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.
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.
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!