Pandemic is a cooperative board game for 2-4 players. You must work together to stop 4 diseases from infecting the world with over 12 million possible combinations of symptoms, pathogens, and outbreaks. The game takes place in one of 6 different cities around the world: Atlanta, Cairo, New York City, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, or Washington D.C.
Players travel between these cities trying to find ways to cure their respective diseases while also developing cures for other epidemics that are happening at the same time. This post will show you how to play Pandemic!
Winning (or Losing) the Game
Pandemic is a cooperative game, which means all players are working together to beat the board. Everyone wins or loses together! There are several ways for you to lose Pandemic:
- If there’s more than one disease in any city, and that number of diseases reaches four (this does not include outbreaks) then everyone loses. If this happens, you might have to restart the game.
- If there are more than nine outbreaks in total on the board, everyone loses. If this happens too, it’s possible that you’ll have to restarter as well.
- You can also lose Pandemic if all of the players get four diseases or eight outbreaks! Again though, both these situations will require a restart for sure.
Pandemic is a cooperative board game for two to four players where each player takes control of an action character with unique abilities and must work together using various tools at their disposal in order to stop certain diseases from infecting the entire world. Pandemics can be lost if there are more than four diseases in any city, the number of outbreaks reaches nine or all players get four diseases or eight outbreaks. The game is won when all pandemic cards have been taken out of play and this usually takes around an hour to complete.
- Cooperative board game
- Includes multiple expansions
The Scientist is a good character for beginners because it has the ability to re-roll dice and can give other players extra actions. However, unlike many of the characters in Pandemic, the scientist only begins with two action points as opposed to three (and must use an action point at end of the turn).
Another Investigator that may be worth considering if you plan on playing solo would be The Biologist which has access to four action cards instead of three meaning they have more options when it comes down to what they want their character’s next move will be. The downside here though is that although there are more options available this investigator does not start off with any additional starting/action points making them slightly less effective than others during these early stages of the game.
The downside though here is that unlike other characters in Pandemic, there are no additional starting/action points for this investigator meaning they will have fewer options available on their initial turns in comparison with some others but if used correctly during later parts in the game could prove invaluable in helping cure diseases more quickly and efficiently!
The Game Phases
Pandemic is a game played in rounds and turns. During each round, players will take their turn simultaneously before passing the cards to the next player ready for their own turn!
There are several phases that’ll be encountered during the Pandemic board game which you must familiarize yourself with if you wish to get ahead of your opponents:
In this phase diseases spread throughout cities on or near oceans. Players can also gain disease cubes here as well but may have some restrictions depending on what characters they currently possess since certain investigators cannot pick up new infections while others can.
At this point, all players (simultaneously) put three action points onto character cards after moving any infected pawns.
Here, players can move from city to city via land or sea routes while also having the opportunity to add new characters into their current group either by flying them in on a plane or hiring new ones at certain airports.
Infected pawns begin spreading disease during this phase and must be moved throughout cities with other cubes being placed onto already infected areas if there is room for more infections (while others may get discarded depending on what type of infection it is). Players will gain one action point per turn unless otherwise stated/affected by special items such as +action tokens which can be found within the Pandemic board game.
The final phase of the turn is when players must discard half their hand into an inactive epidemic deck which can then, in turn, become active diseases at a future point during that round/turn if they are drawn from this pile.
Here, investigators may attempt to discover cures for each disease while also being able to take certain actions related to finding these antidotes only here and not on any other phases throughout the rest of the game due to it taking place specifically during this particular time period. Players who have acquired cards that allow them to make a trade may do so if they wish but any other trades cannot be carried out during this time period.
Diseases will continue spreading throughout cities until either all infections have been placed or there are no more cubes left in the infection pile at which point, players must draw from the active epidemic deck and add these new epidemics into play before continuing onto the next round of Pandemic!
If an epidemic is drawn here that has already been discovered then its respective disease counter is removed from play entirely while also allowing one to immediately gain a research station token.
This is the final phase of each round where research stations are distributed to players if they meet certain criteria. Players who have acquired cards that allow them to make a trade may do so if they wish but any other trades cannot be carried out during this time period.
Everyone then counts up their victory points by adding up how many regions (cities) still remain infected while also subtracting one point for every three disease cubes remaining in their personal supply as well as gaining additional points based on diseases discovered and cures made before arriving at an overall total score once all is said and done.
A player wins once they have either cured all diseases or successfully manage to defeat Pandemic as a group which will then trigger the end of the game where everyone counts up points together for one final time around before determining who has emerged victorious at this point in time!
Setting Up the Game
Before beginning Pandemic, players should decide which character to play with after reading through the accompanying rule book that details all rules/instructions required in order to properly set up and get started. Players will need:
- The board game box
- Rule book
- Six pawns per player
- One research station token per player
- Seven cubes in each color of the matching disease (i.e., seven red disease cubes, etc.)
