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Pandemic: Rapid Response» Forums » General

Subject: Is there a way to make it non-real time game? rss

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Pasko Zhelev
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Hello!

I like the idea of the game but I am not a big fan of real-time games.

Is there a way to play it somehow without the timer? Maybe changing some rules or introducing new ones?
 
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Amun Rah
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Since the game is played in a sequence of turns, then yes, just give yourself a limit of rounds. The exact balance will depend on how difficult you want it to be. You will have to be willing to experiment and tweak that number.
 
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Scott Nelson
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One would have to introduce a way to limit the amount of turns before the timer adds another card to deal with. That amount of turns would have to be similar but random as well. So, take the old pandemic draw deck, create it like before with epidemic cards throughout about 12 cards each. Draw 2 at the end of each turn, if you hit an epidemic card, consider the sand of the sandtimer is at the bottom, each time. Discard all cards when drawing them as they will not be used but for the timing element.
Same thing could be done with a 52 card deck going through it twice using an Ace as an epidemic card seeded twice during the game, ie go through the deck twice for 7 epidemics, seeding 3 in the last 40 cards.
More or less cards could be included in each part of the deck if you want more time between rounds/timer endings. I'd play the game once to get an idea of how many rounds is typical, and seed accordingly.
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Dad's Gaming Addiction
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Assuming I buy this, I'd probably increase the time from 2 mins to say, 5, just to make it easier. You could in theory adjust the time to suit your preferred difficulty.
 
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mistercrayon
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On the game night video it seemed like 2 minutes allowed exactly one turn each initially but as it became clearer what was needed to win they squeezed more turns in (when they discarded junk more easily). So maybe something like: one turn each (in 4 player) for all the chips then two turns each for the last chip.

I feel like if you Have unlimited time you’d need to play in complete silence and try and intuit the next necessary items. The game seems easy when if you are unrestricted on communication.
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Jason
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If you want a dice-driven, non-real-time Pandemic? Play Pandemic: The Cure.

It looks like this game is built around the real-time aspect since multiple players can take their turn during that time. The rules stating, "Players cannot play or strategize while the game is paused," seems like communication needs to be open while players take their turn, but constrained to quick communication.

So, more than just randomizing when the epidemic occurs, you'd need new rules around communication.
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Kurt Zoch
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I'd like to expand on what Scott said, as that seems the best way to go, but you can't replicate the traditional Pandemic deck/epidemic system 1:1 because you could find yourself in a situation where you draw your epidemics back-to-back, or even on the very first turn, which in the context of Rapid Response would mean somebody wasted 2 whole minutes on their one turn (and subsequently pads out the timer before the next time it could possibly hit). This can result in a bit lopsided time distribution, and more realistically you're guaranteed a few turns between running out of the timer.

So, let's say for the sake of a baseline everybody gets one turn between the timer running out, which is about 30 seconds per turn. Let's seed a deck of cards with that in mind, and let's use a standard deck of playing cards. We will also want it to be a bit random to simulate players taking short or long turns. First, separate the face cards and Aces from the deck, these will be your signal for the timer running out. What you need to do is create a small set of cards to represent each time token. To do that, take one face card and four normal cards for each time token in the game (there are nine, so nine face cards and 36 normal cards). For each time token, create a small set of cards with two normal cards on top and then shuffle and place the remaining three (two normal and one face) on bottom. Based on the rules set-up, you'll want to stack three of these together in HQ to form your starting deck (4a in the rules), then set the remaining six piles separately off to the side (4b in the rules). Every time a player finishes their turn they draw a card; if it's a face card, the timer ran out and you add a new city to the board. Whenever you complete a city, add a new pile of cards from the side to the bottom of the deck in HQ. Whenever you clear the deck, the player team gets three extra turns, and if you manage to save a city in that time then add a new pile set aside during set-up to your HQ and draw cards from the top of the new pile equal to the number of extra turns used (because the face cards represent the time tokens, players will normally have some extra time after losing their last available token to potentially gain a new one or win the game. This mechanic allows players to continue to play after their last face card without gaining extra turns overall).

I've only thought about all of this on the spot so I haven't had a chance to test it out, so there are no doubt a few kinks you'll need to consider, but I think this is a fairly decent approximation of the real-time format broken into turns.
 
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Rick C
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I have only just got this, so I haven't had a chance to try different ideas; but I have been thinking about it because I play Pandemic a lot with my elderly gaming group where speed is an issue. They take a long time to be able to read board state, rolling dice takes them 3-4 times as long as more dexterous players, and they have to use a dice tower, etc.
They can process the concepts pretty quickly, but the actual physical manipulation of the board and reading will be slower. So I have been trying to come up with a solution.

I want something that will increase the chance of it running out with each round, but not actually have a time pressure.

I am thinking of seeing how many rounds per hourglass our main groups gets, say for example it's 6. Then I would use d6 at the end of each player turns to determine how "long" it took, and we would line those dice up.

If we were setting it at 6 nominal turns, we could set the total at 21 (3.5x6) and when we passed 21 total on the timer dice, that would end the rounds and we would have to resolve.

