I'm a 37-year-old Dutch guy with a 37-year-old Polish girlfriend. She indulges me by playing games together, and we do not shy away from confrontation at the table. Also, away from the table.
As mentioned in the title of this post, here be spoilers. Turn away now if you want to stay clean.
When it's just the two of us, we usually play (very) competitive games. We play T.I.M.E Stories with another couple whenever a new scenario comes out, and played 'normal' pandemic with them a couple of weeks ago too. I had played Pandemic Legacy with them when the game was just released (so a 3 player game) and the four of us are planning to play the second season together. I felt it would be better to play the first season with my girlfriend up front instead of telling her what happened there, in case we needed to have knowledge of the first season to enjoy the second one more. Also, I'm interested to see how the game plays, knowing what will come up
Yesterday we played January. We went through the rules quickly up front, luckily Pandemic isn't a hard game to grasp (yet). As I knew what was coming, I will let her make the interesting long term affecting decisions as much as possible.
We used the Medic, whom she named John Smith (she tells me she feels uncomfortable giving a game character a name, as she doesn't want it all to become too personal) and the Scientist, which I named after my daughter. The starting four funding went to Government Grant, One Quiet Night, Airdrop, and I forget what the last one was as it didn't come up in game.
We started with two big blue infections in the United States, two yellow in South America, a couple in India and Russia and only one in Asia. I started with 3 yellow cards, only needing one more to get a cure with the scientist. 'John Smith' had a mixed hand of cards so he started to clear up the cubes around Atlanta. All was well.
The first outbreak came along, adding some red cubes to the board. I cured yellow early on and 'John' flew over to Santiago eradicate the virus. We were on a roll! Then, the second epidemic card came up and we read the first plot card: We found out that one of the diseases was now incurable.
As we had only 3 diseases on the board, and all had only 6 cubes in total, we had the luxury to choose which one would become CODA. I left the choice to her, although I had my preferences. In our previous game, black had been CODA so I was hoping for a different color. As we were close on a cure for black, she decided not to pick that one. I was between red and blue - I'm happy to say she chose red (I didn't fancy our one and only research station being smack dab in the middle of Coda country...).
Then came the point where she had to rip up her first card. I remember it well from the first time we played it - how can you willingly destroy game components? Are we actually doing this for real? After assuring her multiple times that yes, this is okay, and no, I wouldn't be mad, she ripped it up with glee.
Now, red wasn't an ideal choice as we had Beijing and Seoul on three cubes each. As it takes an extra action to treat CODA, we were looking at some difficulties to control the red disease. Together, we had the necessary cards to cure black and blue - but were we willing to risk outbreaks in Asia?
Turns out, we were. We raced over to Istanbul and Atlanta to cure both diseases and end the game quickly, with some welcome help of drawing 'One Quiet Night' at the penultimate turn.
Beijing and Seoul rioting at level 2.
Yellow was eradicated, so she got to name it. The chosen name was 'Pox'. I'm hoping we'll see some more creativity in the future
As upgrades, we gave yellow its first mutation (no longer requires a research center to cure). John Smith got some Local connections - both fine choices.
We both enjoyed the game (it helped that we won, but not too easily) and will play again soon.
Onwards to February!