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Ian Collier
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When we started this, we were in love. Totally. The story progresses, our actions had real consequences etc, everything people love about the Legacy system. And then somewhere around July this game started getting very fiddly with a lot of additional rules and things to remember and it became stressful trying to remember them all, and then we started making mistakes with rules and that got stressful, and then we started losing in ways that fet like some intelligent and evil being was trying to give us the hardest time possible and the whole thing turned into a frustrating and slightly hellish combo of desperately trying to remember things and being punched in the face over and over, and we totally stopped enjoying ourselves.

We never lost more than three games in a row and lately we've had a run of successes but in all honesty it's been a grind with enjoyment being rare and lots of questions about why we're still playing it. 'We've gotten this far, might as well finish it' is what's keeping us at it, but after a hellish game 1 for November we've had a storming argument and we've all got headaches and we're going to finish this damn thing today so we KNOW it's over.

Question - is it only us? Because so far it looks like everyone thinks this is the greatest board gaming experience ever. This is going to sound harsh but for me I can only conclude that it's my worst ever because I play games to enjoy myself and feel good and playing Pandemic Legacy has made me feel so very bad. Am not saying this is a bad game, far far from it, it's a complete masterpiece. But I still hate it right now.

And so, after a bunch of paracetamol and a good break we're heading into our second game for November. Maybe something's going to happen to change my mind. I really hope so.
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I think it's a bit harder to get into the added rules when you took a break from playing it for a while, so I somewhat disagree with Rob Daviau when he says that "Legacy" games need to be "savoured" and not played one game after the other, but instead spread over the course of months.

Having said that, for me the game dropped from an initial 10 to an 8, mainly because it felt like "on rails" in the second half of the year and, personally, I did not feel that our decisions had any significant impact on the outcome of the story at all near to the end.

I hope for Season 2 they improve on that.
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Nigel McNaughton
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Do you enjoy standard Pandemic?
 
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Ian Collier
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LOVE it. Can play it over and over and over. That's also partly what's keeping us at this.
 
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Ian Collier
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We just 'opened' December, looked at what we have to try and do, looked at each other, and decided to simply say we've lost.
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Rich A
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This is something that concerns me. I want to buy this and have found 3 people willing to meet regularly to do it. However, my thinking was that we shouldn't play weekly (monthly might be OK) because we would likely reach burn out by July if we kept playing it. I don't want it to become a chore. Knowing that the latter months become complex to play puts me off. Pandemic as it stands is a good family game. My friends and I tend to shy away from thematic fiddly games preferring Euro games.

Anyway, thanks for posting as its good to see another perspective.
 
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Ian Collier
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Well, all I can say is that we found it really really tough to keep track of what's going on, rules, options etc. We did leave some gaps between plays and that probably made it worse, but in the end we did still resent the ongoing battle to play and enjoy. But we're definitely in the minority!

And I do repeat, we love love love 'normal' Pandemic.

[EDIT}
When I say we found it hard to keep track of what's going on I am NOT referring to book keeping, I am referring to just remembering all the new stuff, how it changes the old stuff, even in many cases who just had their turn and how many cards they had drawn. Blame it on old age if you like.
 
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Clive Jones

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Hmm.

On the one hand, Pandemic Legacy builds up to be many times as complex as regular Pandemic. Maybe, say, three times as complex?

On the other, it does get there smoothly and gradually. And most people who choose to play Pandemic Legacy will have already played Pandemic with some of the expansions, which themselves complicate matters. And Pandemic is actually a pretty simple game to begin with.

Our group certainly had no problems. Judging from the forums, yours isn't the only group to have run into difficulties, but most people seem to have had a blast.

We played approximately one session a week, with a couple of games to a session. That meant we finished in 2-3 months, which felt like the right sort of pace, neither too slow, nor too quick. (And that was by common agreement: we could easily have played more or less freuently had we chosen.)
 
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Ian Collier
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I think we got the pacing wrong. Manic days when we played several games one after another and then two months gap, repeat. That can't have helped. It wasn't so much a complexity issue, more a memory one for us. We just could never remember all of the little additional rules or conditions, and then we'd forget one or two until halfway through or after that could have vastly changed the game (we moved somewhere too easily for example) and that got us thinking we'd 'cheated' and we'll get frustrated etc etc etc.

The expansion comparison is great. It's just like adding mini-expansions pretty much all the way through.

