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Pandemic is a family of (mostly) cooperative board games designed by Matt Leacock (several times in collaboration with Thomas Lehmann and others) and published by Z-Man Games. Games are (generally) based on the premise that several diseases have broken out in the world, each threatening to wipe out a region. The game is unlike most board games in that the game play is based on cooperation rather than on competitiveness. Through the combined effort of all the players, the goal is to discover all cures before any of several game-losing conditions are reached.

  • More info, specifically about components, in this fantastic article about Pandemic series.

The following table is a breakdown of the games in the series and their core characteristics:

Game Year of Release # of Players Players Interaction Designer Description/Comments
Pandemic 2008 2-4 Cooperative Matt Leacock ----
Pandemie: Uitbreiding "De Generalist" 2009 2-5 Cooperative Matt Leacock, Thomas Lehmann Expansion for Pandemic.

Limited -500 copies- mini-expansion released in the Netherlands, by Quined White Goblin Games. It was available for the first 500 buyers of the base-game.
It consists of a new role card, The Generalist, which has the ability to take 5 actions instead of 4. It comes along with its respective (grey) pawn and rules for a five player game.

This card is also included in the Pandemic: On the Brink expansion.
Pandemic: On the Brink 2009 2-5 Cooperative / Competitive (one-vs.-all) Matt Leacock, Thomas Lehmann Expansion for Pandemic.

New event cards, new role cards, rules for five players, and optional game challenges to increase the difficulty of the base game. These new challenges, which can be used individually or combined for even more difficult play, are as follows:
  • The Virulent Strain challenge makes one disease become particularly deadly in unpredictable ways.
  • The Mutation challenge adds a fifth (purple) disease that behaves differently than the original four.
  • The Bio-Terrorist challenge pits one player against the others!
Pandemic: In the Lab 2013 1-6 Cooperative / Competitive (teams) Matt Leacock, Thomas Lehmann Expansion for Pandemic.

New game board that allows you to move the pawns in a laboratory. The goal of this activity is the same as in the base game –finding cures for diseases– but this time in a new way. Behind sealed bio-hazard doors, scientists race against time to sequence diseases, take samples, and test cures.
Four new roles, new Virulent Strain events, and a Worldwide Panic Mutation scenario. Players can compete individually or on rival teams (when playing with four or six players).

Requires the base game. Two of the three scenarios also require Pandemic: On the Brink to play.
Pandemic: The Cure 2014 2-5 Cooperative Matt Leacock Dice-based adaptation of the original game.
Pandemic: Contagion 2014 2-5 Competitive Carey Grayson After many years of trying to defeat the diseases that threaten mankind’s existence, the tables have been turned. You are now the disease and guess what? There is no cure.
Pandemic: State of Emergency 2015 2-4 Cooperative Matt Leacock, Thomas Lehmann Expansion for Pandemic.

Three new challenges:
  • The Hinterlands Challenge, in which the diseases spread from animals to humans.
  • The Emergency Events Challenge, in which unpredictable events have nasty effects on the game.
  • The Superbug Challenge, in which a fifth disease that cannot be treated threatens the world! To fight off this threat, you must first find its cure, using quarantines to stop the spread of disease in the meantime, then produce vaccine doses. You must eradicate the superbug disease to win.
Pandemic: Promo Roles 2015 2-4 Cooperative Matt Leacock Expansion for Pandemic.

Four roles in two cards, two of which you can use in any given game:
  • Card 1: Epidemiologist and Operations Expert.
  • Card 2: Generalist and Medic.

The key difference with these promo characters is they lose health when cubes are added to the city they are in, or if the city they are in outbreaks. If all four health of a promo character is ever exhausted, the players lose the game. This increases the difficulty of the game.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 2015 2-4 Cooperative Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock Campaign version, based on the original game.
Pandemic: The Cure – Experimental Meds 2016 2-5 Cooperative Matt Leacock, Thomas Lehmann Expansion for Pandemic: The Cure.

A fifth virus spreads across the globe and Hot Zones make their entrance, changing the rules… for the worse! Fortunately, new medical experts have joined the fight to help you.
Pandemic: Survival Promos – Crisis Mitigator/Relocation Specialist 2016 2-4 Cooperative Expansion for Pandemic.

Z-Man Games gave away two promotional cards (two roles) to participants in the Pandemic Survival tournament:
  • Relocation Specialist: When you leave a city by any means, you make take: up to 3 Disease cubes and/or 1 other pawn with you to your destination city.
  • Crisis Mitigator: Take actions each turn according to the number of disease cubes (of any color) in your city at the beginning of your turn: 0-1 = 4 actions, 2 = 5 actions, 3 = 6 actions, 4+ = 7 actions.
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu 2016 1-4 Cooperative Matt Leacock, Chuck D. Yager Experience the classic gameplay with an horrific twist that'll have you face twelve Old Ones, each threatening the world with their unique powers. As players take on the roles of investigators attempting to seal a series of portals before monsters of unspeakable horror pour into our world there is, of course, a high risk of the investigators losing their own minds.
Pandemic: Iberia 2016 2-5 Cooperative Jesús Torres Castro, Matt Leacock Take on the roles of nurse, railwayman, rural doctor, sailor, and more to find the cures to malaria, typhus, the yellow fever, and cholera.
You will need to travel by carriage, by boat, or by train to help the Iberian populace and, while doing so, distributing purified water and developing railways that will help you slow the spread of diseases.

