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Pandemic: On the Brink» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Essen 2009 - A Demo session to remember rss

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Marius Roth
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In Essen, Pegasus Spiele sold the german version of the expansion, that was released just days ago. As a game instructor for Pegasus, I had the joy to show the new expansion (or the basic game) to interested visitors.

One of the sessions was really memorable, and here is what happened:

The game was played by 5 players, 2 veterans of the basic game, and 3 complete newbies. They agreed on adding both the Virulent Strain and the Mutation cards to the basic game to make things more interesting.

The Red and Yellow cure were discovered pretty quickly, while black became the Virulent Srain and devastated the Middle East. Around the middle of the game, the purple cure was discovered (although I *might* have made a mistake cause you need at least one city card where a purple cube is present, which I had overread at this time), and even a the black cure was discovered despite the sticks that the game threw into the players legs (the black cure needed an additional city card to be discovered for a total of six city cards, a uninfected black city got 2 cubes instead 1, having to infect an additional city when a black city was infected and so on).

So the player draw pile was quickly shrinking and one of the veteran players started to behave like a cry-baby, as in "Oh look, just 8 more cards, we can't win this game. There is simply no way". The new players became a bit nervous and I tried to calm everyones minds.

Player "cry-baby" was the Researcher to this tima and held no hand cards
The next player was a scientist with only 1 blue card and way of the real action
The third player was the Troubleshooter, had 3 blue cards and the same city card the Researcher currently stood in

Calculating the possibilities, I asked the cry-baby: Did you already draw two new handcards? - No. The researcher draws two cards and they are: two freaking blue cities. Now how to get them to the troubleshooter, who had the remaining three blue cards? As the Troubleshooter had the citycard the researcher stood in on his hand, he could use one of his actions to go to this city, and two actions to tarde the needed two city cards. But sadly he then wouldn't be abe to reach the Research Center in time.

Player "cry-baby" again can't see them winning: "The Troubleshooter is short of one action, he can't reach the Research Center and we will run out of cards. Buhuuhuu". Again I tried to calm him down, as there was one special card that I hadn't seen in the game yet: Subvention by the governemnt (the one where you build a free Research Center anywhere on the map). So the question was, who would get this card? If this card would be at the bottom of the drawpile, the game really was f**** up. If the next player in line could get it, they would win the game. It was a 1:3 chance of winning.

The next player made her move, healed some cubes and got to the draw sequence. Guess what: Of course, she drew the needed card, and the victory cries of the players, especially the one drawing the needed card, not only were hearable in the next hall but also nearly deafened me.

In the Troubleshooters turn, he flew to the Researchers city by showing off his city card, traded the missing cards, the Research center was build with the special card and with his last action, and only 4 cards on the draw pile, the last cure was researched.

This was one of the most exciting games of Pandemic, I had played in the last month, and again showed that a game isn't over until you make your last moves.
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Robin Goodall
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Astartus wrote:
...one special card that I hadn't seen in the game yet: Subvention by the governemnt (the one where you build a free Research Center anywhere on the map)...It was a 1:3 chance of winning.

Umm... (sorry, I'm always spotting things like this):

How did you know the Government Grant special card was even in there? It could have been one of those returned to the box when you initially put 2 per player in the player deck (or did you put them all in)?
 
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Marius Roth
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As the game instructor (and not playing myself but helping the new players understand the mechanics), I was able to look at the special cards that where left out of the game, and didn't see this card in there. And since I hadn't seen it on the players hands (they were playing with open hands) I concluded that it must have been somewhere in the last few cards.
 
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Astartus wrote:
Around the middle of the game, the purple cure was discovered (although I *might* have made a mistake cause you need at least one city card where a purple cube is present, which I had overread at this time)


Not to discount the victory or anything... of course you should assume at this point that a card you had was one with a purple cube... but you'd be surprised how difficult it can be sometimes to cure purple. You think, eh, it's easy, I only needs any five cards... but then, wait, I don't have one where a purple cube is. D'oh!
 
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Christopher Onstad
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Grudunza wrote:
Astartus wrote:
Around the middle of the game, the purple cure was discovered (although I *might* have made a mistake cause you need at least one city card where a purple cube is present, which I had overread at this time)


Not to discount the victory or anything... of course you should assume at this point that a card you had was one with a purple cube... but you'd be surprised how difficult it can be sometimes to cure purple. You think, eh, it's easy, I only needs any five cards... but then, wait, I don't have one where a purple cube is. D'oh!

Especially because of the enthusiasm people I play with have for curing purple. I have to remind them constantly that we need to leave at least one city with purple, or we can't cure it.
 
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