BobbySoFamous .
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Pandemic Dominator helps players maximize their game of Pandemic Legacy (and vanilla Pandemic too). It remembers all the Infections that were drawn and roughly what order you can expect them to return. It also visually shows where you are in the Player Deck and how likely an Epidemic will be drawn next. The app tracks the number of each color player card left and how many turns are left in the game.

Here's a video showing a walkthrough of the app on the iPad.




Here's a link to download the app on the App Store:

http://bit.ly/pandom

Some will think that this app is unnecessary or that it takes fun away from playing. This app isn't for those people. This is for the obsessive types who love to maximize their results and work with all the knowledge available. It's especially helpful for Legacy, where every move has long term consequences.
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Greg S
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When you sit down to a game of chess, do you boot up a chess app and consult it during gameplay? No? Me either. I suspect the audience for this app has been way over-estimated. whistle

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BobbySoFamous .
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I would agree with you for casual gameplay. In my neck of the woods, Legacy is not casual. We have fun but we take it seriously and take time to think about our moves, even though I guess it might be fun to just do whatever with your turn.
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ted anderson
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I feel this type of app completely defeats the purpose of playing a game like Pandemic. Most of the fun in co-op gaming is the not knowing of what comes next and having to deal with that situation. This sort of thing also feels like it appeals to those video gamers who would sit with a strategy guide in one hand and the controller in the other, just reading where to go next as they play through the latest Legend of Zelda title or other game that rewards exploration. If you need to get this much help while playing a board game then maybe you're in the wrong hobby.
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Carl Bussema
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Hmm. Yeah, I mean, our group uses the shortcut of stacking the cubes in a city when you draw it from the infection deck, then unstacking everything during an epidemic. 3 cubes, stacked = dangerous; 3 cubes, unstacked = critical FIX NOW. That's just a shortcut for looking through the discarded infection cards (which as far as I can tell is legal). Remembering whether a city has a cube because you already saw it once, or because of an outbreak in an adjacent city, or [any other reason that may or may not exist in legacy] is just part of the challenge of the game. We definitely take a minute before we shuffle during the epidemic to look at what's in the discard... "OK, LA and Miami are in the discards and have 3 cubes each. Atlanta has 3 cubes but isn't in the discard, so we have a few turns and can prioritize the other two." I think actually tracking it with an app, though... seems a bit much.

(Yes, you can't stack one cube. You also really don't care most of the time. If you're thinking about treating a 1 cube city, you either have nothing better to do with an action, are trying to eradicate, or are desperate to reclaim cubes because you're in danger of running out. Maybe in the 2nd case you might hold off if the card is still in the deck and you wouldn't complete the eradication this turn, but in that special case, just look through the discards. And yes, in Legacy, there may be other reasons this doesn't work as well, but I'll never tell!)
 
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Carl Bussema
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Also, how do calculate Epidemic risk? (I have no iOS device to test.) Does it assume or take as inputs:

# of players (changes # of starting cards dealt out before shuffling in epidemics)
# of events (variable in legacy, variable in base + expansions from number of players)
evenness of piles / which pile(s) get extras

That last one really makes a difference. I suppose if you're the group who's going to use this app, you're probably obsessive enough to make sure the piles are as even as possible, but do you prefer the extra cards in the early stacks for an easier start, or in the later stacks to give you breathing room when things get messy?

A group that plays "just eyeball it" and winds up with one deck 5 cards off is going to have a much different epidemic risk.

If you assume "all piles are either X or X+1 cards," and control for # of players and events, you could actually display the two percentages for players who really want to know....
 
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Anthony Davies
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On one hand, I do see the point of this app, on the other hand, it isn't really something for us.

The way I see it, the app is basically doing the hard work of what is already available within the confines of the regular rules. I know for a fact that the infection discard pile, player discard pile, and number of epidemics is all open information.

Sooo... theoretically, someone could look at the discard piles, backtrack to figure out how many cards are left in the draw piles, and do run some statistical analyses. This would be completely within the bounds of the rules. But this would completely ruin the game by turning a 45-90 minute game into a 2+ hour game. I like the idea of having the app so that it doesn't become a bother during the game. However, I would fathom that 90% or more of Pandemic players don't bother with that kind of mental exercise, other than being cognizant of what infection cards are at risk of being drawn.
 
