I've never played Pandemic, but thinking of getting the Legacy edition. Is it possible to play it without the legacy elements a few times first, and get an experience that is same or similar to that of the regular Pandemic?

5 Answers 5


In fact, the Legacy rules themselves suggest playing a few games if you aren't familiar with Pandemic.


We recommend that you play a few games without any of the special "Legacy" rules to get a feel for the decisions you will have to make.

Read this rulebook then play without using the following rules:

•Game Months, Legacy Deck, Dossiers

•Objectives, Funding, Game Calendar, Panic Level

•Scars and Lost Characters

•Game End Upgrades

The object of these warm-up games is to cure four diseases before any of the game-losing conditions are triggered (noted on page 14 of these rules). You should play at least two games this way to get a feel for the game before adding the additional rules.


Yes, you could play something very similar to vanilla Pandemic using just the base game components and ignoring all the Legacy elements. The board is slightly different, but you probably won't even notice.

You can really only do this before you start playing the legacy version though. Once you start playing the legacy version, things will happen that will modify the game in ways that will quickly make it difficult or impossible to play the base game.

  • 1
    What are the slight differences? I feel like it is important to know to ensure that one person's "slight" is not another person's "major". Nov 11, 2015 at 17:27
  • 2
    Out of the box I believe you'll have fewer character choices than base Pandemic, and there are more connections between cities than the standard Pandemic board has. The special event cards available are slightly different, and you'll have to decide how many to use (I'd suggest On the Brink's two per player). There are only 5 epidemic cards, so you can't choose to play with 6.
    – bwarner
    Nov 11, 2015 at 18:49

Thats not true. You can play the game even after you finish the legacy version. Simply take out all the stickers that got put on during legacy play. They r really easy to take off.

  • 1
    Trying to avoid spoilers, but there are certain things in the game that are more difficult to reverse, at least if you follow the instructions literally.
    – bwarner
    Nov 11, 2015 at 14:09
  • 3
    I am pretty sure the rules out of the box (so it's not a spoiler) say that when you are instructed to destroy something, you should rip it up and throw it away. You can instead put the "destroyed" items aside. We're in August and so far we haven't done anything to the components that can't be ignored or reversed.
    – stannius
    Nov 30, 2015 at 19:23
  • 8
    What's not true? This answer should be a comment.
    – tsuma534
    Mar 30, 2016 at 11:45
  • 1
    This is definitely not an answer; the question is asking about if you can use your legacy copy to play regular Pandemic first, before starting a campaign, and this is a response to another answer about how to undo the changes you made during the campaign.
    – GendoIkari
    Jun 25, 2018 at 14:18

Yes, you can play “vanilla” before, during and after playing the campaign.

During the campaign:

  • don’t destroy anything, just put it aside1
  • before placement, shift stickers a little so that they don’t hide information of the virgin board2

During the “vanilla” play:

  • follow vanilla rules according to the Legacy rule book (or download and read vanilla rules)
  • ignore stickers
  • do not incorporate introduced Legacy material (easy to avoid)
  • use all the 5 vanilla events only
    • Resilient Population
    • One Quiet Night
    • Forecast
    • Airlift word
    • Government Grand word
  • use the 5 available roles and find a way to shuffle them
    • 4/7 from vanilla vrol
      • Medic
      • Scientist
      • Researcher
      • Dispatcher
    • 1/6 from On the Brink exp
      • Generalist

You might want:

  • find and print all the vanilla roles (only 5 in Legacy and not easy to shuffle)
  • use On the Brinkexp rules regarding event cards:
    • use 2 cards per player
    • draw form a pool of “funding”/event cards
      • the 5 vanilla cards and
      • 2/8 On the Brink cards available in Legacy5
        • Borrowed Time
        • Remote Treatment
      • the last Legacy card “flexible aid package”4 could be used as well6
  • use the original lines between cities, instead of the Legacy modifications
    • there would be no connections between these yellow cities:
      • Los Angeles – Lima
      • Santiago – Buenos Aires
      • Buenos Aires – Johannesburg
    • there would be connections with black/red:
      • Bagdad – Karachi
      • Chennai – Bangkok

1 actually, you can still destroy almost all material as instructed in legacy, just not the material you need in vanilla (and you will know which that is)
2 the majority of the stickers (e.g. panic level) do not even hide anything and the ones who might you can probably remember
word the card has different wording to accommodate Legacy features, but the effect is the same
4 I am not sure about the name, as the one I have is in German
exp On the Brink is the first expansion of vanilla Pandemic: among other things it includes Events and Roles which can be used for vanilla play

5 later in Legacy you will discover another event from On the Brink: New Assignmentword
6 you will discover up to 5 other unusable event cards which could be re-purposed for events from vanilla expansions
vrol the Quarantine Specialist (non-vanilla abilities only; needs to be played with original features in mind) and the Operations Expertword come later, the Contingency Planner is not in Legacy


Like people said before, it is easy to play vanilla pandemic with the pandemic legacy box. Moreover, various extra components/rules supplied with the game and gradually revealed through the game make it possible to play many interesting modifications of the game even after you finish the campaign.

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