Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
22 Posts

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Why the love for Radio Operator? And why none for Instructor? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Michael Fehlauer
msg tools
Seeing a lot of affection for the Radio Operator, almost as if its an auto-include in every session.

Why?

At first read, I thought the ability was pretty powerful and included him in the prologue game. But in practice we found the ability was hardly ever used. It just seemed that cubes are best kept on the board, rather than on character cards. And if cubes aren't on character cards, the RO's ability is useless. We settled on Laborer, Admin, Instructor, and Farmer and haven't looked back.

Is it that he can Make Supplies with his 4 actions, and then free-action get those supplies onto other players' cards? I can see some utility in that, since it saves the recipient from having to spend their actions to Make. Is that functionality--saving the other characters from having to spend their actions--what makes the RO good?

As for the Instructor, it seems like there's not much affection. We found the ability to give any 1 player card to a player at the Instructor's location to be pretty powerful. So I don't get why folks aren't going nuts over this ability.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Greg Filpus
United States
Bellevue
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
In the early game, I agree with your assessment. Later on, stuff changes that might make the Instructor less useful and the Radio Operator more useful, but we still used the former a lot because she had some useful upgrades.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Sinnett
United States
Philomath
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Never underestimate the power of having a Radio Operator in the group when a different player has two Produce Supplies cards in hand and is sitting in a well-recovered city.

My crew's got our Washington up to 7 at this point and there's much to be said for being able to have the guy who's running damage control in North America and wound up with those Produce Supplies cards making a quick run to Washington and loading up on cubes, when another player can distribute them as necessary.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin V

Mount Oliver
Pennsylvania
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Without talking spoilers, you know that Produce Supplies cards can only be played at a Haven or Supply Center, right? Maybe I am misunderstanding what you are saying.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kevin Blackburn
United States
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A high-population city likely has one, so that still makes sense.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stewart
United Kingdom
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We dropped Administrator after our Prologue game and brought in the Radio Operator - to start with, the world was just too small to get much utility out of his ability.

By the time we unlocked other characters, we already had upgrades on several of the starting characters (our Laborer got Architect immediately; our Farmer got cards that let him do more with Supply Cubes; Instructor got Broker and other card manipulation) so it wasn't until pretty late in the campaign that we switched away from that team of four.

Mind you, in Season One, we only played the Dispatcher in January, with Medic and Researcher seeing most play of the original 5.

There are strong arguments against putting too many supply cubes on a city that could still be on the bottom of the infection deck, and there are other uses for supply cubes beyond blocking infections - from the start, the Laborer wants to have a couple of extra cubes available and to be moving around more so he can get cards from people, so having the Radio Operator means other people can feed him spare cubes from time to time without needing to take the time to meet up somewhere (if they're not the person feeding him cards at that point).

Also, our default move if we've nothing better to do with our final action on a turn is always to create an additional cube, so it's not uncommon for there to be one or two cubes available for the Radio Operator to make sure they're where they're most needed.

And, yeah, the big Produce Supplies turns when you generate 8+ cubes with a single action get even more value when a Radio Operator can get them to where they're needed.

The Laborer's been our workhorse, but the Radio Operator's been the star.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J Sinnett
United States
Philomath
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Super Zero wrote:
A high-population city likely has one, so that still makes sense.

That. We stuck a permanent supply center on it, and it just keeps going up in population. It's possible but *extremely* unlikely for a city to have its population ever fall if there's a permanent supply center there.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Nerman
Canada
Winnipeg
Manitoba
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We frequently have the player dealt Produce Supplies cards be the RO. They burn it on their first turn, pick up all the cubes from the Havens, and distribute them as needed. The rest of the team splits up and puts out all the fires. It's pretty sweet.

After a few months, we hadn't put any upgrades on the RO, so he's starting to look a little lackluster now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin V

Mount Oliver
Pennsylvania
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
HikariStarshine wrote:
Super Zero wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
A high-population city likely has one, so that still makes sense.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
That. We stuck a permanent supply center on it, and it just keeps going up in population. It's possible but *extremely* unlikely for a city to have its population ever fall if there's a permanent supply center there.


Sigh...

Like I said in my first post, 'without spoilers' keep in mind for other readers that this thread is not spoiler tagged.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tony Williams
msg tools
We're just going into November in our 4 player campaign, and have used the Radio Operator every game.

Whilst not necessarily crucial at the very beginning, by the time we got into what seems to be recognized as the toughest portion of the game (March/April), he was vital.
This is the time where (I think it's fair to say with only blindingly obvious spoilers), the board is getting bigger but supplies are getting scarcer, and you haven't yet been given many more tools to help.

We always have him immediately in front of the Farmer/Courier. And his role is to get cubes out of the stockpile and onto the cards of people that need them.