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BobbySoFamous .
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To me, Pandemic is not about remembering which cards were drawn in what order. That doesn't take any amount of skill, just dumb memory. I'm happy to have an app do the menial labor, rather than go through the discard pile or stack cubes.

The most fun part of Pandemic for me is prioritizing crises and figuring out the optimal actions (often several turns in advance). This is easier when you have all the information readily available in a clear format.
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Clyde W
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moremonkeys138 wrote:
I feel this type of app completely defeats the purpose of playing a game like Pandemic.
No way, this app just helps you play what is effective Probability: The Board Game. Ain't no shame if you use it.
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Justin
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InfoCynic wrote:
That last one really makes a difference. I suppose if you're the group who's going to use this app, you're probably obsessive enough to make sure the piles are as even as possible, but do you prefer the extra cards in the early stacks for an easier start, or in the later stacks to give you breathing room when things get messy?


First edition of normal Pandemic had in the rules to put the larger stacks on top. I don't know if that made it into either the reprint or Legacy, but I suspect it is there.
 
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Clive Jones

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Vasher wrote:
First edition of normal Pandemic had in the rules to put the larger stacks on top. I don't know if that made it into either the reprint or Legacy, but I suspect it is there.

Step 6 of the Pandemic Legacy rules for setup say to put the smaller piles at the bottom.

This is clearly a rule change from the previous instruction to put the larger piles at the top. (-8
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Clive Jones

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moremonkeys138 wrote:
I feel this type of app completely defeats the purpose of playing a game like Pandemic.

People are different.

When we play Pandemic in any of its guises, we're paying attention to all that information anyway, so automating it would just be a convenience. Paying attention to what's where in the infection deck/discards, and how soon the next Epidemic might be, are critical to playing well.

In Pandemic Legacy, from the start of May onwards there's something else to keep track of which is equally important. (We used some spare tokens.) I'm guessing this app has to avoid spoilers, so doesn't help with that...
 
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Carl Bussema
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clivej wrote:
In Pandemic Legacy, from the start of May onwards there's something else to keep track of which is equally important. (We used some spare tokens.) I'm guessing this app has to avoid spoilers, so doesn't help with that...


May spoilers
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Just put the discarded CoDA player cards face-up in a separate pile from the other discards. If you're looking at a city and saying "can this possibly get a CoDA before my next turn" and you know the infection card is in the discard (and you just had an epidemic, so you're probably safe on that front...) you just need to look at those discards and see if it's in there or not. With only 12 cards, it's not that hard to figure out.
 
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Clive Jones

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Spoiler (click to reveal)
Oh, agreed. But my point is that if the app is assuming the only dangerous cities are ones not seen since the last intensification which contain three cubes, and ones outbroken into which have never been seen in the infection deck, it will overlook cities that have received Accelerated Incubation but never been seen in the infection deck.

There are ways to keep track of that. You keep the cards separate (what do you do if a player re-acquires the card from discard?); we used the now-spare C0dA cubes to track where Accelerated Incubation had occurred.

Whatever, it's something that app can't do for you.
 
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Robert Crawford
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It seems like the Epidemic Risk should provide an actual percentage between 0% and 100%. When we play (Legacy), we're very aware of which of the 5 sections of the deck we're currently in, so we know that the first turn has exactly a 1/5 chance of hitting an epidemic, for example; and then after we do hit the epidemic, if we're not at the end of that part of the deck yet, we know how many turns we have until there's a chance at an epidemic again.
 
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BobbySoFamous .
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How are you aware what end of the deck you're on? Do you keep a tally on paper, or someone just remembers a count? This app is designed to take that responsibility off of someone.

I've had the % recommendation before but in order for that to be accurate the players need to A) Split the decks perfectly evenly, which the rules don't say to do (something like put the decks with the higher amount of cards first) and B) There has to be an even number of cards.

Absent those two scenarios, the % will be off and there will be times when someone has a 0% chance of drawing an Epidemic and then they'll draw it and blame the app.
 
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Robert Crawford
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BobbySoFamous wrote:
How are you aware what end of the deck you're on? Do you keep a tally on paper, or someone just remembers a count? This app is designed to take that responsibility off of someone.

