Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
21 Posts

Pandemic» Forums » General

Subject: six players? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've never played Pandemic, but my group (of 6, usually) loves co-ops.

(Our favorite is LOTR LCG, but that only plays four.
Eldritch Horror is a close second, but the theme doesn't work for everyone in the group.)

I think it's time we picked this up. It's highly rated, and all of us are really attracted to the theme.

The last thread I saw on the subject of 6-player Pandemic went dormant in 2014. I'm not sure if expansions / developments since then have changed things.

According to the aforementioned thread, 6 players would be possible but only:
(1) with two expansions: ON THE BRINK and IN THE LAB;
and
(2) as 3 teams of 2-players each.

According to the same thread, there is an official 5-player fully cooperative variant made available by the publisher to be used with those same two expansions.

Is the information still accurate?
Are there other enjoyable ways to make Pandemic a 6-player game (ideally as fully cooperative, without having to break into teams)?

Thank you.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Hay
United States
Owensboro
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The information you have is accurate. If you want each player to play their own character, then it will only handle 5 as a full co-op. The game is fully cooperative, though, with no hidden information, so if one player did not mind just advising, they could contribute to the game without playing as a character.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ley
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
I've played 6 player with both expansions, but not as teams and I felt it still worked. The only down side was each person didn't get many turns but it was still fun. YMMV
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Dyer
United States
Playa Del Rey
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We play pandemic with as many players as we like. Limit the roles
to 4 or 5, and everyone argues about what each role should do each
turn.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
flag msg tools
I'm a sheep.
badge
A lovely, fluffy sheep.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Why would 6-player require two expansions? The base game alone provides enough roles, and adding just On The Brink or State of Emergency provides enough events (In the Lab alone wouldn't cut it, though).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If your goal is to play with 5 or 6 players individually, what expansions in particular would you recommend? Although many might suffice, might some work better with a larger group than others?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've dug a little deeper and have a couple of additional questions:

1/ the game's release (2013?) seems to include 6 roles. Why would I need an expansion then to play with 6 players?

2/ a problem with 6 players I've seen is the fact that the player deck will run out too soon. Would it break the game's mechanic to simply shuffle this deck 1x once it's used up?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
flag msg tools
I'm a sheep.
badge
A lovely, fluffy sheep.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Professor X wrote:
1/ the game's release (2013?) seems to include 6 roles. Why would I need an expansion then to play with 6 players?


Because the base game doesn't provide enough events. Whenever you play with 5+ players *or include any expansion content*, you're supposed to use 2 event cards per player.

Professor X wrote:
2/ a problem with 6 players I've seen is the fact that the player deck will run out too soon. Would it break the game's mechanic to simply shuffle this deck 1x once it's used up?


I'm pretty sure that it'd take most of the challenge out of the game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
TheNameWasTaken wrote:
Professor X wrote:
1/ the game's release (2013?) seems to include 6 roles. Why would I need an expansion then to play with 6 players?


Because the base game doesn't provide enough events. Whenever you play with 5+ players *or include any expansion content*, you're supposed to use 2 event cards per player.

Professor X wrote:
2/ a problem with 6 players I've seen is the fact that the player deck will run out too soon. Would it break the game's mechanic to simply shuffle this deck 1x once it's used up?


I'm pretty sure that it'd take most of the challenge out of the game.


Do event cards = player cards?

If so, wouldn't reshuffling the deck address issue #1?
As for issue #2, I understand that there are ways to make the game harder (setting a higher starting infection rate, for example). Couldn't this be calibrated so as to even out the benefit of going through the player deck 2x?

Sorry to be difficult here -'just trying to wrap my mind around this. Seems very doable.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ley
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
Events add cards to the player deck. I think the base game comes with 5 event cards. With expansions you add 2 per player. Thats 12 cards or 7 more than the base game provides. Doable but makes the game harder.

If doing six i would definately recommend using "in the lab". For one it adds theme. Plus with in the lab the most of one color you need in your hand is 3. Witn the base or on the brink you'll need 5. With 6 it would be very hard to cure the diseases because the cards are diluted among more players.

I think you can do it and have it be fun with base and in the lab.

I definitely wouldn't just resuffle the deck, that timer is typically how we lose. So you would be removing a significant challenge to the game, it wouldn't be the same game.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Invasion81 wrote:
Events add cards to the player deck. I think the base game comes with 5 event cards. With expansions you add 2 per player. Thats 12 cards or 7 more than the base game provides. Doable but makes the game harder.

If doing six i would definately recommend using "in the lab". For one it adds theme. Plus with in the lab the most of one color you need in your hand is 3. Witn the base or on the brink you'll need 5. With 6 it would be very hard to cure the diseases because the cards are diluted among more players.

I think you can do it and have it be fun with base and in the lab.

I definitely wouldn't just resuffle the deck, that timer is typically how we lose. So you would be removing a significant challenge to the game, it wouldn't be the same game.

This is very helpful - thank you
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Blasco

Brier
Washington
msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
The mechanic of the game is based on a timer, which is the deck of cards. Each player draws 2 at the end of their turn, so the more players you have, the fewer cards each person will draw.

