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Subject: Before it's too late: game is too easy? rss

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King Maple
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I started Pandemic Legacy campaign with a group where I was the only one with experience with regular Pandemic. Smart group of people and I was not doing any quarterbacking other than mention some common strategies (cures more important than eradication, etc).

We won first three games. The last one with no funding. And yes, no rules mistakes, I know the game well.

So I am in a bit of a pickle. While all three games were close in the end and everybody had great fun, I am worried that the game cannot catch up.

Players get two upgrades at the end of every game, but the game itself doesn't upgrade itself enough to match.

Is there anything I can do? Because I fear that we could steamroll it to 12 wins with no problems and I am disappointed that the game did not include an additional Epidemic card.
 
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Mathias Heilmann
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If you don't have a 6th epidemic card from another version of Pandemic (with the same back), you can just make 6 card piles during the setup of the game. Only put five of them on the board and after the first epidemic, shuffle the card into the 6th pile and put it underneath the rest.
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King Maple
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Heilz wrote:
If you don't have a 6th epidemic card from another version of Pandemic (with the same back), you can just make 6 card piles during the setup of the game. Only put five of them on the board and after the first epidemic, shuffle the card into the 6th pile and put it underneath the rest.
This sounds like a good idea. Winning with 0 funding and game not balancing anything, while still giving us two upgrades seems too easy.

I'll use 6 epidemics if we win with 0 funding and perhapsperhaps revert, if necessary.
 
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Richard Ham
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I've talked to Matt Leacock briefly about this, and he confirmed that they have designed P:L to be slightly easier than original Pandemic. So if you want to get a challenge more in line with what you're used to, you might want to use this designer-authorized variant that increases difficulty: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1456728/6th-epidemic-ca...
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Max Maloney
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Slashdoctor wrote:
Heilz wrote:
If you don't have a 6th epidemic card from another version of Pandemic (with the same back), you can just make 6 card piles during the setup of the game. Only put five of them on the board and after the first epidemic, shuffle the card into the 6th pile and put it underneath the rest.
This sounds like a good idea. Winning with 0 funding and game not balancing anything, while still giving us two upgrades seems too easy.

I'll use 6 epidemics if we win with 0 funding and perhapsperhaps revert, if necessary.
I will say that my Legacy campaign begun the way yours did and quickly devolved. Sadly, this was mostly due to random chance. I think there is a small flaw in the design of this game that a couple of bad-luck set-ups can make the entire campaign annoyingly difficult forever more.
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Richard Ham
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Dormammu wrote:
Slashdoctor wrote:
Heilz wrote:
If you don't have a 6th epidemic card from another version of Pandemic (with the same back), you can just make 6 card piles during the setup of the game. Only put five of them on the board and after the first epidemic, shuffle the card into the 6th pile and put it underneath the rest.
This sounds like a good idea. Winning with 0 funding and game not balancing anything, while still giving us two upgrades seems too easy.

I'll use 6 epidemics if we win with 0 funding and perhapsperhaps revert, if necessary.
I will say that my Legacy campaign begun the way yours did and quickly devolved. Sadly, this was mostly due to random chance. I think there is a small flaw in the design of this game that a couple of bad-luck set-ups can make the entire campaign annoyingly difficult forever more.
The 'bad luck setup' factor is the reason that the variable power stuff is there. If you end up with a worse than normal map and therefore lose, your group becomes more powerful as a result to deal with it.

Also, a lot of people seem to miss this, but the setup rules have changed significantly from regular Pandemic. In P:L, you wait until *after* everyone's drawn their starting hand to decide everything else about player setup. This gives you so much more advance opportunity to plan for contingencies, and it means (IMO) that a bad-luck setup isn't anywhere near as problematic as it once was. This is such an important change, I'm definitely going to retro fit it back into original Pandemic rules
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King Maple
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Rahdo, how would you retrofit this back to original Pandemic? Since players in original Pandemic still have to start in a research station. You'd allow players to move to a different starting location?
 
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Gamer D

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Without getting into spoilers I will warn you that certain aspects of the game later on in the year use the Epidemic cards as a timer. So they're built assuming that you have up to five ticks on the clock to complete them. Adding an extra epidemic card to the deck might make completing those tasks a bit problematic.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Note that the first 3 months are the easiest. For many, the games weren't even close. I think it gets gradually more difficult starting in April. If your first three games were close, then at least play two more months before upping the difficulty IMO. If you were blowing the game out, then maybe consider it now. We only had two total outbreaks in our first three games, but we lost our first game in April....although that was bad luck as much as anything.
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I'd suggest add something like this to the funding auto balancing process...

