This map of a plagued Eurasia shows how effectively the game mechanics work. I chose to quarantine Bangkok and Hong Kong as early choke points, and treat Jakarta to zero infection, because Australia can become a sewer quickly. Australia has 3 cities which will spread as far west as South America.
The white hex shows around cities with quarantine. That effect had a time limit, which I never got a count on. But, they would have to be watched to see when the quarantine effect lifted.
The solid red circle borders were evidence of cities that were treated to zero.
The inner dial around the city in grey could contain up to 4 red bars, indicating the rate of infection atm.
Order of Operations
Infection spread along lines from infected cities, but not from currently quarantined cities. Sending medics in to treat the pop removed up to 2 bars at a time with the right researched techs. But, sending an alternate class only removed 1 bar regardless. These bars were directly related to the pops in the bar at top left of the hud. You had to remove infected pops at a faster rate than they were becoming infected each turn.
This made it seem important to start with getting those bases built pronto for money. Start immediately building your team, each time you accumulate 30k for that. Meanwhile treat cities to keep up with the infection until you can collect enough samples to start the research. Then mid game you start the quarantine process, choking off cities once you have the security guys and free money for that, because quarantining costs money. You also want to begin buying extra scientists and engineers to speed the tech & research up. Late game you spend locking down the map while you finish off the research. All of the research has to be completed for a win. Zero infection means nothing. Conversely, total infection is a loss.
The Classes of Operatives
Your operatives were best suited to do jobs within their own class with appropriate bonuses. Sending an operative into any plagued city had a certain amount of risk, and damage, associated with the job. Scientists needed to collect samples for research. So, why would you send them in higher risk areas when they just need samples? You would instead send them to cities that had been treated to low risk if possible. The security operatives took the least damage from exposure, so they did the quarantine missions. The medics had to go into moderately infected cities to bring down infection rates. The diplomat could build bases at half cost, so she was important early game to get in all your bases. Then you could use her with impunity, knowing that if she took one for the team, she could be replaced with a medic or scientist.
Operatives had to be monitored for their own health needs. They could die after 2 turns early game if abused. When their health meter got low, it was necessary to spend a turn healing in a safe city. Generally speaking, they should be protected at all costs, because trying to suck a last action out of them in a sacrifice move resulted in a failed mission. This means that there was no reward for sacrificing an agent. You may as well heal them, with the possible exception of the diplomat mid to late game when her replacement becomes an arguable benefit to the team.
The events that triggered on the AI turn were randomly generated and could be avoided with save & reloads. But, they sometimes came with great bonuses; such as extra samples collected, or large piles of cash. So, they were a mixed blessing. I enjoyed reading them, but felt like more will be needed before the game is ready to launch.
Some answer choices are not available to you if you don’t have the right research or operative classes atm. Keep that in mind when choosing agents. It’s good to have one of each class.