mike D
United States
Maryland
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SPOILERS for box 2 and June below...

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The three of us lost both games in February, but have been on a roll since. We started June with no rationed events. We had tried before to Recon Cairo, but could never get the cards. We had done Africa instead the previous month and that really opened up the board.

We chose not to immunize cities close to the havens and I am not sure if that is a good strategy or not. It wasn't working so well this game as we were searching Chicago and Frankfurt and doing other tasks. The infection cards were (Istanbul x2, London x2, Sao Paulo x2, Lagos x2, NY x2, Jacksonville X2, and a few others at one card each). We ended up with 3 plague cubes in London, 2 in Jacksonville, 1 in Buenos Aires, and 1 in New York. Basically we were doomed the next time we placed a plague cube which was about to happen soon. I reconed Cairo and something absolutely magical happened...

We opened box 2. Seriously when we started reading the information, we were thinking, "uh oh this isn't good." My wife was beginning to regret doing that recon. I finish up my turn by dropping supplies in Istanbul and heading back to Cairo. I draw my cards and I pull the epidemic. The card I pull is another Istanbul. That wipes away the supplies I just put there. Also there are no supplies in Jacksonville, London, and Buenos Aires. If any of those cards come back up, and odds were that they would, we would be toast. We shuffle in the Hollow Man stuff and draw the 3 infection cards. Sao Paulo, Lagos, and a Hollow man followed by Istanbul. We read the rules again and then went to BGG to see if we needed to draw another infection card. Nope! We had life. My son takes his turn and is able to give my wife the card she needs to build the last supply center. The 3 infection cards would decide the game. We drew Hollow men - London, New York, and Hollow men - Jacksonville.

Thank you Hollow men for saving our game! We thought you were going to be evil, but they were so nice. They even landed on cities that were going to lose population anyway.

I am not sure they are continue to be so helpful in future games, but we all had a good laugh about how the villains inadvertently saved the day.

2 cheers for the Hollow Men!

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Moritz Eggert
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We had the same experience - I think the Hollow Men are actually a design feature that helps the survivors, as otherwise it becomes increasingly impossible to keep the virus outbreaks at bay with fewer and fewer resources. We discovered them much later, though, and lost a couple of games on the way...
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Garry Rice
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Perkasie
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Our experience has been that the Hollow Men have generally made the game a bit easier since they've been in the game. We had three months leading up to their arrival where we would lose the first game of the month and then win the second game. Since the Hollow Men have arrived we have yet to lose (although there are other factors besides the Hollow Men).

I am curious to see how it will affect us now that we're in December and there are a considerable amount of Hollow Men cards in the infection deck...but we also have alot of epidemic cards so they will likely be concentrated in the same cities so if we build shelters in the worst offenders...
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mike D
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Well they got us in August. We had 3 scars from them appearing in cities where our pawns were located. Unfortunately we haven't found a way to mitigate this for all players.
 
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Garry Rice
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Dirk2112 wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Well they got us in August. We had 3 scars from them appearing in cities where our pawns were located. Unfortunately we haven't found a way to mitigate this for all players.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
We have been surprising fortunate with this - it hasn't happened more than once or twice - at which point our character with the ability to pull a player to him from an adjacent location has a new job when his turn rolls around...so far he hasn't been caught by it.
 
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Byron S
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Ventura
California
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garry_rice wrote:
Dirk2112 wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Well they got us in August. We had 3 scars from them appearing in cities where our pawns were located. Unfortunately we haven't found a way to mitigate this for all players.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
We have been surprising fortunate with this - it hasn't happened more than once or twice - at which point our character with the ability to pull a player to him from an adjacent location has a new job when his turn rolls around...so far he hasn't been caught by it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The coordinator(?) doesn't help with Hollow Men, since their trigger for exposure is leaving the location (even on someone else's turn), not starting your turn with them. If you're stuck in a city with Hollow Men, you either take the exposure, don't leave, or
Spoiler (click to reveal)
build a shelter.
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Garry Rice
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runtsta wrote:
garry_rice wrote:
Dirk2112 wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Well they got us in August. We had 3 scars from them appearing in cities where our pawns were located. Unfortunately we haven't found a way to mitigate this for all players.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
We have been surprising fortunate with this - it hasn't happened more than once or twice - at which point our character with the ability to pull a player to him from an adjacent location has a new job when his turn rolls around...so far he hasn't been caught by it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The coordinator(?) doesn't help with Hollow Men, since their trigger for exposure is leaving the location (even on someone else's turn), not starting your turn with them. If you're stuck in a city with Hollow Men, you either take the exposure, don't leave, or
Spoiler (click to reveal)
build a shelter.


You're correct...got it mixed up with something else...but remember you will almost always know where hollow men could appear. The hollow men cards don't get shuffled into the infection deck until after the first epidemic occurs, so you always know which cities are vulnerable with two exceptions. (1)If a hollow man card is the last card in the set of infection cards you just reshuffled and you are moving into new cards you haven't seen yet or (2) if the card you just took from the bottom of the infection deck right after an epidemic comes up immediately with a hollow man card.
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