Pandemic – A solo play-through

I thought it would be interesting to post a solo play-through, one where I try to portray what I’m thinking and why I make the moves I do. I chose Pandemic as it’s a great gateway game, and one that people new to the hobby are likely to play.

I’ll be typing things up as I play, and will try to get across what moves I’m considering and their pro’s and con’s.

I have no ideas how it will turn out, but there are strategies that will increase the chances of winning the game, and I have elected to play with three characters – four and the game is a little easier – two and it’s a fair bit harder. I find three a good challenge.

Probably the best way of following along is to open up the map images I have placed at the start of each round (a turn with each character). I apologies for the image quality, the room I played in has red walls, and the flash bounce caused a few issues.

Set-up

I shuffled the role cards together and drew three – the medic, researcher, and the quarantine specialist.

The medic is possibly one of the most useful characters; removing all cubes of one colour when carrying out a ‘treat disease’ action, as well as removing all cubes of cured diseases from the city he is in. He is my favourite character to play and I’m happy he’s turned up.

The researcher is handy; when carrying out share knowledge may give any 1 of her city cards. Likewise any player sharing knowledge with her may take any 1-city card from her hand. The only issue with the researcher is that you have to keep them close to your other characters to make them most effective. Either that, or they need to be able to jump around, expending city cards to do so. They are at their best when you have the dispatcher character, who can move them around to share cards.

Finally, the quarantine specialist – Prevent disease cube placement in the city you are in and all connected cities. She can be a very useful character to play, but needs handling correctly. It is so easy to get her tied up to one city, there is a knack at getting the most from her; we shall see if I have it!

They were dealt the following city cards:

Medic

  • Blue – Madrid
  • Red – Jakarta
  • Yellow – Bogota

Researcher

  • Red – Sydney
  • Red – Hong Kong
  • Black – Cairo

Quarantine specialist

  • Red – Osaka
  • Blue – London
  • Yellow – Los Angeles

On the whole not a bad selection, especially with the researcher; she may be able to pass her two red cards to the Medic or Quarantine Specialist.

Pandemic Play-through
Here’s how things stack up at the start.

Initial city infection.

3 Cubes

  • Blue – Milan
  • Yellow – Bogota
  • Yellow – Mexico City

Not a good start – Bogota and Mexico City are adjacent, and could cause problems later on, we shall see what else comes out.

2 Cubes

  • Red – Shanghai
  • Black – Chennai
  • Yellow – Los Angeles

It was going okay until LA came out, that’s right next to Mexico City, so I have to be very wary of game breaking multiple outbreaks.

1 Cube

  • Red – Beijing
  • Black – Baghdad
  • Yellow – Kinshasa

No real issues there other than another yellow cube used; that’s 9 out of the 24.

I’ve elected to play a standard game, 5 epidemics, and have set the board up as per the instructions, only with one slight deviation – the rules state that the player deck should be divided into five piles of roughly the same size, and an epidemic card shuffled into each one. The piles are then stacked on top of each other, smallest first. However, I have done what the majority of people seem to do – I dealt them out so that 4 piles hold 9 cards and the last one 8; then shuffled in the epidemic cards and stacked the deck.

This means that I can expect an epidemic card once in every 10 cards – something worth remembering.

Why did I choose to do this? Mainly because it highlights the use of card counting, something you may, or may not, want to do – but it does give you a slight advantage knowing the odds; knowing when it’s worth taking a risk or having to play safe.

I also wanted to slightly increase my chances of winning, purely for the sake of the play-through, and would normally divide the cards up as per the rulebook, as it does add that slight bit more uncertainty to the game.

Pandemic Play-through
This is how things stand after the initial infection phase.

Round 1

The Medic has Jakarta, with the largest population, and so will go first. I have to decide whether to share knowledge with the Researcher first, or try to clear the yellow cubes from Bogota, Mexico City, and Los Angeles.

It will take two actions to get to either Mexico or Bogota, and another to treat the disease. My last action would then be used to move me to the other infected city, so I may as well share knowledge with the researcher, taking Sydney from her, then moving to Mexico via Miami. My last action with the Medic is to treat the yellow disease in Mexico, removing all the cubes.

