Finally had the gang over today for some gaming. A lot of the initial responses were along the lines of ‘I think I can make it’, and ‘that should be a good day…’, so I suggested Dominant Species which can easily take any number of people we might have show up. (As long as Jason, the owner of the game, made it….)

Once everyone did show up, we did our usual draw for animals. I got the Insects (I seem to get them a lot), Dave got the Arachnids, Mark got the Amphibians, Patch got the Reptiles, and Jason got the Mammals. Jason got off to large lead early, with the rest of us in a tight cluster for the first two turns.


I did okay at first, but quickly ran into a problem that dogged me the entire game: I adapted to take water as well as the native grass, but Mark’s Amphibians ended up adapting to take three grass as well as his native three water, so that any place that I could get dominance, Mark could do it much better. I eventually diversified into meat, but just couldn’t leverage anything. Dave broke from the rest of the pack during turn 3, and eventually overtook Jason. Patch followed around turn 4, and caught up to Jason, who was well behind Dave by that point. Mark and I were still wallowing well behind the others.


Mark (partially due to a rules goof on the first turn) had held the Survival card for the first few turns, but only had species on two tundra tiles, which kept his points low. Patch ended up taking Survival over for the last few turns, which helped power him into the running again.

I had been going the whole game without being able to come up with any real strategy. For the last two turns, I speciated to hit my token max at the very end (though I ended up forgetting to take my final free action), and then doing a late (four item) migration followed up by three competition actions in the hope that I could clear some tiles and claim some dominances by default. However, I just couldn’t do enough, and only got a couple of tiles. Also, I tried to take over Survival, but miscalculated and ended up tied with Patch (I could have prevented that, but I would have only been on two tundra tiles).

Dave ended up in a fairly good position, and had some high-scoring actions over the last two turns, putting him at 110 VP for the end of the game. And then it turned out that Patch ended up at 110 VP, and being higher on the food chain, the game went to him. Jason ended at 97, Mark was at 75, and I was at 52.


This is by far the worst performance I’ve had in this game. I could never get anywhere, or come up with a real idea of what I wanted to do. Interestingly, wanderlust all went off in one direction, filling out one corner, and barely budging anything else. Dave had thought he’d won for a minute (which he hasn’t come close to since our first game), but the tie/win from Patch was a real surprise.