This will be the first in a series of guides that attempt to cover game play strategy in multiplayer Evolution. This guide will cover the fundamental rules and concepts that act as a foundation for all of the more in depth concepts that will be covered in later guides. For experienced players the information here won’t be very useful, however for players who are not very experienced the information here will act as an essential groundwork. Because I want this series to be as complete as possible I will cover everything from the the ground up, including the basic rules of the game.
Disclaimer: It’s very possible that over the course of this series there will be concepts or strategies that I fail to mention. If this occurs and you happen to catch it feel free to point it out. Also note that I’m by no means perfect at this game and if I learn new concepts that impact my view of the games strategy I will absolutely update my guides. Let this be a learning experience for the community as a whole.
The Laws of Evolution
The goal of Evolution is to score the most points over the course of the game. Points are gathered by collecting (plant food) and (meat food), each food collected amounting to one point. Additional points are earned at the end of the match equal to the number of pops you have plus the amount of trait cards that you currently have in play. You can see your own current score at any time however the scores of other players are hidden until the match ends.
The Stats of Species
Every player starts the game with 1 species which has minimum stats and no traits. Each species can hold up to 3 traits as well as 6 pops and 6 body weight. Pops determine how much food a species can consume each round. Weight determines both the food value of a species and how large a carnivore needs to be to predate the species. At the end of each round every pop who hasn’t been fed will die of starvation. You can have a maximum of 5 species at any given time. When a species goes extinct, that species’ trait cards will be refunded as new trait cards, however this does not apply to their pop count or body size. When all of your species go extinct you will immediately be given a new species with minimum stats and no traits at the start of the next round.
How Trait Cards Work
Using trait cards is one of the 2 core decisions , and by far the most important set of decisions a player will make over the course of the game. Each turn there are 6 things (7 if your using intelligence) that can be done with each of your trait cards, and at the start of each turn you draw trait cards equal to 3 plus the number of species you have (Note that this includes the species you are given if all of your species go extinct, meaning you can never draw less than 4 new trait cards in a round).
The first use is pitching it to add food to the watering hole. Every player must do this exactly once at the start of each round. This will add or subtract food from the watering hole depending on the cards food value (upper left corner). Minimalist traits tend to have higher food values, whereas carnivore traits tend to have lower food values, many of them being negative. The watering hole can never have a negative amount of food.
The second, third, and fourth uses are adding trait cards to species. Trait cards can be used to increase the pop of a species, increase the body size of a species, or be added directly to a species. if a species goes extinct it’s traits will be refunded, however the investment into its body size is permanently lost. Likewise any pops who die refund no value and consequently the trait cards used to create those pops are lost.
The fifth use for trait cards is creating new species. Finally the last thing you can do with your trait cards each round, and probably the biggest point in this section is that you can simply choose not to use trait cards. As far as I’m aware you have no maximum hand size so if your pretty sure adding body size or that new added pops or species will simply die out due to starvation or predation it’s better just to hold your cards until you can extract value out of them. Often one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is creating new pops that can’t possibly be fed unless somehow the stars align. Instead just hold onto your cards until you know you can probably extract some value from them. If there’s anything you take away from the article, let it be this.
Turn Order and What it Means
Round 1 the player who goes first is chosen randomly, and from there on the player going first rotates clockwise each round. The player going first gets to feed first during the feeding phase however the the consequence is also going first during the trait card playing phase. Turn order has no impact on the food card pitching phase. I firmly believe that the player going last during round 1 is at a significant advantage. There are numerous factors why I believe this is the case, however turn order is firmly outside of your control so I won’t cover those reasons in this guide. If enough people request these arguments I will cover them in a future guide however since they are simply left up to the dice I won’t discuss them yet.
When does the game End?
The game ends when the trait card deck runs out. According to the official rule book it ends when “the deck had to be shuffled again during the deal cards phase.” This means that when every trait card has been drawn. However this also means that even if the game ends this round you will still draw the as many trait cards as your current board state would allow you to even when the deck has emptied except in very fringe circumstances (however do note that I’m not sure if there has been a minor changing the online version as compared to the physical version to account for this).
The Rule Book for the Physical Game
The Rule Book for the Physical GameIf there’s anything I missed in terms of the base rules that anyone may want to reference here’s a posted link of the rule book for the physical game:https://www.fgbradleys.com/rules/rules3/EvolutionRules.pdf