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Subject: The apex predator runs amok, dominating the world rss

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It's finals, so I have been offering board game time as a de-stressing mechanism for my students. Three of them took it up today, and I introduced them to Evolution (with Climate). I explained the rules and then we played a practice round so they could see how the game worked. Then we started for real.

It was pretty unfair. I started off with Intelligence and Carnivore, which made it tempting to go predator right away, but instead I played Defensive Herding with Intelligence, bumped my population to 2, and held Carnivore. We turned in food cards, and everyone was herbivores. A couple of the players spawned second species.

The next round, I drew Pack Hunting. Well, this was just delightful. I laid down Carnivore (held from previous round) and Pack Hunting, and kept the remaining cards to fuel my big brain. There were some unprotected and delicious species out there, so I went about eliminating some of them (no reason to let players get an extra card each round).

As we progressed in the game, I concentrated on my predator, increasing it to population 6, which made it virtually unassailable (because of Defensive Herding). My students kept spawning new species, which I greedily devoured into extinction. Throughout all this, the climate got warm, which meant there was plenty of plant food available. I would've liked to have starved some of those creatures, but on the other hand, the plentiful food meant that those creatures were plump and juicy.

Toward the last third of the game, I finally spawned a second species. I was thinking that I could use it to feed my carnivore if necessary, and if not, it could gobble up that abundant plant food. One of my students spawned a decent carnivore that could have attacked my second species, but I suggested a non-aggression pact (as my carnivore could've laid waste to hers), so she attacked one of the other students' species to extinction. (Too bad the student with the carnivore had to quit the game early....)

In the end, I won handily, 67-49-40. I had the advantage of knowing the game, but the bigger advantage I had was that I grew that intelligent pack hunter so quickly that I was terrorizing everyone else. I think they could have made things more difficult by bulking up one species instead of trying to maintain two. Oh well, lesson learned, I think.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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doggie bear wrote:
…but the bigger advantage I had was that I grew that intelligent pack hunter so quickly that I was terrorizing everyone else.

An Intelligent Carnivore is not usually a good strategy early in the game. In fact, I usually think of it as a fairly poor one. It requires too many resources to be effective. That can only work if the other players are not protecting their species.
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domcrap wrote:
An Intelligent Carnivore is not usually a good strategy early in the game. In fact, I usually think of it as a fairly poor one. It requires too many resources to be effective. That can only work if the other players are not protecting their species.

Yes, I usually hold off on turning carnivore out of concern about the inefficiency, but in this game, the players were not protecting their secondary species, so I actually didn't even have to use intelligence until a few rounds in, by which time I had some card surplus and the prey were getting plumper.... (yum).
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Rehlow Rehlow
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doggie bear wrote:
It was pretty unfair. I started off with Intelligence and Carnivore, which made it tempting to go predator right away, but instead I played Defensive Herding with Intelligence, bumped my population to 2, and held Carnivore. We turned in food cards, and everyone was herbivores. A couple of the players spawned second species.

The next round, I drew Pack Hunting. Well, this was just delightful. I laid down Carnivore (held from previous round) and Pack Hunting, and kept the remaining cards to fuel my big brain. There were some unprotected and delicious species out there, so I went about eliminating some of them (no reason to let players get an extra card each round).


It's also pretty unfair to have 4 traits at once (Intelligence, Defensive Herding, Carnivore, Pack Hunting) unless that changed in Climate.
 
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rehlow wrote:
doggie bear wrote:
It was pretty unfair. I started off with Intelligence and Carnivore, which made it tempting to go predator right away, but instead I played Defensive Herding with Intelligence, bumped my population to 2, and held Carnivore. We turned in food cards, and everyone was herbivores. A couple of the players spawned second species.

The next round, I drew Pack Hunting. Well, this was just delightful. I laid down Carnivore (held from previous round) and Pack Hunting, and kept the remaining cards to fuel my big brain. There were some unprotected and delicious species out there, so I went about eliminating some of them (no reason to let players get an extra card each round).

It's also pretty unfair to have 4 traits at once (Intelligence, Defensive Herding, Carnivore, Pack Hunting) unless that changed in Climate.

Four traits at once is legal in Evolution: Climate.

-M_R
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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rehlow wrote:
It's also pretty unfair to have 4 traits at once (Intelligence, Defensive Herding, Carnivore, Pack Hunting) unless that changed in Climate.


Unfair to who? Unfair to you? Or unfair to your opponents? Just make sure it's unfair to your opponents and you'll be ok!

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