Viruses Gone Viral! A Preview of Pandemic Legacy

March 17, 2015 - 5:16pm
BoardGameGeek News editor W. Eric Martin has provided a preview of the much anticipated Pandemic Legacy. Unless you have been bunkered down in preparation for a true apocalyptic viral spread, you have heard the buzz behind this game by Z-Man Games and designed by Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau. Just in case you have recently tuned into boardgaming news, Pandemic Legacy is a stand alone game which can be viewed as a marriage of the original Pandemic game (designed by same Matt Leacock and largely responsible for the popularity of the cooperative game format) and a new "present actions and game results affect future gameplay" mechanic first introduced in Risk Legacy. According to Martin's article and to help gauge how widely this new installment is anticipated:
On March 12, 2015, Z-Man Games announced that as of that date it had received preorders for 52,000 copies of Pandemic Legacy, its Spiel 2015 release from designers Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau that will debut in ten languages around the world on October 8, 2015.
Martin's article from BGG news provides a hands-on sneak peek at gameplay. Martin was able to play the full game with one of the designers, the owner of Z-Man Games as well as one other who is involved in the distribution of the game to major retailers. In short, this Legacy format of Pandemic plays quite similarly to the original but is played over "Months." Where the game begins to differ from the original is that cities on the map now have trackers on them indicating how many times an outbreak has occurred. As more outbreaks occur in the same city, bad things happen such as riots, which in turn can make future gameplay mechanics such as research and movement more difficult. The "Legacy deck" is also new and provides setup instructions which change depending on prior games' outcomes. "Scars" now affect characters, which replace the roles from the original, and remain between games. All changes seem to be tied directly to the Legacy format and leave core mechanics familiar to those already acquainted to the classic Pandemic game. Some outcomes affecting the map or characters will require stickers to be place on the respective components to track the changes between games. Those familiar to Risk Legacy will appreciate this mechanic. How "well" or "poor" the outcome of each game will determine how many times you play the game to complete a campaign and the level of difficulty of each game. I do not know about you but the idea of this beloved  co-op game being mutated (virology pun intended) into a new form where outcomes in one game affects future plays has me ready to don my hazmat suit and flip some cards anticipating the next disaster! Check out W. Eric Martin's article over at BGG news here.