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Subject: The 13th Month (spoilers) rss

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Richard Ham
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I've got two suggestions for different ways to keep playing P:L once you've finished the main campaign. One I call "The 4th Expansion", and you can click here for a thread devoted to it. The other is called...

The 13th Month
The year is over and our CDC heroes still have their character upgrades, positive mutations, relationships, scars, unfunded events, equipment, and starting facilities. But, the three regular diseases have resurfaced, as well as a new weakened COdA virus, and one member of the CDC team has been taken by Zodiac. Will Alpha Team be able to find their comrade and save the world one more time?

Setup
Follow normal P:L rules with the following changes/additions:

4.1) Instead of setting up search track in step 8, do so now, by choosing randomly either the virologist, immunologist or solder card. Whichever card is selected, that character (if not already lost) is not available for players to choose this session.

5) based on the desired game difficulty, add anywhere from 0 to 8 randomly chosen Funded Event cards to the player deck, shuffle, and everyone draws their staring hand based on # of players.

9) there is never a game winning bonus to apply.

9.1) players must agree as a group whether or not to play in Legacy mode, where new stickers can still be applied (see below).

Gameplay
During play, ignore any inoculated stickers on city locations, and players cannot take the action to inoculate cities, though vaccines can be used as normal to remove faded figures.

Because inoculation stickers are ignored, faded figures get added to faded cities as normal, due to infection card draws as well as COdA colored city card draws. Faded figures can spread into non-faded cities, but these cities will not become faded. Rather, these cities can have both regular cubes and faded figures on them, and when their infection card is drawn, a new Faded figure appears in addition to whatever cubes would normally appear.

The location for the search action to be performed is any destroyed military base on the map (if there are none, one can be built and then sabotaged by players as normal - this represents the players finding and the breaking into a secret base somewhere in the world). If the search track is successfully completed, the character who was removed from selection during setup is now available, and the player that completed the search can switch to this role, or maintain their current role (this change cannot happen later).

In order to win, two of three objectives must be completed:

*find cures for the three standard diseases (this must always be completed)
*complete the search card successfully
*all faded figures are removed from the board or "contained" (i.e. roadblocked from any connected cities)

To play the 13th month in "hard mode", all three objectives must be completed to win.

Legacy Mode
If players have chosen to play the 13th Month in Legacy mode, then city panic levels can rise as normal (potentially permanently destroying labs & factories), and characters can take scars as normal. These both lead to new permanent stickers being applied as normal. If a character takes a fatal number of scars, do not destroy the character card, but simply remove it from the game and replace it with a civilian. At the end of the game, the team receives two end game upgrades as normal.

If players opt not to play in Legacy mode, then city panic levels are fixed and will not rise, though epidemics still cause character scars. However, if a character would ever take a scar, instead of adding a new sticker, place a Faded Figure taken from the supply on an available scar slot on their character card to temporarily fill it. If they have no available scar slots, then their character dies and the game is immediately lost. Regardless of whether they win or lose, the players will not receive any end game upgrades.
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Joel Eddy
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Re: The 13th Month
I like that COdA variant. There are some good thoughts here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...

I may steal some of your ideas in the COdA variant, specifically how to incorporate the military bases with a random search... except that final search. Screw that thing

Maybe randomly draw the search first, then you can't use that character at start, but once you do find it, you can swap it out for one that was chosen at the beginning.

I think I would combine the ability to produce vaccine with finding the character in question and also finding a cure (as outlined in that thread) for the COdA normally, but that might be too hard.
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Richard Ham
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eekamouse wrote:
I like that COdA variant. There are some good thoughts here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...

Yeah, I should read that thread... i just wanted to get all my ideas down first while they were fresh in my head (just finished yesterday, and already there's a hole in my heart that needs to be filled!)

Quote:
I may steal some of your ideas in the COdA variant, specifically how to incorporate the military bases with a random search... except that final search. Screw that thing

Oh yeah, that "final boss fight" doesn't have a place in normal play.

