Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Blight is a harsh mistress (Dominant Species)

We finally played a full game of Dominant species last week.

I played the insects, Kozure the mammals and Shemp the reptiles. In our two previous games, "Blight" came early and in all three cases I grabbed it to make sure no one could use it on me. Unfortunately for Shemp, he was the recipient this time and it was difficult for him to recover the loss of sun tokens on the board. For my part, the land was awash in grass tokens so it was comparatively easy for the insects to assert their dominance in many regions (what's more was that the grass tokens where mostly aquired through Wanderlusts I was able to associate with water and wetland hexes). Lady luck was shining on bugdom that day and I won. Kozure was right behind and Shemp... well Shemp didn't get lapped, so that's a kind of victory, isn't it?

Every game i've played so far i've felt compelled to go for tundra dominance. It's so obviously a huge source of points. Also, if you have at least a single dominant tile, it's almost a requirement to place on the Dominance track to scoop up first choice in cards... There always seems to be a hugely powerful card available. It's nice that each player gets so many actions, though, because it allows room for important and less important actions to take place.

One thing: I didn't really feel that playing the full game was an improvement. The way points scale means that the value of the tundra scoring gets too high, and the endgame bonus for majorities is overpowered (and somewhat redundant... What are the odds that the player with the most majorities isn't a already the player that will win?). I think my favorite was playing to 5 fewer cards. I might also suggest eliminating Blight and a few other particularly crippling cards.


  1. In 2 of my 3 games of Dominant Species I played (2 player mammals vs spiders and 5 players, with no mammals)I ended up barely losing a solid lead due to the endgame bonus distributions. (For the record I won the other game (another 2-player))

  2. Hi Jay!

    Congrats on getting into Fighting Formations, by the way!

    Re: endgame bonuses... either our groupthink is preventing us from seeing ways of stopping you from getting that tundra bonus, or you're simply unstoppable at area influence Euros.

    Yes, it's probably the latter, but it sure was disheartening seeing you pull further and further away in that last couple of rounds.

  3. Also, I am extremely amused that this is the fourth entry to use "harsh mistress/es" as a tag.