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Subject: Pandemic with Parents II rss

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Tony Russell
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In my previous thread, Pandemic with Parents, I mentioned how my parents (in their 50s) played a friendly game of Pandemic with me (in my 30s) on Christmas day, only to be defeated by an onslaught by the, for lack of a better name, red disease.

blacktrainSidenote: In that post I also asked for some creative names for the diseases in Pandemic, and though I have received no responses as of yet, I am sure that they are forthcoming. In the meantime, I've decided to name the red infection the Reds after an "illness" that my best friend's dad claimed he had to get us out of a Boy Scouts five-mile hike in Southeastern Louisiana. He was a large man and his thighs had had enough of the heat, humidity, and repetitive rubbing together. Thus, he contracted a horrible case of what he called the Reds and even as a brave Assistant Scoutmaster, he could not make the rest of the trek. Sadly, his son and I decided that we had contracted the disease, too, and were unable to finish the hike. My Scoutmaster and his son continued on the swampy journey only to have it abruptly stopped a half mile later due to flood waters. Though they did not contract the Reds, my Scoutmaster and his son did enjoy the rest of the day in the "infirmary" with the rest of us sluggards.

Mom and Dad didn't have that apprehensive look when I pulled out Pandemic again later. (That was a good sign.) So the four of us (Mom, Dad, my wife, and I) sat down again and took on the dreaded blue, yellow, black, and the Reds.

Game 1 - Level: Easy/Introductory
Our first game was rather quick. The diseases were dispersed rather evenly over the board, and we had the services of the Operations Expert (me), Scientist (Dad), Medic (my wife), and the Researcher (Mom). It was a great combination that seemed to work really well with the way we drew cards. Because of the disease spread, I laid down some prep work by building a few research stations in some central locations, treating a few cubes along the way. The Researcher always seemed to have the cards the Scientist needed, and with plenty of research stations about, cures were easy and communication was fast. The Medic played damage control, eradicated yellow easily, and we won with about 8-10 player cards to spare. Things worked well from the beginning, and though epidemics can early and close to one another, since we were already in those areas, we were able to control them better. Good game, seemed easier than usual.

Game 2 - Level: Easy/Introductory
In Game 2, we drew roles at random but ended up with some of the same roles. I had the Operations Expert again, and my wife had the Medic again. Mom and Dad "switched" roles. Dad had the Researcher; Mom had the Scientist. But this time, the roles didn't function the same. The Reds were all up and down our thighs, if you will.

The initial draw of 18 cubes placed most of the cubes in Eastern Asia. The Operations Expert couldn't really lay any "groundwork" this time. All of us just scrambled for Asia to get the Reds under control.It took nearly 2/3 of the game to even get our first cure, the black disease. The Scientist only cured one disease, yellow, very late in the game. The Researcher never had anything worth a darn to pass. It seemed like a recipe for disaster.

But late in the game yellow and blue down. I used the Operations Expert to set up research stations for quick travel and often in spots where I knew people were ready with a cure in hand but were not close to a research station. I pulled a red card I needed on my second-to-last turn, and on my last I cured The Reds. There were 3 cards left in the player draw pile!!

It was a close game, and the victory was much more like other victories I've experienced in this game (at the last moment--something I love about this game). Mom and Dad loved the game. The wife is into it as well. We bagged to victories. I'm happy.

Next time, we introduce everyone to the "normal" rules (5 epidemics instead of 4).
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David Gardner
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For our group, red has always been AIDS, black the bubonic plague (the Black Death), yellow has been Ebola, and blue has been (our own creative signature) "Blue Hair Disease." This disease is ambiguously understood in one of two ways: (a) within 24 hours, your hair turns blue and you die, which my children (okay, and I too) think is funny, and/or (b) Age -- i.e. one's hair turns blue as one ages. So that's Blue Hair Disease. --DG
 
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Tony Russell
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Blue really seems to be the one that gives me the most trouble, but Blue Hair Disease is so off the wall that it may be indelibly etched in my mind forever.
 
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Jason Pott
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My wife loves SETTLERS OF CATAN, INGENIUS & HIVE. Is this game easy enough for her to get into? After reading your two session postings with your parents it seems she would. How do I talk her into it? The most complicated game she's ever played with my gaming group has been: A GAME OF THRONES (she won) & it sounds like PANDEMIC isn't too complicated. She sees us playing TWILIGHT IMPERIUM & STARCRAFT: TBG & gives me "the look" & I let her know I would never in a million years ask her to play those complicated, time consuming, albeit, WONDERFUL games. PANDEMIC sounds like something she could get into.

Suggestions?

By the way, excellent session articles.
 
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David Gardner
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She will really enjoy Pandemic. Are you familiar with the "Weight" of games here on the Geek? It's there in the stats on each game's page. Check it out and you'll see that the weighting for Pandemic is (last I checked) 2.27. That is a medium-light game. In other words, if she can handle the other games you mentioned (e.g. Settlers is a 2.38), she can grasp Pandemic.

How do you talk her into it? It's cooperative! I'm thinking that's an easy sell for most people, especially those who would need to be sold. I think spouses generally dig co-op.

--David
 
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