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Subject: plant food overabundance rss

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Veljko Dobrijevic
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I have played Evolution only once, using the base game 2nd edition, with 6 players.
Now the game went pretty much like expected, except for two weird anomalies.
One minor one was that we started making only herbivores, than after 1-2 rounds everyone wanted to make one carnivore, so since most of the herbivores were protected by either body size or protective traits, most of the carnivores died out from starvation in just 1 round... So after that most people were wary from making carnivores. But that's just a lack of experience.
The second bigger anomaly (and worry for me) was the huge plant food overabundance throughout the whole game. The 6 of us were adding from 15 to 25 food tokens to the watering hole each round, and for the first several rounds it kept piling up, until the watering hole was almost covered. Oh there was lots of herbivores, but mostly not lots of population because people raised body sizes to 2-3 in the beginning to stay safe from predators. Only later in the game, when we had an average of 2 herbivores per player, with larger populations, did the pile start to shrink, but never got close to 0.
But in every single round of the game we knew there was more plant food than we could eat, and that no herbivore would be left without food, which had several effects.

1. Herbivores were just too easy to play, all you needed to do was place some defensive traits to protect them from predators, the herbivore-engancing traits were pretty much useless. And using predators took effort and wasn't nearly as sure to succeed.
Basically you create a herbivore, increase it's population, and stuff it full. Rinse&repeat.

2. We soon practically abandoned the "1 plant food per player per one feeding rule" because seeing that there was more than needed and no one would be left to starve, we simply made the game faster by everyone taking as much as needed to fill their herbivores... I know this is not by the rules, but we did it because it made no practical difference, and there was lots of population 5-6 herbivores around the table, so feeding them all 1 food token at a time would have taken ages...

3. Fertility was way too good, getting 1 population EVERY single round... Meaning a whole lot of extra points at the game end.

4. All the green-bordered traits for enhancing herbivores were practically useless. What's the point of taking food before others with the Long Neck or taking 2 food at once with Foraging if everyone is going to get as much as they need to ? What's the point of Scavening even if you're just taking meat in place of plant food you would get otherwise ? These would all be great if there was less plant food than needed...

So what I would like to know is :

-is this kind of plant food overabundance common or very rare in basic Evolution ?

-Have we been playing it right (1 card per player into the pool, add up all the numbers, add that many tokens once per round) ? Maybe we weren't eating it efficiently enough ?

-it seems to me Flight maintains the same plant food level or even increases it (more spending for bird fuel, but also more plant food from the cliff and from many food making new traits), while Climate decreases it severely (not many food making traits, but ice age / scorching conditions destroy ENORMOUS amounts of plant food) ? Does this mean Climate would be more balanced in relation to plant food amounts ?

-it seems to me (of course I can't know for sure from only 1 game !) like herbivores have the advantage over carnivores in basic Evolution - it's very easy to get food, and it's easy to protect yourself (5 or 6 different protective traits I think, plus Climbing which can also be protective), while carnivores can easily starve if the herbivores are overprotected (of course for most defensive traits there's a trait that negates it, but spending 1 of only 3 trait slots on your predator to negate just 1 trait to be able to eat maybe 1 or 2 prey species on the table doesn't seem worth it, pack hunting seems like a far better investment, and Intelligence is too expensive to use if most of the herbivores on the table have a body size of 1, meaning you spend 1 card for 1 food, spending 1 card for 5-6 food might make sense but there's no reason to grow a herbivore that big when there are a lot easier ways to protect yourself)
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:

4. All the green-bordered traits for enhancing herbivores were practically useless. What's the point of taking food before others with the Long Neck or taking 2 food at once with Foraging if everyone is going to get as much as they need to ?


Not every game has an overabundance of food. Every game is different, and very often the scarcity of food put pressure on species to evolve with long neck being one of the solutions as you can feed from another source.

Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
What's the point of Scavening even if you're just taking meat in place of plant food you would get otherwise ? These would all be great if there was less plant food than needed...


If you play as carnivore, there's a strong incentive to play low food cards. Also as a long neck/foraging/intelligent/cooperative herbivore you could feed and survive seperately from the situation at the water hole.


Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
So what I would like to know is :
-is this kind of plant food overabundance common or very rare in basic Evolution ?


