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Pandemic» Forums » Rules

Subject: What's the point of different color cubes on a city? Where's the danger? rss

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Matt O
Hong Kong
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As I understand the rules, you can only get different colored cubes on a city from outbreaks. I understand that you can have 3 of each color, but this seems almost impossible to occur.

Cubes only have an effect if there're four of them, and cubes placed from infection cards are only of the city's color, and they don't interacts with other colors, ever. So how does a spillover of a certain color into a different region even pose a threat to players?
 
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David Goldfarb
United States
Houston
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It's true that you'll rarely, almost never, get an outbreak of cubes that don't match the city's color. The cube that's there is a cube that's not in the supply, so it does contribute towards losing by being unable to pull cubes from the supply when needed.

The main reason you get cubes in different colored cities is that the colored regions have to border one another, and it would be silly to have a special case in the outbreak rules saying that cubes go only to adjacent cities of the same color.
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Matt O
Hong Kong
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David Goldfarb wrote:
The cube that's there is a cube that's not in the supply


Good point! Other than this, I guess they could be ignored if there's no danger of an off-color outbreak.
 
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Dave Slaven
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Sioux City
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Keep in mind that putting a red cube in a black city brings you closer to the maximum number of red cubes you're allowed. It can contribute to losing the game that way.
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Paul Wise
United States
Tupelo
Mississippi
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Because if you ever run out of cubes of any color, you lose. If you had an outbreak in the black region on the border with the red region and added a black cube to each connecting city in the black region and you only have 2 black cubes left and there are two connecting cities in the red zone which still have to get a black cube each. Placing those 2 remaining black cubes on connecting cities in the red zone would cause you to lose the game. If you instead decided to put red cubes in those two cities because your reasoning is that they are in the red zone, you would still be able to play even though you've technically already lost.

Slaven41 was faster at posting and in fewer words.
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T C
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Aside from the aforementioned issue of running out of disease cubes, a couple other situations occur to me:

1. Chain reaction outbreaks can quickly lead to piling up of cubes even in non-infection-card cities.

For example, take Atlanta (blue), Washington (blue), and Miami (yellow). All three are connected to each other.

Let's say Atlanta has three blue cubes at the end of your turn. You draw an epidemic card. Let's say the epidemic city is Washington, which now gets three blue cubes.

During the infection step, the first infection card you draw is Atlanta. Atlanta outbreaks and deposits a blue cube in Miami. Washington has a chain reaction outbreak and deposits a second blue cube in Miami.

The second infection card you draw is Washington. Washington outbreaks and deposits a third blue cube in Miami. Atlanta now does a chain reaction outbreak, and triggers a chain reaction outbreak in Miami, which now deposits blue cubes in Mexico City and Bogota. Note that Bogota isn't even connected to a blue city!


2. This isn't really a direct threat, but spillover cubes can make it extra annoying when trying to eradicate a disease. For instance, let's say you've cured blue and have removed all cubes on blue cities. But there's just one more blue cube on a non-blue city that you can't quite get to on this turn, and then blue cubes start building back up on the next turn.


Yes, both of the above situations (with different cities and different colors) have happened to me.
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Stephen Schaefer
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Also, can the medic only remove cubes of the same color with its power? If so, mixed colors dilute the medic ability.
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Jamie Specht
United States
Downers Grove
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The Schaef wrote:
Also, can the medic only remove cubes of the same color with its power? If so, mixed colors dilute the medic ability.

Medic can only do one color at a time. But can take two actions to clear two colors.
After cure is found for both colors on a city, I think medic can clear both without using an action. But, I'm not certain.
 
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Cassy Whisperer
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Tampa
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OutOfHabit wrote:
The Schaef wrote:
Also, can the medic only remove cubes of the same color with its power? If so, mixed colors dilute the medic ability.

Medic can only do one color at a time. But can take two actions to clear two colors.
After cure is found for both colors on a city, I think medic can clear both without using an action. But, I'm not certain.


Yes, that's correct. It happens automatically.
 
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SLK
Netherlands
Sellingen
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faucelme wrote:

During the infection step, the first infection card you draw is Atlanta. Atlanta outbreaks and deposits a blue cube in Miami. Washington has a chain reaction outbreak and deposits a second blue cube in Miami.

