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Subject: Perfect Genes? rss

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(Another Struggle+Holding vs Escape discussion)

Playing three player Primordial Soup the other day, one of my friends seemed to have gotten a perfect combination of genes. There didn't seem to be much in the way of weakness.

He had Streamline + Movement II + Escape + Speed

So every turn he could go anywhere he wanted, for free, and up to 2 squares away. He could also do that anytime he was attacked, still for free.

One of the other players had Holding, Struggle for Survival and Persistence, +others.
I'd high hopes that she would be able to use these to bring him down, but we realised it was useless.

We had thought that she'd be able to overpower him thus:

1. She attacks with Struggle
2. He Escapes
3. She follows using Holding
4. She either clobbers him since he did not manage to escape her, or clobbers him with her Persistance and Struggle

BUT THE REALITY (based on FAQs and rules)
1. She attacks with Struggle (costing her 1 BP)
2. He Escapes (for free, to anywhere 2 squares away)
... since he has successfully left the square the Struggle was enacted in, that Struggle has failed ...
3. She follows using Holding
4. She can attack again with Struggle (cost 1 BP [err*]), since she has Persistance
5. He Escapes again (for free again, to a location of his choice 2 away)
... which means the second Struggle failed ...
6. She could follow again if she liked, but she wouldn't get to attack again.

NOTE:
* If he didn't have Streamline, he would have to be spending up to 2 BP to Escape twice, but since he does have it, he spends nothing during this whole operation and a foolish attacker could spend up to 2 BP. (Oops just noticed that Persistence gives the second attack for free, so only 1BP)

* If he didn't have Movement II, his attempt to Escape the square he was attacked in could fail with an unlucky dice roll that returned him to the same square, but his Escape is always successful

* Sure he could use the tactic of towing the "Holding" attacker into a square containing enough food for her to eat, but there's no need as he's already safe from her attacks.

As a result, these fast moving amoebas feared no attacks and could move widely in search of nutrients. The only time they needed to spend BP was to create offspring or pay for "Gene Defects" damage.

Is there a good tactic to disable this combination, or to use it as a stepping stone to for your own family of amoeba? Yes I understand a good tactic is not to let the player complete that set!laugh

Holding and Parasitism could be good, but not available in 3 player.

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Eric Clason
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First, Streamline + Movement II + Escape + Speed, is a great combo. However you don’t need to disable a great combo to beat it. Other ways to beat a great combo include:

-Build your own great combo. An example of a possible great combo is: Tentacles + Substitution + Division Rate + Armor. Tentacles + Substitution mean your amoebas will seldom starve. And with Division Rate, those amoebas that do can be replace cheaply. Plus Division Rate allows you to build amoebas faster. I wouldn’t buy Armor until someone else has Struggle for Survival, but it is a perfect defense.

-Score more points early. Streamline + Movement II + Escape + Speed is probably going to take 5 or 6 turns (unless amoeba production is slowed) so it is only going to be in it’s full glory for 2 or 3 turns. You may be able to score more points early, even if your final combo is not quite as good.

A note on Struggle for Survival (SfS): In my experience, SfS only provides an advantage to the owning player for 1 or 2 turn, until the other players buy genes to counter it. Expecting SfS to provide a permanent advantage is expecting more than the gene was designed to or can deliver.

Edit: If you want more genes that allow for attack (like SfS and Parastism) get Freshly Spiced, it includes several of them.
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Hmmm ... some good suggestions, and I guess a reminder that you don't need to be in direct competition with other players, just do better!

I thought I'd read that Freshly Spiced wasn't very good. Is that not true?
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Eric Clason
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Rainbow Snake wrote:
...
I thought I'd read that Freshly Spiced wasn't very good. Is that not true?


Freshly Spiced has 2 parts: allows for 5 or 6 players and new genes.

I find 5 player 'Soup works well and isn't much slower than 4 player. 6 player 'Soup can be slow, I think because amoebas eat 4 colors of food, so there is often a choice of which color not to eat, which can slow the game down.

I only play with the new genes if everyone has played 'Soup before. The genes in the base game are enough for newbies to think about. The new genes are more of what is already there. If you like this kind of expansion, then you'll probably like 'Spiced. If you are looking for an expansion that changes the game a lot, 'Spiced may be disappointing.
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Clay Berry
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I find that in a 3 player game, Movement I + Streamline is indeed powerful. First, you don’t even need Movement II because that costs more and with 1 drift option or 2 dice, you’ll probably be safe anyway. Add Speed and/or Escape if food is tight or people are attacking. This is all powerful in 3 player because Parasitism (and a couple others) is not available.

As mentioned, one idea is to not let this player add on. It would be almost impossible to block Streamline + Movement I if Streamline is bought first since there are 2 Movement I available. You might be able to prevent this player adding Speed and/or Escape though but then you’re not necessarily adding to your strategy.
 
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