It happens. After (only) some 20 games offline and 37 hours with the digital version I yet have to come across a game that was similar to a previous one. The better - more experienced - the adversaries sitting at the table are, the less food is going to be found at the water hole I think.


Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
-Have we been playing it right (1 card per player into the pool, add up all the numbers, add that many tokens once per round) ? Maybe we weren't eating it efficiently enough ?


Sounds about right.


Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
-it seems to me Flight maintains the same plant food level or even increases it (more spending for bird fuel, but also more plant food from the cliff and from many food making new traits), while Climate decreases it severely (not many food making traits, but ice age / scorching conditions destroy ENORMOUS amounts of plant food) ? Does this mean Climate would be more balanced in relation to plant food amounts ?


I find Climate to be more difficult as four traits allow for more variation.

Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
-it seems to me (of course I can't know for sure from only 1 game !) like herbivores have the advantage over carnivores in basic Evolution - it's very easy to get food, and it's easy to protect yourself (5 or 6 different protective traits I think, plus Climbing which can also be protective), while carnivores can easily starve if the herbivores are overprotected (of course for most defensive traits there's a trait that negates it, but spending 1 of only 3 trait slots on your predator to negate just 1 trait to be able to eat maybe 1 or 2 prey species on the table doesn't seem worth it, pack hunting seems like a far better investment, and Intelligence is too expensive to use if most of the herbivores on the table have a body size of 1, meaning you spend 1 card for 1 food, spending 1 card for 5-6 food might make sense but there's no reason to grow a herbivore that big when there are a lot easier ways to protect yourself)


It's only easy to get food if everyone puts in high food value cards. Herbivores have incentive to grow larger to defend themselves against carnivores and to use fat tissue.
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Robert Ahearne
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In the games I have played, after the first few rounds at least 50% of the time there is not enough plant food in the watering hole to feed everyone. I've never come anywhere close to the overabundance you describe.

Basically: your game went the way it did because your players had very little clue what they were doing. The herbivore traits were useless because people were swamping the Watering Hole. If you have cards like Long Neck, Cooperation and Foraging to play, then you should be putting 0 or negative numbers in the Watering Hole.

Also: if there was plenty of food, and no Carnivores, then why in the world weren't you people spamming species? In this situation, you should create 2 every round, I'd say. More species = more cards = more points. (Plus more points in the final scoring.)

Playing successful Carnivores is tough, and winning by playing Carnivores is even tougher. (Most successful Carnivores have Pack Hunting, Intelligence, Climbing, Ambush or a combination thereof.) But it's really a blast when it works
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James R. Gracen
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Generally, what ends up happening is that, yes, in the beginning of a game there is a lot of food on the watering hole, since there are very few species consuming it, and their populations are all low. As the game progresses, the food tends to become scarcer, as players generate more species, and bump up their populations to where all the food gets eaten each round, and some species start to starve, decrease in population from lack of food, and some may die off.

I would say your game was an anomaly. I would start playing lower food number cards (negative numbers if possible) and make my species long neck foragers so they aren't dependent on the watering hole.

I guess it is a common problem for new players to play their largest number food card into the watering hole. One of the changes North Star Games made from 1st edition to 2nd edition was to lower the food amounts on some of the cards. Apparently not enough in your case.

See this thread for more info:

Changes from 1st to 2nd edition
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Tony Thomas
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With nearly 100 ftf games under our belts, our group rarely has excess food after the second or third round.

We've found however; when teaching to new players that the initial tendency is to play the highest value card you can. all a bit of experience - that changes.
Players focus on foraging / cooperation / long neck and then throw negative food cards in to starve out the others.

And if that's not an option, they look at their position and play accordingly... If the first or second player, they throw a low number so they can eat but the later players can't.
If a later number, they throw a high number so they can at least feed once.

Or they play intelligence and then throw low numbers and use their extra cards as discards to feed their own species.

Keep playing - everyone will get the hang of it.
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David A
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Most folks have already hit on the overabundance of food situation. There's definitely some strategy that was missing from folks' thought processes.

As for the Carnivores, something I'm surprised no one in the entire group figured out was to evolve one of those big, populous omnivores into Carnivores! You don't have to create a whole new species to be a carnivore -- species can change out several times if the situation allows.

