Animal Abilities Update #8: The Dog
The next arrival was the Dog. It scampered over the finish line and was relieved to find it had made it into the 12. The loyal Dog admitted to being a good swimmer but had played along the shallows of the riverbank too long. Upon realizing the time, the Dog swam across with all its might to find itself finishing 11th.
The loyal Dog is all about taking advantage of the Strategise Action (Action card #8). The racetrack board is split between two areas: land and the river. There is no aftereffect of playing this on the land. However, when you play Strategise on the river, you must discard 1 Energy card (you're expending a large amount of Energy while attempting to cross the river). This rule is in effect for all players.
Land: The Dog gains (1) 1-Energy card after playing Strategise while on the land area of the racetrack board.
River: When playing Strategise on the river, the Dog's ability becomes more potent: you gain 1 additional movement and you do not need to discard an Energy card!
The inherent ability of acquiring Energy cards and gaining movement when playing Strategise is a nice benefit for the Dog. However, let's take this one step further and look at the Strategise card:
This is the Action card for a 3 & 4 player game. In a 5-player game, the only difference is "Individual highest energy" becomes "Individual or joint highest energy"
Taking a closer look, you will see that the player with the individual highest energy card collects back ALL of their Action and Energy cards to their hands. All other players must leave their first Action and Energy cards on the table! Not collecting all cards back in hand could seriously hinder a players progress and strategy for the next few rounds.
This is where the Dog's ability significantly comes into play. If you're playing as the Dog, it is extremely beneficial to understand the position of all other players at the table. Knowing when they will take the Strategise action is key. You can easily thwart the strategies of other players that aren't expecting aggressive play by the Dog. All other players (except for the Dog) don't receive any benefit from playing Strategise (outside of collecting back your cards). The Strategise Action is essentially a "reset" action for players. However, depending on the location of the Dog on the racetrack, it will either gain (1) 1-Energy card or 1 movement. And in the case of the latter, the Dog does not have to return an Energy card to the supply! Even though the Dog might not need to take a Strategise action on a specific round, it might do so to thwart other players while also gaining an extra benefit in return. Be mindful of the Dog!
The Years of the Dog include: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, and 2030. People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, loyal and decisive according to Chinese zodiac analysis. They are not afraid of difficulties in daily life. These shining characteristics make them have harmonious relationship with people around.
More on the Year of the Dog (including Lucky numbers, Lucky signs, etc.): Year of the Dog