Doug's Dungeon - Pandemic Legacy
I’ve talked a few times about the website board game geek. There you can find almost any game listed with its details, user reviews etc. Think of it as the ‘Yelp’ of board gaming. Weirdly enough though, every single game is ranked against one-another. While many are split into categories (where they fare better than the full list) many arguably good games get placed pretty low down. And you’re probably thinking: “Well gee, what’s the absolute numberest one-est game on the overall list?” Why it’s Pandemic Legacy, and for good reason.
Pandemic Legacy is an odd game to talk about. Unlike any other board game on the market, this one has a story. Not a story you play over and over again though. Think of it as a 12-24 episode TV series. You and up to 3 more players play a round like an episode of a drama about saving the world from a bunch of deadly viruses. If this sounds familiar, its because the game is an adaptation of the Pandemic series of games, which I’ll let you refresh your memory on here. So just like the original, in Legacy you all take on the roles of courageous medical professionals - ones who are gunna give those dirty ol’ disease cubes one hell of a monthly check-up.
This is where I’d show you more images, but Legacy is a game best experienced rather than shown. Also, My playgroup is about 2 thirds of the way through the year-long (game time, don’t worry each game represents a calendar month) campaign, which means the board is littered with spoiler-inducing stickers. You heard me with your good ear: Every game of Legacy you play has lasting ramifications on the games you’ll play after. As cities outbreak, they’ll increase in panic level, forcing you to put a scarier number next to that city. Said city becomes less stable, hampering your ability to travel there and save lives.
And these stickers don’t just hit the board. Without spoiling anything specific, the stickers go on just about everything. You’ll be tearing into the red dossier packages and black secret boxes for more stuff to use in your fight against the ever increasing viral threat. Stickers go on cards. They go on your character cards to upgrade them. You’ll get ‘scars’ on them too, restricting the player’s abilities. Get too many of those, and you will need to DESTROY THE CHARACTER. No, don’t put it back in the box. Don’t put it aside. Don’t even give it a tearful goodbye. The character card (that the game maliciously allows you to name and get attached to) must be torn up. They’re gone.
And though many things get ripped up and thrown away each session, there is still hope. Every new month brings with it new abilities. New actions to take. New characters with unique traits. Pandemic Legacy is a roller coaster ride of tense moments and genuine excitement. All controlled through the “Don’t shuffle, change or even flirt with” legacy deck of cards that controls the flow of resources to the players. Just when you think you’re comfortable with the threats at hand, a new development occurs. Players need to re-assess which characters they will bring to achieve their goals, both necessary and side-questy.
And there’s not much else to be said, really. As much as I’d like to talk about all the cool stuff that I’ve seen playing this game, I honestly believe everyone should go check this one out. If you want a game that you will grow attached to, get this one. The game changes to reflect your choices and the luck you were settled with. Your board has a visual history. I’ve seen reddit posts of people framing their finished copy to display on their wall. And you might feel that way too. Be quick though, the ‘Season 2’ sequel to the game is coming very very soon.
And you don’t wanna be those guys who have to avoid conversations because you haven’t binged the series yet.
I'm an avid lover of all things table top. I also have a growing collection of board games which inspire me to create my own. I put my loud and expressive personality to good use as a dungeon master for my friends, having run many campaigns through 4th and 5th edition D&D.
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