It also sounds like everyone was playing to build a species then build another with very little changing happening once something was built. The game is called Evolution for a reason. Stagnant species under other circumstances usually don't last until the end of the game.
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kelsith
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A lot of people hit on the too high of number food cards being added thing, and it was common in a lot of the earlier games I taught. At some point when teaching the game I started adding a comment about put in what you will need to eat, any additional food you put in that someone else eats just gave them a point. Now even with newer players the water hole tends to be a bit more competitive
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Pierre Beri
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With experience, this kind of game hardly ever to never arises.

Also, when you are behind in terms of WH-dependent population, you should throw in low amounts of food, otherwise you’re just giving points to those with more WH-dependent population.
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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I see, so basically most of you are saying it's the fault of the inexperienced players putting too much food into the watering hole, because everyone (including me) chose high-numbered cards thinking "I want to make sure there's enough food for my herbivores". Well no actually, I did think that, but I mostly chose the food card solely on the basis of needing it the least (as a Trait for one of my species).
While what you should be doing is making herbivores that will feed from the food bank or in other ways, and try to starve out the other herbivore players with low-numbered cards.

That means the game is dependent on players understanding fine strategies to make it work (because if there is a huge plant food overabundance almost half the cards in the game are pointless, and I would call that a broken game), which is not a big fault if you play with experienced players, but it does mean this game is the opposite of idiot-proof or noob-proof...
Maybe they should have made the numbers on the cards a little lower.
At the very least I am going to start telling noob players to keep this problem in mind when choosing what card to throw in the watering hole...

Now, no one answered the question about Flight / Climate. Is it true, like it seems to me, that the plant food availability is about the same or larger in Flight, while in Climate, if you reach the extreme ends of the climate scale, plant food will be very scarce, most herbivores will die off, and the scene will be dominated by carnivores, perhaps feeding off each other (like in RL Antarctica) ?


Valsimot8645653 wrote:
Herbivores have incentive to grow larger to defend themselves against carnivores and to use fat tissue.

This is another thing that puzzles me. If you grow bigger (let's disregard Fat Tissure for a moment, let's say you never drew any of them) you might protect yourself from predators in the early game, but all you're doing in the longterm is challenging the predators to an arms race, and making yourself the ideal target/snack.
Pack Hunting pretty much beats any body size, and any decent predator should have (it seems to be a far better choice for a predator than Ambush or Climbing for example, because it opens up a much bigger number of previously unavailable targets). My ideal trait trio for a predator in the base game would be : Carnivore, Pack Hunting, Scavenger (or maybe a defensive trait in place of Scavenger so it doesn't get munched on itself).

Let's say you have 3 herbivores, and you protect them with Warning Call and Symbiosis on the middle one, and they are body sizes 1/1/2. So all three are immune to all but predators equipped with Ambush or Intelligence. Let's say you have other defensive traits as well so Ambush doesn't work.
Paying 1 card for just 1 food (using Intelligence) seems a very poor choice for the predator-wielding player. It would be a lot better choice to focus on some other player who has a herbivore with a large body size, and if you have Intelligence you can attack anyone. So you pay 1 card and get 4 or 5 or 6 food at once.
So if most players have body size 1 or 2 herbivores defended by defensive traits, growing your herbivore to 5 or 6 seems to me to be akin to painting a big red target on yourself ?
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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kelsith wrote:
A lot of people hit on the too high of number food cards being added thing, and it was common in a lot of the earlier games I taught. At some point when teaching the game I started adding a comment about put in what you will need to eat, any additional food you put in that someone else eats just gave them a point. Now even with newer players the water hole tends to be a bit more competitive

I will definitely do that when teaching new players from now on.


elcoderdude wrote:
Also: if there was plenty of food, and no Carnivores, then why in the world weren't you people spamming species? In this situation, you should create 2 every round, I'd say. More species = more cards = more points. (Plus more points in the final scoring.)

I didn't say there weren't any carnivores, there were several. I said most species were protected from carnivores, and people didn't want to create new species until they had the cards to protect them properly.


Scoutdad wrote:
We've found however; when teaching to new players that the initial tendency is to play the highest value card you can. all a bit of experience - that changes.
Players focus on foraging / cooperation / long neck and then throw negative food cards in to starve out the others.

