Beginning of February, new things started to happen. The CODa virus mutated into CODb and became untreatable, we received a new character, the Quarantine Specialist, Quarantine markers, new action cards, letting us place the Quarantine markers, and relationship stickers. You placed the stickers on any new character you started with and an existing character. Tim decided to be the Quarantine Specialist for February, its special skill was to place a Quarantine marker anywhere in the world as one action. Myself, Jim and Dan, stuck with our same characters from last month, the Medic, Research and Dispatcher respectively.
Cards shuffled handed out and cubes placed to begin. Our reward for completing January was to remove a cube from the board before play started, we decided to remove the single cube on Seoul, as red cubes are un-treatable. I went first again and started zipping around the board curing cities. Jim’s turn next and he got five actions as he started his turn in the same city as Tim. This was the relationship that Tim choose for the Quarantine Specialist, all of the new relationships pair with other characters and Tim decided to pair his with JIm’s Dispatcher. Tim was next and he used his new skill with the Quarantine Specialist to place a quarantine marker in Seoul. This stops cubes from being placed in cities containing the marker, it does remove the marker when this occurs though. Dan’s first turn consisted of moving me a few squares to use my new skill from our end of game bonuses in my next turn.
My new skill was the ability to cure a disease, once a turn, from an adjacent city. It came in pretty handy through out February. We plodded along getting a few Epidemics and unfortunately one Outbreak. This caused the threat level in Moscow to increase by one level. The threat level in cities can be a serious problem in later months, as you can lose Research stations that happen to be built on those cities and also makes transportation into those cities harder with a higher threat level. Luckily threat level one has no effect.
We actually blew through February pretty fast, I was surprised how short of a game it actually was. For our end game rewards we chose the skill Forecaster to put on the Quarantine Specialist and a card upgrade on Moscow, since we knew we weren’t going to have any funding going into March. A card upgrade goes on the player’s city card and can be used either as the city or as the upgrade, player’s choice. We chose the upgrade that let us look at the top so many cards of the Infection deck equal to the Infection rate.
Moving on to March, feeling really good about ourselves, after a really easy February, we got some more new stuff to play with. A new character in the Operations Expert, he let us now build Military bases to add to the things we could do each turn, he in turn was able to move from any building to any other building, as only some characters could use the Military bases, so far himself and the Quarantine Specialist. We also were informed that now we have to complete at least two Objectives each month and were given two more. Eradicate any one Disease and build a Military base in each of the six major areas of the Board, this to go along with cure three diseases. So now we had to cure three diseases, as this objective was mandatory, and then choose one or the other but not necessarily both of the remaining objectives to complete.
So we set up the board and Dan decided to try out the Operations Expert for March, the rest of us keeping our characters from February. Since he was using a new character he got to give it a Relationship and choose to pair up with the Medic. He chose the relationship that let them look at the top two cards of the Player deck if they started a turn in the same city. Our February reward was to place a Quarantine marker anywhere on the board and we choose Shanghai, as it had three cubes on and was untreatable.
March was a rough month for us, barely beating back the Outbreaks at times, luckily using our character skills to fend off some early close shaves. We ran around the board putting ut fires and trading cards. Just as we were about to cure black we had our first Outbreak in Seoul as it got a bit ut of hand. After this, unfortunately fr us the Outbreaks just kept coming, hitting a lot of the black cities. Algiers, Cairo and Baghdad all being hit, with Cairo getting the worst of it increasing to a threat level two city. This means we can’t build a Research Centre there, or take direct or charted flights into the city, the only way to move there is from an adjacent city. It seemed as like we were going to lose the game from multiple Outbreaks, but we luckily ran out of Black disease cubes before some of the cities could chain Outbreak saving them from increasing their threat level.
Luckily we get to re-play March, as with all months, you get two cracks at it. Our funding level goes back up to two hopefully making it a bit easier. As our end of game upgrades we choose to keep a Military base on, I believe it was Baghdad sorry can’t remember right nw, will clear that up in the next blog. Also we choose the Disease upgrade, to be able to cure Yellow without being at a Research Centre. See you in two weeks, Dan has to work next week, with the results of Late-March.