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Subject: Are any of the games in the series better than the original? rss

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john m
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I really like the original, but there are lots of expansions, and I thought I saw at least one standalone (Iberia?). Is the original the best or should I invest in other ones too?
 
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Gabriel N
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In my opinion Original Pandemic is still the best game of the series, and you can add expansion to add lots of variety and replay-ability. However, other games in the series are great too and you might want to check them out if you really enjoy original Pandemic.
 
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Tyler B
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I only have On The Brink. It is more of the same game, with some variable flavor modes, more roles, more events, but basically the same game. It also has a semi-competitive mode where one person is playing against everyone else. This helps tremendously if you have someone in your game group that takes over the game (like me), because you simply make them their own team and they can no longer just play for all other people.

I don't have a ton to add other than I really like On The Brink. It's feels like more of the same game, but with more variety.

I don't have any other expansions so I am hoping others chime in to give you some good discussion points.

However, I would 100% recommend On The Brink.
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Runcible Spoon
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johnnyLikesGames wrote:
I really like the original, but there are lots of expansions, and I thought I saw at least one standalone (Iberia?). Is the original the best or should I invest in other ones too?


The original is the best when combined with some expansions (on the bring and state of emergency are especially good).

Given that BGG is very cult of the new-ish I won't be surprised if you get a lot of recommendations for pandemic legacy or Iberia, both are good games; one lacks replayability the other lacks expansions.

The Cure (dice game version) is a really good game, just a tick under the original though even with it's recent expansion.
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Nick Smith
Netherlands
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For me personally, the original by itself is a good game, not a great one. With the On the Brink and In the Lab expansions, however, it's a fantastic game, and still one of the best co-ops I've ever played. If we're being 100% honest, it really only needed the On the Brink expansion to get there, but the In the Lab one was also a great addition in my opinion both for the variety and the improved theme. (I have not yet felt the need to get State of Emergency)

For the other games, I haven't played any of them except Pandemic Legacy (which I'll come back to in a second). I do plan to play some of them eventually, but I have looked over the rules of the two newest (Iberia and Cthulhu) and while there are clear differences, I don't think any of the rules tweaks that have been made will have enough of an impact to offset the amount of content available for the original. That is, assuming your intention is to get only one. If you really like the system and don't mind having multiple similar games, I think it probably would be worth it to get one or two of them, though maybe not all of them.

For Pandemic Legacy, I actually liked it even more than Pandemic, but it is as much an experience as it is a game, so I don't actually think it's even worth comparing. If you like Pandemic, I would definitely recommend you try it. But I would never recommend you get it INSTEAD of Pandemic.
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Brendan Little
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For me:

Legacy > Reign of Cthulhu > Base + On the Brink + In the Lab
 
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Chris Broggi
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Southwick
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For me:

Legacy > Pandemic the Cure > Base + On the Brink
 
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Michael Tyree
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If you like Pandemic at all, On the Brink is a must. That expansion opens the game up sooo much without really changing the core gameplay a lot. I am personally a huge fan of In the Lab and recommend it highly, but I know some people don't like the additional fiddliness of the lab board. I feel it really brings out the theme, and isn't so much a step up in difficulty as much as an adjustment in action management. State of Emergency is good, worth a look but not an essential addition.

As for the variants/related games, Pandemic Legacy is a wonderful experience, but as previously stated, not an either/or choice. Fantastic game, but I wouldn't take it instead of regular Pandemic. Reign of Cthulhu is a different enough beast that I could see having both, but I can be bored with Lovecraft sometimes so it is a much more situational taste. Iberia is very nice for the way it thematically integrates the time period. Travel and cures are handled differently, the water purification mechanic is cool, and the two variants in the box are interesting. I would give a big thumbs up for Iberia. The Cure is a smart dice adaptation, worth a look but it does follow the typical pattern for a dice game based on an established game: Simplified set-up and play, quicker play, greater luck factor. That said, it succeeds in keeping the feeling of Pandemic and is a very enjoyable version of the game.
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Molokov (AU)
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The base game is the best place to start. Play it a lot first before getting anything else.

