Vegevaders!

Vegevaders is one of those games that must be played to understand the simplicity as well the value of the game.  The point of the game is to understand and experience the constant fight between pathogens and plants.  The fight remains to be persistent between the plant and the pathogen because of evolution, as one defeats the other, it constantly evolves in hopes to overtake or invade the next time the battle is foughtThe board game consists of only four rows, the first two having to do with the MTI or the MAMP triggered immunity and the second line of defense being related to the ETI or the effector triggered immunity.

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The game requires two players; one player acts as a bacterium and the other player acts as a plant cell.  The player who is bacterium goes first by laying out four feature cards in row one.  Player 2 then lays out four receptor cards.  If there are two matches between the four feature cards and the four receptor cards, the plant is winning.  Next, Player 1 lays out four effector cards in row three.  The effector card has the ability to trump the plant cell by cancelling out the match.  This is possible if the match in the MTI has the same letter as the as the effector card.  For example, if there is a match in column B, and there is an effector card that is either in the B1 or the B2 box, the match is no longer valid.  The plant will only be winning at this point if there are two or more matches in the first line of defense that did not get cancelled out by the effector card in row three. If that is not the case, the bacterium or Player 1 is winning.  As the last play in the game, Player 2 lays out four R-protein cards.  If there are any matches with the effector cards from row three, the plant automatically wins.  If there are no matches, then we go back to the first line of defense and see if there are at least two matches between row one and row two that did not get cancelled out by the effector cards in row three.  If there are at least two matches, the plant or Player 2 wins, if not, then bacterium or Player 1 wins.  The loser at this point still has one last opportunity to redeem themselves thanks to evolution.  If bacterium loses, the Player 1 can replace a card from either row one or row three to prevent a match.  If the plant loses, then Player 2 has the ability to change any two cards from row four to prevent a match.

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The best part of the game is honestly that the entire game revolves around chance or luck.  Being the plant or the bacterium does not guarantee the winner title.  This can relate back to real life in the sense that sometimes the plant is just strong enough to evade the bacteria and other times it is.  This once again has to do with evolution.  Either the bacteria is quick enough to evolve and take over the plant or the plant evolves faster and has the ability to destroy the bacteria.

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The game was definitely confusing at the beginning but eventually we all picked up on the rules and managed to have a tournament.  The winner of the tournament was awarded with having the first pick to the pile of chocolates and candies that were so kindly provided by Dr. Mukhtar.  At the end of the day, after a stressful finale, Karl won the match leaving Jeanju as runner-up.

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