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Evolution» Forums » Rules

Subject: Carnivore weakness rss

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Sergey Pr1celess
Russia
Moscow
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Hello, guys.
This weekend we played Evolution with 4 players for the first time. And we feel a carnivore weakness. You just need to take carapace to perfectly defender your species at the begining. And then you take another protective trait your species become almoust invulnerable. To resist this carnivore MUST have intelligence in addotion to carnivore trait and must discard cards each time you need to feed it.

Is it really so hard to play carnivore? Dont you think It's disbalance?

May be we play wrong, so I want to ask some questions:
1) How exactly works intelligence? Is it work just for 1 attack (in wich you can dont get enough meat food) or for full 1 round (and you can make several attack to feed your species)?
2) Can your carnivore get more meat food then It's population size? For example: you attack species with 5 body size but your carnivore has just 3 population. Do you take 5 food counters or just 3?
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Byron S
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Pr1celess wrote:
Hello, guys.
This weekend we played Evolution with 4 players for the first time. And we feel a carnivore weakness. You just need to take carapace to perfectly defender your species at the begining. And then you take another protective trait your species become almoust invulnerable. To resist this carnivore MUST have intelligence in addotion to carnivore trait and must discard cards each time you need to feed it.

Is it really so hard to play carnivore? Dont you think It's disbalance?

May be we play wrong, so I want to ask some questions:
1) How exactly works intelligence? Is it work just for 1 attack (in wich you can dont get enough meat food) or for full 1 round (and you can make several attack to feed your species)?
2) Can your carnivore get more meat food then It's population size? For example: you attack species with 5 body size but your carnivore has just 3 population. Do you take 5 food counters or just 3?

1) Intelligence only works for a single attack. You get meat food equal to the victim's body size.
2) Like all creatures, Carnivores can only take food up to their population, unless they have Fat Tissue.

If you look through the forums, you'll see lots of threads saying Carnivores are both way overpowered, and way underpowered. The truth is somewhere in the middle, and how effective they are is determined a lot by how your group plays. Try playing a game and see how effectively regular Omnivores eat without the threat of a Carnivore, and you'll see just how much of an effect a Carnivore can have without even using a card. Building your own feeder species, using Scavenger wisely, and other tricks will help a Carnivore be competitive. A Pack Hunting Intelligent Carnivore can eat anything it wants, and that fact shouldn't be ignored.
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Aernout Casier
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The beauty of this game is that, even though luck of the draw plays a role, it is in fact very, very balanced.
Carnivores are not as easy to defend against as you might think. They get more food more quickly and kill off your opponents' species. Remember that the game is about getting points, not about keeping all your species alive and at max population. (We rarely use intelligence for a carnivore, we just make them more aggressive.)

Answers:

1) 1 attack
2) You can never eat more than your population size (except for Fat Tissue, of course)

I suggest you play again. Traits will come out in a different order which will change your choices and thus the game.
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Pierre Beri
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If other players have well defended their creatures and you cannot eat any of them easily enough, just don't go carnivore. If they are happily feasting off the watering hole with foragers and cooperaters, then they may not be well defended and it may be time for you to attack them.

Well-defended species will be less efficient at feeding and vice-versa.

Remember one thing: you do not need to have carnivores to win. Just go carnivore when you feel it is the right time to. Everything is a matter of environment.
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Konrad Patena
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Like Pierre mentioned - its a game of counters:

Defense>Carnivore>Eating>Defense

Don't try to beat defense-heavy creatures at their own game! Starve the watering hole, use Intelligence/Long Neck/Foraging/Cooperation to get as much food as you can, while they drop in population. Opponents will usually either try to get better at eating plants themselves or go carnivore, then you'll evolve to either a carnivore or tank yourself. Either way, unless everybody plays super-conservatively a carnivore will always be a good choice at some point in the game.
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A J
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In that case, the carnivore needs to evolve and discard the carnivore trait, focusing on feeding from the watering hole instead. A species with 2 defensive traits is going to have a difficult time keeping up with that.

