Gameday First Play – Quarantine
Theme Hospital? No
Build Hospital? Yes
In Quarantine, players seek to build the biggest and most efficient hospital, while trying to keep ahead of the steady stream of incoming patients arriving at their doors. In this tense struggle for medical supremacy, players must infuse new life into their hospitals through the timely addition of special rooms and abilities. But beware the highly contagious patients! Infection can spread quickly, causing entire wards to be shut down under quarantine!
I bought this despite mixed review. This is essentially a tile laying game.. but is it? Tile laying isn’t the main part, curing patients is.
You see, you have starting tiles containing one of each colour treatment room which you lay out how you like, then you can add to that with more treatment rooms and special room as the game goes on.
But to buy those rooms, you need money so how do you get it?
The OTHER main part of this game is gaining income by curing patients. Random colour patients are drawn from a bag and placed in the waiting line for a players Hospital. As they are admitted into the treatment rooms you can cure them and ass them to your personal supply as income.
So how do you play?
You have 4 actions that you may use and 4 patients that you MUST admit.
The player to your left draws 4 patients out of the bag, without looking. You declare “New Patient” and they give you one at random. If it’s blue, green, yellow or red you put it into the waiting line of any Hospital. If it’s Gray… well, that’s a Graysles cube, I’ll get into that later.
Your 4 actions consist of…
Admit Patients – Starting with the front of your queue, patients move into the correct colour treatment room one at a time. When you can’t admit someone you stop and end that action. So if you only have one blue treatment room and two blue patients at the front of your queue, you’re in trouble.
Cure Patients – Each treatment room only holds one patient and you can only cure one colour per action. So you need to consider your queue among other things when choosing which colour to cure.
Open a Contract – Buying the special tiles is pretty cool. Out of the 20 or so Special tiles, only 8 are chosen at random to use. There is only 2 copies of each. If you want to buy one you select at least 2 cubes from your personal supply and put them on the tile. This sets the price, in both the number of cubes used and their colour. So on your NEXT turn you can then buy one of the tiles. But, in the mean time, other players may buy both copies of the tile leaving you with none to buy, but you get your original bid back.
Buy a Room – If someone has opened a contract you can match the bid to buy a copy of that tile. Or, you can buy one of the standard red, blue, yellow or green treatment rooms.
Move Patients – Move a patients in your line somewhere else in your line. Useful for manipulating the queue to maximise you “Admit Patients” action.
Bonus Marker – Bonus markers give you extra actions in future turns so this is essentially banking an action.
Decontaminate – The Gray “Graysles” cubes I mentioned earlier are placed in Hospitals and Quarantine the room. This means it can not be used. Once you have a Graysles outbreak you need to do what you can to clean it up or it will spread quickly. This action allows you to remove one Gray cube form your Hospital.
Renovate – Move two tiles in your Hospital
When the bag runs out of it’s 130+ cubes, or all the tiles are bought the game ends.
For every special room in your Hospital you gain 1 point.
Each corner of a tile contains a quarter of a Nurses Station. When 4 tiles are placed together this gives you a completed Nurses Station which are worth 1 pint each. But! If a Gray cube is placed next to a complete Nurses station, you get a second one! (Nurses spread disease apparently…)
For every 2 cubes in your supply, you get 1 point.
If your waiting line is empty you get 1 point.
This is very much a game where you need to have a very efficient system of patients going in and out using a minimal amount of actions.
I had fun, even though I lost by one point. We also played a couple of rules wrong so I’m looking forward to playing this with the correct rules for Graysles.