1000 chit stare

I’m sure if I dropped this box and all the pieces fell out, I would be left with a pile as high as Pork Chop Hill.  Heck, the box hasn’t been able to shut completely because I can’t M*A*S*H them all in there.

And that’s the end of my Korean War movie knowledge, so I’ll stop the jokes there.

But seriously, there is a ton of crap in this box.  Fields of Fire covers the lives of the 9th US Infantry from WWII through Vietnam.  Because of such a wide scope, you have chits for German Infantry, NK forces, NVA forces, Tanks, Helicopters, Engineers, ammunition, spotters, weather, command lines, communication lines, casualties, buildings, trenches, bunkers and maybe even a chit for the chits that were in one soldier’s pocket one time.

That’s a lot of chit.


Yes, I realize I could get a tray and separate everything nicely, and get tuckboxes for the cards and sort everything so nicely.  I’m just not one of those guys.

But luckily all ya’ll who cringe at seeing messy chits and unclipped counters will not have to worry for I will be using Vassal to play out this mission, so anything that looks ugly can be blamed on the programmer.  Hrumph.

So as I start setting up the mission, I’m noticing that Mission 2 is a Combat Patrol.  These are the least liked style of Mission in the game due to the vaguest rules, the most repetitive of play and the longest of play time.


I may have to pop open those 2nd edition rules to make sure I do this right since I kind of hand waved most of the Patrols to get them out of the way as quickly as possible.  Ah well.  Anyway, here’s the Company I will be commanding as we patrol the Naktong Line in August of 1950.

1st Platoon

Okay, it looks a bit dry.  And obviously I forgot to type out the Ammo for 3rd Platoon.  The important bits are the experience levels for the various squads.  There are three levels: Green (they stink!), Line (Meh), and Vet (Finally worth a damn).  From the first mission quite a few of the higher ups were promoted to Vet status, while some of the lower ranks were killed and replaced with Green squads.  But there’s a sprinkling of Vets in there, too, so I hope the goods outweigh the bad.

But you’ll notice that’s 28 squads under my command.  The squad can be from 3 to a dozen people.  This is a BIG game.  Oh, and before each mission, Command sends you a few extra people to help out.


That’s some Forward Observers for Mortar and Artillery as well as some Heavy Machine Guns and Recoiless guns in case we meet heavy resistance.

So what does all this look like graphically?


Chitty chitty bang bang!

And that’s not even counting radios, ammo, flares, rocket grenades and the like.  Overwhelmed yet?  Now you see why many people buy this game and leave it in the shrinkwrap.  But don’t worry, it gets better.  I just have a lot of typing ahead of me.  So let’s see what our Mission Details are:

Type: Combat Patrols (dangit)

Duration: 8 (how many turns we play)

Visibility: Moon: +2 (It’s dark out, so every combat has a +2 defense modifier)

Map: 8 columns by 4 rows (the terrain is made up of cards, so it looks like this):


This map is kind of large and wide.  Unusual, to be honest.  It also looks more confusing than normal because when you have hills, you must deal another card on top of the Hill card and offset it slightly to show the terrain is on a higher elevation.  Unfortunately Vassal doesn’t really let you offset ever so slightly, so you have to offset a LOT in order for the cards to not automatically stack themselves on top of each other.  That’s why there are squares that look like this:


That is a Hill with a Hill on top of it which has an Embankment on top of that.  It would only look a bit wider than normal on a table, but I had to do this ridiculous layout in order to get it to work with Vassal.  If anyone knows a better way, let me know.

Okay, there’s our maps.  Further Mission Parameters:

US Start: Start on Rows 1 or 2

Attempts: You must attempt the mission once with each platoon.

Mission Goal: You must move the platoon selected to the Primary Objective in Row 4 and return it to Row 2.  You must choose the route, marking it with Route Points.  You do not have to clear the route or objective, just move to it and return.  The select platoon is the only unit that you may move beyond Row 1.

Initial Placements: Place the Primary Objective on any card of your choice in Row 4.  You may place up to 2 Foxholes per friendly-occupied card in Rows 1 or 2.  You may place a Target Marker on any card per (rules stuff).

Historical Opponents: 9th NKPA Division

So, in order to win, I need to send Platoon 1, 2 and then 3 (though really I can go in any order) on a nightly patrol on a specific route.  So, as a for instance.  I can send 1st Platoon from this embankment:


Up the hill to another embankment to look down onto the nearby village.


From there into a gully near the frontline to check for any enemy movement.


And then return home.

Not a huge path for a huge map, amirite?  Well, yes.  I could have them march ALL along the line for 8 cards if I wanted to.  Why would I want to?  Experience points.  Sweet, sweet experience so I could make all my troops Veterans and become all-mighty!

Or dead.  All-mighty or dead.

That’s the trade off.  I could walk 2 cards, or 16.  I chose 3.  It’ll be quick and (probably) easy.  But we’ll still see some action, so no worries from an entertainment standpoint.  Those “Potential Contact ?” counters show all the times that we might get attacked, so there’s three separate chances that bullets will begin to fly (or mortars, or rockets or whatever), so don’t worry, there will be blood.

But sadly, that will have to wait.  I should probably do some work today.  Tomorrow we’ll work on “PYRO!” MWUHHAHAHAHAHAH!

(Actually not as much fun as it sounds)


TWENTY-One. TWENTY-One cares.

Of the 17 people who seem to be subscribed to the blog and felt like it, we got one response to my question.
Of course, if I could have put up a poll where you just clicked on a thing rather than having to log in and type things and try to sound smart on the internet, I’m sure I would have gotten more…but c’est la vie.

EDIT: So now I’ve taken the time to look at the old poll link.  TWENTY ONE people voted on it!  I didn’t think that would happen!  Luckily it still makes the rest of this post relevant.


So it looks like I shall do a very wordy playthrough of Fields of Fire.

Hoooo boy.

Fields of Fire is a ’10’ for me. The stories it creates are some of my most memorable. The game is designed to make you feel like a commander of three squads of troops, and boy do you. You are given the responsibility of the lives of dozens of men, and each one you feel a direct connection to after a few games. Heck, you almost feel like writing letters to mothers and wives when you have to put down a casualty chit.


His name was Earl and he had two kittens. *sniff*

But this comes at a cost. A 64 page rulebook is available for the 2nd edition, though I personally haven’t read it. I know all of your red flags have gone up, but to be honest: I’ve played the game a dozen or so times, and I HAVE FUN.

FUN DAMMIT. That’s why we play games, right?

It’s also solitaire, so who is going to tell me I’m doing it wrong?


Now sure, it makes it hard to compare experiences if you’re not playing by the same rulesets (What do you mean Vietnam didn’t have flying unicorns?), but many MANY of the rules issues “fixed” in the 2nd edition were edge cases or special events that came up only a small percentage of the time. Also, the base rules are incredibly intuitive and based in reality. So, for me, when an edge case comes up, I merely do what makes sense and move on. If later on I see I did that rule wrong, well, I’ll do it right from now on, but I’m not going to kick myself for getting it wrong in the first place.


So, as I set this game up (and I forgot to bring the stuff with me to work, so we’ll have to wait a bit), please keep in mind you will be reading a very IMPERFECT wordy playthrough of Fields of Fire.

I don’t mind if you point out rules errors in the comments, just please be kind about it. No one is intellectually superior for knowing more rules than someone else. They just remember certain information better. You still forget where you put your keys sometimes, so cram it.