That's great if you have two identical cards in your hand, so you choose the lower numbered one for example. But often I have 3 and 2 of them are a must, so I choose the third as the food card as it's the only one I don't need (as a trait).


Thud105 wrote:
As for the Carnivores, something I'm surprised no one in the entire group figured out was to evolve one of those big, populous omnivores into Carnivores! You don't have to create a whole new species to be a carnivore -- species can change out several times if the situation allows.

It also sounds like everyone was playing to build a species then build another with very little changing happening once something was built. The game is called Evolution for a reason. Stagnant species under other circumstances usually don't last until the end of the game.

You've definitely hit upon something here. People were mostly building species as either an ideal herbivore or an ideal carnivore, and then creating more species.
I had 2 herbivores, and both had Fertility, so in the last round I switched fertility (which had become useless on a population 6 species) and another trait on one of them for Carnivore and Pack Hunting, and then I used that POP6/BS1 predator (I think of it as a giant pack of predatory weasels ) to attack an opponent's POP3/BS6 predator (I think of it as a Tyranosaurus Rex ) and munch on him for 6 meat. That was somewhat comical when you picture it in your head... A massive pack of weasels biting the Tyranosaurus to death...
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Pierre Beri
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The fact that the watering hole kept growing bigger meant that populations were not growing, which is surprising.

Also, you have a point in saying that sometimes you want to keep the card that has the ideal amount of food because you need its trait. Yes, it happens. But I think food amounts were associated with traits knowingly. For instance, long neck (useful in low food environments) usually has a lot of food with it.

Now the quotes:
Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
it does mean this game is the opposite of idiot-proof or noob-proof...
It does indeed. It is a game that doesn’t show you all the good practices, you have to find some, like not flooding the WH when you are less WH-dependent than others, especially the leader.
Quote:
At the very least I am going to start telling noob players to keep this problem in mind when choosing what card to throw in the watering hole...
Good thing to do.

Quote:
Now, no one answered the question about Flight / Climate. Is it true, like it seems to me, that the plant food availability is about the same or larger in Flight, while in Climate, if you reach the extreme ends of the climate scale, plant food will be very scarce, most herbivores will die off, and the scene will be dominated by carnivores, perhaps feeding off each other (like in RL Antarctica) ?
Theoretical answer (I have only one play of each Flight and Climate): in Flight, there might be more food, but that extra food won’t be points, since the food that feeds birds’ body size is not scores but discarded.
Under rough climates (as in other low-food scenarios), the keys can be: Predator, Intelligence, Scavenger, Long neck (and other food helpers like coop and foraging).

Valsimot8645653 wrote:
If you grow bigger, you might protect yourself from predators in the early game, but all you're doing in the longterm is challenging the predators to an arms race, and making yourself the ideal target/snack.
By growing in size you also decrease the potential number of times that you get attacked, because you fiil them up faster.

Quote:
Pack Hunting pretty much beats any body size, and any decent predator should have
Most defenses are unbeaten by Pack hunting. It’s situational. In high-food environments, PH is a good thing because you may already have a high population. However, in high-food environments, food traits are useless and leave room for defenses.
Quote:
My ideal trait trio for a predator in the base game would be : Carnivore, Pack Hunting, Scavenger
Scavenger on a predator causes the predator to be filled after fewer attacks. This is a good thing if you can’t perform many attacks, a bad one if you can easily attack and want to make as much damage as possible.

Quote:
Let's say you have 3 herbivores

growing your herbivore to 5 or 6 seems to me to be akin to painting a big red target on yourself ?
Depends who is in the lead, depends on predators’ body sizes and populations. And maybe using intelligence to kill the symbiotic warning caller will make its two adjacent species vulnerable. The good answer is, and always will be: it depends.

There are a few good strategy articles in the forums. And there should be two more in the upcoming hours (pending approval). Keep an eye out.
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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beri2 wrote:
Under rough climates (as in other low-food scenarios), the keys can be: Predator, Intelligence, Scavenger, Long neck (and other food helpers like coop and foraging).

It's somewhat un-thematic that a Long Neck helps you find food in extremely hot / cold climates. There's no trees in the Sahara or the Arctic, so no use from having a long neck...
The only thing that might help is growing smaller, to take advantage of the little food there is. For example like the arctic fox, which is smaller than the normal version, and feeds on the eggs and chicks of migratory birds I think. Or the pygmy mammoth.

