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Subject: Pandemic Survival @ WABAcon 2017 rss

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Warren Adams
Mt Lawley
Western Australia
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At WABACon 2017 on 8 & 9 April 2017 I ran a Pandemic Survival Tournament.

In trying to put this event together I found there was not much information around about running it (Z Man/Asmodee were not able to assist). I was able to gather some information from several people that I found through various threads on BGG, who were prepared to share their experiences with an enquiring stranger. Apart from capturing what happened at the event, this session report is also for the benefit of anyone like me that is trying to research how to run a similar event. For this reason I have also included the set up at the bottom.

Pandemic Survival is an “extreme” version of Pandemic where twelve teams of two players compete to save the world. Their goal: to be the first team to find all four cures, or to be the last team still alive at the end of the game. In this tournament-style version of the game all teams started in the same position and faced the same problems: they all draw the same player cards; the Epidemics struck at the same time for all teams; every team has the same role cards. A game master called out the same Infection cards for everyone. The only difference was the decisions that teams made. Their strategic choices led each team in different directions, and only one strategy paid off in the end to lead to victory. Although teams were given some information, they never completely knew what the other teams are up to.

One of the challenges was having twelve copies of Pandemic to run the game. Borrowing the games was simple, adjusting the tournament to deal with the differing versions of the base game limited the range of player roles available to use.

SCENARIO - maybe you don't want to know it yet...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Your government is in turmoil. The funding for your operations has been cut and your team is paralysed by a government shutdown.
By the time your government comes to its senses and releases some funds, will it all be too late?

- To represent the lack of funding, each player may only take a number of actions equal to the number of counters they have.
- This means at the beginning of the game each player only has two actions.
- There is an additional action choice available, so players now have five to choose from
- The new action is Transfer Funds – you may transfer an action counter to another player. You do not need to both be in the same city to take the Transfer Funds action.
- Whenever your team reaches a space on the Infection track or the Outbreak track with counters - your government will panic and immediately release more funds for your operations. Players immediately distribute the new counters between themselves. If they can’t decide, then the current player determines the distribution. This gives the team more actions
- There is one more thing you can use your counters for – to buy an event card. At any time (except between drawing and resolving a card) you may use a counter to buy an event card. You will lose that counter and the action it represents.
- Airlift and Government Grant – work as they normally do; One Quiet Night - used to ignore one infection phase (it still happens, one team ignores it); Resilient Population – used to make one city resilient for the rest of the game. The moderator marks this city on the player board.
- See Team Set Up, Organiser Set Up and Scenario Set Up at the end of the thread.

Because of the different versions of the game being used, the choices of roles was restricted to Dispatcher, Medic, Researcher and Scientist. The two roles randomly drawn to play were the Medic and the Researcher. Players then chose who would play each role.

The first player named was the Medic, the second was the Researcher. The first player(*) was the player with the highest populated city in their hand of cards.
Team 1 - Ben, Mike*
Team 2 - Amy, Adrian*
Team 3 - Richard, Steve*
Team 4 - Oliver, Nyssa*
Team 5 - David, Zoe*
Team 6 - Andrew, Martin*
Team 7 - Leah, Mal*
Team 8 - Ian, Sarah*
Team 9 - Caroline, Shaun*
Team 10 - Thomas, Tash*
Team 11 - Owen*, Roger
Team 12 – Steve, Jasmine*

Three: Jakarta, Atlanta, Manila
Two: Istanbul, Santiago, Kolkata
One: Cairo, Hong Kong, Buenos Aries

This is similar to a normal game of Pandemic.
- Player One takes their turn.
- Player cards are drawn from a central deck and player gathers matching cards from their game (unless an Epidemic is drawn).
- Infection cards are drawn from a central deck to apply to all games.
- Player Two then takes their turn in a similar way.

Each player turn is listed below. Odd numbered turns belong to player one, even numbered turns belong to player two.
Turn One

