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Pandemic: The Cure – Experimental Meds» Forums » General

Subject: Lots of new stuff in this expansion rss

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Geppo Muzzak
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Premise: I think Matt is a genius.

As you read the rules you basically realize that the game is brought from 7 to 15 characters and you're handed 2 to pick from, after the random selection, so your team may be assembled kinda in a way of your choosing.

The hot spot and the extra virus are 2 separate addenda that can be played independently or both together and some of the new event cards (which also double the initial asset of the base game) have persistent effects that last between the player's turns.

The purple dice have these -1 and x2 effects that basically change everything. The -1 forces you to pick a die from the infection bag and utterly remove it from the game. This alters the 4x12 dice totals, so if you're looking for a cure for that die, you have one less to sample, as well as one less to roll in the infection phase.


-1:
This has 2 effects: on one hand you will roll the other dice more frequently (because the initial 4x12 is now altered) and you must keep this in mind when "marking" the possible outbreak locations BEFORE the infection phase kicks in. On the other hand, if you've found the cure for the die you removed, the increase of % to infect with an uncured die is higher so your cured diseases you could take out with just one syringe are less likely to come out and you'll have a harder time to clean the others with 1 syringe each.

Considering the -1 may come up time and time again during the game (and possibly even during the same infection phase), I think curing the purple die first could be a winning strategy if not THE only winning strategy, depending on how the first infections evolve. Needless to say curing 4 diseases is something and curing 5 is a totally new challenge.

x2:
You're rolling 3 dice for this infection phase and you might end up rolling 4 and maybe even more. The purple dice definitely add flavor, unpredictability and difficulty. You can end up having an outbreak that was totally unaccounted for but...

... but luckily curing the purple disease looks less troublesome thanks to the x2 multiplier over the 13+ (or 11+) cure die rolls.

The green dice are something of a mystery to me instead. I simply can't visualize the gameplay with the hot zones so a gameplay review is really mandatory here.

I've taken a glance at the new roles and I'm curious about the archivist's magnifier die action. I seem to understand you can "sample" a virus in the treatment center that you or anyone else has already sampled. This means you can add the new sample to the player(s) who are already holding the same sample and they must lock a sample die to hold it while the archivist's magnifier die is not locked. Am I right?


The celebrity activist may turn an infection die (if it has stored a rolled $ die) into a + for the CDC before rolling it. It's not the same as the contingency planner's + which affects regional or CDC dies already on the board. Interesting because you may pick which die to turn into a + before infecting with it.

The epidemioligist has a double sampling die with which it may contain 2 samples (with one die).

I am most intrigued by the strategies to adopt with the field operative and the operations expert... but first I'd like your opinions on the Hot Zone challenge.

NOTE: I've spoken with CollecTOYbles when I pre-ordered this expansion. I think (correct me if I'm wrong) they're really the official distributors of PTCEM on Amazon. The release date is confirmed to be Nov16th but they specified it should be available 3 or 4 days earlier than that.

PS: I think Matt is a genius (and yes, I've already told him that).
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Maximiliano Sanchez de Bustamante
Argentina
Olivos
Buenos Aires
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I agree with you Matt it is a clever designer, but don't forget the invisible hand of Tom Lehmann. He co-designed most of the expansions for original Pandemic and co-designed The Cure as well.

I also agree in it is hard to visualise the hot zone dice only reading the rulebook without fooling around with the components. The purple infection dice are more straightforward.

Waiting patiently to grab this one.
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GShock112 wrote:
... but luckily curing the purple disease looks less troublesome thanks to the x2 multiplier over the 13+ (or 11+) cure die rolls.


I just confirmed the opposite actually.

Purple is hardest to cure of all the viruses in almost all cases.
It is occasionally easier than black and sometimes yellow when the total success chance is very low, all else being equal.

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Geppo Muzzak
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What's your PRE-ideas on the field operative and the operations expert?

I answered in the other thread about the probabilities to cure each disease... I don't know the breakdown on the purple die but if you do, yes, you can calculate it as opposed to the other die colors.

Sure the x2 helps but may not be enough... it's what happens when you draw x2 and -1 that REALLY changes things. You could really take an outbreak in a region with ZERO infection dice actually.
 
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GShock112 wrote:
What's your PRE-ideas on the field operative and the operations expert?


I think the Field Operative is a little overpowered and would be very advantaged in low player count games. It seems to combine many strengths and few weaknesses. For example it has the 2:6 collect sample chance of a Researcher or Scientist with equivalent treatment ability and arguably better movement. It has better collected sample carrying capacity and effectiveness while carrying samples than the Generalist since no dice are locked for the next turn. The only weaknesses I see are the empty infection bag risk if too many unnecessary samples are collected, and the limitation of rolling for a single cure each turn necessitating a little choosiness in collecting samples. The game can easily support one player who cannot give samples so I don't see this as too great a liability. Top Tier.

