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Subject: Can Anything Beat Fat Tissue and Burrowing? rss

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Joe McSteve
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I played a 5-player game of Evolution recently. I had a large, pack-hunting carnivore, but several other players had fat-tissue/burrowing herbivores who would just suck up tons of food and were unattackable. I tried to feed in negative food cards, but they would feed in positive ones to counter it, and they just sat there and munched away on their own fat while I slowly died. I tried to adapt by changing into an herbivore, but they were too far ahead of me after 2-3 turns that I couldn't catch up.

However, I've only played Evolution about 5 times. Can any more experienced players prove me wrong that fat tissue/burrowing is unbeatable?
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more ON
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In a reasonably high food environment like that, fast eating omnivores (using cooperation and foraging together - to eat out of the watering hole fast) will be cheaper to make because of no body size investment, and will eat a greater share of the food. If this eventually removes all the extra food, you can supplement with intelligence after cleaning up the watering hole.

In an excessive food environment, just high population will be able to consume more food than the safer (in this case, specifically safer as in food-security because they have fat tissue and won't be starved immediately) but lesser population species.

A carnivore that has managed not to invest in body size can use pack hunting and intelligence to eat the fat tissue / burrowing omnivores reasonably efficiently because of their high body size. This efficiency will be better if there is some more food gained with scavenging species as well.

Note that because you have multiple species you can mix and match these and also change over time.

I've played this game a lot and I've won in many different ways. I've had a dominant carnivore from turn 1. I've used long neck/intelligence while keeping the watering hole food minimized. I've flooded the watering hole and leveraged having more population. I've injected new devestating mid-late game carnivores to ruin other players end-of-game scoring potential. I've replaced carnivores with traits to speed eating from the watering hole and starved everyone. I've used fast-eating from the watering hole and good predictions of what value food would be played. I've done absolutely nothing while waiting for other players to show their hands so I can react. I've exploited other carnivores with scavengers.

There are so many ways to win Evolution, but it depends on the game. You need to adapt to the cards you are dealt and how the other players play. I believe that there are no dominant specific scripted strategies, but there are dominant players who are better at predicting their opponents and manipulating the entire ecosystem to their advantage.

One last thing, rereading your post, I noticed that you spent several rounds trying to keep something working. Reacting quickly wins Evolution. Ideally accurate predictive reaction. Trying to keep doing something that just isn't working in the current game state is going to make the game slip away from you, and I think that's completely reasonable - making poor choices should have consequences and continuing to make those same poor choices continually will be very punishing. That's fair, choices made all through the game should matter.
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Tomer Mlynarsky
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You could get intelligence
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Robert Ahearne
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Intelligence definitely would help, but moreOn is on-target - you've got to adapt quickly in this game (um, it's Evolution ).

In our games, we've found that it is tough to win playing Carnivores. Satisfying, but tough. (And if you win playing a *flying* Carnivore, my hat's off to you.)

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Joe McSteve
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moreON wrote:
One last thing, rereading your post, I noticed that you spent several rounds trying to keep something working. Reacting quickly wins Evolution. Ideally accurate predictive reaction. Trying to keep doing something that just isn't working in the current game state is going to make the game slip away from you, and I think that's completely reasonable - making poor choices should have consequences and continuing to make those same poor choices continually will be very punishing. That's fair, choices made all through the game should matter.


Excellent answer. The Intelligence card was what I was looking for, and I humbly submit to all of your experience! (After all, I've played 5 times, and did not play via the theme of the game, namely adapting and evolving, thus going extinct and losing.) Ahh... poetic justice.
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