Mellina Huitema
Canada
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My group and I are feeling awfully demoralized. We are all smart people who did pretty well at Season 1, but there must be something going over our heads here. We won the prologue and January, but we just lost 4 in a row (early February through late March). Is there any important tips anyone might have? We just played late March (after not having played the game for about 4 months, since one member of the group was out of town, so we were very, very rusty). Basically as soon as we hit our second epidemic it just felt like we were doomed. We couldn't see how we could get 3 objectives completed before we had 8 incidents. And we didn't.

We've reconned South and North America - we are set up to be able to recon Asia and/or Africa (whatever the non-South America yellow region is, I don't have the board in front of me at the moment) next game.

If it would help, I could abide a mild spoiler for a future month if it's of use (like "it will help you in future months if you do this..."). I'm not proud at this point. LOL

One thing I thought is that we aren't being as aggressive as we should be about connecting more cities to the grid? We have 13 so far. I mean, the central idea seems to be that we want to save more of the world. Of course, it's easy to say that, but we have enough trouble just staying alive. And/or should we focus on reconning even though it might jeopardize our chances of winning?
 
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Greg Filpus
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Bellevue
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It's common to feel overwhelmed at this stage of the game.

The main hint I'll give is to review the flavortext you've gotten so far in the start of month journal entries and recon reports. They contain a few hints about extremely useful locations to search.

Regarding recons: (a vague spoiler about what'll happen if you do them)

Spoiler (click to reveal)
The Africa and Europe recons, in addition to adding new territory to the board, each unlock a tool that'll make your lives easier.
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Jyhne
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The whole campaign is supposed to be like a normal
Pandemic game. So March-ish should be very hard to win.
But four in a row sound a little to much. Are you protecting the cities? Remember a city with a plague cube can hold supply cubes as well.
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michael ray
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March and April were brutal for us, like, not fun levels of brutal.

But if you want some ideas that might help:

Track the current infection deck, on paper, or a google sheet or something. Current discard deck, previous discard decks, etc.

When you shuffle in the epidemics, place each pile at a right angle to the previous pile, that way no one has to remember to count cards as they're drawn.

Does someone have the broker ability?
They can connect to a city, move to that city, take the card from the discard, and search, all in 1 turn, that's huge, and that searched card stays in hand, so it makes unique recons easier. Additionally, that city is 100% safe this game (assuming no outbreaks).

If you can't build and recon this game, build and make that supply center permanent, that way, next game, you only have to recon.

If you have the choice between winning or saving a card for future games (like, global supply, or an unrationed event that is trashed after use), use the card. We just lost a game because the guy with an unrationed event decided it was to powerful to use in the first play of June. If he had played it, 100% we would have won, but instead he rolled the dice and the 1 card that could screw us in the infection deck, did.

And, a random assortment of spoilers that can help you out:

You get this at either the start or end of April:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the card that gives GPS co-ordinates, put an X on the map for where they are, that lets you know good places to search


In Latin America
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Find the haven, it's a huge help

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Find the lab, it's a huge help


Recon Europe
Spoiler (click to reveal)
It lets you move a lot easier


Recon Africa
Spoiler (click to reveal)
It lets you trade cards a lot easier


Box 6
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Once you have box 6, start thinning both decks. That's also huge.


EDIT:To fix the mistake about the broker ability.
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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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Yes, we did realize early on that we could put supply cubes in plague cities, but I don't think we are doing a good enough job protecting the cities. One thing is that I don't think we've been putting supply cubes at havens during set up...but perhaps it would be a good thing to do? So that on our first move we could use a free action to grab them and take them wherever they need to go.
 
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Mellina Huitema
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Thanks so much for the help and advice michael ray - no one has the broker ability yet, I will look at that.
 
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N R
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I've had similar bad luck with the season 2. I chalk it up mostly to extremely unlucky draws. It sounds like a cop-out but we are all experienced Pandemic players and we've lost enough to the point where I don't even feel like finishing the game.
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michael ray
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mhuitema wrote:
Yes, we did realize early on that we could put supply cubes in plague cities, but I don't think we are doing a good enough job protecting the cities. One thing is that I don't think we've been putting supply cubes at havens during set up...but perhaps it would be a good thing to do? So that on our first move we could use a free action to grab them and take them wherever they need to go.


If you have spare cubes, it's not a bad choice, but you need to have those spare cubes. Generally speaking, at initial setup, you should be placing as many cubes as there are infection cards on each city. Hopefully by now you've used some upgrades to make cities safe, and/or remove them from the infection deck, so you don't have to worry about those specific ones.

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Mellina Huitema
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Yes N R, we are feeling that a bit too. We loved Season 1 so much, even when we lost we were just hooked and wanted to see where the story would go. I'm not as engaged in this one. It feels a little more like a chore. I hope that changes. The nice thing the game gives you significant help when you start losing a lot. The other thing is I think I would like it a bit better (and be better at it) if it were more like regular Pandemic instead of this sort of revers-o, taking cubes off instead of putting them on the board thing.
 
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michael ray
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mhuitema wrote:
Thanks so much for the help and advice michael ray - no one has the broker ability yet, I will look at that.


Glad I could help. I can't stress enough how important the broker is early game. Connecting to a city adds it to the discard, and then you have to hope that you draw it next game, to be able to search.

With the broker, you can just take it from the discard. In my opinion, it prob. should have either been a starting character ability, or strongly hinted at by Jan/Feb game text.
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Jeremy Lennert
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There are two key discoveries you can make around this point in the game that make things significantly easier once you have them.

