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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1» Forums » General

Subject: 2 players, play 2 characters or all 4? rss

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Brian Jurney
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Tooele
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So I just my copy today and I am about to cozy up to a warm fire and start reading the rules. I will be playing 2 player with my wife and wanted to know if the game feels any better if we each play 2 characters or if we just play one character each? Normally when we play Pandemic, we just do one character each.

Also, can the game bring in and drop players? For example, if Im in April can I play with 3 or 4 players that month if I had only played with 2 up to that point?
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Kerrin 2
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Yes you can.
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Adam Strong-Morse
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Conventional wisdom is that 2 characters is easier than 4 characters. That doesn't necessarily weigh either way--you might want a harder experience or an easier experience--but it might be a consideration.

You might find that 2 player lets you play fewer different characters than you would like--doing some rotating and picking the right characters for a given board lay-out is part of the fun, but you might find that you always want to play the same two characters or otherwise feel that your picks become less interesting.

Playing one character per player will probably produce a more vivid play experience, where the characters feel like real people.
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Brent Mair
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Roy
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I've played 2, 3 and 4 in different months of our game. Bringing in and dropping actual players isn't awesome for them. Three of the four we have done that with have liked it, but I think we will finish the game off with either two or three characters played by two players.
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Gary Lynch
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One character each has been Greta for us thus far.... Thru May
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Adrian Rodriguez
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I like Pandemic Legacy best with 3 characters, you get more options while still having a reasonable amount of gameplay per character. Each month you decide with how many characters you want to play.
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Jared Paton
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My wife and I are going through it with two characters each, we're starting July this weekend. I like that we can see a lot more of the characters, and there's a greater risk of one of them dying. Plus, we've beaten vanilla Pandemic so many times with only 2 characters that it wasn't any fun. Plus, a legacy game demands there be tragedy at some point. I'm not sure the world is going to survive.
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Dave Nish
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My wife and I went with 3 characters. One a piece and then the 3rd was a neutral who we both used. This way the game wasn't too easy or too hard.
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James Cook
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My wife and I played one character each until we lost a game.
The very next game, we experimented with two each, and we just won. Only just though.

Don't know if we'll go back for the next game (which will be early June).
 
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Matt J
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We are planning on starting up soon. I was unsure of the drop in/out aspect, but it sounds like the number of players really does not affect things game to game.

Given that, I think we are still going to use 4 characters per game... Just for the variety (and possible/probably death). I feel that would give the best options for more/less players each game without sacrificing the story.
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William Giant
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I think playing two characters with two players is for the best. A lot of people report struggling with following one rule or another as the game goes along. Having more characters controlled by fewer players would likely increase the odds of this happening.

A misplayed rule can be a real downer, whether is leads to a win or a loss.

I think the game self-balances fairly well with the "funding levels" and the increased risk of losing a highly invested character. We just finished our two-player game, and there were plenty of close calls and direct hits with two characters.
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Terry
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ahmorse wrote:
Conventional wisdom is that 2 characters is easier than 4 characters.
Could you explain why this is so? I would think that more characters would give you more flexibility and cover more territory?

We just started January 2 player tonight and played one character each, but I am curious what the difference would be if we were to play with a neutral third character. How would it be more difficult with a third?
 
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Wei-Hwa Huang
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carlsbad wrote:
ahmorse wrote:
Conventional wisdom is that 2 characters is easier than 4 characters.
Could you explain why this is so? I would think that more characters would give you more flexibility and cover more territory?

We just started January 2 player tonight and played one character each, but I am curious what the difference would be if we were to play with a neutral third character. How would it be more difficult with a third?
For a 2-player game, each character will draw about half of the cards in the deck. For a 3-player game, each character will draw about one-third of the cards in the deck. Since curing a disease requires many cards of the same color in the same player's hand, it stands to reason that a cure is more likely to be naturally discovered, without Sharing Knowledge, if there are fewer characters. This advantage is somewhat stronger than the advantage a large team would get from having more character abilities.

This is true of base Pandemic. For Pandemic Legacy, it would spoiler-y to go into the details as to why this argument would still hold true as the game changes radically...
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Graham Charlton
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onigame wrote:
carlsbad wrote:
ahmorse wrote:
Conventional wisdom is that 2 characters is easier than 4 characters.
Could you explain why this is so? I would think that more characters would give you more flexibility and cover more territory?

We just started January 2 player tonight and played one character each, but I am curious what the difference would be if we were to play with a neutral third character. How would it be more difficult with a third?
For a 2-player game, each character will draw about half of the cards in the deck. For a 3-player game, each character will draw about one-third of the cards in the deck. Since curing a disease requires many cards of the same color in the same player's hand, it stands to reason that a cure is more likely to be naturally discovered, without Sharing Knowledge, if there are fewer characters. This advantage is somewhat stronger than the advantage a large team would get from having more character abilities.

This is true of base Pandemic. For Pandemic Legacy, it would spoiler-y to go into the details as to why this argument would still hold true as the game changes radically...
Also based on the game setup and new rules introduced you'll pick the best characters for the job. Thus the special ability that best deals with your current problems will get used more.
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Terry
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Oh so when playing two player, if you have 3 or 4 characters between two of you, each character gets its own hand of cards? And each character takes a turn in order?
 
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Brian Jurney
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carlsbad wrote:
Oh so when playing two player, if you have 3 or 4 characters between two of you, each character gets its own hand of cards? And each character takes a turn in order?
Yes, its as if there were 4 actual people at the table playing.
 
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Terry
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Great thanks. We will stick with one each for now and add extra characters if we start winning consistently.
 
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Brian Jurney
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My wife and I have been mostly playing with 2 and had only lost once. We came to a month though that we thought it would be advantageous to play with 4 characters to have their ability. We ended up losing though, but I dont think it was related to having 4 characters. We will replay the month with 4 and hope for the best.
 
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Robert Stewart
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carlsbad wrote:
ahmorse wrote:
Conventional wisdom is that 2 characters is easier than 4 characters.
Could you explain why this is so? I would think that more characters would give you more flexibility and cover more territory?
More characters means you're more likely to have a character in the perfect location to deal with a crisis, but it also means that character's less likely to have a turn in time to actually do something about it before it escalates.

The same applies to character abilities - you're more likely to have the ideal ability in play, but less likely to have the character with it able to use it in time.

And sharing cards to accumulate cures is both more likely to be needed (though at least you're more likely to have the cards between you before needing to discard) and takes much longer with more players - if you're lucky, the guy collecting cards only needs to meet up twice, can end his turn in one of the two cities, get given the card, move to the other city, collect the other card, and still make it to a research station and cash in the cure on the second turn of working on it. More likely, collecting two cards off other players and researching the cure will take him three turns - and with more players in the game, those three turns for him have more game turns between them (two turns each for the other players) - what takes five turns for 2 players takes seven in a 3 player game, and nine with 4 players, which adds up to a lot of chances for things to go wrong while you're getting your ducks in a row...

In a 4-player game, planning for your next turn is equivalent to planning two turns ahead in a 2-player game - and there's a reasonable chance of getting an Epidemic between two consecutive turns for the same player.

Essentially, more players gives you a much better chance of being in the right place (in terms of location or abilities) but also improves your chances of being at the wrong time, and then adds additional co-ordination problems.
 
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