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May (played 2016/03/06)

Players:

Objectives (3 out of 4 required):

As CDC funding drops ever lower [only 2 funded actions cards], the team’s confidence is somewhat rocked – how long can their luck last. Especially considering the incredibly virulent and fast spreading Fade virus. Spirits lift slightly with a new addition to the long-standing team: Colonel Clarrisa Pink (a relative of Bobbie’s). At the start of May disease is concentrated in the east, with Bangkok, Tapei & Kolkata at dangerous levels. Thus the team starts in the Istanbul station.

The initial plan is for Curie & Head to research diseases, while Akira and Pink lay down quarantines across the Middle East to slow the spread of Fade. The plan starts well, Curie already has all the research necessary to cure Radalia-X by the end of her first shift. Soon after the quarantine barrier has been created. Maybe our luck would hold.

Just after Radalia-X is cured the first epidemic arrives and causes an outbreak in Bangkok. However, the real worry is Kolkata – it is near the limit for Fade infections and would soon worsen [it was in the top 8 of the infection deck]. A One Quiet Night gives us the time to deal with it. In the end it didn’t matter as another epidemic occurs with an outbreak in Jakarta. Terrancella infections look problematic, especially Tokyo. Kolkata is temporarily ignored as Pink rushed to cure Tokyo (and just in time), then Head flies across the world to quarantine Kolkata and remotely cure Jakarta. Another epidemic hits Baghdad, but a quarantine prevents disaster. Then Terrancella is cured at half way through the month.

The team is conflicted. Akira is certain we are headed towards failure as we still need to cure Na-Jib and have made no progress on other objectives. Pink is confident she can order the construction of enough military bases and quarantine barriers that victory is still within reach. Head and Curie are unsure. Much discussion on strategy ensues. The final decision is that the team will aim to eradicate Terrancella as there quarters of the team are already in Asia. Then move to North America to share knowledge on Na-Jib.

The plan is immediately tested as quarantines across the Middle East are lifted with Pink rushing to reestablish the defensive line. Pink takes a little longer than optimal to achieve this as she studiously and successfully avoids the possibility of scarring (causing some to question the quality of contemporary military bravery). Curie and Head charge across Asia to cure Terancella, but the plan takes a delay as an epidemic occurs centred on Beijing. Akira clears this up and the eradication goal is achieved.

The team mostly starts to meet up in North America (apart from Pink), when Akira makes a depressing discovery. It seems that time has run a little shorter then expected. There is only a single shift for everyone left, apart from Akira who has two. The team still needs to cure Na-Jib and either build bases or double the current number of quarantines. There is more discussion on how to get Curie the necessary research to cure Na-Jib. It soon becomes clear this is just not possible. Despondency ensues and talk shifts to how to minimise damage before another attempt later in the month. Then salvation, as someone notices it is possible to get enough research to Pink for her to cure Na-Jib if all of Akira’s, Curie’s and the Colonel’s shifts are dedicated to this task. Everyone is amazed that the Colonel, the worst team member for research could achieve the goal. Although the team quickly refocuses on determining if the last objective can be achieved. It is calculated that Head & Akira can establish enough quarantines to cover 7 Faded cities. Although this assumes no quarantines are lifted before the end – and there is still one epidemic left too. Will our luck hold for just one more month?

Akira flies Pink to North America and starts sharing knowledge, as does Curie. Pink continues to learn and then cures Na-Jib with her last possible action. Then comes the epidemic. Most of it hits South America (including a Lima outbreak), but worse it also lifts two quarantines in Faded cities. The task is lost. But no, what is this! A Local Initiative, long forgotten, is suddenly funded and two extra quarantines are immediately established! It might just still be possible. As Head and then Akira place the final quarantines, the last infections fall in South America. Akira places the last quarantine necessary for victory with the last possible action. Incredible! Watches are checked as the tension released with a successful resolution [longest pandemic game I’ve played at 1hr 32 minutes from the first action to the last, not including setup time. The last half hour was incredibly tense]

Amazingly no one has yet been scarred, thanks to some deft and prescient manoeuvres by Pink. Tehran & Algiers are rioting. London, Cairo, Baghdad, Khartoum, Lagos, Osaka, Bogota, Chicago, Washington, Bangkok, Jakarta, Lima, Santiago & Sydney are unstable [how much longer can this be contained]. At the end Algiers gains a permanent military base and Terrancella becomes Efficient to Sequence.

The team decides to stop there as dealing with this pandemic had exhausted the already tired team.

Result: Victory [cure, eradicate & quarantine]

The start The middle The end

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