Got a group over on Jan 12th for a game of Dominant Species. It’s been a while since it’s hit the table so there was a certain amount of refresher needed. Random draws gave me the Mammals, Mark the Arachnids, Dave the Reptiles, and Jason the Birds.

The first turn was ordinary enough, but the second turn went sideways. Between glaciation and wasteland, the sun elements all disappeared from the board, and Dave had not yet manged to adapt to anything else, so he lost all his species on the board at the end of the turn to extinction. After that, he basically had to restart, and suffered from a deficiency of his ‘fixed’ element for the rest of the game, but actually stayed up with the pack fairly well.

I ended up trading ends of the board, glaciating over the mammal start area, and concentrating (with most everyone else) in a series of wetlands and oceans that developed (the early turns were almost all high-value tiles). I had a nice enclave, had it encroached on, shifted back towards the ice… all the usual patterns. I got some good adaptations that helped; water was fairly abundant, and I was about the only using it for a while.

Jason went for the survival strategy, and after the first couple turns started coming back from a slow start with lots of bonus points from that. I was the first one to try and stop it, but he usually had something to do to keep it from taking. On the other hand, he shot ahead a couple turns from the end, and got everyone’s attention. We had a couple turns of only claiming two or three cards during Domination, so the game went an extra round, and that might have messed up his timing.

We went pretty fast overall, and had a late lunch right before the final turn (which we realized would go long for all the positioning, and we should be well-fed for). Mark and Jason managed a tie on the tundra to negate the Survival card, and my score, which had been faltering recovered a lot of ground with seven dominations on the Ice Age (someone, I think Mark, was in second with six). Final scoring was fairly tense as we went through all the tiles, and Mark ended up winning by a hair: Mark/Arachnids 168, James/Mammals 167, Dave/Reptiles 150, Jason/Birds 138.

End of game. Me = Mammals/white; Mark = Arachnids/red; Dave = Reptiles/black; Jason = Birds/yellow.