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Evolution: CLIMATE» Forums » Rules

Subject: Decrease Body Size rss

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Matt Parker
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In Climate, the body size of your species is no longer strictly an advantage against predators, but also relates to your ability to survive the changing climate.

Playing a card to increase your body size is fairly straightforward, but in Climate decreasing your body size could be critical to survival as well. The rules don't appear to say anything about decreasing body size, but it seems reasonable to me that playing a card to increase or decrease body size should be fine and wouldn't cause any balancing issues.

If I choose to play the game with that in effect, would that be my own house rule or is this part of the game and just not explicitly stated in the current rulebook?

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Dominic Crapuchettes
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It would be your own house rule, but it would be a very good house rule. It was in the rules until the very last minute, when we removed everything that was not core to the game play (meaning it didn't get used very often).

You might find it interesting to learn that the original base game in 2013 had that rule, but we removed it for the same reason: it stopped getting used once we changed the card pool around and removed two of the reasons you might not want to be large.
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Andrew Colvin
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domcrap wrote:
removed two of the reasons you might not want to be large.


And what were they? Curious minds and house rulers want to know...
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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One of them was a defensive card about hiding in small places something like this:

"This species can be attacked by a Carnivore of Body Size 1. This species cannot be attacked by a Carnivore which has a larger Body Size."

I can't remember the other one right now.

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Adam Webb
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domcrap wrote:
One of them was a defensive card about hiding in small places something like this:

"This species can be attacked by a Carnivore of Body Size 1. This species cannot be attacked by a Carnivore which has a larger Body Size."


I'd love to see effects like that in a future expansion. With species frequently changing body size as they evolve (pygmy species, etc), it'd be neat to have that reflected in gameplay as well.
 
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Matt Parker
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Thanks, Dom.

And yeah, I love the idea of a card like you described. Makes sense to be a mouse when all the predators are t-rex size.

Another reason small is good is limited resources. Another card might read:

Scrounger: If there is no food in the watering hole after the food cards are revealed and your species is body size 1, take 1 food from the food bank.

Might help species to survive on scraps during those meager times after meteors hit not unlike our mammalian ancestors did after the K-T impact.
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domcrap wrote:
You might find it interesting to learn that the original base game in 2013 had that rule, but we removed it for the same reason: it stopped getting used once we changed the card pool around and removed two of the reasons you might not want to be large.


That's something that doesn't apply to evolution: climate, as decreasing your body size is an important game mechanic that's (palpably) missing from the game. Body size can only go up, but the penalty is heavy if the climate goes the other way. I think we'll talk about allowing to decrease body size as a house rule next time.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Valsimot8645653 wrote:
domcrap wrote:
You might find it interesting to learn that the original base game in 2013 had that rule, but we removed it for the same reason: it stopped getting used once we changed the card pool around and removed two of the reasons you might not want to be large.


That's something that doesn't apply to evolution: climate, as decreasing your body size is an important game mechanic that's (palpably) missing from the game. Body size can only go up, but the penalty is heavy if the climate goes the other way. I think we'll talk about allowing to decrease body size as a house rule next time.


We allowed that rule for nearly 10 of our CLIMATE play tests and it was only used once. That's not enough utility for me to include a rule in a game.
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Chris in Kansai
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I guess it'd be used more if there was also a rule that carnivores could be at most say 2 steps larger than their prey. In general I'd imagine a carnivore will hunt what gives it the most calories for the least effort, which would be something as close to its own size as it could manage.
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Ben Handley
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I've only played a few times so far so I'll have to take Dominic's word for it that it's hardly ever useful. I'm slightly surprised, though, as I expected that even without climate you'd sometimes want to make your non-carnivore smaller to make it less worthwhile to attack. A predator may be willing to lose a population or discard a card for 3 food but probably not for 1. I could easily imagine someone trying to size up for defence, getting outgunned, and drawing a horns card in the meantime.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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Spending a card to increase BS and then another card to decrease BS is about the least smart use of your cards I can imagine. Yes, there is probably a time when it's the right move but it would not happen very often.

It takes new players a while to understand the value of a card. In the first 4 rounds of the game, cards are the most critical thing to monitor with regards to who is doing well. Converting those extra cards into points happens best in the last couple of rounds.
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