- Four cards that show ‘Epidemic!’ with an exclamation mark symbol on them for all four diseases
- Four cards that show ‘Outbreak!’ with an exclamation mark symbol on them for all four diseases
- Eight disease cubes of the color match each respective disease picture within Pandemic. The colors are as follows: green, yellow, brown, and purple/pink. (The colors of the cubes may vary depending on which version you have however they are most likely to match either green, yellow, brown, or purple/pink in color)
- Two cards labeled ‘Epidemic!’ with an exclamation mark symbol on them for all four diseases
- 35 cards with blue backs labeled ‘common disease’
- 35 cards with purple/pink backs labeled ‘epidemic’
- 12 region cards that match the colors of each respective city and are then placed face down on top of it (i.e., Seattle: Region card = green, Los Angeles: Region card = yellow, etc.)
- Eight cards that show ‘+action token’ on them with a green plus symbol above it and then placed near the board game for use later if needed
- Two decks of cards labeled ‘player deck’ and ‘active epidemic!’ with a red exclamation mark symbol on them. The player deck is then shuffled and placed near the board game while placing the active epidemic! cards face down within easy reach for all players to grab as needed throughout the play
- Note pad/pencils/paper
- A six-sided die, preferably one that matches the color of each respective player pawn.
Place the game board in between all players with the first player marker placed onto one of the starting cities on this map. Each player should also begin with two pawns, seven action cards (three city cards), four research stations, and $200 to spend throughout these rounds/game which can be found within their respective supply piles located right next to each disease counter where cubes will ultimately stack up overtime before getting removed during a future turn as well.
Players then receive three random epidemic cards that correspond to each disease marker that has been found to be placed down on the game board at this time before shuffling them into their respective decks and then placing these piles next to the board where they can easily reach them for later use.
The infection rate markers should also go onto three different cities with a total of six cubes being used in order to keep track of how many infections will begin showing up throughout gameplay as well whenever any epidemics get added into play by either drawing from one pile or another when an epidemic card is drawn!
Players must now place four disease counters onto already infected areas located within regions indicated during Step One above while also taking two more cubes out which are placed directly onto Atlanta along with Las Vegas (two separate regions) to begin laying down infections because these cities cannot be cured at this time.
The rest of the disease cubes are then placed within various levels depending on how many players are actively taking part in the game before dealing out seven cards to each player as well by randomly choosing who gets what card first whenever they finish drawing them for themselves! Keep your discard pile separate from other regions while also shuffling together any other unused ones should you wish to later draw into either one or another that has not been used thus far during gameplay itself.
The infection rate marker is now moved accordingly starting with a six, five, and four counter respectively which means an additional two cubes must go onto Atlanta along with Las Vegas (two separate regions), three onto Salt Lake City (one region), and three onto San Francisco (another separate region).
The disease cards are now drawn starting with the player who is currently taking their turn after everyone has finished drawing their own card(s) which means they will be required to draw two, whereas all other players only need one card in order to properly function through each individual round of gameplay itself.
The game must also begin by placing six infection cubes into play whenever a new epidemic gets added into action as well before moving this marker ahead on its tracks by rotating it up or down depending on what level should appear next while keeping track of how many total infections have occurred within different regions throughout these rounds/game! This step can occur twice during gameplay itself before the disease outbreaks are stopped.
The first player must now take their turn by starting with drawing two cards, moving one pawn, and then spending any number of cards to either build a research station or cure regions within each city that has been designated as currently being infected at this time! Each card gets assigned its own value which corresponds toward building extra stations for more die rolls during these individual turns while also curing three cubes whenever they draw from one of four face-up cards drawn on top of their respective piles due to having played it successfully against another opponent’s action card(s) previously used throughout gameplay itself.
The second player can now repeat Step Four after all players have taken part in taking their turn accordingly but only using any number of cards that they wish to (zero, one, or two) while moving their pawn and then curing the regions once again!
The round is now over after all players have taken part in drawing cards during Step Five above while also taking turns by having each player take a turn accordingly with some needing more than others whenever it comes time for them to draw within these rounds.
This will get repeated until either no outbreak occurs at this time or there are currently four epidemics active throughout gameplay itself which means the game has ended at this point.
Whenever there are no epidemics currently in play, one more round is now repeated throughout Step Four again before determining who won based on some simple rules below!
Each star counts for three extra points whereas having cured all regions of an individual city will earn another two points after each disease cube gets removed from it afterward until either not enough cubes remain or players decide to stop playing when drawing new ones doesn’t get them too far anymore.
This game is very fun and exciting (just like pandemic) to play! It also makes it easier for two players instead of four which means you won’t need as many people playing together with anyone who can read or speak English fluently along with having a decent amount of time on their hands.