Pandemic Legacy: Tutorial Games

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

NOTE: This post DOES NOT contain plot spoilers for Pandemic Legacy. To learn more about the game, here is a longer, also spoiler-free preview.

In brief, Pandemic Legacy is an episodic, choose-your-own adventure, campaign-style board game. Intended to be played over 12 months, the rules and objectives change month by month and permanent changes to the game are made by ripping up cards or sticking things to the board depending on how well, or badly, you do in each game.

Everyone’s story will be slightly different, though the major plot points in the game will be the same for everyone as you work through a fixed “Legacy Deck” of events and objectives.

January has been a busy month in the world of Pandemic. My other half and I played several tutorial games before finally jumping into the full campaign. This post covers my thoughts on the basic Pandemic game based on the tutorials and contains no campaign spoilers. I’ll save those for the next post.

The Clock Without a Face: Solutions Part 2

The Clock Without A Face

The Clock Without a Face is a frustrating armchair treasure book because so many of the puzzles are ambiguous with no clear solution. In many cases, the answer could only be confirmed by going and digging up the treasure. This option is, of course, no longer available.

In Part 1 of this solution, I pointed out where the 12 objects stolen from each resident could be found hidden in the book. I also explained, as best as possible, the way to find the hiding places for the first 6 numbers of the clock itself.

This post works through the final 6 numbers from the clock and the problem of the missing number 12 from Floor 9. A reminder to please support the Internet Archive: Wayback Machine if you find the archived links in this post useful.

Picture Puzzle: Name the City

Puzzle: Name the City

A tricky little picture puzzle to test your decryption skills and a simple question: name the city.

Click on the picture for a larger version.

If that isn’t enough fun, this post includes some of the code used to generate the picture. If you understand the code, it will give you a big hint for solving the puzzle.

The image was created using the free POV-Ray raytracer. Generating raytraced images involves creating a virtual 3D world with objects and light sources and a camera. POV-Ray then calculates how light travels around the virtual world, bouncing off the objects, and creates the view that would be seen by the camera. The usual aim of raytacing calculations is to mimic real-world physics as much as possible to try to create a photo-realistic image.

The Clock Without a Face: Solutions Part 1

The Clock Without A Face

The Clock Without a Face is a divisive book. Ironically, it is two-faced and I enjoy and despise it at the same time for its oddities.

As a storybook, there’s a childish charm on the surface that clashes with the cruel abuse and betrayal of the narrator bubbling just underneath. As a treasure hunt, the bright, detailed illustrations are fun to sift through and reveal endless potential clues, but the final solutions are ambiguous and unsatisfying.

I’ve put off writing up the solutions for The Clock Without A Face because every time I start trying to piece it all together from the few confirmed answers (some from the author, others from shouty arguments on the Internet) I am left frustrated and annoyed. Trying to solve the puzzles in the book sucks all the joy out of it. It is an awful puzzle book in this regard and there’s no getting away from that.

But, needs must when the blogger procrastinates. So here is my best attempt at providing a reasonable set of solutions to the Clock Without A Face. This first post covers the 12 missing objects from each floor and tracks the first 6 missing numbers from floor 13. The last 6 numbers, and the location of the doubly-hidden number 12 will be covered in part 2.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Preview

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

NOTE: This preview does NOT contain plot spoilers for Pandemic Legacy.

If you’re not familiar with the Legacy genre, this will sound like an unusual way to start a review of a board game. But Legacy games are unusual, as I recently started to learn.

Released in 2015, Pandemic Legacy was the second game in the Legacy genre. The series started with Risk Legacy in 2011 but it was the buzz around Seafall in late 2016 that finally caught my attention.

The concept underpinning all three titles is that decisions and outcomes in one game affect subsequent games. In Risk Legacy, a variation on the classic game of world conquest, players choose a faction they will lead over the course of 15 games. Factions gain and lose bonuses depending on how well they do. Individual games become parts of a longer campaign.

Pandemic Legacy reportedly raised the bar and produced something excitingly different. I intend to recount my personal experiences while playing through the whole of “Season 1”. This first post is spoiler free in the sense that I have done nothing but open the box, read the rules, and play a trial, legacy-less game with my other half.

Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 13

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is it! This is the final part of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

For a puzzle where the number 12 is so important (relying on there being 12 zodiac signs, 12 positions on a clock face and using 12 different alchemy symbols), I like that it has taken 13 blog posts to reach the final solution.

Before revealing my answer, a final summary of the whole puzzle and how the solution is reached is warranted. Links lead to the 12 preceding parts of the solution to read the full details of each stage.

A Present of a Picross

Example Picross

A final present from me for Christmas! This time it’s a Picross puzzle.

A picross is a logic puzzle. They’re also called Nonograms, Hanjie, Griddlers or “Paint-By-Numbers”.

The goal is to blacken squares in a grid to create a picture.

Numbers around the grid are clues. From these clues you can deduce exactly where all the black squares go using logic and deduction. There is only one solution where the clues in the columns and the clues in the rows are consistent.

Each clue number signifies an unbroken line of black squares. These lines appear in the same order as the numbers, running left to right for the rows and top to bottom for the columns. Every line of black squares is separated by one or more un-blackened squares. You can mark these in with light Xs. A zero means the entire row or column is unblackened.

Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 12

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 12 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

Previously, the full list of 75 solution objects were found and put in their correct order. These objects actually represent a set of instructions for casting The Alchemist’s Spell.

Gunson’s justification for using objects to symbolically represent the spell was to make the puzzle independent of language.

Turn Your Name Into a Snowflake

Gerontius snowflake

Have you always wanted to write your name in the snow? Here I offer a single, precious snowflake, made uniquely for you based on your name.

Merlin Mystery Solution: Part 11

The Merlin Mystery prize wand

Go to the Merlin Mystery Solution Index.

This is Part 11 of my solution to The Merlin Mystery by Jonathan Gunson and Marten Coombe.

This post provides the full list of 75 solution objects in their correct order. It also confirms which page of the book each object comes from to make it easier to check.

Obtaining this list can take several hours of work turning back and forth through the book, even when you know exactly what you’re doing.