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Pandemic: The Cure» Forums » Rules

Subject: I have a few questions about the rules/abilities rss

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Geppo Muzzak
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I think the main problem here is that the abilities written on the cards are expressed in a much "compressed" way so there's a wide margin of interpretation and I wanted to share with you my point of view, interpretation and, eventually... variant. :-)

Researcher: it's pretty clear - give samples to anyone, anywhere he is in the world. Yet it is specified the researcher can do so anytime. This includes when it's not her turn (I fly there, give her the samples and she will give the samples to my intended target). The way I see it, the researcher can only give samples anywhere in the world during her turn. Here we have an active ability (in her turn) but the containment specialist has a passive ability (during the dispatcher's turn).

Contingency Planner: pretty clear as well - any + rolled is a die you can move from region or treatment center to CDC.

Medic: pretty simple too. These last 2 are basically abilities related to special dice other characters don't have. The medic treats as many dice as the syringes he gets on his action dice.

Scientist: I've seen many posts here about people playing the game with the Scientist able to "pass" her ability to roll a cure with 11+ (instead of the normal 13+) as long as the character who's rolling for the cure is in the same location. Honestly, I don't think this should apply and, in fact, I don't apply it. If you want the 11+ roll, you must give the samples to the scientist, not just go there where she is and use her bonus.

Containment specialist: here we have 1 ability and 1 special die. Nothing to say about the special die but I've read many questions about the ability, that is, as soon as the containment specialist enters a region, he can move 1 die of each color from the region to the treatment center as long as there's 2+ dice of that color in the region.
Everyone here says he's a great combo with the dispatcher because every time he's moved by the dispatcher he can use this special ability, which means, he's going to use it during the dispatcher's turn (using her ability to move anyone from her region to anywhere else in the world). I agree with this interpretation... in fact, I think the "problem" is with the dispatcher herself, as I'll explain.

Generalist: easy - 7 dice instead of 5 but ignores 1 biohazard if it's rolled.

And here's the Dispatcher:

* During your turn move other pawns in your region to any region for free.

It makes perfect sense to think that the dispatcher has her own air fleet around her. So, whoever is with her can be moved for free anywhere else (and this will trigger the containment specialist ability once he's moved somewhere).

Now I have a problem here... as I read a common method is to send someone somewhere with the special ability, then follow with a ship or a plane and send him again somewhere else. This effectively moves the containment specialist multiple times per round and while it surely is NOT specified there's a limit, I am using one:

During your turn move other pawns in your region for free. You can only move the same pawn once per turn.

The Helicopter action is somehow very shady in the way it's described.
Here we have an action you may or may not roll and this die can be used by the dispatcher to grab any number of pawns in a location to airlift them somewhere else (but only in the same location). Again this would trigger the containment specialist's ability. So you see, the helicopter comes to the "rescue" of the altered limitation of "one pawn can only be moved once per turn" but AGAIN, with multiple helicopters I ALSO limit this action to once per turn for the same pawn.
I think this is the way to also give value to the helicopter: if the dispatcher SAVES IT, any other player can use it during their turn (it becomes a passive action for the dispatcher to be used in someone else's turn), thus not needing to take the risk of rerolls if they need a plane on the action dice.

So, in summary:
Scientist only can roll 11+ for the cure.
Dispatcher may only move the same pawn once per turn with its abilities (both the native and the helicopter).
Researcher can only use her ability during her turn.

Your thoughts?
 
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Kevin B. Smith
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You start off talking about how the abilities are open to "a wide margin of interpretation". But instead of trying to interpret what is clearly written, you choose to substitute your own rules in place of the official ones. As you say, this entire post is about variants, not actual questions. As such, I have flagged it as belonging in the Variants forum.

I trust that the game designers have done enough testing to decide the exact powers that will be balanced. If you make the scientist slightly less powerful, and the dispatcher and researcher substantially less powerful, then it is possible/likely that you are throwing off the balance of the game.

If you are doing it because you specifically feel those roles are too powerful and are making it too easy to win, I would be interested in that argument. It seems that instead you find the official rules to be un-thematic?
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James David Romo
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I totally understand what you are proposing but why?

All the changes you propose limit what little interaction or agency you have when it isn't your turn. Scientist does nothing if it isn't his turn. Researcher does nothing if it isn't his turn. Contingency Planner *does*, but only once per turn (excluding the Airlift card). And what little utility the Dispatcher has is reduced even further.

Why would you want to do this? If you feel the game is too easy, then start the pegs further up.

If you feel the rules are vague then I disagree, and I feel most people play the game correctly (with the exception of overlooking the Scientist's ability affecting nearby players).

Everyone is free to play how they wish, but intentionally removing functionality from roles arbitrarily just doesn't make sense to me. If anything, some roles like Contingency Planner need a bit of a boost to be as alluring as Medic or Generalist.
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Geppo Muzzak
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I'm just trying to understand the logics behind the choice of giving each character those abilities, as well as why some people extended the interpretations instead of shrinking its meaning (without particular bias in either option on my part).

As far as I am concerned I ALWAYS make my own variants, it's one of the things I like so much with board-gaming... so I was looking to rebalance some roles that appear more powerful than others; it's not about how easy the game is (it isn't, even at standard level) but about limiting the powers of some characters so they are not more powerful than others when combined... that's because one may feel aggravated when the random choice of characters doesn't include those characters. Of course, it's an erroneous feeling because any ability is feeling missing when you need it and you don't have it.

