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I played this entire campaign solo, controlling two characters in each game.

I did this over the course of three evenings and most of a Saturday.

If you haven't played Pandemic, it's a cooperative game in which players use the specific abilities of their unique characters to travel a world map, collect the right combination of cards and cure diseases before those same diseases run rampant and destroy the world. It's a great game and you should check it out.

If you haven't played a Legacy style game, it's defined by making permanent changes to the board or components in-between games. Risk Legacy is the first of the genre and this might be the second.

I enjoy Pandemic greatly, and I enjoyed Risk Legacy greatly as well. In my gaming group we have 4 different Risk Legacy boards, and each is different from the others.

Pandemic Legacy differs from Risk in one important way, which is that Pandemic follows an unfolding plot, whereas Risk, doesn't.

To elaborate on that a bit, I was a bit disappointed with Pandemic Legacy about halfway through when
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I realized that the plot will always be the same per playthrough, just the timing of certain events may be slightly different, and one color might be more important in playthrough A than playthrough B.


Still, not a deal breaker.

The plot progression works very well. By adding a structure to the game, a very specific experience is crafted. Pandemic differs greatly from Risk in this way. In Risk, whatever narrative exists is organic and fashioned by the players.

In Pandemic, while there are organic narrative elements to be found,
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the game is largely "on rails"


The story elements that exist however are very cool, and at the end of the campaign I felt that I had played an entire story.

This game is rated highly on BGG at the time of this writing, and not undeservedly so, but I'm calling this an 8/10, as opposed to higher, for the following reason:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Unlike Risk Legacy, at the end of which, you have a unique board to play Risk on, at the end of Pandemic Legacy, you have a board you'll have to clean up if you want to keep playing Pandemic. In fact, it's probably just better to buy a copy of Pandemic and some expansions.

While the story that is told is cool, it is a one shot story, and unless you take careful notes(which I'll do with my second copy) the only way to experience that story again, is to shell out another $60.

And frankly, I don't feel like a got a $60 game. I got a cool experience that ended with a game board I have literally no use for. Luckily I own Pandemic and some expansions, so I have those to go back to.


All that being said, I enjoyed the experience.

Do I feel I got my money's worth? No, I do not.
Was this a unique way to play Pandemic? Absolutely.
Am I glad I played it? Yes.
Will I play my second copy with a notebook and some card sleeves so I can reset the world and play again? Absolutely.
Do I think this is more cash-grabby than Risk Legacy? I do. For this simple reason
Spoiler (click to reveal)
When I finish a Risk Legacy board, I can still play Risk on a unique board, whereas with Pandemic, the game is over, in such a way, that your unique board is better suited hung on the wall than to be used for a game of Pandemic.


So, 8/10, split the cost with your friends, don't bother tearing up any cards. Have a coin and a trashbag handy. There will be scratch off cards, and you will make a terrible mess otherwise.

At the end I felt I had accomplished something, but I wanted about $20 back.
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Mathue Faulkner
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Your 2nd spoiler doesn't seem like much of a spoiler considering the rest of your review...

A few threads/videos on the main idea of your review:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20881719#20881719
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1467497/13th-month-spoilers
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...
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Darren Sacre
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Thanks for your feedback. I've just recently finished playing this through with my wife and though it was absolutely fantastic. One of the best game experiences I've ever had.

I wonder if your opinion is affected by the fact that you played it solo. I enjoy solo games as well, but sharing the tension created by Pandemic Legacy was a huge part of the enjoyment for me.

And yes, I agree to an extent with your comments about the game feeling scripted but I see that as a positive, not a detractor. It felt as though you were seeing a story unfold that you were part of without, to us anyway, ever feeling like you were losing agency in the game.

It was helpful to hear your comments on Risk Legacy as well. I have never played that but would like to give it a go after enjoying this game so much.
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Luke
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Your 2nd spoiler doesn't seem like much of a spoiler considering the rest of your review...

A few threads/videos on the main idea of your review:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20881719#20881719
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1467497/13th-month-spoilers
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...


Thanks Mathue, my first attempt using spoiler tags. That one may be unneeded. Or do you think more of my review should be behind tags?

And thanks for the links, I've checked most of those, and there's a lot of good stuff in there. But that's why I'm giving this an 8 and the BGG community a 9.5
 
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darrensacre wrote:

I wonder if your opinion is affected by the fact that you played it solo. I enjoy solo games as well, but sharing the tension created by Pandemic Legacy was a huge part of the enjoyment for me.

And yes, I agree to an extent with your comments about the game feeling scripted but I see that as a positive, not a detractor. It felt as though you were seeing a story unfold that you were part of without, to us anyway, ever feeling like you were losing agency in the game.

It was helpful to hear your comments on Risk Legacy as well. I have never played that but would like to give it a go after enjoying this game so much.


I expect playing it solo affected my view of it somewhat. I want to play a second campaign with three other humans next time around. I'll just watch and let them make all the decisions. Right or wrong.

I should clarify that the scripted nature isn't a deal breaker at all, and I did enjoy a number of elements of it, I just worry that multiple playthroughs won't differ greatly. I could be wrong though. Maybe I'll write a second review after my second campaign.

Glad you found my thoughts on Risk Legacy useful. I recommend it if you like Risk at all.
 
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I really appreciate this kind of review after hearing that it's the best game of all time for the month or so that it's been out.

You addressed my main concern, which is that you are paying more money than Pandemic costs for a version of Pandemic you can only play a finite number of times. Now, I own and enjoy Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: The Thames Murders & Other Cases, but the difference there is that once I'm done I can sell it or trade it or do something other than throw it out.

