Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

5-player Exploration variant created and GM'd by Aeschines

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Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby Aeschines » 02 May 2019, 05:11

Congratulations to Condude1, who as the Freedom Seekers managed to successfully find the cure after 14 years of game play.

Exploration games are always challenging to run, so I appreciate the patience of my players. Big woot to Groo for sticking it out to the very end, in a lopsided two-player game (it's always tough when your opponent is building nukes and your troops haven't moved past sailing ships). Also, thank you to BoldBlade, Gooderian, and NoPunin10did for playing and NanooktheEskimo for helping me with game design.

Without any further adieu... I the results of Pandemic Diplomacy!

You can find the full set of maps them in the Discord here: https://discord.gg/NuMrZxg
The complete order sets here: Pandemic Order Sets
The complete rules here: Complete Pandemic Diplomacy Rules

Timeline
2022 - Game Starts
2023 - Berbers and Tunisians spot first plague unit
2024 - First army unit is infect with plague (Tunisians), Israel captures Roma capital of Izmir
2027 - Berbers redevelop modern ship technology after exploring University of Oslo
2028 - Berbers discover first research center (for possible cure) in Smaland
2029 - Roma develop nuclear technology after exploring both Budapest and Moscow's ruins
2031 - Berbers develop nuclear technology after accessing data caches in Smaland
2033 - Last Berber holdouts are annihilated by the Freedom Seekers
2034 - Roma deploys nuclear weapons, obliterating Moscow in attempt to hold off Israeli advance
2034 - Last Tunisian stronghold overwhelmed by the plague
2036 - Freedom Seekers develop nuclear technology
2037 - Nuclear weapons are deployed against plagues in Auvergne
2038 - Freedom Seeker scientists in Paris discover cure for the plague and, immediately after radioing over the details...
    are rewarded with death by a Freedom Seeker nuke deployed in Burgundy

I have adjusted the Discord, so you can look through the maps each player operated with. And I've curated a select few here:

Winter 2022 - Berbers
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2022 Berber.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2022 Berber.png (17.26 KiB) Viewed 883 times


Winter 2023 - Roma
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2023 Roma.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2023 Roma.png (20.96 KiB) Viewed 883 times


Winter 2025 - Tunis
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2025 Tunis.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2025 Tunis.png (29.76 KiB) Viewed 883 times
Last edited by Aeschines on 02 May 2019, 05:31, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby Aeschines » 02 May 2019, 05:13

Winter 2027 - Roma
Pandemic Diplomacy Spring 2027 ROMA.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Spring 2027 ROMA.png (33 KiB) Viewed 882 times


Winter 2030 - Tunis
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2030 Tunis.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2030 Tunis.png (34.14 KiB) Viewed 882 times


Winter 2032 - Berbers
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2032 Berber.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2032 Berber.png (46.18 KiB) Viewed 882 times
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby Aeschines » 02 May 2019, 05:16

Winter 2035 - Israel
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2035 Israel.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2035 Israel.png (50.56 KiB) Viewed 882 times


Winter 2036 - Freedom Seekers
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2036 Freedom.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Winter 2036 Freedom.png (56.36 KiB) Viewed 882 times


Final Map - Game End with Freedom Seekers' Solo
Pandemic Diplomacy Fall 2038 Space Station.png
Pandemic Diplomacy Fall 2038 Space Station.png (79.61 KiB) Viewed 882 times
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby condude1 » 02 May 2019, 08:47

Woot, I finally managed to convert that endgame!

There's a lot to say, but I'll do my best to give a summary below:

Early game I was frantic. My start was hideous, and I was immediately completely at the whims of the Berbers. My first turn I had to guess Rabat vs. Bay of Sevilla. Bay of Sevilla was more centralized and was larger (plus, the outline implied it could move everywhere Rabat could, plus other places), so I chose that instead of Rabat. Choosing Rabat would have spelled a quick demise. In the Fall I had to choose either Portugal or Morocco. I chose Portugal because Iberia's my favourite region of the diplomacy board, generally being sc heavy and easily defensible. It's the right call, and doesn't lose quickly (Morocco would have been almost immediate death) Phew! I must be nearly out of the woods!

Except everyone has more centers than me. Uh oh. I'm sitting on 1, and Tunisia's already up to 3. To make matters worse, the Berbers are in Iberia as well. Spring 2023 (and the Fall!) is an important turn. I've been negotiating with the Berbers (as well as everyone else on the map), and it's a good thing. This is the turn that they could have killed me, and there was nothing I could do about it. If Granada-Cordoba is ordered, there's no way for me to ever move out of Portugal. There's no line in which I keep more than 1 sc. The Berbers' extra unit in Africa would mean that they could continue growing while this occurred, until they decided to finish me off properly. Fortunately, he goes for the more defensive route, and I finally have a game!

I get a stroke of luck when the Berbers' army gets converted into a fleet, meaning I get access to the mainland provinces. The next few years are just me expanding, and completely forsaking exploration in exchange for brute numbers of armies. This tactic gets me to 8-9 scs no problem.

Now for my first moral crisis. The Berbers have been the perfect ally. They are communicative, honest, and have let me get the better end of a few deals. Unfortunately, my debts are piling up. I've loaned 2 scs off of the them, and, completely reasonably, it's time for me to return the scs. I spent a long time deciding whether or not to stab Blade, but in the end I saw it was my best option and this is a game for ruthlessness. I stab the Berbers, and promptly eradicate them from the map (I knew I could do that easily enough, the question was whether it was worth it).

