Pandemic Legacy 2-June-The Hollow Men Arrive

So in May when we reconned the Middle East we got some terrible news that the Hollow Men were there. We got 4 Hollow Men Gather cards and a bunch of little Hollow Men figurines. This was not looking good, so what did it mean? Well now at the beginning of the game the 4 Hollow Men Gather Cards are to be placed in the infection discard pile, meaning they won’t go into play until after the first epidemic. These cards do not count as an infection card draw, what happens is when you draw one the next city card you draw from the infection pile gets a Hollow Man added to it. Hollow Men in a city are terrible because if your character leaves a location with them there they gain an exposure. Hollow Men also decrease the population of a city by 1 at the end of the game. They can also decrease the population of a city in the middle of the game if a city already has 3 Hollow Men and the card is drawn again, instead of adding a 4th the population is decreased by 1.

We started June with the same characters (Aofie-Administrator, Claire-Laborer, Goods-Farmer, & Newt-Radio Operator). Our journal entry for June talked about Utopia again. It said our leaders went there and it’s a place that’s secure enough to resist the plague and Hollow Men. There’s suggestion that there might be a cure there, but we also don’t know where it is. The journal entry made it sound like it might be in the far east. It also tells us if we get there it is believed we would be helped but others also believe we would be killed on sight.

Going into this game we had a problem, how do we get out of cities that have Hollow Men without being exposed? According to the rule book if you try to leave a city with Hollow Men you are “cornered” and you cannot leave by the drive/ferry, sail, charter boat, or shuttle flight action without being exposed. So we decided that other means of leaving the city like being airlifted out of there or being transported by Aofie the Administrator would be ok.

This game was extremely difficult. We were not getting the cards we needed to make supply centers and Hollow Men were popping up everywhere. Plague cubes were also a problem. It was becoming clear that we would probably not win this game but we should try to recon Africa because Newt had the cards to get it. Before reconning Africa we were able to build a road to Frankfurt. We also thought about taking cards out of the game by using the free action of inoculation. We decided that if a city has a permanent supply center we could basically make it into a haven if we took this city card out of the infection discard. We are still hesitant to use this action because we are unsure if it will come back to haunt us later, but we did end up taking out 2 Washington and 2 Lagos.

Newt was able to recon Africa and the board was looking pretty ugly but we did get good news out of doing this. We found the ability to broadcast information to each other by building broadcast towers. We could build a broadcast tower in our city by using 2 supply cubes. Now while at the broadcast tower we could give another player a city card that matched the color of the city the tower was in. This player could be anywhere in the world, so it’s huge for moving cards around. With the use of the broadcast tower we were able to come up with a plan to be able to win the game, but this meant we would have to go a round a half to win. There was hope in sight but we were also 2 plague cubes away from losing.

During the recon we also connected Kinshasa to the grid and we got the Topaz Experimental Vaccine Unrationed Event Card.  This card will allow us to discard 1 epidemic card without any effect. Shortly after coming up with our extraordinary plan to win this game that we had no hope earlier of winning we had to place our final plague cube and the game ended in a loss.

Even though we lost the first game in June some good things came out of it like reconning Africa, but also a few bad things happened. Goods gained an exposure while leaving a city with Hollow Men in it, luckily it was just an exposure and no scar. We also had population problems. We had to postpone Newt’s character upgrade of the Helmsman again to use all of our 5 game end upgrades on controlling populations. We used the upgrades to keep Chicago, NY, Moscow, Baghdad and Buenos Aires at a population of 2.

While reading the legacy deck at the end of the game we did obtain 2 new characters: Rock a 30 year old Sanitation Officer from Albatross and Sparrow a 47 year old Captain from Albatross. The captain can discard a city card from any port location to move to any other port location on the grid if a sea route can be traced. This is a free action. The sanitation officer can discard 2 player cards to take a city or produce supplies card from the discard pile as a free action. This was the first time we had received new characters so that was cool; we were told they were volunteers from the Havens.

June Loss

Going into our second game in June we had no more areas on the map to recon so all we had to focus on was building the 3 supply stations, connecting 2 news cities to the grid with roads, and performing 2 search actions. We decided to use the same characters as previously. Since we lost the last game we gained 2 rationed events. We used the One Quiet Night and Drastic Measures. From the beginning Goods had Drastic Measures so this was good because it allowed us to remove 2 plague cubes from the grid.

