Swords & Spreadsheets

Swords & Spreadsheets

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Writer_smallerFantasy Draft

Our fantasy football draft was last Sunday, and it’s the one time of year I both look and feel more confused than when we played Alchemists. As one whose preferred craft is words, numbers are my natural weakness and enemy: doubly so when presented in spreadsheets, or any variant of stats or equation. Fantasy Football has all of the above. As a drafter of teams and a player of games, I prefer to rely on instinct, supposition, guesswork, witchcraft, dumb luck, and planning just one step ahead. Any more than one step and I tend to stumble.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that although I do enjoy fantasy football, I am not generally very good at it. It is always great to have that extra layer of engagement with the football season though, and to have a game to share amongst friends (supposing those friendships manage to last the whole season, that is). Watching a game of football while messaging with friends about scores and games makes the experience more social. This is particularly valuable to us, as there isn’t anyone local to watch the games with. American Football games keep very unsociable hours here in Ireland, and don’t have the following and exposure that they do in their native time-zones, so watching a game with a group of friends is a more difficult than you’d think. Particularly as you need an extraordinarily expensive sports television package on top of everything else.

In far, far greater news, this week to celebrate Aileen’s finishing college, we finally purchased Pandemic Legacy. It will be a few weeks before we get to begin our campaign, but wow are we excited about this one. Pandemic was a key game in getting us into proper hobby games, and it remains a favourite of ours, even years later. It’s a big one for us, and I can’t wait to experience what everyone has been talking about. And then move straight onto Seafall Legacy, of course.

Has anyone reading this played Pandemic Legacy yet? Did it live up to your expectations? (No spoilers please!)




Gridiron is a mighty confusing name for football. I just finished my dissertation, so now I’m off to sleep for a week. Zzz…

22 Comments on Swords & Spreadsheets
  • Emily

    Ah Pandemic Legacy. Pretty sure I once declared on this site that I would never play it, or at least never buy it. Well, I didn’t buy it but I did get sucked into playing a friends copy. (He won a gift voucher in a Formula D league and figured: why not!)
    We’re currently up to September and highly enjoying it. The words “rip up this card” still cause major flinching though.
    Given that I had no particular expectations going in, I guess one could say that it has well any truely outshone them? (Can you live up to something that isn’t there?)

    • People play Formula D leagues? That sounds like fun! Never played Formula D (never even seen it for sale over here) but I do keep hearing about how much fun the game is.
      I take it as a very positive signing that with no expectations, and indeed, no intention to ever play it, you’re still really enjoying Pandemic Legacy. I’ll take that as exceeding expectations. Is your group finding it difficult? We keep thinking we should get some practise in on regular Pandemic beforehand so it isn’t a total disaster.

      • Emily

        I don’t know about other people, but my some of my Tuesday night gaming friends decided they liked Formula D enough that they wanted to play regularly and add some structure & continuity. So they played a different track each month, announced the weather in advance and everyone had to post their car build before the race. I don’t know if they’re going to start another season(?) but I think so.

        Pandemic Legacy starts out as a regular game, then you get to add things that can make it easier. But the better you do, the harder the game makes it for you. Just when you think :” Hey, next month will be smooth, we’ve got this going great” then the game says: “open this secret info, oh and btw you can’t do this thing anymore” and then it all goes to hell.

        Some parts become easier and other much harder.

        I’d be interested to hear how well it goes for you guys.

        • That balancing mechanic sounds so clever! I’m sure once we get started on our campaign we will be talking about it a lot.

  • Curtis J. Reubens

    One of my friends describes Pandemic Legacy as “possibly the best game he’s ever played”. I’m inclined to agree with him.

    • BGG rankings support this opinion as well. Oh man, are we ever excited to play this one.

