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Gerald Butler
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This is about the Broken Link sticker and Package 6:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The text says "After discarding this card, any player may discard a Player card to stop drawing Infection cards for the rest of this turn."

So the way we're interpreting this is that it's reusable. In other words, once the Infection card with that sticker gets drawn and discarded, from that point until the next Epidemic (when the discards are put back on the Infection deck), you can literally skip every player's Infect step as long as someone discards a Player card on each player's turn.

If the above is correct then this ability seems insanely strong, especially given that these two stickers only cost 1 upgrade point apiece. We play with 4 players and always seem to have a glut of cards that are not needed, and make heavy usage of the Builder only needing 3 cards due to an upgrade, with everyone else just feeding him cards and managing supply. So if you've already trimmed down your Infection deck via Package 6, you have a very high chance of having this sticker in your discard pile. We happened to draw this sticker very early in a recent game, and completely dominated it by a wide margin. Now we put the other sticker on and presumably will be able to skip the majority of Infections for the rest of the year, barring of course changes in gameplay mechanics that invalidate this strategy. And granted we only have gone one game with this so maybe we'll find ourselves short on cards we're willing to discard.
 
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mike D
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This is how I understood it:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

Let's say it is your turn and you are drawing 3 infection cards. You draw that card first and discard a city card. Now you don't have to draw the other 2 cards.

Now it is Sharon's turn. She would infect 3 cards as normal.

Now it is Brian's turn, he draws an Epidemic. After he pulls the card from the bottom, he reshuffles the discarded infection cards, and pulls the card with the Broken Link on it. Someone can discard a card again to stop the next 2 infections.


With that said, I don't think the ability is great at all. If you draw it as the last infection card (3rd in the scenario above), it does nothing. Also because it is only on one or 2 cards, how often will it come up? I think there are better uses for your production points.
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Jeff Hannes
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Mike's answer is correct... This ability only takes effect when the card is DRAWN, either from the top or bottom of the deck.

Even though it doesn't always hit (when drawn as the last infection card draw of your turn) we've still found this to be a very useful upgrade -- at times a game saver -- and it comes up more often than you might expect, especially if you keep your infection deck lean by removing cards with abilities like Lockdown.
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Ray Taylor
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I agree with Mike in how it works and disagree with him that it is not very good

If you have a small infection deck it can be a game changer at the end of the game, well worth 1 xp imo, someone discarding cards early game can also be useful as you can't discard by choice.

P.S. it would be completely broken if it worked how you thought it did
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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I also agree with mike about how the ability works and disagree about its strength. Coupled with Package 6 you get to draw that card pretty often,
Spoiler (click to reveal)
spoiler for Cairo recon or later game months
Spoiler (click to reveal)
and it works with city cards drawn off of Hollow Men Gather
which means the trigger condition will be beneficial 1/2 to 2/3rds of the time, based on the Infection rate.

Once you have two in deck it will save you close to an average of one cube
Spoiler (click to reveal)
or Hollow Man, which is worth even more
per Epidemic cycle, and a bit more in late game (where it matters most).
Spoiler (click to reveal)
And eventually you get access to a third one too.


All for 1 production per.
 
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Gerald Butler
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Quilzar wrote:
P.S. it would be completely broken if it worked how you thought it did


Yes, the game is definitely broken this way even with just one of them in play. That's why I looked into it, because it seemed way too strong given its minimal cost. Everyone's interpretation makes sense, especially now that I think of the actions in terms of "The act of discarding this card gives you the option for THIS turn". The way we were reading it was more like "When this is discarded, players can use this option on THEIR TURNS" which would imply it could be reused without being re-discarded.

Thanks everyone! It's the only thing we've been confused on all the way through May. The wording in this game is significantly more clear and unarguable compared to Seafall which was our previous Legacy game
 
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Ray Taylor
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Worth noting that the general consensus is that you can't choose to discard a card if you draw it as the last card of the infection step (which could be beneficial).
 
