I don't quite like Pandemic for a simple reason.

Basically - because all players have the same knowledge, and same goal, I don't see the need to have multiple players; one person (the alpha player) can just make all the decisions for everyone.

I think the rules say that you're not allowed to show your cards to each other, but you can just communicate this to each other anyway, and so because this rule is pretty much useless we just play that everybody's cards are visible.

So unlike a co-operative game like Hanabi, where you have assymetrical knowledge, and there are very specific rules about what you can tell your team mates, there's no reason why one person (me!) can't just make all the decisions in Pandemic.

Now of course you can argue that it's 'not in the spirit of the game' and appeal to some kind of social conventions to mitigate this, but this can be more difficult in practise when you want to win.

Any fun suggestions for mitigating this issue?

  • 3
    You might find this question interesting: What makes a cooperative game require multiple players?
    – Joe
    Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 0:18
  • 1
    Same problem here and I seriously suggest you follow the rules in regards to those cards. It won't 'solve' the problem, but it does make a huge difference. Well... except if your alpha player has perfect memory xD But as long as the conversation keeps going it prevents people from getting left out, beyond that it's about the players and social playing style. Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 7:21
  • I play with my wife with open cards. Just like in real life, we often argue about which is the best course of action. We can advise each other, but at the end, each player decides for him/herself, so we can have the fun of blaming each other if anything fails :) Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


Of course this can happen, but the expectation is that all the players help contribute to finding solutions to the current problems. While you might see one path, someone else might see another, that happens to be better. Having multiple people working on the same problem from different perspectives generally provides better results. Kind of like crowd sourcing.

I tend to like games where I win or lose entirely by my performance, but I play games with people that like cooperative games like pandemic and Legendary. When we win it usually takes all of us thinking through the possible scenarios and agreeing on a course of action.

In your situation, if you tend to be the direction of all the movements, then I would suggest people don't share their cards by default, giving them an angle to make suggestions from.

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