I've had the % recommendation before but in order for that to be accurate the players need to A) Split the decks perfectly evenly, which the rules don't say to do (something like put the decks with the higher amount of cards first) and B) There has to be an even number of cards.

Absent those two scenarios, the % will be off and there will be times when someone has a 0% chance of drawing an Epidemic and then they'll draw it and blame the app.


We just remember it. I'm pretty sure the rules do require you to split the piles evenly. The rule about larger piles on top is for when there isn't a multiple of 5 cards. So if you have 47 cards (4 players, 2 events), then the top 2 piles will have 10 cards each, while the bottom 3 will have 9 cards each. The app could calculate this percentage easier than a person tracking it.
 
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Carl Bussema
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Or the app could make it an option, like "Enable exact percentage. Requires you to split the piles as evenly as possible, and place larger piles on the top." I mean I don't care, I'm still not using this, but I think the person who WOULD use it would want the exact percentage.
 
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Robert Crawford
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BobbySoFamous wrote:


I've had the % recommendation before but in order for that to be accurate the players need to A) Split the decks perfectly evenly, which the rules don't say to do (something like put the decks with the higher amount of cards first) and B) There has to be an even number of cards.


Found the relevant rules (from original Pandemic, latest edition):

Quote:
Divide the remaining player cards into face down piles, as equal in size as
you can
, so that the number of piles matches the number of Epidemic cards
you are using. Shuffle 1 Epidemic card into each pile, face down. Stack these
piles to form the Player Deck, placing smaller piles on the bottom.
(Emphasis mine).

So you definitely are supposed to have the exact same number in each pile, with the exception that piles on top may have 1 card more than the piles on the bottom. Knowing exactly how many cards there are in each section of the deck; and how many you have gone through so far, is actually an important part of the strategy.
 
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Clive Jones

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That's also what Step 6 in the Pandemic Legacy setup instructions say.

Read the rules, people! I know there are sixteen pages of them, but every single word is important.
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Robert Stewart
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You can also figure out where each packet will end as soon as you know who the first player will be. That tells you exactly when you need to start worrying about each subsequent epidemic.
 
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cheipaz geimur
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i don't think i've ever won a game of Pandemic where looking at the Infection discard pile & keeping track of what is likely re-appear during the infection phase (for knowing when/where to cure, use One Quiet Night, etc.) was not critical to our victory

IMO using an app to do this isn't much different

whether you remember in your head, write it down with a pen & paper, or use an app is all the same thing to me
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Dean L
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BobbySoFamous wrote:
How are you aware what end of the deck you're on? Do you keep a tally on paper, or someone just remembers a count? This app is designed to take that responsibility off of someone.

I've had the % recommendation before but in order for that to be accurate the players need to A) Split the decks perfectly evenly, which the rules don't say to do (something like put the decks with the higher amount of cards first) and B) There has to be an even number of cards.

Absent those two scenarios, the % will be off and there will be times when someone has a 0% chance of drawing an Epidemic and then they'll draw it and blame the app.

I'd be amazed if there were players hardcore enough into Pandemic to want to use an app like this, but casual enough that they didn't deal out cards into even piles at the start...
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Clive Jones

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Gosh. I'd never thought of paying attention to what cards were where when playing Pandemic as "hardcore" before.

I know there are people who don't, and therefore fare badly, but I'd assumed they were a minority and what you call "hardcore" is normal.
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Dan B
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Doesn't this comepletely take away from the spirit of Pandemic?
I mean, Pandemic is not really a game about maximizing wins. I have always said that half the fun of Pandemic is losing. Lost games can be some of the most memorable (as odd as that may seem to some)

Its often considered a puzzle game. Having a machine complete a puzzle makes the "puzzle" part redundant.

I get that there are competitive types out there. People who dislike losing. And i get that this is for people like that. But if you are using it to win, you are missing the point.
In fact, i would argue that you are missing the point of gaming in general.(Just my opinion)

Sure, dont aim to lose, try your best and try to win.

People can do whatever they want. I am not trying to tell anyone not to use this. If this makes it fun for you, go ahead. I am just trying to point out that i think you are missing the point. and yes, i know, i keep saying that but thats because i think you are. especially when it comes to Pandemic. Whether its vanilla or legacy.

Once again, this is just my opinion.
 
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