I decided on moving and treating Mexico, rather than Bogota, simple to split the infected cities up. If I had decided on Bogota instead, and I drew an epidemic card, there was always the chance of  infecting Mexico City, causing an outbreak and placing a third cube in LA. If the next card up is then LA…!

Note: – Someone new to the game may be tempted to try and give the red cards held by the Medic and Quarantine Specialist to the researcher, as she already has two, but this requires trying to get them together in the same location as the card they wish to pass. The researcher’s strength lies in the fact she can give away any city card – use it!

Medic city draw

  • Red – Beijing
  • Yellow – Buenos Aires

Good, another red, that gives me options with the Researcher.

Medic infection draw

  • Blue – St. Petersburg
  • Red – Osaka

Researcher

With the Medic drawing another red city card it’s obvious that she needs to stay close to him. She hasn’t got anything useful to give to the Quarantine Specialist so she may as well move towards the Medic. She moves to Miami and on to Mexico, and shares knowledge with the Medic, giving him Hong Kong, which makes four red for the Medic. With her last action she moves to LA.

She could have moved to Bogota with that last action, but at the moment I want the Quarantine Specialist to move there. My thinking here is that the Medic will move through LA to San Francisco, and then across the water to Tokyo. I will have the Researcher follow, aiming to move them through to the Black and Blue areas of the board, on the way hopefully curing the red disease and possibly eradicating it. But for that I will need to build another research station somewhere.

Researcher city draw

  • Red – Taipei
  • Black – Mumbai

Excellent, another red, the Medic can pick that up as he moves through LA.

Researcher infection draw

  • Red – Manila
  • Black – Moscow

Pity about the red cube; I was hoping that if one were to appear, it would be in close proximity to the others, so they could be easily swept up.

Quarantine specialist

At the moment there’s nowhere in particular she can put her skill to good effect, other than staying around Mexico City. There is the option of trying to get both the yellow city cards from the Medic – Bogota and Buenos Aires – and I definitely think one is possible if nothing else comes along that is more urgent. So, She moves via Miami to Bogota, and treats disease twice, removing two cubes.

This prevents cubes from being placed here, and the adjoining cities. The medic can, after a brief visit to LA, move back to Bogota ready to share knowledge if I decide on that plan of action. Flexibility – keeping your options open and being able to react to whatever infection cards come out – or an epidemic.

Quarantine Specialist city draw

  • Red – Tokyo
  • Epidemic! – Infection rate moves along one, still a 2 though. Khartoum is drawn and 3 yellow cubes placed there. The infection discard pile is shuffled and placed on top of the draw pile.

The draw of another red city just gives me options to use the direct flight action, which may come in handy later. With the draw of the epidemic card I’m glad I have the Quarantine Specialist where she is, let’s see what comes out.

Quarantine Specialist infection draw

  • Yellow – Khartoum
  • Yellow – Kinshasa

Not good! Khartoum causes an outbreak – the outbreak marker is moved to 1, and a cube is placed in Cairo, Lagos, Kinshasa, and Johannesburg. Unfortunately Kinshasa was drawn next, giving me 3 cubes there too!

Getting an epidemic early on can cause problems, as the infection discard pile is small you know that there’s a good chance of something coming out you’ve yet to clear, causing an outbreak. At least there is plenty of time now until the next epidemic card comes out, so I need to get either the Medic, or the Quarantine specialist to this area soon. (The epidemic was the sixth card drawn, so I’ve at least two turns of grace before there is a chance of another.)

At the end of the first round things aren’t too bad. I’m on the verge of curing the red disease already, but do have issues with yellow. I know that there are going to be another three infections coming out in quick succession – LA, Mexico City, and Bogota, so I need to keep an eye on how many yellow cubes are available, but I’m not too worried… yet!

Round 2

Pandemic Play-through
How things stand at the start of round 2. 

Future Meeple – The outbreak marker in the picture should be at 1; I notice my error a little later!

