Players: 4 (Myself, Joseph Hockenberry, Ziwen Li, Daniel Mabi)
Pandemic is a cooperative multiplayer board game where the players are given a specialized role and must work together in order to cure four viruses that are spreading around the world. There are many ways to lose the game including being unable to place additional virus cubes, having too many outbreaks occur, or running out of cards in the player deck. The only way to win is to discover the cure for all of the viruses by collecting five cards from the same area, moving to a research center, and using an action to create the cure for the specific area.
Our game started like all others with each of us selecting a role; Daniel was the medic, Wen was the operations expert, Joseph was the contingency planner, and I was a quarantine specialist. The initial infected cities were San Francisco, Chicago, Montreal, Mexico City, Essen, Cairo, Johannesburg, Beijing, and Ho Chi Minh City. A player's turn consists of choosing to perform any four of the actions available to them, drawing two cards from the player deck, then drawing cards from the infection deck equal to the infection rate.
Throughout the game the medic proved to be very valuable in the early parts of the game as being able to clear large clumps of the virus at once. However things began to spiral out of control after the first epidemic card was drawn which causes three things to happen: (1) the infection rate increases, (2) the bottom card from the deck is drawn, the city on that card then becomes infected with three additional virus cubes, (3) and finally the discarded infection deck pile is shuffled and placed on top of the infection deck thus making it possible to draw a city that's already heavily infected. Unfortunately for us we decided to play the standard difficulty meaning that there were still four other outbreak cards that we could potentially draw from the infected deck.
One of our late game turns was rather tense as we were starting to run out of cards in the player deck and we were running out of cubes to place on the cities (both losing conditions).
It began with us deciding whether or not Wen, as the Operations Expert, should build a research center in Shanghai in order to increase our mobility around the map and make it so we won't have to travel as much in order to create the cures. We ultimately decide to do so. That is his last action, and so Joseph begins his turn.
He first starts by removing one virus cube from the city he is on, which would be his first action. He then moves 2 cities and ends his turn (2 more actions, for a total of 3). Joseph then draws two cards from the player deck, but has more than 7 cards and discards one of them. From the infection deck we draw Bugata and Lagos.
On my turn, we realized that Lagos shouldn't have been infected since I am the Containment Specialist and my ability is to stop the spreading of diseases in adjacent cities, so we removed the cube we added from Lagos. Afterwards, I moved up 3 cities toward central Europe (3 actions), then remove an infection cube from the city I ended in (my 4th action). I then draw 2 cards from the player deck, and unfortunately for us it's two epidemic cards (horrible luck). And from there the game really started spiraling out of control.
After that point, our group really started to focus on the best strategy to containing the virus including setting up plans that took place over several players' turns. Unfortunately, our inability to contain the red virus (which spreads in the Asia/Austraila area of the map) is eventually what ended our game due to having too many outbreaks occur. Admittedly, we would have lost a few turns later anyway because we were nearly out of player cards.
Most likely this loss was due to not working our role abilities together well enough in the early game and playing the not beginner difficulty (we used five epidemic cards, the easiest mode uses three).