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Subject: Best Version? Pandemic VS Iberia VS Rising Tide rss

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Cody Kunka
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Hi. I've never played Pandemic but keep seeing recommendations. Excluding the legacy games, which would you play if you could only get one?

I see Iberia has a higher score (8.1) than Pandemic (7.7). Also, I see that some people only play Pandemic with expansions. Rising Tide is newest and has a neat theme, but I'm not sure about the artwork and removal of the other colors for the cubes.

My initial instinct is to get Iberia for its improved artwork and value (not necessary to buy expansions).

Thanks for your help.
 
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Susan
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Hard to say with out rising tide being out.

Pandemic is my favorite game of all time (hands down), if I had to pick I would take Iberia.

I have a lot of friends who own vanilla pandemic, so it would be easier for me to play that with someone else's copy.

It's also somewhat limited release where as you can pick up vanilla pandemic on the used market pretty cheap.

You could even ask to borrow someone's old copy of pandemic legacy and peel off the stickers (I find they come off pretty easily).

I bet you can find someone to give you their old copy easy.
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Greg Darcy
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I cannot comment on Ring Tide, but of the other two, I would choose Iberia. Out of the box I think it plays better.

One downside is that there are quite a few expansions for vanilla that I don't think will work for Iberia
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M.C.Crispy
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My preferred ways to play Pandemic in meat space are (in no particular order):

Pandemic + Pandemic: On the Brink
Pandemic: Iberia
Pandemic: The Cure + Pandemic: The Cure – Experimental Meds

If offered a game of any of those I would never turn it down and I always carry Experimental Meds in my game bag
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Andreas Pettersson
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If forced to choose, I would choose regular Pandemic. It is a more straightforward and a clean design that plays smoothly. Also one of my personal favorites.

Iberia is a really good variation on the base game and is more of a gamers game. Also plays up to five players if that matters.

I have yet to play Rising Tide, so no tips about that.
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Justin V

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Two notes, first, I won't really rank Rising Tide. For now, it looks a little too unlike Pandemic to really slot into a recommendation of being the definitive Pandemic. It also isn't out yet. So I hope it turns out to be a great game but that is still to be seen.

Second note, prices for On the Brink are currently high, but it should be back in print soon so prices will become a little more reasonable.

If you have never played before I would suggest Pandemic. It is a nice game to play with beginners and the difficulty can be ramped up significantly right out of the box to be a challenge with experienced players.

If you find you really like it, On the Brink is the next logical step and is a fantastic addition that offers more challenge and some modular game play options.

However, if you know you like Pandemic already but only want one in your collection, I would say Iberia. Iberia has two additional module variants included with the standard game so amount to a little mini expansion right from the box that offers a couple different ways to vary the experience and add a challenge when the time comes.

So my list would be

Pandemic + OtB
Iberia
Pandemic with no expansions
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Marcel Stipetic
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When reading a book, I find it best to begin at chapter 1 (unless there's a prologue). I feel the same about Pandemic; best to start at the beginning with the original version. It sets a foundation for everything that comes afterwards. It allows you, if you enjoyed the original Pandemic, to build a story of sorts or at the very least, if you are into any of this, appreciate the evolution of this wonderful game.
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Kevin
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mccrispy wrote:


... and I always carry Experimental Meds in my game bag


I hope the authorities don't catch you with those!
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Woo-Hoo Gamer
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My recommendation is to...

1) Buy the Pandemic App - it's really well done.

2) Buy Iberia in physical form. I find the variants included the best way to experience the game in physical form, but that's just my 2 cents.
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Runcible Spoon
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Kunkasaurus wrote:
I see Iberia has a higher score (8.1) than Pandemic (7.7).


Those numbers need a lot of contextualization. There are numerous factors to think about with game ratings. None of these factors alone can account for differences in game ratings, but in aggregate they can explain some of the variation.

1. First Wave Enthusiasts

When games debut they tend to be taken up by the 'first wave enthusiasts', these are often the most exuberant fans who jump on the bandwagon early. They tend to rate games highly.

You can see this every year with Gencon and Essen releases (watch the major Essen release threads...you will see over the span of just 3-6 months many games will drop 1 or 2 full points from the time of release, going from an 8.5 as rated by the first wave enthusiasts and it will drop to 7.5 or 6.5 as the game is played by the wider gaming audience. You can see this effect over multiple years for hundreds and hundreds of titles.

And ratings will continue to drop for most games for even more reasons...

2. Rating Decay

The longer a game is on BGG, say like 5 - 10 years, the rating will go down...not up.

Go look at the Top 50 Games in Microbadges list that occurs at the end of the and you will see how many games rise quickly and then slowly over a period of years decline in their ratings.

You can also see this effect in the overall BGG Top 50 list.

Pandemic has been very slowly declining for a long time like many other great games...Iberia not as much simply because it has not been out as long.

3. Opt-Out Bias in Ratings

People who dislike one version of a game will often avoid playing and rating other games in the family. I don't like dominion. Played the base game, rated it, haven't played or rated the rest. This works for many gamers across many games.

Hated the base game of ascension? Did you go ahead and play all 10 (is it 10?) expansions (which can also be played stand alone?

For at least some gamers that disliked Pandemic it is doubtful that they all played and enjoyed Iberia. Some probably did, many probably did not.

4. Opt-in Bias in Ratings

People who liked the original version of a game are much more likely to try a subsequent edition of it. This is the flip-side of the opt-out. Who buys dominion expansions...people who like dominion. Who does not buy dominion expansions...people who don't like it.

