I would like to start by saying that just hearing there was a new Pandemic in the works was enough to get me excited for this game without even knowing exactly what a 'legacy' involved. My girlfriend and I, and most of our gaming groups, are big Pandemic fans, but I think now with Pandemic Legacy we are literally Pandemic Fanatics.
So all of that being said this is absolutely an endorsement of the game with all of its potential legacy warts and it is not an unbiased one!
If you are even mildly interested in this game but the idea of 'only' playing it through to the end once is scaring you away there is value here of a different nature and also beyond that of other games. The fact that the board and rules become a living system makes the anticipation for the next game sharper than any other I've experienced. There have been other games that I finish and think "Man, I sure would like to play that again." But that feeling rarely stays for 2 or 3 or 6 play throughs. Pandemic Legacy is like reading a good book, it is an unfolding story. I don't hesitate to buy a new book just because I'm going to know how it ends after I read it.
The game may start as Pandemic, but it quickly and seamlessly evolves into something quite different. Winning handily in January our confidence was high starting February which came down to that now classic Pandemic moment where the last turn is fast approaching and the plan is either going to fall into place and allow you to win on the last action of the last turn...or it isn't.
I will pause to indulge in some more praise. The fact that this game is so often won or lost on the last turn and even the last action of a turn speaks to me so highly of how balanced and tuned it really is.
If for some reason you are still reading this, and you have not yet played February I really recommend you let your game play be slightly spoiled and seek a thread here that asks about one of the new rules. It is something that we got wrong and it seems many others have as well.
After the heady two months of wins we move into March with no funding. A great mechanic for maintaining the proper difficulty to frustration ratio in my mind. Cock-sure and full of ourselves we are blindsided towards the end of the first play of the game, and also playing with some relative no comers to Pandemic, and the world slides slightly into chaos as we lose.
The second play of March will never be spoken of again in my presence...nor the first April play...but a win at the end of April pulls us back from opening ... that box ...
As the story continues to unfold we all are now speculating (and hoping) and mostly pleasantly surprised (and hopeful). It is a story and it is so far shaping up to be a great story.
A word about the funding, though. Holy crap no funding was hard to do. Not just being unlucky with cards the fact that there are fewer cards so less time to play and then the absence of that One Quiet Night or Resilient Population or Air Lift when you really, really needed it... what a difference a few dollars makes. So I need to know, because people WE MUST KEEP THE CDC FUNDED!! Where do I send the check?
Keep Playing and Wash Those Hands People!