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Subject: We died after the first player's turn... rss

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Adam K
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This might be one of the shortest games ever... Hopefully no one have had such a bad luck as we had.

During the setup we got two three-cubed red cities, Manila and Shanghai, and two two-cubed red cities, Seoul and Tokyo. The researcher started his turn by walking to Asia to clean up the mess. Since it takes 4 actions to reach Tokyo, he couldn't do anything more but enter phase 2 by drawing two person cards.

EPIDEMIC!

We draw a card from the bottom of the deck. Taipei. Crap. No we had three cities in a row that were in danger of an outbreak. We shuffled all 10 cards, where three of them must not be drawn because of the chain reaction, and put them on the top of the infection deck.

After phase 2, the first player must finish his round by drawing two infection cards. Manila and Shanghai!

Have a look at this picture, and figure out how many outbreaks that occurs by yourself if Shanghai and Manila gets infected:


Reconstruction of how the red part looked like.


First the cube in Manila results in 3 outbreaks (no double outbreaks on cities that already have been outbraked to avoid a never ending loop), making Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong a 3 cube-city too.
Then when the next card is drawn it causes a chain reaction through all of the 6 cities, making the outbreak marker reach 9.

We were so dead, and there was nothing we could do as we tried to reach Asia as quick as possible.

The previous game something similar happened, but instead of 9 outbreaks we got 6 the first turn.
The third time we finally managed not to draw an epidemic card the first round, and we won the normal game
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Barry Kendall
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Serious Worst-Case-Scenario territory.

I recently heard an interesting bit of news. Apparently a directive or suggested policy instruction was circulated from the regional Roman Catholic diocese to all parishes in the diocese.

The communique advised congregations to discontinue use of the common (shared) cup in the Eucharist "in light of the coming pandemic" (the words in quotes are verbatim as told to me by a priest of the diocese).

I've been assured that this anecdote is true. I wonder if the Bishop played this game.
 
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Rick Kimmel
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At least it doesn't take long to reset the game and start over.
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Joshua Gottesman
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Couldn't you just quarantine Asia and let the rest of the world go on?

And I think the previous poster has it right...at least you can restart quickly.
 
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Jason Wiebe
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My condolences. Sounds like I was at your game!!! laugh
(this is the sort of Luck I have playing this game)
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Dice bags!
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We died after the first player's turn one time:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/373797

only it was black that did us in.

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Agustin Kapuno
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Did you shuffle the cards? Starting with four cities in the same area and right next to each other is quite bad enough.
 
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Peter Valeta
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indigopotter wrote:
We died after the first player's turn one time:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/373797

only it was black that did us in.




Hey, That's the game we got slaughtered in last weekend! cry Black doom from the get go. shake Drew the first Epidemic on the second player's turn. There went all the black cubes!gulp
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Frank Conradie
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The same kind of thing happened to us once as well, but then we've also had an experience at the other end of the spectrum - 4 eradications!
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/342282
 
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MK
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LupusX wrote:



Reconstruction of how the red part looked like.


First the cube in Manila results in 3 outbreaks (no double outbreaks on cities that already have been outbraked to avoid a never ending loop), making Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong a 3 cube-city too.
Then when the next card is drawn it causes a chain reaction through all of the 6 cities, making the outbreak marker reach 9.

We were so dead, and there was nothing we could do as we tried to reach Asia as quick as possible.

The previous game something similar happened, but instead of 9 outbreaks we got 6 the first turn.
The third time we finally managed not to draw an epidemic card the first round, and we won the normal game


I think you did something wrong. When you drew Manila, you'd have an outbreak in Manila, Taipei, and then Shanghai. You then draw Shanghai, but Shanghai already had an outbreak in the same turn - it can't outbreak again.

Or am I missing something that was clarified in a FAQ somewhere? My understanding of the outbreak rules was that a city that outbreaks once during any turn cannot outbreak again that same turn.
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Just Another User
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kimapesan wrote:
LupusX wrote:



Reconstruction of how the red part looked like.


First the cube in Manila results in 3 outbreaks (no double outbreaks on cities that already have been outbraked to avoid a never ending loop), making Seoul, Tokyo and Hong Kong a 3 cube-city too.
Then when the next card is drawn it causes a chain reaction through all of the 6 cities, making the outbreak marker reach 9.

We were so dead, and there was nothing we could do as we tried to reach Asia as quick as possible.

The previous game something similar happened, but instead of 9 outbreaks we got 6 the first turn.
The third time we finally managed not to draw an epidemic card the first round, and we won the normal game


I think you did something wrong. When you drew Manila, you'd have an outbreak in Manila, Taipei, and then Shanghai. You then draw Shanghai, but Shanghai already had an outbreak in the same turn - it can't outbreak again.

Or am I missing something that was clarified in a FAQ somewhere? My understanding of the outbreak rules was that a city that outbreaks once during any turn cannot outbreak again that same turn.


The same city can't outbreak twice in the same CHAIN (i.e. Epidemic Card, Infector Card). If Shanghai outbreaks, and an adjacent city outbreaks as a result, then Shanghai does not have a second outbreak in that chain of events (i.e. no "bounceback"). If an Epidemic card and Infector card drawn in the same turn force outbreaks in the same city, then that city outbreaks once per card-driven chain reaction. Just like in the OP's situation.

Not pretty, and not conducive to a player victory, but correct!
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Ian Wakeham
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Shanghai can outbreak again. The restriction is merely to prevent an endles loop of outbreaks (as the original poster mentioned) as the result of drawing a card. So when Manila is drawn it triggers an outbreak in Taipei, which causes an outbreak in Shanghai. The rule which you're thinking of prevents the outbreak in Shaghai bouncing back and causing another outbreak in Taipei. It doesn't affect outbreaks caused by a different card (in this case Shanghai).

