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Bios: Megafauna» Forums » Rules

Subject: Which triangle when placing animals? rss

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Richard Morgan
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This is just about the most confusing game I have played. The rules are terrible!

When placing an animal, how do you know whether it's a carnivore or a herbivore or a rooter? Where do you place the animal? One of the triangles or the square?
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If it's your animal, it's a carnivore/herbivore/rooter based on where you place it--its diet is not inherent. If there's nothing to prey on on the biome you're expanding to, then you can't be a predator, of course. So you'd go on the tile itself if you meet the dietary DNA requirements for the top/only row of DNA listed. You can place on the bottom triangle if there's a bottom row of DNA and you meet its requirements. If there is a species already on the tile or on the bottom triangle, you may place your new marker on the top triangle as long as you have the roadrunner DNA to prey on an existing herbivore.

Think of the biome and the triangles as the food chain. The bottom are the huskers, sticking close to the ground, eating roots and grubs and fallen seeds. The middle are grazers, eating the succulent leaves and insects, etc. the top are the animals that eat the other two!

It really does help immensely to keep your science hat on when you play, setting aside the normal modern gamer cap (or maybe wear the science cap *over* the gamer cap, anyway). If you can think about how the web of life works in real life, you'll find that the rules often follow suit closely, and the game becomes pretty easy to get inside of.
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Christopher Scatliff
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richiebabes wrote:
The rules are terrible!

I disagree.
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Lutz Pietschker
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richiebabes wrote:
The rules are terrible!

I agree.
The way they are written is contrary to just about every rule I ever learned about how to write a manual.
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Steve Carey
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Without getting into a rules argument, the booklet does take a lot of time to absorb (it took me three readings of the Living Rules - and some solo play - to finally comprehend the game), but they do cover all aspects of play. I actually think the Living Rules are well done.

For the OP, a Habitat has 3 positions: the top triangle (Predator), the center Biome tile square (Herbivore), and the bottom triangle (Rooter).

Look at your Biome tiles and see that some have two rows of DNA listed, one on top of the other. So if a Biome tile has B over H, then you can place the animal in the center Biome tile square (if your animal has B DNA) as a Herbivore, or place it in the bottom triangle (if it has H DNA) as a Rooter.

Why is this important? Because of the culling rules - if two animals occupy the same position in the Habitat, one of them will go extinct at the end of the player's turn (per the culling priority list). You are competing not only against animals from other players, but with Immigrants as well.

The exception is a Biome tile that can support Rooters - 2 Predators can occupy the top triangle if there is a Herbivore in the Biome and a Rooter is in the bottom triangle, and they are suitable prey (Roadrunner DNA) for the Predators. So a Rooter Biome can support up to 4 animals under the right conditions.

If a Biome tile just has one line of DNA listed, then it can support 2 animals - a Herbivore (with matching DNA) in the Biome, and then a Predator in the top triangle (if the Herbivore is suitable prey, again per the DNA Roadrunner rules). The Rooter bottom triangle is not used in this case.
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Justus
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PunTheHun wrote:
richiebabes wrote:
The rules are terrible!

I agree.
The way they are written is contrary to just about every rule I ever learned about how to write a manual.


There needs to be more flowcharts and diagrams in the book. I've read decent amount of rules manuals since reading rules to random games is my side hobby to actually playing games. It took me quite a while to go through this one and once you play it its mega easy and flowy.

I haven't written a manual so I can't say HOW to make a good one, but i certainly feel qualified to say it is NOT a good rulebook.

That said, this game has been bouncing in my head ever since playing it, so I think it is an extremely good game, especially as it gets refined with mass playtesting. When I get around to finding or making a flowchart for how the game works is when I'll get around to buying it.
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Bob Bob742
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richiebabes wrote:
The rules are terrible!


No. High Frontier is. (one of my favorite underplayed new games)

After wading through that one, this one is cake.
Still, SMGames' rule books are text heavy.
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