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Subject: Solitaire rules: Red Queening an AI parasite biont rss

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Andrew Doull
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It's not clear to me what happens to the AI player if you absorb their biont as a foreign gene.

I assume that player is effectively out of the game until they get their biont back. The other option (getting another biont) could allow you to exploit the AI to get all 3 of their bionts if you are a good enough a red queen.
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Adam Gastonguay
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The AI is only 1 biont, so you can't grab 3.

However, I've played with a few types of rules, depending on how hard to make the game:

1. Easy: You've won! You "Beat" that parasite and it now lives as an endosymbiote and you don't have to worry about it anymore until that lifeform goes extinct. Great!
2. Medium: The Endosymbiote will wait patiently until a HGT mutation is purchased, and then get the heck out of your organism so that it can spread evil once more.
3. Hard: The AI will use every purchase phase to try and buy a mutation with HGT, prioritizing it above all others. As soon as it does, it is out the very next turn.

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Phil Eklund
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Agreeing with Adam: The AI is only 1 biont, so you can't grab it.

Adam gives three game modes: Easy, Medium, and Hard. The solitaire rules only support the easy mode: "Each (AI biont) is hostile until assimilated as an Endosymbiont or Foreign Gene."

But I can easily see the Medium or Hard modes being interesting. At least at the Foreign Gene level. Once it becomes an Endosymbiont, the HGT option is gone and simulation-wise only the easy mode reflects the reality that mitochondria and chloroplasts are not going anywhere in today's macroscopic world, and if they should ever atrophy away in a niche species, they have no chance of independent existence.

Nevertheless, no matter how domesticated gut bacteria, mitochondria, or chloroplasts may seem to be, possessing an independent genome means they have their own victory conditions and can still cause their organism mischief.
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Phil Eklund
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I have a question: if the game allowed each player 4 bionts instead of 3, what difference would this make for (1) the solitaire game (2) the competitive game (3) the cooperative game?
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Andrew Doull
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So does the AI foreign gene still buy mutations? It "should", but I can see arguments either way.
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Pawel Garycki
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AI biont in a macroorganism (that is an endosymbiont) still can do harm, if it has Immunology (here: AIDS) property. Therefore level hard should also allow AI to exploit that property.
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Franz Derphausen
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andrewdoull wrote:
So does the AI foreign gene still buy mutations? It "should", but I can see arguments either way.


The AI parasites are there to weaken your organisms, steal your catalysts, generally make things harder for you, and respectively rebalance the advantage of the solo player controlling two colours instead of one. Assimilating an AI parasire as a foreign gene/endosymbiont does already confer enough advantages (chromosomes, endosymbiont ability unlocks) as it is.
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Franz Derphausen
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improove wrote:
AI biont in a macroorganism (that is an endosymbiont) still can do harm, if it has Immunology (here: AIDS) property. Therefore level hard should also allow AI to exploit that property.


How can a former AI parasite endosymbiont biont have any in-game influence on the organism it resides in? (other than stealing VPs at the end of the game)
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Filip Lazov
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phileklund wrote:
I have a question: if the game allowed each player 4 bionts instead of 3, what difference would this make for (1) the solitaire game (2) the competitive game (3) the cooperative game?


I can't talk much about the solitaire and co-op since I only played competitive, however 4th biont might help the competitive game a bit.

My reasoning is (at the state the game is now with 3):

You almost always want to use the parasite, it escapes the entropy limit and slows other players down (and gives you bunch of VPs at end). In the end makes the game more fun and interactive.

You don't want to be a foreign gene, the path to macro-organism is slower in competitive game and hoping that you will cash in from the dominance VP bonus might hurt you more in the long run than benefit you. A foreign gene should never help out the host organism, the purchase power is what makes other players get ahead.(maybe get 1VP for every 2 or 3 mutations on a micro organism for each of your bionts on that organism as foreign gene?)

The fission special ability is much much more powerful in competitive than in co op / solo, you don't help each other with multiple purchases per organism as foreign genes.

It is difficult to have 2 bionts (of your own) in one organism but is achievable. However you are left with just 1, which means you try and get second micro-organism or go parasite or get stuck in inactive refugium.

With 4 bionts:

You can have macro organism with 2 of your own bionts ( for more purchase power) 1 for parasite and another for second micro organism or fallback if trapped in other organism as foreign gene or in inactive refugium.
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Pawel Garycki
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Derphausen wrote:
improove wrote:
AI biont in a macroorganism (that is an endosymbiont) still can do harm, if it has Immunology (here: AIDS) property. Therefore level hard should also allow AI to exploit that property.


How can a former AI parasite endosymbiont biont have any in-game influence on the organism it resides in? (other than stealing VPs at the end of the game)


With current rules there is of course no negatve interferrence, but there is a rule for multiplayer that says if an endosymbiont has immunology, the owner of the endosymbiont chooses which cube/biont to affect during atrophy even if the organism true owner also has immunology. This is called AIDS in the rules.
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Dom Rougier
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phileklund wrote:
I have a question: if the game allowed each player 4 bionts instead of 3, what difference would this make for (1) the solitaire game (2) the competitive game (3) the cooperative game?


Purely speculation, but one of the key decisions in the game is biont management. A lot of the game is just process - Darwin re-roll choices are usually obvious, for example - so you need the game to force decision points as often as you can, I think.

Having four bionts probably makes the game easier, and the decisions around biont management less tense. I think that applies for all game modes.

I suspect if you wanted to soften anything, then raising the catalyst limits (at least in a four player game) might be the way to do it. Not convinced that's needed, mind you.
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