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Joe Peterson
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Agree with the rules interpretation (by Mike) and also feel it is a terrible card. It is useful after very close together epidemics, after the last epidemic, and when you are very close to the win. In every other case it is making your next intensify step much worse. You don't want the infection pile to be smaller for the next epidemic. It is deceiving because it gives you a brief benefit at a later (higher) cost.
 
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Ray Taylor
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jeep wrote:
In every other case it is making your next intensify step much worse. You don't want the infection pile to be smaller for the next epidemic. It is deceiving because it gives you a brief benefit at a later (higher) cost.

A lot of people really like One Quiet Night, I really don't for exactly that reason (I much prefer forecast), Broken Link is different though as you are actually increasing your chance of drawing Broken Link again.

Also, you can choose to NOT do it (we did once as we wanted a thicker infection deck).

In our campaign, it did a lot of work and completely saved at least one game, being able to get an important card into the discard pile early on was very useful as well.

For 2 XP for both I think it saved way more than the 2 population we would of used that XP for.

Spoiler for Oct (I think).
Spoiler (click to reveal)
When we got an option for a 3rd one it was instant buy.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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jeep wrote:
You don't want the infection pile to be smaller for the next epidemic.


Strongly disagree. The extra action for Deliver Supplies means that having cities come up more often is more beneficial than in regular Pandemic, as you pretty much never want to Deliver only one cube.

And a cube is a cube. Every time you shorten the Infection step by one or two cards, you save two to three actions in the future (possibly more, if you need to travel on top of Produce/Deliver). Also, keeping the infection pile small lets you recycle Well Stocked infection cards more often (saving you yet more actions) and makes it more likely to draw Broken Link infection cards again.

Spoiler for September(?)
Spoiler (click to reveal)
And once you've got Shelters, concentrating Plague cubes and Hollow Men to a small number of cities means you can save a lot of time by ignoring them.
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Jeremy Lennert
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smoothofhand wrote:
Everyone's interpretation makes sense, especially now that I think of the actions in terms of "The act of discarding this card gives you the option for THIS turn".

No. It gives you the option RIGHT NOW. You can't draw 1 more infection card and then decide to use it (even on the same turn).

This is generally how triggered effects ("when X happens...") work in games--you can do the effect immediately when the trigger happens, not at any other time.


XDarkAngelX wrote:
jeep wrote:
You don't want the infection pile to be smaller for the next epidemic.


Strongly disagree. The extra action for Deliver Supplies means that having cities come up more often is more beneficial than in regular Pandemic, as you pretty much never want to Deliver only one cube.

The main reason you don't want a small infection pile when you draw an epidemic is that the epidemic itself will empty out one city, so you always have at least 1 risk for an immediate incident in the same turn. The bigger the infection discard pile, the lower the probability that incident will happen before you can send someone there to deal with it.

The "delivery" system doesn't change this. Doesn't matter how efficiently you are delivering supplies if the game takes away "all of them" and then infects the city again before you even get a turn.

However, with the extra epidemics in the deck in season 2, the infection rate can get very high, which tends to make action-efficiency more important, and also means that the benefit of each extra card in the infection discard is reduced.

JADE also changes the calculus.



In response to XDarkAngelX's first spoiler box in this post (above):

Not sure how you think that makes it any better than it normally is.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
By my reading, Broken Link doesn't stop you from resolving the card that the sticker is on, it just stops you from drawing more cards. So the effect is the same whether you drew a Hollow Men Gather immediately before it or not. (It doesn't stop you from placing the hollow man figure for the current card.)

However, if you know if you have more "Hollow Men Gathers" cards near the top of the infection deck, Broken Link may increase the probability that the next epidemic happens before you draw them, which makes it more attractive. (Conversely, if they're all in the discard, it makes Broken Link less attractive, because it increases the probability they'll be drawn between the next two epidemics.)

Also, please label your spoilers better. In your first box, clicking once tells you the trigger associated with the spoiler and further information is hidden behind a second click, but in your second and third boxes you have additional spoilers with no indication of what trigger is being spoiled.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Antistone wrote:
The main reason you don't want a small infection pile when you draw an epidemic is that the epidemic itself will empty out one city, so you always have at least 1 risk for an immediate incident in the same turn.


