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Subject: How Pan Scales Well rss

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Cameron McKenzie
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I was a little worried that the game would be significantly easier the more players that were added. I mean, of course more players means more infections (same number PER player) but they also have more \"presence\" on the board and there\'s more likely to be someone in position to deal with a big a infection if one occurs!

However, a few plays in and you realize that keeping infections under control is only half the challenge. You have to find cures to win, and it\'s not as easy as it sounds. You need 4-5 cards of one color to make a cure, and there are only 12 cards of each color in the deck. Once a card is used, it can NEVER be recovered, so the resources are very limited. In a 2-player game you can reasonably expect to draw 6 of each color before exhausting the deck, so you should eventually be able to cure everything without having to trade. But with 3 and 4 players, you can only expect to get 4 or 3 cards of a color, respectively.

It\'s absolutely vital that with more players you utilize card exchanges more often. Card exchanges are tough to do as you may realize if you read the rules, but I can not stress their importance enough! If everyone draws 3 red cards over the course of a game, you CANNOT win without trading red cards. When you consider that many of the cards drawn will be used for other purposes or discarded (the hand limit is quite restrictive since you need to dedicate most of your hand to one color if your looking for a cure) it can be very tough to get enough cards in one players hands.

So the game has a very interesting balancing mechanic depending on number of players. Two players obviously have difficulty keeping infections under control. If they can cure enough diseases, they can reasonably hope to draw enough for the cures they need, only relying on trades to expedite the process. Four players can more easily keep diseases in check, especially if they spend cards to travel, but cards become a precious commodity and the need to rendevous for an exchange will force you to dedicate less time to healing disease.

I\'m tempted to say that more players actually makes the game HARDER, but since most of my games have been with 2, I can\'t really make that call yet. Role selection also has a lot to do with it. Doing a 3p with Operations Expert, Dispatcher, and Medic for example will probably be very hard. Great team for treating disease, but bad for finding cures!
 
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Carlos Robledo
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I have to say, our 3 player game without a Researcher was harder than our 4 player game without a Medic. I find this somewhat amusing because before I had the chance to play the game, I always thought the Researcher had the least powerful power, and I think it ends up being the opposite. Trading cards is definitely the way to find some cures. Oh, and assigning a color to each player to work on.

It is my hope that in a future expansion (free or otherwise) our 6th character would be Supplier: Does not have a hand size limit. He would be a good team with the Researcher.

Hm. Maybe I should draft that card after all.
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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Interesting idea for a power, although UNLIMITED hand might be stretching it. 12 cards are so seems like it would be plenty powerful.

I like the idea of new characters with more focus on hand management. Another idea would be a character who may draw 3 cards and choose which 2 to keep during his turn.

I could think of several special events that could be added to involve hand management, such as one that lets you retrieve a city card from the discard or even one that you can play as a sort of "wild card" to count as any city or color.

Yes... there's plenty I can think of to expand, and with expansions requiring merely new cards, pawns, and perhaps mechanics, they'd be small cheap expansions. I mean you can't exactly expand by adding a new board! We've literally got the whole world covered. Although I suppose a new board could focus on a small part of the world with more detail and new mechanics.

I think it's a bit too early to talk about expansions, but little things like extra characters would make simple variants.
 
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AB
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How about adding a traitor element? A Bioterrorist working against the group disguised as an an inncoent Scientist devil

AB
 
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Cameron McKenzie
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I expect a traitor element would require significant change to game mechanics. Not that it isn't a good idea, but it seems to me that Pandemic requires far more cooperation than something like Shadows Over Camelot where players are more or less doing their own thing unconcerned with the actions of their comrades (though working towards a common goal).

A bioterrorist would be a great twist on the gameplay, though, and would perhaps make an excellent expansion! Do to Pandemic what the Sauron expansion does for Lord of the Rings...
 
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Carlos Robledo
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I think a traitor would be hard to implement but if done right it could be pretty fun. Maybe if they draw Epidemic cards they can keep them in their hands and do something bad with it later?

Some other characters me and my friends thought to be viable:

* Increased hand size, maybe 10-12 cards instead of 7.
* The draw 3, choose 2 power like mentioned above.
* Always draw 2 infection cards during infector step (no matter where the infection rate marker is).
* Move to a city with a research station on it as an action. No disease cubes may be added to cities with a research station.
 
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