Luckily this game went pretty smoothly. There were tense moments when 3 of us (Claire, Aofie, & Newt) ended up in New York and we struggled with should we remove the New York infection cards or let it ride. Of course we got an epidemic at this point and this meant we could all be exposed if Hollow Men showed up or if we lost all the cubes. Luckily neither happened. Fortunately, Claire obtained the Paris companion card which made it super easy for her to build 2 supply centers due to her being the Laborer and Architect. Goods was able to build the 3rd supply center. Newt built a road to Atlanta and Claire searched Buenos Aires. In Buenos Aires we found the OPAL lab. OPAL lab is one of the four labs that are looking for a cure. Here another person joined us, a new character from Buenos Aires who was an immunologist. Paulo the immunologist can take the supply cubes from the reserve instead of the stockpile.

In finding the OPAL lab we learned that we would get a special ability when finding labs. OPAL allows us to take an additional supply cube if we make supplies in a haven or supply center. We were also able to put Lake Baikal on the map. This is Northeast of Delhi but there is no way to connect to it yet. We are told this is where the primary lab was located and if there was a cure it would come from here. Of course no one has heard from Lake Baikal for decades. Finding the lab was really cool and we were excited. It was even more exciting when Aofie was able to end the game on her turn by searching Baghdad and building a road to Riyadh. When searching Baghdad she gained 2 extra actions so she built another road to Moscow to make an easier way to access everything. The game ended here and Goods used her Drastic Measures card to remove the only plague cube from the map that would effect the population. For our game end upgrades, Newt finally received his Helmsman ability and we increased the population in Frankfurt and Kinshasa.

Pandemic Legacy 2-May

It had been awhile since our last Legacy game so we were excited to start May. We used the same team (Aofie-Administrator, Claire-Laborer, Newt-Radio Operator, & Goods-Farmer) From the journal entry before the game we found out that the Hollow Men were moving from the Americas into Europe and Africa. It also said we learned where our leaders went and why we’re still here, which none of us really got.  From the archives we learned about a place called Utopia. Other than that we really didn’t know much going into May other than we had to finish 3 objectives out of our 4. The objectives haven’t changed they were: connect 2 new cities to the grid, complete 2 searches, recon an unknown region, and the mandatory objective of building 3 new supply centers.

To start the game we had no rationed events to help us out because we won the last game. We still had the unrationed event of Strategic Reserves which would move 8 supply cubes from the reserve to the stockpile. With the help of the of the companion we found in Paris it was fairly easy for Claire to build supply centers. One supply center we made was in Lagos because we planned to use a game end upgrade to keep it there to make reconning Africa easier. We were able to search two cities: Moscow and Lima. Aofie searched Moscow and found a card that would allow her to give another player a player card. She gave Goods a card to allow her to make a supply center.  Goods searched Lima and found a companion that would allow a plague cube to be removed from her location. It could be played at any time. We were able to end the game by reconning the Middle East region. This was not the happiest recon because we found out the Hollow Men were here. We also learned the Hollow Men transport rats to release them into cites to make them infested. There were already infested cities on this new part of the map! We also heard about satellite towers here that picked up transmissions but who were they from? There was a hint that hopefully in August we could be able to fine tune our equipment to pick up their transmissions. We also learned we had no way of reconning further east yet.

In this recon we connected Baghdad to the grid. We got 4 Hollow Men Gather cards that went into the infection discard pile. We also got the Renewel  unrationed event. This card will allow us to place a character ability worth 2 or less on a character card currently in play. The cool thing about it is we can place it over a scar.

Luckily, this ended our game in May with a win and we didn’t have to deal with the new Hollow Men aspect of the game.  For our game end upgrades we had 5 points and we wanted to use 3 of these to keep our supply center in Lagos. This created some drama because we realized we had no more permanent supply center stickers. So we decided to upgrade Newt the Radio Operator to a Helmsman which would allow him to do a free Drive/Ferry action each turn, essentially giving him an extra action. Then we were trying to decide what to do with the other 2 points when I realized that we hadn’t read from the legacy deck at the end of the game like we were supposed to. Guess what was in the Legacy deck? More permanent supply centers. So now we had a dilemma do we not go with the supply center in Lagos and keep Newt’s upgrade or do we keep his upgrade and go with 2 others? We had already stuck the sticker on the character card. We eventually decided we needed the permanent supply center in Lagos so we used that and with the other 2 points after much consideration we gave Goods the Smuggler character upgrade. The smuggler can discard a city card to take a supply cube from the reserve and put it in the matching  city card. We decided that we would keep the Helmsman sticker on Newt’s character card but it could not be used until after the next game when we could hopefully purchase it.

Overall we felt pretty good how the May game went, but we were in for some trouble coming in June.