If you love it a lot, and have played it so much that you think you know the puzzle and how to win it with all combination of roles, then I'd look at an expansion (On The Brink first, then In the Lab, then State of Emergency). Each expansion has several small modules that you can add to the game to give it more variety or up the complexity.

If you're looking for a story-driven adventure to play with one group of friends for several months, then Pandemic Legacy will give you that. However, it is a one-and-done game (12-24 individual plays of the game) which you might knock out over a few weeks or months, depending on how often your group gets together. If you share the cost, it's definitely worth the money (and cheaper than taking the whole group to see 3 movies), and should be an experience you will remember.

The Cure (dice game) and Iberia are variants which I'd get if you love Pandemic and just want something more which is a little bit different. Iberia is the current new hotness and we're loving it - but we've played so much of the other Pandemics that it's a chance to try something new. (Reign of Cthulhu is probably good if you like Lovecraftian stories - but that's just not my favoured theme).
 
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David Goulette
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I will say that I just had my first game of Pandemic Iberia today and wow I love it! IMHO it is better than base Pandemic and I might prefer it to Pandemic + On the Brink because has two modular expansions to make it harder (very similar in feel to On the Brink but they are included in the base set!). For $30 at coolstuff this is great value for the money! Iberia is a step up in complexity from regular vanilla pandemic and really feels different.

I have read that Pandemic Cthulu is lighter. Havn't played.

Pandemic Legacy is one of my favorite games of all time so comparing that to other versions is almost unfair! But...

Legacy > Iberia > Pandemic + on the brink > Pandemic + in the lab > Pandemic.

My feelings right now. Haven't played anything else.
 
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David Goulette
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I would play base pandemic with new players, light gamers, etc. I would play Iberia with more experienced players of pandemic or games in general.

Glad I have both.
 
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Patrick Newman
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We actually have all of the expansions. I really like the hinterlands boards in SOE, and have basically incorporated them as part of the "standard" setup now. OTB is also fun to include, especially the virulent strain mode. ITL is a bit tougher to win with, so we don't play that one as often.
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PXR5
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scottishduck wrote:
I only have On The Brink. It is more of the same game, with some variable flavor modes, more roles, more events, but basically the same game. It also has a semi-competitive mode where one person is playing against everyone else. This helps tremendously if you have someone in your game group that takes over the game (like me), because you simply make them their own team and they can no longer just play for all other people.

I don't have a ton to add other than I really like On The Brink. It's feels like more of the same game, but with more variety.

I don't have any other expansions so I am hoping others chime in to give you some good discussion points.

However, I would 100% recommend On The Brink.


I'm agreeing with all of that just with the mention, that if you can commit to the amount of plays 12 - 24 then Pandemic Legacy is really really good. One of the best boardgaming experiences I've ever had and a 10 score for me.
 
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Ed Sherman
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I think all the spin-offs are better than I expected.

Pandemic: The Cure is a good dice adaptation of the original with some streamlining that makes it easy to pick up and quick to teach.

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu changes a bunch of stuff to make it an Arkham Horror/Lovecraft mashup that plays pretty well but I really think it's going to need an expansion to bring it into its own. I think it really needs more event cards/roles/elder one cards to really flesh it out.

Pandemic Iberia was the one that really surprised me. It makes it into a more "gamer's game" but still plays pretty well. We played it with two relative Pandemic newbies last game night and it still was pretty smooth.

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is another thing entirely. I still feel that our playthrough was one of my favorite gaming experiences ever (but you must gave a group that can commit to a campaign of 12-24 games).
 
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Robingtun H
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Ill throw this into the mix...

If you are a solo gamer then In The Lab is a must. As you get to play one character and the CDC rather than trying to play 2,3 or 4 different characters at once. The CDC also allows you to be able to switch characters during the game if you are at a research centre. Theres nothing like switching to the medic to eradicate a disease, or switch to the scientist to cure one quicker or one of my favourites switching to the field operative to mop up the purple virus. In The Lab is one of my favourite solo games. Nothing like saving the world against, mutation, virulant strain and with 7 epidemics in the deck.
 
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