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Pandemic Legacy: Season 2» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Strategy post-Cairo Recon? rss

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Oliver Lipton
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Brooklyn
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Spoilers for the results of the Cairo Recon:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We just reconned Cairo in May (winning the game soon after), and we're looking at the Hollow Men aghast. We felt we won the last game relatively quickly, and that was with 4 out of 7 epidemics triggering. If the first game in June goes a similar length, we could have up to 16 hollow men appear. Between the fact that that would cause a significant decrease in global population, I can't see how we could possibly avoid getting a significant amount of exposure, since we'll need to enter the cities with hollow men in order to contain them (because presumably they're also getting hit normally, if slightly less often), and we'll eventually have to leave, and so we have a guaranteed exposure.

We're also baffled by the fact that there is simply no way to deal with the hollow men: no way to prevent them from appearing, no way to protect against them, certainly no way to remove them.

We've reconned NA, SA, and Europe (not Lagos). We've also
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Found the Pacific Haven and the first lab
. Without giving any too specific spoilers, does anyone have advice on how to deal with the hollow men?
First, how do we go about limiting their damage in the next few games:
all we can think of is "try to end turns in havens more often" but there's only so much that will help. Second, could you give vague suggestions as to what we should be doing to find a better solution? Should we focus on searching the middle east? Should we focus on reconning Lagos?

Thank you. We've been enjoying the game for the most part, although the dramatic swings in difficulty have become a bit nauseating. March and April were all but unwinnable, and May was trivial until the hollow men showed up.
 
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Cameron Deweerd
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You had a similar reaction to the Hollow men that we did. At face value it seems really brutal but in practice its not horrible.

If you flip two/three/four hollow men cards in a row, you only add one hollow man.

If a second or third hollowman figure goes in a location you still only lose one population.
If a plague cube goes in a location w/ a hollowman, its still only 1 population loss but less likely to outbreak as you need 4 plague cubes in a spot to get an outbreak.


Now yes, they do add some variance and can hurt but there are ways to play around them.


Permanent supply centers and extra supply lines between cities help you avoid moving through their spaces.

The upgrade that lets you place cubes on an adjacent location will help you supply to locations w/ hollow men.

Don't enter a space w/ hollow men. If a location is out of supply cubes and has a hollow man, depending on how late in the game you can just ignore it if its only a single card in the deck. Additional hollow men won't change the pop loss and plague cubes will tick the loss track but won't reduce population more.


Prioritize searching over connecting new cities. smaller grid is easier to control and some search effects are rather helpful.

Given you are in May you should have a card in the reserve w/ coordinates for all the labs. That is a reasonable target.
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Ray Taylor
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Old Woking
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To reiterate what Cameron said it seems bad, but in reality, it pans out ok!

You characters should be much more powerful now, and you should have had an injection of supplies.

I think the most important upgrade is delivering remotely (this does stand out as one of the best upgrades though so you probably already have it).

It makes dying from outbreaks less likely, and there have been some reports of games being saved by the Hollow Men

Population 0 City Spoilers
Spoiler (click to reveal)
This is really not all that bad either, and can arguably be a good thing.
 
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Greg Filpus
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For a more explicit hint about when anti-Hollow Men stuff comes online:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
In July and August, there will be opportunities to get info from/about the HM. Pursuing them will unlock a very valuable tool.


For now: I think you have the Broken Link upgrade now? That'll mean drawing fewer Infection cards, so fewer Hollow Men.
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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I also did the recon for Cairo at the end of May, and got pretty scared. Here is the action-plan I came up with for my campaign:

(IMPORTANT NOTE: This is what I came up with at the time, and does not reflect revelations or insights that I obtained later in the campaign.)

1 Bring the Laborer out of retirement, and immediately (end-of-game in May) give him the Architect and Lookout upgrades. His job is to basically ignore infections and rapidly complete objectives so that I can end the game before too many hollow men come out.

Focus on connecting & searching the area that introduced hollow men, in the hopes that the searches will contain something for fighting hollow men. With Lookout, searching gives free cards, which will help him Build Supply Centers rapidly. Also, ending a turn in a newly-connected city avoids the risk of a hollow man landing on top of you.

Make sure to build a black supply center somewhere central-ish in the region to make permanent at the end of the game. (I choose Tehran, because it was not infested, had only 1 infection card, and could potentially be connected directly to every city in the vicinity except Riyadh.)

2 My star Farmer/Courier/Helmsman intensifies her role as the primary deliverer of supplies. Since Courier can deliver from an adjacent location, she can drop supplies on top of hollow men without getting exposed, and has more flexibility to end turns in realtively safer locations.

(The Radio Operator makes sure both of the others have enough supplies to use their turns efficiently.)

3 Step up my efforts to inoculate infection cards, especially in cities that only have 1 infection card, in order to create more "safe" locations where I know hollow men cannot suddenly appear.

However...not necessarily before the very first epidemic, because I want as many cards as possible in the infection discard when the hollow men get shuffled in, to increase the probability that they won't get drawn before the second epidemic.

4 Try to get every city up to 2+ population ASAP, so that I wouldn't trigger turning point #1 (any city with zero population) even if a hollow man landed in them. (If you've already triggered that turning point, you might have a different perspective on it.)

(Of course, this goal is in tension with immediately buying a bunch of relevant character upgrades and permanent supply centers...)