Medic

I now decide that the best thing for the medic would be to head to Africa and clear the cubes there, but it will take a couple of turns. I’m not going to worry about getting Taipei from the researcher, she can bring it to the medic. I can, however, drop of Bogota with the Quarantine specialist. So, the medic moves from Mexico to Bogota, shares knowledge, giving Bogota to the Quarantine Specialist. He then moves to Lagos via Sao Paulo.

I could have cured a yellow cube at Bogota and then finished the move at Buenos Aires, ready to give that city card to the Quarantine specialist on their turn, but I figured that could be done later, as I really want to get rid of some of these yellow cubes in Africa.

Medic city draw

  • Event – Government Grant – Add 1 research station to any city (No city card needed).
  • Blue – Washington

I played the Event card as soon as I drew it, knowing exactly where I would like it – Baghdad!

I placed the station in Baghdad as it occupies a vital position on the board  – being central and having five cities linked to it. if you get an outbreak here it can really ruin your day, as can a number of other similarly located cities. I could have placed it closer to the Medic, enabling him to discover a cure, but it’s often better to have a station in a more central location.

Medic infection draw

  • Yellow – Los Angeles
  • Red – Shanghai

That’s okay, as the Researcher is still in LA and she could remove a cube before moving towards the Medic. Shanghai isn’t so good, I’m getting too many cities that have 3 cubes on them, and Shanghai is in the opposite direction to where I want to go, typical!

Researcher

I now have a decision to make. My original plan was for the researcher to follow the Medic into Africa, and pass the last card he needs to discover a cure for the red disease. But, with Shanghai now on 3 red cubes, have my priorities changed? I decide to move her to join the Medic – Mexico City – Bogota – Sao Paulo – Lagos. I leave the 3 cubes in LA for the Quarantine Specialist to deal with.

I made the decision base upon the chances of an epidemic card coming out on the next turn. As we have drawn eight cards so far, one of which was an epidemic, there should be at least one more turn before there is a chance of hitting another epidemic card. (remember, one epidemic card in every ten cards). So, I have a reasonable chance of positioning the Quarantine Specialist in an ideal spot, as well as clearing some more yellow cubes.

Researcher city draw

  • Blue – Chicago
  • Blue – New York

This is a good draw for me as the Medic already has two blue cards, and as the researcher has followed the Medic, it should just take a little luck to cure both blue and red over the next few turns.

Researcher infection draw

  • Black – Moscow
  • Black – Baghdad

Nothing to worry about at the moment, just got to keep an eye on them.

Quarantine Specialist

Easy decision here. She moves to LA via Mexico, treats disease removing a yellow cube, and then retreats back to Mexico.

Why didn’t I treat disease twice in LA? There is a chance of an epidemic card coming out, and placing her in Mexico stops cubes being placed in the three areas that have previously been infected. Just cube limitation really!

Quarantine Specialist city draw

  • Event – Forecast – Draw, Look at, and rearrange the top six cards of the infection deck. Put them back on top.
  • Blue – Montreal

The Forecast event is a useful one, the difficulty is timing it just right. I could use it now, especially as there is a chance that Milan could outbreak this turn, but the other three cities containing 3 cubes are all in the discard pile, so it would be a waste using it at this point.

Another Blue card is handy, as that makes six cards, two apiece; it’s just a matter of getting them in one place!

Quarantine Specialist infection draw

  • Red – Beijing
  • Red – Osaka

The reds are starting to build up, but it shouldn’t be too long before I can start dispersing them.

Round 3

Pandemic Play-through
Characters and cards for round 3.
Pandemic Play-through
Positions at the start of round 3.

Future Meeple – Still haven’t noticed my mistake – Outbreak marker should be on 1!

Medic

First things first – Share knowledge with the researcher, taking Taipei to complete the  set of five red cards required to treat the disease. This gives the Medic eight cards, so he needs to discard one, and throws Washington into the discard pile.

Having only three actions left it isn’t possible to reach the research station, and cure the disease this turn. So may as well make full use of the three actions – Move to Kinshasa and treat disease, removing 3 yellow cubes. Then move to Khartoum with the final action.

