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Subject: Can your Hyperparasite exist in your own tableau? rss

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Rich James
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I am confused over Hyperparasites.

E3 states:
Quote:
Each player has one Parasite Card of their color. If it is unassigned, during this phase you can attach as a Parasite to a Host Organism in a foreign tableau, or as a Hyperparasite in any tableau [...]

This appears to suggest that your own parasite can have as its host a parasite in your own tableau. Therefore, your parasite would exist in your own tableau. Yet under E3 Host Suitability, it says:

Quote:
The Host must be in the tableau of another player in the home row (E2) of one of your Organisms or in an active row.

That appears to assert that parasites can only exist in a foreign tableau. However, under H5, Purchases, for Foreign Purchases it says:

Quote:
All expenditures for an Organism must spend from the pool of the Tableau it resides in. So Parasites (but not necessarily Hyperparasites) must spend from the tableau pool of their Host (!)

This seems to support the idea that you can have your own parasite in your tableau, if it's host is another parasite. Actually, I'm not really sure what this means with regard to hyperparasites. What is a case where they could spend from a tableau that is not their host's tableau?

Also, the next bullet says:

Quote:
Per the preceding bullet, Parasites and Hyperparasites spend Catalysts from the tableau pool of the Tableau they reside in. Effectively, a Parasite spends the Catalysts of its Host and a Hyperparasite spends catalysts from the Host of its Host.

I don't see what new or differentiating point is being made about the hyperparasite in that context as it still spends the Catalysts from the tableau pool of the Tableau it resides in. Doesn't it?

I guess the fundamental questions are:
1. Can your hyperparasite exist in your own tableau (thus contradicting E3. Host Suitability)?
2. If the answer to the above is Yes, then I don't see any special case with what catalysts it can spend -- it just spends the catalysts in the tableau it resides in, which is just like any other parasite.
3. Or is there a case where a Hyperparasite can spend Catalyst disks from a tableau it does not reside in?
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Dom B.
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I would say (with all the caution of someone who has to wait for 2 more months before actually playing the game):
1. yes, you can have a hyperparasite in your own tableau
2. this must be a wording issue with "Host" which in the case of hyperparasites can be:
* the direct Host, i.e the parasite the hyperparasite attaches to. This must be the meaning in H ("So Parasites (but not necessarily Hyperparasites) must spend from the tableau pool of their Host "
* the ultimate Host, i.e. the Host's Host. This must be the meaning in E3 (see the sentence "If the Host already has a Parasite, either become a Hyperparasite or see E4")
So to answer your #2, there is no special case for hyperparasites, and the rules' sentence attempts to remove any ambiguity between the hyperparasite's direct and ultimate Host.
3. No
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Jakub Ukrop
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I'm not sure about 1. but I fully agree with Dom on points 2. and 3.
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Brett Burleigh II
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I'm fairly certain that you can never have a parasite of your own, in your own Tableau. Of course, I see the rules quotes, but I found during play testing that it similar to how Bios Megafauna doesn't allow cannibalism of the same species.

I'm not 100% on this, but as I said, the way parasites work, they shouldn't be able to reside in your own Tableau.

I think in regards to 2/3, there were rules changes throughout development.
Parasites are very unique and a new mechanic (unlike anything currently out there).
They have had quite a few revisions and tweaks for them to end up as they are now.
One used to be able to spend their catalysts during parasite assignment to place vitamins /antioxidants... But that was removed, as they became tied to the host's Tableau pool.
Previously, the Host could count a parasites mutation cubes (but not diseased cubes), when going macro. As it stood when I last logged a play, this was removed. A Host could RQA the disease cubes back.

Lots of ornery little changes and full on revisions to make them as they are.
I think (keyword), some of that text could be revised to be clear and concise. I did lots of editing on the rules to try and reduce the mental tax on some of the niggling rules. Without looking further into the rules sections in question, it feels like
"... A parasite (and hyperparasite), will always spend catalysts from the Tableau pool of the Tableau in which they are located"
says the same thing, with less room for ambiguity or misinterpretation.

Also, in my experience, parasites are relatively fragile. They're better played with a zero sum mentality. You can send them in, again and again, even if they atrophy and die during the next Darwin roll. You're still stealing cubes and weakening the host, generally far faster than they can recuperate and progress.

Hyperparasites are rare. Very rare. Most likely to be found in a situation where (4p game), someone is getting locked out of the refugia, and a player seizes an opportunity to piggyback onto a Host that's about to go Macro (thus, granting them an Endosymbiont "partner" in the macro organism, creating a 3-way VP split - and granting them access to buy mutations and the like). Even in this case, I'd attempt to supplant the parasite (if possible) to maximize points.
Just because it is a bit rare, doesn't mean that it shouldn't be fully thought out... I think that without seeing them (hypers) often in testing, the small tweaks create down the road ramifications that may have not been caught in the rules language during editing.

Phew... All from my phone. I hope it makes some sense...
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Rich James
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I agree, Brett. The impression I get is that there are vestiges of older rules still in there that no longer need to be. I think a lot of the verbiage related to hyperparasites could be eliminated and just emphasize that, as it states in the glossary, a hyperparasite is just a parasite of a parasite. Beyond that, it behaves just like any other parasite.

Unless, there is actual intent that there be a difference. It would be great if Phil chimed in with a clarification on this.

Edit: I added a couple of comments to the Living Rules about this. Maybe Phil will see those and answer.
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Phil Eklund
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arjisme wrote:
I agree, Brett. The impression I get is that there are vestiges of older rules still in there that no longer need to be. I think a lot of the verbiage related to hyperparasites could be eliminated and just emphasize that, as it states in the glossary, a hyperparasite is just a parasite of a parasite. Beyond that, it behaves just like any other parasite.

Unless, there is actual intent that there be a difference. It would be great if Phil chimed in with a clarification on this.

Edit: I added a couple of comments to the Living Rules about this. Maybe Phil will see those and answer.

Thanks Rich et. al. I did see the comments in the Living Rules.
I decided to allow Hyperparasites in your own tableau; maybe this will give them some utility as an anti-parasite measure. 4th bullet of E3 reads as follows:

• Hyperparasite. If the Host is another Parasite, steal the Diseased cubes from the Host’s Mutation cubes per the preceding bullet. You can have your hyperparasite in your own tableau, attached to a parasite of one of your organisms.

Reworded the 5th bullet of Section H for clarity as follows:
• Foreign Purchases. All expenditures for an Organism must spend from the pool of the Tableau it resides in. So Parasites (but not necessarily Hyperparasites) must spend from the tableau pool of their Host (or Host’s Host, in the case of Hyperparasites), and Foreign Genes and Endosymbionts spend from the pool of the Organism owner (!). These purchases may use the Organism’s spore, HGT, fission, and/or chameleon Abilities. For instance, when it is your turn to purchase, each of your Bionts in an Organism starting with one or more fission Mutations may make two sequential purchases instead of one.
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Kyrill Melai
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Oh, how I remember the potential for confusion when refering to 'the Host' when required to consider the presence of a hyperparasite.
 
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