Epidemic Express is a lightweight solitaire dice game, where you are battling severe outbreaks of five deadly diseases. Your goal is to contain the diseases while developing cures for each. Meanwhile, worldwide panic is increasing, so you must act quickly before civilization breaks down completely.
Epidemic Express attempts to capture some of the flavor of Pandemic (an excellent cooperative game). It is *not* related to the older 2003 card game named Epidemic
You can choose to fight only real-world diseases, or you can use the optional zombie plague.
The online game does not yet detect if you win or lose. Other than that, it is complete. If you try it, please post to the forum or send geekmail to peakhope.
7 six-sided dice for rolling
Any of the following, for tracking levels of 5 diseases plus "panic":
Paper and pencil
6 six-sided dice (placed with current value on top)
6 scoring tracks showing values 1-6, with a token per track
There are five diseases poised to spread around the world. If you are not using custom components, they are named: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Each disease starts at level 1 (harmless), and can raise to level 6 (almost unstoppable). There is also a worldwide "Panic Level", ranging from 1 to 6, which represents civilization breaking down due to panic. It starts at a calm level 1. Panic is treated as if it were disease 6.
Winning and Losing
To win the game, you must cure all five diseases. If any disease ever exceeds level 6, it has become unstoppable, and you lose. If the Panic Level ever exceeds level 6, civilization has broken down, and you lose.
Start each disease at level 1. Start the panic at level 1.
Each turn consists of three phases:
A. Role selection
There are six roles, each of which allows one special ability (or in one case, forcing a bad effect). The effects listed here won't make a lot of sense until you have read the rest of the rules, but you can come back to them later.
Each turn, roll a die to determine which role will be active for this turn:
Medic: During infection, avoid one disease level increase
PR Expert: During treatment, reduce panic on 3-of-a-kind
Researcher: During treatment, get one extra treatment roll
Scientist: During treatment, cure a disease with Full House
Epidemiologist: During treatment, re-roll Panics without penalty
Bio-terrorist: During infection, all disease levels increase by 1
B. Infection roll
The number of infection dice to roll starts at 3, and increases by one each time a disease is cured. Roll all the infection dice once. If there are two or more Panics, increase the Panic Level by 1. Next, eliminate duplicate dice. For each disease remaining, advance the corresponding level by 1. If the current role is Medic, choose one of the diseases that would have increased, and instead leave it unchanged.
For example, if you roll 1 2 2 5 6, the Panic Level would not change, but you would increase the levels of diseases 1, 2, and 5 by one level each. However, if you were the Medic, only 2 of those 3 diseases would increase.
If the current role is Bio-terrorist, all the disease levels automatically increase by 1, so there is no need to roll the infection dice. In that case, Panic will not increase.
C. Treatment roll
Roll (and/or re-roll) 5 dice up to 3 times (If the current role is Researcher, you get 4 rolls instead of 3). Any time you choose to re-roll a die that was a Panic, the Panic Level increases by one (unless the current role is Epidemiologist, in which case Panic dice can be re-rolled without penalty).
After the rolls, if you have four Panics, the Panic Level decreases by one (If the current role is PR Expert, you can reduce the Panic Level with only 3 Panic dice). If you have four of any other value, you can cure that disease (If the current role is Scientist, and you roll 3 of one disease, and 2 of another disease or panic, then the disease with 3 dice is cured). Otherwise, for each die showing 1 through 5, you can reduce the level of that disease by 1 (but never below 1). On a turn where you cure a disease or reduce the panic level, you can use the fifth die to treat a disease.
Dice for diseases that have already been cured simply have no effect.
Updated board that fixes the 6-vs-7 error in v1.
With this board, 8 standard D6 dice, and 6 tokens/cubes, you can play Epidemic Express. Having an extra 5 dice will speed things up a bit.
Start the game with a token on the leftmost spot on the panic track and each of the disease tracks. As the levels go up or down, shift the token right or left. If any token moves to the far right, you have lost.
Also place a token on the "3" in the Infection Dice track, indicating that you start with 3 infection dice. As the infection level goes up, move the token to the right, and roll the indicated number of infection dice.
Each turn, roll one die to determine your role for the turn. Place that die on the indicated spot on the role row, as a reminder of the special ability for this turn.