Different starting characters and a few difficulty levels give you variety; so don’t go for an optimal selection here, just try something new each time to mix up the game.
During the game:
Clear the board: It’s a small and probably already used tactic, but try to be careful not to end a day with cards still to flip over – there’s a good chance they are infected. I am always managing the board down to zero – first and foremost – each day. Once that’s on track, the rest of the below falls into place.
Contain – Contain – Release: Containment is one of the options for removing the infected. It’s my preferred in many games as discarding them will bring them back next round, meaning finding that healthy person in the draw pile becomes really difficult. At first this is not so important, but as the healthy population thins out the only way to thin out the infected is to contain them. So may Day 1 and 2 other methods should be used, but then as you start to use containment you will see that you have a problem the next day – you need to re-contain last rounds infected! They don’t cause a problem that day, but at the end of it they will increase the number of infected in the draw pile. However, the trick here is that this caps out at 4; so a couple of turns of containment and then no containment will mean a big outbreak, but far below the cumulative outbreaks you could have suffered!
Watch out for end of day conditions: The biggest issue with both of the above is the risk that four hostiles or three carriers end the day early. Such outcomes lead to flipping the remaining cards and suffering outbreaks for loose infected tiles! If you start to get these piling up – look at how many cards the next player has to turn over, and start working out the odds. If it looks bad then focus on getting those cards off the board before anything else. They can end your plan early with very bad penalties.
Re-occurring Raxxon: However, watch out for the players who use actions that trigger a Raxxon card or two every turn. It might not seem like much, but especially as the game scales, this is a quick way to move Raxxon’s power to 8 and that’s game over. Delay those choices, or get those players to drop out of the day early.
Adding too many tiles: Clearing the board can be done each day, but again watch out for the player who needs to add two or more tiles a turn – they might be making the day harder to close out – if their action round won’t take three off the board, then perhaps its time for them to drop out for that day.
Clear the big row (even if you have to create it!): Lastly, using the powers efficiently is key. Crowd control and clever tile placement can create for you the really efficient evacuations or card discards that save your day! Look for these opportunities as you get the crowd under control.