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Pandemic: On the Brink» Forums » General

Subject: Contingency Planner Power Up? rss

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N Q
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Anyone found the OtB special event rules give the Planner a serious boost?

I didn't really like him in the basic set because his usefulness was contingent(NPI) on drawing event cards early enough in the game, making it an extremely luck-based role(in fact in random draw two-player games, we'd remove him from the deck).

But with the new special event cards, we found him to be a real beast in four or five player games where event cards pop out pretty consistently, so much so that I wanted to be sure we are playing correctly.

We had a game where all on one turn he prepped two cures, an eradication, and broke up an outbreak chain. First he pulled Government Grant and placed a research station in Istanbul which allowed another player to trade a card and cure on their next turn. Then he pulled Air Lift and sent the Quarantine Specialist to Baghdad which stopped several cities from turning into hot zones in the next few turns(Baghdad, Ridyah, and Karachi were coming up in the infection deck which would have formed a really nasty four-way). Then he took Remote Treatment, pulling a cube out of Santiago and Buenos Aires, leaving the next player ready to clean the last yellow cubes out of Miami.

Finally, he took Re-Examined Research which also set up the Miami-bound player for a cure next turn. I don't think I've seen such a fast turn around before.

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Holger Doessing
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Lensreversed wrote:
... where event cards pop out pretty consistently, so much so that I wanted to be sure we are playing correctly.

Remember: only add 2 event cards per player to the deck.
 
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J M
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Eight to ten actions in the deck will mean four or five (on average) in the discard pile by mid-game. The contingency planner is definitely a lot stronger with more players.
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N Q
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holgerd wrote:
Lensreversed wrote:
... where event cards pop out pretty consistently, so much so that I wanted to be sure we are playing correctly.

Remember: only add 2 event cards per player to the deck.


Five player game so I know we got that bit right.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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You are playing correctly.

The original Pandemic base game was significantly easier with 2 players than with 4 players. When Matt and I expanded the game to 5, we altered the Event rule to 2/player in OTB (and ITL) to provide a more consistent play experience for all player counts.

(We considered adding 3 events and going to 2/player when we did the revised second edition, but decided against this in favor of initial learning simplicity.)

In my experience, one factor in preventing an "alpha" player from dominating a larger player group is the creativity possible from the interplay between many events and many roles. Not only is the "right move" hard to determine from a risk management point of view, but it often takes suggestions from multiple players to even come up with the two or three best candidate moves, as the creative use of powers and events allows lots of different possibilities.

When I added the Contingency Planner to the second edition, I tested this role with OTB (and the prototype ITL) to make sure it wouldn't be too strong. It isn't. He is stronger with more players and events, but this is counter-balanced by being able to store only 1 Event on the CP at a time and there being a longer "gap" between his turns in larger player count games.

Not all Events are best played on a player's turn instead of when needed. For example, Remote Treatment is often best played on the new Epidemic city (after resolving the Epidemic card and just before doing the first Infections after reshuffling the discards onto the Infection deck). You can only do this (a second time) if you store it on the CP.

Since this is true of several (but not all) Events, in larger player count games, the CP is often faced with either storing and using one Event for its best effect -- and then waiting a long time before going again -- or using several Events inefficiently on his turn.

Yes, the CP will occasionally get a mid to late game "super-turn" where all the CP does is retrieve and spend Events to good effect. In my experience, this happens maybe once a game (and can happen late in the game with just the base set).

I'm not troubled by this. Your mileage may vary.
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N Q
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Ok, good to know we got that win fair and square. It really made me reevaluate a role I'd snubbed for a long time.
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Will

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It depends not only on event cards being drawn, but also played. Some of them get held before played. One Quiet Night gets held if you are at an infection rate of 2, but expect to be at 3 soon. Government Grant gets held until you know where you are going to be when you need the additional research station rather than placing it and then moving away from it before you get enough cards to use it.
 
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