Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

The Spiel des Jahres nominees for 2018 have just recently been announced (see Dice Tower News article here), and for the first time since 2010 the judges have awarded the “Sonderpreis“, literally a special award. The recipient is the innovative Pandemic Legacy Season 2 by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau, published by Z-Man Games. Pandemic Legacy Season 2 uses amazing new mechanics and devices, and blends them with an engrossing story taking place 71 years after the original Season 1, creating a game “all future legacy games will have to be measured” against. Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy Season 1 were both nominated for Spiel des Jahres awards in 2009 and 2016 respectively.

For more information, check out Z-Man Games press release on their website here.

Z-Man games has begun releasing details of what has happened following the pandemic that broke out in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.

The world is on the brink of total collapse. Already devastated by a terrible plague, much of the globe has gone dark. Small groups of survivors struggle to keep the world alive, but their efforts are no longer enough. The world needs leaders to rise up and find the way back from the brink of extinction. That task has fallen to you. You must find a way or nobody will. You are humanity’s last chance.

Following the format of the many Pandemic games that preceded it, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 again brings two to four players into a high stakes legacy format co-op situation.

Taking place 71 years after the final events of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, humanities very existence continues to be in peril. Only a few known cities still exist at all, and are now being supplied by floating stations in the ocean known as “havens.” For three generations survivors have lived on these havens, but with haven supplies dwindling it’s your job to set foot on land and save whatever cities you can to stop the end of civilization as you know it.

Over a year you and your team search for answers to questions that still surround the plague, while at the same time trying to maintain a supply network. Like in Season 1 and other legacy games, actions in each game will carry over and impact future games, forever altering the world of Pandemic Legacy.

Cities will rise, cities will fall. Characters will learn new skills and gain scars from the horrors they experience. Through the game new rules will come into play and each new development will affect your group’s journey.

 Journey from the Havens to Distribute Supplies

Your team has grown up in the havens your knowledge of the mainland is very limited. The plague has devastated the world you great grandparents knew, and cities have no hope of developing a cure. The few cities that remain need your supplies.

Instead of removing disease cubes, you now must add supply cubes to ward off future plague outbreaks. Balance your time and focus between balancing more cubes with distributing them to the cities that need them most. Drawing infection cards results in cities using supply cubes. You will need to constantly deliver new supplies in order to avoid the city becoming infected. Cities that become infected are a critical threat to you and to your team.

Characters entering a city infected with a plague run the risk of being exposed to it. There’s no guarantee that exposure will lead to any detrimental effects, but it will always be a threat. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when to risk exposure and when to play it safe, letting the infected city fend for itself.

The World Has Changed

The world players find at the beginning of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 has altered drastically. At the beginning of your first game only a small portion of the earth is visible, with access to only the few surviving cities still on the grid. On top of supplying cities you’ll need to explore a world lost to darkness. Make discoveries, encounter new dangers and face new challenges on your search for answers.

With so much infrastructure lost, you’ll have very limited communication, diminished medical technology and a loss of air travel. Sail from port to port, but once on land travel will be slow.

Fall 2017

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a stand alone game that does not require having played Season 1. Prepare time this fall to save the world with a sneak peek at Gen Con 2017.

A Legacy of Awards

The original Pandemic Legacy has won many awards on the way to the top of the BGG rankings, currently ranked the highest rated game on Boardgamegeek. Selected awards include:

The game also took home an armful of 2015 Dice Tower awards including Co-Op Game of the Year and 2015 Game of the Year.

gloomhaven

Gloomhaven, the monstrously sized game with legacy style elements to it will be coming to stores in the early months of 2017.  The game was Kickstarted last year and its fulfillment of the Kickstarter is almost upon us, and backers are very excited to get their game.  Gloomhaven is a dungeon crawler game with a euro-inspired fighting system that maintains loads of theme and branching story-lines as you play through the campaign.  At times in the game you will have to make various decisions, and those decisions will affect the game from then on out.  In the box will be multiple small boxes to be opened as different story element are triggered, changing and morphing the game like a choose your own adventure book.  I am sad that I missed this Kickstarter somehow but the game is making itself out to be something epic like Pandemic Legacy.  Look for it on store shelves in February of 2017.

Image from The Guardian

Image from The Guardian

All of us here love board games, and Tom and the gang does a great job of getting information out there, but why is the industry booming like it is?  The folks over at The Guardian were wondering the same thing so they started where it made sense, a board game cafe in Oxford called the Thirsty Meeple.  They do a pretty good job of reviewing a lot of the leaps and bounds board games have made over the years from expanding cooperative games to taking steps to be more inclusive.  The article is capped off with a short biography on Matt Leacock, designer of games like Pandemic Legacy and Forbidden Desert, and some solid game recommendations.  It’s an excellent read and they paint the board game industry in a good light, I highly recommend giving the article a look on The Guardian’s website.

sDTAwards

The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher

stockpile

Stockpile

Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork

ashes

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

risk legacy

Christorpher Chabris, at the Wall Street Journal, wrote a piece on narrative games, with a special notice of both the games Pandemic Legacy and TIME Stories.  He noted that there are many reasons why we play games, and one of those reasons can be to tell a story, and you can’t find that experience more central than in the two previously mentioned games.  While I haven’t played TIME Stories yet, I have played Pandemic Legacy and I wholeheartedly agree that the story experience is like no other, and that is what makes it so great.  You can read the whole story on the Wall Street Journal website.

Spiel-des-Jahres-Logo_x3hycg

The committee for the Spiel Des Jahres or “game of the year” has announced this years nominations for the three awards they issue each year.

Spiel Des Jahres

The nominees for the main award are fairly diverse.  Codenames the hit of Gen Con 2015 is a surprise to almost no one who has been paying attention.  Having already infiltrated the mass market stores it is hard to deny that this clever little deserves to be on this list.  Imhotep just came out in Germany in March of this year and has not had an English release yet.  Looking to provide a family weight game involving strategy and a little bit of take that has it fitting in nicely.  Karuba the final nominees is game maker HABA’s first foray into games intended for older audiences.

They have additionally give five honorable mentions

Kennerspiel Des Jahres

Nominations for the Kennerspiel or connoisseurs category is filled three massive hits from this year.  With Both Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 and T.I.M.E Stories being in the top 30 games of all time on Board Game Geek it is not surprising that either of those was nominated.  The first nominee Isle of Skye is only ranked 250 on BGG but has a solid pedigree behind it.  Having been released by Lookout/Mayfair Games this highly strategic tile laying game provides a lot of opportunity for very intricate strategies to come into play.  Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 shot up to the number one spot on BGG within 2 months of its release.  Widely regarded as one of the best implementations of the legacy concept by designers Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock and being widely regarded as one of the best selling games within the last year this was an obvious nomination.  Finally we have another legacy style game with T.I.M.E Stories which has already had three expansions released and more announced this promises to be a great cooperative legacy game which can be played in decent sized chunks.

The three honorable mentions were quite well regarded as well

Kinderspiel Des Jahres

The Kinderspiel which often is the category that surprises the most has fewer surprises than normal this year.  With at least one title that is a reimplementation of a well known game for the older crowd in this group.  Leo Muss zum Friseur which as already won the Austrian children’s game of the year for 2015 is a great little press your luck game.  Stone Age Junior is a clever reimplementation of the older game Stone Age designed by Marco Teubner.  Finally is Mmm! which is a great little cooperative game well suited for introducing a child to the cooperative genre.

Honorable mentions