Every Night Is Game Night: Pandemic


I’m playing a board game and blogging about it every day this month (I did a similar challenge last year).

Feel free to join me during my Every Night Is Game Night: My Daily Play & Blog Challenge. And tweet me with what you’re playing these days!


Every Tuesday afternoon for the past six months I’ve volunteered at a local high school as the facilitator of a board games club called Tabletop Tuesday. I bring games for the students to play for an hour and it’s been a lot of fun. There are five regulars and another seven that rotate in and out, depending on their class schedules (it’s an independent studies program, so their free time depends on whether or not they’ve finished their work for the day).

It’s been a privilege to share my passion for board gaming. The students are all sharp young people and it’s cool seeing them dive into some of my favorite games the way I did when I first started playing. Outside of Magic the Gathering (which a few of them play), none of them had played any other games outside of Monopoly, Sorry!, and Life.

It’d been a few months since we played Pandemic, the classic cooperative game of fending off diseases around the world. The club really took to the game when they first played it and I even let one of the students borrow it for a week.

Today I brought back the game for them, but with a little surprise: it was a brand new copy that I donated to the school, thanks to my winning a contest on RGBtv, a youtube channel covering analog and digital games. My wife and I have donated a few games in the past and recently Grant Rodiek sent me a copy of Hocus for the group.

The students were excited to have Pandemic in their small-yet-growing games library. They lost the game today, but it’s nice to know that they have the game so they can work on their disease-fighting skills whenever they want.

As long as they get their work done first, of course.


After watching the students play Pandemic, I went home and dug up my copy for a solo game. I played the Operations Expert and the Dispatcher on Heroic mode. After an early Epidemic, I was able to cure Red and Black when an ill-timed Epidemic card (aren’t they always?) caused a string of Outbreaks that led to my demise.

Pandemic will always have a space in my library. Although I prefer Pandemic: The Cure (the faster dice version), the base game is still a solid co-op game, especially for new gamers. The alpha gamer/quarterback problem won’t ever go away, but as long as players are respectful of each other, then it’s easily resolved.

By the way, here’s the list of games the club has played so far:

  1. Dominion
  2. King of Tokyo
  3. Get Bit!
  4. Splendor
  5. Pandemic
  6. For Sale
  7. Splendor
  8. Lanterns: The Harvest Festival
  9. Takenoko
  10. Sushi Go!
  11. Love Letter
  12. Paris Connection
  13. Qwixx Deluxe
  14. Nexus Ops
  15. Settlers of Catan
  16. Carcassonne
  17. Imhotep
  18. Smash Up
  19. Magic The Gathering
  20. Qwirkle
  21. Rolling America
  22. Red 7
  23. Onitama
  24. Karuba
  25. Patchwork
  26. Hocus
  27. Wits & Wagers: Party
  28. Ascension