Board Game Radar

I try to keep my board game collecting in check. Instead of buying a ton of games as they come out, I try to do a lot of research beforehand so that I can plan my purchases wisely. It doesn't always work, but I invite you to come along and see what shows up on my Board Game Radar. Is there a game I've missed? Tell me about it and if I'm interested in it, it will go on my radar!
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Mike P
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From gallery of fanaka66

Board Game: Quarantine

Game #9: Quarantine

Expected Release Date: March 2013

Welcome back to Board Game Radar! This time I am excited about Quarantine, a game designed by Mark Klassen. This will be his first published design. It is being published by Mercury Games, a new company. One of the founders of Mercury Games is Kevin Nesbitt, formerly of Stronghold Games. Hopefully the component quality will be up to the level of his former company!

Board Game: Quarantine

Quarantine got on my radar very recently. I happened to notice it in the Hotness List right here at BGG. I mistakenly thought it was a game that I had read about in March 2012, Emergency Room. That game had won a special award for best cooperative game at the Hippodice design competition. When I started reading about Quarantine, I quickly realized it is a different game. I love co-ops, but I was excited to see that this game is competitive. I work in a hospital so I was immediately interested in the theme. I previously made up a custom role for my profession to be in Pandemic, so I wanted to see if there was a pharmacy tile in Quarantine. When I saw that there was, I was sold.

Board Game: Pandemic
From gallery of fanaka66

The object of Quarantine is to build the best hospital. You buy tiles representing different rooms and add them to your growing hospital. You will need to continue to expand your hospital to treat an unending stream of patients, but also keep it free of infection. A well-connected hospital will score more points for having completed nursing stations in central locations, but this will also allow infection to spread more quickly through the hospital. In each game, there will be 12 different rooms that can be added to your hospital, 4 regular treatment rooms and 8 specialty rooms that are randomly selected before each game.

Board Game: Quarantine

The method for purchasing new rooms sounds pretty interesting. The regular treatment rooms can be purchased for a flat rate, but the specialty rooms are bought with a “price drafting” mechanism. You can put a tile up for sale at a price you choose, but your opponents will get first pick at buying it. Therefore if you set the price too low, your opponents will get a bargain and you may not even get the tile. Set the price too high, and you’ve overpaid. Here the containment room will cost 2 red cubes and a green cube.

Board Game: Quarantine

When you treat a patient in your hospital, you may then use their cube as currency. This represents the money that you receive for treating them. This is a cool feature, but does raise a thematic question. Why would there be different types of currency? Why is the money earned for treating a heart failure patient different than the money earned for someone with kidney stones? I’m also somewhat concerned about the aspects of “Take That” in the game. You are able to place grey cubes in other people’s hospitals, to represent infection spreading. This can place their rooms under Quarantine. This can help reign in a runaway leader, but could also be abused.

My small concerns are greatly outweighed by my excitement. The gameplay sounds interesting and (for me) the theme is perfect. It has some unique touches, but the game really reminds me of Vegas Showdown quite a bit. This is a good thing since I love that game. It looks like Quarantine will be available for preorder soon. The list price is only $30 and the preorder will be somewhat cheaper. I will be signing up as soon as I am able. I can’t wait!
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