Posts Tagged 'Dominant Species'

Weekend Gaming: Domination in July

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.  We spent most of Friday just hanging around the house and playing outside.  Saturday, we went to the parade and then spent the afternoon at the lake before heading to Phil and Dana’s for grilling.  The kids loved it and the food was great.  We finished the night with some fireworks and then bedtime.  We opted to skip the big fireworks show because the weather was turning sour and everyone was dead tired.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen on Sunday, Gina decided that she was in the mood for a longer game and invited Kevin, Joe and Phil over for Dominant Species.  Joe was the reptiles, Kevin – the birds, Phil – the amphibians, Gina – the arachnids, and I – the insects.  Early on, I tried to worked to push the glaciation away from my area towards Phil and Gina.  Those two were duking it out early, and because I ended up not taking a card, it allowed Phil to take a card that removed the elements that Gina needed to survive in her area.  That caused an extinction of her existing species.  She was able to come back on the other side of the board on the next turn, though.

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I had just to an early lead, but Kevin had control of the tundra and was scoring survival points, while Joe was amassing points by dominating with lots of species on the board.  Three turns before the end, Phil had to leave, and Dana took his place.  She ended up teaming up with Gina to attack Joe and I.  I ended up getting wiped out in the upper right of the board.  I had made moves into the left side of the board, though, and started dominating the tiles away from Joe.

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By the end, Joe had taken a substantial lead, and Kevin had a large influence in the tundra and was dominating plenty of tiles.  I was able to adapt to and control the entire upper left of the board, and then damage Kevin’s position in the tundra slightly.  I scored 45 points with the Ice Age card, launching me into the lead.  Then in final scoring, Joe and Kevin came close, but I managed to finish in first place.

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Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Busy Labor Day

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day!

We spent all day Saturday painting our house with the help of our friends and family.  It was a lot of fun, and things got done very quickly.

Following all that Gina called it a night early, while Joe, Kevin, Phil and I played games.  We started out with Railways of the Western US.  The game started with three service bounties and two hotels available, but even with only four people I did not take any of them.  Hotel Denver wasn’t available by my turn, and the only Service Bounty was for Bismarck, which didn’t have an easy delivery.  I ended up taking Government Land Grants and using them to build my tracks.  I took control of the North Western area, but really wasn’t able to maximize the deliveries until too late in the game.

Kevin spent a bunch of bonds, but started off quickly with service bounties and major lines in the lower right portion of the board, but the debt was too much.  Phil was working around Denver early, but then took on the task of connecting San Francisco to Omaha.  Joe Had control of the West coast, and though he started slower, he was able to get the train upgrades needed to really ship a lot up and down the coast.

I managed to finish the game with only four debt, but I hadn’t been making many points so I still ended up in last place.  Kevin was close to Joe, but the his debt did him in.  Joe’s deliveries had carried him to the win.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe then broke out Ginkopolis for a quick break.  I managed to win with 60 points by focusing on the construction.  I had bonuses that propelled things and I was able to take control of two larger areas, much to Kevin’s chagrin.  He was urbanizing a bunch and had a solid grip on a huge red area until Phil split it.

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We finished the evening with Dominant Species.  I was playing as the reptiles, Kevin had the birds, Joe the arachnids and Phil was the insects.  I was pushing for dominance through heavy adaptation, but about halfway through the game, Joe ended up with the same adaptations as I had, negating my dominance.  Phil managed to take control of the tundra early, and scored a bunch of points before the rest of us realized what was happening.  Kevin moved in to kick Phil out, but it was too little too late.  Phil had spread all over by that point and was scoring a bunch of point in dominance as well.

I did manage to score 45 points from dominance with nine tiles at the end, but it wasn’t enough to catch Phil.  Kevin and I tied, and Joe brought up the rear.

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After a busy Saturday, Sunday was definitely a day of rest.  We did get together with Phil and Kevin, though and started the night with Caylus.  I wanted to focus heavily on building, but Phil ended up doing the same thing.  This resulted in a ton of building built early.  The Lawyer wasn’t built until after the gold space, so there wasn’t any civilian builds for most of the game.

Once I realized that the building strategy wasn’t going to work very well, I started just gathering as many resources as possible to assist in the building of the castle.  Kevin and Gina had supplied a little, but no one was heavily focused.  I was able to out supply Kevin on most turns and earned enough favor to help continue my supplies.  Kevin did manage to build a prestige building for 16 points, but I had supplied enough to hold the lead.