Also, you will be seeing the playthrough of Mission 2 of the Korea campaign. I’ll do this for a number of reasons:

1) 99.999999% of the playthroughs online are Mission one of the Normandy campaign (there are 3 campaigns in the box, Normandy, Korea and Vietnam). Why do another one?
2) I recently restarted my Korea campaign after losing after Mission 3.
3) I recently finished Mission 1 with a fairly good success, so why not see a slightly more experienced army go against a slightly more experienced enemy?


So anyway, I’m sure you don’t want me to blather on without any actual game play, so I’ll shut up now.  Expect the first ghost when the bell tolls one.

I mean, expect the first post by Monday or so.

Who cares?


Um.  Sorry I’ve been gone so long.

See, some of the crux of me writing this blog is my enthusiasm for these awesome new games I’m stumbling on and my desire to show the world how awesome they are.  I also want to take more difficult games and break them down so that those who may be having trouble learning them can see a step-by-step playthrough of the whole game.  High Frontier was the beginning of that, and I don’t anticipate that it will be the end.

But, you see, I made a kind of promise at the beginning of last month.  I made it both to the 1 Player Guild on Boardgamegeek.com and to my wife, so it’s pretty ironclad.  I promised not to purchase another game (and really any other frivolous purchase) until September 12th, 2018 (one day after my birthday).

Therefore, I have no new games.

I appreciate your sympathy.

Of course, I have plenty of older games I could write about, not to mention PnP games I could make: but looking at past posts on these type of games: No One Cares.  Readership falls to single digits to games like Deep Future or 5150.  I guess I’m just not entertaining enough to read about games people are not interested in.

It makes it a bit difficult to put the work into blogging about an older game I may love due to that.

But I have a few ideas.  Some of the games are newer (one is very new, actually), so here we go.  There will be a poll at the end:


Mistfall: A fantasy card game of heroes and butt kicking.  Icon-heavy and some people think it’s complicated, so it may need a very wordy treatment, but it’s already gotten a lot of love out there in the internet, so I’m probably too late.  I love this game, though.


John Company: VERY VERY new game from Sierra Madre Games.  One of the reasons I don’t immediately do this is because I don’t want to be the “Sierra Madre Blog.”  Also, the solitaire mode that comes with the game only shows off about 30% of what the game offers, so I’m trying to invent a co-op style game that gives you a goal to shoot for that both your families have to score.  I’m still playtesting to see what kind of points/money you can typically get through play.


Fields of Fire: Again, an older game that’s received a lot of helping love out there in internet land.  And one that I also KNOW that I don’t play correctly but I still have a hell of a fun time playing.  I may end up enraging more people than entertaining because I mess up rules, hence why I don’t immediately try this one.


I’ve already done it’s older brother: The Dambuster Raid.  Should I do another game that plays a bit similar?  It tells a completely different story and has a whole lot of different choices to make, but will it just bore everyone?


I was reticent to do another RPG since the last one was so difficult, but this game is much more structured and actually DESIGNED to be played solitaire.  I didn’t get many hits on Our Last Best Hope, but maybe more Sword & Sorcery is desired.

So, what do you want to see?

EDIT: JEEZ! Apparently wordpress doesn’t let me use outside polling frames on their sites and I need an upgraded account to use any of their poll stuff, so I guess you’ll just have to vote in the comments.

Craaaap. Sorry all.

Think warm thoughts

Now where was I?

Oh yeah, I was starving and freezing to death on the island of Greenland.


I had just pulled the next event, so we have to deal with that:


First is a cooling event.  Which moves cards over to the left side of the hunt deck, making those cards only succeed on rolls of 1.  In solitaire, it ALSO causes Chaos.  I mean, Decimation.  Which AGAIN hits our Thule and Tunit tribes.  Uh oh, the Tunit are down to 1 hunter, and the Little Auk were moved to the cold side.

Auk Shucks indeed.

Next is the death of a mariner in each tribe.  No mariners to die, so there’s that.  Finally the elder death or food discarding per elder.  Only the Norse have elders (2), but they only have one orange disc, but in solitaire, you can use any disc as orange, so they burn a black disc as well to pay for their elders.

Greenland 2nd editionMap

So this is what it looks like right before two Tribes die, methinks.

So I send my one Thule out Husky hunting as it’s the only thing that’s really worth it right now.  The two Tunit go for the Caribou on the off chance that I roll 4 or less on 2d6.    The Norse actually have options, though.  Food/Fuel is going to become a problem at some point, feeding his cattle, so I burn one disc (white this time) to promote a Mariner and I send 4 cubes to Markland.  Just one success there gets me a baby and 4 Orange discs.  The other five I send out to the cute little bearded seal.

I don’t club them.  I cuddle them to death.  I swear.  We’re totally kind to the animals in this game.


Anyway, let’s see if we can live one more turn:


Neither the Thule nor Tunit were successful.  The Norse succeeded in both rolls, and only one Colonist on Markland died at the hands of natives.  Those Norse should become a thriving civilization, but it’s not looking good for my game here, I have 10 turns to go without dying!

So the Cattle get fed and help the Norse and we move on to the next turn.


Welp, guess I can’t reinforce the Markland peeps.  And I have to roll for Elder death.

Which kills the Norse’s Mariner because Greenland hates me.  And then there’s Chaos if you have 11 or more hunters in your tribe.  And you know how many hunters the Norse have?  11!  Because F&(&* YOU ADAM!  GREENLAND WANTS YOU DEAD! AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT!

Of course, I still have my chief, so I can look back at the game with a twinkle in my eye and say “Settle down, game.”

And then the game makes things colder.  Luckily if there’s already a chaos event, the solitaire cold+chaos doesn’t trigger again, otherwise that’d hurt.  But the cold isn’t good as the Polar Bear and Bearded Seal head over to the Cold Side.

So I have the Thule try for the Huskey’s again.  The Tunit go to raid the Norse’s Cattle for a change.  If they roll a 1, they’ll get 2 babies, but a roll of 3 will kill one of them.  It’s a bit of a risk, but for a better reward.  And their hammer lets them reroll 6s.  *shrug*  I’m grasping at straws here.

I promote a hunter to become a Tracker, so I can treat one card on the cold side as if it were warm, and then send 5 Hunters to get the Hooded Seal, and another 5 to try and get the Wooden Maps invention.  Best to tech up while I have the manpower to spread around.


So the Norse succeeded in Markland and on the Hooded Seal, but failed to learn about maps.  The Thule and the Tunit failed on there rolls…and not only that, but the Tunit rolled a 3 on their raid, so now THEY are down to 1 hunter as well.  I knew it would be tough after starting behind the 8-ball due to the Neanderthal game but YIKES this is tough.

Little cattle action and lets see if the next card ends us;


Huh.  Decimation if you have more than 8 hunters.  Well, the Norse certainly do, but they still have a Cheif.  And two elder deaths, let’s see:  Woof.  Said chief just died.  Good thing the icons weren’t the other way around.  The last icon is “Southern Migration.”  It’s similar to the Global Cooling and Warming from Neanderthal.  We move the lowest climax numbered animal in the South and replace it with a new card.  So we lose an invention and it’s replaced by….AWWWWWWWW:


Commence cuddling!

And on the warm side!  Good news for our flailing tribes!  In the solitaire games, all tribes share Mariner and sled limits, so we can borrow the Norse boats to have our Northern Tribes to come south and c……uddle these things.

So this time, I send the Tunit against the Huskey, the Thule against the Harbor Seal (the Thule have the Daughter Krimia which allows you to reroll 4s against small prey), and for the Norse, I promote a Chief and two Mariners.  I then send 6 against the Bearded Seal and 4 against learning the Map again.

C’mon cuddling!


