Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

Ok, after reading the recent review a couple of thoughts have come to me. The review did raise some important point:
1. The research roll doesn't give enough choice 2. Special Events are too random 3. Role interaction is nonexistant 4. Don't feel you're running out of time
So I've come up with a number of solutions that address these problems, and I'm looking for some feedback on them to ensure they're the right direction to take the game in.
The biggest change is to research and infection rolling. Instead of the 3 coloured dice (or normal dice using the lookup table), there will now be 5 dice. These are all custom dice and have the following faces:
Dice 1: Red, Blue, Yellow, Infection, Infection, Epidemic Dice 2: Red, Green, Yellow, Infection, Infection, Epidemic Dice 3: Blue, Green, Special, Infection, Infection, Epidemic Dice 4: Special, Red, Green, Infection, Infection, Epidemic Dice 5: Special, Blue, Yellow, Infection, Infection, Epidemic
Here's how it works: You roll all five dice, you must keep any dice showing Infection or Epidemic. If not Infection or Epidemics are showing you must keep at least one dice. You can then reroll the others. Repeat this until you have locked all 5 dice.
If you roll 2 or more epidemics then an epidemic occurs, do a normal city roll and place 3 cubes in that city (basically as before).
Advance you research trackers as normal.
There is a new tracker, the special tracker. This is two shorter than the research trackers. You may advance this tracker for each "special" you roll. When it is full you have a choice. You may select a special events (that hasn't already occurred) or you may change rolls. You then reset the tracker.
For each infection or epidemic icon rolled an infection occurs this turn. Do a standard city roll for each, placing one cube in that city. (That's in the standard game, in the easy game it's just for each infection rolled).
The current infection rate tracker will be scrapped and replaced with a tracker similar to the outbreak tracker, i.e. it is advanced each time an epidemic occurs and after 6 epidemics you lose on the next epidemic.
So, what does all this achieve. The additional dice should make the core dice rolling part of the game more interesting and offer more choices to the player. The "special" tracker makes special events and role changes more about choice than luck and should allow for some strategy and planning. The epidemics tracker should make you feel time is running out a bit more than the old, long, infection tracker. I also think having the number of infections change round to round is better than the old "there will be 2 infections this round" method. It feels closer to the theme, where the number of infections wouldn't be a fixed number. It makes the choices more difficult, do I reroll to try and get the research I need, but risk further infections? (it even matches real life better, i.e. do I spend longer doing research hoping for the right results, whilst more infections are breaking out?)
The only problems I foresee are that it's 5 custom dice. At the moment the game is played with standard dice (and/or readily available coloured dice). And it's a bit more work for me, Malechi and anybody else creating board designs.
Let me know what you think, does this sound like a genuine improvement, or just change for the sake of it?
Thanks Andy

Nic Chilton
United Kingdom Leeds West Yorks

On the dice, 5 custom dice isn't a problem. If people want to use standard dice, there could be a playeraid table of 5 columns and you could use 5 different coloured D6, but most people would just sticker up.
Having 5 DIFFERENT dice might be more of a problem as there will be a lot more examining each to choose which dice to reroll, since if you are after a specific colour there will be two that cannot help you.
Is the change (just concerning the research roll) an improvement? Its just an increase in the number of dice being used  you have to roll and lock them, the only choice is whether to reroll and which ones. What would be nice would be if there was strategy element in being able to choose which dice and how many to use.
You could have some dice with Red, Blue, Green, yellow, Infection, Epidemic and some Red/Blue, Green/Yellow, Special, Infection, Infection, Epidemic (if you roll colours, e.g. red/Blue, you choose which it is) [alternative RBYG, Special, Special, Infection, Epidemic, Epidemic]
The idea is to just have two types of dice, but a few of each (maybe 4 of the 1st and 2 of the 2nd). The player can then choose which and how many to use. The dice faces I put are just a thought and probably need changing/tweaking, plus you'll need extra conditions like the 2nd type of dice have to be locked first, to make it work.
The idea really is to try and give more choice to allow a research roll strategy. Maybe by default the player only has a set number of dice to use, and gains using extra dice somehow. For instance they can choose to swap two of the first standard dice for one of the second type, or a role or special event allows extra dice.
Its still a fledgling idea and I need to think about it more, but thought I'd put the idea out to see whether you think some mechanism allowing a choice of what dice to use before rolling is a good one, before spending time on how it could be implemented.

