Had another day of FtF fun back on Sunday. Mark and Jason made it over for a four-player (with me and Dave) game of Dominant Species. It’s been a group favorite since it was introduced, so it’s a bit surprising that it took us until now to get it back on the table after the hiatus. But, we’ve been distracted by a couple of new good games, so that’s fine. (I guessed it had been three years since we last played, turns out be closer to two-and-a-half.)

Random draws picked the top of the food chain, Mammals, Reptiles, Birds, and Amphibians. Jason got off to a good start before giving up first to Mark who consistently scored well all day. Dave struggled, despite generally scoring more often through Dominance actions. I spent the first couple turns trying to position myself for the rest of the game. It partially worked, though I was hampered by choosing late on the second turn for speciation, and picking an element that was gone by the time it came up. I hadn’t done it at all on the first turn, so despite being decent with adaptation and being able to dominate in a lot of places, I only had one piece on the board.

Thankfully, that’s not a great hindrance, and I recovered, and then started using the Bird’s movement advantage to get into good real estate late in the game. But, my score remained locked in the cellar. Mark had started with the Survival card before it passed to Jason later. Neither one got much out of it, only existing on one or two tundra tiles. I took it over for the final two turns and started getting a lot more for it. Dave benefited from all three action-granting cards, but the rest of us got one each.

My positioning paid off at the end as I got up to eight dominances on the board, beating everyone else, especially Mark, as well as the survival card. However, one of the remaining cards during scoring would give Dave and Jason new elements and could easily upset my delicate dominance set… and then I realized I could just take Ice Age myself so that the dominance scoring would happen before that.

However, I was still short of species, so I couldn’t really do much in the final tile scoring, since I had not managed to get the full 45 species out. And Mark did well on that, reestablishing a lead that had narrowed quite a bit with Jason and Dave right before the end of game scoring.

Mark finished up the winner at 185 points (that’s probably a new high score for us) as the Reptiles (black), then Dave at 164 as the Mammals (white), I got to 148 as the Birds (yellow), and Jason barely ended up last with 144 as the Amphibians (blue).

Sadly, it took long enough that there wasn’t quite enough time for anything else, which wasn’t a surprise to me. It was a nearly full game for us to start, and only started turning into more of a half-day game as we got practiced, and we’re well of out practice now.