Welcome to TAY Board Game Night! Each week I hope to bring you a new board game to try out, throw in a mini blurb about why you should play this game, and then highlight some alternate playstyles or expansions for you to try. This week is Pandemic!
Sorry for missing last week, I’ve been getting used to a new work schedule! Hopefully regular Board Game Nights will be back on track!
Like most games I share on BGN@TAY, Pandemic is something of a staple for me. A glorious frustrating staple. Pandemic is pretty simple at its core. You play a specialist and work with the other players at the board to eradicate some killer diseases spreading across the planet. You’ll move from place to place, pick up cubes, and maybe discover a cure. Of course, if it were that easy there wouldn’t be much of a game. Occasional Epidemics will sprout and spread the diseases from city to city. If a city becomes overloaded it starts an outbreak, too many outbreaks and you’re all losers. Oh, and the human race is wiped out too.
Luckily each specialist comes with a unique ability to help you out. Being able to take advantage of each specialists’ ability is key to containing the diseases. Pandemic is a game that has a huge ebb and flow for the players. Some games or moments can be a walk in the park, while others will have players on the brink of disaster where every single action is meticulously thought out. Cooperation is always key to survival and these abilities can make or break a whole turn.
One thing I might want to point out that is pretty rare in board games is all the player roles in Pandemic are scientists/engineers. Its nice to run a game where the heroes are neither weapon wielding adventurers or space marines of any sort. Its a nice change of pace, and something to consider for children or those who want to avoid overt violence/sex in their gaming.
There are quite a few expansion out for Pandemic. Each come with their own new twists. Some add new diseases, new modes, new specialists, and so on. Some expansions change the game pretty drastically, including an expansion where the players play the diseases and try to wipe out the human race. Keep in mind there are two editions of the game, you’ll want to find the newest versions if you can.
For as unforgiving and grueling as Pandemic can be, I love it, and think its simple enough for new comers to board games to get into. Theres nothing complex here and the subject matter is fairly universal. Its a solid game to add to any burgeoning collection, and something that should be played at least once. Or twice, or until you finally scratch that ‘got to win!’ itch.
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