3 years later, Let’s Play Pandemic Legacy Season 1

Longtime followers will remember this one

It has been 54 weeks since I relaunched johnhqld.com.  It’s been a great time, and as other things in my work and personal life are settling nicely, I am looking forward to bringing back a lot of my original ideas.

Today was actually going to be a review on Pandemic Legacy Season 1, but unfortunately, this week has gotten away from me.  And no, it wasn’t playing Kingdom Hearts 3 – I didn’t have that much fun!  Instead, I’m going to take you on a great experience on the first form of the site, at johnhqldplays.com.

Way, way back in 2015, I first started johnhqldplays.com.  There was a whole thing with someone nabbing johnhqld.com, it was a whole thing, but I started creating my site.

About this time, the web series TableTop with Wil Wheaton was making serious headway into mainstream popularity.  As a gamer, I was overjoyed.  People wanted to know what those cardboard boxes I was always trying to get people to look at actually were.

As much as I enjoyed the series though, there was one thing that bugged me a bit.  The shows were well presented and well edited, but they didn’t really reflect what playing some of those games were like.  Settlers of Catan (or just Catan now) for example does not tend to go anywhere nearly as smoothly as TableTop presented – especially new players.

New players tend to have to look up what the trading values are.  Questions are asked about timing for the robber.  The biggest thing that happens though is sitting and trying to work out what to try and accomplish, and most of all why to accomplish it.

The web series TableTop drove many people to board game stores

Now don’t get me wrong – they weren’t misrepresenting games or anything like that.  Yes, there were a few famous rule goofs and a bit of controversy involving a producer.  But on the whole, the enjoyment of gaming came out, and that was their goal.

But a few people that wanted to play the games they saw on TableTop were a little disappointed when they actually played the game.

Lords of Waterdeep was probably the best example I have of this.  Now Lords of Waterdeep is a game I still enjoy to this day (it is my most ‘customised’ game), but it isn’t really a game for everybody.

Lords of Waterdeep is sold as having a Dungeons and Dragons theme, but it’s more abstract.  It’s a worker placement game with limited choices, but weighing up those choices can take new players a long time.  This is generally referred to in gaming as Analysis Paralysis.

Now on Tabletop, the players all joked and talked and then just had their turn – such is the magic of editing.

This is the Digital Tablet version, but it shows some of the choices on HALF the board

So I decided when I did a Let’s Play video (this was just before I really had no personal time at all, it was a good idea at the time), it would be ‘warts and all’.

And one of the hottest games at the time was Pandemic Legacy Season 1.  Released near the end of 2015, Pandemic Legacy was a game that was setting the board game world on fire.

And while I had taught a lot of people Pandemic, and still maintain the vanilla Pandemic is one of the greatest introductory or gateway games around, explaining to people if they should play a ‘Legacy’ game was really hard.

People that were enthusiastic and keen to try games were already balking at spending $70-$100 (Australian) for a game.  Explaining that Pandemic Legacy was a game you played maybe 18-20 times and that was it was really confusing to some.

And so a few months after the release, I felt it was safe to do my Let’s Play of Pandemic Legacy.

The first thing that hit me is that I had much shorter hair back then :p

This is what most players knew of Pandemic Legacy before it was released - it was an exciting time

But I didn’t want to play it on screen.  I do not like being photographed generally, but that wasn’t why.  I had already completed the entire campaign, and so if I was playing I was worried about steering the game for a better score.  The whole point in my mind was that I wanted to show real players and their honest reactions.

So some friends of mine decided to help me out.  The awesome Joel and Kristen, Pandemic veterans, are always fun to be around.  Nat and Elle rounded out the team by being new to Pandemic.

The Legacy Crew
The Legacy Crew - Left to Right Joel, Kristen, Elle and Nat

I just want to give a special shout out of appreciation to Elle – she was all in on playing and recording.  And she had her very first game of Pandemic just before shooting the first video!  Elle is always great to have around on a games night, and while I thank everyone for being involved and loved spending the time with them all, Elle probably had the least idea on what was involved!

So this week, I finally got around to putting together the last of the Pandemic Legacy videos.  So almost 3 years later, for your viewing pleasure, the complete Pandemic Legacy Season 1 campaign is available!

With the rumours of Pandemic Legacy Season 3 being announced and possibly released this year, I feel that maybe the spoiler warnings may have lost some of their potency :p

But if you have enjoyed Pandemic Legacy, or you aren’t in a position to play yourself, I hope you enjoy playing along with the guys and enjoy the ride with us.

Video content is something I am going to be concentrating on this year, so I hope you enjoy these videos and keep an eye out for new content coming later this year!

Until next time,

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