Matt C
United States
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So, it was a horrible weather day with sleet and freezing rain, which kind of trapped us at home. My wife was happy to play some Pandemic with me to try out the Hinterlands challenge... and that was as far as the happiness lasted. On with the show...


Dateline: 24 Dec 2017
Reporting From: CDC (Atlanta)

With many of its employees on vacation at the end of the year, the CDC was a bit short-staffed with only a Field Director (wife), Pharmacist (me), Researcher (wife) and First Responder (me) to stand watch against the fearsome zoonotic* diseases threatening the world. The Epidemic level was at Level 4, so it seemed like a relatively calm time for the team. However, the calm would soon change into a nightmare straight out of a pharaoh’s restless sleep**.

Things progressed at a slow pace due to sample data not getting back to the right people on the team (bad player card draws and being spread out due to high infection rates in EVERY zone - I shuffled the infection deck too effectively). The Pharmacist had a tough time helping to treat the infected masses due to not being able to send his precriptions to the local pharmacies (none of his player cards had infection cubes until after the red disease was already cured). He also made a poorly calculated move to visit the pig farms in Asia, which added a couple of turns before the black disease could be cured). It was a real struggle to get cures due to a lack of research stations and the need to dedicate attention to all four zones. The heroic team didn’t effectively use their zoological research (going to the Hinterlands to trade cards) due to being “green” when facing these new forms of disease.

Even after a concerted effort to stem the tide of infection in Europe and North America, the population succumbed to Mad Cow Disease and the team was left to wonder what went wrong.. and who was going to hire them after this fiasco.

*a disease which crosses between human and animal populations. Thank you to the real life lab scientist who reviewed State of Emergency for making me aware of the term!

**Biblical reference to the dream Pharaoh had about 7 fat cows and 7 skinny cows.

Dateline: 24 Dec 2017
Reporting From: CDC (Atlanta)

Fortunately, the preceding report was a hoax. We have received word that it was just fan fiction written by a disgruntled Archivist and Containment Specialist at CDC (my wife didn’t pick them in our random draw in the first game). We are now reporting the REAL news. Unfortunately, the outcome isn’t any better than the last report.

The team selected to face this new threat were a Medic, Operations Expert, Generalist and First Responder. The threat level was still 4 (Epidemics). While the Medic, Operations Expert and Generalist were effective in keeping the diseases at bay in the beginning, the First Responder seemed to be on a trip through LaLa Land, due to not being able to effectively use her ability and mainly focusing on exchanging cards. The team wwas able to effectively transfer data while visiting the different “farms”. However, the world fell into total chaos as Outbreak after Outbreak in South Anerica and Africa infected too many people, with the Swine Flu being the only disease cured.


Final Thoughts:

I won’t “review” this Challenge, as I intend on doing a full review of the expansion once I play all modules. However, I will say we enjoyed playing it as it certainly shakes up the dynamics of the game a bit. I will also post some strategy pointers from our initial play in the correct forum later.

One thing I am happy to report is that I am being cured of my “alpha gamer” tendencies. I did not interject opinions on my wife’s moves unless it messed up something I had set up previously or intended to do later with my Roles (mainly Sharing Knowledge). I just let her play, no matter the outcome of her decisions. I also avoided touching stuff on her turns

Until next time, get out there and save humanity!
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