

All four of us have played Pandemic a lot, and we still got our butts handed to us in both January games. The first game was a slaughter. The second game, we were one turn away from winning when we got hit by a quadruple outbreak and lost. Both games we lost due to outbreaks, so we have already put 16 stickers on the board.
In our opinion the original Pandemic is already the hardest with 4 players, and to add FIVE epidemics makes it even harder. Is the whole game going to be like this? Could we just take an Epidemic out, or would that ruin the game later on?
No spoilers please =)


Jeffrey
United States
Make it so
Captain Picard

My group of 4 lost both of our January games. Five epidemic cards is a normal game, though I agree 4 players is harder than 3. One loss was just due to general thingsgoingbadallgame, the other was crazy back luck taking us from doing great to losing in one infection phase.
We didn't lose another game for several months after that though.
I don't want to even hint at how the game will change, so I won't say more than that.


John Bruns
United States Naperville Illinois

Don't worry. The game has lots of balances. You still get upgrades, even when loosing and by now you have eight funded events. Even more help if you loose four in a row and get to open box 8.
It sounds like you just had a run of bad luck. The game on the whole is easier than vanilla pandemic as you start getting additional upgrades and other non mentionable things happen. January is actually a bit boring. Keep the faith.


Matt Hindmarch
United States Denver Colorado

Choose CAREFULLY amongst the (REDACTED) that become available. Make heavy use of the (REDACTED) action and make sure you always have plenty of (REDACTED) to help with (REDACTED) when the (REDACTED) are (REDACTED).


Gamer D
Monroeville Pennsylvania

My first playthrough we lost our first January game I think. Did pretty well overall after that so probably just getting the rust out.


Clive Jones
Cambridgeshire, UK

iamadoorknob wrote: All four of us have played Pandemic a lot Ah, but have you won Pandemic a lot? :p
Seriously, the game selfbalances, so you should be fine.
Though it's worth checking: do you pay attention to which infection cards are where (not yet seen at all, already seen since the most recent epidemic, known to be in the top N cards of the infection deck) in relation to how many cubes are in each city? Not all threecube cities are equally dangerous, and one cube from an outbreak in a city you've not seen yet can be just as risky as three cubes in a city now in the discard pile. You can also keep track of how soon another Epidemic is likely.
Also, if you're going to lose in Pandemic Legacy, see if you can lose on cubes or cards rather than outbreaks.


Richard Francis
United States Portsmouth VA

My two sons and I are playing. We lost both January games as well. Then we went on to win the first try up until August. We lost both August games and just squeaked by in September. We're about to attempt October.
The game has a lot of balance as new options become available.
It is very stressful but we love it
We also killed off our first two characters in August as well. That was a horrendous month!




clivej wrote: iamadoorknob wrote: All four of us have played Pandemic a lot Ah, but have you won Pandemic a lot? :p
Well, I once beat Pandemic with the On the Brink expansion with 6 virulent strain epidemics AND the purple diseases. At the end the board looked so bad I was afraid the board was going to catch fire.
Seriously though, you've all been very helpful. I can rest easily until next week's game. Thanks!




What did you pick for the end of game upgrades at the end of your first January game?


Ronald Ginther
United States Simi Valley CA

Oh yeah!!
We got owned in Game 1 of January. 8 Outbreaks was the loser.
Game 2 we were 1 card away from winning, we had zero cities with more than 2 cubes and the bottom card drawn for the last Epidemic was on one of the cities with 1 cube already from a previous outbreak, which triggered the Outbreak that got us.
You all know how the board looks!!
Ron
Looking forward to February


Jeremy Lennert
United States California

iamadoorknob wrote: Well, I once beat Pandemic with the On the Brink expansion with 6 virulent strain epidemics AND the purple diseases. At the end the board looked so bad I was afraid the board was going to catch fire. And yet, you feel that using 5 regular epidemics is notably hard, and want to take one out?


Jeremy Lennert
United States California

clivej wrote: one cube from an outbreak in a city you've not seen yet can be just as risky as three cubes in a city now in the discard pile. No it can't. Both are at risk of an outbreak on your next epidemic draw, but the probability of outbreak in the 1cube city you've never drawn will NEVER be as high as the probability of outbreak in the 3cube city that you have. Not even close.