I could have gone to Khartoum after sharing knowledge with the Researcher, treated disease there, and then either moved to Kinshasa or to Cairo. I did consider the Cairo option, as this would have left me closer to the research station, but would have resulted in the researcher wasting moves to deal with Kinshasa. If  the Medic had finished in Kinshasa, then either the Researcher would have had to pass through to treat disease there, or the medic would have had to do it next turn, leaving him with not enough actions to discover a cure the following turn. I discarded Washington, as there were six blue cards between the characters, and kept the yellow card as we have only three of them.

Medic city draw

  • Blue – St. Petersburg
  • Yellow – Johannesburg

Having seven cards already I discarded both St. Petersburg and Johannesburg. I did consider throwing Madrid instead of Johannesburg, as that would have given me four of each of the two colours in the hands, but decided not to. Time will tell if it was the right decision.

Medic infection draw

  • Blue – St. Petersburg
  • Red – Manila

Not to worried about Manila, but St. Petersburg is a concern – Milan is going to be one of the next five cards out by my reckoning, along with Chennai, Johannesburg, Bogota, and Mexico City, all of which have been infected previous to the last epidemic, but haven’t been drawn again yet.

Researcher

The Researcher can’t get to Milan and treat disease, unless she uses a direct flight to Cairo, discarding that card, and then moving through Istanbul to Milan. This would prevent an outbreak if Milan were to be drawn this turn, and is worth considering. She could also move to join the Quarantine Specialist in Mexico City, and have enough actions to share knowledge, giving her a blue card. It is the latter of these that she does – Sao Paulo – Bogota – Mexico City – Share knowledge, giving the Quarantine Specialist New York. The Specialist, now with eight cards, discards Tokyo.

This may appear to be the wrong thing to do but, having had only one outbreak so far, I’m happy to sacrifice another, especially as the Medic is in close proximity. The move I made gives the Quarantine Specialist 3 blue cards, plus on her turn she will share knowledge again, taking a fourth one from the Researcher. If the researcher is lucky enough to draw another blue this turn, then that will give me all five!

Researcher city draw

  • Red – Bangkok
  • Blue – Milan

The good news is another blue card – Milan. Bangkok will enable her to whip across the board next turn if needed, without getting rid of a useful card – The red disease should be cured by then.

Researcher infection draw

  • Yellow – Bogota
  • Blue – Milan

No cube is placed in Bogota as it is adjoined to Mexico City, where the Quarantine Specialist is. However, Milan inevitably causes an outbreak – the outbreak marker is moved to 2, and blue cubes are placed in Essen, Paris, and Istanbul.

Future Meeple – At last I finally noticed that the outbreak marker hadn’t moved on and placed it straight on two… Well done me!

Quarantine Specialist

She shares knowledge twice with the Researcher, receiving Chicago and Milan. She has to discard two cards due to hand limit; Osaka is one, an obvious choice, but unfortunately the other has to be a yellow card, which is going to be LA. She now has two actions left, and as there isn’t anywhere else she can get to that would prove useful, she moves to the research station at Atlanta.

She now has five blue cards – enough to cure the disease. It was a shame to discard a yellow, but it was either that or the event card, and that will be needed when the next epidemic comes out. I was happy to move away from Mexico now that both LA and Bogota have been drawn, it doesn’t cause any issues if Mexico comes out on the draw.

Quarantine Specialist city draw

  • Yellow – Miami
  • Event – Resilient Population – Remove any 1 card in the infection discard pile from the game.

As she already has seven cards Miami gets discarded straight away. The event on the other hand can be used as it’s discarded (had to double check that on BGG, but yes it can). So, looking through the infection discard pile, I decide to remove Shanghai from the game.

I remove Shanghai because a) it has 3 cubes on it, b) it infects 5 other cities if it outbreaks, more than any of the others in a similar position, and c) the Medic can’t get there next go, so it would be on the researcher to get there needed.

Quarantine Specialist infection draw

  • Yellow – Mexico City
  • Black – Chennai

Not worried about Mexico, having reduced the number of yellow cubes on the board, but Chennai is now on 3 so will need to keep an eye on that area of the board.

Round 4

Pandemic Play-through

Pandemic Play-through

I’ve had a total of nine turns, which means eighteen cards have been drawn, it has to be an epidemic next go… If my maths is correct!

