Well, I couldn't wait until this game came up in my solo rotation again. (Wait? I have a 'solo rotation' now? I guess I sort of do.) I AM SO HAPPY to own it again, I couldn't wait to play again.
Same deal as last time except the species I started with. I am using the Living Rules with the full blown Paul Harford Solo Variant that includes the AI Two-Tusker possibly going marine or predator and adding an additional use of the Genotype cards for "crossbreeding". The Two-Tusker is a mammalian species and the last game I was the other mammalian species. This time I randomly chose to play as the "Chisel Lizard" 4-tooth dinosaurian species. (Like my Terraforming Mars series, I am going to try to beat the AI with each of the other three species before I start over again.)
I don't particularly like playing as Chisel Lizard as their starting biome is too close (in my opinion) to the AI Two-Tusker. AND since my home biome is an Orogeny biome, in any Greenhouse global cooling event, the Chisel Lizards and Two-Tuskers become next-door neighbors!
Not much here at the start of the game, a line of sea hexes dominate the Horse Latitudes, you can see how I will be in close competition with the Two-Tusker for biomes:
The last game I played went the whole distance and everyone survived (in one way or another) to the end of the Tertiary period with FOUR Global Catastrophes that extincted several species of both players along the way.
This game was much different and much calmer in a sense. Without any catastrophes, life ran rampant across the planet, accumulating mutations and crossbred genes with wild abandon. Sure that that catastrophe was certainly going to hit at any point, I ended up letting the AI Two-Tusker win the mutation Arms Race. It was taking over biome after biome with my only animals inhabiting places the Two-Tusker COULDN'T go because of Size requirements or inability to have a second marine species. By the end of the Cretaceous period, with only the Tertiary period to go, North America looked like this, a sea of white with speckles of green:
Technically, it wasn't really North America, more like Pangaea, since without any catastrophes, the Atlantic Ocean never formed and we were all just one big happy globe.
While the catastrophe never did come and the Atlantic Ocean never formed, the Tertiary was dotted with Milankovich events and Volcanic eruptions that pushed the Greenhouse level up and down, shaking up the continent and biomes quite a bit. I finally had to start eating up mutations and managed to ALMOST catch the Two-Tusker in number of creeples on the map, but it was too little, too late and because I disallow myself use of the optional "Buy Roadrunner DNA off the RR track" rule from the Living Rules, every mutation I was picking up was just making the end of the game that much closer. So I was darned if I did and darned if I didn't.
Here's how close I got at the end:
but it still ended up a fairly significant loss:
AI Two-Tusker: 33
Dave Chisel Lizard: 20
But really, look at how many mutations and DNA the Two-Tusker had at the end of the game (and I didn't even display ALL of them!):
I was not going to win this one without a catastrophe. And one never came.
While it may seem that this game wasn't all that exciting (and it wasn't, at least in the same way as the chaotic last one), it WAS a very interesting puzzle at one point as I would have to look at the map full of species and try to find ANY possible way (for me OR the Two-Tusker) to expand into just one more biome. What combinations would I need? What size changes or switches to predator or herbivore or land animal to marine? That was just as rewarding in its own unique way as the last play of this game for me.
Scott Ross Spurgeon
Another history relived - looks great David - I'm waiting for BM2 to satisfy my evo itch.