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Pandemic Iberia» Forums » General

Subject: Impressions after 2 games rss

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Dirk Meijer
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Picked it up at Essen on Friday, played a game on Saturday and one on Sunday (and lost both), here are my thoughts!



Box Contents
Board, rules (English and German), concept-art booklet, wooden pawns and cubes, cardboard railway and water token, cards in both German and English.
(Please not that the german cards and rules may not be present in every version, I suspect this may have been an Essen exclusive, as the box was rather packed with 4 decks of cards, which left a dent in the bottom of my box )

The board is absolutely gorgeous, like an old map. The arrows are a bit distracting, as they look like they have some significance, but in fact are only there to pinpoint the exact geographical locations of cities.

The blue and yellow cubes are slightly off-color, compared to the colors on the board, a little too bright, we are considering painting them a slightly more pastel tint.

Rules for 2 variants are included:
- "Historical Diseases", which is similar to Virulent Strain, except each disease has one specific change. You choose to include 1 to 4 extra rules, such as Yellow Fever being waterborne, when it infects a port city, all adjacent port cities are also infected. I haven't played with it yet, but this should more than make of for the lack of a 7th epidemic card.
- "Patient Influx", where at the end of every turn, one patient of every color moves closer to the hospital of that color. This makes the hospitals very prone to outbreaks. In this case, the "overrun hospital" type outbreak does not result in more cubes being placed, but does spread them and advances the outbreak marker.



Differences from Pandemic
This is probably a big issue for most Pandemic fans, do you really need another version of the same game? I think this game is different enough to be considered more than a variant, the tone of the gameplay is very different.

The most obvious change are the methods of transportation. Since there are no airplanes to take, hospitals (the old research stations) have way less significance, and cards have very different uses.
In addition to treating and researching diseases, a very big part of the game is building the infrastructure. Traveling by ship is available, but costs cards and only connects to a few cities, though they are far apart. Railroads have neither of these downsides, and you can travel between any two cities connected by contiguous railroads for 1 action. A large part of the early game is spent building railroads, because you will save a lot of valuable late-game actions this way.

There's 2 roles focused on transportation, the Sailor and the Railwayman, the Sailor doesn't need a card to travel from port city to port city, and the Railwayman places 2 railroads for 1 action. Equally important, both of these can take other pawns with them when they use the travel method of their specialization, similar to Forbidden Desert's Navigator Climber.

The second big change is that there is no medic and diseases do not get easier to treat after you research them. There is a Rural Doctor, which is similar to the medic, when he treats a disease, he removes a second cube, either from his city or an adjacent city. Instead, there are "purification tokens", which represent sources of clean water. For an action and a card of the correct color, you place two of these in a region (a polygon between cities) and when a cube would be placed in one of these cities, a purification token is removed instead. So for one action and a card, you prevent the placement of 2 cubes, rather efficient!

There's three roles that tie into this mechanic, the Nurse has a "prevention token" that travels with her, which is basically a permanent purification token, protecting an entire region adjacent to her position. The Royal Academy Scientist can discard any card to purify water, not just a card of the correct color. After a disease has been researched, anyone can use cards of that color for purification, so this ability becomes less good during the game (he has a second ability, but we found it lackluster). The Agronomist, who places a third token in an adjacent region, or can place one token for an action, without discarding a card.

As a result of these changes, your cards are spent very differently. Hospitals will only be necessary once you have enough cards to research a disease (unless you are playing the Patient Influx variant), and cards become more useful after a disease has been researched. Some cards are used for travel by sea, but most will be spent to purify water, as this is a very essential part of the game.

The final role is the Politician, who can give cards to other players all the way across the map, and exchange cards with the discard pile. We have not played with him in our games yet, but we experienced that cards are a far more valuable commodity in this game than they are in vanilla pandemic, so I'm sure he will prove useful.



Final Thoughts
I am very pleasantly surprised by how much new content Pandemic Iberia has to offer to seasoned Pandemic players. Honestly, I like it better than vanilla Pandemic, probably even better than Pandemic + On the Brink.