Which reminds me, is there any way to reduce the body size of your species in Evolution Climate (real world evolution both increases and decreases size as needed) ?
In a very cold climate (in the game I mean) there's added motivation to increase body size, to protect your species from the cold.
If there is no way to reduce the body size then in a very hot climate your large species has to either adapt (like the Cooling Frills) or it will die out !
 
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Pierre Beri
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Well, it’s also unthematic that a BS-1 with long neck can reach food that BS-6 species can’t, so you could pronounce long neck "insectivore" if you like it better (ignoring the fact that there’s an promo insectivore trait)

The arctic fox survives thanks to its "Heavy fur" .

There is no official way to reduce body size in any Evolution game at the moment. HOWEVER, it was playtested and did work, but was only left out because people just forgot about the rule and never used it. So NSG chose not to add another layer/line in the rules. Meaning you can implement that rule if you like. IIRC, it cost a card all the same, but maybe making it free would work? Try either version and see which is more balanced/more fun for you.
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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beri2 wrote:
Well, it’s also unthematic that a BS-1 with long neck can reach food that BS-6 species can’t, so you could pronounce long neck "insectivore" if you like it better (ignoring the fact that there’s an promo insectivore trait)

Actually, a BS-1 Long Neck would be really cute - think of a hamster / giraffe crossbreed... Now that would sell like crazy on the pet market, if someone could just genetically-engineer one...


beri2 wrote:
The arctic fox survives thanks to its "Heavy fur" .

And Camouflage, don't forget that one !


beri2 wrote:
There is no official way to reduce body size in any Evolution game at the moment. HOWEVER, it was playtested and did work, but was only left out because people just forgot about the rule and never used it. So NSG chose not to add another layer/line in the rules. Meaning you can implement that rule if you like. IIRC, it cost a card all the same, but maybe making it free would work? Try either version and see which is more balanced/more fun for you.

That sounds really cool and interesting. I think having the 1 BS point decrease cost a single card just like the increase would be ideal for purpose of simplicity. And I can see several potential uses :
-to help survival in hot climates if you don't have any traits for that
-to discourage predators from attacking you
If you say there are no problems, I think I'll add that rule to my Evolution FAQ.
 
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Pierre Beri
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There are no problems.
Another possibility is that it costs 1 card to decrease your body size by any amount.
 
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
So if most players have body size 1 or 2 herbivores defended by defensive traits, growing your herbivore to 5 or 6 seems to me to be akin to painting a big red target on yourself ?

Pierre hinted at this, but I thought I would state it plainly: This is not necessarily true. Carnivore players should focus on feeding off of the species with smaller body size and smaller populations first, for many reasons.

1) First and foremost, you do more damage to your opponent by eating their species into extinction, thereby not allowing them to eat as much food (points) and by causing them to waste the cards that went into building up their now extinct species.

2) Somewhat related to #1 above. You can feed on smaller body size species over and over again without getting full. You can knock their population down a couple notches so they are able to eat less food (points), while you are getting full off of them.

3) Concerning Intelligent Carnivores. Yes, it may cost you an extra card or two to go after the same species multiple times (to bypass defensive traits on multiple feeding rounds), but by forcing an opponent's species into extinction, they are wasting a lot more cards than you are.

Dang, don't I sound cutthroat? A better, more diplomatic, approach may be to spread the love around some (target different opponent's species) so they don't all gang up on you, and then let other's carnivores finish off the small species you were just chomping on...

Because of those points, having a large body size herbivore would make you *less* of a target. And it's a good idea. You will likely only get chomped once before their carnivore is full, and it only requires one card to get your lost population back.
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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CavemanLogic wrote:
Carnivore players should focus on feeding off of the species with smaller body size and smaller populations first, for many reasons.

1) First and foremost, you do more damage to your opponent by eating their species into extinction, thereby not allowing them to eat as much food (points) and by causing them to waste the cards that went into building up their now extinct species.

2) Somewhat related to #1 above. You can feed on smaller body size species over and over again without getting full. You can knock their population down a couple notches so they are able to eat less food (points), while you are getting full off of them.

3) Concerning Intelligent Carnivores. Yes, it may cost you an extra card or two to go after the same species multiple times (to bypass defensive traits on multiple feeding rounds), but by forcing an opponent's species into extinction, they are wasting a lot more cards than you are.

