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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1» Forums » General

Subject: Do Players Rotate Roles or keep them the same? rss

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Alex N
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All 4 players are veteran Pandemic so obviously a few players have their favorite roles, having played Pandemic many many times. In our first game the highest die roller got to draft the first character card and then we went around clockwise picking out the remaining roles.

We lost the first game and our "Researcher" ended up with a scar. Ugh. Moving into the second half of January we were all fine with repeating the same roles.

For the rest of the season how do you decide which roles to dole out? Obviously it's not fun to be always stuck with a scarred character. Do you randomly do a blind draw from the 5 roles, do you draft like we did at the start of a new game, or do you stick resolutely to the role you always had? (The Medic seems to be very popular to a few players).
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Susan
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We all played the same characters for the most part. ie. who is the medic stayed the medic, etc.

Can't say too much more for fear of spoilers, but ya, if someone is used to playing a certain character you may want to let them keep playing that role as they may have some insights on some moves not everyone would see/consider.

The game is a total blast! Have fun!
 
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Clive Jones

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The Pandemic Legacy rules specifically say (step 7 of setup, p6) that players select their characters after having seen the initial infection and their starting hands of cards.

This is an important difference from regular Pandemic. Being able to give the player with a lot of cards of one colour Scientist to effect an early cure, or the player with cards several people want Researcher can give you the edge. And you might, having seen the initial infection, decide to go all-out for quick cures and leave the Medic at home.

During the season, stuff will happen that makes such decisions trickier, subtler and more important, so I recommend playing by the rules.
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Kelly Bass
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We've changed roles quite a lot.

Because you select roles after everybody has their starting player cards (and the initial 18 cubes are placed), it seemed to make sense for a player with particular cards to be a certain role.

ninja'd
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Jeff
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We switched roles around so that people got to play with different roles.

Trying to avoid spoilers, however I'll just state that I think it would be very difficult to keep using the same roles throughout the campaign, so better not lock yourself into that at the start.
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Todd France
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We have played through august, with all players playing the same character since February (and one since January). We do occasionally pick characters based on starting hands, but we accomplish this by passing the cards around the table, rather than the characters (we pass all cards the same way, so as not to re-arrange the order).
 
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Clive Jones

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pseudotheist wrote:
We do occasionally pick characters based on starting hands, but we accomplish this by passing the cards around the table, rather than the characters
That limits you to cyclic permutations, though.

After Alice, Bob and Charlie have played Medic, Dispatcher, Researcher respectively in one game, they might decide that it makes sense for them to play Medic, Researcher, Dispatcher respectively the next. Merely passing starting hands around the table won't help you there.
 
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Justin
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For us, once the setup was done, we collectively decided which roles would be best for our current situation. Once they were selected roles tended to go to people that played them previously, unless there was a reason for a specific player to play that role. The rest went whoever spoke up first.
 
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Jess in Arkham
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While three of us regularly change roles, one player in my group named the Dispatcher after himself in our first game and has not relinquished the character since (we're on to August now). Even when his hand is better suited to another character, he will not take it, so we have to swap places at the table to give him another hand so he can take the Dispatcher. There seems to be some sort of emotional attachment there...
 
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Dan C
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You want to change it up. A lot. Trust me.
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Clive Jones

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Doctor Mandy wrote:
While three of us regularly change roles, one player in my group named the Dispatcher after himself in our first game and has not relinquished the character since [...] There seems to be some sort of emotional attachment there

Wow. It's going to be pretty intense if anything bad happens to the Dispatcher now!
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Susan
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clivej wrote:
Doctor Mandy wrote:
While three of us regularly change roles, one player in my group named the Dispatcher after himself in our first game and has not relinquished the character since [...] There seems to be some sort of emotional attachment there

Wow. It's going to be pretty intense if anything bad happens to the Dispatcher now!


The dispatcher is arguably the most powerful role in the game, so I get his attachment. He will just have to do what he can to keep him safe/out of the areas where he can get scars, etc.

 
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Todd France
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clivej wrote:
pseudotheist wrote:
We do occasionally pick characters based on starting hands, but we accomplish this by passing the cards around the table, rather than the characters
That limits you to cyclic permutations, though.

After Alice, Bob and Charlie have played Medic, Dispatcher, Researcher respectively in one game, they might decide that it makes sense for them to play Medic, Researcher, Dispatcher respectively the next. Merely passing starting hands around the table won't help you there.

We did actually change character order once, because we had a theory that it would be better served another way. And for that, we changed where the players were sitting. Turns out it wasn't a good idea anyway. But the important takeaway is we never just let two players trade their cards, as that could actually have an impact on the setup of the game. Effectively we allow all the game combination permutations afforded for character selection, but we just accomplish them through player and card re-order.
 
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Todd France
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isellsunshine wrote:
The dispatcher is arguably the most powerful role in the game, so I get his attachment.

I tend to agree. Of course I think the other players in my game tend to think that about their chosen characters as well. Of course I seem to be the only one who has to explain how awesome my turn is going to be 2 to 3 times per game...
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Clive Jones

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I'd agree in the base game, but Pandemic Legacy shakes things up, making other roles more valuable. (Not saying which, or why, to avoid spoilers.)

Also, some of the upgrades are very powerful and synergise with particular characters. Which characters you upgrade, and how, can matter more than their abilities at the start of January.
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Susan
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clivej wrote:
I'd agree in the base game, but Pandemic Legacy shakes things up, making other roles more valuable. (Not saying which, or why, to avoid spoilers.)

Also, some of the upgrades are very powerful and synergise with particular characters. Which characters you upgrade, and how, can matter more than their abilities at the start of January.


This is very true too. In fact, we did end up having to forgo the dispatcher later in the game due to more pressing priorities, but every-time we lost w/out him I made sure my mates knew that I probably could have avoided the loss condition if he was in the game.

 
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Robert Stewart
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Just from the stuff you know about before drawing any Legacy cards, there are some fairly obvious combos:

Pilot+Dispatcher takes the already useful movement abilities of the Dispatcher and makes them a little better, though you could make the case that other characters need the mobility boost more.

Local Connections + Medic is probably the most obvious synergy in the game - the upgrade is useful when you wanted to move toward an infected city anyway, but can't quite make it, but when it really shines is when you want to treat cities in two different directions, when it saves two moves. And if you're going to let someone treat disease in a city they couldn't reach otherwise, it's pretty obviously going to be the Medic you want to give that ability since treating diseases is kinda their thing.


Back on the original question, while certain roles got played a lot more than others in our game, we picked roles for each game first by looking at the objectives and our long-term plans and comparing them to role abilities (so in a practice game, with the lone objective of curing all 4 diseases, Scientist and Researcher are valuable), then second we'd look at initial infection and starting hands (if the initial infection is widely spread, the Dispatcher is more important; if the 3 cube cities are clustered together, the Medic moves up in priority, particularly if there's the city card for one of them in a starting hand; and, of course, if you have 4 of a colour across two hands, making them Scientist and Researcher for a round 1 cure is a solid choice), then third, once we had a pool of priority roles, with maybe one or two already settled, we allowed player preference to determine the remaining decisions.

So a particular one-shot objective might see a specific role with a relevant ability brought in for that one game. Or if the setup featured Predators, we might field Schwarzenegger, while we'd use Weaver for Xenomorph-heavy setups, while for Gremlins we'd just take halogen lamps and an electrician, and when it comes to ghosts, you know who we'd call (spoiler: the game does not actually feature licensed 80s movie characters and monsters)

The main point is that we rarely had all the same people playing all the same characters even if we happened to field the same team more than once, though some characters ended up mostly being played by the same player.
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