Medic

Okay, the Medic first treats disease in Khartoum, removing the 3 yellow cubes. Then moves to Baghdad, via Cairo. As there is a research station here, he discovers a cure with his last action, discarding the five red cards from his hand – One down!

I did look over the possibilities of treating a greater number of diseases, but the most I could do was one city with 3 cubes on it, which is what I did anyway. I could have removed a few individual cubes instead of moving to discover a cure, but lets face it, the aim of the game is to discover all the cures!

Medic city draw

  • Epidemic – The infection marker is moved along one, which fortunately is still a 2; Kolkata is drawn from the bottom of the infection deck and 3 black cubes placed there. The infection discard pile is shuffled and placed back on top of the draw pile.
  • Yellow – Khartoum

Having 3 cubes on Kolkata isn’t great as it’s connected to Chennai, also on 3.

It’s now time for the Quarantine Specialist to play her Forecast Event – Drawing and looking at the top 6 cards of the infection deck. I put them in them in the order that I want them to come out in.

  • Yellow – Khartoum (0 cubes)
  • Yellow – Kinshasa (0 cubes)
  • Yellow – Bogota (1 cube)
  • Yellow – Mexico City (1 cube)
  • Blue – Milan (3 cubes)
  • Black – Chennai (3 cubes)

This gives me two more turns after the Medic has made his infection draw, to clear cubes from Milan and Chennai, difficult to do both, but maybe not impossible!

Medic infection draw

  • Yellow – Khartoum
  • Yellow – Kinshasa

There are going to be a lot of yellow cubes scattered around the board, so I will need to keep an eye on how many are left in the pot!

Researcher

The Researcher has no cards useful to the others at the moment, but she does hold Bangkok, which is a godsend – This will enable her to get across the board and clear out the troublesome black cubes.

First she treats disease in Mexico City, removing the 1 cube there. Then she takes a direct flight to Bangkok, discarding that card. She moves from Bangkok to Chennai, treating disease to reduce it down to 2 cubes.

I could have neglected Mexico to treat disease twice in Chennai, but I know that Mexico City is coming out next draw, so I determined it would be better to leave fewer cubes in that area.

Researcher city draw

  • Black – Istanbul
  • Red – Seoul

She now holds three black cards, which is good, and Seoul, which could be used to get her over to Shanghai and treat disease there.

Researcher infection draw

  • Yellow – Bogota
  • Yellow – Mexico City

No major dramas there, other than using up yellow cubes – but still plenty in the pot at the moment.

Quarantine Specialist

I know that Milan is going to come out of the infection deck this turn. Unless I draw an epidemic that is. So I need to protect it, which the Quarantine Specialist can do. So, first she discovers a cure for blue as she’s at the Atlanta research station. Then she takes a shuttle flight to the other research station in Baghdad. From there she move to Istanbul, and then to Milan. Job done!

This is the Quarantine Specialist at her best – when you need to stop an outbreak, but don’t have enough actions to remove cubes. She basically provides you with a free action – in this case I discovered a cure for blue – which if using another character, I wouldn’t have been able to do as I would have had to treat disease in Milan.

Quarantine Specialist city draw

  • Epidemic! – Increase the infection rate marker (now on 3); Sao Paulo (yellow) is drawn from the bottom of the deck, and has 3 cubes placed upon it; shuffle the discard pile and place it back on top.
  • Black – Moscow

Ouch! Anything but another yellow! Sao Paulo is connected to Bogota, on 2 cubes, if that is drawn first then there will be the potential for multiple outbreaks. Nothing I can do now but watch what comes out of the draw.

This highlights exactly what Pandemic is all about, juggling! There are many ways to lose the game – too many outbreaks, running out of city cards, running out of cubes – you have to keep an eye on everything. And then, when you get a scattering of cities, all on 3 cubes, which are too far apart from each other to deal with easily – it really becomes a challenge!

Quarantine Specialist infection draw (now increased to three cards)

  • Yellow – Khartoum
  • Yellow – Mexico City
  • Yellow – Sao Paulo – Outbreak – Move the outbreak marker to 3 and place a cube in Buenos Aires, Bogota, Lagos, and Madrid.

