Simon C
United Kingdom
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(Continuing the month by month session reports: see our other months here -
January
February
March
April
May
June
Early July
Late July
August
Early September
Late September
October
Early November
Onwards: to come!)

And so we reached our second attempt at November. Not an experience I'd wanted to be having - we want to see the end, and this was slowing us down! But at least we could try to keep our wins up and avoid losing a single month in full.

We began dealing the infection cards in the knowledge that Their Network could no longer Expand - we'd already placed all 8 starting Military Base stickers, and so we were safe from any more disruption. And we were glad of this, as our first city was none other than the just-Collapsed, Faded Mumbai. FFS, deck!

Fortunately the other infections were less bad: our second three was yellow cubes in Kinshasa and the final three was Cairo - which we'd Vaccinated the previous game! A fantastic miss, especially with that being our second Research station and already on Panic level 1.

The remaining draws weren't too bad either, picking out primarily a scattered range of Faded cities and a chain of Yellows. Our Yellow disease has suppressed so those would be easy to clear. For our funded events, we went with the Extra Time (+2 actions) and Place 2 Quarantines anywhere. Nicole got Extra Time in her opening hand and we had a fair spread of colours for starting out our cure search, not to mention some Riot Gear which would protect her if she drove around Faded zones. I also had a single black card, which was great news – we’d given Iain the Immunologist Shady Background (perform Sabotage using any card of the city colour) in our previous game and were eager to destroy the base in Kolkata, which would otherwise slow our Vaccinating.

We returned to our Early November team: Nicole taking Valerie the Virologist, myself with Iain the Immunologist. We also had roadblocks as a win bonus from October still around - these went straight around Mumbai, accepting that it might hit level 5, but could otherwise be ignored. By starting in Cairo, we could easily treat Kinshasa and be solved with our starting 3s trivially!

I went first, and since I wanted to deal with the Kolkata base before Faded arrived there, we decided to risk leaving Kinshasa for a turn. I flew to our Vaccine factory in Ho Chi Min City, drove to Kolkata, and spent my black card to destroy the base. Half of one objective completed! Except…I then drew two cards, one of which – of course – was Kolkata. A Faded appeared at my feet and I would be scarred the next turn. FFS, deck!

But fortunately we realised it wasn’t as bad as all that. For Nicole and I were Co-workers. That meant that, by having drawn the city I was standing in, she could trade the card from me no matter where she was, and then spend that card to remove the Faded that had appeared with me! For a mere two actions I could be saved wherever I went in the Black region.

Or alternatively, I could use the Grenade Belt that I also drew, without any actions. But it was nice to have worked out a safety net for later turns!

So I blew up my Faded and Nicole drove to Kinshasa to clean up there. The board was already looking in a relatively neat state, and our thoughts turned to Vaccinating cities and destroying a second military base – three remained, in Taipei, in Paris and in Essen.

Epidemics took a while to start, but when they did, few caused problems. A trio appeared in Lagos, before instantly popping, but again Suppression allowed some easy clean-up. I acquired a set of Vaccine pills and began to Vaccinate a couple of cities. Before we knew it we’d reached 6 (well, we had 3 at the end of the last game) and an objective was down.

I took myself over to Europe, where Faded were making themselves known in Madrid and Paris. I had drawn a Riot Gear of my own, so destroyed the Paris base with a blue card and sat waiting for the following turn. After I dodged my second scar of the game, I spent the Gear along with a set of my other cards to cure Yellow, then drove to Milan and Vaccinated another city at a cost of two actions to keep myself safe. Two objectives down, and with Nicole curing Blue in close succession we were just a Red cure from victory.

Eventually we had the cards we needed, but they were spread between us (3 each) and some of the Yellow areas of the board were looking nasty – Kinshasa and Lagos had both come around some more and had built to 3 each. They wouldn’t go until the third epidemic card appeared, but that wouldn’t be long.

But we had an out – by spending all our actions over the following two goes (Nicole’s, then mine) we could manoeuvre to the necessary Red cities to us Co-worker trading and give me a set of five for a cure. We discussed if we’d rather dedicate some more turns to playing it safe and treating a few cities, but decided that left us without a convincing plan. So we went for it – Nicole spent her card to fly to Beijing, drive to Shanghai and give me the card. We held our breaths as she drew her player cards – but no Epidemic. We were safe. The disease cubes were perfunctuary and I played out my turn to achieve our third cure and our eleventh victory.

Our win bonus for December was interesting – help on searches, or free Vaccine tokens! So presumably whatever was on the start-November card for people who hadn’t opened Box 7 hasn’t removed Search objectives, but has revealed Vaccines…or this card is just a big question mark for anyone winning without having completed their searches yet. Or could there really be another search in December?

We’ll find out. We struggled with end game upgrades since we no longer felt there was much we wanted! We’ve got enough equipment in our deck that we’re now struggling to cure things because we want to hold on to it, and we had no new structures to place starting stickers for.

Eventually we picked “Hero” for Iain, giving us a back-up for last minute difficulties in the final month, and “Flexible” for Valerie – thinking that we can then cure diseases with equipment safe in the knowledge of picking those equipment back up when getting useless later cards.

So now we have just December to play! With other games we’ve lost, we’ve played the two games of the month on different days. However, we’ve decided that, we’re going to play Early December early during the day so we can play the second one (if necessary) later that same day. It feels better to assign a specific day to be our “end of Pandemic Legacy” regardless of how it goes.

We’re at the end of the road. One final day of playing and it’ll all be over… at least until Season 2…

Onward to December!

Edit: This has now been played and is chronicled here.
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