All you've said here is true, and it's a great thing to exterminate your opponents' species, but I just can't see how it would be worth it, if they are well protected that is.
If your opponents are creating mostly unprotected species they are inept.
If they are properly protected often the only way to get through the defenses is Intelligence. Now are you saying it's worth discarding 5 cards to eliminate a POP5/BS1 enemy herbivore ? Maybe only if you're playing 1VS1, but certainly not in a 5-6 player situation...
And what if you don't have Intelligence ?
Surely your primary concern is to not let your predator starve, and you may not always have a large choice of targets ?
And the diplomacy angle you mention also needs to be taken into consideration, most people have vengeful egos in my experiecne, and if you hurt them (like eradicate their one of their species) they will want to hurt you back...


CavemanLogic wrote:
Because of those points, having a large body size herbivore would make you *less* of a target. And it's a good idea. You will likely only get chomped once before their carnivore is full, and it only requires one card to get your lost population back.

Not if several people chomp on you !
And if you're one of the few undefended targets, or if there are no undefended targets and the predator has to use Intelligence, you're a prime choice to prevent him from starving...
 
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
All you've said here is true, and it's a great thing to exterminate your opponents' species, but I just can't see how it would be worth it, if they are well protected that is.

The trick is to do it *before* they're all well defended. At the beginning of the game when everyone is trying to build up their population to get more food, or put down a couple extra species to get extra cards each turn, they're not going to be able to protect *all* of those species. Convert one of your species to a carnivore, chomp on them for a couple rounds, then after they've built up their defenses to thwart you, swap out your carnivore trait for foraging, or hard shell or something. They will have spent the last couple turns spending cards on defenses, while eating less food from population loss, while you will have been filling up your carnivore on them and your herbivores on the watering hole.

Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
If your opponents are creating mostly unprotected species they are inept.

Not necessarily so. It happens. Is it the better move to spend a bunch of cards bumping up your body size, with a defensive trait or two, while leaving your population size low? Or is it better to bump up your population so that you are getting five or six food per turn, at the cost of some protection? After two or three turns, especially if everyone else is pumping up their defenses while you are munching down all the greenery, that could put you 10, 15, 20 points up on them, and well on your way to victory. If someone does then bring out a carnivore, bump up your body size (so they can't eat you as many times per turn), and drop a defensive trait down (so they have to adapt in order to eat you). In any case, it will only cost a couple cards to bump your lost population back up.

Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
And if you're one of the few undefended targets, or if there are no undefended targets and the predator has to use Intelligence, you're a prime choice to prevent him from starving...

Again, not necessarily. Lets assume a 3 pop, 6 BS intelligent carnivore (carnivores tend to have smaller populations because they have to have large enough body size to attack other species). Now, is your properly defended 5 BS species a prime target over the properly defended 3 BS species of someone else? No. If the carnivore has to use intelligence, he could go after either of you once and get full.

The thing I love about Evolution is that everything is situational. You need to evolve your game strategies while your species need to evolve their traits and stats to be successful. There is always more than one path to victory.
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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CavemanLogic wrote:
The trick is to do it *before* they're all well defended. At the beginning of the game when everyone is trying to build up their population to get more food, or put down a couple extra species to get extra cards each turn, they're not going to be able to protect *all* of those species. Convert one of your species to a carnivore, chomp on them for a couple rounds

Fascinating, in the one game I played everyone started off FIRST BUFFING UP their herbivores with body size and defensive traits (before there even were any carnivores), and only then raising the populations and making more species. Maybe that's one of the reasons there was so much plant food.
Someone said no two games of Evolution are the same, definitely seems like it. Can't wait to play more of this game !


CavemanLogic wrote:
Again, not necessarily. Lets assume a 3 pop, 6 BS intelligent carnivore (carnivores tend to have smaller populations because they have to have large enough body size to attack other species).

Wouldn't a POP6/BS1 predator with Intelligence and Pack Hunting be better ? A total of 7 could hunt most things (except big armored ones) and you get twice as much food per turn... And you can eliminate entire species...


