Episode 197: Dominant Species: Marine

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1) The Pegs discuss their recent game plays including Destinies, Whatnot Cabinet, Holi and many more;

2) All the Pegs review Dominant Species: Marine; and

3) Look back at Reavers of Midgard.

Show Notes

00:01:14 – Polybius – real or conspiracy?


00:07:42 – Knock Knock Contest Resolution, Patreon Ecos Contest

00:14:22 – Jeremy’s New(er) Job

00:21:14 – Dorfromantik Break-Up


00:25:46 DestiniesLucky Duck Games; Designer: Michał GołębiowskiFilip Miłuński; Art: Karolina JędrzejakMagdalena LeszczyńskaIrek Zielinski;

00:34:12BeezNext Move Games; Designer: Dan Halstad; Art: Chris Quilliams;

00:44:54The Whatnot CabinetPencil First Games, LLC; Designer: Eduardo BarafSteve FinnKeith Matejka; Art: Kim RobinsonBeth Sobel;

00:55:36Holi: Festival of ColorsFloodgate Games; Designer: Julio E. Nazario; Art: Vincent Dutrait;


01:03:40Pixel Tactics Online

01:06:38Dominion App

01:12:45Board Game Atlas Accredited Critic

01:16:01 Smirk and Dagger: Spill

01:18:47Lifesized Monopoly

REVIEW: Dominant Species: Marine

01:29:52 – Rules Breakdown

Dominant Species: Marine, designed by Chad Jensen with art by Chad Jensen and Chechu Nieto and published by GMT Games is the 2021 follow-up to 2010’s Dominant Species.  While the two games share some core concepts and mechanics, there are a handful of small but significant differences that make the newer title unique.

In Dominant Species: Marine, players take on the role of one of four animals fighting to adapt and evolve to an ever-changing and resource-scare ocean landscape.  Players will expand the map; add, remove, and change elemental resources; and compete for domination until an asteroid eventually hits the earth and everything goes extinct.  No, really: the end-game card is a giant asteroid that kills everything.

A key concept in the game is that of thriving and extinction.  In the standard game, each animal comes with three pre-printed element symbols and their player board.  These correspond to element tokens that are seeded on the board at set up and then will be added to the board as it expands and as certain other actions are taken.  A species of an animal – represented by a cube in that animal’s color on a hex tile – is thriving if at least one of the elements on its player board matches that of an element token on the hex.  If this is not the case, the animal is endangered, which means certain triggers will cause every cube on that tile to be discarded – most likely permanently – for the rest of the game.

Each player begins with a number of action pawns in their color, with the exact number being determined by the number of players in the game.  On their turn, a player will take one of their available action pawns and place it on a space on the action board, with the main rule that every placed pawn must be located on a space after (to the right or below) of the most recently placed pawn.  Over the course of the game, players may gain special action pawns that allow them to break this rule, though ownership of these pawns may change depending on the actions of other players.

The action area affects the board in a variety of ways, but largely involves placing new element tiles on the board, changing, moving, or removing existing tiles, adding element tiles to a player’s animal to adapt them to the board, and add tiles.  Other actions allow species to attack each other, to gain special pawns by dominating certain elements, and score points.

The game advances through the resolution of Event cards, of which give are always available at any particular point in the game.  Taking an Evolution action allows a player to resolve one of the displayed cards, which have a variety of both positive and negative effects.  When a card is resolved, a new one comes out – and depending on the card, might trigger other game effects.  When the Asteroid card is played, the end-game is near.  The next player who plays the card triggers the last few actions of the game, at which point final scores are tallied.

Players will gain points for various actions and events over the course of the game, and at the end each tile on the board is scored for majorities, and players gain points for any elements that still dominate by the end of the game.  Whoever has the most points wins.

01:33:05 – Review

01:57:56 – Ratings


02:08:38Reavers of MidgardGrey Fox Games; Designer: J.B. Howell; Art: Yaroslav Radetskyi;

Check out our original review for Reavers of Midgard during Episode 172.

Gameplay Photos

* Disclosure: These titles were received free of charge by the publishers or distributors. If you are interested in submitting a title for review, please read our Review Policy.

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