Pandemic – Optimal Research Station Placement

Pandemic - Optimal placement of the research station

Pandemic – Optimal placement of the research station

A few days ago, I came across Joshua Snider’s analysis on the optimal placement of research stations in the event of a pandemic. And it’s a great read, especially if you need a starting point to play Pandemic well.

For those of you who are new to Pandemic and need to know the implications of Research Station placement, here’s the skinny one: Research Stations are locations on the board where any player can return. cards to find a cure for 1 in 4 diseases that plague the board. More importantly, research stations function as transport nodes. That is, players can travel from one research station to another without having to discard a card. This is the key in a game where throwing cards is something that takes a lot of deliberation, as these cards can help you win the game if you collect a set large enough to research a cure for a disease.

So, in a pandemic game where disasters are happening all over the world, it is your responsibility to place research stations in optimal locations to allow easy access to affected regions, whether to clear disease cubes or exchange cards between players.

It is much easier to build the stations if you have an operations expert by your side. And if you don’t, the construction of the Research Station is subject to the vagaries of the cards you own, so you’ll have to take that into account. Finally, Josh’s analysis hypothesizes that the spread of disease on the plateau is uniform compared to what normally happens: diseases focusing on a particular region.

To solve the uniform case, Josh uses previous work by Matt Wigway. and will assign a centrality value to each city. The more central a city is in relation to the other squares on the board, the higher the score. However, this is only a rough guide since your goal is to build an optimal network of research stations. After doing a distance-based analysis to each research station for the cases of 2+ research stations on the board, here’s how things turned out:

Pandemic - Optimal placement of the research station

2: Atlanta with Baghdad or Cairo.

3: Atlanta, Hong Kong covering East Asia and Cairo

Pandemic - Optimal placement of the research station

4: Atlanta, Hong Kong covering East Asia, Istanbul and Sao Paulo

5: gives you several different solutions which are

North America Europe East Asia Middle East South America
Atlanta Istanbul Shanghai Chennai São Paulo
Atlanta Istanbul Hong Kong Jackson São Paulo
Atlanta Istanbul Hong Kong Jackson São Paulo
Atlanta Paris Hong Kong Day before Bogota
Atlanta Paris Hong Kong Cairo Bogota
Atlanta Essen Hong Kong Cairo Bogota
Atlanta London Hong Kong Cairo Bogota

6: Atlanta, Paris, Khartoum, Hong Kong, Karachi, Bogota.

Based on this, Cairo, Hong Kong, Bogota, and Paris are decent candidates for planning your placement in a research center.

Pandemic - Optimal placement of the research station

However, Josh notes that in the initial setup, it’s more likely than not that your main concern will be dealing with a huge influx of disease in a certain area, which will change your priorities in terms of where you’re going to build. a A research station. For example, above, you will notice that there are diseases that plague the Middle East / Southeast Asia as well as a few diseases that are scattered throughout East Asia. Europe and North America are intact, which means that it does not make sense to build research stations there.

But for new players looking for a rough guide to the location of your research stations, Josh’s analysis offers a great place to start. Check out his article if you want to dig deeper into the details!

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