Anyway, I don't want to do anything to appear to be undermining a total and utter game design masterpiece and innovation of the highest order. It just really (really) wasn't our cup of tea.
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Kevin Jonas

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Jamiri wrote:

Having said that, for me the game dropped from an initial 10 to an 8, mainly because it felt like "on rails" in the second half of the year and, personally, I did not feel that our decisions had any significant impact on the outcome of the story at all near to the end.

I hope for Season 2 they improve on that.

That's the thing about choose your own adventure type of stories. Most have the same ending, just a different path to get there. So at some point the story has to steer you towards that single ending. This style of game is popular in video games. While there are games like Heavy Rain that have multiple endings, there are far more games like the Telltale series that have the same ending but multiple paths to get there. The Telltale style makes more sense for a board game.

Now, I would be fine with a game that has multiple endings and components I may never use if the experience is great. However, I think most board gamers would complain about paying for components they never got to use, especially if the game is not replayable so they can have a chance to use them. That's one of the fun things about a multiple ending game, replaying it to see what happens if you make different choices. However, if it isn't going to be replayable then a single ending makes more sense.
 
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
I think we got the pacing wrong. Manic days when we played several games one after another and then two months gap, repeat. That can't have helped. It wasn't so much a complexity issue, more a memory one for us. We just could never remember all of the little additional rules or conditions, and then we'd forget one or two until halfway through or after that could have vastly changed the game (we moved somewhere too easily for example) and that got us thinking we'd 'cheated' and we'll get frustrated etc etc etc.


Yeah, that sounds not as great. I'm definitely glad I stepped in on our first day (we played I think two attempts at January?) and said "No, we should wait until next week to play again, let's do another game." We did complete November and December on the same day because it was convenient and we were excited for it, but if we had failed at December the first time we might have put the last game off.

I think we could have easily burned out if we tried to play multiple months in the same day. (I think we also would have been pretty frustrated if we had a bunch of collapsing/fallen cities - travel really was frustrating once that started to happen and we were pretty fortunate to only hit that late and only in a couple of places).
 
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Robert Stewart
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lactamaeon wrote:
inuitmyth909 wrote:
I think we got the pacing wrong. Manic days when we played several games one after another and then two months gap, repeat. That can't have helped. It wasn't so much a complexity issue, more a memory one for us. We just could never remember all of the little additional rules or conditions, and then we'd forget one or two until halfway through or after that could have vastly changed the game (we moved somewhere too easily for example) and that got us thinking we'd 'cheated' and we'll get frustrated etc etc etc.


Yeah, that sounds not as great. I'm definitely glad I stepped in on our first day (we played I think two attempts at January?) and said "No, we should wait until next week to play again, let's do another game." We did complete November and December on the same day because it was convenient and we were excited for it, but if we had failed at December the first time we might have put the last game off.

I think we could have easily burned out if we tried to play multiple months in the same day. (I think we also would have been pretty frustrated if we had a bunch of collapsing/fallen cities - travel really was frustrating once that started to happen and we were pretty fortunate to only hit that late and only in a couple of places).


Yeah, my group played one month per session except November/December - winning a month on the first game felt like a major victory and by the time we'd argued our way into a pair of upgrades, we were happy to leave it rather than learning another new mechanic. When we lost a month we wanted a rematch and after winning, we definitely didn't want to learn a new variant immediately - and losing April twice left us just wanting to take a break. November went so easily, and it was going to be a while before our next session, that we decided to go straight on and win December easily too.
 
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Clyde W
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
Question - is it only us? Because so far it looks like everyone thinks this is the greatest board gaming experience ever. This is going to sound harsh but for me I can only conclude that it's my worst ever because I play games to enjoy myself and feel good and playing Pandemic Legacy has made me feel so very bad. Am not saying this is a bad game, far far from it, it's a complete masterpiece. But I still hate it right now.
No, it's not just you. I had the exact same experience. I'll never finish the campaign.
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Nigel McNaughton
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
No it isn't, and we didn't do it and went to extraordinary lengths to avoid permanently affecting anything NOT because we have an aversion to it but because for us the game got so fiddly and complex and we started making so many mistakes with rules that we needed to backtrack and sometimes even reply whole games because we made such a hash of it. So we took two basic actions to enable this, and it's very troublesome but we did it anyway.

1. We never ever ripped up or threw away anything but rather put it away in the box.
2. In every place we had to write something we placed a piece of a post-it sticky note over that area and wrote on that instead.
3. THIS IS THE SILLIEST ONE - Every single time we had to place a sticker we stuck it on a tiny piece of the sticky part of a post-it note and then put that where it was supposed to be so that we could easily remove it again if we had to.