There are game states where being a carnivore is difficult. It's not meant to work in every situation. Carnivores exist to keep happy feeding frenzied species in check.
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Pierre Beri
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Yeah remember you can drop a trait during the Play cards phase, even without replacing it.
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Sergey Pr1celess
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Thanks for answers!
May be someone can make a good adwice how to force new players to not afraid carnivores and dont make new creatures with strong defence traits. I think It's subconscious fear to lose their species.
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Pierre Beri
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How to force them? Let them make highly defensive creatures and you create creatures with cooperation, long neck and foraging (also starving the watering hole a little bit). Once they’ve seen you win all the time, they will stop creating slow-eating bulletproof bunkers systematically.
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Sergey Pr1celess
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And what's the points to cancel all the same traits for all species with intelligence if it works just for 1 attack?
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A J
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Pr1celess wrote:
And what's the points to cancel all the same traits for all species with intelligence if it works just for 1 attack?


Don't forget that when a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore. Since carnivores tend to have large body sizes, usually one or two feedings is enough per round.
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David A
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ayejae wrote:
Don't forget that when a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore. Since carnivores tend to have large body sizes, usually one or two feedings is enough per round.

Actually, that's incorrect. The carnivore gets food equal to the body size of the prey it attacked. However, if the carnivore's population is less than the prey's body size, the carnivore only gets food up to that population limit (unless the carnivore has Fat Tissue).
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Trevor Schadt
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Pr1celess wrote:
And what's the points to cancel all the same traits for all species with intelligence if it works just for 1 attack?
The benefit of Intelligence is that the only defense against an Intelligent Carnivore is a higher Body Size (and only if the Carnivore doesn't have Pack Hunting).

The drawback to Intelligence is that it costs you cards out of your hand. Each card in hand has a basic value of 1 point (because you can discard it to get 1 Population, 1 Body Size or 1 new Species, or you can place it as a Trait on a Species; each of these is worth 1 point). So you're spending a point every time you discard a card to use Intelligence.

Intelligence is a very flexible aggressive trait on a Carnivore, but it is an expensive one. In the long run, if your prey isn't changing their traits often, Intelligence is a bad option unless the trait you need to counter their defense isn't coming up. But in the short run, or in a game where species are shifting defensive traits quickly, Intelligence is the ultimate "catch-all."

Keep in mind that Intelligence has benefits for non-Carnivores as well, so you can use it as a "feint" card: place it on a non-Carnivore, and you know that species will be able to eat while you build it up and eventually make it a Carnivore.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Pr1celess wrote:
And what's the points to cancel all the same traits for all species with intelligence if it works just for 1 attack?


Intelligence is a very versatile trait. It's like an insurance policy making sure you'll be able to get food.

Another benefit is that Intelligence works even if you decide to remove the Carnivore trait. One of my favorite strategies is to build a big Carnivore with Intelligence and Fat Tissue. As soon as everyone starts to double protect their species, I trade out the Carnivore for a Cooperation and can survive in a low food environment for the last couple of rounds.
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Pierre Beri
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Pr1celess wrote:
And what's the points to cancel all the same traits for all species with intelligence if it works just for 1 attack?
The point is if a species is protected by two adjacent Warning calls.

And also to cancel all Scavengers for one attack, just to deprive your opponents’ scavenger-combo-heavy species from food.
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Eric Harman
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Pack hunting is also a huge boon for carnivores.

It allows you to pump population, instead of size and still be an effective predator.
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A J
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Thud105 wrote:
ayejae wrote:
Don't forget that when a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore. Since carnivores tend to have large body sizes, usually one or two feedings is enough per round.

Actually, that's incorrect. The carnivore gets food equal to the body size of the prey it attacked. However, if the carnivore's population is less than the prey's body size, the carnivore only gets food up to that population limit (unless the carnivore has Fat Tissue).


Well, yes, absolutely...the standard rule for not feeding more than your population applies.

My point was, though, that a carnivore normally doesn't need to feed that many times, so Intelligence is usually sufficient.
 
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Trevor Schadt
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ayejae wrote:
Thud105 wrote:
ayejae wrote:
Don't forget that when a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore. Since carnivores tend to have large body sizes, usually one or two feedings is enough per round.