*sigh* More failure for the Thule and Tunit.  The Norse failed on their Seals and managed to find out that the Seal is extinct, gaining the card as a trophy.  They did manage to get the Map into their hand, though.  Their Colonists succeeded on their roll, but then were slaughtered, leaving only one Colonist left.  Even with the reroll on 3s!

I don’t have a Shaman yet to play the Invention, but maybe I have a next turn to actually play one!

OH, one thing I forgot to mention was the “auction” at the end of the event phase for the axe!  I gave it to the Thule, and they may use it for another livestock raid against the Norse.  You get to change 3s to 1s with that card, meaning they won’t get killed in the raid!  So anyway, next turn.


And there you have it.  That Decimation icon would wipe out the last Hunter for both the Thule and Tunit, ending the game for me.

(Sad Trombone)

Greenland 2nd editionMap

Probably not the best representation of Greenland you’ll find as there wasn’t much interaction between the Tribes.  You’ll often find, even in  high conflict games, or even in solitaire games, Exomagy (or marriage between the tribes) is a BIG FREAKING DEAL and the shrinking hunting grounds as the game continues is a hell of a stresser, making interactions with your fellow players a goldmine of friendship enders.  And in Solitaire, it’s a nice little puzzle figuring out the best possible way to mitigate the dice and find the ideal situations to have all 3 tribes survive….only to find the game laugh in your face and kill you off anyway.

And it has cute seals.

Anyone else just get “Kissed by a Rose” stuck in their head?

Welp, I hope you enjoyed this, I think I’m going to play something a bit more brainless for the next game, as I played High Frontier and Bios: Genesis over the weekend and my grey matter hurts.

Thanks for reading!


The Cold Shoulder (of beef)

Welcome back!  It seems like years since I last saw you!

Anyway, we’re on the (semi-)frozen lands of Greenland with our (mostly-)evolved humans.

Greenland 2nd editionMap

You’ll see the layout is very similar to Neanderthal.  Some differences you have to take note right away:  All hunting “successes” are 1’s and 2’s when there are on the right side of the draw deck-the warm side.  When they move to the left side (due to events), then only 1’s succeed.  There are no animals with only 1’s on them or anything like that in this version.

You’ll notice on the North cards, all the icons have yellow and green backdrops, while the Southland has Red (and presumably should be Red and Blue) backdrops.  That’s because in Greenland, you can’t just hunt anywhere.  You have to stick around your “Home.”  The Norse (and Sea Sami) have to Hunt in the South, while the Thule and Tunit hunt in the North.  They can break that rule using animals and daughters that have the sled icon, along with Mariner Elders.  Elder abilities are also extremely different.  Let’s zoom in:


First, you’ll see they’re different depending on which tribe you play.  The only difference was starting brain disc in Neanderthal, but there are more differences between each player in this one.  Let’s take a good look here.

Elder 1 – Chief – Prevents Chao….wait, it’s called DECIMATION in this one.  Yeah, because there are a bunch of different kinds of Decimation (including venereal disease…ew), and they all do the same thing as Chaos in the last game, but Decimation is a much more fun word, so I’ll try to remember to use it during this game.

Elder 2 – Shaman – The Tunit gains a reroll on any 3’s while fishing, and all may domesticate an animal, Burn a Witch (kill an elder, you’ll see why you may want to do that later) or Banish an elder from another tribe from proselytizing over here.

Elder 3 – Artisan, Blacksmith, Crafter, Sage – Hand size and make Inventions (and a reroll on Crafting for Norse).

Elder 4 – Warchief – Similar to Warrior from Neanderthal.

Elder 5 – Tracker – Allowed to treat one hunting card on the Cold side as if it were on the Warm side (2s would succeed)

and finally

Elder 6 – Mariner – Each one can bring up to 4 hunters to the New World!

Ah, so there’s two things in those descriptions that also show a difference: You can have more than one Elder in all slots except 1 and 4 (Chiefs tend to get upset when you set up a “Co-Chief”).  And there’s a New World to move to as Colonists!


One is North and one is south.  There are big rewards for having colonists here, and they are the only cards where multiple players can succeed and reap those rewards.  However, if more than six cubes reside on those cards, they flip over:


Now it’s much easier to die there.  Apparently the natives don’t like it when you try to take over their land.  Who knew?

I can’t think of any other big changes off the top of my head to the basic game, so let me tell you about the solitaire game.  The goal of the game is NOT DIE.

That should be easy to remember.

So here are the changes for solitaire play:

1) Global Cooling- If it happens on the first turn, ignore it.  Afterwords, it counts as cooling AND Decimation.  Because Phil hates me.

2) During Phase 3, I can swap discs and Inventions between tribes.  We’re friendly traders!

3)Everything burns!  We can use White and Black discs as if they were Orange (but not vice versa)

4)We’re using the tougher Survivalist rules (which are recommended for playing solo).  I really shouldn’t, but I’m doing it anyway.

a) Alphas give you an automatic roll of 2, not 1 (so they’re only good on the Warm side, or with Trackers)

b) You can’t use Iron to buy off killed hunters (You normally can spend a black disc before your roll to say “No matter what I roll, no one will die on this hunt”).

c)No matter how a card gets into my hand, it is never replaced.  This place freezes fast.

Let’s get moving, and dying.


Okay, first event:  On top you see the familiar turn order symbology:  Yellow first, Green second, Red third.

Then our first symbol means 1 Mariner dies in every tribe.  I don’t have any so, um, yay?  Next we have (dun dun DUNNNN) Decimation.  Each tribe without a Chief loses half their Hunters and an Elder.  Just by happenstance the Norse have a Chief (and in a normal game, everyone would start with a Chief), so they’re fine, but the other two tribes already get smacked around.  Good news is the Tunit have Salia:


Which you see there shows all elder deaths are reduced by one.  Except that’s when it’s a Fuel/Elder loss…not Decimation.


Okay, so 3 dead Tunit and 2 dead Thule.  They have no Elders to lose, so on to the next icon, THAT’S the Fuel or Elder loss.  That means “For each Elder you have, either spend(discard) an Orange disc or kill the Elder.”  The only one affected by this is the Norse who has 5 fuel right now, so happily spends it not to kill anyone yet.  Finally, since there’s a boat on the card, that means we have the ability to trade (auction) for the other half of the card:


A hammer.  Jeez, it seems almost like I HAVE to have the Norse with a hammer, right?  But let’s look at it:  it means you treat 3’s as 1’s on crafting cards (the New World and a few hunting cards, like the Cape York Meteorite) and you get to reroll 6s on all fights, which probably won’t come up.

In order to get this, you have to give up white discs, and since all the tribes are friends, I just have to have one tribe give up one white disc.  I’m going to go with the Tunit, because both the Thule and Norse can reroll 4s on Crafting if they employ a Sage Elder, so having more abilities with rerolls should help.

Oh, and if you’re curious, the other icon means “You can ditch this card and gain a black disc”.  You know, you can melt it down for iron.

So let’s get hunting.


So, Thule only has 3(!) Hunters, and they can only hunt up North unless I make some Elders, which seems a bit presumptuous at the moment.  I think I’m just going to put all three on the Little Auk and get a baby.  Hopefully.  The Tunit is in the same boat, but with 4(!) Hunters.  I can go for the Husky there, which will also get a baby, and the possibility for a domesticated animal.

Now the Norse actually have Hunters (5+Alpha) and Elders (Chief + BlackSmith).  Unfortunately, unless I send people to Vinland (which would require making a Mariner), I can’t use my bonus for having the Blacksmith.  I’ll send them all to the Caribou and hope for a few more Hunters to appear, and then I can go for all those great inventions next turn.