Quote:
Maybe randomly draw the search first, then you can't use that character at start, but once you do find it, you can swap it out for one that was chosen at the beginning.

Ah, that's cool! Thematically, I was going for "in the army bases, there must be evidence of the new COdA strain that we didn't destroy in Atlanta final boss fight" and I was just re-purposing the track cards with a bit of randomness.

But I love that person X has disappeared (grabbed by Zodiac, held in secret base UNDER the military base ruins). That's hella cool, although one problem is that some players might have had that character die.

Quote:
I think I would combine the ability to produce vaccine with finding the character in question and also finding a cure (as outlined in that thread) for the COdA normally, but that might be too hard.

That was my first thought, I didn't want the game to become "prescribed" (you must do X then Y then Z), hence the alternate ways to win:

*military heavy for lots of roadblocks
*military light for search then vaccine
*speed, leveraging you equipment (grenades, airstrikes, etc.)

I was also thinking of another new way to take out faded: remove a single figure by discarding the city card matching the city of the figure, while you're in that city. So that could create another way to win without forcing you to do X or Y or Z and 'follow the path'. But I was trying to change as little as possible from the P:L rules, so i opted not to add more new functionality. But honestly, i think that would work fine and create another good decision point.

The real question is, are my guesses for the relative values of event cards vs obsolete upgrades and degraded cities correct. Fingers crossed that Matt or Rob might weigh in, though I know that's crazy talk
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Richard Ham
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rahdo wrote:
That's hella cool

Okay, thinking more, that's so cool I had to add that in!
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Mike Krajewski
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rahdo wrote:
Fingers crossed that Matt or Rob might weigh in, though I know that's crazy talk
I'm pretty sure they don't read the Variant forums so they can't be accused of taking someone's idea for a future possible expansion.
 
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mkrajew wrote:
rahdo wrote:
Fingers crossed that Matt or Rob might weigh in, though I know that's crazy talk
I'm pretty sure they don't read the Variant forums so they can't be accused of taking someone's idea for a future possible expansion.


It would be cool to have some sort of "official"-ish scenario you could play over and over after completing the game. But, it might not be necessary. There's enough good ideas I've seen floating around that I think folks should be encouraged to create their own.

The core game is streamlined enough that it's pretty open to tweaks back and forth.
 
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Richard Ham
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mkrajew wrote:
rahdo wrote:
Fingers crossed that Matt or Rob might weigh in, though I know that's crazy talk
I'm pretty sure they don't read the Variant forums so they can't be accused of taking someone's idea for a future possible expansion.

If either of them are at BGG.con, I plan on holding them captive in my hotel room until we've worked out the fine points of the new rules!
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rahdo wrote:
mkrajew wrote:
rahdo wrote:
Fingers crossed that Matt or Rob might weigh in, though I know that's crazy talk
I'm pretty sure they don't read the Variant forums so they can't be accused of taking someone's idea for a future possible expansion.

If either of them are at BGG.con, I plan on holding them captive in my hotel room until we've worked out the fine points of the new rules!


Count me in. I will run look out... or getaway car. Sign me up!
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Richard Ham
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Another interesting game modification to consider... someone on youtube mentioned to me that he's got almost a dozen 5's (fallen cities) on his board, all clumped together around Europe. I was thinking that maybe, for ongoing games in the 'new map', any 5 (fallen) city on the board should have its infection card removed from the infection deck (as if it had been nuked). Thematically, there's no population there, so there's no one to get sick (though viruses could spread from neighboring outbreaks as people flee into the wasteland). It would make the game easier because 5's can't be infected, but it would also be harder because with those cards *removed* from the infection deck, that would speed up the spread of cubes in the remainder of cities.
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Hector Castejon
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rahdo wrote:
Another interesting game modification to consider... someone on youtube mentioned to me that he's got almost a dozen 5's (fallen cities) on his board, all clumped together around Europe. I was thinking that maybe, for ongoing games in the 'new map', any 5 (fallen) city on the board should have its infection card removed from the infection deck (as if it had been nuked). Thematically, there's no population there, so there's no one to get sick (though viruses could spread from neighboring outbreaks as people flee into the wasteland). It would make the game easier because 5's can't be infected, but it would also be harder because with those cards *removed* from the infection deck, that would speed up the spread of cubes in the remainder of cities.


