Can You Play Pandemic Legacy More Than Once (3 Reasons You Can’t)

By Kimberly

Updated:

The Pandemic board game has taken the world by storm upon its release, easily claiming a home on many board game enthusiasts’ shelves. Pandemic also branched out to several expansions and sequels, and today we’ll look at one of its popular spin-offs: Pandemic Legacy.

Unfortunately, Pandemic Legacy is designed only to be played once. This is due to the game’s instructions, where players destroy certain portions of the board as they go along with the story. That makes it impossible to take back moves or reset the game from the beginning.

But that is part of the beauty of Pandemic Legacy over other board games.

Before deciding to buy this board game, it’s a good idea to learn more about it and base pandemic games. While it may not be replayable like most board games, there are still many good reasons to try it, especially for board game fans.

an image of the game board pandemic

How Many Times Can You Play the Pandemic Board Game?

The original Pandemic Board Game and its sequel are replayable countless times as long as the board game is still intact. If players are losing interest in the game and its mechanics, a quick fix is to purchase the expansion pack.  

Buying an expansion pack adds more story and depth to the game. Not only that, but more possible roles are also up for the taking to make up for the increased difficulty the expansion brings.

The Pandemic Board Game is great if the players are highly competitive. It’s so much fun with a group of friends or a partner with the same taste in board games.

Is Pandemic Legacy Replayable?

The Pandemic Legacy Board Game is played once through a series of sessions—unless players can finish the game all in one session. Then, it can end in a single playthrough. Usually, it takes players 12-24 playthroughs for a party to complete the entire game.

So, it’s still a long game that we can enjoy.

Can You Play Pandemic Pandemic Legacy After Finishing?

Based on the game’s design, players should not be able to play the game after finishing it because the game has us destroy certain elements and the board itself throughout the game. Here are a few reasons we cannot play the board game again after finishing it.

  1. Marking the board renders it unusable for future games.
  2. The cards get destroyed in regular gameplay.
  3. Sealed documents are opened and not reusable.

Marking the board renders it unusable for future games

Players constantly make marks on the board throughout the game, such as putting stickers on specific areas. Players will destroy the board if they try to peel off or erase any markings. Playing with existing markings may also cause confusion during the game. 

Remember, Pandemic Legacy is usually played in a series of sessions. Any extra marking on the boards may be confused as something the current party did during the last session instead of the first playthrough.

And before you ask – it will ruin the gameplay if you don’t mark the board. You won’t be able to keep track of things, so go ahead and mark up the board.

The cards get destroyed in regular gameplay

In the instructions of Pandemic Legacy, we may come across instructions to destroy cards instead of putting them out of play. Sure, we can always tape the card together, but we’ll always know what card it is in future replays.

We’ll also mark cards by putting stickers on them, making them nearly impossible to remove. 

A way around destroying the cards is to put them in a discard pile so far out of the way that you won’t try to re-use them.

Sealed documents are opened and not reusable

Some elements are sealed and can only be opened after certain conditions are met while playing the game. Some packs may also differ depending on how well the team is doing. Once the pack is open, it might be hard to trace which elements belong to what pack at the end of the first playthrough.

If you’re a meticulous gameplayer, it may be doable. But the sealed elements are now open, and you can’t undo that. You could get a new envelope, though it won’t look like the OG version.

Can You Play Legacy Games More Than Once?

Technically, the Pandemic Legacy board game is played more than once since it is in a series of sessions that last two to four hours. So, it takes a few days to finish Pandemic Legacy. However, once players finish the game’s story, the option to replay it is as good as zero.

The Pandemic Legacy Board Game is designed to be played over twelve to twenty-four sessions, depending on how well a team plays. It usually takes a seasoned team of board game players twelve to twenty-four hours to complete Pandemic Legacy.

Is There a Way To Reset Pandemic Legacy for a Replay?

While the Pandemic Legacy Board Game should only be played once, reset kits are available. However, these kits are not official. If we plan on replaying the game, then it is best not to destroy any of the components by keeping note of all the actions from the first session.

However, it lessens the enjoyment of Pandemic Legacy, the charming part of the game is not knowing what to expect as we progress through the storyline. Once we’ve already played through the game, we know what will happen and how to get the better outcome, making the game lose its appeal.

But getting a reset kit is a good idea if we give the game to a friend or relative. At least this way, the game gets to be enjoyed a bit longer by other people.

An image of pandemic game board with stickers

What can I do with the Pandemic Legacy game after playing it?

There are several options for your now-played game.

Reset and give it away

Once we finish the game, we can use the kit to make it seem like it has never been played before. This is a perfect hand-me-down gift to other family members who share the same interest, as long as the people getting the gift are okay with getting a reset game.

Resetting and giving the game away requires a little planning because we need to purchase a reset kit and be sure not to damage any of the components of Pandemic Legacy.

However, make sure that whoever gets the gift is okay with a reset game. Some people are more particular and won’t find the reset the same as the original. Be a thoughtful game-giver is all.

On the flip side, if you get a reset game – think about if you’re okay with it. You’ll be sure to get a lot more games this way, which is an awesome way to get more and more board games.

Use as the regular pandemic board game

The Pandemic Legacy board is very similar to the regular Pandemic Board. All we need for a standard Pandemic Board Game is already present in Pandemic Legacy. However, if we use the board, we may want to avoid destroying any components by bookkeeping all of our actions.

Keep it as a memento

Players can always keep the board game as a good memory, much like a certificate for an achievement or a trophy. Completing the board game is a good accomplishment, and what better way to say we’ve finished the game than the opened box?

Recycle or toss it

Last but not least, tossing a no-longer usable game into the trash or recycling bin (as is appropriate) is also an option. Whether or not it’s the best option is another debate.

Next Steps

Now that you know what to do with your Pandemic Legacy board game, make sure you play another fun game with your family. Which one you choose is up to you!

If you want our suggestion, go check out these classic games.

Resources

Learning from your own experience is important, but learning from others is also smart. These are the sources used in this article and our research to be more informed as gamers.

  • Can you only play through Pandemic Legacy once without buying new stickers and cards? (2015, December 7). Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/3vq7t2/can_you_only_play_through_pandemic_legacy_once/
  • McAtee, R. (2020, March 30). Playing ‘Pandemic Legacy’ in the Time of an Actual Pandemic. The Ringer. https://www.theringer.com/coronavirus/2020/3/30/21199175/social-distancing-diaries-playing-pandemic-legacy-board-game

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