Six of us gathered for our August meeting with the informal plan of splitting up for some shorter games but in the end we pulled out Dominant Species…the full game. I’d brought DS:The Card Game but we opted for the full glory of the board game.
We trudged through a rule refresher and by the second turn I’d realized I’d forgotten a lot from my first play and felt that it was going to be a long haul given that I don’t think my brain was ready to engage at the level necessary to be competitive. There are so many things going on in the game, and it’s difficult to choose wisely for your measly three action pawns (when playing with six). The chaos of the first few cards completely wiped out one player and dealt severe damage to my species.
Clinging on for dear life through the mid-game I found myself fighting many land battles and you know what they say about starting a land war in Asia…. The first few rounds were flush with cow heads leaving the monkey-man strongly positioned for a tundra take over. By game end, very few water or grass tokens were on the board and I ended a distant 4th.
If that doesn’t sound too bad, you’ve got to understand just how distant we ALL were behind the monkey man. I’ve I’m not mistaken he’d lapped us TWICE. Yes, you read that correctly, twice! Nobody could weaken his position on the tundra tiles and in retrospect we should have launched a group effort at dethroning him but we were all too interested in keeping our own little weakling species alive.
I play poorly but I must admit, I still really like the game. I recently picked up a third printing (still in shrink sitting right next to me) and I don’t regret that. The game takes a significant portion of your evening to play (with six it took us four + hours but we play very slowly) so expect to set aside some time to play.