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Subject: Session report: Primordial Soup, first play rss

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Jason Gische
United States
San Carlos
California
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Paul, Jonathan, Ed, and I sat down to learn Primordial Soup this weekend. We read through the rules, and then off we went. Primordial Soup has the distinction of being a very different game than any other I've seen. In the game, each player is a collection of Amoebas drifting in the current, eating, pooping, and mutating. The basic mechanic of the game is very straightforward. On your turn, you move, eat, reproduce, and mutate. That's basically it. The real meat of the game is in the mutation genes which allow players' amoebas to break the rules in some manner. Mutations can let amoebas move further, eat less, attack other amoebas, or a variety of other things. You score points at the end of each turn based on how many amoebas you have, and how many mutations you have. More is better.

Since this was the first playing for all of us, we had little idea of how powerful any of the mutations were. I took a mutation that allowed me to drag food along with me whenever I moved. Paul took Spores, allowing him to reproduce anywhere on the board instead of right next to where his amoebas were. Ed took a mutation that reduced his variety of food requirement. Jonathan went with an aggressive strategy, taking Struggle for Survival, a mutation that let him eat other amoebas for food. In response to Jonathan, the rest of us all chose some defensive mutations that let us stop him, but I think this passivity allowed Jonathan free reign of the board. He was able to play a very aggressive game, and none of us checked him. That let him take an early lead and we never were able to catch him. Paul came in a solid second, and I was able to jump over Ed on the last scoring round to give me the pyrrhic third place victory.
 
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John Richert
United States
Springboro
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Over the first few games, it will appear that Struggle for Survival is the critical gene to have, and is unstoppable. However, you will develop defenses for it. Also, there are several other genes that have emerged as the most powerful after additional play.
 
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