The game was accelerating quickly, since there were so many building past the Bailiff, the Provost was constantly out in front.  Without that speed, I don’t think I would have been able to sustain  the lead, and Kevin would likely have been able to catch up with buildings.  The game did end quickly, and I held the lead by a few points.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe finished the night with Terra Mystica.  I was playing the Witches, Phil the Darklings, Joe the Giants, Gina the Morbanks, and Kevin the Halflings.  Everyone started off crammed into the middle and a lot of us went for strongholds early for the first turn bonus.  I was also able to pop out a couple dwellings and a bridge, costing me a large chunk of my power.  After turn two, though, I wasn’t feeling good about the game, as Joe and Kevin had kind of blocked me in in the center, and Phil was getting in the way in the lower right.  I didn’t think I was going to get much going at that point.

I stayed the course, though.  I built a Sanctuary on round three to get my first town and took the favor lowering the requirement for towns from 7 to 6.  I was then able to easily build a town in the lower right on the following turn.  That really changed everything.  I had the income and had enough time left to build a third town in the upper right.  I was also able to fully develop my shipping to connect my empire and tied Joe for first.

At the end, I held one of the cult, and was in second in two others.  Kevin had similar position and we were neck and neck all game.  The points for my empire were the difference maker, and I ended up beating Kevin by three points.

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Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Exploring, Extinction and Estates

Ryan, Joe, Dana, Louis and Kevin joined us Saturday evening for some games.  The girls spent the early portion of the night chatting, so the rest of us played some Navegador.  I was going second and I wanted to try a heavy exploration strategy.  I spent my first action on buying two more boats, so I missed out on the early exploration  but I was able to position myself to get moving soon.

Kevin was sailing quickly as well, trying to get out of the sugar/gold areas and into more profitable spice regions.  Joe decided to hit the Privileges early, and spread his resources around a bit.  The sugar colonies were monopolized by Louis, while Ryan was focused on Factories.

Because of Kevin’s sailing, he and I were splitting the exploration duties.  I was able to get enough money to buy a Shipyard after picking up a cheap spice colony, so I was able to keep building boats cheaply.  This allowed me to keep the pressure on and race to Nagasaki to end the game.  I wasn’t fast enough, though, as Louis had managed to get quite a bit of cash from his sugar colonies and turned that into a few churches.  Those along with the corresponding privileges pushed him into the lead.  I took second with Kevin right behind.

Dana took off at that point, and Gina joined us for a game of Dominant Species: The Card Game.  I had a good position in the first round, and dueled with Ryan for the first survival point.  Sadly I failed to count his food chain bonuses correctly and didn’t play a card that would have bumped me into the lead.  I ended up only winning three points for elements, but that was it.  That trend would continue for me all game.

Kevin and Louis managed to pull away with the early lead, with Kevin getting the majority of the Survival points.  The last round came down to Kevin vs. Louis for food chain, and Gina messed things up for Kevin by playing a Solar Flare that ended the round before he was ready.  This handed Louis the round.  Following the final Survival bonus, Kevin and Louis were tied for the lead.  Kevin had more cards remaining, though, so he took the win.

It was getting late, so Ryan and Joe had to run.  Kevin and Louis stuck around, though, and we played a game of Castles of Burgundy.  We were all playing the started layouts, since Kevin and Louis hadn’t played before.  I started off focused on buildings and pigs.  I was able to pick up three pastures with pigs in the first round and jumped to an early lead.

That lead deteriorated quickly, though, as Gina was hitting the boats hard, and Kevin and Louis were both able to fill in some areas early.  Kevin was able to get the bonuses for filling in all of his Mines and Castles early.  I was close on both of those as well, and ended up in second.  I was trying to finish off all of my cities, but Louis snuck in and finished before I could, so ended up in second there as well.  I was in second for my animals, as well, but filled the big area with nothing but pigs for a big gain.  The only one I took first in was the knowledge.

