Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
3 Posts

Pandemic» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The Random Gamer at the Cottage Next Door: Game #4 Pandemic rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Mr. HomoLudens: Well, I just spent a week at a cottage north of Toronto and played some games. Oddly enough, BGG user Ender Wiggins (EndersGame) and his family were at the cottage next door, so we decided to let him and wife play too. Sometimes we even let one or two of his kids play. Yes, the man has kids, although they don't often appear in his many, many photos. We did not let him take any pictures of our games, because the man's made enough GG already.

Mr. Ender: There's nothing like being on vacation and discovering that the random person in the cottage next door is a fellow gamer. Pandemic was Game #4 in the many game sessions (see the first here) that resulted from this amazing discovery.

Mr. HomoLudens: Ender wanted to play this game because he thought the ladies might like it and from a moral perspective it might also prove edifying. So I acquiesced.

Mr. Ender: Illness hasn’t been as popular in gaming circles since the Black Plague, which history tells us wiped out a significant number of gamers (although some non-gamers may also have been affected). But now along comes Pandemic, which gives gamers the possibility of saving the world or losing it to disease. Everyone likes to save the world during their vacation, because it gives a warm fuzzy feeling inside, so it was a natural choice to take to the cottage. The fact that it was a cooperative game was also in its favour, because it could serve as a soothing balm in the event that Life Boats became too vindictive.

That having been said, I’d like some further elaboration from Mr. HomoLudens, in his attempt to attribute to me the following two motives for suggesting this game:
1. “he thought the ladies might like it.” Mrs. HomoLudens and Mrs. Ender could easily entertain themselves with a week of cooperative quilting, so I can’t quite understand why Pandemic should particularly qualify as a game that “the ladies might like”. Perhaps it is the square cubes, which admittedly do bear some resemblance to quilting squares.
2. “from a moral perspective it might also prove edifying.” Perhaps Mr. HomoLudens is making a veiled reference here to Genesis 3, where one learns the real origin of the pandemics that afflict us. Or perhaps it is a veiled reference to Ephesians 4, where more than one reference is made to the importance of the principle of cooperation. At any rate, I would welcome further enlightenment on this point (mandatory flashlight reference quite deliberate, in accordance with Regulation 4.58c of the Farlain Treasure Hunters Guide).

Mr. HomoLudens:We played two games. The first was way too easy. We were done in no time, and were hardly challenged. I was the dispatcher and thought it was a fair amount of fun sending people all over the place. Maybe the least fun would be the one where you keep having to give your cards to other people, so they can discover the cure and get all the credit. Being an academic that just goes right against my natural survival instincts. Give me the Scientist card anyday!

The second game we used five epidemic cards and were overcome by a highly resistant form of Red Cube disease just a few turns away from finding the last two cures. We had all the cards ready, but it was too late, and many died to the Scarlet Bird Fever.

Mr. Ender: The game itself: To teach Mr. & Mrs. HomoLudens the basics of playing Pandemic, we solicited the services of a video guide, who has a part time job specializing in giving romantic advice. For the record, he recommended playing the game with pink candles, and suggested it as a fine choice for Valentine’s Day. Consider yourself educated. But his video explanation apparently served its purpose well, and our combination of Scientist, Medic, Dispatcher and Researcher served to cure the world of disease in relatively short order, without too much doubt about the outcome.

Perhaps the level was too easy? The following evening saw us battling the same diseases, which somehow had made a remarkable comeback, but now at a harder level. Strange that. Our combination of Operations Expert, Researcher, Medic, and Scientist proved inadequate, and after eight global outbreaks, the world waved a white flag of surrender, and fired us.

A subsequent game of Pandemic with Mr. & Mrs. Ender and Son #1 and Son #3 the following week resulted in a similar outcome. Playing at the harder level was much more tense and enjoyable, however. I am pleased to report that two subsequent three player games at this level resulted in one win (Scientist, Dispatcher, and Medic), and one loss (Scientist, Dispatcher, Researcher). At the easiest level, it seems possible to win with any combination of roles, but I wonder if the Medic is almost essential at the intermediate level, in order to prevent a loss as a result of eight outbreaks.

Mr. HomoLudens: Thoughts? Awesome game. A solid 8.76, and certainly very thematic, despite the cubes. If Fantasy Flight had published it, I wonder what kind of miniatures they would have used instead!

Mr. Ender: Great cooperative game, worthy of consideration for its uniqueness. One has a real sense of battling disease outbreaks around the world, and the combinations of different roles results in different strategies and possibilities. I'd give it a solid 8.75, increased to an 8.77 when played with wives. As an aside, I have been much inspired by the HomoLudens family’s passion for painting miniatures and for quilting, and am considering painting the miniatures (cubes) of Pandemic, using a quilting theme.

----------------------
See an overview of the complete list of 15 games played as part of this series, along with links to each session report here:
The Random Gamer at the Cottage Next Door
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/36072
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Rundkvist
Sweden
Saltsjöbaden
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Anybody notice that the city of Essen's inclusion on the map must be a gamer in-joke? None of the larger cities in its vicinity was used.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ender Wiggins
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mrund wrote:
Anybody notice that the city of Essen's inclusion on the map must be a gamer in-joke? None of the larger cities in its vicinity was used.

Quite so!



The same thing was done with the Rails of Europe expansion of Railroad Tycoon:



If I'm not mistaken, Essen also made the map on Ticket to Ride Europe.
1 
 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.