Posted Saturday, 4-May-2019
Pandemic: Iberia is a cooperative game where there are three ways to lose, and only one way to win.
Pandemic: Iberia uses thematic illustrations for all parts of the game, including the box insert and the backs of the cards.
There is even a booklet of just the drawings.
The cubes, pawns, hospitals, and major tokens are wooden. The other bits are cardboard.
At the start of the game, 9 cities are infected with disease; 3 cities are given 3 disease cubes, 3 cities are given 2 disease cubes, and 3 cities are given 1 disease cube.
The cities with 3 disease cubes are the most concerning, because 3 is the maximum number of cubes for a city. If another cube needs to be placed on this city, there will be an outbreak. If 8 outbreaks occur, the players lose the game.
The players will also lose if they fall behind in treating the diseases, and the disease cubes can run out, or if they run out of player cards and can no longer research the diseases. Players must evaluate the situation every turn, and choose which city needs their attention the most.
Players are given role cards with unique abilities. Using a role’s special powers effectively can make the difference in whether the group succeeds or fails.
Event cards can also help players when they are in a tight spot.
Pandemic: Iberia may be played using 4, 5, or 6 Epidemic cards, to make the difficulty fit the players.
Two additional challenges are also included:
The Influx of Patients challenge introduces the way that sick people moved towards hospitals, looking for treatment. If hospitals are overrun, rather than a standard outbreak, all patients flee the city.
The Historical Diseases challenge brings Malaria, Typhus, Cholera, and Yellow Fever into the game. The diseases infect more, spread farther, or take more actions to treat.
Pandemic: Iberia gives players new ways to fight the spread of disease. One of these ways is to purify water. A purification token can be spent instead of placing a disease cube in an adjacent city.
Transportation has also been improved in Pandemic: Iberia. Railroads can be built, and players can travel greater distances much more quickly.
Players must travel to a city with a hospital and have 5 matching cards in order to research that disease. The research marker for that disease is moved to its spot on the board.
The goal of the game is to research all 4 diseases before
-8 outbreaks occur
-disease cubes run out, or
-player cards run out.
Players familiar with Pandemic will note two rules changes; Pandemic: Iberia doesn’t require that diseases be cured, just researched. Also, new cubes are still placed during epidemics, and when you treat diseases, you only remove one cube.
The railroads in Pandemic: Iberia improve the way pawns move around the board. It can be very satisfying to start a turn in one corner of the board, and take the train across the board to get where your character is needed.
The new challenges, Influx of Patients and Historical Diseases, are interesting not only for how they change game play, but also for the context. While the game is necessarily abstracted in some ways, it also explains some of the real-life how and why.
Pandemic: Iberia is widely available for under $40. Its 2-5 player range and 45-minute play time make it easy to get to the table.
It has polished game play as well as plenty of deluxe extras. The research markers didn’t have to be custom wooden microscopes, but they are. The outbreaks and infection rate markers are also wooden tokens that match their tracks on the board. The Historical Diseases challenge could have been a separate expansion, but it was included.
If you enjoy cooperative games with a historical feel, give Pandemic: Iberia a try.
Published by BoardGamePrices.com
Can we fit all the photos we took at Spiel into this article? No. But we’ll sure try! Here’s your last look at the last day of the biggest board games show in the world.
The tiredness starts to take hold; but we press on toward Day 3! We’ve got dice! We’ve got minis! We’ve got mechs! It’s Spiel!