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Subject: General play tips rss

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Tommy Liles
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I’ve been playing this game frequently during the past week and I’ve come up with some advice for novice or struggling players. I'm really enjoying this game, and I hope these tips help others enjoy it as much as I have.

1. Hold onto Player Cards for cities in South America and Sub-saharan Africa. In my experience, the cities in this region are the most isolated in the game. While outbreaks in these areas don’t have the devastating effects of red or black outbreaks, it can be awfully hard to get to that region of the board if you need to. More importantly, it’s also difficult to get out once you’re finished. To guarantee mobility, give hand space priority to cards like Johannesburg or Lima over other regions.

2. Don’t be led astray by easy cures. What’s happening on the board is almost always more important than what’s happening in your hands. If the players waste time to take advantage of an easy cure for a disease that has yet to assert itself, the lost time will probably come back to haunt you before the investment pays off.

3.Beware the early eradication. Because of the way the infector deck plays, eradicating a disease before the first or second epidemic will dramatically increase the pressure of the remaining diseases as the non-eradicated diseases are recycled over and over. Wait until after the first or second epidemic and then eradicate.

4.Lead the infector deck, don’t follow it. Try not to get caught up with how bad a situation looks--instead, worry about how bad it might become. You can do this easily by remembering what cities get shuffled and stacked on top of the deck after each epidemic. After a city gets hit, evaluate how likely it is to outbreak based on how confident you are that surrounding cities will be drawn near in the future. Make a mental note of how many cities get stacked on top of the deck and keep an eye on how close the infector deck is getting to unfamiliar territory. Things are never all that bad so long as you can make a reasonable guess as to what’s coming next.

I look forward to hearing if these help anyone and of course welcome the community's feedback.
 
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Железный комиссар
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LordObsidian wrote:


3.Beware the early eradication. Because of the way the infector deck plays, eradicating a disease before the first or second epidemic will dramatically increase the pressure of the remaining diseases as the non-eradicated diseases are recycled over and over. Wait until after the first or second epidemic and then eradicate.


I suspect you are playing a rule wrong. Eradicating a disease does nothing to change which cards cycle through the infection deck and at what frequency. It simply blocks the effect of infector cards for the erradicated color. Early eradications are awesome.
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Chris Ferejohn
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A little thing that we do - when we put the cards back on the epidemic deck we make a little 3-cube pyramid on any city that already has 3 cubes on it so we know where the risky bits are. So we can tell at a glance which 3-cube cities are in imminent danger of a breakout.
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Mark McEvoy
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LordObsidian wrote:
1. Hold onto Player Cards for cities in South America and Sub-saharan Africa. In my experience, the cities in this region are the most isolated in the game. While outbreaks in these areas don’t have the devastating effects of red or black outbreaks, it can be awfully hard to get to that region of the board if you need to. More importantly, it’s also difficult to get out once you’re finished. To guarantee mobility, give hand space priority to cards like Johannesburg or Lima over other regions.


Eh, there are usually other ways to get to a region in need short of keeping cards in your hand for any and all hard to reach areas. Like just keeping one card from a place near you, that you can hop from in a crisis.

LordObsidian wrote:
2. Don’t be led astray by easy cures. What’s happening on the board is almost always more important than what’s happening in your hands. If the players waste time to take advantage of an easy cure for a disease that has yet to assert itself, the lost time will probably come back to haunt you before the investment pays off.


The fact that you can only hold seven cards in your hand, and there's only 12 of each colour in the deck, means that you really can't afford not to cure a disease that you have the means to cure. If you delay it you wind up discarding the cards you'll eventually need to cure it.

LordObsidian wrote:
3.Beware the early eradication. Because of the way the infector deck plays, eradicating a disease before the first or second epidemic will dramatically increase the pressure of the remaining diseases as the non-eradicated diseases are recycled over and over. Wait until after the first or second epidemic and then eradicate.


As mentioned, you've got something wrong ruleswise here. Eradicated diseases aren't removed from the infector deck. They're wonderfully inert.
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AxonDomini
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LordObsidian wrote:


1. Hold onto Player Cards for cities in South America and Sub-saharan Africa. In my experience, the cities in this region are the most isolated in the game. While outbreaks in these areas don’t have the devastating effects of red or black outbreaks, it can be awfully hard to get to that region of the board if you need to. More importantly, it’s also difficult to get out once you’re finished. To guarantee mobility, give hand space priority to cards like Johannesburg or Lima over other regions.


Actually, our usual approach is to just build a research station in that area as soon as is convenient. That way we can get there quickly at need. Given the hand limit of 7 and needing 5 cards for a cure, holding on to cards that you MIGHT need reduces your options. Even if you're only holding one card for the possibility of future travel, you're severely restricting your options and increasing the likelihood that you'll need to discard.
 
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Greg Jones
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Good tips generally.

LordObsidian wrote:
1. Hold onto Player Cards for cities in South America and Sub-saharan Africa. In my experience, the cities in this region are the most isolated in the game. While outbreaks in these areas don’t have the devastating effects of red or black outbreaks, it can be awfully hard to get to that region of the board if you need to. More importantly, it’s also difficult to get out once you’re finished. To guarantee mobility, give hand space priority to cards like Johannesburg or Lima over other regions.


I do think these are a good idea to hold on to, especially Santiago and Lima. Bogota, Buenos Aires, and Sao Paolo all are pretty easily reached. Getting in is more of an issue than getting out. Getting out can be done with a direct flight to any part of the world, so long as you have some care or other that takes you to a relevant part of the world.

Sub-saharan Africa can blow up as badly as black or red regions, just perhaps less often. It's well-connected. If almost any two of these cities get epidemics, it can be over quickly. If both of them outbreak, a third city in a triangle will also outbreak.

However, if there is nothing going on in these areas, I will often dump those cards, because they won't be useful for direct flights. An epidemic could come up, but if forced to make a tough decision, I will play the odds that it won't.

LordObsidian wrote:
2. Don’t be led astray by easy cures. What’s happening on the board is almost always more important than what’s happening in your hands. If the players waste time to take advantage of an easy cure for a disease that has yet to assert itself, the lost time will probably come back to haunt you before the investment pays off.


Depends on what you consider an easy cure. A general principle of this game, since you are racing against three different ways to lose, is that you need to get the right balance of your efforts. So "easy" should defined relative to the average amount of effort you should put into getting a cure.

In my opinion, that's not very much. Any cure that involves passing even one card, without the use of a special power such as the Researcher's, is not easy. It's average. If you don't need to pass, or you can pass from the Researcher, I think it's pretty obvious you do that cure, even if there are no cubes or only a few of that color on the board.

Cures aren't just for making treating cubes easier. There are necessary to win. The time pressure is not just getting all four cures before the end of the game. If that were the case, then maybe you could just spend the game controlling outbreaks and only cure in the last few turns. The problem is the hand limit. If you don't get cures at a regular pace, you're discarding too many cards (or using them for purposes other than cures). Once you discard 5 cards of a color, it becomes very difficult to get that cure. There are 7 cards left, and you need to get all but two of those cards into one player's hands. Obviously if you discard 8, it becomes impossible unless you have a special power.
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Alcan U
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cferejohn wrote:
A little thing that we do - when we put the cards back on the epidemic deck we make a little 3-cube pyramid on any city that already has 3 cubes on it so we know where the risky bits are. So we can tell at a glance which 3-cube cities are in imminent danger of a breakout.

This is clever - I'll give it a shot in my next runthrough
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