficult to even quarantine. We lost the first game in the April storyline due to running out of cubes for a different disease while focused on other areas and frequent epidemics. Previous strategies seemed ineffective.