*rollroll* <-I think this might become a signature thing of mine

The Tunit succeeded in getting some Husky meat and increase the size of their tribe by 1.  The Thule fail to take down an Auk.  They are heard saying “Auk Shucks.”  The Norse succeed in taking down a huge Caribou, and realizing taming them would result in annoying kids asking them if they could fly, so they decide to leave them wild.

In the next phase, the Norse feed their cattle, creating yet 2 more Hunters.

And nothing can happen in phase 6, because only one tribe has Elders, and the Norse have nothing to build.

And there you have it, the beginning of our game of Greenland.  Stay tuned for more blubber, and dealing with this event card:



Sometimes I bore myself

So this is what, day four of this game, and I still had a good 7 turns to go.  While there’s still a lot going on, I don’t believe this has the same ‘sweeping majesty’ that a good game of High Frontier has, so doing the blow-by-blow for it was….




So, let’s skip ahead a bit and bring us to the penultimate turn!  Mainly because I love the word ‘penultimate!’


You’ll notice a few things have changed.  The major things:  It’s COLD.  Our hunting grounds are down to but 8 cards, most of them Big Game or Predators as they are the only things that can survive this harsh weather.  Also both Archaic Man and Neanderthal suffered some Chaos which dropped their numbers.  Archaic Man came back but was whacked down again while Neanderthal is having a hard time coming back at all, and now that Flounder are pretty much the only thing they can live on, it’s not looking good.

Cro-Magnon, however, have evolved into a Tribal species.  Not only that, they managed to Domesticate the Alpine Ibex!  You’ll also see a whole row of Elders on the left side of the card there.  There’s many more options once you start a society.  Cro-Magnon now have: a Chief (prevents Chaos, allows negotiations between tribes and makes Elder actions free in Phase 6), a Shaman (allows the domestication of animals), a Knapper, Warrior, Trapper and Fire-Starter (familiar).

And what does our wacky goat do?  In Phase 5 (remember, there’s a five?) I get a baby and can remove a white disc every turn!  NEAT!  Also being a win condition for the solitaire game is kinda good, too.

So let’s finish this baby out and move on to Greenland, shall we?

We experience a bit of Warming, but it gets rid of the very huntable Irish Elk and replaces it with a very angry Cave Bear.  Guess it was hibernating during that Ice Age.


Actually, he’s kind of cute.

Now Chaos strikes Archaic Man again, and I finally just flip his Sexuality Card over to Pair Bonding, freeing 6 total discs.  Probably should have done that a long time ago.  A Blizzard also causes three of Cro-Magnon’s Elders to die off.  Woof.  It’s getting rough out there.

A random Elder Die-off takes down the Cro-Magnon’s Fire-Starter, and one Archaic Wanderluster shows up in the Neanderthal tribe.  The Daughter is a Scavenging Woman, which turns you into a gathering species.  I give that to Archaic Man, since changing sexuality meant it wouldn’t be a gathering species anymore.  Fixed that right up, didn’t I?

Neanderthal is going to fish, while Archaic Man is going to wait since it’s too dangerous to hunt right now.  I hope to be able to gather next turn and build up numbers that way. Cro-Magnon goes Wisent hunting, even though it’s a long shot.  I’m grasping at straws at the end here.  I also do something kinda silly.  I have Neanderthal contest the Generous Woman for marriage.  She’s already married in the Cro-Magnon tribe, but if Neanderthal can just get ONE MORE DISC in his head, he’ll go tribal soon, and she has the key to that….so they’ll fight for it!


Well, the jealous husband beats the Neanderthal to death and the fisherman come back empty handed (but they almost caught one THIS big!).  Cro-Magnon was also one success shy of victory, so all-in-all an uneventful hunting turn.  So Cro-Magnon gets a baby from its goat.  Goat-baby.  Ewwww.  And we move on to Phase 6.

Archaic Man promotes Scavenger Woman to mature status, Neanderthal wonders just how close to humanity it is, and Cro-Magnon wishes there were more cards (or any cards, really) it could get into his hand/tableau.


A few things changed in this round, rarely for the better.  Let’s get this last card out and see how we fare.

It gets warmer!  The European Cave Lion goes extinct and a Flint Mine appears!  Tools to be invented!  Hooray!  Oh, and three Elder Death dice to roll.  Cro-Magnon loses his Shaman.  Blah.  Finally I give the Daughter (Walkabout Woman) to Neanderthal because it would allow him to put the final disc in his brain for Tribalness.

So Cro-Magnon promotes a Knapper Elder (so he can create the Invention if I snag it) and sends the rest to the Flint Mine.  Neanderthal goes fishing….again.  And Archaic Man spreads his folks around to gather as much as he can.  Let’s see if we can end on a high note.


Well, one person froze to death on the tundra, but Neanderthal finally brought a fish back home!  That’s 2 fish-babies (ew) and a mature Walkabout Woman!  None of Archaic Man’s gatherers were killed while foraging, so they doubled their numbers!  Cro-Magnon was successful in the Flint Mine!  But they were not able to roll triples (boo) so no handmade darts for them. One more goat-baby and we’re on to the final Phase 6.

Where Neanderthal finally goes Tribal…which is the only thing I can do for the final Phase of the game.  The final board:


Technically this is not a win for a solitaire game as you need two or more species to survive with one or more domesticated animals.  I couldn’t get Neanderthal to domesticate an animal, so no win for me, but that’s not important right now.  What’s important is that they all survived and I can continue to watch them evolve (or die) in Greenland, our next game.  So what changes for the setup of that game?

Rather than starting with 5 tribesman, 1 alpha and 6 elders, I’m starting with the cubes I had at the end of this game.  I can make them elders or tribesmen, but it looks like the tribes will be:

Tunit-Dorset= 7 Tribesman, no alpha or Elders (see below for why)

Thule-Inuit= 5 Tribesman (ceeeripes)

Norse-Viking= 5 Tribesman, 1 alpha and 2 elders (The Rank 1 and 3 Elders automatically transfer over).

The Norse is going to get one domesticated animal because I was able to domesticate the Ibex.  So that’s nice.

Daughters are exchanged at a 2:1 rate, Meaning Tunit will have 1, Thule 2 and Norse 1.

Oh, and because Archaic Man wasn’t an actual Tribe at the end of the game, it can’t start with Elders or promote on the first turn.  Stupid reality.

And because the world was as cold as it was, 3 cards will start on the cold side of the board.

I don’t expect to survive.  But let’s see how my newly evolved characters do in this new game.  It plays differently, so I’ll go slow at the beginning again so you can see the differences.

Greenland 2nd editionMap

Obviously there will be no Blue player, but that’s what the screen shot will look like anyway.  And there was no way to remove daughter cards from this, so I drew Xs with black discs.  It might not be pretty, but I think it makes the proper point, right?

And the Alpine Ibex evolved into Icelandic Cattle!  Who knew?

See you in Greenland!

Moving Right Along


Let’s move a little faster now that most of the rules stuff is over and done with, shall we?

Oh, and the picture above is clearly Archaic Man and Neanderthal screaming in pain after last turn.

Our event adds another event to the event deck.


It also has us rolling three Elder Death dice because “Suffer Not an Old Guy To Live” is the motto of this particular game, I guess.

With all the rolling, however, only Cro-Magnon loses his Fire-Starter.  Archaic Man keeps his burninator, and Neanderthal keeps his as well, along with his Warrior.