CavemanLogic wrote:
Not necessarily so. It happens. Is it the better move to spend a bunch of cards bumping up your body size, with a defensive trait or two, while leaving your population size low? Or is it better to bump up your population so that you are getting five or six food per turn, at the cost of some protection? After two or three turns, especially if everyone else is pumping up their defenses while you are munching down all the greenery, that could put you 10, 15, 20 points up on them, and well on your way to victory. If someone does then bring out a carnivore, bump up your body size (so they can't eat you as many times per turn), and drop a defensive trait down (so they have to adapt in order to eat you). In any case, it will only cost a couple cards to bump your lost population back up.

I have to say CavemanLogic, you're pretty logical for a caveman !
And you've taught me so much about Evolution strategy (and provided useful links in the other thread) you deserve a slice of my 4-layered orange cake if you come over to my place (well yeah it's on the other side of the world, but I promise you it's tasty ! )...
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Pierre Beri
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Oh and I forgot something: don’t play with 6 players (unless they’re quite experienced).
5 at most, but ideally 3 or 4.

More control over watering hole, less downtime, more balanced Scavenger.
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Robert Ahearne
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Just a few random thoughts -- I apologize for being in too much of a hurry to quote the posts I am responding to:

-- +1 to both the best defense and the best attack being situational. PH is great until everyone has defenses besides Hard Shell and body size. It's not true that every game is going to have Intelligent Carnivores -- sometimes the players who like playing Carnivores don't draw Intelligence when they need it.

-- That said: the best defense against Intelligent Carnivores is creating a lot of body size 1 species with at least 1 defense. No one can win when they are discarding 1 card for every food point.

-- That said: a Carnivore that doesn't have to discard a card to attack will usually attack the lowest body size species it can, all else being equal. (There are other considerations -- most prominently, I'll attack the player I think is in the lead; and I'll attack species who have not eaten yet over ones that have). I'll only attack BS 5 or 6 species if I have no better choice.

-- That said: it is true that if my Carnivore is using Intelligence to be able to feed, I will tend to attack large body size species.

-- Back to +1 to the best play being situational.

-- The "ideal" Intelligent, Pack Hunting Carnivore with Pop 6 BS 1 is very quickly going to be a snack for another Carnivore, especially one with Ambush.
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Veljko Dobrijevic
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elcoderdude wrote:
-- The "ideal" Intelligent, Pack Hunting Carnivore with Pop 6 BS 1 is very quickly going to be a snack for another Carnivore, especially one with Ambush.

I fully understand everything else you said (and it's very smart !), but I don't get this - why Ambush against Intelligence and Pack Hunting ?
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:
-- The "ideal" Intelligent, Pack Hunting Carnivore with Pop 6 BS 1 is very quickly going to be a snack for another Carnivore, especially one with Ambush.

I fully understand everything else you said (and it's very smart !), but I don't get this - why Ambush against Intelligence and Pack Hunting ?


+1 laugh
 
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
elcoderdude wrote:
-- The "ideal" Intelligent, Pack Hunting Carnivore with Pop 6 BS 1 is very quickly going to be a snack for another Carnivore, especially one with Ambush.

I fully understand everything else you said (and it's very smart !), but I don't get this - why Ambush against Intelligence and Pack Hunting ?

AHH - I understand now ( lightbulb turning on above head ) - you meant having another species protecting this carnivore with Warning Call. That's pretty smart ! It never ocurred to me, I mean herbivores protecting each other is pretty obvious but herbivores protecting a carnivore with Warning Call just never ocurred to me because it goes against real nature...
And I was thinking how it was difficult to protect a carnivore since you need at least 2 and better yet 3 traits to make it a good carnivore, so protecting it from the flanks is a great idea !
This just goes to show I have a lot to learn about Evolution...
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David A
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Enkidu_of_Abydos wrote:
<snip>... herbivores protecting a carnivore with Warning Call just never ocurred to me because it goes against real
nature...

Actually, it's not as far fetched as you think. Don't think of those omnivores actually, specifically protecting a carnivore so much as that carnivore has learned how to use the omnivore's call to it's advantage.

Additionally, there's one real-life example that comes to mind for me. In Africa, there's a band of baboons who have essentially allied themselves with a pride of lions. The baboons don't call out to alert the herds, but they do make a call if members from other prides enter the hunting area. In exchange, the lions don't prey upon those baboons. Just saw this about a month ago on National Geographic Wild!
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