We are late to Pandemic Legacy, hell legacy games as a whole. Given that the first legacy game we saw was Risk, what was all the fuss was our thought. Pandemic…oh wait a sec, what is a legacy game you might be asking yourself. A legacy game is a game that “remembers” what happened the last time you played. A legacy game keeps track of whether you won or lost and win or lose something is different for the next game.
For example: win a game, the next game get X bonus whatever or lose a game, the next game start with fewer whatevers.
Pandemic the non-legacy version is a game that we played a lot. Eventually fading to the rear as we figured out how to win. Pandemic Legacy didn’t sound that different so why bother? We should have bothered.
Pandemic Legacy plays like Pandemic, as part of a research team you and the other players race around the globe attempting to cure four diseases before one or more of them wipe out humanity. The Legacy aspect doesn’t take effect until the early middle of the first game.
There are a lot of blank spaces on the board and in the rule book. You will fill in some of them with stickers. Stickers such as the changing status of a city, a new rule in the rule book, an up or downgrade to a character, or something else we haven’t seen yet. Each of these stickers alters how the game plays and how future games will play.
For example: while we lost our first game we did manage to eradicate the blue disease, this allowed us to modify how easy it was to cure the blue disease in future games.
So far in our games, we have played three-January twice (lost both times), February once (we won)-our board is festooned with stickers, our rule book has a sticker, and we have much to our initial shock torn up cards. Yes, torn up cards. Modification is something new to get used too.
I take very good care of our games. They are packed away carefully, parts counted, and I do my best to ensure the games last a long time. I do not tear up cards or put stickers on games. Or I didn’t. Pandemic Legacy demands you tear up a card rather early and I admit to seriously questioning the merit and value of doing so. We did and the game has been great ever since.
So you might be wondering, what is the replay value of a game that is modified during and after and sometime before each game. Replay value is high. Normally a game that kicked our collective butts as hard as Pandemic Legacy did the first two games would be in the “Maybe later pile,” however even after a loss we got stuff. More resources for the next game, new cards, new victory conditions. After our win, more stuff.
While the board is forever modified, there is the next game to look forward too. What I haven’t mentioned is that the victory conditions also change as you win and lose. The game is played out in months, each month one game, for our three games we knew we had to cure the diseases. Now we know there is an additional condition, but we won’t know what it is until we set up our next game. Talk about getting you to want to play.