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Stayin’ Alive: Your Survival Guide to Pandemic Legacy (Season 1)

Stayin’ Alive: Your Survival Guide to Pandemic Legacy (Season 1)

Saving the world isn’t easy. Sometimes there are three or four pandemic level diseases threatening to end human life on this planet and you and your coworkers are in charge of taking care of it.

Ok, maybe this scenario isn’t something you usually encounter at your dayjob. Most of us just run up against it when we play the hit cooperative tabletop game Pandemic. With the release of the new Legacy edition of the game we can make a regular effort at stemming the tide of infections with character growth, character death, and an evolving set of rules. Even the board itself changes.

Let’s take a look at a few tips for getting in, cleaning up, and getting out without too many casualties. We’ll be giving a few spoilers when it comes to the rules here and there, but nothing that spoils the plot really. This game is all about surprises and we wouldn’t want to ruin the fun.

Assembling Your Resources

Before you start shuffling cards and fearfully placing disease cubes onto the board, there are a few things you might want to consider.

Bead/Tackle Containers. One of the most exciting things about the Legacy edition is that there are lots of little boxes and pouches full of new pieces you’ll uncover as you play. It’s worth investing in a medium sized plastic bead or tackle container to keep them sorted in, the kind you can find at any crafts store, hardware store, or outdoors supply shop. They’re cheap, and make a good addition to any tabletop collection.

Fine Tip Sharpie. Writing on the character cards can be difficult with a ball point pen. Those thin Sharpie markers do the job. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to defacing the cards and board.

pandemic 1

Spare Pandemic Copies. In the long run it can be handy to have a copy of the base game nearby for if/when pieces get lost. Remember, if you ever run out of cubes for a disease, you lose the game if you have to place more, so make sure you have the correct amount.

Two Colors of Game. The game comes in two colors: red and blue. What’s nice about this is it helps for if you’d like to be in more than one ongoing campaigns.

Costuming. Pandemic Legacy can easily be played with a bit of roleplaying. Have fun with it. You can pick up lab coats online in a variety of colors, usually for under $20. Army surplus stores can be a great resource for costuming the more military character types that show up early in the game season.

A Coin. Make sure you’ve got something to scratch off that silver gunk that’s on scratch-it tickets, because you’ll be getting a few cards which require that kind of tedious labor.

Playing the Game

Here are a few tips for actually playing. Some of these involve mechanics that get revealed over the course of several sessions, so technically, these are *spoilers*.

Stay Flexible. Like with any board game, you’re going to get into a groove, find a good set of tactics, and feel like you’ve figured the game out. What’s amazing about Pandemic Legacy is that right when you get this feeling, the game smashes you into a brick wall of new and terrible threats. It usually gives you some of the tools necessary to deal with the situation, so stay flexible and willing to try out new characters and abilities.

Research the Disease. At the end of each game, you’re going to get a couple improvements which can take a number of different forms. It might seem boring, but investing in making it easier to cure the four diseases in the game can be VERY useful in the long run as the game gets harder.

Recycle.  One of the things you will learn about in the game is that each member of your team relates to other members through relationships. Friends, co-workers, rivals; they each give you a different perk when you work with your friends, but I want to focus on just one – the Rivals relationship, which allows you to discard two cards to pick up one from your rival that they have already used that turn. This not only gives you a means of recycling Funded Events and other bonuses after they are used, it also allows you to essentially trade cards without being in the same specific cities, making it much easier to cure diseases. Remember, it only works for your rival and you can only use this on cards that they discard that turn.

Just a few ideas for making sure you’ve got what it takes to survive the world ending apocalypse of disease and horror. No biggie. Let us know your own tips below!


Featured Image Credit: Surian Soosay on Flickr via the Creative Commons v2 License

Image Credits: Ryan Chaddock

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