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Subject: I keep reading different things... Is Pandemic really suitable for newbies? rss

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Thomas Casson
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I love the idea of all being on the same side. A part from the greatest game ever made 'DragonStrike' (which has never been played) I dont own a game where that is the gameplay mechanic. For a group of people who play TTR Europe is Pandemic really a gateway game too?

Thanks for your time www.thomascasson.com

*After reading the 99% YES replys from you all I should probably note that at maximum there will be 6 of us. I have read the earlier threads about the custom 6 player game people have made and the expansion 5 player 'on the brink'. Will they be too much for noobs? I am sorry if i am coming of a little annoying just want to put my money in the right place!
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Ben Lott
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Yes.
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Runcible Spoon
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Yes.

If the group you play with can handle TTR: Europe then I would say they can handle Pandemic too. I have used TTR:Europe as the gateway game for a number of different gamers and then used either Carcassonne or Pandemic as the next game in the sequence. For the record both have worked, but a lot of folks really like the "we can win as a team" aspect of Pandemic since it is very different from typical American board games with the "multiple winners aspect" to it.
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Liam
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Yup. It's really simple and totally brilliant.

It comes with a rules card for each player - playing card sized. When I explain the game I hand this out and talk players through it.

The other good thing is the game just repeats itself - Do 4 things, take two of those cards, turn over X number of those cards. Repeat.

You can view the rules before you buy and as always rules in abstract are not the best but you can at least see how big the font is and how few pages there are:

Rules Download

TTR is a lot less intuitive:
"So I'm the blue player... So I can only build on the blue routes?"
"Um no."

"How do tunnels work again?"
"What are the rules on picking up wilds?"
"How do stations work?"
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Yes.

If my 70+ grandmother can be taught, and know how to play by round three, its newbie friendly.

FYI: She had not played a board game in 20+ years.
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Stephen McHale
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Yes, yes, and yes.

Three things I rarely hear from my wife.
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Chris B
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Yes.
 
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Jason Lott
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Absolutely. If you have any worries you could always opt for Forbidden Island, which is very similar but a touch more accessible for newbies.
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Wally Jones
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Yes.
 
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Ryan King
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Yes. This, Carcassonne, and Ticket to Ride were our entry level games...and look where I am now ;p
 
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Yee Keat Phuah
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Well, my first co-op game was Forbidden Island, and its cheap!
 
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Jonathan Warren
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Yes. Pandemic will work fine.

As suggested, you could opt for Forbidden Island, although I personally wouldn't go for it over Pandemic.

Also, check out Flash Point: Fire Rescue - a very good co-op that can be used just as easily as Pandemic can as a gateway, with an approachable theme.
 
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Markus
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One more yes, just for the heck of it.
 
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Greg Cornell
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NOOOO!!!

Just thought I'd give you a different perspective from all of your one-sided responses. devil

I like Pandemic, but I can't get it to the table. My wife really hates it, and she's my most common gaming partner. She is more tolerant of Forbidden Island, but the theme is much lighter. There is a sense of dread and doom that comes from playing Pandemic.

I have introduced this game to more seasoned boardgamers and they were not very receptive either. And these are guys who love Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. They felt kind of depressed playing Pandemic - go figure.

So my take is that you might get a great reaction, but you might not. My most successful gateway games have been the standards: Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Stone Age, and Settlers of Catan.
 
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Daniel Kearns
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YES!
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Dale Moore
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Yes.

Play Solo a few times first. Playing three different roles. By it being co-op it's a perfect game to play solo.

that way you won't be a noob. And you can help give a little extra guidance tho those that need it.
 
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Dale Moore
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Dredry Toenail wrote:
NOOOO!!!

Just thought I'd give you a different perspective from all of your one-sided responses. devil

I like Pandemic, but I can't get it to the table. My wife really hates it, and she's my most common gaming partner. She is more tolerant of Forbidden Island, but the theme is much lighter. There is a sense of dread and doom that comes from playing Pandemic.

I have introduced this game to more seasoned boardgamers and they were not very receptive either. And these are guys who love Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. They felt kind of depressed playing Pandemic - go figure.

So my take is that you might get a great reaction, but you might not. My most successful gateway games have been the standards: Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Stone Age, and Settlers of Catan.


While I think it's worth a shot to get it. It's a fantastic game. It does cause a lot of stress.

If you do get it. Start with only three epidemics first. easier chance to win and a better chance to get them hooked before you crank up the difficulty.
 
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The Compulsive Completist
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Yes, but go with Flash Point instead.
 
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Dale Moore
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You do not need On the Brink to play with 5. The rules for 5 in the expansion is simply play with a fifth person.

What the expansion adds is a wider variety of roles and special events. And adds an element where one person is on the side of the game ala Scotland Yard. And adds mutant strain to make the game harder.

Don't get the expansion until you know your group will like it. If you like it Pandemic: On the Brink is so worth it.

The more people you play with the harder the game gets. so cut back on those epidemics the first couple games.

The reason it gets harder is because one way to lose is once the draw deck is depleted. It will deplete quicker with more players, therefore you will have less turns during the game. Less turns means less ability to trade cards and use crucial special abilities.
 
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Some newbies I've introduced didn't like it because they thought it went too long. To this day if someone suggests that game they roll their eyes and insist it goes forever. (Lucky I don't invite them to play Dominant Species)

Basically it depends on the newbies. Are they patient, can they work together, are they prepared to discuss strategies?

Many newbies I encounter have not played a single game of any kind since they were 3 years old ... might be culturally different to your mob.
 
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Greg Cornell
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Dale-not-Chip wrote:
It's a fantastic game. It does cause a lot of stress.


Watch Wil Wheaton's episode of Table Top and note that he punched the box "in the face" at the end.

Good luck and I hope that if you do get the game, that your group will enjoy it more than mine does.
 
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Dale Moore
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Dredry Toenail wrote:
Dale-not-Chip wrote:
It's a fantastic game. It does cause a lot of stress.


Watch Wil Wheaton's episode of Table Top and note that he punched the box "in the face" at the end.

Good luck and I hope that if you do get the game, that your group will enjoy it more than mine does.


He played it with six epidemics. He should have never done that on a show designed for noobs.
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Greg Cornell
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Dale-not-Chip wrote:
He played it with six epidemics. He should have never done that on a show designed for noobs.


Agreed. They also ignored all the outbreaks in Asia.
 
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Chris Ludgate
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Dredry Toenail wrote:
NOOOO!!!

Just thought I'd give you a different perspective from all of your one-sided responses. devil

I like Pandemic, but I can't get it to the table. My wife really hates it, and she's my most common gaming partner. She is more tolerant of Forbidden Island, but the theme is much lighter. There is a sense of dread and doom that comes from playing Pandemic.

I have introduced this game to more seasoned boardgamers and they were not very receptive either. And these are guys who love Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. They felt kind of depressed playing Pandemic - go figure.

So my take is that you might get a great reaction, but you might not. My most successful gateway games have been the standards: Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Stone Age, and Settlers of Catan.


For what it's worth, I have the opposite problem. My wife wants to play almost nothing BUT Pandemic.
She tolerates TTR:Europe and she absolutely HATES Catan (so much so that I haven't played irl in years). Once Pandemic gets suggested though, she's always up for it.

I think it comes down to the people you will be playing with. My wife enjoys the cooperative aspect of Pandemic and dislikes the adversarial and ruthless nature of Catan.

TC, give it a try. It's a great game once you get the hang of it.
 
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Oliver Paul
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Yes.
 
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