It’s not making things easy for me; that’s 5 cities on 3 cubes, and only 5 yellow cubes remaining – best get some mopping up done!

Round 5

Pandemic Play-through

Pandemic Play-through

Medic

I need to regain some yellow cubes; I also know that Bogota is still in the infection deck, so I’d like to clear that if I can. So, The Medic takes a shuttle to Atlanta, then moves to Miami, and finally to Bogota. With his last action he treats disease removing the 3 yellow cubes.

I could have treated disease in Cairo and Khartoum, also removing a total of 3 yellow cubes, but Bogota is joined to Sao Paulo, also on 3 cubes. So an outbreak in Bogota would also have caused an outbreak in Sao Paulo. The Quarantine Specialist has Milan covered, which only leaves Shanghai and Kolkata as an issue at the moment. And, as I almost forgot, Shanghai has been removed from the deck with an event card.

Medic city draw

  • Red – Ho Chi Minh City
  • Black – Riyadh

The red card is handy if the Medic needs to dash across the board. I now have a total of five black cards spread across all the characters, it’s just a case of getting them together, easier said than done at the moment. If it was the last disease to cure then it would be worth the gamble just going for it, but as there are two left, I need a little more caution.

Medic infection draw

  • Yellow – Kinshasa
  • Yellow – Bogota
  • Blue – Milan

What’s with all the yellow cards coming out one after the other? I was lucky to have cleared Bogota, and the Quarantine Specialist prevents a cube going onto Milan and causing an outbreak.

Researcher

I would like to try and get the black cards of the other two characters, but it isn’t going to be easy. I think it would be better to thin down Kolkata and Shanghai first, and see what cards get drawn this time around. So, she moves to Kolkata and treats disease three times, removing all 3 cubes.

I could have just treated disease once and then moved on to finish in Shanghai, but I wouldn’t have had enough actions to treat disease there, and the cube state of Shanghai would remain the same. So, better to do something useful with the turn by removing the 3 cubes from Kolkata. Of course, Shanghai only becomes a problem if Beijing gets drawn, and then an epidemic occurs, and Beijing coming out again – I think the odds are on my side.

Researcher city draw

  • Red – Manila
  • Black – Kolkata

That’s four black cards in her hand, just one more to get.

Researcher infection draw

  • Black – Chennai
  • Yellow – Los Angeles
  • Black – Moscow

That puts all three of those countries on 3 cubes, but at least they’re in the discard pile… at the moment!

Quarantine Specialist

First off she treats disease in Milan, and as we have a cure, she removes all 3 cubes there. She then moves via Istanbul to Moscow, and uses her last action to treat disease, removing 1 black cube.

I could have concentrated on trying to eradicate the blue disease, but that would be a mistake. The object of the game is to cure, not eradicate the diseases, and first time players often fall foul of this. By moving to Moscow she not only prevents the possibility of an outbreak there, but is also in a position to share knowledge with the researcher next turn, giving her Moscow.

Quarantine Specialist city draw

  • Yellow- Santiago
  • Blue – Atlanta

Good, I need all the yellow cards I can get my hands on!

Quarantine Specialist infection draw

  • Black – Baghdad
  • Red – Beijing
  • Red – Osaka

Damn. Once again this puts all three countries onto 3 cubes, and Beijing is right next to Shanghai, which is also on 3 but was removed from the game earlier, so isn’t in the infection deck!

Round 6

Pandemic Play-through

Pandemic Play-through

Medic

With The yellow disease running rampant, I think it’s best to keep the Medic mopping up yellow cubes. He moves to Mexico and treats disease, removing 2 cubes, then on to LA and treats again, this time removing 3 cubes. (Reminder – this is the medic’s special ability to remove all cubes of one colour when treating disease.)

I would much prefer to have the Medic dealing with the red trouble spots, as he only has to move through them to remove the cubes as the disease has been cured. So with that in mind I am moving him towards San Francisco, so he can cross to Manila or Tokyo next turn.

Medic city draw

  • Yellow – Sao Paulo
  • Yellow – Lima

Excellent, the Medic now has four yellow cards, just one more required. The Quarantine Specialist has two and can get to the Medic next go. So, maybe things are looking up… Let’s see what the infection draw brings.

