The following is an alphabetical index of some key terms from the game.
Ascending Order, Descending Order
When the players are in an Ascending Order phase, the player whose marker is last on the Scoring Ladder (i.e. last place) plays first, then the next-to-last player, all the way up to the first place player, who goes last.
A phase played in Descending Order is played the other way around: the player who is in first place goes first and play continues down the line until the person in last place takes his turn last.
Biological Points (BPs) represent the measure of vitality of a tribe of amoebas. You use BPs to cause amoebas to divide or to buy Genes.
You may also spend BPs to pay for the difference between your Mutation Points and the Ozone Layer Thickness.
The Compass in the center of the board converts a die roll into a specific direction of movement for the amoebas. Numbers 1 - 4 each give a specific direction, a 5 means that the amoeba fails to move, while a 6 means that the player has a free choice of direction.
The Compass also shows the current *Direction of Drift. Damage, Damage Points: Each amoeba collects Damage Points (DP) if it cannot eat. A newborn amoeba has no Damage Points; an unmutated amoeba dies in the round that it collects a second Damage Point.
The death of an amoeba during phase 5 is a Natural Death, whether it is caused by an accumulation of DPs (Damage) or through the action of the gene aggression.
The amoeba is removed from the board and returned to its owner. It is replaced by two Foodstuff cubes of EACH color. Amoebas may also die a Violent Death. This takes place during phase 1 and is the result of the action of another amoeba that possesses the gene struggle for survival.
Here too, the amoeba is removed from the board, but it is only replaced by one cube of each color, since the attacking amoeba has already fed on its victim.
There are 4 basic directions in Primordial Soup: North, South, West and East. Amoebas may only move in one of these directions; they may never move diagonally.
The four directions are printed on the Compass in the center of the board, numbered from 1 to 4. The number 5 forces an amoeba to stand still, while a 6 gives the player a free choice of direction.
The opposite of active movement. An amoeba that r doesn't actively move in phase 1 may drift freely in the direction indicated by the red-shaded area on the Compass.
There are 11 Environment Cards in the game. Each card shows two things, the Direction of Drift and the Ozone Layer Thickness.-----
An amoeba without any special capability eats 3 Foodstuff cubes per turn, but never one of its own color. With 4 players, it eats one cube of each of the other 3 colors, with 3 players it eats 2 cubes of one color and one of the other, the player deciding which colors to eat.
Once it has eaten, it excretes two cubes of its own color. An amoeba that can't find enough to eat, or not the right combination of colors, starves, ie, eats nothing, excretes nothing and gets a Damage Point.
The final 10 spaces of the Scoring Ladder, printed in a darker color than the rest. The game ends at the end of the round in which one or more markers reach the Finish Zone.
These are the basis of the game. Each amoeba requires a sufficient amount of Foodstuff cubes to survive and excretes more Foodstuff cubes, which can be used by other amoeba. If an amoeba dies, it leaves behind the Foodstuff cubes from which it is made.
The Board includes the following features. The Primordial Soup, comprising 19 spaces. An island in the center, with a Compass on it, which shows the Direction of Drift during that round.
The island is out of bounds to amoebas. Around the edge of the board runs the Scoring Ladder.
The game ends after the Scoring phase (phase 6) in which one or more markers reaches the dark colored Finish Zone of the Scoring Ladder.
Alternatively, the game ends after the Scoring phase of the round in which the last Environment Card is turned over. In either case, the player whose marker is furthest along the Scoring Ladder is the winner of the game.
If the sum of the mutation points on the cards that a player possesses exceeds the Ozone Layer Thickness on the current Environment Card, then the player must pay the difference, either by giving up Genes, or by paying BPs.
Example: A player has the Genes streamline, division rate, and speed.
The total Mutation Points is 4 + 3 + 5 = 12. If the Ozone Layer Thickness on the current Environment Card is 6, the player must pay the difference of 6 points. There are several ways that they could do this. They could give up 6 BPs, or they could return Speed (worth 3 points) and 3 BPs.
Should the player not have any free BPs, they would have to give up two cards. The value of the two cards would be more than the 6 points they must give up, but that would be their bad luck as there is no cash back scheme in force here!
Gene, Gene Card
Each Gene gives all the owning player's amoebas an extra capability. For these amoebas, the normal rules are superceded by the rule on the Gene Card. The various capabilities are described in the reference booklets.
Each Gene has a price, payable in BPs, that a player must pay before they can take the card. "• Each card also has a Mutation Point value.---
If the sum of the Mutation Points on your Genes exceed the current Ozone Layer Thickness, a Gene Defect will occur (see Gene Defects). No player may buy a second copy of a Gene they already possess.
Advanced Genes: To buy one of these Genes (indicated with a red title), you must give up a basic Gene as well as BPs (and the basic Gene must have been in your possession for at least one round). A player holding an Advanced Gene cannot buy the basic Gene that would be used to purchase it.
Example: In order to buy the Advanced Gene persistence, a player must pay 4 BPs and give up the basic Gene speed. You cannot buy SPEED then buy persistence in the same phase.
Once a player has persistence, they can no longer buy speed. Movement: This is the opposite of Drifting. This uncoordinated movement costs 1 BP and is not always successful, since the direction of movement is determined by a die roll.
A player's amoebas move, die, etc. in numerical order - deal with amoeba #1, then #2, all the way up to #7. Amoebas that aren't on the board do not count.
When placing an amoeba on the board, a player may use any available amoeba regardless of its number.
Ozone Layer Thickness
The thicker the Ozone layer, the less chance of unwanted Gene Defects. The thickness of the layer changes from round to round, as indicated on the current Environment Card.
Scoring, Scoring Ladder
Each player has a Score Marker on the Scoring Ladder that runs around the edge of the board. Only one marker may be on any space at a time. The movement of markers up the Scoring Ladder is governed by the Advance Table.
If at the end of a round there is a marker or markers in the dark Finish Zone of the Scoring Ladder, the game is over and the winner is the player furthest into this zone.
Shortage of Food
The total amount of Foodstuff cubes is limited. If there is an insufficient number of cubes off-board to replace, for example, a dead amoeba, then the cubes that are lacking are not replaced with another color, and the space does not then have as many cubes in it as would otherwise be the case.
An amoeba that does not find enough Foodstuff cubes in phase 1 of a round, or that does not find the right combination, starves. It eats nothing, excretes nothing and gets one Dam- age Point.