Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Pandemic: On the Brink» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Bioterrorist: too powerful? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
msg tools
Hello,

I played a few times with the bioterrorist. I have to admit that the mode is fun and that it adds a new dynamic to the game. However, we quickly noticed that the players against the bioterrorist always lost.

So I went back to the rules and we found out that most rules benefit the bioterrorist, like the one of capture (he only loses a turn and his cards when he is captured, which makes capturing the BT less attractive). I also think having the bioterrorist playing after each player makes him powerful.

The BT also chooses its starting city, so that it can cause an outbreak in its first round.

In addition, the BT can place cubes in cities whose player cards have already been discarded to prevent players from discovering the purple remedy, right?

As player cards can be revealed throughout the game and the BT could easily put cubes on cities we do not have in our hands, we decided to hide our cards.

In conclusion, I would like to know why players have difficulty winning against the bioterrorist and if this is normal.

Thank you

Sorry for translation errors, English is not my first language.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Ced19 wrote:
The BT also chooses its starting city, so that it can cause an outbreak in its first round.
This is fairly tricky to do (if you are playing by the correct rules).

In a game with 3 non-BT players (the maximum allowed), the BT could pick a starting city matching one of their infection card cities. After the first player goes, the BT could infect it locally, shift away from the city, and infect it remotely spending the card. After the second player goes, the BT could move back into the city to infect it locally, and then shift away again. Then, on the BT's third turn they could move back into the city and infect it locally to produce an outbreak there.

However, this tactic only works if players 2 or 3 can't get to this city on their turns. Otherwise, one of these players simply ends their turn in the city and then, on the BT's turn, automatically spots the BT as they move into it, which prevents the BT from doing the Infect Local action.

Further, the BT can potentially be captured if they are hanging around a single city infecting it (losing 5 cards and really fattening up the infection deck if the BT is captured on player turn 3). At which point, A) the BT is slowed down for a 1-2 turns and has fewer cards to work with and B) the "regular" game becomes a lot less deadly both because the number of infection cards being placed on top of the deck after an Epidemic card is drawn has increased by 5 cards and because they now include 5 cities without any disease cubes.

Finally, if either player 2 or 3 arrives in the city with a spare action, they can simply treat disease and remove at least 1 purple cube, which prevents an outbreak there.

These are pretty simple counters to this tactic. Which is why I suspect you aren't playing by the correct rules...

Quote:
the BT can place cubes in cities whose player cards have already been discarded to prevent players from discovering the purple remedy, right?
This strategy was tested before publication and can certainly be attempted. In practice, it tends to be quite limiting for the BT and slows down their ability to create credible threats.

If the BT is also attempting the first round outbreak tactic above, either you've put purple cubes in a city that doesn't match the players' cards (and therefore might be drawn by them) or you've made it very easy for a player to get to the city you're infecting and stop the quick outbreak. (You can't have it both ways!) It is *impossible* for the BT to produce a first round purple outbreak without infecting remotely.

Remember the players can win without curing the purple disease (by curing all 4 regular diseases and removing all purple cubes from the board).
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Conan Meriadoc
France
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ced19 wrote:
The BT also chooses its starting city, so that it can cause an outbreak in its first round.
Since Tom's strategy advice assumes you are playing by the correct rules, let's validate a quick checklist :
- The bioterrorist only places purple cubes
- Cities only outbreak when a fourth cube of the same color is placed, e.g. they can have 3 blue + 1 purple and not outbreak
- Adding a purple cube to a city with non-purple cubes does not cause cubes of other colors to be added (it's the other way around)

The way you make it sound, it seems a bit too easy for the bioterrorist to cause that first outbreak, so you must have a rule wrong somewhere.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
msg tools
Quote:
Cities only outbreak when a fourth cube of the same color is placed, e.g. they can have 3 blue + 1 purple and not outbreak
It’s a rule I haven’t apply correctly. I thought that an outbreak was happening when a fourth cube was placed on a city that has already three cubes. We didn’t know that the fourth cube needed to be the same color of the three other ones. It means that two blue cubes and two red cubes could be placed on a city and it wouldn’t be an outbreak?

Also, since I have On the brink (I have all the extentions now), I thought that the purple cubes couldn’t be treated if the purple cure hasn’t been discovered. The purple cubes can be treated even if the cure hasn’t been discovered yet?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ricardo Magalhães
Portugal
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ced19 wrote:
It means that two blue cubes and two red cubes could be placed on a city and it wouldn’t be an outbreak?
That is correct.
Ced19 wrote:

Also, since I have On the brink (I have all the extentions now), I thought that the purple cubes couldn’t be treated if the purple cure hasn’t been discovered. The purple cubes can be treated even if the cure hasn’t been discovered yet?
I believe you are confusing the bio terrorist challenge from On the Brink with the superbug challenge from State of Emergency; the superbug effectively can't be treated before the cure is discovered.
These two challenges can't be mixed.
The bio terrorist challenge can only be mixed with one or many of the following challenges:
- Virulent Strain Challenge (On the Brink)
- In The Lab Challenge (In The Lab)
- Hinterlands Challenge (State of Emergency)
- Emergency Events Challenge (State of Emergency)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Ced19 wrote:
I thought that an outbreak was happening when a fourth cube was placed on a city that has already three cubes.
Incorrect. From the Pandemic base game rules, pages 6 and 7:

"To infect a city, place 1 disease cube *matching its color* onto the city [...]. If the city already has 3 cubes of *this color*, do not place a 4th cube. Instead, an outbreak of this disease occurs in this city." (emphasis added)

"As a result of outbreaks, a city may have disease cubes of multiple colors in it, up to *3 cubes of each color*." (emphasis added)

In the base game, this can only happen due to outbreaks at the borders of two different colored regions.

Quote:
It means that two blue cubes and two red cubes could be placed on a city and it wouldn’t be an outbreak?
Correct.

Quote:
I thought that the purple cubes couldn’t be treated if the purple cure hasn’t been discovered.
This is true only in the Superbug challenge, not in either of the Mutation challenges or the Bio-Terrorist Challenge.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls