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Subject: Fastest Possible Victory rss

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Andrew H
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3 cube cities: Miami, Atlanta, Washington
2 cube cities: Los Angeles, Mexico City, Essen
1 cube cities: Tehran, Mumbai, Chennai
5 epidemics
Starting hands:
Scientist: Beijing, Taipei, Sydney
Medic: Lima, Buenos Aires, Kinshasa
Researcher: Jakarta, Mexico City, Miami

Turn 1:
Scientist: Share knowledge Jakarta from researcher, cure red (eradicate red), treat, Washington
Player cards: Moscow, Algiers
Infector cards: Ho Chi Min City, Manila

Turn 2:
Researcher: Share knowledge Miami to Medic, Share knowledge Mexico City to Medic, Washingtn, treat
Player Cards: Mumbai, Delhi
Infector Cards: Taipei, Sydney

Turn 3:
Medic: Cure Yellow, Miami, Mexico City, Los Angeles (automaticly cure in each city- Eradicate Yellow)
Player Cards: Madrid, Milan
Infector cards: Lima, Kinshasa

Turn 4:
Scientist: Share knowledge Mumbai from Researcher, Share knowledge Delhi from Researcher, Atlanta, Cure Black
Player Cards: Atlanta, Airlift
Infector Cards: Johannesburg, Osaka

Turn 5:
Researcher: Treat, Treat, Atlanta, Treat
Player Cards: London, New York
Infector Cards: Lagos, Tokyo

Turn 6:
Medic: (Airlift to Atlanta), Share knowledge London from Researcher, Share knowledge New York from Researcher, Share Knowledge Atlanta from Scientist, Cure blue - WIN
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Jesse Escobedo
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Perhaps I read the rules incorrectly, but I thought that in order to share knowledge you must be in the city on the card you are sharing. Also, the researcher may give cards freely, but I do not remember that they can also receive them freely...

Jesse
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looks legit
I think you're right about the rules, but at first glance all the sharing in this game was indeed from the researcher to another player, and it all occurred in Atlanta (except turn 4, when the researcher and scientist were both in Washington.)
 
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Aaron Tubb
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LordJesse wrote:
Perhaps I read the rules incorrectly, but I thought that in order to share knowledge you must be in the city on the card you are sharing. Also, the researcher may give cards freely, but I do not remember that they can also receive them freely...
The researcher can freely give any card on their own turn or any other players turn as long as players are together. In the session report, only the researcher gave away cards.

Interesting session report! thumbsup
 
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Steve Duff
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Are you claiming this actually happened, or is this just a theoretical "best case" scenario?
 
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Alvin C
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I believe the Researcher can only give cards to others on their own turn.

That's why I like it when the researcher goes first.
 
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MGS
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Tyndal wrote:
I believe the Researcher can only give cards to others on their own turn.

That's why I like it when the researcher goes first.


Nope, anytime a Share Knowledge Action can give or receive a card. Whenever the Researcher gives a card (doesn't matter whose turn is it, the Researcher may use his/her Special Ability.

Sorry I don't have the game with me to give you the exact quote but I have seen this question clarified before.
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Alvin C
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You're correct.

I've been playing it wrong, which is disappointing, actually, since it makes the game easier and I've never lost with 4 player/4 epidemics and have a pretty good win rate with 5 epidemics already.
 
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Minty Hunter
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Quote:
Whenever the Researcher gives a card (doesn't matter whose turn is it, the Researcher may use his/her Special Ability.


I don't agree with this. The Researcher card states "You may give a player cards from your hand for 1 action per card."

You can give them, but you have to spend an action. My interpretation is that it has to be your turn, because that's the only time you can spend an action.

I would be surprised if this wasn't the way it was intended. It's already quite powerful not needing to be in the city of the card being transferred (and thus being able to transfer multiple cards easily in one turn). Allowing others to 'give' actions to the researcher (ieuse the researcher's special power without them acting) seems wrong.
 
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Tim Stellmach
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mintyh wrote:
I would be surprised if this wasn't the way it was intended.


Then brace yourself.

Pandemic Rulebook, p. 5 wrote:
The researcher can utilize this ability when involved in Share Knowledge actions on any player's turn.
 
