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Dominant Species» Forums » General

Subject: Survival Card - Tundra Count Bonus Points - WInner Takes All? rss

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Simon Pearson
United Kingdom
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Some great discussion here. I may have missed this Q previously, or missed it in designer's notes, so apologies if that is the case. I have played this game 25+ times with 12 different players in 3-6 game formats. It is utterly brilliant.

Now that we think we are beginning to understand all the nuances we have just one real Q.

Why is the Survival Card tundra count a "winner takes all" bonus?

Surely, all species that adapt to the oncoming cooler conditions should get some kind of reward rather than just the animal with the most species in tundra. Did the play testers try cascading bonuses in tundra and if so why did they then opt for just one (potentially big) winner. (It may be just that we feel sorry for the second place tundra animal who has often expended much effort only to get zero, short-term, reward).

Any thoughts on this much appreciated.

Thanks Chad
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Luke Stirling
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Trondheim
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If I were to hazard my own speculation it would be the potential for dramatic swings. When a player is competing for the Survival card, the fact that a big point haul can be snatched away makes for a more intense competition. If instead he/she can make do with second place and still walk away with some point for second place survival, then the competition is less intense.

Also, I imagine if there were more points up for grabs with Survival, and those points were more reliable, it would diminish the value of the non-tundra tiles. Domination might end up seeming like more trouble than its worth if instead there were consistent big points to be scored competing for 1st, 2nd, or whatever place on the tundra.
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Robert Stewart
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The current rule makes competing for Survival an interesting decision - sure, if no-one else is going for it, it's easy points, but if someone else is interested in competing for it, then you will both end up investing heavily in it.

If any investment in Survival meant some points, then it would be a no-brainer to put any spare resources into it.

It makes for a more interesting game when there are at least one or two strategies that only pay off when you commit heavily to them, in addition to an assortment of strategies where you can dabble and mix-and-match and still see a solid return.


Also, it's not entirely obvious how to score second-place-for-survival.
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Luke DeWitt
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Highlands Ranch
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I think of it as a small version of the classical Game Theory "Dollar Auction". Is even making a bid for these points worth it, if there is going to be a fight? If so, when does the expenditure of the fight become so prohibitive as to cripple your chance to win the overall game...
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Chadwik
United States
Santa Rosa
California
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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
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Simon, Luke S. answered more or less how I would have (had I woken up earlier and beat him to the punch). Robert and Luke D. also offer valid insight.

How's that for lazy!

Glad you enjoy the game.
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Jack Smith
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I also feel it stops players using the Glaciation action without having to think hard about it. Too many tundra tiles can have a big impact on the game.

Also, at least in our games, it is rare for any player to score too much from it. We simply won't let them which adds to the depth of the game in my opinion.

If it was not all or nothing the decisions would be less important and remove some of the strategy.
 
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