North Star Games designs party games that don't suck! Play them with your non-gamer friends over the holidays.
First there was Hearts, then there was Spades, and now we bring you Clubs. The suit of clubs finally gets some respect!
The rules make me think that it reinforces the need for carnivores...
I don't think so. Maybe a little.
allows for unique self-attacking strategies...
Yes, I suppose it allows for it, but that's not a very good use of your cards.
provides additional means to gang up on a suspected leader...
I don't think so. I'm not sure why you think this.
The Plant Micro-Expansion is fun. It's an interesting twist to the same sort of game play, but I don't think it changes the game in any fundamental way. Carnivores are still important, but not essential. You can still target the leader a little, but not very much. The fundamental game play is very similar to the base game, but now there is another dimension to game play. Perhaps it increases the need for an apex Carnivore since it can protect your plants... but in reality this didn't seem to play out. I'm not sure why. Maybe because the Carnivore becomes full at some point and can no longer defend his territory.