Note: Just for the record, I am "Mr. Someone on Youtube"

Those ideas seem really nice. I will try them. And yes, maybe this is a better place to discuss it hahaha

I don't think it would speed up too much the spread of cubes. In a normal game, you don't use many of the cards anyway. You would have a higher concentration of cubes. In case of outbreak, it could be a disaster. But you would need to move less to cure things.
 
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Kunonin wrote:
rahdo wrote:
Another interesting game modification to consider... someone on youtube mentioned to me that he's got almost a dozen 5's (fallen cities) on his board, all clumped together around Europe. I was thinking that maybe, for ongoing games in the 'new map', any 5 (fallen) city on the board should have its infection card removed from the infection deck (as if it had been nuked). Thematically, there's no population there, so there's no one to get sick (though viruses could spread from neighboring outbreaks as people flee into the wasteland). It would make the game easier because 5's can't be infected, but it would also be harder because with those cards *removed* from the infection deck, that would speed up the spread of cubes in the remainder of cities.


Note: Just for the record, I am "Mr. Someone on Youtube"

I have a stalker!!!

Quote:
Those ideas seem really nice. I will try them. And yes, maybe this is a better place to discuss it hahaha

I don't think it would speed up too much the spread of cubes. In a normal game, you don't use many of the cards anyway. You would have a higher concentration of cubes. In case of outbreak, it could be a disaster. But you would need to move less to cure things.

I was thinking about it some more... maybe taking out all '5' infection cards is too much. Maybe as part of setup, before shuffling the infection deck, pull out all of the fallen city cards, randomly select half of them rounded down to remove from the deck, and then put the rest in and shuffle as normal. I think that could be a very interesting balancing act to try to maintain, and it'd be a bit unpredictable but not quite so overwhelming for the circumstance you're in.

Thematically, some of the fallen cities still have pockets of humanity in them who can get sick, but each time you play, you can't be sure which ones
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rahdo wrote:

I have a stalker!!!


Well, according to your Youtube channel, you have around 35,432 stalkers.


Quote:

I was thinking about it some more... maybe taking out all '5' infection cards is too much. Maybe as part of setup, before shuffling the infection deck, pull out all of the fallen city cards, randomly select half of them rounded down to remove from the deck, and then put the rest in and shuffle as normal. I think that could be a very interesting balancing act to try to maintain, and it'd be a bit unpredictable but not quite so overwhelming for the circumstance you're in.

Thematically, some of the fallen cities still have pockets of humanity in them who can get sick, but each time you play, you can't be sure which ones


I will try that.

I also may try the following alternative: ignore (replace and mix) any initial card for a fallen city in which you have to put more than 1 cube. So normal play, but being sure none of them is almost on outbreak on the first turn. THe same for "Epidemic, step 2".
This way you won't start with an almost unavoidable outbreak, and you have time to plan your trips to the "fallen zone".

Thematically, since there are not many people, it is also rare to have a fast growing, big concentration of infected people.

Alternatively if it is too easy, fallen cities would only add at most 2 cubes (both in preparation and "Epidemic, step 2" card). Same thematic.


