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Subject: Pandemic VS. Ghost Stories? rss

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Aaron Chasteen
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Which co-op game is the most fun, complex and has the most replay value?

I need a good co-op game for my board game group.
 
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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achasteen wrote:
Which co-op game is the most fun, complex and has the most replay value?

I need a good co-op game for my board game group.

The complexity is about the same. Replay value derives largely from which game people like better (Ghost Stories in my case), so you'll get different answers from different people. The thing is, you've said nothing about what you like, and your profile gives no clue because you haven't rated any games. That makes it very difficult for strangers to give you useful advice.

(BTW, there is a Recommendations Forum here).
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I see you've asked a few of these "A vs B" questions, and cross-posted.

Both of these games are quite popular. Are you expecting folks to come out swinging, declaring one is great and the other is crap?

I play both of them. They are both great fun and worth playing. Both are best with 4 players.

The only differences I'd pick would be trivialities.

* Ghost Stories has more "colour", more theme.

* The way I play them, Pandemic requires more arranging plans with other players (where to meet etc) than Ghost Stories which you feel more individual.

* Both games have elements of luck, Ghost Stories with dice and 1 deck of cards, Pandemic with 2 decks of cards.

* Both have lots of little bits all over the place looking confusing to the uninitiated.

They're both great games, if I was going to buy only one for someone, I'd have to base it entirely on the theme.

NB Both games are best played with someone who has played before and already knows the rules - both can seem daunting at first.
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I'd go for Ghost Stories. More thematic, more variable, more challenging and more fun. Replay value with two expansions is great and the base game has longevity for several dozen plays.

Experienced players have said that Pandemic easily becomes an algorithm procedure and the best options become quite obvious when you are more familiar with the system.

but after all it really depends on your taste, which we don't have any knowledge.
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Nathaniel Todd
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Personally I love both Pandemic and Ghost Stories and consider them to be very similar games. I agree that Ghost Stories is more thematic and Pandemic more abstract. Both games can be immensely rewarding when the game's difficulty is matched almost perfectly by the players abilities and the tension is extremely high--also, sometimes this tension never emerges and both games can fall a little flat.

Ultimately I do like Pandemic more, largely because I feel the strategy space is more wide open as far as what options are available to the players on a given turn. To be successful at Pandemic the different players certainly need to combine their abilities and turns in creative ways to maximize their impact on the game.

If you like co-op games, though, I think this question should be "which do I buy first?" because both are certainly keepers.
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Aaron Chasteen
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Quote:
The thing is, you've said nothing about what you like, and your profile gives no clue because you haven't rated any games.

(BTW, there is a Recommendations Forum here).


It's true, I'm not fully aware of the complexities with BGG.

Our group plays a variety of games; Cosmic Encounter, Agricola, Talisman, Caylus, Settler of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne...They are the reliable choices, leaning towards the euro side of games. We want "the best" of each genre and we're not afraid of complexity. We want the most depth and replay value, while still having uber fun.

The recommendation forum will be really useful in the future! Thanks.
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Tor Sverre Lund
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Pandemic, for me, is just too easy. It has no real complexity once you "break the code", at least not compared to Ghost Stories which has a lot more going on. I'd go for Ghost Stories any day.
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J. R. Tracy
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I enjoy both but my preference is Ghost Stories when push comes to shove, particularly with four players. As others note, the theme is stronger, and I find the ideal move more difficult to discern where it always seems clear in Pandemic. You can ratchet up the difficulty of either so that's a non-issue, in my opinion.

JR
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Scott Caldwell
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Ghost Stories.
 
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Nathaniel Todd
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I've never understood the entire "correct move is obvious in Pandemic" line of reasoning, and I think it is entirely false. There is a ton of room for multiple creative solutions to problems in the game. Also, Pandemic is certainly not "too easy." The difficulty can be adjusted up to an obscene level (legendary with five players, mutation, and virulent strain...who could hope to beat that?).

This is not a knock on Ghost Stories since I definitely think both games are excellent, I just feel Pandemic needs a little defense on these issues since I think it is being misjudged!

In my experience (all important words, of course!) Pandemic and Ghost Stories are similar in depth, difficulty, and replayability. The primary differences are theme and some mechanics (dice/cards in GS, just cards in Pandemic.)

YMMV, as always
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Aaron Chasteen
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I think I've decided on Ghost Stories. The map of Pandemic seems a bit boring, like an inverted set up of Risk. The theme of everyone dying of diseases is kind of drab?

With the dice, Qi tokens and variety of building and player powers, Ghost stories has more unpredictability and (hopefully) more fun. I love ancient folklore and kung fu theme. I don't mind that it's more challenging.

Maybe one day I'll try Pandemic. Seems better for families and non-gamers. My kids might really enjoy it.
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achasteen wrote:
The theme of everyone dying of diseases is kind of drab?


LOL, we often find Pandemic quite epic and folks will be chatting heaps afterwards about what we could have done, how we nearly made it, or the gambles we took.

achasteen wrote:
Maybe one day I'll try Pandemic. Seems better for families and non-gamers. My kids might really enjoy it.


Families and non gamers??? I think they would find Ghost Stories more appealing, simply due to the pretty pictures (which do appeal to me too).

To me, *both* games are "gamers games" ... both will seem complex to non gamers, while both offering serious challenges to players.
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Was George Orwell an Optimist?
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Forbidden Island is probably the kids and families game. It plays like you'd expect from Pandemic's kid brother.
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Daniel Nelon
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No one has even mentioned the fact that you can play Ghost Stories solo!
 
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Nothing stops players from tying Pandemic solo, though. It would involve all of the same decisions as a normal pandemic game.
 
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Ed Sherman
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achasteen wrote:
I think I've decided on Ghost Stories. The map of Pandemic seems a bit boring, like an inverted set up of Risk. The theme of everyone dying of diseases is kind of drab?


I don't know, I like it. YMMV so pick what grabs you.

RantCasey wrote:
No one has even mentioned the fact that you can play Ghost Stories solo!


You can play any co-op without a traitor element (including Pandemic) as a solo game.
 
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Jade Youngblood
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Both are very different and excellent! Get both and call it a day.
 
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