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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1» Forums » General

Subject: Campaign Difficulty Question (No Spoilers) rss

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Theorel Masheriel
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This is addressed to players that regularly play Pandemic with 7 epidemics, or 6 virulent strains with mutations, or something equivalent with other expansions...because with 6 regular epidemics you (essentially) never lose.

How does the difficulty of the campaign really measure up?
I know the campaign is self-balancing to a degree, and a lot will probably depend on choices taken and how well we adapt to the new challenges.

But, if you fall in this category would you just recommend playing for 12 wins in a row? -I mean this would be a cool achievement, and I assume pretty challenging to manage, but is it an interesting challenge?

Would you say the game eventually gets hard enough that the second half of the year will be a good interesting challenge?
Or do you find the lack of challenge kills some enthusiasm, and we should consider pushing the difficulty up right from the start?
 
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Nick Elkins
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The game starts off with only 5 epidemics. I have not played far enough to see if more come out, but can tell you that the game starts to add different things that will make it more challenging. I don't want to go into spoilers so I'll stay opaque, but there will be changes to the diseases and to the board that will make things more difficult.

Additionally, as you win games you will get less funding (e.g. fewer Special Event cards). To an extent the game is self balancing in that it will give you more tools to win when you start to fall behind and that mistakes that you make will have game lasting effects through out the year.

So far my group has made it through three months with three straight wins, but we've had a lot of lucky card draws to get there. We are fully expecting things to get harder and believe that a loss is right on the horizon.
 
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We started with two losses. Well, we are not experienced Pandemic gamers, but we got extremely unlucky with card draws and especially the first game was outright impossible to win.
 
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Nick Henning
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My friends and I don't play a ton of Pandemic, but I would consider us pretty sharky. We just finished October and only have lost twice.

Of course, that has made it harder for us and I am worried we will lose all November and December - because we have really pulled some crazy stuff to win the past few games.
 
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My group has been sitting on a funding level of 0 for the last 3 months. We only have October-December left and I really don't think we're likely to have more than 4 games left. If you want the extra challenge, you can add an epidemic card or two from the regular pandemic base game, since the cards from the player deck are an exact match to those in Legacy. You could also start at a lower funding level. (Essentially remove more of the event cards before your first game.) I don't think that it will be that much of a challenge for your group if you regularly play with 7 epidemic cards, but you can still enjoy the story and sticker books.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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questfortheholygame wrote:
If you want the extra challenge, you can add an epidemic card or two from the regular pandemic base game, since the cards from the player deck are an exact match to those in Legacy.

Assuming you have the newest print of Pandemic (which I don't). Also, I agree that lowering the funding from the beginning probably won't make a huge difference. It may make the game a bit more challenging from the start, but experienced Pandemic players should still emerge undefeated through the first few months (barring some really bad luck).

We play regular Pandemic with 6 Virulent Strain Epidemic cards. We won the first 3 months no problem (2 total Outbreaks). We lost our first game in April, but it was ridiculously close.... We won May, lost our first game in June (made some poor decisions based on the new mechanisms...not as cautious as we should've been), and won July. I think we could have easily hit this point undefeated if we had played smart.

I love the game. It's been a fantastic experience....but I wouldn't mind a more difficult challenge.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I have a 2nd copy of the game that I was planning on returning, but I'm thinking about running through it with a 6th Epidemic Card from the start.
 
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Xenothon Stelnicki
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but if anyone is aware of videos of Pandemic being played with 7 Epidemics or consistently "breezy" games of 6 virulent epidemics, I'm very interested in watching them. Less so if it's two player, but still interested. If anyone has links, I'd be much obliged.
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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mfaulk80 wrote:
but I'm thinking about running through it with a 6th Epidemic Card from the start.

Inadvertent spoiler?
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Dormammu wrote:

Inadvertent spoiler?
Oh, maybe a bit...a spoiler by omission. Keep in mind that we're not done so maybe things will change. I thought about starting with a 6th card after our first game though...
 
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Theorel Masheriel
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xen911 wrote:
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but if anyone is aware of videos of Pandemic being played with 7 Epidemics or consistently "breezy" games of 6 virulent epidemics, I'm very interested in watching them. Less so if it's two player, but still interested. If anyone has links, I'd be much obliged.

Just to clarify, 6 virulent/7 epidemic games are not "breezy" for us. 6 regular epidemic games OTOH.
Well, I can only speak from my experience. I got the base-game Pandemic for my brother for his birthday ~6 years ago (while visiting him out of town for a couple weeks). We played it several times over that visit, starting at 5 epidemics with open hands, then closing hands and going to 6 epidemics. We lost some at first, but at the end of that time, I was NOT willing to get Pandemic without the OTB expansion, because I felt it was too easy, and there was no real possibility of losing (although I really enjoyed the game, and still do with OTB). My older brother, I think, started proxying a 7th epidemic card. (all of our games were 3-4 player BTW (our wives, my younger brother, and my mom all joined in variously)
---
I don't have any videos of play-through (or know of any), but I'd be happy to talk strategy.
 
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Justin G
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Me and my girlfriend are playing through a two player campaign.

We have played pandemic casually a number of times before embarking on the legacy campaign, including the "in the lab" expansion - which we really enjoy.

We have avoided using the researcher and scientist at all (and thus have avoided the co-worker relationship expressed elsewhere as an unfair combo making the game too easy).

