This game is getting hard. October was weird because we were now able to use the satellite towers to communicate with the Hollow Men. We had to move the Hollow Men into 3 different havens to win October. The objective of building 3 supply centers was also still there. We thought that by moving the Hollow Men into the havens we could get them on our side and it would also help us move around the world more freely.
We were able to complete October with a win on the first try and to be honest I didn’t keep many notes about the game so I’m not going to say much.
November was a different story. In November we were told to destroy the objectives of building 3 new supply centers and get hollow men to defect. Now we had only one new objective to complete: complete the plan. The plan was we had to recon in Shanghai with 4 different recon missions. The nice thing about this was we didn’t need a supply center in Shanghai to recon. We had to Locate Hidden Entrance with 5 different red cards, Decode Access Key with 4 different black cards, Devise Distraction with 3 different yellow cards, and Prepare Containment Units with 3 different blue cards.
We knew this objective would be impossible because we didn’t have 5 different red cards yet. So we worked hard and completed 3 out of 4 recons and we accessed new red cities like crazy. With our game end upgrades we made sure to upgrade city cards to make them red cards. Even though we lost it still felt like a win and productive.
The second half of November was pretty hard. We are struggling now with keeping supply cubes on cities to avoid plague cubes. Things were not feeling great but all of the sudden the cards fell into place. We had one of the cards that could be any color and another card that could either be it’s original yellow or red. We even got lucky and on our way to complete the plan we drew another red card and was able to recon Jarkarta. Luckily Claire has the ability to recon without a supply center. With the recon we found another lost haven. We were told the haven was in ruins and we named it Assie (because all of our havens begin with A and this is in Australia). We are able to recon here if we get the opportunity. It felt good to win this game.
By completing the plan we accessed Utopia. Things seemed to get crazy when we did this though, we now have 8 Utopia infections cards and 4 more Hollow Men cards.
September was rough. We ended up losing our first game, but a lot of stuff happened during the loss so it was ok. We were told in the beginning of September that we no longer had the objective of Recon 1 Unknown Region; it was being replaced with Recon East Asia. We also found out we had discovered a new haven but it had not yet been accessed. Our same characters, Goods, Newt, Aofie, and Claire set out once again to save the world.
It was in this game that Package 6 came back to haunt us. If you recall we were able to put infection/city cards into package 6 so they would not be drawn. We hadn’t put too many in fear that something would happen later but we did put a few and it had been nice not having to worry about these cities anymore. Well now when an epidemic occurred we had to draw a random infection card from package 6 and remove any cubes if any.
We knew from the beginning of this game it would be nearly impossible to achieve the goal of reconning Asia. We did search Khartoum and this card allowed us to give a player card to another player. We connected 2 new cities: Dar Es Salaam and New Mumbai. The new haven was also accessed and named Aang. Even though we lost the game we did keep a permanent supply center in Kolkata to make it easier to recon Asia in the next game. With our other points we increased the population in Tripoli and Istanbul. We also used a Foundations upgrade on a Washington city card to make it count as 2 cards of its color to build a supply center.
In the second game in September we had 2 rationed event cards. We used the One Quiet Night and Drastic Measures. Goods used the unrationed event card called Renewel which allowed her to gain a character upgrade worth 2 points or less. She chose Soldier so she can now discard a city card matching the color of the city she is leaving to prevent exposures from Hollow Men. We were able to recon Asia. Reconning Asia connected Jakarta to the grid. It also added 4 more Hollow Men cards to the infection deck. Claire searched Dar Es Salaam twice and was able to draw a free supply line from there. The other search from Dar Es Salaam showed there was a lost haven near there but we had already found it and accessed it. September did give us another unrationed event called Biodome Prototype, which allows us to place up to 3 shelters onto any cities on the grid. We have discovered shelters now to help prevent exposures for characters. To place a shelter you have to discard a card matching the color of the current city. It is nice to have some ways to prevent exposure now. We also used the frequency scanner a lot to try to avoid epidemics. It actually worked a couple of times!This game is getting crazy.
Fortunately we were able to win both July and August. Both of the games were near losses, but a win is a win! In both games we continued to use the same characters: Claire the Laborer/Architect, Aofie the Administrator/Runner, Goods the Farmer/Courier/Smuggler, and Newt the Radio Operator/Helmsman.
In the beginning of July we found out that the satellite towers were picking up broadcast signals but we didn’t know who was transmitting them. It is thought that it is the Hollow Men but maybe it is someone giving the Hollow Men orders? It’s questioned if someone is ordering the Hollow Men to spread the plague. The journal entry talks about the grid growing and not being able to keep up with the Hollow Men. It also talks about preparing to forsake cities.
June was challenging; we ended the game one away from death. To win the game we were able to build three supply centers and accomplish the new objective of making three broadcast towers in each area. When we completed the broadcast objective we learned that we picked up chatter from the Hollow Men. We found out they usually use the frequencies 9.2, 9.31, and 11.88. The hint also tells us when the towers are fully operational (predictably in August) we will be able to listen to their signals. We were able to make a road to connect London and Paris. We also connected Khartoum and LA to the grid to end the game.
On the last play of the game Claire was to build a road from Atlanta to Mexico City and then build the last supply center. We were pumped we were going to end the game and we were on our 7th incident so one more plague cube was all it would take to end the game. When Claire tried to make her road from Atlanta to Mexico City she discovered she could not because it would be going over water. How did she not notice this?! Luckily, she was able to make it to LA and still end the game. That was a close one. We used our game end upgrades to up the population in Chicago, Lima, Jacksonville, and Frankfurt. We used our last points to give Newt the Coordinator upgrade. The Coordinator is able to as a free action move a player to his location if the player is in an adjacent location. Onto August!
Our journal entry in August informed us that the satellite towers were functioning and accessing different frequencies. This gave us the ability to use a Frequency Scanner. The Frequency Scanner is used when the player does the Monitor action. Monitoring is done by drawing and discarding 4 player cards while at a broadcast tower. Once this is done the player then scratches off a box on the frequency scanner. We were able to do this once in August but it did not yield any answers.
At the beginning of the game we were also able to use 3 production points to give a player an upgrade. We gave the Supplier upgrade to Claire. This allows her to move a supply cube from the stockpile to a city matching a card in her hand. She can only do it once per turn as an action and she doesn’t have to discard the card.
August started off badly. Right off the bat Atlanta, New York, and Baghdad were getting plague cubes. We had to take care of this quickly by adding more supply cubes there. We also decided it was best for Newt to use the Unrationed Event called Strategic Reserves. This allowed us to move 8 supply cubes from the reserve to the stockpile to use in the game. Unfortunately we cannot use this again but it really helped us out in this game. We were able to make the 3 supply centers, connect 2 new cities to the grid, and search twice to win the game. We connected San Francisco and Mexico City to the grid. Newt was able to search LA twice. When we searched LA by land we found shipping containers with supplies that allowed us to move 4 supply cubes from the reserve to the stockpile. When we searched by sea we found that we learned the location of a lost haven, but we had not accessed it yet. This allowed us to open box 60, but we already had so we gained an action.
We won the game but had a hard time deciding what to do with our points. It was a hard decision because Khartoum became Forsaken and we were trying to decide if we should use the points to upgrade the population. Ultimately we decided to let Khartoum stay forsaken and we increased the population in Mexico City, Jacksonville, and Atlanta. We used our last 3 points to keep the supply center in LA. Can’t wait for September!
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.
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.
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.