After a rough loss in the first game in October the Toledo Tuesdays Gaming Club now was giving it a second try at winning in October.
— SPOILER ALERT BEGINS HERE —
IF YOU HAVE NOT PLAYED THE OCTOBER EPISODE OF PANDEMIC LEGACY YET, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG UNTIL YOU DO. PLENTY OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE EPISODE IS REVEALED HERE.
— SPOILER ALERT ENDS HERE —
Recap: In the first nine months, the disease in Asia (i.e. the red cubes) mutated into the non-treatable and incurable COdA virus. In April the virus further mutated into the COdA-403c virus and the afflicted became the Faded, with ground zero for the new mutation in Ho Chi Minh City. We suffered a crushing defeat in our first attempt at the May episode as Moscow melted down, while the Blue and Yellow viruses spread like wildfire across the Americas and Africa. In a heroic effort in the second episode of May, we triumphed and kept the diseases under control. A rather lucky draw of cards in June allowed us to triumph in our first attempt. But now the government was barely funding events and in our first attempt in July we lost so quickly that one of the three players didn't get a second turn! We did however find the Virologist. In our second July attempt we managed to triumph despite long odds. In August, we had an unlikely victory and found the Immunologist. In September we found the Paranoid Solider and learned that we had been duped! A mysterious organization known as Zodiac instigated the COdA virus in order to control the world. Now we would have to dismantle the oppressive military state that we helped to build up. We wiped out badly in our first attempt in October, but we did find Patient Zero and a possible vaccine.
October Part Two Setup
By random draw all 3 of the x3 infected cities were Faded cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta-which also got a military base b/c it was drawn first-, and Hong Kong)! 9 Faded on the board after drawing 3 cards, yikes! We selected our 2 Funded Events (One Quiet Night and Local Initiative) and added them to the Player deck. We selected characters and decided to start in Kolkata. We used our September Win Bonus to add a Grenade Belt to the Johannesburg card held by the Dispatcher.
We didn't know it yet, but that randomly placed military base in Jakarta was going to ruin our game. Because you get penalized extra actions to vaccinate when a military base is present in the same region, we were not going to be able to vaccinate any Faded in Southeast Asia for the entire game. We really needed to sabotage that base immediately, but we never had the card to do it.
Character Selection and Turn Order
For the first time in a while, Stew is not going to go first! Bob was drawn as the first player, so the turn order looks like this:
Bob - Operations Expert
Neal - Quarantine Specialist
Lee - Immunologist
Stew - Dispatcher
Our plan was to try and Sabotage military bases and build Vaccination Centers. We would try to cure the 3 non-COdA viruses if we could, but winning the game wasn't the first priority; trying to get the board ready for November was our overriding concern.
Ops Expert -- Because the Ops Expert is a family member with the Dispatcher, he will get 5 actions this turn. First, he put a Vaccination Center in Kolkata, then moved to Bangkok. Put a Vaccination Center in Bangkok then flew to Chennai by discarding the New York card. He then put a Vaccination Center in Chennai. Objective #1 (3 Vacc Centers) completed on the very first move!!! Then he drew Epidemic #1 (boo!) in Manila. The Immunologist played One Quiet Night in order to skip the Infect Cities step as the deck was only 10 cards deep and 4 cities had 3 cubes/Faded in them.
Quar. Specialist -- Quarantined Jakarta then moved to Hong Kong and quarantined it too. Then moved to Bangkok. The Ops Expert used Airstrike on Ho Chi Minh City just in case we were about to draw it. We didn't. We drew Jakarta (which removed the quarantine marker) and Mumbai (2 cubes).
Immunologist -- Picked up 2 doses in Jakarta, moved to Bangkok and vaccinated Bangkok (our 1st Vaccinated city). He then remotely vaccinated Hong Kong (1/3 Faded). He used Tactical Centers Now Online to place roadblocks around Faded areas to limit their spread. He then drew San Francisco (2 cubes) and Manila leading to Outbreak #1.
Dispatcher -- Picked up 1 dose in Jakarta, moved to Shanghai and Vaccinated it (Vacc city #2). He drew 2 yellow cards and immediately cured BSNL-419 (no action required, nor being in a research center, and 1 card less). In the infection step Tehran (3 cubes) and Miami (3 cubes) both got worse.
Ops Expert -- Moved to Kolkata, flew to Atlanta, moved to Miami and cured 1/3 cubes. During infection step drew Khartoum (3/3) and Ho Chi Minh City (Outbreak #2) which led to chain outbreaks in Jakarta (Outbreak #3), then Manila (Outbreak #4), then Hong Kong (Outbreak #5) and turned Chennai and Kolkata into Faded Cities. Things were getting bad very quick due to the rough draw at the start of the game.
Quar. Spec. -- Quarantined Hong Kong, picked up 2 doses, moved to Jakarta and vaccinated the 1 Faded there. During the infection step he drew Hong Kong and removed the quarantine marker and then Istanbul (2/3).
Immunologist -- Picked up 3 doses, moved to Jakarta and Vaccinated (now a Vaccinated city) and then vaccinated two Faded in Hong Kong (1/3 now). Drew Lima (1/3) and Delhi (1/3).
Dispatcher -- Flew to Miami, moved to Lima, and treated it (1/1). Drew Mexico City (1/3) and Paris (1/3).
By this point we were running around putting out fires more than getting anywhere towards sabotaging military bases or curing diseases. We didn't have any cards in our hands that were where the military bases were located and no one had any C2 either. We realized that we were not going to get it done and just hoped for some good luck to give us a few more moves. That random military base in Jakarta was crushing us because we couldn't vaccinate those Faded cities in the same region.
Ops Expert -- Moved to Atlanta by discarding the Khartoum card then treated it (3/3) and flew to Lagos. He drew Epidemic #2 in Karachi. During the infect step he drew Mumbai (3/3) and then Ho Chi Minh City. We could never get HCM City vaccinated because of that military base in Jakarta...and now we were going to pay for it! HCM City had an outbreak (#6), which led to and outbreak in Jakarta (#7) and then Manila (#8) and the game was over!
Here is a panoramic photo of the end:
The short of the story: sometimes Pandemic Legacy is all about luck of the draw! Drawing 9 Faded onto the board right next to each other on the first 3 draws led to a mess. Having the military base be placed in Jakarta compounded the problem. Then, NOT drawing the Jakarta card nor any of our C4 led to us never being able to sabotage that base.
We exchanged our temporary Vaccination Centers in Kolkata and Bangkok for permanent centers. We then moved the Funded Event total to 4.
Onward to November and hoping for some better luck.
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Push Cubes. Blow Stuff Up.
Drawing 9 Faded onto the board right next to each other on the first 3 draws led to a mess.
Oof! This happened to us, too. Kinshasa was City Zero and ALL of Africa, South America, and North America (less San Francisco) and Western Europe was Faded as a result over the next several games. Brutal!