If you win with zero funding, play the next game with +1 epidemic.

If you win with +1 epidemic, convert 1 green epidemic card to a red epidemic from OtB.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Coda cannot become the virulent strain


If you lose with +1 epidemic, revert all apidemics to green, revert to 5 epidemics, and play with zero funding.
 
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Richard Ham
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Slashdoctor wrote:
Rahdo, how would you retrofit this back to original Pandemic? Since players in original Pandemic still have to start in a research station. You'd allow players to move to a different starting location?
No for regular Pandemic I just meant choosing characters after your start hands are drawn instead of before
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Chad Horsley
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I highly recommend that you just play the game the way it is designed. As a group that easily won our first three games, once we hit April, we have now lost three games in a row so two aprils and one may. I think it is designed to give you a false sense of security before hell breaks loose and you start crying.
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King Maple
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I really like falling to 6 epidemics if winning with 0 funding. Let the game slap us, should it happen. I don't see how badly April will be more difficult, without talking too much about spoilers, one certain thing is VERY easy to contain with quarantines. I don't see it being insanely harder in April.

I'll see next weekend though.
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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Slashdoctor wrote:
I really like falling to 6 epidemics if winning with 0 funding. Let the game slap us, should it happen. I don't see how badly April will be more difficult, without talking too much about spoilers, one certain thing is VERY easy to contain with quarantines. I don't see it being insanely harder in April.

I'll see next weekend though.
Here are a couple more threads for some more opinions on the topic:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1458654/no-spoilers-fair-wa...
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1451277/think-i-am-doing-to...
 
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Jim Alexander
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While I haven't played Legacy yet, I find the two most difficult things to overcome in the base game are 1) A bad initial set-up of infected cities and/or 2) A very early draw of an Epidemic card (1st or 2nd player). For me, those two things have been the most difficult things to overcome. In games where I get a decent initial set-up and the first Epidemic card holds off for at least a couple of player turns, it's within reason to keep things under control, IMO.
 
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Kerrin 2
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I have to agree that both this game and regular Pandemic game can be very swingy due to the cards.

Just the other night we lost on the third player's first turn due to outbreaks. gulp
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King Maple
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I disagree with the game being swingy. Usually game can be swingy if the cards are not thoroughly shuffled. Yes there is a chance for a bad draw - with one color being very dominant, but the chance of this happening is very, very low (and pretty unlikely within 12-24 games).

The number one suggestion is to shuffle all cards thoroughly. Lazy shuffle when setting up the game for a second or third playthrough will impact your experience notably.

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Kerrin 2
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I disagree with poor shuffling being the problem. For Pandemic Legacy (and all games) I shuffle cards very thoroughly - using the same method used by casinos at tables where the dealer not a machine shuffles the cards.

For regular Pandemic I play on the iPad so I'm not in charge of shuffling the cards. Earlier today I played on the iPad and lost to outbreaks on the third player's first turn. Just a few minutes ago I lost one turn from winning because an epidemic came up on the turn before I would win and of the 18 city cards shuffled and placed on to of the infection deck the one city card that could have caused me to lose to outbreaks was drawn.

This seems to be the way most of my losses happen. I know I'm not a world class Pandemic player, but still, the infection cards can often cause a loss no matter how well the player plays the game.

The game is fun and a great challenge for me but I recignize the swinginess the cards can have.
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Andy G
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Slashdoctor wrote:
I started Pandemic Legacy campaign with a group where I was the only one with experience with regular Pandemic. Smart group of people and I was not doing any quarterbacking other than mention some common strategies (cures more important than eradication, etc).

We won first three games. The last one with no funding. And yes, no rules mistakes, I know the game well.

So I am in a bit of a pickle. While all three games were close in the end and everybody had great fun, I am worried that the game cannot catch up.

Players get two upgrades at the end of every game, but the game itself doesn't upgrade itself enough to match.