That's a short term risk, yes. It's minor, though. A single random incident will not lose you the game. Losing on the action economy however will likely cause multiple incidents in your future.

Antistone wrote:
The "delivery" system doesn't change this. Doesn't matter how efficiently you are delivering supplies if the game takes away "all of them" and then infects the city again before you even get a turn.


An incident is mostly action-neutral from an action economy standpoint. It only matters because if you hit 8 you lose (which will definitely cost you a lot of actions, by ending the game).

It's annoying because of population loss and because it makes maneuvering around the city harder if you're scared of exposure.

The delivery system means that supply delivery is more efficient when it's done in only a limited number of cities. You would rather New York get recycled to the Infection deck over and over again than add a new city to the discard pile, because then it means you can drop a bunch of cubes in one go, which is more efficient (and yes, if there are multiples of one city in the deck it's risky that it will come up from the bottom of the deck, but you get tools to mitigate that risk). And cutting down on the Infection step is free actions because it's cubes you don't remove from the board.

Antistone wrote:
However, with the extra epidemics in the deck in season 2, the infection rate can get very high, which tends to make action-efficiency more important, and also means that the benefit of each extra card in the infection discard is reduced.


The extra epidemics don't matter much. As long as you manage the player deck properly you get the same number of cards between epidemics no matter if you're on 5 or 10. I don't think we ever hit more than 3 epidemics in a game anyway (even on our 2 losses, we lost from incidents, not running out the player deck), and with

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Spoiler for August
Spoiler (click to reveal)
a calculated use of the Monitoring action


we've actually only hit one epidemic all game before winning on both August and September.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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The Action Economy argument and why Deliver changes so much.

In Pandemic, at Infection 2 you add two cubes a turn, so if you Travel-Travel-Treat-Treat you're threading water. In order to use actions like Trading cards or Curing, you need to utilize the buffer in the game mechanic that says you only get into trouble if you have > 3 cubes in a city (so you can allow the game to get ahead of your Treating diseases for a bit). At Infection 3 you only start pulling ahead if you get to use the ability for Cured diseases to Treat all in one action.

(Also, obviously this is without taking the Medic into account, etc.)

In Pandemic Legacy S2 in order to thread water at Infection 2 you need to Travel-Make-Make-Deliver. You get to pick up supplies for free on your way and you get Production cards to help you get ahead, but having to run all around the map Delivering supplies is bad because you can't afford a lot of Travel actions.

So having a small Infection discard is actually somewhat beneficial or at least mostly neutral *before* you take into account that Broken Link saves you a cube or two on top of things when it gets to trigger. It's *really* strong at later Infection levels and it compounds with other Infection card upgrades (so 2x Broken Links is way better than one, and 2x Broken Links + 2x Well Stocked is bonkers).
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Jeremy Lennert
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There are a lot of other ways to improve action efficiency, too. If you're struggling with action efficiency when the infection rate is 2, then I agree, you should be using Broken Link aggressively...but in that case, maybe you should be taking a few other upgrades with an eye to efficiency.

I just finished a game where I put 8 epidemics into the deck during setup and won when I had only 6 player cards left in the deck. I had to do this because I couldn't complete a third objective without at least one card from a list of 3 that happened to ALL be shuffled to the bottom of the deck, so there was literally no possible way for me to win earlier. But I got through the game with only 4 incidents, and built 6 supply centers in the process, so that was probably more beneficial to me than if I had won quickly.

Though I guess it's also fair to point out that an incident in season 2 is often close to action-neutral, while an outbreak in season 1 is often a disaster for your action economy.
 
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Ray Taylor
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Minor Spoiler(ish) for late game.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I guess all I want to say is.

I think Broken link if far from "terrible" we have found it very useful and for 1XP per card I think it has done a lot of work in our campaign, we finished December last night and it saved us at least 10 cards being pulled from the infection deck, we did not (at all) care about how thin the infection deck was we cared about how much we could stop happening.

There are a lot of mechanics in S2 (that I will not go into) that make it very different to regular Pandemic.

Is it the best upgrade, nope not at all, but if I was to choose between population or a situational Upgrade and Broken Link I would pick Broken link every single time.
 
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