It is an absolutely gorgeous game, and while it shares a lot of rules and mechanics with Pandemic, the shift in focus and the addition of new mechanics is big enough for me to own and play both.
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Deb Wentworth
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Thanks for the review! I also picked this up at Essen and can't wait to try it out. I love the fact that the diseases are named, and cards for both languages are included in the box.
 
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Dirk Meijer
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debwentworth wrote:
Thanks for the review! I also picked this up at Essen and can't wait to try it out. I love the fact that the diseases are named, and cards for both languages are included in the box.


I wouldn't really call it a "review" But I'm happy to share my thoughts!

Yeah, having historical diseases is a really nice touch, "we should focus on black!" is not as immersive as "malaria is getting out of hand!".
 
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Timothy Young
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Keighley
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Thanks for the thoughts, how does this look to work with 2 players - any better or worse than the original Pandemic?
 
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Dirk Meijer
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Tim RTC wrote:
Thanks for the thoughts, how does this look to work with 2 players - any better or worse than the original Pandemic?


More or less the same. But since travel is a so different in this game, it feels like the "share knowledge" action is more difficult to perform.
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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Thanks for sharing your impressions! It sounds like they made some interesting changes to the gameplay that should be interesting.

Quote:
Equally important, both of these can take other pawns with them when they use the travel method of their specialization, similar to Forbidden Desert's Navigator.

I believe you meant the Climber.
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Giuliano Bartolucci
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Ok, about travel
I don't own Vanilla Pandemic but I do have Reign of Cthulhu and Iberia;
in RoC you can travel quite fast by Bus or Portals while in Iberia (just 2 games,3P, solo)moving characters can be a real pain in the abs...I've tried to divide map into 2 parts, Rural Doctor North/West and Royal Scientist South/East while the Railroader 50/50 opens shortcuts and helps controlling deseases...strategy not completely functional...ant suggestion?
 
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Deb Wentworth
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One suggestion after several game plays -

You start in a city you have a card for. That is a golden opportunity! Either immediately plop down a hospital or get close enough to another player to exchange cards on your first turn.
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Giuliano Bartolucci
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So you suggest exchanging knowledge on the very start of the game...sounds interesting...but since I don't like seeing (im)patients running across the board trying to reach for hospitas, I do prefere dropping them in the end...too shy such an approach to the game?
Anyway I'm "Thankgiving" you for your help
 
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Deb Wentworth
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giulibartolucci1204 wrote:
but since I don't like seeing (im)patients running across the board trying to reach for hospitas


Sounds like you're playing one of the variations described at the end of the rulebook. Sorry, I haven't tried that version yet.
 
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Derek H
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dwjmeijer wrote:

Final Thoughts
I am very pleasantly surprised by how much new content Pandemic Iberia has to offer to seasoned Pandemic players. Honestly, I like it better than vanilla Pandemic, probably even better than Pandemic + On the Brink.

It is an absolutely gorgeous game, and while it shares a lot of rules and mechanics with Pandemic, the shift in focus and the addition of new mechanics is big enough for me to own and play both.

I have played vanilla Pandemic and enjoyed it - but not enough to buy a copy. Is it worth buying this version instead?
 
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Dirk Meijer
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gamesbook wrote:
dwjmeijer wrote:

Final Thoughts
I am very pleasantly surprised by how much new content Pandemic Iberia has to offer to seasoned Pandemic players. Honestly, I like it better than vanilla Pandemic, probably even better than Pandemic + On the Brink.

It is an absolutely gorgeous game, and while it shares a lot of rules and mechanics with Pandemic, the shift in focus and the addition of new mechanics is big enough for me to own and play both.

I have played vanilla Pandemic and enjoyed it - but not enough to buy a copy. Is it worth buying this version instead?


It offers more game than Pandemic without On The Brink (mandatory expansion afaic). I enjoy both a lot.

That said, it _is_ Pandemic, and if regular Pandemic didn't do it for you, I'm not sure this will.
 
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