To have 366 nights of dates (Woo! Leap year!), we have scheduled a few repeating dates, so we are going to play a different tabletop game every Tuesday. Tonight, we are beginning Tabletop Tuesdays with Pandemic.

Pandemic is a great date game because it is cooperative, so you can spend time strategizing together. However, Pandemic is hard. Old-school Nintendo hard. You play as a team from the Center for Disease Control that is trying to cure four diseases (color coded blue, yellow, black and red for your convenience) before they wipe out humanity. The different diseases start out affecting different parts of the world, but will spill over to neighboring territories if the infection gets bad enough, and it probably will. Each player has a special set of abilities. Amanda played as the Scientist, who can cure diseases with less resources. I played as the Operations Specialist, who makes the board more easily traversable. With only two players, you need to get around the board quickly to prevent major outbreaks.

Pandemic character cards

This game requires a lot of cooperation and planning moves two or three turns in advance, then scrapping those plans because an Epidemic happened somewhere and that region is now in horrible shape.  You lose if a disease gets too widespread (running out of disease markers), too many outbreaks occur, or if you run out of time (represented by cards in the player deck). You win only if you cure all four diseases before you lose any of those ways. It’s challenging, but that’s a lot of the fun.  We played on “easy” mode with only four possible Epidemics, which is still pretty difficult. The Epidemic cards reset the disease deck, which quickly makes areas with infection much, much worse. An Epidemic in the first few turns can mean an instant loss.

Pandemic Starting position

That being said, we got extremely lucky. We cured the Black and Red diseases thanks to Amanda’s Scientist and eradicated Black entirely before the first Epidemic hit. We quickly eradicated Red after the Epidemic, then moved on to curing the third disease, Yellow. After a couple more lucky turns, we had gathered enough cards to cure Yellow, but the disease was really widespread, so we couldn’t eradicate it. That left only Blue.  Thanks to my Operations Specialist, we both got back to Blue’s territory quickly, did a short tour to hand off a few cards, then cured Blue to win the game.

Pandemic Pieces

We had a lot of fun playing and we’ll probably play again later in the year after we’ve played through more of our other games. We also had a third wheel on our date tonight, but he just stayed off in another chair most of the night.

Pandemic Third Wheel

Current record:
Cooperative – 1 win, 0 loss

Do you have any Pandemic glory or horror stories? Have a recommendation for future Tabletop Tuesdays? Let us know in the comments.

Buy Pandemic from Amazon

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