The mid-game is my biggest regret from this game, even though I eventually won. I made at least 2 or 3 big mistakes, one of which cost me 5 scs (trusting Israel to support me like he said he would). However, after the Berbers went down, I didn't realize it, but due to the distribution of research scs and my complete domination of the North, I had a very clear path to the solo.

This was really fun to play, but a couple of suggestions:

1. In the future, make it explicit when everything occurs.There didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to the part of the orders phase that plagues moved. Here's an example:

You could cut support for a unit supporting a plague. This implies that plagues move AFTER other units, since another unit moved before its move was set. However, a plague can infect a unit, which then turns into a plague BEFORE its move, implying the reverse. This really messed me up on several occasions, since it meant that a responsible player (which I am not :P ) had to check many, many different scenarios with the GM. Instead, having a universal system that determines how moving parts of the game interact would have been much smoother.

2. Minimize guesswork required, especially in the early game. Had I chosen to go to Rabat or Morocco instead of bee-lining Iberia, this game would have turned out very differently. Rabat doesn't really count as guesswork, since from the outlines I could tell that Bay of Sevilla was a strictly better move, but I could have lost Fall 2022 if I'd chosen to go to Morocco instead of Portugal. I say lost because there would never be a way for me to kick the Berbers from Middle Atlas, so I'd be stuck at 1 units forever.

This was a really fun game though, and I enjoyed it throughout! The plagues and darkness created a really nice atmosphere for the board, and the flavour was well done.

Players:

Blade: I'm really sorry. I was pretty torn up about having to stab you, but I also saw that I'd get at least 5 scs off of it, which meant I pretty much had to. You were a wonderful ally, and I hope we get a chance to play again where I can be less stabby. I deeply considered just going for the research victory with you - if you look back in my Discord channel, you'll see a page of me waffling to Aeschines.

Groo: I never had an intention of working with you. There was no chance that I let you into Berlin. I'm really sorry to string you along, but I wanted to get an advantage through negotiation if possible. It was a terrible decision that slowed me down a TON. I should have just flat out declared war on you and attacked you. It would have been more honest and tactically stronger. You fought on in a lost endgame for a long time, which I respect. Thanks for the game, you were a great opponent!

NoPunIn10Did: I met you when you were at 1 sc. I was sincere about being willing to give you one shot to research a win. I would've simultaneously done so elsewhere though, to be sure. However, as the game progressed, you slowly became more of a thorn in my side. Your scs were primary targets for my solo run, but I'd given you my word I'd keep you alive. I was relieved when you let Israel finish you, since it meant I didn't have ANOTHER ethical dilemma to be faced with. You played a really resourceful game in a hard situation.

Gooderian: I was planning to stab you, but Groo beat me to the punch. I decided I had a very good chance of winning a 1v1 with Groo, so I finished you off to make the game simpler and more in my favour. We had a short and very one-sided relationship. I can't say much about your play, since I acted solely as the Grim Reaper for you.
Last edited by condude1 on 02 May 2019, 09:10, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby condude1 » 02 May 2019, 08:48

Oh, also, my Discord channel has all of my thoughts throughout the game in it. I talked to Aeschines a lot after I stopped sharing everything with Blade because I didn't have anyone else to talk to :( .
Telleo wrote:I don't think I've ever met someone who more perfectly embodied Chaotic Neutral than Condude1.


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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby Groo » 02 May 2019, 17:04

Well played everybody. Especially NoPun as Roma whose valiant defending and clever use of plagues to halt my troops prevented me from doing more in this game.

Congratz Condude for a well-played game. I knew for quite some time there was nothing I could do, but that didn't stop me from trying :P

Thanks Aeschines for running this gem. It was incredibly fun to play.

Marking for an eventual AAR.
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby condude1 » 03 May 2019, 03:43

Oh, one more thing Re: Roma and Smaland -
I knew 20 was likely the lowest possible victory condition for research. As long as the total research count was under 20, I felt reasonably safe allowing Roma to take a shot at it. I controlled all the research scs and hospitals, so I had near-perfect knowledge over research totals, and I could lie to the others about it if necessary. My idea was to let other people push the total over natural marks (20, 25 etc.) with failed research attempts, and then take the first research after those milestones. I was terrified of Groo's potential research sc that I had no control over (Cairo), but as long as the research count was known to me, I wasn't worried about the research vc.
Telleo wrote:I don't think I've ever met someone who more perfectly embodied Chaotic Neutral than Condude1.


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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby Groo » 03 May 2019, 13:46

RC count wasn't known to you. I lied about Berber's 5 - he had 6 :P
if Cairo WAS a RC this would probably end in a 2wd
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."

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Front Range in Emergence - 3WD
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Mexico in WiTA 7 - stabbed to death
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby condude1 » 03 May 2019, 20:07

Groo wrote:RC count wasn't known to you. I lied about Berber's 5 - he had 6 :P
if Cairo WAS a RC this would probably end in a 2wd


Except I knew the Berbers' count anyways. Remember, he and I were strong allies until I stabbed him.

If Cairo was a research sc, the goal was to get you to research at 19 or something. It might have been a 2-way in that scenario, but I still had a decent shot at the solo myself. Plus, note that I was one year from conquest victory as well.
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Re: Pandemic Diplomacy: GAME OVER, CURE FOUND!

Postby condude1 » 03 May 2019, 20:16

Aeschines: What about that game went well, and what went poorly from your perspective? If you were to run the same thing again (Say on a different site), would you make any changes to the board, starting positions, or plagues? I'm just wondering what your opinion was on the events that played out.
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