Two variants can be added:
  • Influx of Patients: the cubes, representing patients, will tend to flock to hospitals to try to get cured. Hospitals also are a bit more powerful.
  • Historical Diseases: Instead of being generic, each disease has a specific power to better represent what it is (Malaria, Cholera, Yellow Fever etc.)
Pandemic: Gen Con 2016 Promos – Z-Force Team Member/Game Convention 2016 1-4 Cooperative Michael Young Expansion for Pandemic.

Z-Man Games offered two promotional cards —one role and one event— to their volunteer Z-Force team at Gen Con 2016. Both cards were designed by Michael Young, though Matt Leacock collaborated on it's development.
  • The player with the Z-Force Team Member role starts the game in Montreal, and for an action, this player can move directly to Montreal or Essen. This player discovers a cure, other players in the same city can collectively contribute up to two cards toward the five needed for a cure.
  • When the Game Convention event is played, each player in the game may travel to the current player's city.
Pandemic: Rising Tide 2017 2-5 Cooperative Jeroen Doumen, Matt Leacock It is the dawn of the Industrial Age in the Netherlands. For centuries, the country has relied upon a series of dikes and wind-powered pumps to keep it safe from the constant threat of flooding from the North Sea, but this system is no longer enough.
Your goal is to avert tragedy by constructing four modern hydraulic structures in strategic locations that will help you defend the country from being reclaimed by the ocean.
Water levels in a region are represented by cubes, and as the water containment systems currently in place begin to fail, more water cubes are added to the board. With water levels constantly on the rise, failure to maintain the containment system could quickly lead to water spilling across the board.
Fortunately, water can be corralled by a strategically placed dike or slowed by pumping water out of a region. Correctly identifying and intervening in at-risk areas can get you one step closer to victory.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 2017 2-4 Cooperative Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock Campaign version, based on the original game.
Pandemic: Fall of Rome 2018 1-5 Cooperative Matt Leacock, Paolo Mori Combining the cooperative gameplay of the original game with innovative new mechanisms, this game takes players back in history to the time of the world's greatest empire: Rome. A weakened military has left the borders open to invasion from countless tribes such as the Anglo-Saxons, Goths, Vandals, and Huns. As you march through the Roman Empire, you must recruit armies, fortify cities, forge alliances, and face off against the invading hordes in battle.
Includes a solitaire mode in which the player takes on the burden of being the Emperor and commands three different roles to try to protect the city from the invading hordes. Players who want a more difficult game can try the Roma Caput Mundi challenge by adding more Revolt cards to the deck; they must also respect the law in Rome that Roman legions are not allowed in the city.
Pandemic: Rapid Response 2019 2-4 Cooperative Kane Klenko Disaster has struck! Cities around the world are in desperate need of food, water, vaccines, and other supplies. You and your team belong to the Crisis Response Unit (CRU), an elite team of doctors and specialists. With a specially equipped plane, you are uniquely capable of providing life-saving aid — anytime, anywhere.
Pandemic: Rapid Response is a race against time. Roll dice to create supplies, fly the plane, and make deliveries to cities in need. As the timer counts down, you must quickly coordinate and work together to react to new disasters. Will you and your team be able to respond in time?
Pandemic: Hot Zone – North America 2020 2-4 Cooperative Matt Leacock Disease threatens North America and only you can stop it! In Pandemic: Hot Zone - North America, players work together against the game to discover cures for three deadly diseases that threaten the continent. Travel to different North American cities to treat local populations, prevent outbreaks, and share research with your team. Can you discover the cures before it's too late?
Hot Zone - North America is a shorter, more portable version of the best-selling cooperative game Pandemic.
Pandemic Legacy: Season 0 2020 2-4 Cooperative Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock Campaign version, based on the original game.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King 2021 1-5 Cooperative Justin Kemppainen, Alexandar Ortloff, Michael Sanfilippo In World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, players journey to the frozen continent of Northrend to face the armies of the Lich King. This "Pandemic System" game showcases familiar mechanisms and gameplay, now tweaked to embrace the setting of the Wrath of the Lich King. Forts, temples, battlegrounds, and more populate the game board as you and your fellow heroes journey across the cold landscape. Along the way, you'll set up strongholds, complete quests, and do battle with legions of undead.
Pandemic: Hot Zone – Europe 2021 2-4 Cooperative Matt Leacock, Thomas Lehmann Pandemic: Hot Zone – Europe features the same nail-biting co-operative experience of Pandemic in which players win or lose together, but in a smaller form that you can take anywhere and play in a shorter amount of time. As members of an elite team, you use your character's unique abilities to treat cases, stop outbreaks, and research the cures. Discover all three cures in time to win! Add extra challenges with new mutation cards!

last edited on 2022/05/22.

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