Originally published at: https://pbg.geektherapy.com/2018/10/24/pandemic-legacy-part-2/
WHAT A MARVELOUS GAME! To this point, I have no bad things to say about this game. This game is so much fun and just plain cool. It’s a mystery at every turn. You are allowed to be your own player while still being able to closely work with your friends to achieve your goals. You have no idea what is going to happen next or even what to expect. I have never played such a cool and exciting tabletop game.
Look, if you have that chance to get this game I could not recommend it more. As a fan of the original Pandemic, this game blows that one out of the water. Alright…..so anyway, let me come back to earth for a minute. So this is the third month that we have played this game. We are currently in March (game month, not actual month). This game gets harder as you go and if your able to, you can unlock new things along the way. So far, we have not lost, but I see some losses coming in the future. Part of our success has been from simply good luck and a little foresight. I won’t explain what I’m talking about because it may spoil some stuff, so I’ll just leave it at that. Just some good ol planning ahead.
The last two times we played this game we played with what we will call the “alpha” player. This guy had great ideas and was a super great thinker and strategist but would overpower people’s turns. Because of that some of the guys didn’t have the greatest of times. This was expressed today after our game when we had our discussion. Anyway, this was the first week we did not have the “alpha” player. The game went well as expected, we had 4 guys playing, well 3 including myself, and we were able to squeak a win in again. Everything went smooth. We breezed through our objectives and was almost able to get some bonus work done in the game, but for me I was not satisfied with just finishing the game. In the spirit of the group I wanted to press my luck and the luck of the group. We could have easily won and called it a game, but I wanted to get this other objective. I wanted to unlock something new. Even though we were able to win pretty easily at that point, we were not set up well enough to continue going on much longer without walking into some major issues. I knew this, but I encouraged the guys to try to get this last thing. None of them were on board with this, and all of them were worried that we would fail if we tried. To be honest, I was pretty sure we would fail too, but we were in a decent spot to succeed in getting this other objective and still winning this month’s game.
At this point it was not my turn, but the guy who’s turn it was, was in position to win the game right then and there. I urged him to trust me and let us try to get this other objective. He was not confident and told me he was pretty sure we were going to lose. Regardless I still urged him to just try. He granted us the opportunity to try knowing that it would have to go through two more turns before we could have a shot at winning. Long story short we almost died and just about everything that could have went wrong did go wrong. However, when it came back around we were able to complete our third and final objective which granted us the win for that month before we were overrun with a plague.
The point of the movement was to 1. Try and get another objective to hopefully make our game easier next time, and 2. Put a little stress on the guys and see how they handled it. What was neat about that situation is that I had an idea on how to keep us safe, but I didn’t tell anyone and asked them just to trust me. Surprisingly they did, but not without some griping and reservations. Like I said, in the end we made it though and when it got to the first guy who could win us the game he made the executive choice to do so.
A lot of times in this environment youth do everything they can to gain power and control of their situation. Youth are told every day what they can and cannot do. It was a little surprising to me that the guys allowed me the opportunity to potentially ruin their game, and potentially their experience. For some guys winning is everything, and without a win they feel like nothing was accomplished. I think at least one of those kinds of guys exist in this group on this particular event. For me, this gift was not lost on me. In that moment I forgot to acknowledge that piece, but I will not forget to address it in our next session. I feel like I’m learning that games in this environment or setting is not just about what I can get the guys experience, but what I can experience also. It’s not about learning a skill every time or addressing a concern, sometimes it’s just about self-reflection and acknowledging the gains or accomplishments you experience in any given moment. I think that gets lost more often than not. You don’t always sit down and think about these moments and digest how important or significant they can be. Maybe these moments are lost on those guys or they don’t sit down to think about them, but it’s at least my job to express to them my appreciation for what they allow me to do and recognize the significant moments that are featured.