This has the downside of us never interrupting a turn, but I think it would work. We could adjust the number up or down fairly easily to give us more or less time, and it gives the random element of sometimes things will go well (rolling low) and sometimes thing will go bad (rolling high).
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Pasko Zhelev
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I also got this recently and pretty much found a way to enjoy it without the time pressure. Together with my girlfriend we are playing it like this: every player has 2 turns before the "time" is up. I am using the back of one of the unused character cards as a tracking time card (it has this plane-like figure on the back). So when we both make 1 turn I turn the card to the right and when we make our second turn if the tracking time card is already turned I just remove 1 time marker.

It's working pretty good for us and we can change the difficulty by simply adding more cities or by using the effect cards.
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Rick C
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My group contains a lot of elderly gamers who due to various reasons are unable to play real time games. However, they love the Pandemic series of games and have played all of them and were excitedly looking forward to this one.

So here is what I have come up with.

Please note. I am not saying this game shouldn't have been real time, I am trying to come up with a work around so that people who can't manage real time games can try the game because they love the Pandemic series. There is nothing wrong with the game as designed at all.

I would be interested in people's feedback.

Real Time Simulation for Pandemic: Rapid Response

Purpose
To come up with a non real time simulation for Pandemic: Rapid Response that still provides as much of the game play aspects of playing real time as possible.

Goals
* Must allow for the excitement where people are feeling the pressure and not know exactly what is going to happen.
* Must be simple and fast.
* Must have the ability for there to be good and bad turns.
* Must have the ability to add or remove difficulty or fine tune in small increments.

Components
* A timer board with numbers at least 1-25. Any scoreboard will do.
* At least 2d6. Having up to 10 would be better.
* An End of Round marker. We use a red glass bead.

Setup
* Place the timer board on the table near the HQ.
* Put the End of Round marker on 20.
* Put the dice and the Start of Round marker near the scoreboard.

Gameplay
At the end of each players turn, roll a d6 and place the die as many spaces forward on the timer board as the result rolled. If there is already a die there count the spaces forward from the previous die.

If the die is placed on or after the End of Round marker then resolve a normal "Time Runs Out" as defined in the main game rules.

If the die was placed after the End of Round marker, count the spaces after the End of Round marker that the die was placed, and place the die on that number space at the start of the track so the time carries over to the next round.

All other game rules are as normal.

Adjustments
If you want to adjust the timer based on simulating increased skill, you and move the End of Round marker to a higher number. If you want to make the game harder, you can move it to a lower number.

For a slightly less chaotic game, but probably a little more realistic, you can place the die as using it as a d3+2 instead of a d6.

More complex variant to simulate turn pressure
If you want to make this simulation more complex in order to try to simulate the pressure to end your turn to let the next player take over, which this game does with the timer use the following for die placement.

Total of:
+d3 roll
+1 for 1-3 dice used
+2 for 4-6 dice used
+1 if you used both re-rolls

eg. If you use 5 dice and re-rolled twice, you will move the die based on d3+3

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Cameron McKenzie
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One thing about the real time element is that you often don’t worry about spending all of your dice or all of your rerolls because it isn’t worth spending several seconds trying to figure out a use for just a few dice you may have left over.

In fact if you really are trying to optimize and the next player is in a better position to do what is needed, you could throw your dice and immediately say done and let the next person go.

A big element to playing the game well is deciding when you’ve done “enough” and you should just earn your turn. You aren’t trying to squeeze value out of every turn when there is no limit to the turns.

Changing the game to track the passage of turns instead of passage of real time can work but it completely changes your way of thinking. Under that scenario you’d want to make every single die roll worthwhile.

So I think a good compromise would be to use some currency that doesn’t only get consumed on a per-turn basis but is also consumed with every action you take or every re-roll you perform (give players some incentive to say “good enough” and end their turn, as they would in the real time mode).

Say the time expired after 24 units are spent, but you spend 1 unit each time you reroll and each time you roll (including start of your turn, so minimum of 1). This can recreate some of the ebb and flow - some people are “busier” on their turn and spend more time units, while others may throw the dice, take a few obvious actions, and pass their turn so as not to waste “time” rerolling few dice for little value.

I think it would add a good layer of strategy. You could also apply this concept with some kind of timer if you want to avoid any AP issue, but something like 5 minutes instead of 2. Round ends if the “currency” runs out or the timer runs out, so you can’t just spend tons of real time analyzing every choice but you also don’t feel compelled to just speed through every decision and there is ample time for physical manipulation of components.
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Rick C
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I haven't played another real-time game with turns, and I agree that the system I put above doesn't simulate the concept of needing to make a decision to end your turn to let the next player take their turn.

Because I was coming at this with the concept of how to let people who are elderly and have physical and visual limitations get access to the new game in their favorite game franchise, I wasn't going for a perfect replication, just something that would allow them to play the game without it being just an open turn game.

I have added a more complex method of advancing the die to my system above to try to incorporate this, but I don't know how much it adds in reality. I will test it and see how it goes.

Again, this isn't a perfect system, but I am not trying to "fix" the game, I am just trying to make it available to a group of players who can not physically play it as a real time game.
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Carrie K
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I, for one, love that you have taken the initiative to adapt the game to the group’s abilities so they can enjoy it too. It’s all about having fun, so modify it so it works for you!
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