At the end of the game, the only spots empty in my estate were the boats, and I had a bunch of end game bonuses that kept me ahead for the win.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Netrunner and More

On Friday night, I taught Gina how to play Android: Netrunner.  She was running the Shaper runner deck and I was running Jinteki for the corp.  The first game went terribly for me.  I unluckily had four agendas in my opening hand even after a mulligan.  Luckily she didn’t run on my hand, but by some freak of luck, the top card of my deck was an agenda every time she ran on it, and I just couldn’t stop her.

The second game was going better for me, but eventually she was able to get into my deck and again got agendas right off the top.  In the third game, I was finally able to setup a reliable defense, and then when she ran on an agenda using her last click I was able to tag her.  Because she was tagged, I could us my Personal Defense Force agenda and flatlined her for the win.

On Saturday, Jaime, Joe, Kevin and Louis came over for games.  We started out with Dominant Species: The Card Game.  Jaime and I started off terribly.  I just couldn’t get anything going and each time I had the cards to get some points from the elements, I would get knocked out of contention.  Kevin picked up a bunch of points from Food-chain points and managed to lead the way in Survival points.  Gina was a close second, but without the Survival points she just wasn’t able to catch Kevin.

We finished up the night with Navegador.  I started the game with the intent to run a fast exploration strategy.  After Joe bought more ships on the first round, though, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with him.  I decided to switch strategies to colonies, and positioned myself with enough workers to buy two each time.  I then followed Joe and Gina as the explored and bought up colonies along the way.  No one else seemed real interested in them, so I was able to pick up 16 of them by the end.

Louis was hitting the workers and then buying up Churches with maxed out privileges for them, so I was definitely worried about his score.  I was able to push my workers up to six and bought the last Church before Louis could.  The biggest help to my game was that Louis was making all of his money by processing Spice just before my action, which then allowed me to Produce spice for a massive payoff.  At one point I received 1000 cruzados for a single market action.

Eventually, I triggered the end of the game by buying up the last two factories rather than let the game continue a few more action before Joe or Gina were able to explore Nagasaki.  In the end, the 64 points from my Colonies was enough to get the win.  Louis was very close, after picking up 45 points for his Churches, and ending up about 15 points behind me.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Dominance

Friday started off with Gina and I playing some Agricola.  My first hand had the Community Well, Water Carrier, Well Builder and a few other cards that would put food onto future rounds.  I was able to get the Well built in round 5, and then it was off to the races.  There was tons of food on each round, and there was only one turn where I needed to worry about food, which was taken care of by a big fishing trip.  By the end, I had points on every one of my improvements and a strong farm for a nice 52 points.

The second game started off well and I was heading for a decent grain strategy.  I had left myself open, needing a grain to get things moving, but Gina got there first.  I had to take Beggars that turn.  I ended up picking up veggies and some animals, but it wasn’t the best.  I ended up losing to Gina by a point.

At that point we decided to play Castles of Burgundy, and Joe happened to call just as we were setting up.  Gina started off very strongly by completing a bunch of small areas early.  I was slowly building up my area, but nothing terribly focused.  In the second phase, I grabbed the bonus for each different type of shipped goods and later the one for each trading post.  I was also able to snatch the knowledge that would let me build multiple of the same buildings in a city, since I only had two big cities with two single hex cities.

I was eventually able to catch up, but I didn’t think I had much chance of winning it.  Gina had a big lead, but not much for bonuses, and Joe had both a good score and some bonuses.  When the final score was tallied though, I was able to just edge out the both of them with my bonuses.

Then on Saturday, Ryan, Jaime, Joe and Kevin joined us, and Louis showed up part way through the first game.  We started with Eminant Domain with Ryan, Kevin, Gina and I.  Gina was pushing heavy Warfare, Kevin was doing Technology, Ryan was mixing some Tech and Trade, and I was going heavy into Survey and Colonies.  I was able to grab two Improved Colonizations and followed Survey every chance I got to pick up ten different planets.  I then was able to use Improved Colonize twice to colonize four planets.  I ended up with 25 points overall for the win.

We finished up the night with a big game of Dominant Species with Joe as the birds, Louis the Arachnids, Kevin the Mammals, Gina the Amphibians and I the Insects.  I started off the game by forcing the Amphibians extinct after removing the elements from their tile.  This also got rid of the Arachnids on that tile and gave me dominance.  The glaciation was mostly controlled by Gina and was mostly pushing away from me.

