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Subject: Asking yourself the right questions rss

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Pierre Beri
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Here are a few questions to ask yourself to take the right decisions:

1. How much food is left in the watering hole?
The more leftover food, the more comfortable it is for players with more WHDIs* and the less useful it is to use food traits (Foraging, Cooperation, Long neck, etc.).

2.1 After playing my cards, will I have more WHDIs than each of my opponents?
Yes —> I’ll throw a lot of food into the WH
No —> 2.2.

2.2 After playing my cards, will I have fewer WHDIs than each of my opponents?
Yes —> I’ll throw low food into the WH.
No —> I’ll seed the WH accordingly to my needs.

3. Are there predators?
No —> always consider there could be some coming up. Have sufficient traits/body sizes/populations to prevent extinction for any of your species.
Yes —> 3.1 / 3.2 / 3.3.

3.1 How many predators’ attacks have there been per round lately?
The more attacks, the more efficient the Scavenger trait, especially when the WH is relatively empty.

3.2 Do they have Ambush and/or Climbing?
No —> Warning call and/or Climbing might be useful.
Yes —> the latter defenses become more helpless.

3.3 Can I be attacked by an opponent’s predator?
Yes —> how many times (depends on my prey’s defenses and body size)? Is it good for me? This is a rare case, but it can be good if you have several scavengers and/or para-scavengers that have no other way to feed, i.e. empty WH (and if the attacked individuals were bound to starve anyway).
No –> make sure you can’t have a bad surprise and go extinct.

3.4 Will I have predators at the end of this phase?
Yes —> 3.4.1 / 3.4.2 / 3.4.3

3.4.1 Will my predators survive for sure (via a full enough Fat Tissue to feed all of its population or Intelligence with enough cards in hand)?
Yes —> I am serene for the round and can afford to take a few risky decisions to try and attack opponents.
No —> it is a good idea to prepare one of my species to serve as safe prey for my predator if need be – especially if opposing predators can’t attack that “special prey”. If possible, my predator should attack it as few times as possible so that I waste fewer cards (e.g. raising the prey’s body size). I call that “farming”.

3.4.2 Where am I in turn order?
I check if other players who have played their cards have species that I can attack for sure (don’t forget about Warning call). The later I play in turn order, the more information I have to figure out if I can feed my predators.

3.4.3 Will I also have scavengers?
Yes —> if I am sure my predators will attack – as many times as possible –, I can raise my scavengers’ populations and dry out the WH.

4. Is there a leader that we need to tame?
Yes —> we need to attack and/or starve them. See 4.1 and 4.2.

4.1 Do they have predators?
Yes —> 4.1.1 and 4.2
No —> 4.2

4.1.1 Can they feed these and score a lot of points through farming?
No —> they depend on their opponents to feed their predators, so you should strongly raise your defences. Horns are a good way to minimize their population of predators. Avoid creating weak new species as they will happily feast on them. Knowingly pushing the other players’ weakest species to extinction can be a good idea in order to starve the leader’s predators in the longer term. Attacking the leader’s preys before they can is a way to serve that goal.
Yes —> the only thing is then to attack them, because raising your defences is no longer enough (they can survive without you).

4.2 How watering hole-dependent are they?
Highly —> their opponents should team up to dry out the WH, while making sure to depend on it less and, if possible, attacking them too.
Not much —> their opponents should gang up and attack them.

Important: stop attacking a player once they have taken enough damage to stop being a threat for your victory. There is no point beating a dead horse, you’d better focus on the player who now represents the new threat.


Note: the more food in the WH, the less powerful the feeding traits and the more free space for defensive traits.

*WHDI: watering hole-dependent individuals (population slot). The following individuals are not watering hole-dependent:
- predators
- those fed by Scavenger
- those fed by Long neck (+Cooperation) (+Foraging)
- those fed by Coopération (through Long neck, Carnivore or Scavenger)
- those that can be fed by Intelligence
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