Ideally he'll get some Produce Supplies cards. But even without he's useful. In that March/April period, we had a couple of games where he barely moved - he sat on a research station and his turn went 'Make, Make, Make, Make, (free distribute)'
The other players then concentrated on getting those cubes where they needed to go, and completing the other objectives

Spoiler for post-South America recon and specific city search:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
This is obviously a much more efficient strategy post-Buenos Aires search, which we were lucky enough to do first turn in February.


Later in the game, his core ability was less vital....but his upgrades kept him in the game.

Meanwhile I can see why the Instructor is useful in the beginning.....but when the board grows and the players are less likely to be in the same spot without some effort, it seems to me that their utility wanes.

Then (Spoiler for Africa recon):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Once you get radio towers, the Instructor's core ability becomes practically useless, surely?


We've never yet used that character.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jean-Philippe Thériault
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Radio Operator allows the whole team to just Make/Produce Supply for any spare action they have and it ending up on the right side of the board where it's needed. Laborer not ever needing to spend actions to produce their two supplies before building Supply Centers allows them more leeway to trade cards. And so forth. It just becomes more powerful over time as the board expands, as well.

Instructor, OTOH, has a limited shelf life and we barely even used him when the board was January-sized, nevermind when he has to travel across the world just to get a trade in.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeremy Lennert
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I found it helpful to trade a bunch of supply cubes to the character with the upgrade to deliver to adjacent locations. Anyone else could make supplies with equal efficiency, but they could often deliver them more efficiently than anyone else.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian N
msg tools
Zaruthustran wrote:
Seeing a lot of affection for the Radio Operator, almost as if its an auto-include in every session.

Why?

At first read, I thought the ability was pretty powerful and included him in the prologue game. But in practice we found the ability was hardly ever used. It just seemed that cubes are best kept on the board, rather than on character cards. And if cubes aren't on character cards, the RO's ability is useless. We settled on Laborer, Admin, Instructor, and Farmer and haven't looked back.

Is it that he can Make Supplies with his 4 actions, and then free-action get those supplies onto other players' cards? I can see some utility in that, since it saves the recipient from having to spend their actions to Make. Is that functionality--saving the other characters from having to spend their actions--what makes the RO good?

As for the Instructor, it seems like there's not much affection. We found the ability to give any 1 player card to a player at the Instructor's location to be pretty powerful. So I don't get why folks aren't going nuts over this ability.

Radio Operator means that supplies you all make/produce are semi-communal. The RO can access them all, use them as required, and move the balance around the players at will in his/her turn. That's always useful, and even more so as City populations rise. My wife and I are playing two-handed, with the RO as a third, shared character, and he's extremely useful; his final task each turn is always to redistribute all cubes currently on cards amongst the other two characters (no point, usually, in the RO having any, because it has access to the pool anyway). And we mostly don't "keep" cubes on character cards - but nor do we offload them gratuitously. Plus, without being spoilery, there are campaign reasons beyond the prologue as to why you may want cubes on your card.

As for the Instructor - yes, handing over any card (including non-City cards) is also a useful ability at times. I've nothing against him; I played the Season 1 equivalent (Researcher) all the way through, and it was very useful - but it's also more circumstantial. Whereas the RO comes in useful almost every other turn. Personally, I'd take the RO every time - but that's a matter of taste.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ian N
msg tools
nerman8r wrote:
We frequently have the player dealt Produce Supplies cards be the RO. They burn it on their first turn, pick up all the cubes from the Havens, and distribute them as needed. The rest of the team splits up and puts out all the fires. It's pretty sweet.

After a few months, we hadn't put any upgrades on the RO, so he's starting to look a little lackluster now.

That "distribute them as needed" is the reason the RO is strong. Plus we gave ours "Architect" early on, and we've had good mileage from Production Units spent on "Foundation" upgrades. We're about to start July, and he's still kept busy serving us well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Finn Vigeland
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
This thread encapsulates why I love this game. I'm in October and we (mostly a three-player game) haven't played the Radio Operator since January. (Nor have we played the Instructor all too often.) Just tonight one of our group was noting how useless he thought the RO was and he couldn't imagine anyone playing it - and I said, "Just you wait, I bet there's a BGG thread about how awesome the Radio Operator is" - et voila.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jean-Philippe Thériault
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I played the Radio Operator for the whole campaign until December. (We did house rule that we only cared about assigning hands and characters to seats, then seated our players based on where the character they wanted to play ended up... and nobody else loves the RO like I do.)

Because of <redacted> and <redacted> I had games where I often spent multiple turns not moving at all and still being one of the most productive characters, from a "keep things from imploding"/action efficiency standpoint.