5. Apples and Oranges

With a game like pandemic, as others have posted, it is highly modular in nature. I think Iberia is slighlty better than vanilla pandemic too. But it is just not anywhere near as good as base Pandemic when you begin to combine all of the myriad of expansions like On the Brink or State of Emergency.

Iberia was designed to be 1 - moderately exclusive (only 50000 copies made) and 2 aimed at people who are already fans of the base game.

Base pandemic is a little more gateway-ish, Iberia a little less gateway-ish.

Base Pandemic + Several Expansions modules, definitely in gamer territory.

Anyway, there are many more reasons that can be given to contextualize ratings but here is a starting point.
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Juzzo Hawkins
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WooHoo1 wrote:
My recommendation is to...

1) Buy the Pandemic App - it's really well done.

2) Buy Iberia in physical form. I find the variants included the best way to experience the game in physical form, but that's just my 2 cents.


I have to disagree with you on the App, although it is a brilliant production and it is everything pandemic is, it falls down when it comes to actually playing it. I find it impossible hard to follow and keep track of what cards everyone has, thus have lost it 90% of the time.

You also do not have any of the player interactions that you do with the physical copy(obviously).

My recommendation on the OP echoes a lot of others.

1) Pandemic + OtB
2) Iberia
3) Vanilla Pandemic

i cant comment of rising tides for obvious reasons. Mind you i wouldnt mind betting it will be in my collection soon!!whistlecool
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Woo-Hoo Gamer
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Misguidedbow wrote:
WooHoo1 wrote:
My recommendation is to...

1) Buy the Pandemic App - it's really well done.

2) Buy Iberia in physical form. I find the variants included the best way to experience the game in physical form, but that's just my 2 cents.


I have to disagree with you on the App, although it is a brilliant production and it is everything pandemic is, it falls down when it comes to actually playing it. I find it impossible hard to follow and keep track of what cards everyone has, thus have lost it 90% of the time.

You also do not have any of the player interactions that you do with the physical copy(obviously).


I'm not sure what device you're playing on, but via iOS the cards are all very easily distinguishable, at least for me.

Nevertheless, Asmodee Digital has stated that they're doing a complete overhaul / update of the app, which will hopefully land by the end of 2017. My hope is that other maps (Iberia, Netherlands, etc) and expansions begin to be programmed into it.

My recommendation remains with App for base Pandemic + OTB expansion and Iberia as a first choice for physical gameplay, but it's really ok to have differing opinions.

Edit: with next year being the 10 year anniversary for Pandemic, I'd consider Iberia now and a potential anniversary edition of base Pandemic next year. But again, that's just me.
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Juzzo Hawkins
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WooHoo1 wrote:
Misguidedbow wrote:
WooHoo1 wrote:
My recommendation is to...

1) Buy the Pandemic App - it's really well done.

2) Buy Iberia in physical form. I find the variants included the best way to experience the game in physical form, but that's just my 2 cents.


I have to disagree with you on the App, although it is a brilliant production and it is everything pandemic is, it falls down when it comes to actually playing it. I find it impossible hard to follow and keep track of what cards everyone has, thus have lost it 90% of the time.

You also do not have any of the player interactions that you do with the physical copy(obviously).


I'm not sure what device you're playing on, but via iOS the cards are all very easily distinguishable, at least for me.

Nevertheless, Asmodee Digital has stated that they're doing a complete overhaul / update of the app, which will hopefully land by the end of 2017. My hope is that other maps (Iberia, Netherlands, etc) and expansions begin to be programmed into it.

My recommendation remains with App for base Pandemic + OTB expansion and Iberia as a first choice for physical gameplay, but it's really ok to have differing opinions.

Edit: with next year being the 10 year anniversary for Pandemic, I'd consider Iberia now and a potential anniversary edition of base Pandemic next year. But again, that's just me.


Nice, im not saying your wrong, thats the great thing about opinions, they are all right.
but for me the App (iPhone) fell flat, i was actually dissapointed.


 
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Woo-Hoo Gamer
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gotcha - I use an iPad Air 2. Lots more real estate on the screen.
 
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Juzzo Hawkins
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WooHoo1 wrote:
gotcha - I use an iPad Air 2. Lots more real estate on the screen.


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Cody Kunka
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I ended up getting a new copy of Iberia for $30 on Amazon. I preferred the artwork, theming, and value (variants) over those of the original. The potential of a 10th anniversary edition of the original is a nice bonus too.

For Iberia without variants (moving patients and super diseases), four friends and I managed to cure 3 of 4 diseases on our first try of introductory. We lost by running out of player cards. I think we favored treating disease too much. I look forward to a rematch.
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Jill Gray
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I really appreciate your thread. I too am looking into making the leap for this game and had your same quandaries in mind. I am confused by your comment about the 10-year bonus for the original game. Could you please clarify what that means?
 
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Cody Kunka
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The 10th anniversary of the original Pandemic, which released in 2008, will be in 2018. A special edition with higher cost and component quality might be announced in similar fashion as other games, like Ticket to Ride:

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/160069/ticket-ride-10th-...

Also, here's a similar thread comparing the different games in the Iberia forum:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1747941/pandemic-pandemic-l...

Note: I've played several games of Pandemic (2008) on iPad and one game of Iberia. From first play, the mechanisms are very similar but have some differences. I suggest Iberia for its artwork/theme, but I like both.
 
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