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Bios: Genesis» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Play Balance and Bionts? rss

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Christine Hantschel
Germany
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Hi all,

I played BIOS:Genesis a couple of times with my husband. We are under the impression that a player cannot compensate bad dice rolls and thus we have not been able to develop any kind of strategy.

Especially, we think that the fact that a player has only 3 bionts makes some possible strategies unplayable.

- The player who manages to develop the first life has a huge advantage as he then can use 2 bionts in refugia in addition to his lifeform. In all our games, this player has won over the top, i. e. the outcome of the game was decided after the first few rounds.

- The other player could then use his parasite to impediment the other player, but he risks to lose his biont if his opponent develops a macroorganism. Imho a biont is far too valuable to risk that.

- Even contesting a refugia is a risk if the other player develops a lifeform as the biont can then end up as a foreign gene.

- An endosymbiont can buy an mutation or an organ for the host. What is the benefit for the endosymbiont player, i. e. why should he do so?

So we think that using a parasite and contesting a refugia does not really make sense for a player.

Any thoughts from other players are welcome. Has anybody developed a strategy?

Best regards, Christine
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Phil Eklund
Germany
Karlsruhe
Baden Würtenberg
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Hallo aus Karlsruhe Christine,
I hope that someone from the Bios:Genesis playtest team or the Vassal module will answer this. When we finally get the preorders mailed out in a week or two, other players may add their experiences. The remarks below assume the competitive game, where each player has control of one parasite. Naturally the cooperative game is a different animal.

- The first player to develop life often has an advantage. However, it is often inadvisable to develop life too soon, especially during the Hadean Eon, because it will usually spectacularly perish. In the first 3 turns, my experience is that it is better to collect catalysts than create life.

Note that a player can assign 2 bionts in refugia only if she includes a green chromosome in her lifeform. Although green (entropy) chromosomes are later useful as antioxidants, in protolife they only help increase assignable workers and help the prototype lifeform to survive only a little.

- In my experience, a biont incorporated into an alien bacterium usually escapes via HGT if its owner wishes it to (assuming the bacterium does not die off first). Occasionally, the biont eventually gets entrained into a macroorganism, where it shares VP with an advanced lifeform. In either case, it is not wasted, although it is arguable if it could have done better on its own.

- In our playtests, contesting refugia was done often in order to make catalysts ("money"). Normally the progenote would take the opportunity to kill off the other contenders rather than suffer having them entrained into its new lifeform as endosymbionts. This is for reasons mentioned in the next bullet, but also to avoid victory sharing. If the progrenote's organism eventually becomes a high VP macroorganism with an endosymbiont, this is a disaster for the progenote. He must evenly split the very high VP that he has invested heavily to achieve, with a lowly and opportunistic parasite player who has invested nothing.

- An endosymbiont player may purchase for the organism it resides in. What is purchased depends on whether she wants that organism to thrive or to die. But in any case, she is spending her opponent's own catalyst resources for stuff that opponent would likely would have used for other purposes. Since players hate having opponents spend all their funds in sprees, they usually try to get rid of endosymbionts. However, it is not unknown for a cooperative organism/endosymbiont team to attempt to overtake the leader in a cooperative venture.


There are other reasons an endosymbiont may wish to make a purchase for the organism. She may wish to fight an opponent's parasite, or purchase/promote to HGT so she can escape. Or she may just want to churn a stagnant deck so give additional opportunities for her own purchases. Although it is not currently in the rules, I am considering allowing endosymbionts to consider the organism they reside in as their "greenest" organism during the assignment phase.

In my experience all players often get some sort of non-parasitical life going during the Archeon. But the various strategies and their potentials are still being explored, so I do not think a clear winning strategy has been discovered. But I believe that both parasites and contesting refugia are part of this strategy.

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Adam Gastonguay
United States
Pottstown
Pennsylvania
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Yeah, in playtesting I've stuck in an endosymbiont and let it ride because it used up my oponents resources and I rode it all the way to macroorganism, which meant we both earned the same amount of VP for it, which in a two player game means all those resources were spent for essentially no gain.

Feels good.

All that while I played slow and gained catalysts and played them on refugia so that I could organize all the manna and start a really strong organism of my own at the end of the game when there's an ozone layer so I don't have to worry about UV and Theia Whack and the like.
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Christine Hantschel
Germany
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Thanks for your response, but I don't think you are right. In the rules it says the dominance VP points are split, i.e. the 12/6 points.
 
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Christine Hantschel
Germany
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Re: Play Balance and Bionts
Anybody else want to share their insights in strategies? I played it again with 4 players, but the same problem: 1 player did not manage to create life. That was oobviously quite frustrating.

Also I noticed that the Game play examples in the rules are somehow unrealistic: The dice rolls are not in line with the odds.

Thanks in advance, Christine
 
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