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Minty Hunter
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timstellmach wrote:
Then brace yourself.
Pandemic Rulebook, p. 5 wrote:
The researcher can utilize this ability when involved in Share Knowledge actions on any player's turn.

Last edited on 2008-07-29 06:53:04 CST (Total Number of Edits: 2)


I did brace myself. I put in all sorts of supporting structural devices around me... and even then, I still couldn't stop the sinking feeling that this makes the Researcher too powerful.

We've won three 2 player/6 epidemic games by playing it the way I originally understood. Those would have been cakewalks using the Researcher in the 'any player' mode.

(And yes, after some previous cockups, we were meticulous about the infection level when playing the infector, or moving the outbreak marker).

Given that, I think "Fastest Possible Victory" suggests restricting the Researcher would be a good idea. Otherwise, what's the fun in a 6 turn game with no threat of loss at all?

"Paging Matt Leacock. Matt Leacock to room 30549. We have an otherwise lovely game that may be suffering a broken card..."
 
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Kenyon Daniel
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In our plays we haven't seen where the researcher is too powerful. We're running about 50/50 with 4 and 5 players.

However, I wonder what the impact would be to restrict the giving from the research to the color of the city the research is on (rather than the specific city as in a normal trade).

 
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Steve Duff
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mintyh wrote:
Given that, I think "Fastest Possible Victory" suggests restricting the Researcher would be a good idea. Otherwise, what's the fun in a 6 turn game with no threat of loss at all?

"Paging Matt Leacock. Matt Leacock to room 30549. We have an otherwise lovely game that may be suffering a broken card..."


Sounds to me like you've still got some rule wrong somewhere, because the *last* thing to describe this game with 6 epidemics and the rules as written is "cakewalk".

A very good result would be to have a 50% success ratio on Heroic level. My own ratio is running around 20%.

There's a reason it's called Heroic.
 
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Minty Hunter
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
the *last* thing to describe this game with 6 epidemics and the rules as written is "cakewalk".


If you look at the first post here, that's definitely a cakewalk.

My concern is that what gets you moving around the board is trying to fight infections while doing research.

If the Researcher can give cards in any city at any time, including other people's turns, then you may as well all camp in Atlanta.

Even with 6 Epidemics, you're only hitting one Epidemic approx every 9 cards (53/6). You start the game with 8 cards (9 with 3 players). After 9 turns, you'll have worked through 18 cards for a total of almost half the deck, with only two epidemics having appeared.

I'll let someone better at stats than me do the math, but it certainly seems likely that you'll have hit the cure for at least two or three diseases in that time, given that you don't need to spend cards moving or building research centres, you can get matching cards from the Researcher at any time on anyone's turn, and you're in a city with a research centre for instant 1-action cures.

If you play the Researcher as I read it on the card (and not as it says on Page 5 of the rules), then it's only on the Researcher's turn that they can do the "give cards in any city" special action. That necessitates doing more than camping- the Researcher is no longer some super-powerful "effectively get many many actions from other players" character.

I'd be interested in what people think!
 
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Jim Scheiderich
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Depends on what the Researcher draws for cards. If heavy infection in 2 colors and Researcher is drawing the other 1-2 colors effectively the hand-off is cut-off. The others cannot transfer cards except in the named cities.

I had missed the rule on p.5 as well. While it makes the Researcher more powerful, its all in the draws he (or she) gets.

In some ways it makes sense that if the Researcher has the "knowledge" that they could pass it on at anytime. But as someone pointed out in another forum, in this day and age, why would anyone have to be in the same city to pass on knowledge?

The game is fun and fast but a sim it's not.
 
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Steve Duff
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mintyh wrote:
If you look at the first post here, that's definitely a cakewalk.


The first post here is so impossibly best case, that I doubt it's an actual session. Note that the poster still hasn't answered that question I asked him.

Every player started out with the best possible hand, all of one colour. Except the researcher of course, he got the exact 2 cards he needed to share with the Medic, and the exact one he needed to share with the Scientist. Every city that started with more than one cube was sitting right beside the starting location in Atlanta so that it could easily be cleaned up.

After being dealt this incredibly lucky hand, what happens? We get 4 black cards in a row, a brand new colour, 2 for the scientist and 2 for the researcher immediately after, so that once again we can cure a disease the very next turn. Which of course means that the next five cards in a row turn up blue, again a new colour, so that we can cure the final disease. Not to mention we also needed the player order to be exactly perfect as well. The whole thing falls apart if it was Medic/Researcher/Scientist.