I can leave the heroics to the other characters. For me it's about the math.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T McC
United States
Los Angeles
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We just finished the campaign and never played with the Radio Operator once. We did very well (IMHO), though reading this thread I'm now wondering if we could have done even better by giving the ol' R.O. a go....
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jonathan Ham
United States
The Colony
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
HONK HONK
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
thinman13 wrote:
We just finished the campaign and never played with the Radio Operator once. We did very well (IMHO), though reading this thread I'm now wondering if we could have done even better by giving the ol' R.O. a go....


We just finished October and our Radio Operator has earned the nickname "Sir Not Appearing In This Game" because we only played him in the Prologue. Our group's all-star who's been played every game is the Laborer.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jean-Philippe Thériault
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
howdyhamster wrote:
Our group's all-star who's been played every game is the Laborer.


Oh don't get me wrong, Laborer is also pretty much a given, especially once you start upgrading them.

Radio Operator just makes sure to always keep them supplied with 2 supplies when needed.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Hohner
Canada
Castlegar
BC
flag msg tools
badge
Serenity flies again... thanks to cardboard!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We had a hard time with the early campaign. (4 players, Jan narrow loss/win, Feb loss/win, Mar solid loss/devastating loss). After we adjusted our team by replacing the Instructor with the Radio Operator things got much easier.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
As supplies dwindled we realized that our team didn't have enough cube specialists. We were trying to build fast and out-run the incident track (because in the end it will always get you) but --after much debate at the table-- we realized the long-game/maintenance worked better. So much to do, so few actions, especially when the shuffle works against you.

What's funny is that we tested these two roles against each other during 2 Prologue games and chose the Instructor after 2 wins there. We were playing like traditional Pandemic and were fooled by the fact that the math of Prologue/January is the same as regular Pandemic... but that changes so quickly!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adrien Lozano
France
Saint-Etienne
flag msg tools
Trying to find time to paint...
badge
...but translating all day long !
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fredd13 wrote:
Zaruthustran wrote:
Seeing a lot of affection for the Radio Operator, almost as if its an auto-include in every session.

Why?

At first read, I thought the ability was pretty powerful and included him in the prologue game. But in practice we found the ability was hardly ever used. It just seemed that cubes are best kept on the board, rather than on character cards. And if cubes aren't on character cards, the RO's ability is useless. We settled on Laborer, Admin, Instructor, and Farmer and haven't looked back.

Is it that he can Make Supplies with his 4 actions, and then free-action get those supplies onto other players' cards? I can see some utility in that, since it saves the recipient from having to spend their actions to Make. Is that functionality--saving the other characters from having to spend their actions--what makes the RO good?

As for the Instructor, it seems like there's not much affection. We found the ability to give any 1 player card to a player at the Instructor's location to be pretty powerful. So I don't get why folks aren't going nuts over this ability.

Radio Operator means that supplies you all make/produce are semi-communal. The RO can access them all, use them as required, and move the balance around the players at will in his/her turn. That's always useful, and even more so as City populations rise. My wife and I are playing two-handed, with the RO as a third, shared character, and he's extremely useful; his final task each turn is always to redistribute all cubes currently on cards amongst the other two characters (no point, usually, in the RO having any, because it has access to the pool anyway). And we mostly don't "keep" cubes on character cards - but nor do we offload them gratuitously. Plus, without being spoilery, there are campaign reasons beyond the prologue as to why you may want cubes on your card.

As for the Instructor - yes, handing over any card (including non-City cards) is also a useful ability at times. I've nothing against him; I played the Season 1 equivalent (Researcher) all the way through, and it was very useful - but it's also more circumstantial. Whereas the RO comes in useful almost every other turn. Personally, I'd take the RO every time - but that's a matter of taste.


We have done the same thing with my SO : laborer for me, Framer for her, and Administrator as a third character. We found the Instructor to be useless because his power only works once per turn. We also never used the Radio Operator. Why ?
Because even if the power of the administrator works once a turn, it can send a player to another location to make cube and card exchange, and also we can take higher risk, because if one player ended trapped in a city with a plague cube or other means to be exposed, the Administrator coul send him back to a safe place.
We put on him the coordinator and helmsman upgrade, and so during his turn he was able to replace all other pawn to needed location

Spoiler for second half of year :
Spoiler (click to reveal)
When we met the scientist, we dropped the administrator for her, since with all the new rules and structure we already had better control of the flow of each month, and her power gives us a great, GREAT help for late game missions.


My 2 geekgold cents
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matthew McGeehin
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mb
He's much more useful when the world gets bigger, because more often than not, your characters will be separate. They'll need to be to cover the world.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
Later in the game, you'll get the ability to make Supply Centers permanent. You can't use them for the objective, but they will increase population. Later, you'll also unlock the Shuttle Flight ability. You'll have access to a lot of Supply Cubes via one Produce Supplies card. Because of this, you can use the Radio Operator's ability to get supplies to people quickly, and not spend actions on Make Supplies
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.