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Barbara Belšak
Slovenia
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Hello!

I play 2-player almost exlusively. It was always a one-or-the-other decision between Pandemic and Flash Point. We liked base Pandemic a lot and decided to stay with the "saving the world from diseases" theme so I cleared Flash Point from my wishlist (where it sat for ages) as expansions for Pandemic came out and opened a lot of possibilities for the game. I never bought any of the expansions, but I got Pandemic The Cure ... and haven't played base Pandemic ever since.
Should I invest in Pandemic expansions or replace it with Flash Point?
There are a lot of forum entries that compare Pandemic and Pandemic The Cure or Pandemic and Flash Point, but I haven't found anything about all three of them at once. I like The Cure because it it faster and more portable, but we still want a "bigger" coop experience and just can't decide between the two.
My main interest is the 2-player experience. I like both the Firefighting and Medical theme, the components of both games are awesome in their own way, gameplay lenght isn't an issue. Please help!
 
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BenjaRocks BenjaRocks
Spain
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This is funny because I really love Pandemic The Cure also, more than base game

But I've played countless times to Flash Point and now that I have the expansions even more, and most of the times on 2players. For me it's more funny than Pandemic, a bit more inmersive and less random. I would suggest Flash Point but I'm not the biggest Pandemic base game fan.
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Garry Rice
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Perkasie
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Actually, I would say Flash Point has more randomness due to the rolling of the dice to place the smoke/fire. In Pandemic, you get to a point where you know which cards may come up.

That said, my son and I much prefer Flash Point, but that's probably largely due to the theme and the many boards that are available for it.
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Michael Tyree
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I'm a big fan of all three, and have all the expansions for Pandemic and Flash Point. That said, it has been a while since Flash Point hit the table, but that sometimes is a group preference thing.

Pandemic is an excellent strategic exercise, actually a puzzle for some and thus liked or disliked accordingly. While some randomness is present, it is much less than Pandemic: The Cure or Flash Point. I personally play Pandemic more or less exclusively with the In The Lab expansion and usually with either a mutation or virulent strain scenario added and I find the tension and theme awesome.

Pandemic: The Cure is a good dice adaptation in that it keeps the feel, but shortens the time and simplifies the play. That said, you never get the extremes of regular Pandemic as it can all go bad or be a cakewalk with the right rolling. I find this one to be a relaxing change of pace from Pandemic.

Flash Point is a great tactical exercise, versus the strategic nature of Pandemic. It is close to Pandemic: The Cure for the sometimes chaotic flow because of the dice, and I like the tricky unpredictability it can bring. The Flash Point expansions give you a lot of variability, I would say perhaps even a bit more than the Pandemic expansions, but they can be just a little fiddly sometimes. I write this and realize now I've got an itch to break it back out lol.

For my money, Pandemic is my favorite of the three, but I play it with a lot of the expansion stuff tossed in. Base, wouldn't hold me as much though it is a great game. Pandemic: The Cure doesn't win out over Pandemic with the expansions but I appreciate it as an alternate to the base game and as a nice change of pace. Flash Point just feels like a different beast to me, and that's a good thing. I wouldn't give up any of them, but if I had to go with two, I would go with Pandemic and Flash Point, dropping Pandemic: The Cure. I think it is the weakest of the three, but they're all excellent in my opinion. However, my recommendation based on what you've stated would be to go with Flash Point because I think that would give you more variety and more importantly I think it is between the other two in the strategic vs. tactical gameplay. If you decide to go with expansions for Pandemic, I think you'll be pleased but I recommend buying them in release order. In The Lab is my favorite but it is enhanced so much by On The Brink I wouldn't try it without it. State of Emergency is good, but the weakest of the three.
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Darin Bolyard
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Oak Grove
Missouri
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I enjoy both, but I find Flash Point more thematic. And it's "closer to home" than Pandemic when it comes to an immersive experience. The base game comes with a 2-sided board, both sides a house. Most of us live in one of those, have witnessed a fire, or watched fire trucks and/or ambulances race down the road. However, I'm guessing most people have never flown the world to research disease, or witnessed a quarantine, or been in the ER while patients poured in suffering from an epidemic. Plus, Flash Point has a basic level of game play that my 5 year old can grasp. I've also played it with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They all love it. What kid isn't at least by curious about firefighters or fire trucks at some point? If kids are a factor for you, I'd go with Flash Point for sure.

Personally, since acquiring Flash Point, I've placed all the expansions on my wish list. I never had Pandemic expansions on my wish list, and don't care to get them.
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Matt Smith
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Troy
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Pandemic: The Cure pretty much fired base Pandemic+On the Brink for my wife an me. We play it two player almost exclusively. However, I prefer Flash Point over either Pandemic game. I have almost all of the expansions, and the variety of boards, characters, special actions, POIs etc. make it a really great experience every time. I think it plays better with less players, as it becomes less chaotic.
 