- Event Card: Team 5 (T5) bought Government Grant and placed a research station in Tehran
- Infections: Riyadh, Khartoum
Turn Two
- Infections: Beijing, Montreal
Turn Three
- Infections: Madrid, Mexico City
Turn Four
- Epidemic: Seoul
- Infections: Hong Kong, Jakarta
- Outbreaks: T1, T2, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T11
Turn Five
- Infections: Mexico City, Madrid
- Event Card: T11 bought Government Grant and placed a research station in Tehran.
Turn Six
- Infections: Riyadh, Seoul
- Outbreaks: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T9, T10, T11, T12
Turn Seven
- Infections: Taipei, Karachi
- Event Cards: T6 bought Government Grant and did not use it immediately. T11 bought Resilient Population and used it in Manila.
Turn Eight
- Infections: Cairo, Atlanta
- Event Card: T3 bought Government Grant and placed a research station in Seoul.
- Cure: T5 cured the black disease
Turn Nine
- Infections: Manila, Khartoum
- Cures: T1, T2, T3, T6, T8, T9, T10, T12 cured the black disease
- Outbreaks: T5, T9
- Event Cards: T4 bought Government Grant and placed a research station in Delhi. T5 bought One Quiet Night and did not use it immediately.
Turn Ten
- Infections: Montreal, Istanbul
- Event Card: T11 bought Government Grant and placed a research station in Delhi
- Cure: T11 cured the black disease
- Epidemic: Los Angeles (disappointingly did not lead to any outbreaks)
Turn Eleven
- Infections: Riyadh, Khartoum
- Cures: T3 (2), T8 (2), T10 (2) cured the blue disease. T7 cured the black disease.
Turn Twelve
- Infection: Seoul
- Outbreaks: T2, T5, T11, T12
- Infection: Jakarta
- Outbreaks: T4, T7
- Elimination: T9
- Eradication: T3, T10 eradicated the black disease
Turn Thirteen
- Infections: Hong Kong, Los Angeles
- Outbreaks: T1, T2, T3, T5, T6, T7, T8, T10, T11, T12
- Event Card: T3 and T12 bought Airlift and used it to go to a research station. T2 bought One Quiet Night and did not use it immediately.
- Cure: T12 cured yellow (2)
Turn Fourteen
- Infections: Madrid, Cairo
- Event Card: T2 bought Airlift and used it
- Cures: T1 (2), T10 (3) cured the blue disease. T11 (2) cured the red disease.
Turn Fifteen
- Infection: Manila
- Double Outbreak: T5
- Infection: Istanbul
- Triple Outbreak: T12
- Event Cards: T1 and T7 bought Airlift and used it to go to a research station.
- Cures: T2 (2), T5 (2) cured the blue disease. T4, T7 (2) cured the yellow disease. T7 (3) cured the blue disease.
Turn Sixteen
- Infection: Mexico City
- Double Outbreaks: T1, T2, T10, T11, T12
- Outbreaks: T11, T12
- Infection: Atlanta
- Cure: T4 (2) cured the blue disease. T2 (3), T3 (3), T8 (3), T12 (3) cured the red disease.
- Event Cards: T7 bought Airlift and did not use it immediately. T7 bought One Quiet Night and did not use it immediately. T2 bought Resilient Population and used it in Los Angeles.
- Epidemic: Tehran
Turn Seventeen
- Infection: Hong Kong
- Outbreaks: T1, T8, T10
- Infection: Jakarta
- Outbreak: T4
Turn Eighteen
- Infection: Manila
- Eliminations: T1, T5, T8
- Double Outbreak: T10
- Cure: T2 cured the yellow disease (4) to win the event

Yes, Team 2 won a copy of each game!

Team Set Up
One of the really good things was that all players were familiar with the game so were able to assist with the set up.
- Each team occupied one end of a table, using the box lids as a barrier
- Normal board set up - infection and epidemic marker, Atlanta research station
- Cards
- Return the epidemic cards to the box – this will be done centrally for all teams
- Set aside the role cards
- Remove event cards from the player deck; Return Forecast event card to the box; Display Airlift, One Quiet Night, Government Grant and Resilient Population beside the board.
- Sort the player deck into cities of each colour. Teams will be advised what the initial four cards of each player will be. After each turn, cards will be drawn centrally for all teams, teams will then take the matching cards from their own decks

Organiser Set Up
- Use one player deck
- Remove all the event cards
- Take eight cards (2@4) from player deck, these will be the player start cards
- Prepare deck with four epidemics (this deck is used to draw cards for all players). Four epidemics was considered sufficient as al the event cards had been removed from the deck, shortening the deck.
- Set aside the roles - two roles will be randomly selected for all teams from Dispatcher, Medic, Researcher, and Scientist. Operations Expert removed due to changes in role between versions of the game and other roles that were not in the base game were removed.
- Player hand...take the eight cards (2@4) set aside from the player deck; Advise each player what their four cards are, have them secure the cards from the sorted decks set aside
- First player – the person who has the city card with the biggest population
- Roles...draw two player roles and advise the teams; Players collect roles, place tokens in Atlanta and decide who is playing what role; Remaining roles are returned to the box
- Toronto/Montreal will be interchangeable depending on the version of the game used
- Player hands are played open
- No writing down information
- Moves will be time limited - there is a pandemic after all. Each player will have 75 seconds to make their move, each player will have twice that time for their first move
- Shuffle the infection deck

Scenario Set Up
Spoiler (click to reveal)
- Infections – draw cards and have cubes added to the board. Three cities with three infections; Three cities with two infections; Three cities with one infection.
- Each team has 14 counters. Players take two counters each; Add two counters to the last space marked 2 and to the last space marked 3 on the Infection track; Add two counters to the spaces marked 3,5,7 on the Outbreak track

Thanks to people who gave me their games to use, Andrew for his assistance with running the event, and to Pixie for her recording of what happened.

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The Cheng Meister
Western Australia
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I dislike the normal Pandemic BUT ...
this format and restricted actions was awesome. Loved the tension that it brought up and knowing that others were facing similar crises added to the excitement.

Well run and well done!
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Oliver Searles
Western Australia
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Was a great event. Had fun.

Thanks for organising
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Matt Leacock
United States
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Wow, looks like fun! I've never seen Government Shutdown used in an event like this before.
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