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

I'm open to any suggestions regarding the dice. The 5 dice I've listed above give the correct feeling chances of rolling each result
i.e.
On the first roll there's a: 42% of getting 1 or more of a specific colour (red, green, blue, yellow) 42% of getting 1 or more "special"
on average there will be 2.1 infections and/or epidemics
on average an epidemic (2 or more epidemic faces showing) will occur every 7 turns
Now when the player chooses to reroll dice this obviously effects the odds. It increases the odds of rolling more infections/epidemics for a start.
Once option would be to use D8, then the 8 sides are: red, green, blue, yellow, special, infection, infection, epidemic
but I'd need to simulate this and calculate all the odds, plus people don't tend to have as many D8 laying around.

Jesse McGatha
United States Sammamish Washington

Haven't done any analysis, but having dealt with mixed dice in other games (Monopoly Express, for example) people can and will spend a lot of time examining the nonshowing faces to figure out if taking an "ok" die prevents them from getting the thing they really want.
So, haven't thought about this (or done the math) a great deal, but why not just 5 standard dice:
Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Special, Infection
You must keep any Infection you roll, and if you take at least 3 Infections in a single turn, you have an Epidemic. For Specials, you can say you only get to "keep" one Special per turn for each R/G/B/Y face you take, so you can get a maximum of 2 Specials on any given turn.
Although I've printed out the bits, I haven't had the time to sit down and play yet, so the above may not make too much sense, but hopefully it's helpful.
Edit: Note, by sticking with the standard dice above, you can just buy color dice off the shelf. Typically these are R/G/B/Y/Purple/Black IIRC, so they map well to the roles you have for them.

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

Here's a slightly simpler idea then:
5xD6
3x red,green,blue,yellow,infection,infection 2x special,special,role,role,infection,infection
There's 2 new trackers, both 4 long, one for special events and one for role change.
As before you roll all the dice, lock any showing infection, locking at least one per reroll until all are locked.
As a slight change, the number of city infections that turn is = number of infections rolled + 1 (so min of 1 and max of 6 if you're really really unlucky).
I'm not sure whether to keep the infection tracker, or to just say double infection = epidemic, and have an epidemic tracker that's similar to the outbreak tracker.
Odds work out well: odds of 1 or more of a specific colour ~ 43% average # of infection rolled ~ 1.4 (+1, means on average there will be 23 city infections per turn) epidemic every 7 turns on average
Obviously rerolling increases all these odds, so it is a case of the player deciding whether it's worth the risk of additional infections/epidemics in order to get the results they need.

Nic Chilton
United Kingdom Leeds West Yorks

awakener76 wrote: There's 2 new trackers, both 4 long, one for special events and one for role change.
As before you roll all the dice, lock any showing infection, locking at least one per reroll until all are locked.
As a slight change, the number of city infections that turn is = number of infections rolled + 1 (so min of 1 and max of 6 if you're really really unlucky).
I'm not sure whether to keep the infection tracker, or to just say double infection = epidemic, and have an epidemic tracker that's similar to the outbreak tracker. I suppose it could be like Roll tt Ages and one infection has no effect. I assume the role and special just move tracker along and no need door doubles?

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

nicch wrote: I suppose it could be like Roll tt Ages and one infection has no effect. I assume the role and special just move tracker along and no need door doubles?
Exactly, you move the special and role trackers and when one is full you can choose to special event you want or the role to change to. Give the player a few more choices and takes a bit of the random out.
The real question is about epidemics, I like the tracker and it allows you to judge the amount of risk you want to take, i.e. if you're quite a way of the next epidemic you can take a chance and do more rerolls. Equally I like the randomness of epidemics suddenly happening, it's a difficult balancing act.
The major problem with having epidemic on double infection is that it really discourages rerolling, and whats the point of having choice if that choice is so unpalatable?