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Patrick Newman
United States
Texas
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dbolyard wrote:
I enjoy both, but I find Flash Point more thematic. And it's "closer to home" than Pandemic when it comes to an immersive experience. The base game comes with a 2-sided board, both sides a house. Most of us live in one of those, have witnessed a fire, or watched fire trucks and/or ambulances race down the road. However, I'm guessing most people have never flown the world to research disease, or witnessed a quarantine, or been in the ER while patients poured in suffering from an epidemic. Plus, Flash Point has a basic level of game play that my 5 year old can grasp. I've also played it with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They all love it. What kid isn't at least by curious about firefighters or fire trucks at some point? If kids are a factor for you, I'd go with Flash Point for sure.

Personally, since acquiring Flash Point, I've placed all the expansions on my wish list. I never had Pandemic expansions on my wish list, and don't care to get them.


Interesting post, in that I've had the good fortune (if you want to call it that) of having experienced both worlds. I was a full time paramedic for several years, and a volunteer firefighter when not on the ambulance. Yes, I admit, I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of a good call.

I now work in infectious disease research, and do a lot of lab work. We work with many of the exotic viruses that pop up from time to time, including Zika, West Nile, SARS, etc. It's fascinating work, and my boss has been all over the world during outbreaks.

My wife and I have the Pandemic base game, plus In The Lab and On The Brink expansions. I've asked my wife for the State of Emergency expansion for my birthday.

I haven't played Flash Point yet, but would love to do so. It's on my wishlist, and if I can get hooked up with a local gaming group, I'll definitely want to give it a try.
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Mark Blasco

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After playing Pandemic: the Cure, I lost interest in regular Pandemic (and after getting half way through Pandemic: Legacy (which is amazing), I can't imagine ever wanting to play regular Pandemic again for the rest of my life). I find PtC to be a much more exciting game. Standard Pandemic to me feels like a puzzle, rather than a game.

Flash Point is really fun. It really feels like everyone playing can make their own choices, and the theme really comes through.

If you already have Pandemic, and aren't playing it a lot, than I see no reason to invest in expansions for it. I think you'd be better off with Flash Point, which gives you a totally different option. I've always felt that expansions are perfect for games which you love, but no longer surprise you at all. Adding in a twist brings in a new life. If that's not how Pandemic feels to you, than don't put more money into it.

Lastly, it's not part of your question, but if you haven't looked into it yet, Pandemic Legacy is really amazing. Obviously the fact that you can only play through the campaign once will turn some people off, but my group is about halfway through (9 games), and it has been by far one of the best gaming experiences any of us has ever had.

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Roger BW
United Kingdom
High Wycombe
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Lefty Writer wrote:
I haven't played Flash Point yet, but would love to do so. It's on my wishlist, and if I can get hooked up with a local gaming group, I'll definitely want to give it a try.
You might try the PBF community here too…
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Patrick Newman
United States
Texas
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Firedrake wrote:
You might try the PBF community here too…


Thanks for the suggestion!

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Barbara Belšak
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markblasco wrote:
After playing Pandemic: the Cure, I lost interest in regular Pandemic (and after getting half way through Pandemic: Legacy (which is amazing), I can't imagine ever wanting to play regular Pandemic again for the rest of my life). I find PtC to be a much more exciting game. Standard Pandemic to me feels like a puzzle, rather than a game.

Flash Point is really fun. It really feels like everyone playing can make their own choices, and the theme really comes through.

If you already have Pandemic, and aren't playing it a lot, than I see no reason to invest in expansions for it. I think you'd be better off with Flash Point, which gives you a totally different option. I've always felt that expansions are perfect for games which you love, but no longer surprise you at all. Adding in a twist brings in a new life. If that's not how Pandemic feels to you, than don't put more money into it.

Lastly, it's not part of your question, but if you haven't looked into it yet, Pandemic Legacy is really amazing. Obviously the fact that you can only play through the campaign once will turn some people off, but my group is about halfway through (9 games), and it has been by far one of the best gaming experiences any of us has ever had.



I love Pandemic, but I love Pandemic The Cure more blush As you said, I am very intrigued with Pandemic Legacy, the legacy concept seems awesome to me, but I haven't taken the plunge to buy it because we only play games on weekends, sometimes every 14 days, and on those rare occasions we try to play through the collection and not play the same game more than three times in a row. Maybe next year, when my SO and I will finnaly have a place of our own and will be able to spend much more time together, Pandemic Legacy will hit the table
But for now, as I read through your responses, I think I'll stick with Pandemic The Cure (I heard Matt is working on an expansion) and in the future I'll probably get Flash Point, just to mix up the theme in my collection of co-op games. I am sure Pandemic Legacy will get its turn someday
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James Petersen
United States
Stanwood
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I kind of like Pandemic really love flashpoint. I have a lot of the expansion maps and it just makes the game that more fun.
 
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David G

Colorado
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I'm just getting into Flash Point, and think it's a wonderful game. Pandemic is one of my all time favorites, I don't think there's a more cleanly designed game. But I find myself playing Pandemic on the iPad, especially now that they have a few of the upgrades that make it more difficult. I can complete a game in under 10 minutes. Whereas I'll spread Flash Point across a couple small tables, and spend an hour on a game.

Bottom line - there's room in your collection for both games.
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