They both follow the principle: "moving inside the zone is hard" (if not using your rule of not extra cost once you are inside). "So we don't want a sudden outbreak that we couldn't predict". You should be able to "predict" outbreaks inside, so you can always go there to remove cubes. Many times you will have to stop your plans half way, and
let other cities outbreak, but you would have no things like "Epidemic, Step 2: Paris; then reshufle; then Paris again > outbreak". My experience says that, in my map, an outbreak in Paris or Milan limits your time a lot. I couldn't control it anymore, so I was ignoring it, and focusing on finish the objectives ASAP. A race against the Outbreaks. But it is also true that I couldn't remove the "fallens". So now may be easier (no danger of scars)


I think your idea will work better anyway. But I will try both
 
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Kunonin wrote:
you have time to plan your trips to the "fallen zone"

Can i just say how awesome it is that you have a Pandemic map with an entire Fallen Zone? Man, that sounds so cool, I'd love to play on that map some day!
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rahdo wrote:
Kunonin wrote:
you have time to plan your trips to the "fallen zone"

Can i just say how awesome it is that you have a Pandemic map with an entire Fallen Zone? Man, that sounds so cool, I'd love to play on that map some day!

That's one of the reasons I'm probably going to buy a second copy for my wife and I to play through at 6+ epidemics. I wonder if it would even work with the Virulent strain from On the Brink...
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What about possibly introducing mechanics to reduce panic levels? Perhaps not all the way to 0, but something that might bring a fallen city back to the edge or calm some rioting?
 
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mtyree1972 wrote:
What about possibly introducing mechanics to reduce panic levels? Perhaps not all the way to 0, but something that might bring a fallen city back to the edge or calm some rioting?

There's all sorts of stuff one can do, certainly, but for the most part I was trying to introduce the absolute minimum new rules/changes as possible. If the designers had included something like that in the game, I'd love to leverage it, but they opted not to
 
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Kunonin wrote:
I think your idea will work better anyway. But I will try both

I dunno... I really like the elegance of your "fallen cities can never have more than one cube added to as a result of any action". Thematically strong, and very easy to keep track of.
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rahdo wrote:
Kunonin wrote:
you have time to plan your trips to the "fallen zone"

Can i just say how awesome it is that you have a Pandemic map with an entire Fallen Zone? Man, that sounds so cool, I'd love to play on that map some day!


If I manage to go to some fair like Essen, I will bring my copy for sure
But according to my agenda, it is not going to be soon

I technically lied. I said "all Europe". Well, technically it is "all BLUE europe+Algeria". So 1 city less. In my mind the regions are by colour
Here a photo of it:
http://s30.postimg.org/t1i5q9d81/IMG_20151106_183631.jpg

Quote:

What about possibly introducing mechanics to reduce panic levels? Perhaps not all the way to 0, but something that might bring a fallen city back to the edge or calm some rioting?


Also, I think that use "limited use items" (here stickers) for the "play as much as you want" rules may create some problems. You can change the rules as much as you want if they are not perfect. But if you mess up with the stickers and custom rules, it may be forever.
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mtyree1972 wrote:
What about possibly introducing mechanics to reduce panic levels? Perhaps not all the way to 0, but something that might bring a fallen city back to the edge or calm some rioting?


Perhaps some way to dispatch a military presence to "restore" partial order?

rahdo wrote:
There's all sorts of stuff one can do, certainly, but for the most part I was trying to introduce the absolute minimum new rules/changes as possible. If the designers had included something like that in the game, I'd love to leverage it, but they opted not to


It's possible the designers may not have considered this because they weren't anticipating people wanting to play regular Pandemic on the their P:L map boards following a conclusion of the campaign.
 
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Richard Ham
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I'm now pretty much 100% set on the "13th Month" variant (we've even tried it Legacy style to get some of the blood pumping... more stickers are always terrifying!), and I'm now bending my thoughts more towards specifics of how to treat P:L as an expansion for regular Pandemic, as a bunch of separate modules that can be turned on and off like the other expansions.

Turns out, it's even easier to do, as almost no P:L rules have to change. Here's a thread where I lay it all out: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1518368/legacy-4th-pand...
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