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I've had Pandemic and On The Brink for a while, recently we tried giving the Bio-Terrorist challenge a go. We weren't sure how many epidemic cards to use.

For the standard game (no purple cubes but using the role cards from On The Brink) we usually use 5 epidemics and with experienced players win probably about half the time. As the Bio-Terrorist I suggested using 5 epidemics, but the other 2 players wanted to use 4 so we went with that. In the end I won quite early on when the first epidemic card caused a massive chain-reaction.

So, is the Bio-Terrorist variant harder than the standard game? The other players thought so, as you have a 5th disease to deal with. I'm not so sure as the purple disease is quite easy to cure and the cards that the Bio-Terrorist draws and discards ought to lessen the impact of epidemics.

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The strategy in the Bio-Terrorist variant is sufficiently different that it probably makes sense to start at 4 epidemics until both sides are comfortable with how it works. It is easy for players to be too focused on stopping the terrorist and lose to the normal mechanics, or to completely ignore the terrorist and lose to the new mechanics. A balance between the two is required.

Also, make sure that you are following all the rules for the Bio-Terrorist's actions. Specifically, many of his actions are limited to only once per turn.

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