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Dinosaur Island» Forums » Strategy

Subject: Dino Buffet - Long Game rss

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Kevin Barrington
United States
Friendswood
Texas
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I have not played this strategy or enough of the game to know if it is viable, but a friend of mine when I was explaining the game asked if you could just not care about your guests and let the dinosaurs eat them all and still win, play a Stone Age Starvation strategy essentially.

I thought about it a bit and in theory it might be viable assuming the assumption you can't got negative points is true.

The essential plan would be early game only make paddocks and dinosaurs, attempting to get your excitement level as high as possible, all gold you earn is used specifically for buying key Paddocks/DNA/improvements and pushing you towards any end game goals as fast as possible. Each turn your first goal is to get more excitement in the park, you want to get people in take their money and let them get eaten.

Because all of your people are being eaten you don't care about getting room for them at attractions unless you need the attractions for an end game goal or they have VP on them.

Because you score all your points (Dinos, end game goals, attractions, and even money) at the end of the game you are always in last place so you get the best choices on all phases and can help deny players big point plays that don't help you.

The main idea is that this strategy can defeat a balanced strategy if you can time the game length right. If the proper goals are out I think this strategy could easily be the dominate one, but it would require proper testing.

Any thoughts from more experience players of the game, This weekend will be the first time we get to give it a run.

 
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Dustin Crenshaw
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If you have next to no points before end game scoring, I can't possibly see you winning.
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Kevin Marema
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Concentrating on having a ton of dinosaurs is an interesting theory, but I think losing so many points every round to not scoring any visitors would be a pretty large handicap.

I'd be willing to test it out, so we'll see what happens.
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Matt Smith
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Troy
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So far in my limited plays, a balanced strategy has led to about 40% of my points coming from visitors during the game, and 60% from Objectives and other end-game points. If you assume 40% = ~40 points (100 point long game score), that means I'd have to get at least 40 more points from end game scoring than anybody else. At first glance that seems pretty unlikely. But if you can dominate the Objectives and make mostly large carnivores, you may have a shot. By no means do I think it would dominate, though. Making high-VP dinos requires more DNA, more money for paddocks, and is easy to block (e.g. you can't take both the good DNA die and the large carnivore with your first Research action).

This is all speculation, but would be interesting to see if someone can pull off a win with this strategy, or how close they come to winning.
 
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Kevin Barrington
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Friendswood
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With the strategy you will be able to pick first in the research phase each round, and in theory you only need a new Carnivore every few rounds due to paddock increasing giving you room for more dinosaurs.

I hope to get a good game in this weekend and see how it goes. It is a crazy approach, it is hard to judge how things will go without getting a few plays in.

I could see depending on end game objectives this being very strong, you could beat everyone to things such as 20 excitement pretty easily. Though if the wrong objectives are out I feel this might not do well as it has to focus on hitting those to make sure the game ends before others balanced parks are getting too big.
 
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Jerome Nowak
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I leaned into this strategy during my first play. It did not go well at all.
 
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Ottevaere Wouter
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Playing this way (receiving income from as much as possible visitors who will all be eaten, for maximizing your dino number), is theoretically a way of winning the game by means of fast and effectively scoring victory point. As already written here above, not every game will be made (by the objectives) for this strategy.
But is this meant to be played this way? It's thematically and gamewise a lame strategy to win...
And this was not foreseen by the game developers, I presume, therefor there is no solution or ruleset to counter this strategy.

One could simply 'houserule' and thereby counter this strategy, by these changes in the rules:
(1) players cannot have 'negative' VP's: losing all it's VP's = dropping out of the game (company's failure and bankruptcy). Game developers already gave 10 VP's to start, which gives the opportunity to loose some points, but it's not meant to be lost all, I guess;
(2) the loss of visitors can be cumulative: instead of loosing just one point per visitor eaten, one could raise each loss: one visitor lost = -1 VP, second visitor lost = -2 VP, third visitor lost = -3 VP, etc...
 
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JonnyRotten
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Play the game however you would like! We want you to enjoy it!

In our opinion, player elimination is bad.

I know from playtesting data the strategy isn't dominant. It's strong, but we want all strategies to be viable.

Wout wrote:
Playing this way (receiving income from as much as possible visitors who will all be eaten, for maximizing your dino number), is theoretically a way of winning the game by means of fast and effectively scoring victory point. As already written here above, not every game will be made (by the objectives) for this strategy.
But is this meant to be played this way? It's thematically and gamewise a lame strategy to win...
And this was not foreseen by the game developers, I presume, therefor there is no solution or ruleset to counter this strategy.

One could simply 'houserule' and thereby counter this strategy, by these changes in the rules:
(1) players cannot have 'negative' VP's: losing all it's VP's = dropping out of the game (company's failure and bankruptcy). Game developers already gave 10 VP's to start, which gives the opportunity to loose some points, but it's not meant to be lost all, I guess;
(2) the loss of visitors can be cumulative: instead of loosing just one point per visitor eaten, one could raise each loss: one visitor lost = -1 VP, second visitor lost = -2 VP, third visitor lost = -3 VP, etc...
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Ottevaere Wouter
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jgilmour wrote:
Play the game however you would like! We want you to enjoy it!

In our opinion, player elimination is bad.


I agree because I do not like player elimination also. But what I suggested is meant to prevent player elimination. Losing points could eliminate a player from the game (by reaching negative points). Therefor players will prevent this by claiming enough VP's (and then preventing the mentioned strategy).

And it was just a suggestion for those players who dislike the 'eaten visitors' strategy...

By the way: great & fun game, lovely components!
 
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Pandasaurus Games
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This used to be a really winning strategy for the game about 9 months before it came out. I specifically tested for the 'let them eat visitors" strategy and Jon and Brian did a good job of breaking it.

Which is not to say it's a totally non-viable strategy in moderation. But the extreme form of never upgrading security and getting lots of guests eaten is not impossible to win with but unlikely.
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Tim Rivera
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Can you go negative?
 
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Jeremiah
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bannedtim wrote:
Can you go negative?


Yes. This is answered in the FAQ: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1900266/dinosaur-island-faq
 
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