Nic Chilton
United Kingdom Leeds West Yorks

awakener76 wrote: nicch wrote: I suppose it could be like Roll tt Ages and one infection has no effect. I assume the role and special just move tracker along and no need door doubles? Exactly, you move the special and role trackers and when one is full you can choose to special event you want or the role to change to. Give the player a few more choices and takes a bit of the random out. The real question is about epidemics, I like the tracker and it allows you to judge the amount of risk you want to take, i.e. if you're quite a way of the next epidemic you can take a chance and do more rerolls. Equally I like the randomness of epidemics suddenly happening, it's a difficult balancing act. The major problem with having epidemic on double infection is that it really discourages rerolling, and whats the point of having choice if that choice is so unpalatable?
I like the infection tracker  its like a ticking time bomb
With three dice, then the doubleinfection = epidemic does mean you're less likely to reroll if you already have rolled one, but if you look at Roll through the Ages that has the disasters people may reroll to get more as 3 is preferable to 2.
So you could have something like 1 infection  no effect 2 infections  carry out 2 infection rolls 3 infections  move to next epidemic 4 infections  mutated strain (lose all research on highest research) 5 infections  superbug (a cure is lost, put marker for that strain back on zero)
That way if you roll 2, you may try for 4 if youve recently cured and the rest have low research, or even 5 if you haven't cured anything yet. Just an idea.

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

Ok, so how does this sound:
We have the 5 dice I mention above. You can reroll as many times as you like, but you can't reroll dice showing infections.
We keep the infection tracker, just space it out a bit as there are now 5 dice rather than 3.
We have a look up table for infection results:
1: 2 infection rolls 2: 3 infections rolls 3: epidemic 4: mutation  lose all research on highest research* 5: resilient strain  a cure is lost, reset research tracker for that disease**
This seems the best compromise, offering more choices, whilst simplifying the rolling process slightly.
*if two or more diseases are tied for highest then roll one of the coloured dice to determine the disease
**if two or more diseases are cured then roll one of the coloured dice to determine the disease, if no diseases are cured then perform 4 infection rolls

Philippe Blockx
Belgium Zichem

I was just contemplating writing a review on some of the shortcomings when I discovered this list, which corrects most of them
I really like the idea you can choose roles/specials (with tracker). Especially Specials sucked earlier, role selection is a nice bonus. Also the idea of table for infection result giving oppurtunities is very nice. Just a thought...why not give 5 infection rolls a more positive result. As an extra incentive to roll once again if you allready have 3/4 infections? Let's say something like reset specials and roleselection track. That's less brutal (IMHO) as resiliant strain?! Also any suggestions on how the infection track would look like with these 5 dice?
Keep up the good work/ideas.
EDIT: typos corrected

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

Well I'm going to wrap all these changes up into the expansion, "Secondary Infection". Below are some of the thoughts I've been sharing with someone who geekmailed me. It details the rolls and the changes to the infection tracker.
As you can see, it's give incentives for rolling 3 or 9 infections, making the choice of which dice to reroll a little trickier.
It also gives the player far more control over roles and special events, they have the chance to plan ahead.
Let me know what you think!
Research Rolls There are now 5 dice, 3 of which are Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Single Infection, Double Infection The other 2 dice are Special Event, Special Event, Role, Role, Single Infection, Double Infection.
Alternatively, 5d8 could be used, each dice being identical: blue, yellow, green, special event, role, single infection, double infection.
You roll the dice, any infection dice cannot be rerolled, any other dice may be rerolled. You can do up to 2 rerolls.
The colours, special events and roles move the relevant trackers. The special event and role trackers are new and are a little shorter than research trackers. The research trackers have also grown 1 square longer.
When the special event or role tracker is full then those points can be "cashed in" for a special event (roll the dice) or role (choose the new role, can only play each role once during the game).
The infections are looked up in the table below (or one very much like it!). If there is no effect listed then infection/city rolls are done the number of times indicated on the infection rate tracker:
Infection Effect 1  2 +1 infections 3 1 infections, only move infection tracker 1 space 4 epidemic 5  6 Mutation  lose all research into a randomly picked disease 7 double epidemic 8  9 1 infections, only move infection tracker 2 spaces 10 +1 infections
The infection tracker is also moved along by the number of infections rolled. The infection tracker will be longer (due to the higher number of infections being rolled). So there will be 5 spaces between epidemics. If epidemic is rolled on the infection table above, the tracker is moved forward to the next epidemic, or by the number of infections rolled, which ever is the further. Same applies to double epidemics.