The Daughter is Scheherazade, she who allows you to take two actions in Phase 6.  A very powerful daughter to have.  She also lets you place a white disc in your head (in either Bison or Shaman spaces).  Sadly, you can bid any color disc on her, which means in my rules, I’ll have to stick three discs into her.

I’m going to give her to Cro-Magnon because he’s got enough discs and will be able to go Tribal once everyone’s Mature on his end.  I’ve still got 7 turns to get everyone ready and married, so I think I’ll be okay.

Keep in mind, in multiplayer games, bids of 3 are much more common.  Those games are much more ruthless (I love them!).

I decide not to have Neanderthal hunt this turn.  They’re too busy singing in the Studebaker.  That and I have almost enough hunters to hit my Chaos limit, and I’m not looking to free any discs for them.  They’re good right now.

Archaic Man still needs to get that Orange Disc off of A Woman With a Name, so they go fishing and mussel gathering to increase their numbers and hopefully get a bit smarter to start their upward climb.

Cro-Magnon, while I need them to get rid of a LOT of discs now, only have 6 hunters, so it’s not very likely they’ll take down much big game.  So I’ll let them get the Fallow Deer which will free an Orange disc and (more importantly), swell the tribe by 3 for next turn where I can target, say, the Wisent.


My luck continues.  Archaic Man fails to catch anything, and two Hunters freeze to death, resulting in a net -1 Hunter.  Cro-Magnon does catch a Fallow Deer, so those extra 3 Hunters are nice but that was apparently the last Deer, so the card is removed as a trophy.

One more disc is removed from the Swearing woman, and it’s a good time for her skills to come to use.


Hey!  Some new Event symbols!


The one on top means “It’s getting really, really cold!”  That means whichever card that has the lowest “climax number” – ahem – will go from the North Row of the hunting grounds to the South Row, discarding whatever is in the south.  In our case, the Irish Elk has the number 2, so it’s easily the smallest.  The space below him is empty, so no big deal there.  The former elk space is replaced with a North Row card that is not flipped over.  It represents ice that lets nothing live on it.


It wasn’t too bad for us, though, as it merely traded one empty space for another.  It’s when you get multiple cold spells in a row (I believe there are more cold events than warm) that things get complicated.  But now let’s check Chaos:

Archaic Man:  Free Hunters: 6 Free Vocabulary Discs: 6 (phew)

Neanderthal: Free Hunters: 7 Free Vocabulary Discs: 9

Cro-Magnon: Free Hunters: 9 Free Vocabulary Discs: 11

Just dodged Chaos.  No random dead people.  That also means the Wanderlust icons on the bottom of the list means nothing as well.  But let’s check the Blizzard effects.

Archaic Man: Elders/Daughters: 2 Free Hunters: 6 (4 needed)

Neanderthal: Elders/Daughters: 3 Free Hunters: 7 (6 needed)

Cro-Magnon: Elders/Daughters: 2 (one is married) Free Hunters: 9 (4 needed)

Again, I survive!  While I might be able to do okay in the current game with losing a Daughter or two (once I’ve used her Portal actions, I can usually get by), going on to the Greenland game means keeping Daughters is much more important.

And if you read what the Piper does, it’s obvious I should give it to the Archaic Man, so I do.


For Hunting, I had Neanderthal try to marry the Swearing Woman (so he can fill his Bison Portal) and get another hunter as a replacement by hunting the Ptarmigan.  Archaic Man is hunting the Chamois to wipe an Orange disc off of one of his Daughters (and gather some sweet, sweet mushrooms) and for a first, Cro-Magnon is hunting the Alpine Ibex to clear a White Disc.  I fear getting one of these possible-to-be-domesticated animals in my hand too early (and losing it due to elder death), but it’s a risk I have to take.

At least I think I have to.  Hell, what do I know?


Archaic Man is successful, so the first piped music is heard coming from their camp.  Neanderthal is also successful in their hunting, which will console their poor rejected hunter who was probably called a bunch of horrible names by the Swearing Woman.  Cro-Magnon failed in their hunt and got the Ibex put into their hand as I feared.  They have an immature Fire-Starter, so it will stay there for now, but it may not last long.  The Ibex got replaced in the Hunt Row with a Honey Bee, which can also be domesticated, so that’s good news.

In Phase 6 I put an Orange disc into Archaic Man’s head.  He only has 5 Free Vocabulary discs now, but at least he can think Orange out of things freely if he wants, and he plans on going a-marrying soon to get all sorts of other abilities.  Cro-Magnon matures his Fire-Starter because it seems the only way to remove White Discs here is to hunt an animal that also removes Black, so let’s just do the one thing on its own right now.  Neanderthal seems to have stalled in its intellectual growth lately.  I need to fix that.


Turn 7:


Almost the polar opposite of the previous event, and a very useful daughter for Cro-Magnon (or anyone, really, since Blizzards are tricky).

But first, we have to move the lowest climax animal-ahem-UP, and that is still the Irish Elk, so the Ice Flow melts, and the Elk go back to where they came from.  The good news is a new card replaces the elk.  And we get a new fishie.



That’s a big ol’ fish.  Look at the size comparison to a human on the card.  You could sleep in that thing like a Tauntaun.

Chaos Check:

Archaic Man: Hunters: 9 Free Vocabulary Discs: 5 (CHAOS!)

Neanderthal: Hunters: 8 Free Vocabulary Discs: 9

Cro-Magnon: Hunters: 8 Free Vocabulary Discs: 11

So I have to kill half (rounded up) of all my Hunters and an Elder in the Archaic Man species.  Which leaves me with 4 hunters and no Elders.  Now is the time of rebuilding…

But first, the Blizzard:

Archaic Man: Elders/Daughters: 2 Hunters: 4

Neanderthal: Elders/Daughters: 3 Hunters: 8

Cro-Magnon: Elders/Daughters: 3 Hunters: 8

Now the two Wanderlust figures actually mean something.  I can put two Green cubes into any tribe I want.  Eh, I’ll just put one in each, I don’t see either of them hurting for help right now.

While the daughter probably does the most good for Cro-Magnon, he’s got a lot on his plate already, so I’ll give it to Neanderthal to jump start his growth.  Also a husband might not be a bad idea since he already needs 6 hunters to not lose something to a Blizzard.


And here’s how I did my hunt.  You see Cro-Magnon going for Big Game here, while Archaic Man is just trying to get some numbers back.  Neanderthal is trying again with Swearing Woman, but is contesting with Cro-Magnon.  In the end someone will marry this woman so Cro-Magnon, at least, will have her powers.


Wow, Neanderthal was successful in wooing the Swearing Woman this time!  Archaic Man also rolled way too well (2,2,2,1) and got some yummy Chamois meat.  Cro-Magnon was rejected again by the Wisent, mising success by one.  Neanderthal grabbed every Sabertooth Salmon out of the water, getting the benefits, and a new Trophy card.  I didn’t really think that last one through enough, methinks.

In Phase 6, both Cro-Magnon and Archaic Man stick a disc in their brains so that they have one of each color up there, and Neanderthal uses his current knowledge to mature the Housewife.  I’m getting kind-of close to going tribal, so I may start sprinting that way, but some badly timed chaos could throw a wrench into that.  But we’ve made a lot of headway today.


Headway?  Ahhhhhhhhhhh! Wakka wakka!


Sometimes I bore myself


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

So I’m an obscure gaming ‘blog talking about even more obscure games using obscure song titles as my own titles.

I never said I was hip.

Let’s get right to it, I don’t have much time today.  Maybe only 10,000 years.


This is kind of weird.  We’ve gone 4 turns without a single change to our hunting grounds.  But we’ve got to go through a whole lot of Elder death anyway…again.  Cro-Magnon is the only one with a mature Fire-Starter, so let’s see if I can get lucky: Nope.  2,6,2.  Smoke got in his eyes, and so did a cougar.

