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Monday, January 31, 2011

Pandemic - Infecting Another Houstonian

This week I played several games of Pandemic as I introduced the game to my compatriots in Houston.  Pandemic is a quick playing game where four diseases have broken out around the world.  The players must form a team of specialist with unique abilities to contain the infection until they can find a cure.  Its a great, fully cooperative game.

My first game is with my buddy Akhtar (http://gummyswedes.blogspot.com/).  In our two player game we defeated the germs handily, but I could tell Akhtar was hooked and we played a few more times.

One player Akhtar and I have been trying to get to join us was Christa from work.  She finally found time to play a single game, along with Winnie.  I explained the rules and we were off....to a disastrous failure.  The disease defeated us handily despite coming close to winning.  Christa obviously had that "new addict look" as she glanced at the time and said (in that texas accent of hers), "Let's play it again".  I chuckled, and we set the game up a second time with the four of us.

This time we were much more coordinated.  The Yellow Germs fell to our superior teamwork and was vanquished.  Blue infections erupted in Chicago, Toronto, and Washington.  We easily contained them, but Asia and Oceania were different stories.  The red plague seemed to be everywhere, spreading from Tokyo, Seoul, and Jakarta.  Meanwhile, Central Asia was a writhing mass of Black cubes.

Christa, our every dutiful medic, traveled from city to city treating the infected as much as possible.  Every time an outbreak occurred we groaned and the game grew more intense.  "Chennai!  How could it have spread in Chennai? I was just there.  Oh man.", she complained.  Finally, we collectively had the cards to cure the diseases, we just needed to get our Scientist in a research station and give her the cards.  Suddenly an epidemic broke in Osaka, the Red Menace Plague had spread to the rest of Japan.  Could we do it?

Our Medic took her turn.  Unable to fly to Tokyo or Seoul, we could only hope there were no more outbreaks in those cities.  She flipped the first Infection card over....Kolkota.  Not good for us, but we could survive it.  The second card....Seoul.  Seoul's outbreak spread to Tokyo, which caused an outbreak to spread to Osaka, and that was  the eighth outbreak of the game.  We had lost again.

"I got to go, but I want to buy this game," Christa declared.  We packed the game away, but I knew boardgameitis had infected another individual.  This time the epidemic is in Houston.
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