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Subject: History of the World, Part I: The Precambrian Eon rss

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Chris Flood
United States
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This session report is the first in a series chronicled under History of the World: A Narrative in Games.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And God said, before the earth brings forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and so forth, let there be microscopic organisms, able to alter shape, extending and retracting pseudopods, and controlled by mysterious futuristic beings known as Mulrah, Hiko Bunta, "Aram," and New Guy Jeff: and it was so.

And God called forth these amoebas of green, red, blue, and yellow, placing them in a Primordial Soup, filled with excretions of matching colors, and unto his envoys he entrusted four pages of commandments by which they shall control and guide their chosen color of amoeba to compete and survive: and God saw that it was good, if a little hot due to a lack of air conditioning.

New to this world, God's envoys were hesitant at first, making obvious moves to allow their amoebas to survive and haphazardly bestowing upon them special powers. Going last, Mulrah's yellow amoebas got the dregs of the excrement, but the first of the powers, selecting Substitution before all else. Thus, his organisms could survive nearly anywhere, and already "Aram" did curse Mulrah for his selection.

Knowing the aggression of Hiko Bunta from another of God's creations, Mulrah quickly invested in Speed and then Armor, but Hiko Bunta's blue amoeba instead grew Tentacles for gathering excrement rather than attacking. "Aram" and New Guy Jeff blessed their amoebas with long life, and all amoebas were fruitful and multiplied for many millions of years.

But then God's envoys noticed in the far distance a change in color along the Celestial Track of Victory Points, a shift from light to dark gray, signifying great glory for whomever crossed first into this region. And too they saw a dwindling supply of balanced nutrients within the Primordial Soup, whereupon their attitudes changed. "Aram" bestowed upon his green amoebas a magical and unsustainable blessing of eight special powers, with which not only could they survive more ably but also he did leapfrog all others in Victory Points.

With jealousy, Mulrah considered his wasteful investment in Armor in a world without war and wondered what life would be like for his amoebas were they to have all of green's amazing abilities. That Tentacle was just so cool, and they could move anywhere they wanted to, and they could live forever.

But before Mulrah could act, New Guy Jeff also changed his strategy, suddenly granting his red amoeba an aggressive and unnatural taste for other amoebas. Now the green amoebas of "Aram" seemed less invincible. So Mulrah instead granted only Intelligence upon his amoebas, that he might gain Victory Points more quickly. And he Praised God for the foresight of Armor, that he might avoid New Guy Jeff's unbridled assaults.

These were the only cards I bought all game.

In the next eon, New Guy Jeff turned his attention to Hiko Bunta, who had given his amoebas Defense. The ensuing battles proved once and for all that, while God himself might not play dice, his envoys in this primordial age certainly did. In one such battle, the opposing forces rolled four ties in a row!

While Mulrah's amoebas had avoided conflict, they had polluted the world with too much of their own excrement and had little way to escape it. In a boiling sea of yellow, his denizens would not long be able to survive.

But--Praise to the Almighty--Mulrah's amoebas lasted just long enough to edge "Aram" on the Celestial Track of Victory Points. The yellow amoebas would soon be wiped from the Earth, but their glory would last forever.

Overall, I think we all enjoyed this game. It was clear from the beginning how confrontational it could be, but we played it like a good old engine builder to start. At some point, we all realized this wasn't that sort of game; you keep having to pay upkeep for your "engine," and situations change enough that the cards that helped you early on might no longer be useful.

As soon as Jeff started eating other amoebas, the game took on a wholly different tenor. A chunk of cards were now useful, and others took on added utility. I was glad to see this happen halfway through the game, but I'm not sure how much I would have enjoyed an entire game of it.

I think I agree with the comments that this is a little too long. In retrospect, I bought very few cards and made pretty obvious decisions about movement and feeding, so the game felt a bit light for the two hours we spent playing it. While more experience could speed the game, an early aggressor might also slow it down. Nonetheless, I'd definitely play it again.
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Zed TwoEggs
United States
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I dig it.
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