26th March 2019
Another Tuesday comes round and another evening of pleasant gaming at 'The Sovereigns' in Woking.
We begin the night with Pandemic: The Cure.
Pandemic is a popular board game that was released a while ago. It's a co-operative game in which the players travel the globe against the clock in the search for cures before the hideous diseases ravage the world.
Pandemic: The Cure is another co-operative game. It replaces the game's movement and actions with dice and a push-your-luck mechanic. It also replaces the global board with an errr acrylic ring?!?
The set up
So the acrylic ring is placed in the centre of the play area. 2 pegs are placed in holes in the ring to represent the infection rate and number outbreaks.
6 'region' discs, numbered from 1 to 6 are placed around the ring. Each disc representing a different region of the world.
The 4 diseases are represented by 4 sets of different coloured six sided dice. They are all put into a bag. When you need disease markers, you blindly draw the required number of dice from the bag and then you roll them and place on the relevant. This gives you both the type and location of disease markers.
It's worth nothing that even though these are six sided dice, they are not regularly numbered from 1 to 6. For example one colour might be missing 3 and 4 and might have an extra 5 and 6. This means that certain types of diseases are more likely to appear in certain regions. This is something important to remember.
Some event cards are laid out, during the game these can be bought to grant the action described on the card.
Just like in the board game, each player assumes a different role like a dispatcher or a scientist. Each role has it's own set of custom dice, a card granting them a special ability or two and a meeple. Before the start of the game, each player places their meeple on to region disc 1.
When a player takes their turn, the first thing they do is roll their dice. This will give them their choices. You 'spend' a die to perform it's action.
Those are the basic actions, each player will have actions unique to the role that they are playing, but there's no need to list them all here.
Once a player has spent all their dice, there are some other actions they will perform.
If you are on the same region disc as another player, you mave give them all the researched disease dice of one colour - and your research dice along with them!
If a player has any disease dice (and research dice) on the role card. Then they can attempt to cure a disease once in their turn.
To do this the player takes all the dice of one colour (of their choice if there are more than 1 colour available) and rolls them and adds them up.
If they get 13 or more then the disease is cured, otherwise not. It's worth noting here that it will normally take at least 3 dice to get 13. Some colours of disease dice may not have higher numbers such as a 5 or 6, that means it will require even more dice to stand a chance of curing a disease.
The final action of a player is to spread infection!
The players draws dice from the dice bag, the amount that they draw is equal to the current infection rate.
The player rolls these dice and then allocates them to respective region disc.
That's it for what players can do. There are some other rules to note such as:
When things go bad.
There are a couple of things that can go wrong.
How you lose the game.
There are 3 ways to lose this game.
The players win the game, if they manage to research all 4 diseases.
That's it for the rules.
Is it a good game?
I like how Pandemic: The Cure manages to replicate some of the 'feel' of the original and also how it replicates the kind of decision making that will be familiar to players of Pandemic.
I also like how they've managed to incorporate a push you luck mechanic.
The game small and portable and has a small footprint on the table.
But, there seems one glaring issue with this game. It seems a bit too easy.
Whenever I've played Pandemic, there's always been a feeling of apprehension that you could lose the game!
After a couple of initial losses, we've never lost the game since really.
Tonight we played the game twice, once on moderate difficulty and the second time on the hardest difficulty.
We won the game both times, I think the second victory seemed even easier.
Maybe we were lucky, maybe we've gotten good at his type of game. I don't know.
But I do know that Pandemic The cure is a good game that is a little disappointing.
I play, I paint.