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Subject: House Rules rss

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Erik F
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My friends and I have theorized a couple house rules and I'm curious what others think of them.

1. Points for body size - At the end of the game, you also score bonus points equal to the body sizes of each of your creatures (in addition to population and traits).

The thought is that body size is normally a fairly wasteful statistic. It only affects carnivore offense, carnivore defense, and fat tissue, but it costs SEVERAL cards to achieve much benefit when there are traits to cover carnivore offense/defense (pack hunter being almost necessary to play an efficient carnivore past turn 2).

Sinking so many resources to beef up often feels punishing in the long term and this helps defray that cost without being game-breaking.

2. Pack hunter change - Instead of its written text, you add your population to your body size when determining if a carnivore can attack you (like pack hunter for defense or hard shell with +X for your population).

Pack hunter at 6 population has no counter besides intelligence. I like the design concept that intelligence can counter anything at the cost of being inefficient, but any given trait has one direct soft counter. While achieving 6 population may seem like a very real cost, the fact of the matter is that population is already a very desirable stat and many people will get to 6 without needing any extra incentive.

With this change, it's still very powerful at high population numbers, but now a pack hunter can threaten you and force you into a body size arms race instead of just being able to sit behind your 1 body/6 pop creature with near impunity.
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David A
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I have to say I disagree with both of these. Here's why:

erikman wrote:
1. Points for body size - At the end of the game, you also score bonus points equal to the body sizes of each of your creatures (in addition to population and traits).

The thought is that body size is normally a fairly wasteful statistic. It only affects carnivore offense, carnivore defense, and fat tissue, but it costs SEVERAL cards to achieve much benefit when there are traits to cover carnivore offense/defense (pack hunter being almost necessary to play an efficient carnivore past turn 2).

Sinking so many resources to beef up often feels punishing in the long term and this helps defray that cost without being game-breaking.

By doing this, you're actually changing part of the balance that's built into the game. You're not "sinking resources" and it's definitely not a "fairly wasteful statistic." As you point out, it helps your Carnivores eat (which already equates to points), it provides defense against Carnivores (which means your population doesn't drop thereby equating to points), and Fat Tissue is effectively allowing you a huge point bonus almost every round and, in the case of Fat Tissue, by giving points for Body Size you're double dipping there.

erikman wrote:
2. Pack hunter change - Instead of its written text, you add your population to your body size when determining if a carnivore can attack you (like pack hunter for defense or hard shell with +X for your population).

Pack hunter at 6 population has no counter besides intelligence. I like the design concept that intelligence can counter anything at the cost of being inefficient, but any given trait has one direct soft counter. While achieving 6 population may seem like a very real cost, the fact of the matter is that population is already a very desirable stat and many people will get to 6 without needing any extra incentive.

With this change, it's still very powerful at high population numbers, but now a pack hunter can threaten you and force you into a body size arms race instead of just being able to sit behind your 1 body/6 pop creature with near impunity.

To be honest, the reason I disagree with this one is because this is essentially Defensive Herding. As you mentioned, Intelligence can already counter-act any trait, but if the Intelligent owner discards multiple cards, they can counter multiple traits. Carnivores in the game (and in the real world) are already playing with the proverbial (and literal) cards stacked against them. To take an offensive trait and turn it into a Defensive one once again severely tilts the balance in the game.
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Ariel
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If a game needs it, I feel forced to create and implement some variants.
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1) Sure, you can do it. But not been able to score body size it's an important game balance factor, because that way players need to decide between spend your resurces to be more protected or able to eat more. Think again: body size already impact in the endgame scoring and the point of the game is evolve to survive .

2) You have the very first edition, right? The Pack Hunting card already works the way you say. It was changed in the 1.5 edition and consolidated in the second one with the new color code. Check some recent pictures to note it .
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David A
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Maybe I misread the OP. Initially, I was thinking they were playing Pack Hunting incorrectly and wanted to make it so the Carnivore could add their population to their Body Size (which is how Pack Hunting is already supposed to work), but then in re-reading it, it seemed they were trying to make Pack Hunting a Defensive trait.

Eric, can you clarify?
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