J.M. Diller
United States North Street Michigan

Antistone wrote: clivej wrote: one cube from an outbreak in a city you've not seen yet can be just as risky as three cubes in a city now in the discard pile. No it can't. Both are at risk of an outbreak on your next epidemic draw, but the probability of outbreak in the 1cube city you've never drawn will NEVER be as high as the probability of outbreak in the 3cube city that you have. Not even close.
Thank goodness we've got you here to do the mathematics!
I think the point of the original post is that 3 cube cities aren't the only possible dangers and it's OK sometimes to focus on other stuff and maybe let a 3 cube city slide for a few turns. That's what I got out of it anyway.


Robert Stewart
United Kingdom NewcastleuponTyne

Antistone wrote: clivej wrote: one cube from an outbreak in a city you've not seen yet can be just as risky as three cubes in a city now in the discard pile. No it can't. Both are at risk of an outbreak on your next epidemic draw, but the probability of outbreak in the 1cube city you've never drawn will NEVER be as high as the probability of outbreak in the 3cube city that you have. Not even close.
You can have up to 10 turns between epidemics, which can see up to 30 cards go into the infection discard. When you finally hit the epidemic, you have 18 previously unseen infection cards (17 if you previously used Resilient Population) leaving a 1/18 chance of hitting a given previously unseen 1cube city, and a 3/31 chance of hitting a given 3cube city, so the numbers work out without taking events into account.
Various events can prevent (or at least delay) the latter hit (One Quiet Night gives no chance of hitting the latter city, etc.) so under the right circumstances you can be safe about the cards already in the discard, but not the one at the bottom of the deck...


Clive Jones
Cambridgeshire, UK

Nod. I was about to mention event cards. Though I happened to have Remote Treatment or Experimental Program more in mind. There are multiple ways to save yourself if you draw an Epidemic with three cubes in a city in the discard pile. Nothing (which exists at the start of January) will save you if you draw an Epidemic and there's a cube in the city on the bottom of the deck.
As an aside, if you have an Epidemic which drops a large intensification onto the infection deck, then soon afterwards another Epidemic placing a smaller intensification, there's now a packet of cities you can be certain you won't draw for a while.


Jeremy Lennert
United States California

clivej wrote: Nod. I was about to mention event cards. Though I happened to have Remote Treatment or Experimental Program more in mind. There are multiple ways to save yourself if you draw an Epidemic with three cubes in a city in the discard pile. Nothing (which exists at the start of January) will save you if you draw an Epidemic and there's a cube in the city on the bottom of the deck. Depends how you look at it.
There are no cards in the game that will save a 3cube city after you've drawn its infection card; you can only save yourself if you use them preemptively before drawing infection cards.
Similarly, there are no cards that will save a 1cube city that just got 3 cubes dropped on it from an epidemic after you've drawn the epidemic. But there are several that can save it if you use them preemptively, before the epidemic, which I would argue is the more analogous case to the events "saving" you from an outbreak during the infection step.
Using an event card preemptively on a 1cube virgin city is usually bad play, because you are virtually guaranteed to have numerous opportunities for the same event to stop a higherprobability outbreak. But you still can do it.


Clive Jones
Cambridgeshire, UK

Antistone wrote: There are no cards in the game that will save a 3cube city after you've drawn its infection card; you can only save yourself if you use them preemptively before drawing infection cards. This is true.
However, you can use a card between the city being intensified back into the deck by an epidemic, and the subsequent infect phase. (Or play Resilient Population between steps in the Epidemic, because it specifically says so.)
That is, if you're thinking "we're fine until the next Epidemic", when it happens the card off the bottom of the deck could get you into more trouble than the intensification.


Drew
United States Dallas Georgia

I was able to win my first game in January, but it was a close one.
It didn't help that this was the first Player Card I drew:


Clive Jones
Cambridgeshire, UK

Whoops. (8
Interestingly, having the second Epidemic early might be an advantage. Sure, C0Da becomes harder to treat sooner, but you also find out sooner that you don't need to cure it and can concentrate on the other three.