Philippe Blockx
Belgium Zichem

awakener76 wrote: role (choose the new role, can only play each role once during the game).
Why only once? I just like it a lot that roles change quite often in the "base" set.

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

The idea behind having the play each role only once was to force the player into some planning. I haven't had a chance to formalise the new rules yet or play test them. It may turn out to be an unplayed rule, or may effect the balance too much.
At this stage I'm open to all and any suggestions. Everything I'm posting is up for discussion.

Philippe Blockx
Belgium Zichem

awakener76 wrote: Well I'm going to wrap all these changes up into the expansion, "Secondary Infection". Below are some of the thoughts I've been sharing with someone who geekmailed me. It details the rolls and the changes to the infection tracker.
As you can see, it's give incentives for rolling 3 or 9 infections, making the choice of which dice to reroll a little trickier.
It also gives the player far more control over roles and special events, they have the chance to plan ahead.
Let me know what you think!
Research Rolls There are now 5 dice, 3 of which are Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Single Infection, Double Infection The other 2 dice are Special Event, Special Event, Role, Role, Single Infection, Double Infection.
Alternatively, 5d8 could be used, each dice being identical: blue, yellow, green, special event, role, single infection, double infection.
You roll the dice, any infection dice cannot be rerolled, any other dice may be rerolled. You can do up to 2 rerolls.
The colours, special events and roles move the relevant trackers. The special event and role trackers are new and are a little shorter than research trackers. The research trackers have also grown 1 square longer.
When the special event or role tracker is full then those points can be "cashed in" for a special event (roll the dice) or role (choose the new role, can only play each role once during the game).
The infections are looked up in the table below (or one very much like it!). If there is no effect listed then infection/city rolls are done the number of times indicated on the infection rate tracker:
Infection Effect 1  2 +1 infections 3 1 infections, only move infection tracker 1 space 4 epidemic 5  6 Mutation  lose all research into a randomly picked disease 7 double epidemic 8  9 1 infections, only move infection tracker 2 spaces 10 +1 infections
The infection tracker is also moved along by the number of infections rolled. The infection tracker will be longer (due to the higher number of infections being rolled). So there will be 5 spaces between epidemics. If epidemic is rolled on the infection table above, the tracker is moved forward to the next epidemic, or by the number of infections rolled, which ever is the further. Same applies to double epidemics.
Tried it out... those double infections can be brutal Roles and Specials came out allright on 4 spaces (got an average of 2 specials and 2 rolechange each try), 6 research (played the standard 5 after 2 tries because I was getting slaughtered) was a lot/played max. 9 resarch on tracks. 5 spaces between epidemics in infection tracker looks the bare minimum to me, in some games I went from epidemic to epidemic it seemed The table was nice because I tried to get to 3 (actually did this twice) and 9, just felt that on a bad roll those double infections really hurt me a lot. One try I got a 7 in turn 5 and that was game over basicly. 6 plays ... 1 "lucky" win ... that said I'm probably not the best Pandemicplayer so maybe other testers have better results

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

Brutal is good I've had nothing but complaints about it being to easy.
Sounds like the infection tracker needs to be 6 spaces, and the good effect of 9 needs fine a more attainable 6 or 7.
Great work though!
Thanks Andy

Andrew Oakey
United Kingdom Dartford Kent

Quick question, was that using the 5d6 or the 5d8?

Philippe Blockx
Belgium Zichem

5d6 ....
and 5 between epidemics (started with 1 x infection on track and so on till 5 x)... and max 9 on research track (but only 5 needed for cure)... really needed very good rolls to pull this off. but as said I'm not the best pandemicplayer


