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Quarantine - Board Game Box Shot


| Published: 2013
16 2

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!

In game terms Quarantine is a tile-laying game with each player having an entrance and lobby. More than fifty other tiles are available, with two each of 14 different "special room" tiles. Players acquire these tiles and others via a novel "Price-Drafting" mechanic. Players set a price for the tiles they want to draft, but other players get the chance to buy them first, so you'll need to price your services accurately in order to supply your hospital while not overpaying. With dozens of tiles available, no two hospitals will be set up the same way...

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“Family friendly hospital building”

Players place tiles to represent rooms in their hospital. They purchase more rooms as the game goes. Each turn more patients come to their doors and they earn money by efficiently admitting and curing the patients.

Players start with a lobby and 4 starting room tiles. The room tiles are different colors and have pictures showing what walls have doors. When arranging the rooms, the doors must match up to another set of doors and not a wall. You have 4 actions per turn and a list of actions you can select from.

– Purchase a basic room
– Start an auction on a special room (more on that later)
– Admit patients
– Cure all patients of a specific color
– Decontaminate rooms
– Reorder your waiting line
– Renovate
– Reserve an action to use in a future turn

Each turn you will draw 4 patient cubes from a bag. You can place them in your waiting line or in the wait line of another player. Patients come in 4 colors. Patients can only be placed into rooms of the matching color. When admitting patients, you can admit as many as you want but they have to be the order they were in the line and you have to stop when there is no more room. If you have three blues and only 2 blue rooms, you will not be able to place the red and the yellow that are after those three blues until you cure the blues. You can use an action to reorder the line — moving one patient to a different location in the wait line. So, from the previous example, moving that third blue to the end of your line would allow you to place those red and yellow ones in on that same action.

When you cure the patients in the room, the cubes are moved to your personal supply and act as money. With these, you can purchase additional colored rooms or select from the 8 randomly selected special rooms that do special actions. Regular rooms cost two cubes of any color. The special rooms are sold in a more unique way. A player can open a bid for one of these special rooms. They set a price for the room by putting some of their cubes on the special tile and placing it in front of them. Actually there are two of each special rooms so there are two tiles that are available for purchase, each for that price set by the player. Other players can purchase the tile if they have the exact matching cubes. If not, it makes it around back to the player that started the bid and they add it to their hospital (those cubes are spent). If someone purchased one at that price, then the second one would go to the player who opened the bid. If no one purchases it in that round of turns, the player that opened the bid gets one copy of it and the other stays available for that price.

Special rooms are really useful. They can give you more money per turn, allow you to cure more patients, or manipulate your wait lines in different ways. They are also each worth a point in final scoring.

Finally, when drawing patients, grey cubes may be pulled. These represent disease and can be placed in rooms of any player’s hospital. Contaminated rooms can not be used until they are decontaminated–using an action to do so for every room that is affected.

The end of game scoring is based on how many completed nurses stations you have in your hospital. Nurses stations are created when you get a 2×2 square of tiles together. The downside of laying out your hospital with a lot of nurses stations is that if you get a disease cube onto a space with a nurses station, you get another disease cube in an adjacent room. You also score points for every 2 color cubes in your supply (at the end), 1 point for every special room, and a bonus if you have no wait line.

There is much more to explain about the game, but that is the basics. This game is so true-to-life; it seems that every hospital out there has some construction going on while still operating and admitting patients (who are waiting in line). Not really- the patients and money are the same colored cubes. The tiles you purchase layout into your personal tableau, similar to Alhambra and how you lay it out will determine your hospital’s efficiency as well as end of game scoring.

Replayability is pretty good since you don’t use all the same special rooms each game. The tiles are cubes are good quality and the draw bag is big enough to get my hand into. The rule book is clear and has some humor. I did have to go online to clarify the rules for some of the special tiles. To teach this, I would select some straight forward special tiles.

I play this with my family and they really enjoy it. My power-gamer son (15) usually wins. My 11 year old daughter gets into the theme and worries about not getting all her patients cured. We have found some variants that we like to play with that help ramp up risk/reward situations with the nurses stations along with some other things. I may add to house rules in the future. I also use this game in my medical careers high school class as a filler activity for those days when a team goes to state and I am left with 2 students in class.


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