A journey of discovery…

Dawn’s Natural Selection Deck Preview

G’day guys,

I thought it was time to upload a sample card from the Natural Selection deck.

Please bare in mind that the graphics are still a work in progress and they may change for the final game. We’ve been using these graphics and found it to be clean and easy to read, with the interest of the bottom runner, but as you can see I need to change my name to Darwin Games and refine these a bit. But it should give you the general idea.


There are several different parts to the card, some particular parts having multiple uses. The way these cards are used adds a solid tactical nature to the game, creating a depth that rewards good strategy, careful choices and good timing.

Natural Selection cards are either played from your hand of seven cards, or you can “Let Nature Take Its Course” and play the top card from the Natural Selection Deck (however, you won’t actually know what it is).

Natural Selection cards are used when moving over special terrains, when completing objectives, performing special actions and fighting. The Natural Selection Deck also includes Boost cards (modifiers for regular NS cards), Predator cards (which will unleash a predator onto the board), Event cards (which will modify the gaming environment) and Sungem cards (which generates Sungems on the board mid-game). Of course you can tailor your games to your liking, taking out or adding any of these types of cards (which will determine a scenario’s Threat rating and can give bonuses in campaigns). But I’m getting ahead of myself. 😉

The regular Natural Selection cards have a large number in the centre top. That will either be red or blue. In anything but fighting and some special abilities, the colour means nothing and the value is read as just a number. When in combat, the colour is important. If you are attacking, you want to use a red number, in defense you want to use a blue number. You can use a blue to attack and a red to defend, but the value is halved (rounding down).

This number determines how many d10s are rolled in combat, with any results under your model’s relevant stat (Attack or Defense) counting as a success. It should be noted that 0 on the d10 actually counts as an automatic success and can trigger special abilities.

Successes are compared and effects will occur depending on the difference in successes.

The writing below the line can be used in combat to create an effect. This requires the card to be discarded (a card cannot be used for both its number and its ability unless a Tribal Token is used (more on this another time). There is always a qualifier that needs to be met to be used. For the one in this example, you need to be Attacking. If you are and you discard this card, you gain the effect OPENING. This effect allows you to cancel one of your opponent’s effects for each 0 you roll on your dice. There are quite a few different effects that can be used at different times in the game. Do you use them or hold onto the card for its number or Activation? The choice is yours.

The last bit of information on the card is the Activate 2 above the line. This is used at the start of a turn. You discard a card to activate that many models for the current turn. This varies from 1 to 4.

Each aspect of the card is used independently, so there are some important decisions to be made as to how you utilise that card. Do you use it to activate several models, for its number or for its effect?

In play, the Natural Selection Deck is a mechanic that we personally love and think it brings a lot to the game both strategically and thematically.

That’s all for now, but I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions, please post away!

Remember, if you are enjoying Rise of the Occulites, please consider spreading the word. We would really appreciate it. 🙂



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