Actually, that's incorrect. The carnivore gets food equal to the body size of the prey it attacked. However, if the carnivore's population is less than the prey's body size, the carnivore only gets food up to that population limit (unless the carnivore has Fat Tissue).
Well, yes, absolutely...the standard rule for not feeding more than your population applies.

My point was, though, that a carnivore normally doesn't need to feed that many times, so Intelligence is usually sufficient.
I believe, however, that you missed his point. You said "When a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore." Assuming that you meant that you take food equal to the body size of the carnivore, that is incorrect. You take food equal to the body size of the prey, not the predator.
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A J
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ryudoowaru wrote:
ayejae wrote:
Thud105 wrote:
ayejae wrote:
Don't forget that when a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore. Since carnivores tend to have large body sizes, usually one or two feedings is enough per round.

Actually, that's incorrect. The carnivore gets food equal to the body size of the prey it attacked. However, if the carnivore's population is less than the prey's body size, the carnivore only gets food up to that population limit (unless the carnivore has Fat Tissue).
Well, yes, absolutely...the standard rule for not feeding more than your population applies.

My point was, though, that a carnivore normally doesn't need to feed that many times, so Intelligence is usually sufficient.
I believe, however, that you missed his point. You said "When a carnivore feeds, you feed the body size of the carnivore." Assuming that you meant that you take food equal to the body size of the carnivore, that is incorrect. You take food equal to the body size of the prey, not the predator.


Ah, got it, my bad. Yes, you take food equal to the body size of the prey.
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Chet C.
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If someone defends strongly, your carnivore should have other targets. If all the species of all other players are well defended, it's probable that your opponents aren't eating well and your carnivore has been successful. Now your carnivore can evolve back to an herbivore or face extinction. (Extinction can be a reasonable strategy in some cases!)

Also remember that your carnivore likely serves the function of keeping others from making powerful carnivores, since a young carnivore has a hard time gaining ground against a larger one.
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A J
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Alternatively you could create a feeder species for your carnivore if you want to keep others in fear, but that can be difficult if you don't have a lot of cards to discard.
 
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Kevin Jonas

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The beauty of this game is the balance. I just replied to another thread where I used my last game as an example. That same game can be used here. I started out with a carnivore on my second turn because that was the cards I was given. Yes, the other players could put on defensive cards to counter the carnivore. However, that means they are not putting on other useful food gathering cards. So if you flip your carnivore at the right time you can catch all the other species with a lot of defense and you now have a lot of offense.

In that game I started out with that carnivore. I had scavenger on it early. Which meant it usually just attacked once. The other players weren't too worried about it, they could keep up with it in body size. Once I put pack hunting on it then they really started to worry. Still, the carnivore tended to only attack once. So discarding a single card to negate a population loss isn't that big of a deal.

Then in the middle of the game I switch scavenger with intelligence. Fun fact, I didn't use it at all during the game. What this did was cause everyone to double up on defense. The turn after I got intelligence I let everyone build up their defense. I was able to do quite a bit of damage before that though. Then on the next turn I saw both players do the same thing. They brought out a new specifics with two cards on them.

With a nasty carnivore out there starting a new species is tough, so they must be putting heavy defense on those new species. So I figured that was the perfect time to get rid of the carnivore. I swapped out carnivore with foraging, which I have been holding onto for awhile waiting for this moment. The other two players moaned when they saw I did this. They did bring out species with heavy defense. Those could have been cards they could have used to boost population instead.

This is where the balance comes in. Because of that they were not able to take as much food from the watering hole as I was the last couple of rounds. I was able to pull off a win by 8 points.
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Konrad Patena
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Great report!
Using carnivores as a means to force opponents into wasting their cards is one of my favourite tactics as well. Its so beneficial even if it species doesn't get you much points.
It works wonders in Flight, too, when the small avian species start to multiply. It only takes one carnivore species at size 2/3 to make them increase their body size and become so much less effective at getting points (the Cliff dries out fast as well). You then evolve into an ostrich or something and they're left with all those suboptimal ducks up there
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