Basically, this entire scenario is the equivalent of being dealt a perfect bridge hand of 13 spades, or a royal flush in poker. Nice for that little old lady in Podunkville when it finally happens after 68 years of playing the game, but you don't assess the game or question the rules because of it.

mintyh wrote:
Even with 6 Epidemics, you're only hitting one Epidemic approx every 9 cards (53/6). You start the game with 8 cards (9 with 3 players). After 9 turns, you'll have worked through 18 cards for a total of almost half the deck, with only two epidemics having appeared.


You have 53 cards (48 cities + 5 special events) in the deck before you deal the hands to each player. So, that takes the deck down to either 44 or 45 cards. Then you split it into 6 piles, giving you either (2 or 3) piles with 8 cards, and (4 or 3) piles with 7 cards. The epidemics go into those piles, the smaller ones go on the bottom, so only for the first 2 or 3 epidemics are your chances 1 in 9, after that it's 1 in 8. So yes, "only" 2 epidemics after 9 turns, but quite often you'll get your 3rd after 10 turns. And now you're infecting 3 cities, not 2, and everything goes to hell...

Aha! Thank you for that comment, I just proved the first post is full of horse!@#%. He said 3 players, five epidemics. Which means his deck split had to be 9/9/9/9/8, adding an epidemic in each section makes it 10/10/10/10/9.

Critical Mass wrote:


Turn 1:
Player cards: Moscow, Algiers
That's 2...

Turn 2:
Player Cards: Mumbai, Delhi
That's 4...

Turn 3:
Player Cards: Madrid, Milan
That's 6...

Turn 4:
Player Cards: Atlanta, Airlift
That's 8. Big surprise, once again he's incredibly lucky, the epidemic card that's in the first 10 cards was at the bottom of the pile...

Turn 5:
Player Cards: London, New York


Oops. No it wasn't. Gee, this game sure is easy when you don't put the epidemic cards into the deck. devil
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Gee, this game sure is easy when you don't put the epidemic cards into the deck. devil


Heh. Steven, you nailed it. I'd actually checked whether he should have got an epidemic, but then forgot that while there's 53 cards and that seems enough for some piles of 10 without an epidemic, you have to first deal out the player hands. That means the max time before you hit an epidemic is, as your figures show, on the fifth draw. So the post is an impossible game. Or else:

UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
the first post is full of horse!@#%
Ahem. I'm quite sure you meant to type 'the first post contained inadvertent errors or was played with a somewhat distorted view of the rules'.

 
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Steve Duff
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Heh, I guess the fist pumps and high fives I was doing with the cats were over the top too, eh? laugh

I have no problem with the topic of "theoretically, what's the best game of Pandemic you could ever play". It's quite interesting, in fact.

I just didn't like it being labelled a session report.
 
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Minty Hunter
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Well, whether the session above was legit or imagined, the whole "Researcher-used-on-other-player's-turns" was still bugging me.

So I played a game (yes, a real session!) and posted the results in The Researcher card is game-breakingly overpowered..

I'd be interested in what you think.
 
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Kevin Peters Unrau
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Basically, this entire scenario is the equivalent of being dealt a perfect bridge hand of 13 spades...


If such a killer hand exists then it sounds to me like Bridge is clearly broken. I wonder why it remains so popular?
 
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Andrew H
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Sorry I have not been responding to questions on this thread. I forgot to subscribe to it.

This was always an entirely theoretical game. I never played such a ridiculously lucky game. I also submitted a fastest possible loss session report but it was not accepted by the mods.

If I made a mistake about the appearance of the first epidemic card it was certainly unintentional. My brain was in a twist trying to figure out all the best possible circumstances. I was aware of this issue but must have miscalculated the size of the card stacks. The easy fix is to call the typo the 5 epidemic game. Replace that with 4 epidemic game then the cards per pile are easily big enough to have the first epidemic in the end of the 6th turn unless I am again mistaken.
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Andrew H
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Well done Steven for finding the mistake in my session report.
 
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Steve Duff
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Heh. It was an interesting mental exercise, thanks for posting it.
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