There is a hand limit of 7, and you need 5 of each color to cure a disease (I can't speak to the expansions, I haven't played with any of them). Distributing cards between players is a challenge, because you both have to be in the same country as the card to pass it off to someone, and there is only one card for each country.

Inbetween every player turn, the diseases spread. When you play with 2 players, you each get more turns, but can't cover the board as well, and end up having to discard lots of cards to manage your hands (trying to get 5 cards of one color with a 7card limit). When you play with 4 players, the board is covered better, but there are twice as many rounds of the diseases spreading before a player gets their next turn. The challenge is trying to get cards to each person with a limited number of turns, while still covering the board.

With 6 players, the balance of the game would be off. You wouldn't have enough turns to gather the cards needed to cure each disease, and the board state will be so different from when you end your turn to when you begin your next, it would be nearly impossible to have any sort of plan. I think there are about 50-60 cards in the deck, so each player would have 8-10 turns max.

I'm not saying you can't try it, or that it wouldn't work, but the fundamental balance of the game would be way different than it's designed for.

For these kind of games, my game group has tried a bunch of times, and we've found that playing beyond the max player count ends up reducing the fun for everyone. We've ended up either breaking into groups for these games (when we have 6 we might play 2 three player games), or for co-ops, we'll play in teams. For Pandemic, we'd play as 3 two player teams, playing the 3 player version of the game.

The alternative that we've discussed but not tried, is to set it up like a 4 player game, and rotate turns/characters. Each time your turn comes around, you'd be playing a different character. It makes it more of a group strategy decision, which may or may not be a good idea for your group.

Pandemic is definitely a game that you should try (and Pandemic Legacy is the best gaming experience I've had in my lifetime), but I don't think you'll get the feel for what the game really is playing with too many players.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you.

And re: "Pandemic Legacy is the best gaming experience I've had in my lifetime" - wow
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kārlis Jēriņš
Latvia
Riga
flag msg tools
I'm a sheep.
badge
A lovely, fluffy sheep.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Invasion81 wrote:
I think you can do it and have it be fun with base and in the lab.


In the Lab only has 3 events and the base has 5 - that's a total of 8, not the 12 you need for a 6-player game. Base + ITL is definitely playable and probably very good, but not as a 6-player game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Finally question (I think):

With the 6 player, official team variant From In the Lab, does each player control his or her own individual character? Or do the team-mates share a single character?

PS: I'm thinking of picking up Pandemic + in the Lab. If we have 4 we'll play fully coop. If we have 6, we'll play the official team variant.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Ley
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmb
TheNameWasTaken wrote:

In the Lab only has 3 events and the base has 5 - that's a total of 8, not the 12 you need for a 6-player game. Base + ITL is definitely playable and probably very good, but not as a 6-player game.


Losing 2 turns makes it harder but not unplayable. I think the way you cure in ITL is the reason it becomes playable at 6.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Hansen
Australia
NSW
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Professor X wrote:
Finally question (I think):

With the 6 player, official team variant From In the Lab, does each player control his or her own individual character? Or do the team-mates share a single character?...

According to the rules, available from http://www.zmangames.com/downloadable-files.html, each team controls 2 characters, with the turns split up among them as the team sees fit.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Blasco

Brier
Washington
msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
Professor X wrote:
Thank you.

And re: "Pandemic Legacy is the best gaming experience I've had in my lifetime" - wow


I'll follow that up by saying regular Pandemic isn't even a game I like a lot. It's fine, but I'd be fine never playing it again. When Pandemic Legacy season 2 comes out, though, I'm getting it on Day 1.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Wolfpacker
United States
North Carolina
flag msg tools
mbmb
With 6 players, each player gets about less turn before the card deck runs out.

48 city cards + 6 epidemics + 2 events/per player - 2 starting cards per player gives a 54 card draw deck which is 27 total player turns

Turns Per Player (TPP)

2P: 13.5 TPP
3P: 9 TPP
4P: 6.75 TPP
5P: 5.4 TPP
6P: 4.5 TPP

If you want to equalize this back then make a mini draw deck of 12 cards with 1 epidemic, 3 random event cards from either discard or removed from the game, use the rest of the discarded city cards of uncured diseases, and the rest are random discarded city cards that are not research stations. I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds like it might work.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
culix _
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We played a houseruled six player game recently and it was fun. I was playing with a group of pretty casual board gamers and we just needed something easy to entertain everyone. I figured playing one game with 6 people would be more fun than having some people split off into their own game

We used the main game with all of the Epidemic cards and let everyone choose their role. Each player started with two cards.

Because four of the players had never played before we ignored the rule about losing the game if you run out of cards and just reshuffled the deck. Overall it was fun! Players got to move around the map, felt cool, and enjoyed using their special abilities. The Medic and Op Specialist coordinated a lot, and the Researcher and Scientist enjoyed collaborating as well.

Overall the game held up great and gave people a fun thing to play. It may not have been the biggest challenge for hardcore strategic players, but we had fun.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly Bass
United States
Venice
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
markblasco wrote:
...Distributing cards between players is a challenge, because you both have to be in the same country as the card to pass it off to someone, and there is only one card for each country.
Same city.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.