Our players are: Ashley – Nimrose the Wood Elf Monk Kristen (@Kefka73) – Finja the Human Paladin Clint – Tate the Halfling Bard The DM: Peder (@TheScando) While our group investigates the angel, another group of pirates comes and attacks the harbor… ——— […]
Tag: tabletop game review
TableTopics: Legendary Today, we’re continuing on the topic of board games — Kristen and I host a board game night every second Saturday; our most recent one was this past weekend, and this time, we played Legendary. Legendary is a deck-building game in which you team up with […]
Welcome back, friends! A couple of weeks ago, Peder gave us a great overview of tabletop gaming. Today, I’m going to take us further down that rabbit hole and talk about one of my favorite games of all time: Pandemic!
As Peder mentioned in his post, Pandemic is one of the more well-known cooperative games, and with good reason. It’s a well-balanced, fast-paced, and challenging game that you just can’t help but get invested in whenever you play. In the world of Pandemic, there are four deadly diseases that are threatening to wipe out humanity, and it’s up to the players to stop that from happening. Apocalyptic scenario? Cooperative strategizing? Epic science? Sign me up!
To start the game, each player draws their role card (Medic, Operations Expert, Researcher, etc.), and everyone starts out from Atlanta (naturally, as this is where the real-life CDC is located). From there, everyone works as a team to figure out the best gameplan for taking out all four diseases before they outbreak and take over the map.
As with many of the best collaborative games, there is only one way to win Pandemic, but a bunch of ways to lose. The players have to clear every single disease cube off the board to beat the game, but lose conditions include having too many outbreaks, running out of disease cubes for any one disease, and running out of city cards (the last being the most common cause of a team’s downfall).
Because of this, the difficulty level always feels really high, but never so high that your prospects seem hopeless. In fact, what often happens is that you’re playing along, with everything going reasonably well and with the possibility of eradicating a couple of diseases on the horizon, when suddenly, one small thing goes wrong and sets off a chain reaction that there’s no coming back from. Rather than being discouraging, though, this common scenario only makes you more determined to play the game again and win this time, using what you learned from the last round to keep disaster from striking (at least in the same way twice).
One thing I like most about Pandemic is that it’s like it takes all the good parts of Risk and gets rid of the things that can make that game annoying (to me, at least). You’re trying to gain control of the world map, but you’re wiping out disease instead of spreading your soldiers too thin. You get to travel around the board mowing down enemies, but you aren’t trying to take down your friends in the process; you’re all working toward a common goal and putting your heads together to create a more effective strategy than someone could do alone. You don’t have to spend ages waiting for someone else to complete their turn, because all players are involved and engaged every step of the way. And most importantly, it doesn’t take hours and hours to play through — you can easily do two or three rounds in an evening, if you so choose. And you probably will, because it’s a ridiculously addicting game.
If you’re new to collaborative board gaming, this one is a great place to start. It’s high-stakes, gets everybody using their brains and working together, and has an exciting premise that keeps you coming back for more. Give this one a try; I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
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