Eat Me

primitive life formVersion 1.2 by Allan Stagg
  1. Overview By laying cards players control single celled organisms that grow by eating and absorbing other organisms. Players gain points when their organisms are eaten. At the end of the game there will be one mega-creature, which will have eaten all the other organisms, (and earned 0 points for the player owning it). The rules below are for a five-player game, although the game may be played by a different number of players by adjusting the number of cards in the set-up.
  2. Set-up There are 52 cards, numbered 1 through 52. Each card represents an area which is adjacent to the next highest and next lowest card. Cards 1 and 52 are also adjacent to each other. Ten cards are dealt to each player, one card is revealed and the last card is withdrawn from play. Each player is informed of the individual cards he holds, and all players are informed of the number of the revealed card.
  3. Bidding Each player starts the game with 100 bid points to use to influence the order of play each turn. A player may bid any number of points, between 0 and the number of bid points he currently possesses, to attempt to get his card played as early as possible each round. The order of play for each round is decided by the bids made, with the player who has bid the highest number of points playing first. Tied bids will be decided in favour of the player who played closest to last in the previous round. In the first round, tied bids will be decided at random by the GM.
  4. Play Each player selects a card to play. This is played in the order determined previously by the player's bid. The GM plays the card, determines the effect it has had, and adds victory points to a player's total score where appropriate.
  5. Effect of cards played A card played will be adjacent to none, one, or two cards.
    • No adjacent organism If the card is not adjacent to any card, it immediately becomes a new single-celled organism, capable of eating new cards, or of being eaten by larger or older organisms. The GM gives it an ID (to indicate how old it is compared with other organisms).
    • One adjacent organism (Unowned) If the card is played next to an unowned organism (i.e. one of the cards revealed by the GM at the start of play), it eats that organism to become a two-cell organism. The GM gives it an ID, as above.
    • One adjacent organism (Owned) If the card is placed next to an existing organism that is owned by a player, it is immediately eaten, and added to the size of the existing organism. It does not give any victory points to the player playing the card.
    • Two adjacent organisms (One Unowned) If the card is placed between two existing organisms, one owned, the other unowned, the existing owned organism eats the new card, and then goes on to gobble up the unowned organism.
    • Two adjacent organisms (Both owned) If the card is placed between two existing owned organisms, it is immediately eaten by the larger organism. If both organisms are the same size, it is eaten by the older organism. No victory points are given to the player playing the card. The organism that has eaten the new card is now adjacent to the smaller/younger organism, and promptly eats it as well. The player who owned the eaten organism gains a number of victory points equal to the size of the ex-organism when it was eaten.
  6. Growth of organisms As organisms grow, they will eat other organisms until they themselves are eaten. When organisms are eaten, they give victory points to their owner equal to their size, so players should be trying to get their organisms to be the second largest organism around - in other words, the tastiest dinner (or the last supper)! The player who controls the largest organism will not score any victory points for it..
  7. Turn Structure
    • Set Up - Players are informed of their starting cards and revealed cards, and make their bids for the first round.
    • Rounds 1-9 - Players play a card, and put in a bid for the turn order for the next round (not on last round).
      The GM lets the players know which cards have been played, which organisms are in existence and who they belong to, how many victory points players have gained and how many bid points they have remaining.
    • Round 10 - Players play their last card.
      The winner will be the player with the greatest number of victory points after the last card has been laid.
    • Same Round Bid Variant (played in b-o-t-e):
      In each round the player chooses a card and a bid together. E.g. "play 13 and bid 17 points for it"
  8. NMRs If a player NMRs, the GM will select at random one of his cards to play. The NMRing player will bid 10% (rounded up) of his remaining bid points for position in the next round.

Ouroboros Variant

Ouroboros Serpent