  • Dexter Ó Thuithear

    Pandemic Legacy has been sitting on my shelf since release. I still haven’t had a chance to play it. The last few months have been so hectic, I haven’t played anything (apart from the obvious). I’m really hoping to change that soon. Might be time to look at breaking out Legacy in he house.
    That said, I broke and purchased Armada and a bunch of ships. It’s outrageously good. Shame there isn’t as much of a following. By way of apology for this new addiction, I picked up Guards! Guards! for the better half. She is considerably more enthused about running around the disc world with dragons than about the stats of battlecruisers…

    • I’ve always wanted to play Armada, but I think I’m half afraid I will like it too much. The idea of a more strategic X-Wing is exactly my cup of tea, with added Star Wars biscuit on the side. My space ship budget is already stretched super-thin, though, and FFG seem determined to keep announcing ships right now…

      • Dexter Ó Thuithear

        I’ve actually cancelled some of my wave 9 order to make way for some Armada stuff. It plays extraordinarily well, even just from the core set, and it’s overall not that pricey. A core plus a capital from each side would be about enough to get you close to a full 400 point list. Chuck in a frigate or squadron each and you’re into tournament territory already. It’s oddly affordable.
        I’m having a fantastic time figuring it out. You are right, it’s much more strategic than tactical. The bigger ships, especially.

        I wasn’t super enthused by much of wave 9 to begin with. I’m happy to put off buying the two new Scum ships for a couple of sexy star destroyers. I’d be happy to get you in on a game some time!

        • I actually wasn’t too excited about Wave 9 either, but I’m playing mostly Rebel right now, and the the ARC just isn’t an exciting ship. Much more excited by Sabine’s TIE, which is likely a while away yet.
          I would love a game, for sure. Hopefully at some point in the future the stars will align and we will manage to play a game of Something together.

  • Robert Fiorentino

    Pandemic Legacy takes place over a year (game time). We play at work and thought we’d be done in a month or two. It’s creeping up on a year now and we still have 2 “months” left to play! We play every chance we get however it’s not often that all four of us are available on the same day.

    But yes, it is a great game. One of those “I want to do 5 different things but only have enough actions for one of them.”

    • That’s the problem with any campaign game. Currently we have both an Imperial Assault and a Risk Legacy campaign in an unfortunately unfinished state. We’re going to be very selective about our Pandemic Legacy group.
      And maybe get them to sign blood oaths as well. Maybe.

  • Dan Roth

    I can’t remember who, but someone once said something like “Fantasy football is D&D for jocks.”

    Congrats to Aileen!

    • I have heard that before as well, and hilariously enough, it is exactly that. Stat lines and percentages and synergy amongst your line-up. It’s actually surprisingly engaging (read: time-consuming) once you fall down the rabbit hole.

  • Micheál Coyne

    Almost jealous of you for not having started on it yet. My gaming trio has had a terrific time so far with our Pandemic season. We’ve November and December still to play and some tremendous stories and memories from the many sessions. Funnily enough, one of us has an unopened Risk Legacy box that we’re going to crack open next.

    • Actually very glad to hear you are playing it with three people and still enjoying it. We are likely going to play it with just three people, and were worried that we would not get as much from it with just three.
      We are being very cautious about getting a good group together: people we can rely on to complete the campaign.

  • wr00t

    I’m hearing “fantasy football” or basketball all the time, but never made myself to google it up 😀 I supposed this is some kind of drafting various players into one fantasy team and.. something else 😀

    • After you draft your team you use a complex simulated sport environment to make them fight with swords and spellbooks, and the winner rescues the princess. Simple, really.

  • Sven_the_Berzerker

    Congratulations, Aileen!

  • xorsyst

    I was a little disappointed with Pandemic Legacy. Although Pandemic is definitely a much better game than Risk, I found that the Legacy elements worked better with Risk. The trouble with PL is that the legacy is very scripted – each month (game) you have specific things happen, rather than dramatic changes based on how the players happen to play that makes each experience unique. Basically, PL is more like a fixed campaign game – which works well, but I was hoping for … more.