It's mostly the dispatcher + containment specialist I think of rebalancing (he can be moved once by the dispatcher's ability and once more with the helicopter) but hey, even I play with and without these special rules (I decide on a game-by-game basis). When you move the containment specialist, then you reach him and then move him again, then reach him again, this feels "gamey".

As of the scientist, do you guys roll 11+ whoever is the character when in the same location of the scientist? That is definitely one of the interpretations I've seen that certainly is not written on his card. The card doesn't say anyone in the same region as the scientist can roll 11+ for a cure. Only the scientist can.
For the records the only playthrough I've seen with a scientist involved is the Epic Game nights with Nicky, Aaron, Dave and Lincoln and they certainly didn't use it. As I said, this is an interpretation I've never used but I did read about it here in the forums.

(have you noticed the scientist's card hasn't got the * written before the ability while all other cards do? Does this mean something?)

 
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Kevin B. Smith
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GShock112 wrote:
I was looking to rebalance some roles that appear more powerful than others;

Ok, that's helpful to know.

Quote:
It's mostly the dispatcher + containment specialist I think of rebalancing

The containment specialist can treat dice just by moving. That can be really helpful, but is useless if there aren't many dice out, or if he fails to roll transportation. Allowing the dispatcher to basically do exactly the same thing doesn't seem overpowered. The dispatcher still needs to roll the transportation, and there need to be multiple dice in multiple locations, for it to be worth doing. This seems no more powerful than anything else that other characters can do. Of course, that's just my opinion, and if you believe that's overpowered, I don't have scientific evidence to convince you otherwise.

Quote:
When you move the containment specialist, then you reach him and then move him again, then reach him again, this feels "gamey".

It seems like you're uncomfortable with it thematically, which might be shading your opinion about its power.

Quote:
As of the scientist, do you guys roll 11+ whoever is the character when in the same location of the scientist? That is definitely one of the interpretations I've seen that certainly is not written on his card.

The card says "Add 2 to the total of any roll to Try to Find a Cure in your region". It clearly says *any* roll *in your region*. So strictly speaking, it would apply to anyone's roll in the Scientist's region. Plus, if they really intended it to only work for the Scientist's rolls, why would they word it so awkwardly? Why not "Add 2 to the total when you roll to Try to Find a Cure", which would be much simpler.
 
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James David Romo
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GShock112 wrote:
...

As of the scientist, do you guys roll 11+ whoever is the character when in the same location of the scientist? That is definitely one of the interpretations I've seen that certainly is not written on his card. The card doesn't say anyone in the same region as the scientist can roll 11+ for a cure. Only the scientist can.
For the records the only playthrough I've seen with a scientist involved is the Epic Game nights with Nicky, Aaron, Dave and Lincoln and they certainly didn't use it. As I said, this is an interpretation I've never used but I did read about it here in the forums.

(have you noticed the scientist's card hasn't got the * written before the ability while all other cards do? Does this mean something?)



Yes, of course:

"Add 2 to the total of any roll to Try and Find a Cure in your region."

That says it affects the total of any Cure roll in your region. Note the word "any". What else would the word "any" mean in that context? The only way it could be more explicit is if it say "Add 2 to the total of any players' roll to Try and Find a Cure in your region."

The other character that doesn't have a bullet next to its ability is the Researcher.
 
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Geppo Muzzak
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There seems to have been some "allowance" considering the possibility a bad die roll can make things very hard from the beginning and, without the right characters, nearly impossible to save. The fact is that there is no right character because the abilities are counterbalanced by the action dice configuration.

Starting at the standard level, you get 3 infections per player. It means it's only a matter of time (excluding the crosses rolls) before you're overrun, unless you can take out (literally from the region and back into the bag) 3 infections per player turn. With 5 dice it's a hard predicament: you have the rerolls but also the biohazards.

The dispatcher's abilities (the helo is basically his ability "ported" to the other players' turns because he can airlift them from anywhere to anywhere) look like a "connection" with the bad roll chance and its impossibility to save the situation (you are overrun before you can do something about it).

The situation is very volatile, depending on characters and die rolls but I think the dispatcher and the containment specialist are the "connection" roles. I have been reading the victory % posted in the forums but I trust the DEVs and testers to have weighed everything before publishing this game.

I haven't kept a track record with/without standard rules... and ah... I can't wait for the expansion.

PS Do you always start from North America?

Sometimes I pick the starting location casually (I shuffle the regions, put them in the bag and the last one I take out is where all players start) and there's been times I've selected BOTH the characters AND their SEPARATE starting regions randomly.
 
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Fred Snertz
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FWIW there is a rolling-for-cure example in the expansion rules that makes it crystal clear that the Scientist affects everyone in the region.
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Geppo Muzzak
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Yes I've seen it and it surely is not coincidental.
Make sure to get the rules again because the very first release was updated and reuploaded on the ZMG website (there's in fact a 200kb difference with the new rules being bigger).

For some strange reason I find the purple die rules super easy but I can't visualize the mechanics of the green dice.

I have a track record now for the normal rules. With standard difficulty and totally random characters (2 characters) in solo play I am at 5w-2l.
 
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