Once more into the breach...
So we finally had a chance to dive into Pandemic Legacy: Season 0. Apparently, an actual pandemic can play havoc with getting your regular group together.
For the uninitiated, there’s a couple of things to define here:
- Pandemic is a series of board games generally centered around a group of players cooperatively working towards stopping a global plague
- Legacy games are a style of modern games that add permanency to the experience. An epic story is told over multiple sessions as new rules and components are revealed and/or destroyed
- Season 0 represents that this is part of a continuing series. Pandemic Legacy started with Season 1, and was followed (quite logically) by Season 2. This time around they've opted for a prequel and went with zero (fittingly, as disease origin points are referred to as Patient Zero)
Season 0 brings us back to a time before the original plague into the cold war paranoia of 1962, with Soviet and Allied secret agents shuttling about the map, assembling teams to help identify the origins of Russia's Project Medusa - an attempt at an artificially-created disease.
Dipping into the 60s for this setting and topic was probably a good choice considering the global pandemic scenario we're currently cosplaying our way through. The designers have done a wonderful job in meshing the original Pandemic mechanics into the cloak and dagger spy setting. Anyone familiar with previous iterations of Pandemic (legacy or otherwise) will have no problem adapting to this version. For instance, your character cards are now passports that can contain multiple 'covers identities'.
We managed to get two plays into our first session; the first one being the 'prologue' that basically walks you through how this new version will play. We've skipped these tutorials in the past to our detriment. We decided to humbly accept the introduction.
The first missions were a little harder than we expected. Or we were rustier at the mechanics than we cared to admit. To accomplish missions, the players need to coordinate quickly to assemble Teams in the correct locations, all while avoiding Soviet agents and surveillance. Decisions are tough. Pressure is always present. There is never a clear choice of what actions to pursue: do i spend my turn searching for where the hidden agent is in Europe, deal with the increasing threat of enemy agents in Hanoi before an Incident is triggered or help another agent assemble a required Team to assist us?
If you've enjoyed playing Pandemic in the past, you are sure to enjoy any of the Legacy games. I know a lot of people are averse to playing something that has an end, or that you destroy components while playing. To them I say this: I have played literally thousands of modern board games over the last twenty years. Pandemic Legacy Season 1 is still the greatest board gaming experience i have ever had. It was truly an epic rollercoaster ride of thrills and tears. Season 2 was almost as good.
We are very excited for the missions ahead of us.