"Elves are very good at board games, and I'm NOT an elf!"
I received Quarantine in a recent trade. It is a game that I had been looking at for some time, but never took the plunge.
I was able to spend time with my Dad this afternoon and we decided to spend our time learning the game.
Ready to go!
I was running the Banting Memorial Hospital - a private hospital with superior healthcare, while my Dad was managing the Osler General Hospital, a typical NHS hospital (where disease runs rife and they're queuing out the door!).
The game wasn't too bad to get into - we had one or two difficulties with the rules, but nothing major. I did print off the FAQs to refer to, so that helped.
We were confused at first with the extra rule that during the first round each player draws until they have 4 patient cubes each (the grey cubes being placed in a separate stock) - it is not really explained what you do with the patients, although we formed our opening queues with them.
Look at the patients queuing at the Osler.. you can tell by the queue for treatment that it's the NHS!
Dad and I really enjoyed the game, but there are a couple of caveats (bear in mind this was our very first game).
First off, Dad thought that the game would improve with more players. I quite liked the 2-player game, but I agree with Dad on his next point.
It would be great if you had the ability to spread disease in some other way. Drawing cubes from the bag means that drawing Grey cubes is a bit hit and miss. In this game, I drew way more grey cubes that he did and so I was able to cause Dad a problem with getting patients in for treatment - this began a queue, which he was never able to bring under control. Of course, he could have placed patients in my queue, but I was able to treat them much more efficiently that he was able. We wondered if it would be better to add in an action 'Spread' or 'Infect' that would allow a player to take a grey cube from the stock and add it into a hospital (perhaps this would be only a once per turn action?). Another idea would be, if you spend 2 action discs you can add a grey cube to any location in a player's hospital (ignoring the rule for placing next to another grey cube)?
An idea was that a grey cube on a tile that is next to a Nurses Station, that Nurses Station would not score. This gives the thematic touch of if your hospital is infected by grey cubes it will have a detrimental effect on your overall score.
A further idea which might be cool is if each hospital gave a unique ability?
Delivery Suite - can admit 1 patient (from front of queue). When adding a patient to the tile, take a second patient cube of same colour from the box and add to Delivery Suite (there should be 2 cubes of the same colour in the Delivery Suite). You can 'cure' patients from the Delivery Suite in the normal way.
Banting Memorial at game end
Our game finished at 15 points for Osler General and 23 points for Banting Memorial - is this a typical score or should we be aiming for even higher scores? Dad and I both enjoyed the game but felt that there was more that could be done with it. I am looking forward to having another go, and I have the First Aid expansion on the way!
I'd love to hear some of the other ideas that the designer has.