Already owning the base game plus expansions plus the dice game, I think I'm going to pass on this one for now. Sounds like a fun experience, but there are other games I want that don't become bricks after you play ~18 times. Those games are also cheaper.
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mfaulk80 wrote:
Your 2nd spoiler doesn't seem like much of a spoiler considering the rest of your review...

A few threads/videos on the main idea of your review:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20881719#20881719
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1467497/13th-month-spoilers
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...


Reading through the variants actually makes me less interested in the game. Why pay another 60 bucks when, with the base game and two expansions, I have:

18 different roles
16 different events
a solo version
a team version
a hidden traitor version
alternate epidemics
an alternate cure-finding mechanism
two mutation challenges

Plus, the best part, I can play with any/all of these things as many times as I want!
 
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Mathue Faulkner
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chopkins828 wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
Your 2nd spoiler doesn't seem like much of a spoiler considering the rest of your review...

A few threads/videos on the main idea of your review:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20881719#20881719
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1467497/13th-month-spoilers
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...


Reading through the variants actually makes me less interested in the game. Why pay another 60 bucks when, with the base game and two expansions, I have:

18 different roles
16 different events
a solo version
a team version
a hidden traitor version
alternate epidemics
an alternate cure-finding mechanism
two mutation challenges

Plus, the best part, I can play with any/all of these things as many times as I want!

You're paying $60 for the Legacy part. It just happens to both be compatible with regular Pandemic expansions, and playable as a variant version of the Legacy final state. For me, the storyline and surprises were interesting but they also weren't the part that really sold me. The bigger part for me was the meta-game, thinking about the long term consequences of normally meaningless decisions. Also, it was the personalization of the board, characters, etc.. The Legacy part alone was worth the price of admission, but being able to use that personalized material to play vanilla Pandemic as well as 90+% of the expansion material is a nice bonus. Honestly, I burnt out on normal Pandemic well before the latest batch of expansion stuff. Legacy is the thing that finally got me excited about the game again. Now I'm curious about the last few expansions because I have a compatible game to play it with now...
 
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mfaulk80 wrote:
chopkins828 wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
Your 2nd spoiler doesn't seem like much of a spoiler considering the rest of your review...

A few threads/videos on the main idea of your review:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20881719#20881719
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1467497/13th-month-spoilers
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1461695/what-now-spoilers-w...


Reading through the variants actually makes me less interested in the game. Why pay another 60 bucks when, with the base game and two expansions, I have:

18 different roles
16 different events
a solo version
a team version
a hidden traitor version
alternate epidemics
an alternate cure-finding mechanism
two mutation challenges

Plus, the best part, I can play with any/all of these things as many times as I want!

You're paying $60 for the Legacy part. It just happens to both be compatible with regular Pandemic expansions, and playable as a variant version of the Legacy final state. For me, the storyline and surprises were interesting but they also weren't the part that really sold me. The bigger part for me was the meta-game, thinking about the long term consequences of normally meaningless decisions. Also, it was the personalization of the board, characters, etc.. The Legacy part alone was worth the price of admission, but being able to use that personalized material to play vanilla Pandemic as well as 90+% of the expansion material is a nice bonus. Honestly, I burnt out on normal Pandemic well before the latest batch of expansion stuff. Legacy is the thing that finally got me excited about the game again. Now I'm curious about the last few expansions because I have a compatible game to play it with now...


I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm sure it's a great experience for a lot of people. If you have a large gaming budget, and room for lots of games, and lots of time to play those games, then I can see where this would be a fun thing to do. My games budget is small, I have a smallish collection (by BGG standards), and there's no way I could have played through 18 games of Pandemic in a month like everyone else seemed to.

Therefore some games take precedence. I already have a board I can play Pandemic on. I'm not going to spend $60 on a board I can play Pandemic on that's different because stickers.
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mfaulk80 wrote:
The Legacy part alone was worth the price of admission, but being able to use that personalized material to play vanilla Pandemic as well as 90+% of the expansion material is a nice bonus.

Can you speak a bit more about this. So many people seemed to say that the board was essentially ruined and couldn't be used again, including the review above, and yours is the only to say that it is fine to use again. This is the one aspect that is holding me back from getting the game.

Or is there a way to play through the game without altering the board too much to affect playing normal Pandemic after the campaign is over? Plastic sheet over it?

 
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Mathue Faulkner
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cornixt wrote:
mfaulk80 wrote:
The Legacy part alone was worth the price of admission, but being able to use that personalized material to play vanilla Pandemic as well as 90+% of the expansion material is a nice bonus.

Can you speak a bit more about this. So many people seemed to say that the board was essentially ruined and couldn't be used again, including the review above, and yours is the only to say that it is fine to use again. This is the one aspect that is holding me back from getting the game.

Or is there a way to play through the game without altering the board too much to affect playing normal Pandemic after the campaign is over? Plastic sheet over it?


Watch the first few minutes of this: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20881719#20881719

There are no spoilers in the initial part of the video, and he very clearly announced when he is going to transition to spoilers for the rest of the video.
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Ah, so you can stick with all the changes you've made, or just peel off the stickers and play the original board. Have to wonder if the crazy hate aimed at the game is based on people being misinformed or just lying then.
 
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cornixt wrote:
Ah, so you can stick with all the changes you've made, or just peel off the stickers and play the original board. Have to wonder if the crazy hate aimed at the game is based on people being misinformed or just lying then.


Is there crazy hate for it? That's too bad, it's undeserved.

It's a good game worth playing, and with little difficulty one box could be replayed multiple times.

Just get a notebook, some card sleeves and some counters.
 
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