The Amphibians did come back on the other side of the ice from me, and I was able to spread out pretty well uncontested.  Grass was coming up on the abundance action multiple times and I was able to populate my area with a bunch of it.  Things were going well; that is, until the birds appeared.

Joe was having trouble, as the seed elements had pretty much been wiped off the board and nothing new was coming up.  He eventually was able to adapt and then proceeded to fly across the ice to attack me.  He did some damage, but not enough.  I was able to repopulate, while Joe continued to attack everyone.

Through this whole thing, Gina and Louis had been able to strengthen their positions on the bottom and left of the board.  Gina had come back strong and was picking up Domination points all over the place along with some Survival points.  Kevin was lagging behind a bit, but not too far back.

By the time the Ice Age happened, I had dominance on eight areas with only Joe in the area to get domination points.  I was a ways back from Gina and Louis, though.  I picked up 36 points from the Ice Age and then the final score pushed me into the win.  It was a pretty close game for most of us, and a lot of fun.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Prehistory

On Friday my wife and I decided to play a few games.  We started off with Power Grid: First Sparks.  The two-player game of First Sparks is a little different from the standard.  There are a few technologies removed and a 3rd “neutral” clan is controlled by whoever is in last place.

In our game, I picked up the Fire knowledge on the first turn and I was trying to us it to its fullest potential.  I was able to build slowly, always staying just behind Gina so I usually had control of the neutral clan.  I was also able to position myself just right on bear hunting grounds so by the last turn the bears were being refilled just enough so that I could sustain gathering 2 bears a turn with a low level bow.  On the last turn, I had saved up enough food to place 5 new clan members, which launched me from 9 to 14.  Gina was close behind, but she only had enough to place 3, which put her at 13.  A good close game, and it was interesting to see how the Fire strategy could work.

End game - Red (me), Green (Gina), White (neutral)

Next was Thurn and Taxis.  I was able to get Lodz and Pilsen early, but then couldn’t find anything in the green or blue regions for a long time, so Gina beat me to the All Regions points.  I was able to get all of grey in one fell swoop after digging through the deck to find Augsburg.  That combined with a big 7 route to end the game pushed me to the win.  Sadly I forgot to take a picture, though.

Saturday evening, Kevin, Joe, Phil and Louis joined us for Dominant Species.  This turned out to be a pretty epic game.  I was playing the mammals, and took a pretty sizable lead by being dominant in the lower right.  This was helped by very few meat elements being available for Adaptation.  Louis (playing reptiles) ended up going completely extinct when all of the Sun elements were removed from the board.  He ended up coming back strong, though with some nice end game Domination points.  I was able to maintain my lead by getting a lot of first or second place points on tiles where other species dominated, but I was dwindling toward the end.

On the last turn, I made a burst in the upper right by speciating and wanderlusting twice.  This gave me a couple locations where I was able to dominate and hold for points.  Gina (birds) was able to migrate all over the place, but ended up losing all of her domination to Joe or Louis (insects).  In the end, Louis put up 21 points through domination and both he and Gina got a bunch of points from the final scoring.  It wasn’t quite enough, though, and I ended up winning by a single point.

Dominant Species - Me (White), Gina (Blue), Louis (Black), Kevin (Green), Phil (Yellow), Joe (Red)

A great weekend of games with an interesting game of Dominant Species to finish it up.  Much better than the blowouts we’ve had in the past.

Until next time, happy gaming!

Weekend Gaming: Dominant Species

On Saturday evening, Ryan, Kevin, Sean, and Phil joined us for games, and I broke out Dominant Species.  It was only our third time playing it, and we had to explain the game to Phil and Sean.  Because of this, the game dragged on quite a bit longer than expected.  I was able to take control of the upper portion of the map, due in part because Kevin had placed tundras through the center of the board.  That cut me off from the majority of the action taking place in the lower part of the map.  Phil and Sean were doing well in the South, while I initially held the tundra and then eventually moved into the North.  In the end, I was able to take sole position and dominance in my territories and scored a big chunk of end game points, putting me in the lead.

I really enjoy the game, but while things are quite interesting with 6 players, the length of the game gets a bit too long (we took about 4 hours).  I’m sure that if everyone knew what they were doing it would flow a bit more smoothly, but there was a fair bit of Analysis Paralysis going on.  I think the game is probably best suited for four or five player groups.

Until next time, happy gaming.


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