Like I said, a load of daft effort reasons but the end result is that we could backtrack if we needed to, we could replay the whole year sort of if we wanted to and we HAVE turned the set into a 'normal' Pandemic set (because quite frankly I don't want to play the Legacy version ever again).


A fairly significant element Ian chose to leave out of his initial complaint, that he added a huge extra pile of work to the game!
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Ben Kyo
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I thought it was alright, but we made two significant mistakes:

1: It should not be played with 3 people. It makes the game too easy. I don't think this can be overstated. It's only after we've finished that everyone has said "it's more fun when you are struggling", and it's only after (finally) playing regular Pandemic a bit that I realised how much easier it is with 3 players compared to 4.

2: The "30", written on one of the cards you scratch off? We didn't notice that until December, which meant that we'd played November and maybe October incorrectly. Didn't matter toooo much. We just played December 1 to lose, to set up for a win on December 2. Still, the whole end-game development went very differently to how it was scripted, which was somewhat unsatisfying.

So, about a 6 or a 7 for me. I enjoyed playing the same game with the same people more consistently than I've managed for any other game since I was a teenager. I don't think it is a masterpiece, and I doubt I would have even if we'd played without the mistakes.
 
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Ian Collier
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Quote:
A fairly significant element Ian chose to leave out of his initial complaint, that he added a huge extra pile of work to the game!


Hey, wait a minute. You make it sound like I'm trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes or unjustly criticise the game by CHOOSING not to mention it. I didn't think it relevant to mention our book keeping effort especially as it's something that only we did, and I didn't mention book keeping as a general problem we had. I said that we found all of the new rules fiddly and difficult to remember and that the game itself was relentlessly punishing. If we hadn't gone to the extra book keeping effort we'd still feel exactly the same about this game. Sorry if that upsets anyone, I did try to make it clear that it's just an opinion and just us and that we think the game is a masterpiece, but not one for us.

And I'd rather refer to my post as a negative opinion overall rather than a complaint.
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Ben Kyo
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
Quote:
A fairly significant element Ian chose to leave out of his initial complaint, that he added a huge extra pile of work to the game!


Hey, wait a minute. You make it sound like I'm trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes or unjustly criticise the game by CHOOSING not to mention it. I didn't think it relevant to mention our book keeping effort especially as it's something that only we did, and I didn't mention book keeping as a general problem we had. I said that we found all of the new rules fiddly and difficult to remember and that the game itself was relentlessly punishing. If we hadn't gone to the extra book keeping effort we'd still feel exactly the same about this game. Sorry if that upsets anyone, I did try to make it clear that it's just an opinion and just us and that we think the game is a masterpiece, but not one for us.

And I'd rather refer to my post as a negative opinion overall rather than a complaint.

I appreciate what you are saying, but at the very least I think this is relevant:
Quote:
we started making so many mistakes with rules that we needed to backtrack and sometimes even reply whole games because we made such a hash of it.

For you no doubt that's just indicative of the fiddly nature of the game, and a flaw in design. For me, it's more indicative of an unnecessary drive to perfection, and an unwillingness to play as recommended in the rules (something like, "if you make a mistake, compensate by adding/removing bonuses to the next game"). I know for sure that if we had been so irked by the one and only rule error we did make that we reset and replayed ~2 months we wouldn't have enjoyed the experience of doing so. For better or worse, it's something that can only be enjoyed to the full once, and resetting months is a terrible idea (and I think the people claiming to enjoy their n+1 playthrough are crazy).

As I said, an average game for me, not a great one, and not especially "fiddly". For a perfectionist that makes frequent mistakes and replays entire months as a result? I'm guessing it couldn't be anything but frustrating.
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Ian Collier
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Quote:
For me, it's more indicative of an unnecessary drive to perfection, and an unwillingness to play as recommended in the rules


Also not true (along with some other things people are saying are facts about me and what I did or didn't try to do).

 
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inuitmyth909 wrote:
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For me, it's more indicative of an unnecessary drive to perfection, and an unwillingness to play as recommended in the rules


Also not true (along with some other things people are saying are facts about me and what I did or didn't try to do).

I know nothing about you other than what is written in this thread right here. If you replayed games, more than once, you approached the game in a way I never would have, and in a way that I think would not be fun, given that I think the unknown future is 90% of what makes Pandemic Legacy interesting. Whether or not you consider yourself a perfectionist is secondary.
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Ian Collier
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Cool. Am not a perfectionist BUT when I am investing my time in the Pandemic Legacy experience and come close to winning a match and THEN realise that I more or less totally cheated because I forgot a limitation (as opposed to making a relatively small slip up somewhere) I just can't carry on and have to make it right.