Robert Stewart
United Kingdom NewcastleuponTyne

I'm not convinced that a first turn Epidemic is that much of a problem provided it doesn't trigger any immediate outbreaks  it means you only have 10 cities to worry about for the next few turns, and means the second Epidemic is probably going to remove some cities from further risk of being infected.
I'd be more worried about a late first Epidemic followed by an early second...


Jeremy Lennert
United States California

rmsgrey wrote: I'm not convinced that a first turn Epidemic is that much of a problem provided it doesn't trigger any immediate outbreaks An early epidemic is really never bad unless it causes outbreaks or raises the actual infection level, and the first epidemic doesn't do that second one.
But a turn 1 epidemic has a rather high probability of causing an outbreak (if you treated 1 of the 3cube cities on turn 1, then there's >50% chance of an outbreak immediately, and a significant chance during turns 2 and 3). That's bad enough that you probably want to burn an event card to mitigate the risk (if you have one).
Additionally, outbreaks on earlier epidemics are worse than an equal number of outbreaks on later epidemics, because there's a higher probability that those extra cubes are going to cause actual problems somewhere down the line.


Clive Jones
Cambridgeshire, UK

Antistone wrote: a turn 1 epidemic has a rather high probability of causing an outbreak (if you treated 1 of the 3cube cities on turn 1, then there's >50% chance of an outbreak immediately
That's startlingly high. But yeah, I've done the maths and the chance of at least one outbreak is exactly 51%, including a 9% chance of both cards drawn when the player infects after the Epidemic causing outbreaks.
Spoiler for the January win bonus:
Spoiler (click to reveal) If you don't treat any of the 3cube cities, the chance of at least one outbreak rises to 64%; if you manage to treat two of them, the chance falls to 36%. That's a 14% reduction in risk.
The chance of a turnone epidemic is fundingdependent but 20% or so.
So, approximately, if you remove one cube by the end of turn one, there's a 10% risk of an Epidemic that causes an Outbreak. If you remove two, that risk falls to 7%. Suddenly, the win bonus of removing one cube at the start of February looks considerably more valuable than we recognised at the time.


Robert Stewart
United Kingdom NewcastleuponTyne

clivej wrote: Antistone wrote: a turn 1 epidemic has a rather high probability of causing an outbreak (if you treated 1 of the 3cube cities on turn 1, then there's >50% chance of an outbreak immediately That's startlingly high. But yeah, I've done the maths and the chance of at least one outbreak is exactly 51%, including a 9% chance of both cards drawn when the player infects after the Epidemic causing outbreaks. Spoiler for the January win bonus: Spoiler (click to reveal) If you don't treat any of the 3cube cities, the chance of at least one outbreak rises to 64%; if you manage to treat two of them, the chance falls to 36%. That's a 14% reduction in risk.
The chance of a turnone epidemic is fundingdependent but 20% or so.
So, approximately, if you remove one cube by the end of turn one, there's a 10% risk of an Epidemic that causes an Outbreak. If you remove two, that risk falls to 7%. Suddenly, the win bonus of removing one cube at the start of February looks considerably more valuable than we recognised at the time.
With 10 city cards, and 3 potential outbreaks, I make it a 7/15 chance of no outbreak (there are C(10,2)=45 possible pairs of cards, of which C(7,2)=21 are safe), 1/15 of two outbreaks (C(3,2)=3 double outbreak pairs), and 7/15 of a single outbreak, or a 53.3% chance of at least one outbreak, with a 6.7% double outbreak.
Clear two cubes, leaving you with only 2 hotspots, and it's 28/45 safe, 1/45 double, 16/45 single for a 37.8% chance of at least one outbreak. With 4 hotspots, it's 1/3 safe, 2/15 double outbreak, 8/15 single outbreak, or 66.7% at least one outbreak.


Clive Jones
Cambridgeshire, UK

Duh. The two cards you draw aren't independent. Sorry. That was 1:28am, here!


Barak Engel
United States Oakland CA
And the Geek shall Inherit the Earth
I am the unholy trinity: Agnostic, Atheist, and Skeptic.

We lost Jan 1. Won 2.
Then promptly lost both FEBs



