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Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
All four diseases were eradicated! I played with 3 roles and 5 infections. The stars needed to be almost perfectly aligned to pull this off. I've played hundreds, maybe a few thousand times.
I had an absolute dream team of roles. I started with the Ops Expert, Medic, and Dispatcher. Most of the starting cubes were red and black. Only two blue cities and one yellow city got infected.
The 3-cube cities were Baghdad, Mumbai, and Manila. Hong Kong was the only 2-cube city next to a 3-cube city but I took a gamble and had the Ops Expert use the first turn to put a research station on Baghdad. The Medic treated Manila on the 2nd move and the Dispatcher treated one cube in Riyadh on the 3rd.
I was then set up for the sequence that almost ensured a win on the second round. I had the extremely powerful event card New Assignment. The Medic had 3 red cards and the Ops Expert had 2. Since almost all the cubes were black and red, I made the tactical move of having the Ops Expert use his ability to fly to Manila and build a research station then he changed roles to the Researcher and gave 2 red cards to the Medic.
Then: oops, An early Epidemic in Shanghai! Luckily it didn't outbreak and the Medic was able to cure red and treat 3 of the 4 infected red cities. The Dispatcher eradicated red on the beginning of his next move because he had the player card for the last infected red city in his hand and no more red cities got infected after the Medic's turn. This may have been the first time I ever eradicated a disease before the end of the 2nd round.
For me, the combination of Researcher, Medic, and Dispatcher is the ultimate dream team. Being able to have the Ops Expert set up research stations in the two most infected areas at the beginning of the game was even better. IMO, the Researcher is more powerful than the Scientist, especially when you have the Dispatcher on board. City cards are useful for more things than just curing and I believe the odds of the Researcher plus one other player having five of the same color is better than the Scientist having four of the same color.
After eradicating red, I was able to easily cure and then eradicate both blue and yellow because there were only 2 blue cities and one yellow city that ever got infected. There were only black cubes on the board before the game was half over (24 out of 50 player cards had been used). When the dispatcher had 5 black cards in hand, I decided to delay ending the game to see if I could eradicate black.
This was not easy because there were 8 infected black cities. This is why getting a perfect game can be difficult. In order to get the early eradications the infections need to be concentrated mostly in the final region that was not eradicated. Even with the 3 eradications, I played a losing game of whack-a-mole with the black cubes (cities were getting re-infected at the same rate they were getting cleared) and my quest for a perfect game looked hopeless when the most powerful event card showed up: Commercial Travel Ban. I tried to set things up so the last 3 infection phases of the game would be under the protection of Commercial Travel Ban.
Once again I got very lucky. Only one black cube showed up in during the final round and it was in Riyadh. The Dispatcher was able to move from Baghdad to treat that cube and then move back to Baghdad to cure and eradicate black.
I've probably had about a dozen games where I've eradicated 3 of the diseases. I've come close to eradicating all 4 once or twice but I never really realized how much luck was needed to have a perfect game. You need a lot of good luck throughout the game. The second round in this game where I was able to make optimal use of New Assignment and eradicate red including the first epidemic city (Shanghai) was absolutely amazing.
But in addition to an unending supply of good luck, a lot of skillful, experienced game play was required. For example, I've learned that it is usually best to use New Assignment tactically instead of strategically. Of course, I strongly disagree with the opinion that this game is too random and that the optimal move is usually obvious.
PS: the game ended on the Dispatcher's final turn and by that time they had 7 black cards in hand. Unfortunately none of the 7 was Baghdad. If they had Baghdad then they would have been able to treat a cube in some cities that were not adjacent to Baghdad and still end the game.
- Last edited Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:07 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:01 pm
Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.
Yes to both questions. I own the base game and the On the Brink and In the Lab expansions and the iPad app with On the Brink but I usually play with the Java program I got from the files section here. I actually prefer it over the iPad app since it lets me decide the order I do things. For example if there are three actions I know I want a role to perform then I will do those first and then decide which "optional" infection cube to remove. Of course, I do it so the four actions together are legal.
I miss the Contingency Planner and the Quarantine Specialist from On the Brink. The Contingency Planner is one of my favorite roles. I tend to play events sub-optimally or even discard events (often Special Orders or a late Rapid Vaccine Deployment) if I need the hand space. Oh well.
When I play with the cardboard version I also select roles at random. I include dice in the box for selecting roles at random and to do a final random cut for each section when I assemble the player card deck. TBH there are times when it feels like the RNG in the Java application is messing with me. When you play a lot then there will be strange streaks and weird events such as my perfect game.