The second infection card you draw is Washington. Washington outbreaks and deposits a third blue cube in Miami. Atlanta now does a chain reaction outbreak, and triggers a chain reaction outbreak in Miami, which now deposits blue cubes in Mexico City and Bogota. Note that Bogota isn't even connected to a blue city!


In my opinion would the above result in 2 blue cubes in Miami (not 4), the first from the infection card Atlanta and the second from the infection card Washington, both of the chain outbreaks not resulting in extra cubes.

From the rulebook (page 7): "When a chain reaction outbreak occurs, first move the outbreaks marker forward 1 space. Then, place cubes as above, except do not add a cube to cities that have already had an outbreak (or a chain reaction outbreak) as part of resolving the current Infection card."
 
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Byron S
United States
Ventura
California
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I'm (probably) bigger than you, but that doesn't make me any better. It's what's inside that counts.
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slklein wrote:
faucelme wrote:

During the infection step, the first infection card you draw is Atlanta. Atlanta outbreaks and deposits a blue cube in Miami. Washington has a chain reaction outbreak and deposits a second blue cube in Miami.

The second infection card you draw is Washington. Washington outbreaks and deposits a third blue cube in Miami. Atlanta now does a chain reaction outbreak, and triggers a chain reaction outbreak in Miami, which now deposits blue cubes in Mexico City and Bogota. Note that Bogota isn't even connected to a blue city!


In my opinion would the above result in 2 blue cubes in Miami (not 4), the first from the infection card Atlanta and the second from the infection card Washington, both of the chain outbreaks not resulting in extra cubes.

From the rulebook (page 7): "When a chain reaction outbreak occurs, first move the outbreaks marker forward 1 space. Then, place cubes as above, except do not add a cube to cities that have already had an outbreak (or a chain reaction outbreak) as part of resolving the current Infection card."

In this example both Atlanta and Washington infection cards are drawn. Each one will add two cubes to Miami, prompting the blue outbreak into South America.
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T C
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slklein wrote:
faucelme wrote:

During the infection step, the first infection card you draw is Atlanta. Atlanta outbreaks and deposits a blue cube in Miami. Washington has a chain reaction outbreak and deposits a second blue cube in Miami.

The second infection card you draw is Washington. Washington outbreaks and deposits a third blue cube in Miami. Atlanta now does a chain reaction outbreak, and triggers a chain reaction outbreak in Miami, which now deposits blue cubes in Mexico City and Bogota. Note that Bogota isn't even connected to a blue city!


In my opinion would the above result in 2 blue cubes in Miami (not 4), the first from the infection card Atlanta and the second from the infection card Washington, both of the chain outbreaks not resulting in extra cubes.

From the rulebook (page 7): "When a chain reaction outbreak occurs, first move the outbreaks marker forward 1 space. Then, place cubes as above, except do not add a cube to cities that have already had an outbreak (or a chain reaction outbreak) as part of resolving the current Infection card."


When I was first learning the rules, I used to play that way. But it's not correct.

Step-by-step, here's an example of how a chain reaction outbreak works:
1. Before drawing the infection card, Atlanta and Washington each have three blue cubes; no other cities have blue cubes.
2. You draw the Atlanta infection card. Atlanta has an outbreak. You place a blue cube in Chicago and Miami. You see that Washington already has three cubes, so Washington suffers a chain reaction outbreak.
3. Washington is connected to four cities: Atlanta, Montreal, New York, and Miami. You place a blue cube in Montreal and New York. You don't attempt to place a cube into Atlanta, because it has already had an outbreak due to the Atlanta infection card. However, you *do* place a second blue cube in Miami because there was no outbreak there. An "outbreak city" is specifically a 3-cube city that gets a fourth cube. Miami is simply an innocent bystander, which is why it gets hit twice.

When you draw the Washington infection card, that results in 2 more blue cubes in Miami, and bingo, Miami outbreaks as well.
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SLK
Netherlands
Sellingen
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Thank you very much for the clarification. We've played Pandemic for quite a while, but never in the right way apparently. Curious to experience how much effect this will have / more difficult it will be.
thanks again!
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