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Evolution (EVL) WBC 2017 Report
Updated February 28, 2018 Icon Key
79 Players Lawrence Solomon 2017 Status 2018 Status Event History
2017 Champion

Evolution Continues to Increase

It was another stellar year for the Evolution tournament, with a few more players than last year, 170 unique starts, and a bunch of first time players. Now in its third year, the competition is getting tougher with closer games and a bunch of players winning at least one heat. Twenty-Five players won at least one heat.

The semi-finals consisted of four games, each showcasing a different style of play.

In semifinal 1, with top seeded Jay Buckwalter, it was a tight affair the whole game, with very few species, low food, and three carnivores at the end of the game. As dominant as Jay’s early carnivore was, he did not have enough species to fuel its growth and he lost to Jennifer Visocnik by 3 points. Only 8 points separate first and last.

The second semifinal was a high population, high food affair. Adam Oliner, the second seed, sees Robert Drozd jump to an early lead with Cooperating Long Necks and creates a Pack Hunting Carnivore to stop him. With no help from the other two players, Robert cruises to an easy victory.

Semifinal 3 saw a bunch of species, with all four players with three species at the start of turn 3. Like game 2 though, there was only one Carnivore the entire game. But with low food counts, the game stayed tight with low scoring. Last year’s runner-up, Lawrence Solomon, ekes out a victory over third seeded Ray Wolff by 2 points!

The last semifinal had even more species, with 14 species making it to the end. However, most of them had very little population. So thin, but spread out. One of the reasons was there were 4 Fat Tissue cards at the start of Turn 3. Most of the players kept it conservative, keeping the population low so as not to run out of the stored food. And like tables 2 and 3, not much Carnivore action; the first one showed up on 5. Joshua Coyle staged a fierce comeback with a double Scavenging Cooperation chain being fed by an Intelligent Carnivore. But he feel just short of Nick Henning by a mere two points.

For the finals, the Climate expansion was introduced into the game, which none of the finalists had played. New Rules were reviewed and the expansion went over amazingly well, with everyone picking up the new rules swimmingly. Unlike most of the semifinal games, here we got Carnivores right off the bat, with Nick creating a Pack Hunter. And as is most appropriate for the first game of Evolution Climate in an official Evolution tournament, a climate event sets off on the first turn (climate events sometimes do not even happen in a game of Climate) with a mini -3 food cold snap. No one had played Climate but Nick’s start with Carny/Pack triggered the first event of the game.

Since, apparently, good Evolution players do not like food, even though eating food is the name of the game, there was no food for Turn 2. Luckily most players had traits allowing them to get food other ways and only a few species went extinct.

Turn 3 does not get any better and the climate moves into a cold phase and triggers another random climate event, another mini Cold Snap. This time everyone loses population from the chilly temperature. On top of that, Nick kills off one Lawrence’s species with his Carnivore. And then Nick proceeds to lose two population to starvation. Already the Climate game is living up to its reputation as a much deadlier version of Evolution!

Learning from the previous rounds lack of food, the players put in high food cards so they have enough to eat and can sustain more species. This carries on for turns 5 and 6, while triggering the third climate event of the game, bringing in a Heat Wave with extra food. This benefits Lawrence’s Long Neck, Cooperating, and Foraging creatures. With that sweet chain, Lawrence just barely, and by barely I mean 1 point, beats out Nick and his Carnivore.

Lawrence, last year’s runner-up, finally gets top prize in Evolution, after getting into the semifinals in the inaugural tournament in 2014. With 11 points between first and last, the finals were another tight game, which seemed the theme of this year’s tournament, along with less emphasis on Carnivores. Hopefully the trend of increased number of entrants and new players will continue for next year’s tournament. Who knows maybe the Flight expansion will be introduced into the mix!

2017 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 1
Nick Henning Robert Drozd Jennifer Visocnik Joshua Coyle Ray Wolff
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
This is how you "evolve" Food can be scarce
Checking the rules Looks like he has a plan he likes
GM  Luke Warren [3rd Year]  NA
 luke@northstargames.com  NA