Without a lot of Elders or Unwed Daughters, the Blizzard event isn’t hurting us at all, so we can just move on and bid on A Woman With a Name.  Getting a name is important in culture (remember how important it was in the cartoon from the 90s Gargoyles), but in a Solitaire game, it doesn’t really mean anything, as making all Daughters worth 2VPs each doesn’t matter.  Unlocking access to the Venus portal is nice, though.  Cro-Magnon already has that ability through the Generous Woman and Neanderthal already has a Black disc from game start, so Archaic Man is the logical choice.  Of course, sinking an Orange disc onto a daughter is a bit rough.

Right now, Archaic man has 11 Hunters, and only 8 free Vocabulary discs.  Of course, if I get this Daughter, and are able to quickly free up the Orange disc, I’ll be able to get a Knapper Elder in the future, and that’s REALLY useful if you have a big tribe.

And really, am I the only one who watched Gargoyles?  Goliath and Desdemona?  Flying around New York?  The guy with the stone hand?  It was amazing!

There’s a part of me that wants to play it safe and give the Woman With a Name to Neanderthal and let Archaic Man just kind of surf free until I can change his Sexuality card, but I’m going to diversify and see if I can get a few discs in his head and take down some big game.

Now for Hunter Placement.  Neanderthal has 9 free Hunters to place first.  He has 9 free Vocabulary discs, so we’re teetering close to Chaos, so making an Elder or two isn’t a bad idea.  So I’ll place one as an immature Fire-starter, and another as an immature Warrior.  That frees up 7 to do the actual stabbing.


That’s the old picture, the Flint Mine is now a Woolly Rhinoceros.  Nothing will free an Orange & a Black disc at the same time, so I might as well go for one or the other.  And with 7 dice, I might be able to take down the Cave Hyena, but I might get a lot of casualties.  I don’t need 2 discs worth of cleaning, so I guess I’ll just play it safe and go for the Willow Ptarmigan.  I don’t need many more kids, and I have a hand size of 2 at the moment, so if I end up drawing it, big deal.

Speaking of which, when Cro-Magnon got smoke in his eyes?  Yeah, he had to discard his card, too.  No Elders meant no hand size.  Life is tough.

Archaic Man has no shortage of Hunters and only needs one Orange disc removed, so will easily go for the Fallow Deer.  He’ll also try for a Fire-Starter, too.  Actually, because of that….to heck with this.  3 Hunters are going for the Chamois.  Not great odds, but safe because of gathering Mushrooms.  The rest (7) are going to take down the Cave Hyena.  Awwwww, yeah.

Cro-Magnon will also try, again, for the Fire-Starter.  Hmmm, he needs 2 black discs as well, but the best way to do that is the Hyena.  With only 6 Hunters any of the other prey doesn’t seem all that likely.  Okay, I’ll send one off to see if he can Marry the Totem woman over at the Neanderthals, and the other 5 will try to grow the tribe at the Fallow Deer.  There we go.

Neanderthal: (7 dice, Ptarmigan): 3,1,6,4,3,2,2 – Success!  One hunter dies (we send the Green cube back that we “borrowed” from their “courting” attempt) from frostbite.  We remove the Orange disc under the Warrior.  We can now (dun dun DUNNNN!!!!) replace one of our hunters with an ALPHA HUNTER!


This cylinder (or larger cube in this case), is a special hunter.  In this case, he is a Warrior.  You can see the powers that gives, the most important for the solitaire game is that any creature that has the little club symbol on its card (which would be all the predators), I don’t have to roll a die for the Warrior.  That’s right, I just have to put down a 1 and say: “That’s what he rolled.”


Knappers and Trappers are the same for the other two symbols.  Warriors also give you benefits when it comes to turn order (not a big deal in solitaire) and when fighting other tribes (again, no whoop).  But for my purposes, it’s Hyena whooping time!

Cro-Magnon: (1 die Courtship) 4, goes home rejected; (5 dice, Fallow Deer) 6,4,5,1,4 Failure.


Archaic Man: (3 dice, Chamois) 4,4,6 Failure, gains one hunter from gathering mushrooms (7 dice, Hyena) 2,6,5,6,2,2,6 Failure!  4 Dead Hunters due to mangling. However gained Hyena card as “Trophy.”  Gained one hunter from gathering Wild Barley.


That could have gone better.  Was hoping for a big leap forward, and half my Archaic Man are dead and I’m less one hunting ground.

Let’s just phase 6 this and call it a day:

Neanderthal will think the black disc out from under his Fire-Starter, giving him 2 mature Elders.  Cro-Magnon will do the same.

Archaic Man will name his toes.

Without any more glacier events, I have 7 turns to Domesticate an animal.  Not looking good.  Neanderthals are doing well, though, so I still have some hope for them.  Archaic Man is still above the Chaos threshold even after getting mangled by the Hyena, so they could still lose a lot more hunters.  I think I’ve been mishandling them all game.  I’ve got to come at them from a different angle, or just change their sexuality card and be done with it.


Moving Right Along

10min, 100,000yrs….whatever

Several thousands of years have passed since my last post, so lets recap.

Three species of humans are trying to survive.  In one turn, very little has happened.  Cro-Magnon has a Generous Woman teaching him how to trade and give, as well as how to put discs in the Venus area of his brain.  Of course, no one is listening to her because she’s not married.


No one has really been successful enough hunting to increase their numbers, so they all still have the six hunters they started with, though Archaic Man had to move one to the Fire-Starter elder to replace the previous one who died and took his wisdom with him.  Speaking of fire, Neanderthal was able to mature his own Fire-Starter, so they no longer need to worry about freezing to death as long as that elder knowledge stays alive.

Good?  Let’s start turn 2, then.


Four elder death dice.  Apparently living into old age is just not something you did thousands of years ago.  Who knew?  Except them, of course.  Each species has an elder in spot 6, and Neanderthal’s is mature, so let’s see if any come out unscathed. *rollroll*

Not a single one.  *sigh*  Eh, fire is overrated anyway.  I mean, it just leads to smoking and look where that’s gotten us.  Let’s get to the auction:


Attacking and hunting first really isn’t a great ability in a solitaire game.  In multiplayer it’s AWESOME, but there’s only one of me, so I can ignore that right now.  However, it only costs one black disc and let’s you put both discs into the Shaman portal, so I’ll let Neanderthal get it because he could just think the Black disc off of her if he’s unable to hunt for it.

Speaking of hunting, we’re looking at the same hunting grounds from last turn.  Often things change (sometimes drastically) from turn to turn, but we’re left with the same kind of terrible choices here.  Turn order is Red-Green-Yellow, so let’s see what I should do with Cro-Magnon.  He still has all 6 beginning hunters, but has no Firestarter.  He also has an unwed Generous woman, and that looks like it’s more important.  So I’ll place one of the hunters on the Generous woman to show he’s wooing her for marriage.  There’s down and up sides to marrying in your own tribe:  The downside is 1) The husband starts immature (insert joke here) and 2) You don’t get to share her powers with another tribe which is mighty useful in a solitaire game.  The upside is you automatically succeed in wooing her during the Courtship phase.  Otherwise the tribe could beat you to death or you could simply be turned away.

It’s kind of like high school.  Don’t date out of your caste.

So to speed things up, we’ll date in our caste.  The other five hunters will try and take down the fallow deer.  I need two dice to show a 1 or 2, but it gives a pretty good return.