We are 4 Losses and 6 Wins through August and would say the game is very balanced - it doesn't feel too difficult to beat but the same token we do not feel we are breezing through the months. In fact we lost April. Because the stakes are so high for losing it might not be as hard as other "merciless" coops but it nevertheless presents hard choices, and is by no means easy. It has, thus far, presented us with really solid challenges especially as the game progresses and adds new elements not previously found in the Pandemic franchise.

As noted elsewhere and suggested by one of the designers if you want to increase the difficulty you might consider adding in another epidemic card.

You could also house rule some other modifications making the game more difficult - for instance (my suggestions): not applying relationships, limiting the amount of character upgrades, playing with fewer available scar slots, playing with 1 game end upgrade and/or playing with 0 funding (i.e. no event cards).
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Mathue Faulkner
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I don't think the Researcher/Scientist coworker combo is OP. It's a great combo, and we used it one month, but there are plenty of great combos and it's situational. As the game progresses and the objectives change/increase, that particular combo becomes less attractive IMO. It's still good, but not OP.

I wouldn't want to play with house rules that take away from the players, especially the Legacy elements. Adding a 6th card is the best way to do it IMO...assuming you have the latest printing of Pandemic (which I don't...I'm old school...still remember the big blocks).
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Mike Krajewski
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mfaulk80 wrote:
I wouldn't want to play with house rules that take away from the players, especially the Legacy elements. Adding a 6th card is the best way to do it IMO...assuming you have the latest printing of Pandemic (which I don't...I'm old school...still remember the big blocks).


What I've seen suggested is to deal out 6 piles and shuffle the first 5 epidemics into the first 5 piles and set the 6th off to the side. Then once you get the first epidemic, you shuffle that into the 6th pile and put that pile at the bottom of the draw stack.

The 6th epidemic seems like the best, most straightforward way to increase difficulty without messing up any of the rest of the rules.
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Dylan Thurston
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Resurrecting an old thread here... So far my group, mostly playing with 3 players, has gotten to the end of June without losing a game yet. There's been some luck, and also we've been playing way more cautiously and thinking more about each move than we would in a non-Legacy game. (After April, Another player commented that she doesn't know whether she's ever won 4 games of Pandemic in a row.) I agree with other comments that reducing the initial funding wouldn't make much of a difference, since our funding got down to 0 pretty immediately anyway. It seems like adding an extra Epidemic card would be reasonable, at least so far.

(I'll also amplify that the game definitely changes things, and that you have to be flexible about switching your strategies around.)

Has anyone won all 12 games straight?
 
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Dylan Thurston
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mkrajew wrote:
What I've seen suggested is to deal out 6 piles and shuffle the first 5 epidemics into the first 5 piles and set the 6th off to the side. Then once you get the first epidemic, you shuffle that into the 6th pile and put that pile at the bottom of the draw stack.
This seems like it only makes the game easier, actually. In general, it doesn't seem like a great think to do in a Pandemic Legacy game, for at lesat two reasons (non-spoilery):

1. You ordinarily lose if you run out of cards, and this makes that loss condition easier .

2. The "Flexible" character upgrade has you digging through the discard piles, which is messed up by this change.
 
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Mike Krajewski
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dthurston wrote:
mkrajew wrote:
What I've seen suggested is to deal out 6 piles and shuffle the first 5 epidemics into the first 5 piles and set the 6th off to the side. Then once you get the first epidemic, you shuffle that into the 6th pile and put that pile at the bottom of the draw stack.
This seems like it only makes the game easier, actually. In general, it doesn't seem like a great think to do in a Pandemic Legacy game, for at lesat two reasons (non-spoilery):

1. You ordinarily lose if you run out of cards, and this makes that loss condition easier .

2. The "Flexible" character upgrade has you digging through the discard piles, which is messed up by this change.


This adds a single card to the player deck, but one that makes the game a lot harder. And it makes no change at all to the discard pile.

The only real change here is that the game doesn't come with a 6th epidemic card, so you use one of them twice by delaying the shuffle of the bottom 6th of the draw pile until after there's an epidemic card to add into to it.
 
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Dylan Thurston
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mkrajew wrote:
The only real change here is that the game doesn't come with a 6th epidemic card, so you use one of them twice by delaying the shuffle of the bottom 6th of the draw pile until after there's an epidemic card to add into to it.
Thanks! I had misunderstood the suggestion badly. My apologies.
 
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Kevin Streicher
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Ressurecting this because it's the first Google hit:

We aborted the game because of the difficulty. First 3 months were super easy. Then we had one EXTREMELY unlucky round and because of the legacy aspect this meant everything went down from that.

We played as two and later continued with 2 characters each because we felt there was no chance to continue in our board state with two.

We did not really enjoy a single game of it as much as I hoped and aborted after game 8. We really liked pandemic and it's expansions, and loved how Charterstone implemented it's legacy mechanism. The balancing mechanism in pandemic legacy feels lack luster and the card draw luck dependency is made not better because of legacy mechanism keeping you engaged but made even worse.

There is little in the boxes that made stuff "better" for you or rewarding and box 8 felt so underwhelming - we really hoped that one was designed to turn the tides and it did not even closely brought to the game what we would have needed to win again. That's why we aborted it.
 
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