Some minor fixes will be implemented (like event cards that alter the terrain, should have the picture of the terrain on it for easy reference). Also, when playing events as an action, it would be good to state that this must always be done as the last action (both myself and the kids got confused when we did an event as the first action, and then tried to keep track of where not to play second and thrid actions because of possible consequences!)
- I also played with a few 6 year olds, and essentially I think the basic rules were mostly too much for them (some of them were into it, but quite a few lost interest because it does get mentally quite busy). However, we ended up making up a new set of rules on the spot, and here, they quite enjoyed playing a simple "trumps" version of the game using the following as stats:
Food chain rank
When there was a tie it was actually quite fun if the tie happened with the MOVE or #terrain values (multiple ties would occur so that it ended up having a "war" like mechanic to it). One of the kids even suggested that in the event of a tie, the first kid to yell out the latin name wins!
- Ooh ooh, and the best suggestion from the kids - why not make the "starter" cards an "avatar" type card. i.e. Can the kids make a card that represents themselves? Kind of like a nod to role playing. As well, some of these kids said it would be cool if with these "self" starter cards, you can pick a skill (i.e. like you're an expert in one particular thing which means any cards you have with that detail, you can play it better).
- There was also some other interesting idea about competing for the same table space by using dice. Here, it was like having a chance for a battle mechanic. I worked through this one a little more, and wondered if the following might be a fun thing to try.
Let's say there's an organism on a certain space. And player 2 has a card that could potentially also go on that same space. Here, player 2 decides to challenge for that space. Then, a "risk" like mechanic comes into play with rules as follows:
Each player will determine who gets the space by rolling between 1 to 4 die. The number of die is dependant on how many viable connections the card has in that space. i.e. if the player 1 card has one good foodchain/terrain/climate linkage, then he/she gets to roll one dice. If player 2, competing for that space, actually has a card that fits in the space better (i.e. can have two linkages), then he/she gets to roll two die.
Like RISK, the die are rolled, players lose dice depending on what they roll (I'm sure there's a perfect way to describe this mechanic in the Risk rules), until they are out of dice. Winner gets to place the card on the spot.
To show that the original card always has an advantage having colonized the space first, in the event of die roll ties, challenger always loses.
Anyway, my main criticism for doing this is that it adds another mechanic, and whether that may be too much? (Although it might make it more fun for the younger kid set - it was playing the event cards that really slowed down the 6 year olds, since sometimes the consequences took some concentration to work out fully).