The Operations Expert seems to be equally effective people mover support role as the Dispatcher. They are very specialized support roles that offset weaker movement roles and would probably be critical in a Hot Zones game with multiple Transportation Lockdowns. I would not choose to play as either unless playing Hot Zones or with 4 or more players. The Celebrity Activist seems like a more fun movement support role than either of these also.

What do you think of the Troubleshooter and Archivist and Field Operative as a three player team? I think these guys will be MVPs.

 
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Geppo Muzzak
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I think the game was tested to be played with the setup rules in design... therefore they must have taken care to give a chance with ANY player combination, considering the NEW rules say you pick two cards and choose one. What's the total number of characters now, 7+8 right?

So we're basically looking at a 50%-50% to take a new role and a standard role cards upon the initial setup. Imagining a single player or a 2-player game (in both cases with 2 roles playing), chances to take 4 new roles are slim and that still doesn't solve the riddle of having 2 selected roles that cope well together. I think the big change here will happen with 3 or more players.

Yes the Field Operative appears to be one of those roles with high profile and just one drawback: the inability to transfer samples. It feels overpowered but when you think of it... that means once he starts collecting (and he has 2 jars) he's stuck with the samples until the cure is found (so he's more crippled than others when he has less action dice available). They made sure to make it his weakness: even the sample delivery card doesn't work with him, not to mention the ability to TAKE of the epidemiologist doesn't work with him.
The sample dice ARE locked (are you sure you have the latest version of the rules? The first one released, which I uploaded but were not validated, were replaced by a new version. Here it says clearly the sample dice of the FO are locked).

The OE is not as good as the Dispatcher at moving people. He does give them the option to move for free in the region he puts the center (and he moves for free afterwards) but these moves happen in other players' turns while the dispatcher's special power works at any time (plus, she has the helo). The player must first be or get to the operations center to move for free... the dispatcher can move him for free with the copter at anytime wherever the player is. Yes it's a good role with 3+ players as specified on the card... it's a VERY specialized role, only 1 syringe and 1 jar. The other syringe is "halved" by the plane. So he either boats or he wastes a syringe when flying. Again... if you follow the rules you might be forced to take a hard choice by picking this as one of the 2 cards in a 2 player game.

The CA, I agree, is more movement and support but the ability $ to change the rolled die into a cross before rolling is extremely important because she can control what die won't be infecting (i.e. I don't want a purple to kick in at the end of my turn or not that black die... if a 3 comes out there'll be an outbreak in East Asia). She has 2 syringes and can fly in company... very supportive indeed.

As of your last question... I've played so many games right now and ALWAYS with random roles that I think there is no strong-weak combo. Even if the dispatcher + containment specialist seem more powerful, it all depends on the die rolls. Even though the probabilities can be controlled (turn this red die into a cross so you decrease % of an outbreak at 6 OR take these 2 blue dice back to the infection bag so it's less likely black dice infect at the end of my turn), all characters have a different set of dice with which ANY action can come out and you don't have a pre-selected threat in a place or another.

What I mean is that any character may address one problem better than another but that costs you rerolls and they ALL have 1 biohazard face on their action dice.

I've lost games I didn't think I could lose and won games where I had rolled 3 biohazards at the very first action phase of the game. I don't think any combo of roles may increase or decrease chances of victory per-se... it's all about what goes on... what infections come, what event cards you shuffled from the deck, etc.

Not per-se but combos may be very helpful in SOME situations that's for sure. Until you find out that the dispatcher + containment specialist have cleaned everything but failed to roll a 4-die cure for the yellows for the FOURTH time in a row, the Treatment Center is full and the player rolls a biohazard that triggers an epidemic. That's the moment you regret not having taken the scientist.
I think this is why they made the rule on the random selection (with 2 cards now)... you need to have a non-too-specialized team in anything, according to me.

You understand my point? (4 failures in a row it was a catastrophe lol)
 
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GShock112 wrote:

Yes the Field Operative appears to be one of those roles with high profile and just one drawback: the inability to transfer samples. It feels overpowered but when you think of it... that means once he starts collecting (and he has 2 jars) he's stuck with the samples until the cure is found (so he's more crippled than others when he has less action dice available). They made sure to make it his weakness: even the sample delivery card doesn't work with him, not to mention the ability to TAKE of the epidemiologist doesn't work with him.
The sample dice ARE locked (are you sure you have the latest version of the rules? The first one released, which I uploaded but were not validated, were replaced by a new version. Here it says clearly the sample dice of the FO are locked).


Nope. Check the card, because his samples lock but his bottles do not.

"Whenever you Collect a Sample, put just the Infection die on your Role card, setting aside the spent [bottle symbol player dice]"

As opposed to placing the collected infection die UNDER the player die and locking both. His bottle symbol player dice is used to collect samples and is spent that turn, but available next turn I think. Like he just walks into the clean room to find a cure and scrapes the cure off his muddy boots.

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Geppo Muzzak
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Ahhhhh so he doesn't lock his dice but only the samples... interesting. I hadn't noticed that... it's written very precisely on the card but it can be misleading in the rules. Thanks for clearing that.
 
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