Optional 2- And 3-player Rules
When playing Dominant Species with only 2 or 3 players, the following rules may be used which allow for each player to control multiple animals. These rules conflict with some of those found elsewhere in these rules: where there is conflict, the rules in this column take precedence.
When assigning animals to the players during set up, as- sign all six animals. Thus in a 3-player game each player will be in control of two different animals; in a 2-player game, each player will control three different animals.
Players should assign one colored set of wooden bits to each of their animals. Each animal receives 3 cylinders and 35 cubes as if it were a 6-player game. Each animal maintains its own separate VP total.
When one of a player's animals is acting, his other animal(s) and their species are considered "opposing" for all purposes (exactly as if they were controlled by an op- posing player). For example, when a Dominance Card refers to "your animal" it is referring only to the animal that was dominant on the scored tile-in this case your other controlled animal(_) would be treated as opposing.
While all six animals will ostensibly gain VP's throughout the game, only one belonging to each player will count for the final score. At the end of the game, each player's animal with the lowest individual score will be that player's overall final score-animals with higher scores belonging to the same player are ignored.
Thus it behooves you to try to maintain a balance between your multiple animals throughout the game rather than sacrificing one for the benefit of another.
For example, in a 2-player game Mark's animals have scores of 70, 145 and 160-netting him only 70 VP's. If Bob's animals had 75, 85 and 95 points, his final score would be 75 for the win.
Optional (random) Earth Setup
Prior to placing tiles on the board, shuffle all the large tiles face down. Draw seven at random and place them into the seven starting spaces. (The remainder form the three draw piles as normal). Place a tundra atop the central tile.
One at a time, randomly draw a total of twelve elements from the bag, placing them onto the twelve tile corners normally allotted for starting elements. (The action dis- play is seeded with elements normally).
Place 1 mammal species onto each non-tundra tile containing a single meat element; 2 mammals onto each non-tundra tile containing 2 meat; 3 mammals onto each non-tundra tile containing 3 meat; etc.
Repeat this process for reptiles and sun; birds and seed; amphibians and water; arachnids and grub; insects and grass.
Identify the animal having the most species on earth and count those species. Place every animal's VP cube into the space of the Victory Point Track equal to this count. Then each animal loses a number of starting VPs equal to the number of starting species it has on earth (thus the animal or animals with the greatest number of starting species will begin the game with 0 VPs).
It is possible, however unlikely, that an animal will begin the game with no species on earth. If this occurs, don't panic! That animal will start the game with a nice VP lead-plus it means that the odds of its preferred element coming out of the draw bag and onto the action display is enhanced.