Is there anything I can do? Because I fear that we could steamroll it to 12 wins with no problems and I am disappointed that the game did not include an additional Epidemic card.
We're having exactly the same experience:
- 2 players playing 2 characters each (20ish vanilla Pandemic + 10 ITL games under our belt)
- JAN-MAR: 3 won, 0 loss, only 1 outbreak per game

We've decided to add the 6th Epidemic card for April (+4 funded events to start):
- Won April with 3 outbreaks, but it was really really hard...

So we're now going through MAY with 6th epidemics + 2 funded events, for sure!
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kurt de vos
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.

Players get two upgrades at the end of every game. ???


is not that the team gets 2 upgrades and you choose what 2 upgrades are divided amongst the players / cards , otherwise you won't have upgrades enough for the entire game !!! and this makes it a whole lot easier

 
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King Maple
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Gomoriki wrote:
.

Players get two upgrades at the end of every game. ???


is not that the team gets 2 upgrades and you choose what 2 upgrades are divided amongst the players / cards , otherwise you won't have upgrades enough for the entire game !!! and this makes it a whole lot easier

Players as a group, not each player.
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C V
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We've won everything through October on the first shot. Some were close (multiple 3 cube cities at EOG), but none were we in legitimate danger of losing.

The reason it's going so well is simple: we eradicated two diseases in our first game and chose to apply stickers to both as our game end upgrade. Since then, we haven't needed to be in a lab to cure two of the four, combine that with a Scientist and that's overpowered. Throw in the second positive mutation sticker (can cure without an action) and you can cure as you draw cards at the end of the turn. Now add a relationship and it gets blatantly overpowered. We only have two CDC's, Atlanta and Hong Kong, and only very recently bothered to add a third because we no longer need to be in them for anything.

We even let a city outbreak twice deliberately in the latest game, to further an objective that required a rioting city. Why? Because we didn't have any rioting cities. We're in october and only two cities had outbreaks, ever.

We're playing 2 player which I understand is easier than four. I'm tempted to put virulent epidemics in next box. I'm waiting for this game to kick my ass and it just hasn't yet.
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Andy G
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Just a couple of updates for anyone finding PL too easy and considering throwing in the 6th Epidemic card.
(I'm playing the Italian version, so I apologize if the translation is not the same as english rulebook)

APRIL (6 Epidemic cards + 4 funded events)
*spoilers*

Spoiler (click to reveal)
won with 3 outbreaks, more or less with everything under control
(cards distribution was more or less standard, not lucky not bad...

I think the 6th Epidemic card does not affect much the whole "Faded Guys & Cities" thing.


MAY (6 epdidemic cards + 2 funded events)
*spoilers*

Spoiler (click to reveal)
LOST due to a massive chain reaction in the CodA region; really really unlucky draw during the 4th Epidemic

I'm a bit worried about how the new rule (you know, when you draw a player card beloging to the CodA colour, you have to add a Faded Guy on that city) impacts on the game with 6 Epidemics... I'm a bit afraid it hardens the whole thing too much.

But I have to say, we haven't been aggressive enough in blocking roads across the Faded Cities.

And that damned contamination card draws has been really tragic... it was the worst card in the whole deck angry

So I'm really curious to see how the 2nd try is going to be.




 
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Dean L
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Slashdoctor wrote:
I disagree with the game being swingy. Usually game can be swingy if the cards are not thoroughly shuffled. Yes there is a chance for a bad draw - with one color being very dominant, but the chance of this happening is very, very low (and pretty unlikely within 12-24 games).

The number one suggestion is to shuffle all cards thoroughly. Lazy shuffle when setting up the game for a second or third playthrough will impact your experience notably.

The swingy-ness can also increase based on upgrades. One very dominant colour that you have a level 4 mutation on is a lovely way to start!
 
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Adrian Rodriguez
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I think game difficulty varies a lot depending on your choices, performance & legacy systems

My personal difficulty scale(+ makes the game easier, - makes the game harder):
+5 Positive mutations
+4 Optimal upgrade great roles
+3 Funding
+2 Great roles
+1 Other upgrades
#0 Losing with less than 4 outbreaks, non upgraded & neutral roles.
-1 No Funding
-2 Non optimal roles
-3 Having scars
-4 Losing due to outbreaks
-5 No positive mutations

So if you want the most difficult experience while still winning, don't select positive mutations, instead fund the city events, build research stations (which may get destroyed due to rioting, essentially losing one game-end upgrade) and select the not so great character upgrades. In other words, keep the rules as closest to regular pandemic *gasp*.
 
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