Date Posted: 2017-12-25
Pandemic is a classic, challenging cooperative game. Players' reported of winning only 60% of the time. However, with the right strategies in place, you can drastically increase the odds. These are the few strategies that have personally worked for me. I have compiled and summarized them:
Find a Cure in the First 3 Rounds
Focus on finding a cure as soon as possible as it greatly increases the chance of winning the game. Just curing any single infection tips the game nicely to your favor.
The key is to move as little as possible as transportation is very expensive because technically nothing is happening when players move. Always look at the city cards you have before making a move. If you are deciding between multiple cities, choose the one with 3 cubes and do not worry too much about the rest - think of the outbreak meter as a resource. You do not have to worry about it until it is at its halfway mark.
Place a research station on 1 side instead of the middle of infected cities so players can sweep the map without backtracking. Plus, keep cards that are near research cities rather than far away as you will be able to go to the research station, travel to the city and use charter flights to travel anywhere on the map.
Time and City Cards
In a 4 player game, each player draws 15 cards in total by the end of the game. Assuming that the cards are evenly distributed, you will only have 3 of each and there will be a need to pass cards between 1 another. Cures will only happen in the later stages of the game so focus on choosing a specific color for each player to cure.
However, in a 3 or 2 player game, it is much less tight with players getting 20 and 30 cards respectively. Do take note that in a 3 player game, there are only 8 to 9 rounds so stay close to be able to pass cards around.
Also from: https://boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/2372/what-are-good-general-strategies-for-pandemic
The Operations Expert has a good combo - build a research center, discard the city card to fly anywhere or a specific city, build 1 more research center and then remove a cube. Other players can then come in for reinforcement.
The Scientist and Researcher can hold 14 cards in total. If 13 of them are city cards, it means that there is at least 4 of them with the same color. They can swap cards around to find a cure quickly.
Dispatcher makes other players mobile by moving them around for them while the Operations Expert makes them mobile on their own turns due to the placement of Research Centers.
Both the Medic and Quarantine Specialist help fight infections. The Quarantine Specialist prevents cubes from getting into the city she is in and all connected cities while the Medic remove all cubes in the city she is in. The Quarantine Specialist will have to do a little more work by keeping track of what has been discarded and/or placed on top of the infection deck.
The Dispatcher can quickly move the Medic once a cure has been found to quickly eradicate an infection.
Picking your Poison
Lastly, if you and your team are caught in a dilemma, think of these 3 factors:
- how likely is the city going to be drawn from the infection deck
- how close is it to the next epidemic
- which other cities are connected to the city
- how many cities are connected to the city
Pandemic is a good game but it becomes great when turned more into a strategic exercise rather than simply thinking of it as a luck-based game. Have fun!