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Subject: Parasite Strategy rss

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Steve Carey
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One of the areas of the game we're struggling with - both rules and strategy wise - is parasites. Here was an interesting situation from a ftf game last night:


In the final era, Earth was cold and not very hospitable due to repeated smite events. So, as the Red player, I attached my parasite to an organism in an opponent's tableau, with 2 of my bionts, stealing 2 diseased cubes.

My goal was to purchase and promote mutations for the parasite so that it quickly became a strong organism, then HGT 1 of my bionts off for placement elsewhere.

During subsequent Darwin rolls (6 dice to start, and adjusting from there on subsequent turns), the parasite's 1 rolls flooded my host opponent with Red catalysts, as did triples, up to his catalyst Red color limit on multiple turns.

With 2 bionts on the parasite, I was able to make 2 purchases a turn (using my host's catalysts) immediately after the parasite's host made its purchase, but un-shielded 5 and 6 errors kept discarding those mutations, and I was unable to promote a single mutation any turn after a purchase. (edit: we may have played this wrong, could I purchase and promote a mutation in the same phase, assuming 2 bionts or previous fission ability?)

Though the parasite's host had HGT, a parasite is not allowed to use its host's abilities - my own HGT mutations ended up being removed by events, so my 2 bionts were stuck. I was subsequently unable to take advantage of friendly new refugia (my third biont was tied up on my own bacteria) that had appeared in a warmer planet.

One cannot protect a parasite with antioxidants or vitamins because they are not permitted to do so. Thus the parasite was eventually eradicated by an oxygen spike event, so all that effort wasted!

Still, it was quite a challenge and admittedly was fascinating fun.

So what are your thoughts on parasites?
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Rich James
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How did you get two of your bionts into your parasite?
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Steve Carey
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arjisme wrote:
How did you get two of your bionts into your parasite?


Allowed at attachment per E3:

"...and assign one or two of your Bionts to it."
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Rich James
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Ah, thanks. And in your specific situation, I assume your entropy limit allowed you to assign two. It's an interesting choice to commit two bionts to a parasite.
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Will H.
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I never established life of my own, so after Tropical Waterworld, I assumed the game had a 50% chance of ending on the next event. (I don't know what the actual warm/cold sun distribution is--sort of seems like 'cheating'.)

So my biont placement strategy was, 1) parasite and get SOME points, or 2) refugium and try to roll doubles on two dice. So parasite seemed like the way to go. Still came in last place, but at least it wasn't 0!
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Steve Carey
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arjisme wrote:
And in your specific situation, I assume your entropy limit allowed you to assign two.


Entropy doesn't apply to organisms, only to refugia.

arjisme wrote:
It's an interesting choice to commit two bionts to a parasite.


I thought so, too.

If the host became a macrogranism, 1 biont would become an endosymbiont and I would have received the other biont back (with compensation), so I gave it a try.
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Steve Carey
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gar0u wrote:
I never established life of my own, so after Tropical Waterworld, I assumed the game had a 50% chance of ending on the next event.


The Tropical Waterworld doesn't count as 3 suns (it's not in the event splay, but instead goes on top of the continental deck) - the 3 suns just serve as a reminder that Armageddon occurs with 3 events suns in a row, not 4, until the next after-shock (see D1).
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Forty One
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I think timing is critical for parasites. If you are going to playing one, you need to be able to build it up quickly, as initially it can be vulnerable to losing cubes and domes.

Looking at H5, I think you're correct that with two bionts on your parasite you can buy a mutation with the first and then promote it with your second.
Also re-reading H5 , you can at any time donate disks to your host's tableau. So you could do this immediately before you purchase for your parasite, using your host's tableau.

So when deciding to play the parasite, I'd be thinking can I steal two diseased ( rather than one) cubes from the host's mutations. Do I have disks in my tableau I can effectively donate to my parasite ( if the host doesn't have any) , are their hopefully no mutations that cause O2 spikes available, are there good mutations available ( e.g. Red queen ability to protect the parasite's diseased cubes, or acquire replacements. O2 spike protection).

I've been soloing two player games ( to learn the game). In one I put a parasite on a bacteria, however the parasite had no green, bionts or cubes. The host ( saying to the parasite "You attachin' to me") bought a mutation that caused a level 2, O2 spike which removed two cubes off the parasite. This was the start of the parasite going extinct. Not the best of moves
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Steve Carey
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FortyOne wrote:
I think timing is critical for parasites.


Agreed, I'm just learning this.

In our game the other night, I was having horrid luck and was stuck without any organisms later in the game. Thus I had no green chromosomes so I only had 1 biont out on refugia.

However, since entropy doesn't apply to organisms I could still attach my parasite to an opponent's host - with both my remaining bionts if chosen to do so - which is what I finally did.

So a parasite can also be a sort of fall-back when things are going poorly for any player unable to sustain their organisms (and thus unable to increase their entropy limit).
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Rebus Carnival
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I have a couple of thoughts:

In the metagame, parasites allow players that roll poorly, or have no refugia to control, the opportunity to play the game.

A parasite can increase entropy limit early on if it can incorporate a green chromosome, allowing a player to double their chances on refugia; this is great for farming or for fielding prokaryotes.

It can slow or stop another player from getting a macroorganism. This might be deployed tactically with then intention of reclaiming the biont on the same turn.

Most importantly, having a parasite on a bacteria that is about to buy a macroorganism card allows incorporation of a biont into that critter, and this is pretty critical for scoring at the end.

This might inspire some negotiation between parasite and host. I'll only take one cube if you are going to upgrade next turn, or don't mind me, here's a few discs for your trouble.

On the subject of biont scarcity, I noticed that by the end of the game it can be difficult to generate discs. Bionts are often tied up in organisms which at best generate discs on rolls of 1, and then generate only one color. Having a biont in play on the refugia during the end game may be necessary for making landfall.
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Steve Carey
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rebuscarnival wrote:
On the subject of biont scarcity, I noticed that by the end of the game it can be difficult to generate discs. Bionts are often tied up in organisms which at best generate discs on rolls of 1, and then generate only one color.


Note that when a macroorganism makes a cancer roll, each '1' (macro biosynthesis) allows a catalyst of any color to be chosen (D8), which can be very helpful!
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Adrian Hague
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Steve Carey wrote:
During subsequent Darwin rolls (6 dice to start, and adjusting from there on subsequent turns), the parasite's 1 rolls flooded my host opponent with Red catalysts, as did triples, up to his catalyst Red color limit on multiple turns.


It mentions in the rules that during the Darwin Roll when a parasite rolls triples the resulting catalyst goes to the pool of the host, but do catalysts generated through (non-triple) 1's go to the owner of the parasite?
 
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Steve Carey
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AdrianPHague wrote:
Steve Carey wrote:
During subsequent Darwin rolls (6 dice to start, and adjusting from there on subsequent turns), the parasite's 1 rolls flooded my host opponent with Red catalysts, as did triples, up to his catalyst Red color limit on multiple turns.


It mentions in the rules that during the Darwin Roll when a parasite rolls triples the resulting catalyst goes to the pool of the host, but do catalysts generated through (non-triple) 1's go to the owner of the parasite?


Those also go to the host.
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Filip Lazov
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Yesterday we played our first game and none of us was able to acquire a macro-organism so parasites with couple of mutations give you a significant VP gain at the end of the game and reduce opponent's by reducing their mutation cubes.
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