At the start of your first game in April, there are several valuable hints in the legacy deck. Read carefully.

Here's everything I think you should infer from legacy card 04-02:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
There used to be a haven in the Pacific Ocean that was accessible from Lima.
There used to be a haven in the Indian Ocean.
There used to be research labs at various positions listed in the form of latitude/longitude coordinates, which correspond to these cities:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
J - Johannesburg, South Africa
O - Buenos Aires, Argentina
T - Wellington, New Zealand
P - (coordinates cut off)


squegeeboo wrote:
Does someone have the broker ability?
They can connect to a city, move to that city, take the card from the discard, and search, all in 1 turn, that's huge, and that searched card stays in hand, so it makes building easier. Additionally, that city is 100% safe this game (assuming no outbreaks).

Broker requires you to discard another card of the same color, so it will never (directly) help with building supply centers.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I suspect you are confusing this with Lookout, which is not available until
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the end of May.

It does make it possible to search a city on the same turn you connect it, though. If the search reveals something important, this potentially lets you get that important thing one game earlier (or even a few games earlier, depending on shuffles). Most searches are not important, but a few of them are very important.

At this point in my campaign, I just relied on drawing the cards regularly, but I was doing well enough at fighting infections that I could expect to last until near the end of the player deck.


I recommend the Courier character ability. (They took the overpowered upgrade from season 1 and made it even better?!?) I suspect this works best in combination with the Farmer job and the Helmsman upgrade to save actions so that you can use Courier more often.

I also found it helpful to raise the population of one of my havens so that I could get more cubes from each Produce Supplies card.
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michael ray
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Antistone wrote:

squegeeboo wrote:
Does someone have the broker ability?
They can connect to a city, move to that city, take the card from the discard, and search, all in 1 turn, that's huge, and that searched card stays in hand, so it makes building easier. Additionally, that city is 100% safe this game (assuming no outbreaks).

Broker requires you to discard another card of the same color, so it will never (directly) help with building supply centers.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
I suspect you are confusing this with Lookout, which is not available until
Spoiler (click to reveal)
the end of May.


Ah, yes, that is correct about discarding, it's not on the guy I regularly play, and my guy now has some other discard pile ability. So, it doesn't help with building, but was useful to us for getting unique cards for recons. (ie, ditch one of 2 Londons in hand to pick up Chicago, kind of deal)
 
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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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I *think* one of our characters has Courier. I know for sure we also have Farmer and Helmsman. Obviously we haven't been using them at maximum efficiency, anyway, so we can work on that. Thanks for the help! Glad to know there may be some hope.
 
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eric brown
United States
apex
NC
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The theme of the game is the struggle to survive and save the world in ever worsening odds. You have a lot of tools to be successful, but you need to be proactive in even acquiring them. As others said, pay attention to the lore/archives/journal entries. They provide both subtle and also explicit hints as to what long-term activities you should prioritize.

I also suggest reviewing your available upgrades and thinking about how they can impact your game and your ability to achieve your long-term and short term goals. The basic ability Broker has a lot of uses, but is especially good at turning cards you have multiples of (like the base cities) into city cards you don't have to make completing recons easier. It also ensures the ability to conduct a search in a city the same game that you connect it. Remember that in future games, that city card will be shuffled in, so there is no certainty that you will ever see that card again. Broker makes it a certainty you can search any city you haven't yet connected (assuming you don't lose before getting to use it of course!).

I'll say that March/April was the hardest bit so far (about to play August) for my game. But once we got over the hump, we were able to quickly oustrip the game's ability to really hurt us and May - July have been easy victories that we stretched out to achieve some of our long-term goals. Keep your heads up and keep trying. If you feel like you don't understand how the game works, I wouldn't feel bad about playing a simulation game where you don't make any permanent changes, maybe that will give you some insight into ways to improve your play?
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Michael Nerman
Canada
Winnipeg
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Burning the Produce Supplies cards gives you a big boost. We have done that twice in every game we've won, and when we've lost, it was when we didn't draw Produce Supplies cards soon enough.

This game sometimes screws you over hard and there's nothing you can do.
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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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I'm happy to report we *just barely* won our first game in April, but of course the game had given us lots of help to do so after losing so much. A well-timed "System Wide Production" saved us from the brink. We realized how powerful that was - we had 4 or 5 supply centres on the board, so filling all of them was HUGE. We hadn't utilized it much before, which...now I realize that was quite an oversight.

We now have a 3rd permanent centre and have added the Broker ability to a character per the advice here (the same one who has the 1 fewer card to build a supply centre ability, so hopefully that works out). A lot of cities went down in population though (we had 7 cubes on the board at the end of the game, thankfully some of them in cities that also had supply centres), so we'll see how that goes.

I know our score at the end is going to be utterly atrocious, but I think at least we feel some desire to keep going now.

Plus, (spoiler if you haven't reconned Europe yet):

Spoiler (click to reveal)
We finally reconned Europe, which unlocked the "Shuttle Flight" action, allowing us to move much easier, which should help a lot.
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Robert Stewart
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We lost early January and then both games in March, but haven't lost a game since (through September). We even made a couple of mistakes in September that made the game harder for us, and still felt safe taking an extra round to tidy up a few things.

Pursuing the things the story/flavour tells you are important rather than hanging back and waiting for the game to get fed up and hand things to you is a big help.
 
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