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Subject: Has anyone ever lost on the first turn? rss

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Thomas Brendel
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I've played two solo games since buying the game last week. Both times there's been an outbreak in São Paulo, and both times I've been annoyed by the yellow cube in Madrid. It made me wonder what it would take to get a cube into a city that doesn't even border the region of that color, and after playing around with it I found this improbable sequence that gets it done on the first turn, almost losing the game in the process.

Let's say the initial infection puts three cubes in Kolkata and one in Delhi, with all the rest in other colors. Now let's say the first player draws an Epidemic card (hey, happened to me in my first game) and the card on the bottom of the deck is Chennai.

He shuffles the discard pile and puts it back on top. Then he draws -- Chennai. (That happened to me in my second game.) It triggers an outbreak into Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangkok, and Jakarta. Kolkata also an an outbreak, infecting Delhi, Bangkok, and Hong Kong.

Then the second card is drawn -- and of course it's Delhi, which now has an outbreak of its own, infecting Tehran, Karachi, and Mumbai and causing new outbreaks in Chennai and Kolkata. It doesn't matter which order we resolve them in. Between them, they'll add two more cubes to Bangkok, leading to yet another outbreak.

That finally brings the first turn to a close, with six outbreaks and every single black cube on the board -- including one in Ho Chi Minh City, two steps away from the black region. Of course, if we had started with one in, say, Algiers, the cubes would have run out during the last outbreak. Game over, just like that.

So now I want to know: Has anyone had a turn-one loss? If you have, I want to hear how it happened, because it was probably ridiculous and awesome.
 
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Travis Cooper
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Here is one. There have been several others if you look through the session reports.
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Dice bags!
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Here's ours:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/373797/it-takes-talent-to-lo...
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Thomas Brendel
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Oh, hey. Sort by thumbs and at least three of them pop right up. I guess I was too caught up in my thought experiment to actually, you know, look.
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Chris Ferejohn
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Quote:
Then the second card is drawn -- and of course it's Delhi, which now has an outbreak of its own, infecting Tehran, Karachi, and Mumbai and causing new outbreaks in Chennai and Kolkata. It doesn't matter which order we resolve them in. Between them, they'll add two more cubes to Bangkok, leading to yet another outbreak.


Point of order, Bangkok would only have one cube added at this point. No city may have more than one cube added during a single series of outbreaks (i.e. a single card draw).
 
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Michael J
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This is my nightmare gateway game scenario. I cannot imagine introducing this game to new players and facing a 1 turn defeat...
 
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Travis Cooper
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cferejohn wrote:
Quote:
Then the second card is drawn -- and of course it's Delhi, which now has an outbreak of its own, infecting Tehran, Karachi, and Mumbai and causing new outbreaks in Chennai and Kolkata. It doesn't matter which order we resolve them in. Between them, they'll add two more cubes to Bangkok, leading to yet another outbreak.


Point of order, Bangkok would only have one cube added at this point. No city may have more than one cube added during a single series of outbreaks (i.e. a single card draw).


A city can have multiple cubes added to it in a series of outbreaks, but a city can only have one outbreak itself in a series of outbreaks.
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Ryan
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Last Friday, we lost on the first turn during a 2 player game. We started with Paris and London both at 3 cubes and a couple of the adjacent cities with one or two cubes. The first player drew a resilient population card, and we removed Paris from the deck. The second player drew an epidemic, and pulled either Essen or Madrid from the bottom. The two cards drawn from the reshuffle were London and Essen, culminating in a loss when all the blue cubes were on the board before the end of turn 1! We were floored, especially because we had the scientist who was able to acquire 4 cards of the same color by the end of his first turn. Oh well, it was very cool. It gave us a new respect for the brutality this game can offer.
 
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David Hoffman
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About a month ago, we lost on the first player's Infection stage in the first turn -- Player 2 never even got a chance.

Basically, we had bad luck with initial infections -- the cards you draw before the game starts were almost completely red.

Player 1 started off, figuring to get things into position for Player 2 -- then got an Outbreak with the first Infection card drawn.

Drew from the bottom of the deck, got a red city that already had 3 cubes. Resolving that depleted the supply of red cubes, ending the game.

It was, quite frankly, hysterical.
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Steve Duff
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Ryanmobile wrote:
We started with Paris and London both at 3 cubes and a couple of the adjacent cities with one or two cubes. The first player drew a resilient population card, and we removed Paris from the deck. The second player drew an epidemic, and pulled either Essen or Madrid from the bottom. The two cards drawn from the reshuffle were London and Essen, culminating in a loss when all the blue cubes were on the board before the end of turn 1!


Collecting cards is nice, but at the very least, driving to London and removing one cube is the minimum required action. Or, use a card and get both London and Paris.

*Always* deactivate at least one of the "3-bombs" on your first turn of the game. Especially when you have something like 8 or 9 cubes all in one spot.

Hint, never waste a card like Resilient Population before the first epidemic. Until then, there's no danger. Once you pull the epidemic, then you can play the card to get rid of the most dangerous city.

You very easily could have pulled Paris from the game, then gone over there and completely cleaned it up and it was not a danger, then needed the card to stop a city later that was actually dangerous.
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Ryan
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UnknownParkerBrother wrote:
Collecting cards is nice, but at the very least, driving to London and removing one cube is the minimum required action.


Thanks for the tips regarding the best moves. I agree with you that the moves you mentioned would mitigate the most risk in the short term, and I often adhere to the reducing the "3-bomb" cities principle straight out the door, as well as hanging on to the resilient population card for a better use later in the game. However, the moves you mentioned didn't support our initial strategy as well as the riskier moves we actually played.

Having said that, I abhor playing with the same style each game or always playing the moves that mitigate risk the most each turn. I often have more fun accepting more short term risk attempting to pull off a maneuver that may help me attain my long term goal faster. Sometimes playing the long odds are more fun than playing the safer bet, even when they don't work out.

Pandemic is a very fun game, but I've found that I get more life and enjoyment out of a co-operative game when I spice things up with riskier moves or a more unorthodox playing style.

Again, though, thanks for the advice on the best moves, and I agree with you that they are generally the best ways to reduce risk exposure in this game.

Edited for clarity.
 
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Steve Duff
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That's understandable, playing a riskier style for enjoyment purposes.

I dislike the criticisms towards this game of "the game sucks, we only lose because sometimes the game gives you an unwinnable setup", so I tend to point out when that wasn't actually the case (even though you never made that claim).
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Kevin Smith
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A couple of nights ago my GF and I lost on the second player (my) turn of the first turn. She went first, went into the other room for a minute, and when she came back I had to inform her that we'd just lost.
What a great game!
Kevin
 
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