Actually maybe I just described myself as a perfectionist.
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ruben jannes
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I can only add my opinion to your opinion or experience in this game.
In the forums I have read it a couple of times now that people find it confusing with the extra rules that get added to the game.
In our games, I never experienced any hassle with extra rules. We do start every session with a quick summary of the rules, and you have the cards which give an overview of all the available actions.

We do play on a regular basis though so that really helps with keeping it fresh. This week we will be playing the first game of november so we haven't finished it yet. But really looking forward to it.

Maybe the quick summary of the rules before the game would have helped in keeping the game fresh and increase your enjoyment of it?
Offcourse sometime the game just tries to destroy, luck of the draw. But many games of Arkham Horror have made such experiences less frustrating for us .
I have loved the game so far, but as I said before, we still got 2 months to go
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Dean L
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I think it's a very fair criticism - Pandemic Legacy becomes a fairly heavy game after the first few months, and the speed of rules additions doesn't let up (compared to Risk Legacy where you'd easily spend 2-3 long games without anything changing).

I'd imagine there are plenty of people who had a similar experience, but they're the lighter-weight gamers who likely don't read and post on BGG.

I enjoyed it a lot but admit to being surprised (if pleasantly so) at the speed and level of new rules and alterations.
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Clive Jones

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Mmm.

Part of the problem, overstated to the extreme, is people seeing that Pandemic Legacy is now reckoned to be the best board game in the world ever, and deciding that means it's a good one to buy next now they have Monopoly, Jenga and Candy Land.

There's nothing on the box to indicate it's most suitable for experienced gamers, so I guess there will be people buying it who'd prefer a simpler game.

Personally, I learned three new games this week. Without really thinking about it, or keeping count until I just went back to check my plays while writing this. I doubt that's unusual for hobbyist players, and I found Pandemic Legacy's evolving rules no problem at all. Really fun, actually.
 
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Michael Webb
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I have to think that some people have confusion with the rules perhaps in part because they are either taking a long time between sessions or playing other versions of Pandemic in-between.

My gf and I played this with sometimes significant stretches in-between and had no real major rules issues. I am admittedly a bit of an experienced hand in this sort of thing, but she is pretty much an experience-only gamer so I think if it was that that bad she would have been confused by it, and she didn't seem to be.

In reference to the original post, I think that some people are just inherently frustrated by games that have capricious random elements to them. I am in competitive games, but in experience games like this it didn't really bother me. We lost for a couple of stretches (worst was 3 in a row, very close to 4, but not quite) but I never found the losses frustrating per se, I just took them as part of the narrative arc, gladly took my upgrades, and got ready for the next play. But like I said, this is a big YMMV thing, as it WOULD bother me very much in a competitive game but did not, at all, in this co-op one.
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David Scheele
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First of all, no one is haitin' on anyone here so please everyone keep a cool head. We are here to discuss this civily

We just finished the game through and we really liked it. We played with 3 players most of the time except one month where we had a 4th player. The 3 players always stayed the same.

We didn't find it too easy with 3 players. Yes it was a bit easier, but also had it's limitations. I'm also an avid Normal-Pandemic player and I know that design and propabilitywise 3 Players are easier than 4 and 2 (4 giving problems with card distribution and 2 giving problems with player presence on the board). But we found it was balancing out pretty neatly. sometimes we didn't have the time to station someone somewhere and just let things fester (that's moslty the reason that our africa just flat out 'died' one month)

Then, we made mistakes. Oh did we make mistakes. We didn't know how exactly the Parachute was meant to work, and we somehow got the idea that you just had to show it to jump off into some other city that had the appropriate panic level. So it was basically a lowly nerfed Free Air Ride. After the month was over where we used it I looked it up and we treated it differently. I'm still not sure we used it right, but we stick to it. In the rules, there is a dedicated sentence that just goes "You made mistakes? Just run with it. Don't revert, don't fret" and so we did.

We didn't have much problem with the additional rules that came in one after the other, except yesterday's december, we were all a bit drowsy and nearly missed a few rules. But we were able to stay on target. I would like to know, why did you just decide to give up? I don't know your board situation so I don't know if you maybe already had an unwinnable game at your feet or if you just rolled over to die in peace Not trying to be rude, just curious how you came to that decision. Was it a mix of too much rules work to get into again and your board being too difficult to do the task? While we finished one of the tasks in early December, we knew in the back of our head that we would lose because of the second one. And we were right, we had an unwinnable game about 4/5 into early december. Just doing our best to not make everything worse before we lost for good.
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