No to Archaic Man.  He’s in the most disadvantage position with only 5 hunters and 8 discs to his name.  On the plus side, he doesn’t really care much about discs because getting a Fire-Starter at this point seems to be too draining on his resources.  Because of that, all five hunters are going for the Chamois.  There he can gather Mushrooms and have no risk of freezing to death.

Neanderthal is in a pretty sticky situation, too.  He’s got a daughter with a black disc on her, and the only thing that isn’t a Big Game that needs a lot of successes is the Flint Mine which doesn’t offer any progeny for succeeding there.  Do I keep the tribe small and just keep evolving my mind and hope to have enough hunters to survive future hardships, or should I just think the black disc off in Phase 6 and go for more kids?

All of the “easier” animals now have the risk of freezing to death, too.  Without a Fire-Starter, we could hit a pretty good setback with a bad roll.  Eh, let’s just get the disc off of our Totem Woman, and then put another color into our brain in Phase 6, opening our options for later.  Then we can start looking to increase our numbers.  I think that’s a bit less risky.


So there we go. First thing that happens is Courtship with the Generous Woman.  Normally we would roll to see who she would marry, but because it’s someone from her own tribe, there’s no roll, and the red cube gets an Orange disc placed under it, showing an immature husband.  Now on to the actual hunting.

Let’s roll!  Five dice to get the Fallow Deer for Cro-Magnon:


There we go, a success!  And heck, we almost ended up with a trophy!  So those five return home and I gain 3 more from my dead pile.  I also can remove the orange disc from under the immature husband…the Generous Woman is married!

I usually never cry at weddings.

This one is no different.

Now Archaic Man gathers their Mushrooms, resulting in a baby (technically this happens before hunt rolls, but unless there’s a fight on the card, it doesn’t matter), and now 5 dice for 1 success.


Two more kids from the dead pile for Archaic Man, much needed for sure.  And finally the six Neanderthals in the Flint Mine


The good news is, I succeed and the Black Disc is removed from the Totem Woman, maturing her.  The bad news is I rolled triples, meaning I take the card into my(Neanderthal’s) hand.


The downside is your hand size equals the number of elders you have….which for the Neanderthals (and everyone else) is zero, so the Flint Mine is discarded.  That was an easy way to free Black Discs going away.  Dang.  Luckily it gets replaced, so let’s see what we get:


And easy way to free White Discs.  Not bad.  Eh, we’ll see how this impacts us.  We skip on forward to Phase 6, then.

Cro-Magnon is going to smartify itself by using the abilities of its new Generous Woman and place a Black Disc into the Venus area of its brain.  Sure, that’s one less disc to be used (and making Chaos limits lower), but smartibility is attractive.

Again, Archaic Man has nothing it can do in Phase 6.  I hope we can rectify that next turn.

Neanderthal will put an Orange disc into his Shaman area, using the Totem Woman’s power.  Remember, she doesn’t need to be married because Neanderthal is using Harem Holding sexuality.  In fact, with that sexuality, Husbands can move between Daughters, defending them from all incoming suitors.  Think Gorillas beating their chests, and you get the idea.

Another turn done.  Let’s keep this wild ride through time going.



One of my favorite daughters! (If my actual daughter reads this…forshame!)  And we also see a new symbol here, the Blizzard!

We’ll get right to it, since we can ignore the Elder Death Dice since no tribe has any elders at the moment.  What a Blizzard means is you have to check if you have enough hunters to “take care” of your elders and unmarried Daughters.  Simply put, for each Elder and Unwed Daughter, you have to have two Hunters.  If not, you’ve got to kill an Elder or Daughter until you can take care of them all.

Archaic Man has no Elders or Daughters to speak of, so they’re fine.  Neanderthal has one Unwed Daughter, but they have 6 Hunters, so they’re able to take care of 2 more resources that would be in danger by this event.  Cro-Magnon has one Daughter, but she is married and it is assumed that the Husband is taking care of her, so their 8 Hunters are free to take care of anyone else…there’s just no one else to take care of.  Care Bear card!  No troubles!

Now to bid on our Swearing Woman, or as I like to call her: Mrs. CthulhuKid (really, you should see her watching a hockey game…yeesh!).  Ignoring precondition tools is probably best for Archaic Man, given his lack of discs, though he already has a disc in his Bison area.  Perhaps I should split the difference and have Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon buy the card and have Archaic Man try to marry her.  Risky, but would be the best of all worlds, and Archaic Man has a lot of Hunters to play with at the moment.

I’ll go with Cro-Magnon taking the Daughter because he’s got the most spare discs and benefits the most from having the husband, no matter from what tribe.  That costs a Black and White disc.  Might be difficult to get those off, but our Hunting Grounds haven’t changed(much, the Carcass is new), so I should know by now what I’m capable of.

I have the Cro-Magnon try to get another Fire-Starter and have the other Hunters go to pick the Carcass and go to clear a White disc and get another Hunter.

Neanderthal is playing it safe just to get more Hunters and goes for the Chamois.  6 Hunters just isn’t enough right now for big gains.

Archaic Man isn’t going to try and marry the Swearing Woman yet, since she won’t be mature by the time the wooing starts.  But just for fun, I decided to have one Hunter go to woo the Totem woman over at the Neanderthal camp.  Why not?  The rest will go and try to take down the Fallow Deer.


One green cube got cropped off of the Deer because I’m sloppy.

So we start with the WOOing.  (Insert Ric Flair sound effect here)  The symbols on the left side of the Daughter card show what can happen when you vie for the affection of another tribe’s Daughter:


On a 1 or 2, success!  Enjoy your new life!  3, 4, or 5, take the long walk home to your tribe, hat in hand.  Have we invented hats yet?  And 6?  You’re beaten to death for having the audacity for even asking.

Ah, racism.  Ain’t it keen?

Let’s see how our Archaic Man fares.

He rolls a 1!  But I just remembered something which totally messes with my plans.  Archaic man is Promiscuous.  They can NOT place husbands.  So that didn’t accomplish what I had hoped.  BUT he did accomplish, um, something.  He did succeed at, um, genetically leaving his mark in the Neanderthal tribe before leaving.


Anyway, I get to pull a Green cube from the dead pile and give it to the Neanderthals as a free Hunter.  In a multiplayer game, it would still score for Green, but Yellow would control it.  Sadly Archaic Man does NOT get the benefits of the daughter this way.

I could take this move back, but that’s a LOT of typing, so screw it, here I go.

So everyone was successful in their hunting rolls, and Cro-Magnon was so successful he also got the Carcass card into his hand (He has an elder, so is able to actually hold it for now).  The card is replaced with a Woolly Rhinoceros.  We’re going to need a bigger spear.

For phase 6, Cro-Magnon matures his elder and Neanderthal places a White Disc in his Shaman area.  He now has all three colors in his brain and they are all in the Social Domain, allowing him to create Warrior Elders/Alphas.  That will give him bonuses fighting off predators, which is always a good thing.

Here’s how we look after turn 3.


Stay tuned as we leap forward another few thousand years and see how our tribes do.  We’re getting smarter, but Archaic Man’s Promiscuous ways are holding him back, should he change, or should I just change my play style?  Hmmmm….

Continuing stupidity ahead!

Time to get stabby

Lucky for us, we have some good examples of everything we can look at on hunt cards right next to each other, so let’s zoom in, shall we?

hunt example

A European Cave Lion, an Irish Elk and a Willow Ptarmigan.  Looking at the symbol near each of their names, we see they are all different types of animals: Predator, Large Game and Small Game, respectively.  These tell you which elders and technologies give you bonuses (Trappers and small arrows help with Small Game, while Knappers and big ol’ spears help against Large Game, etc), as well as who the predators are going to, um, predate.