5 If the opportunity arises, pursue new labs and havens. If you've been paying attention to the clues you've received up to this point, you should already know:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Legacy card 04-02 "From the Archives", drawn at the start of April, tells you that there used to be a haven in the Indian Ocean, and gives you precise coordinates for the locations of 3 laboratories (including, presumably, one that you've already found).

If you look up those coordinates in Google Maps, you'll get the following city names:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
J 26°11’28”S 28°02’43”E <Johannesburg, South Africa>
O 34°29’38”S 58°31’33”W <Buenos Aires, Argentina>
T 41°11’46”S 174°56’29”E <Wellington, New Zealand>

Alternately, you can use the latitude/longitude lines included on the game board to determine approximately where to look.
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Danny Frahm
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Ending the game early is the best way to limit population drops. Population will drop every game. You can't stop it now. So that means some upgrade points will be used to keep everything at 2.

In reality the plague cubes will be less problematic, so outright losing will sudden be harder.

You're going to just have to come to terms with the fact that you need to take exposure to play. You're going to need to take risks that a hollow man ambushes you because you just placed supply cubes in a necessary location and a hollow man springs up on your locale.

 
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Jeremy Lennert
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FinalAttack wrote:
You're going to just have to come to terms with the fact that you need to take exposure to play.

I actually made it through the whole campaign without ever taking exposure from hollow men (though I had a few close calls, so that was partly luck).
 
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Robert Stewart
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We reconned Cairo in April (along with Lagos since the opportunity arose). So far, the closest we've come to getting an exposure from Hollow Men was in July, when an HM spawned on top of a player - that player had useful things to do without moving on their next turn, and we ended the game shortly after that (they might have had one turn which was mostly spent producing Supply Cubes rather than doing anything more directly useful, but that was it).

We've been winning before or around hitting 3 infection draw, so the shuffle after the first epidemic is key to determining the impact of hollow men - May, we didn't see any and focused our game on chasing unofficial goals like finding labs and havens and dealing with the new rules from the Lagos recon.

July, we also killed a fair amount of time while waiting for the third Supply Center to become available by increasing the interconnection of the Grid - we've significantly cut back on the number of choke-points where a Hollow Man could make getting around significantly more difficult.
 
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David Ogren
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
I agree with Antistone that this doesn't mean you are forced to take exposure. Sure, it increases the chances you will get unlucky with your current location, but (so far) we've never deliberately taken an exposure via a hollow man.

Also, along the lines of what Cameron said, it wasn't as bad as we thought: since multiple hollow men isn't too bad, and plague and hollow men don't stack (from the perspective of population loss), we tended to ignore cities once they had a hollow man. Also, since when you draw an infection cards it's now got a roughly 40% chance of being a hollow man and a 60% chance of being a regular infection the chances of getting 3 of either in a city is quite low.

In some ways, it made the actual "game" easier since we haven't had a single outbreak since adding "hollow men gather" to the game. It does hit your post-game population loss harder, since it's impossible to prevent (at least so far), but that just has meant that we have to be more conscientious about not allowing cities to fall to population 1. We've now spent considerable manufacturing points on population, but other than that it's actually not hurt us. (Although it did really worry us when we first read the new rules.)
 
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Ian N
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FinalAttack wrote:
Ending the game early is the best way to limit population drops. Population will drop every game. You can't stop it now. So that means some upgrade points will be used to keep everything at 2.

Our biggest mistake to date was not realising several games earlier just how population would fall if we didn't spend at least some Production Units to keep key cities on 2 or more, and what the impact would be. The penny finally dropped during our most recent game. After spending that full game's ration of PUs defensively, we still have 8 forsaken cities, and 4 more on a population of 1 - and some of the ones we've lost had decent populations originally, so way too much of our Infection Deck is cards for forsaken cities, and what's left is spread too thin. Yes, we have ways the game has given us that may help us work on where future losses occur to some degree - once we decide how best to use them - but they're very much tied to game circumstance, we're undoubtedly going to lose more cities yet, and it's going to be messy/painful (and possibly expensive) for a while, unless (and, probably, even if!) the campaign throws us some kind of lifeline.

Edit: One game further on, and things on the board itself look a lot less out of control. For once we had a very fortuitous start, followed by a couple of moments of extreme serendipity that we had no right to expect. In the end we only lost one more City, connected a couple more, won before the third Epidemic came out, and had enough PUs to be able to afford to get everywhere up to at least 2. Sometimes the game hates you; sometimes it wags its tail, rolls over and begs to have its belly rubbed. The Infection Deck's still a bit of a (rather thin) mess, though; we may yet regret that. But I'm feeling a lot more confident that we'll be able to sort it - and enjoying the struggle, too!
 
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Finn Vigeland
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Wait, can someone clarify: does a city's population go down if there's a Hollow Man in it? I thought it was only if there's a plague cube in it. (Not near my game to consult the rules right now.) We've found that we've hardly had any issues with plague cubes once the HM figures were introduced (thanks to the Courier + Soldier).
 
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Jeremy Lennert
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Yes, Hollow Men reduce population at the end of the game (rule sticker W, from package #2, sticker card P2-28). Also, if a card would add a hollow man to a location that already has 3 hollow men, you instead reduce the locations's population by 1 immediately.
 
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Finn Vigeland
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Damn, we've been really diligent with our rules additions so I'm not sure where this one got to -- don't remember reading it when we opened the box. Thankfully we've only played two games with the HM so far and the second was last night, so I remember at least last night's cities. Oh well, I guess you're always bound to miss at least one rule, wish it wasn't this one. :/

Thanks for your help!
 
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