Medic infection draw

  • Blue – St. Petersburg
  • Red – Manila
  • Black – Kolkata

A good draw. No cube goes on St. Petersburg as it’s connected to Moscow where the Quarantine Specialist is. Manila is now on 3 cubes, but the Medic is in reach next turn (if we get that far!). Kolkata isn’t an issue with its one cube.

Researcher

Takes three actions to move to Moscow, and the last one to share knowledge with the Quarantine Specialist, receiving Moscow.

An obvious move for the Quarantine Specialist, as she is now in a position to cure the black disease next turn.

Researcher city draw

  • Event – Airlift – Move any 1 pawn to any city. (As she has eight cards she discards Manila)
  • Yellow – Kinshasa

As she is once again on eight cards, instead of discarding a city cards she plays the event card – Airlift – moving the Medic to Bogota.

Moving the Medic to Bogota sets up a win in three more turns as the Quarantine Specialist can move to Santiago by using a direct flight, and then to Bogota and share knowledge. I just need a good couple of infection draws.

Researcher infection draw

  • Yellow – Santiago
  • Red – Taipei
  • Blue – Essen

None of these are of immediate concern, I’ve been lucky this go!

Quarantine Specialist

I’m now going for broke, I have the possibility of curing the two remaining disease in the next few turns. It’s a gamble, as an epidemic is due to come out in the next 6 cards – if I’ve counted it out correctly that is, but I can take five outbreaks before losing the game that way, so I think it’s worth the risk.

She discards Santiago to take a direct flight there. Then to Lima and onto Bogota, that’s 3 actions all together. Her last action is spent sharing knowledge with the Medic, giving him Bogota. The Medic discards Madrid as he has eight cards.

This move at least leaves the Quarantine Specialist protecting Sao Paulo, as it’s connected to Bogota. Next move will see the Medic cure the Yellow disease… hopefully!

Quarantine Specialist city draw

  • Black – Karachi
  • Blue – Essen

Relief, no epidemic, lets hope I can go one more turn without seeing one!

Quarantine Specialist infection draw

  • Blue – London
  • Black – Algiers
  • Blue – Chicago

I know I’m pretty safe on the infection draws at the moment – I’m drawing cards that have not been out before, so they shouldn’t have many, if any, cubes on them.

Round 7

Pandemic Play-through

Pandemic Play-through

Medic

The Medic moves to Miami and on to Atlanta, where he discards the five yellow cards to discover the cure. With his last action he discards Ho Chi Minh City to take a direct flight there.

One more disease to cure, and hopefully I should be able to do that next turn. It would take something disastrous to lose the game now. I still took the opportunity to move the Medic to a red country, though it shouldn’t be needed. Even if an epidemic comes up this turn, it is highly unlikely to cause five outbreaks or use up all of one colours cubes, so it looks as if the win is in the bag… Oh dear, I’ve gone and said it now!!!

Medic city draw

  • Yellow – Lagos
  • Black – Delhi

I’ve been really fortunate over this epidemic period – it appears that it must have been on the bottom of its deck when they were placed on top of one another at the start, as I work out that there is only 11 cards left.

Medic infection draw

  • Blue – Paris
  • Red – Ho Chi Minh City
  • Black – Mumbai

Hurrah, nothing to worry about there, let’s get on with the next turn!

Researcher

Holding five black cards she makes her way to the research station in Baghdad, which takes two actions. She then discovers a cure for the black disease and we win the game – panic over, the world has been saved!

The End

I took a look at the remainder of the city deck – the next two cards were both epidemics, it looks like I won just in the nick of time.

Well, that’s my first play-through over and it’s taken a lot longer than I expected, probably because I was doing it in small intervals rather than taking the time to do play it in one sitting. Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll attempt to do it in one go.

With a bit of though, keeping an eye on what’s in the infection discard pile, and an awareness of when the epidemics are going to come out, it should be possible to beat the game more often than not. It does make it slightly harder not dealing the player deck out evenly at the start, when you place the epidemics into it, but the one in every ten is usually not far off however you do it.

Of course, you can then move on to the harder game and include all six epidemics!

 

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