Let’s go down the card.  First we see consequences.  The Cave Lion has a lot, while the other two only show a little frozen 6.  The Lion has a frozen 6, but also has a bloody 3,4 & 5.  These mean that any die that is showing one of these results KILLS a hunter.  The reason the 6 is different (and icy) is that if you have a mature firebuilder, you don’t have to worry about freezing to death anymore, so icy 6’s aren’t a problem anymore.  Sadly 270kg lions can still smack the heck out of you, so 3 through 5s will still destroy your hunters.

The Cave Lion also has one more icon on this line, it has a little basket and “Berries” beside it.  This shows that you can “Gather” on this card.  Simply put, if your species is allowed to Gather (Promiscuous sexuality allows you to Gather, as well as a few daughter cards), this card will give you one baby no matter what happens.  Easy food!

The next line is what you need to successfully hunt the prey.  The Elk and Ptarmigan both show a white disc next to their dice, meaning you need a free white disc in order to hunt these.  This stacks, so if you were to hunt both of these animals this turn, you would need two free white discs.  Usually not a problem, but can bite you in the arse at the worst time.

The next symbols show you what you need to roll for a successful hunt.  It shows either the amount of 1s you need to roll (the black dice showing the 1s) or the amount of 1s or 2s you need to roll (the white dice showing the *s).  Clearly the Ptarmigan is the easiest to hunt of the three here.  How do you roll dice?  Easy.  Each hunter you commit to hunting an animal is one die you’re going to roll.  Right now, I have 6 hunters for each species, so you can start figuring out the odds yourself: I’m probably not going to be looking at the Lion or Elk yet.

Finally you can see why you’re hunting, the rewards!  First you usually see a creepy red baby floating in a pink cube (often with a number in front of it).  This is how many babies you gain.  Each baby is a new hunter you can take from your “dead pile” and add to your unassigned hunters.  More hunters is a good thing in that you can take down bigger prey later, but you always have to be on the lookout for Chaos events…remember those from last post?

Next are discs.  Sometimes one, sometimes many.  These are discs you can free off of your daughters, elders or anything else in the game that is “immature.”  This is one of the main mechanics of the game.  You can’t use anything until it is mature, and the quickest way to do it is to successfully hunt.  Remember our Generous Woman?  She has a Black and an Orange disc on her right now, so her abilities are moot at the moment.  However, a successful hunt against the Ptarmigan will remove the Orange disc.  If I can also hunt something with a Black disc (no, I won’t hunt the cat!), I could mature her this turn!  Of course, spreading hunters out make it less likely to actually succeed in a hunt, so that’s where pushing your luck and calculating odds and all that fun come into play.

Finally, the last row show you what could happen to that card if you roll a lot of the same kind of die.  For the Lion and Elk, if you roll 4 of a kind (that picture is supposed to be four dice with equal signs between them) then you take the card as a trophy.  Not a terrible thing in a multiplayer game as that scores you some great points, but the card isn’t replaced, meaning its one less place to hunt for the rest of the game.  Hunting species to extinction is bad, m-kay?  The Ptarmigan, if you roll triples, goes into your hand.  Each player’s hand size is equal to the number of elders he or she has, so it’s constantly in flux.  Luckily, the spot in the hunting row will get replaced if the card goes into your hand, but if you don’t have any elders, the card just gets discarded.  If you turn your head a bit, you can see that if you played the Ptarmigan upside down, there would be something that happens during Phase 5.  This would be a domestication action, which we’ll discuss later.

Yes, you can domesticate some prehistoric chickens.  Awwww, yeah!

Now to actually choose where my hunters go.  Let’s look at the big picture again:


OH!  I forgot, the reason the Cave Lion (and the Cave Hyena) are red predators…if you hunt big game in their rows, they TRY TO STEAL THE CORPSE AND ALL THE MEAT.  Yup.  You have to fight off the animal in order to take your winnings.  It’s an awesome mechanic that adds a lot of tension, but I don’t think I’ll be going to any big animals yet, so you’ll see it when I get there.

So, per the Event card, Green is to decide first.  He can gather, so getting more hunters is a bit easier for him.  He lost his firestarter during the Event phase, so I could place one of his hunters there (with a black disc, showing immaturity) and then have him gather and such to make up for the loss.  I think I’ll do that.  In order to remove that black disc, I’ll need an animal that would do that….and besides the Flint Mine, everything looks waaay too big at this point.  I’m saving the Flint Mine for Cro-Magnon, so I’ll just put the other five hunters on the Arctic Flounder.  He’ll get the hunter for gathering and maybe two more.  He might lose some cubes to freezing from rolling 6s, but I’ll take the risk.

Neanderthal is next, and he doesn’t need a black disc from an animal to mature his firestarter (you’ll see why soon), so he’s going to go for the Fallow Deer to get some more hunters and still be below his Chaos limit.

Cro-Magnon, as I said, places all 6 Hunters on the Flint Mine, as I said, to free a black disc from the daughter (or from his Firestarter).  Our grounds now look like this:


In a multi-player game, we could have easily had two players on the same card.  Then we have the two species fight before they hunt.  You roll dice, each 1 killing a cube off of the other, and then the smaller species gets to hunt first, and if they’re successful, the other goes home empty handed.  It’s brutal, but awesome.  You won’t see this happen in a solitaire game.

So now we start with Gathering.  Archaic Man earns a hunter for gathering Mussels at the Arctic Flounder card.  I now get to roll 5D6, hoping one of them shows a 1, and few (or none) show 6s.


The fish are clearly not biting today.  So the hunter I gained from gathering Mussels is evened out by the hunter I lost to frostbite.  Ah well.  Now let’s see if Neanderthal can fell a Fallow Deer:


Wow.  Not even one success.  C’mon Cro-Magnon, don’t fail me now:


Yeesh!  The 2 on the last die is what I needed for a success.  That means I get to remove a black disc from anywhere in my tableau.  I choose to remove it from the Generous Woman.  She now just needs to remove the Orange disc to become mature.  One step at a time.  And that was the hunting phase.

Now we skip step 5 (that’s only when we have Domestic Animals….that won’t be happening for a while), so we move on to Step 6, where we get cool words like Neolexia!

This phase is all about thinking.  In this phase you can: Put discs into your head (if you have daughters that allow it), or think discs off of other cards (if you have the same color in your head).

Archaic Man has a White disc in his head, and a Black disc under his Firestarter.  He is not able to place a disc in his head, and he can only think away White discs, so he is unable to do anything this phase, so he must pass.

Neanderthal has a Black disc in his head, and a Black disc under his own Firestarter.  Because of this, he can use his ONE action this phase to think the black disc away and mature his Firestarter.  No more freezing to death for his species!  Well…until that elder dies, of course.

Cro-Magnon has an Orange disc in his head, a Black disc under his Firestarter and an Orange disc on his Generous Woman.  It’s obvious for him to think away the Orange disc on the daughter card, maturing her.  Normally Generous Woman’s powers would now be available to Cro-Magnon, but since Cro-Magnon chose Pair Bonding sexuality, he must wait until that daughter is married before those powers activate.

Yeah, it’s a little weird for me, too, but there you go.

The fun part is I can have someone from another tribe try to marry her, and they can SHARE her powers!  Inter-species dating for the win!

And that’s one turn of Neanderthal.  Not much going on yet, but the choices will be harder once hunting grounds start going away and I have to choose between children and things.  Stay tuned for more “old (old old old old) school” gaming!


The next piece of the puzzle