Pandemic is a game where up to 4 players (5 if you get the on the brink expansion) work together to rid the world of four deadly diseases. Each player chooses a role to play, examples of which are the medic and researcher. As the game progresses, more cities become infected with diseases and cause outbreaks, which have devastating effects. Below are some tips and tricks to give yourself a better chance to win pandemic.
Choose roles that complement each other
Certain roles work well together, such as the dispatcher and the quarantine specialist because the dispatcher can move the quarantine specialist around to prevent an outbreak, saving the quarantine specialist actions that can be used to cure diseases. The researcher and the scientist also work well together because the researcher can feed the scientist cards, effectively doubling the number of cards the scientist receives, and the scientist can cure diseases for one card less than normal so the scientist will be able to cure more diseases that way. The dispatcher in general is the best role because of it’s ability to move one character to another character. Combining the dispatcher and the medic is also a good combo because the dispatcher can move the medic to wherever he’s needed. I’d say that the dispatcher, medic, quarantine specialist, and the researcher are the best team.
Sit in the order that you want to take your turns in
You should always take advantage of the fact that you can sit in any order you’d like. Try to put your combos next to each other, such as the dispatcher going first and then the medic so that the dispatcher can move the medic to wherever he is needed, or the researcher going before the scientist so that the researcher has an extra two cards to share.
Prevent a build-up of cities with three cubes right next to each other
Something I often see which cost the players the game is when one outbreak triggers two more outbreaks which trigger another two more outbreaks each. It is very easy to overlook this because you think, “it will only cause there outbreaks, which isn’t the worst thing and then we’ll cure it next turn,” but if multiple outbreaks are connected to the same city, they can cause another outbreak that is hard to predict. For example, if Tehran and Delhi have three cubes each and Baghdad and Karachi are at two cubes each, if either Tehran or Delhi were drawn it would cause four outbreaks, and would spread so many cubes that you’d most likely run out of black cubes, causing you to lose the game.
Build research stations in strategic points
Another mistake I often see is when players finally get enough cards to cure a disease but spend multiple turns trying to get to a research station while the world around them is dying of multiple diseases. Just build a research station! The best spots for a research station are in Bangkok and Istanbul, as those are evenly spaced apart and you can reach a research station in only one turn from anywhere on the board.
The gameplay is very sound and will keep any player’s attention throughout the whole game. With many possible roles and scenarios, there is a lot of replay value. For only 30 dollars on Amazon, it is definitely worth it’s value. There are also many expansions for about 30 dollars each, a digital version of the game that costs a few dollars, and a “legacy” version of the game that requires you to play as much as 24 pandemic games while the board is constantly changing around you, including cities being permanently destroyed and characters becoming scarred when caught in a city that is outbreaking. Overall I highly recommend that you purchase pandemic, and I will soon be back with articles on some of the many expansions.