EDIT - too slow but I gave the same answer...
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Adam K
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indigopotter wrote:
We died after the first player's turn one time:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/373797

only it was black that did us in.
At least I'm not the only one.

As some of you said... It's easy to restart and the earlier the better.

Two cards should be removed before shuffling the epidemics into the deck and be put on top of it, to guarantee a first round of epidemiclessness.

batdog wrote:
Shanghai can outbreak again. The restriction is merely to prevent an endles loop of outbreaks (as the original poster mentioned)

Exactly... I wrote that to assure everyone that I was aware of the rule.
Since there would be an endless loop without that specific rule, I figured the only reason would be to prevent such thing. Not to make the game easier, just to make the game possible.

Still the game is loved by everyone I've taught, even non-gamers.

JonasK wrote:
Did you shuffle the cards?
Apparently too well.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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This can happen; it rarely does, but it is possible.

However... it only takes 3 moves to reach Tokyo from Atlanta. But treating a cube there doesn't help...

If the first player had almost any red city card near Shanghai, or had Atlanta, Washington, DC, Miami, or any player had Atlanta, or if any of the Special Events were in any player's hand, then this outcome -- with a sufficiently paranoid group of players -- could be avoided.

Now, you could argue against being paranoid on the grounds that the Taipei cubes weren't present on the first turn, but I would look at Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo and argue that we're potentially in big trouble. So, if any of these city cards or Airlift were around, the first player should have used one to fly to Shanghai and treat 2-3 cubes there, IMO.

With Government Grant, I would have argued for a research station in Hong Kong (generally a good spot for one) and treating 2 Shanghai cubes.

Treating 2+ cubes in Shanghai reduces 9 outbreaks to 2 outbreaks, given your card draws.

After the Epidemic revealed Taipei, then Forecast, One Quiet Night, or Resilient Population, if present, should have been used. If the second player is the Dispatcher, then 2 cubes can be removed from Shanghai on turn 2 (after Forecast or One Quiet Night).

However, if none of these city cards or Events were on hand, then -- yes, you were screwed... better luck next time!
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Sean McCarthy
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
With Government Grant, I would have argued for a research station in Hong Kong (generally a good spot for one) and treating 2 Shanghai cubes.


It's kind of silly to nitpick when humanity was just destroyed by little red wooden cubes, but I much prefer to place research stations directly in cities whose infection cards have been drawn. In this case Shanghai would be excellent, as you can quell the triple threat immediately, have player two stabilize Manila, and then have player one take care of the northern problem very efficiently on subsequent turns.
 
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Adam K
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
However... it only takes 3 moves to reach Tokyo from Atlanta. But treating a cube there doesn't help...

You are right... I don't fully remember the details, but there must have been a 3 cube city in Atlanta, Chicago or San Francisco, which was prioritized before the 2 cubes in Japan. Maybe it was a bad decision, but as you said, in this situation it wouldn't have mattered anyway.

Tom Lehmann wrote:
If the first player had almost any red city card near Shanghai, or had Atlanta, Washington, DC, Miami, or any player had Atlanta, or if any of the Special Events were in any player's hand, then this outcome -- with a sufficiently paranoid group of players -- could be avoided.


If someone else would have been the starting player, I bet it could be avoided somehow. Can't say if the group would be that paranoid though.
We normally use the builder to walk three steps and build a research station, and that was probably what we were aiming for. The the medic would then be able to reach Asia faster. I'm not sure three steps is the optimal distance between the stations, still it's an effective way of getting the stations built every round.
 
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Tom Lehmann
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Anytime I see 6+ cubes of the same color in a triangle, I get paranoid...

That's my rule of thumb between paranoid (must act now) and concerned (deal with it with an eye towards general efficiency and working towards cures). I agree that, in most situations, walking someone over to the general area and then either building a research station or using the Dispatcher to transfer a player (possibly the Medic) to then treat cubes is a better tactic. But, then I see a "deadly triangle"...
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David F
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I find it okay to lose in the first few turns. Better to know from the start that you can't win, then spend 20-40 minutes on a game that slowly becomes impossible to win, without knowing it. This session report I posted is an example. In your case, even if you didn't die in the first 2-3 turns, I'd play the game feeling very uneasy that I'm destined to lose based on how the deck is stacked and what the seemingly optimal action should be, and I might just be wasting my time and eventually encounter the inevitable.
 
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Greg Jones
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Tom Lehmann wrote:
Now, you could argue against being paranoid on the grounds that the Taipei cubes weren't present on the first turn, but I would look at Shanghai, Seoul, and Tokyo and argue that we're potentially in big trouble. So, if any of these city cards or Airlift were around, the first player should have used one to fly to Shanghai and treat 2-3 cubes there, IMO.


In hindsight it's easy to see that Asia could be trouble. However I probably would have missed it, since no triples were adjacent to each other.

If I did notice it, I decide how paranoid to be based on the difficulty level of the game. Ironically, on hard difficulty, I'm less paranoid. On hard difficulty, if the worst is going to happen, you're going to lose anyway. You have to try to win in the average case, and accept that you're going to lose in the worst case.
 
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Philip Goldfarb Styrt
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I'd agree with Tom - 3-2-2 (especially with another 3 nearby) should be a player magnet. Although I might have had the player walk to Tokyo and remove a cube, figuring we'd "get 'em next turn," which ultimately wouldn't have helped. In a word - yikes!
 
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