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Pandemic: On the Brink» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session - Playtesting the Pharmacist rss

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Mike P
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After finally getting On The Brink and seeing the blank role cards, I decided I wanted to add my profession to the game. After some brainstorming and assistance (http://www.geekdo.com/thread/492382/role-pharmacist), I came up with the following:


I felt that it was thematic as a pharmacist would be most helpful in sick (but not too sick) areas and then would be vital in getting a cure out to people once it was developed.

There were some concerns that the role was overpowered, but I felt that it was comparable to or slightly worse than the medic. In some cases the pharmacist would be better, but I think the medic is more flexible in most situations.

To test it out, I ran a solo playtest and tried to think about each time the pharmacist had a turn if it would be better or worse than having a medic. I arbitrarily decided to go with 3 roles. I randomly picked the Archivist and Containment Specialist to go with the Pharmacist. It would be my first play with those roles as well. The pharmacist randomly was picked to go first in turn order, so I took a picture of the board with my iPhone before each turn. (Sorry about the image quality.) Here was the initial board setup, with the green pawn representing the pharmacist:



With no cubes in North or South America, I had nothing close to treat. I could go to Europe to get rid of the cube in London for free or head to Asia and get rid of 1 cube in Tokyo. Looking at just these 2 possibilities, the medic would have been slightly better, since he could have cleared both cubes from Tokyo. Having the Archivist behind me in turn order opened up a better option, though. I had been dealt cards for Mumbai and Delhi, so I flew to Mumbai, drove to Delhi, built a Research Station and then drove to Karachi. I didn't mind spending the 2 black cards since the Archivist would be able to pick them up after shuttling to Delhi. If I had the Medic, I would have done a similar move, but would have removed both cubes from Mumbai before going to Delhi to build the station.



At this point we had an early epidemic. With the Pharmacist and Containment Specialist we were able to keep the cubes under control, though. I was a little nervous about Shanghai, so I drove up to Tehran and spent a card to fly into Shanghai. We were spending the black cards to get them to the Archivist, since he was getting close to a cure at this point. I spent the final 2 moves removing cubes from Shanghai. I could have gotten rid of all the cubes there if I had the medic, though, with another move left over.



At this point I didn't have a good idea what to do, so I drove to Chicago and got rid of a cube. Again, I would have been better off with the Medic to get rid of all the cubes there.



I had been getting good card draws lately and was close to curing yellow. The containment specialist was in Los Angeles, so I went down there and got the card for LA. I then headed to CDC headquarters by way of Chicago. The free cube removed from Chicago made this turn better for the Pharmacist than a Medic would have been.



I started off the next turn by curing the yellow disease. The Archivist was working on the blue disease now, so I paid a card to fly to St. Petersburg. We were going to be able to build a free Research Station there so the Archivist could easily get there to pick up the card. I then drove down to Baghdad. I wanted to be well setup in case there was an outbreak in Riyadh. I would have been able to do the same moves with either the Pharmacist or Medic, so there was no advantage to either role here.



There didn't end up being an outbreak in Riyadh, so I went to Karachi and used the Pharmacist's power to eradicate the black disease. The Medic would have been able to eradicate it also, but it would have taken 3 moves instead of 2. I used the remaining 2 moves to shuttle from Delhi to Taipei.



The Archivist had cured blue, so we were looking very good. We had cured 3 diseases with one of them completely eradicated. We then had 3 outbreaks, in Milan, Washington DC and Johannesburg. The blue disease was starting to get out of control, but the pharmacist had been drawing well again. I was able to go to Hong Kong, get a red card from the Containment Specialist and then head back to Taipei to cure the final disease. The world was saved!



For the first playtest, I didn't think the Pharmacist was too powerful. It would have played out very similarly if I had been using the Medic, I think. It was a fairly easy game, though. I think the Pharmacist and Containment Specialist worked well together to keep the cubes under control while the Archivist could concentrate on getting cures. I was also drawing well which always helps.

If anything, I thought the Archivist might have been overpowered! That role seems to give you a lot of power to spend your cards to fly around or build Research Stations without worrying about not having those cards later to cure diseases.

I am really looking forward to trying all the new roles in On The Brink, in addition to my Pharmacist!
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Dave Noonan
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Alpharetta
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Did you miss (like I did the first time) the bit where it says "once per turn" the Archivist can pick up a card from the discard?
 
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Mike P
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No, I got that rule right. Sometimes I had the Archivist hang out in an area so he could get another card on the next turn.

One thing I forgot in my write-up is that I played with 5 epidemics.
 
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