$10.00
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 Hide
17 Posts

Small World» Forums » Rules

Subject: Diplomatic Skeletons rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
BT Carpenter
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Small World » Forums » Rules
Diplomatic Skeletons
Last night my wife and I played our first two player version of Small World. We have half a dozen 3+ player games, so we know and understand the rules but the first session showed us an interesting problem with Diplomatic when it is combined with Skeletons.

She started off with Sorcerers, nothing else was very enticing at the time. I countered with some expensive Mounted Ghouls. Her choice had put 'Diplomatic Skeletons' on top of the stack, so my choice put it into the $5 position. She didn't decline in turn 2 and I did, giving up the Ghoul's offensive ability, but gaining access to another set of tokens.

I next picked up the Diplomatic Skeletons and cut the board in half. I didn't attack her and declared her my ally.

Squeezed by Ghouls on one side and Diplomats on the other, she chose to decline.

On my turn, I expanded the Skeletons further through some old ancients and her now declined Sorcerers and per the rulings here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/3373984#3373984 I declared her not-yet active race active as an ally.

She came onto the board in a corner and took what she could. My skeletons then pressed the battle line to her, filling in all remaining neutral holes between us and I took over two more ancients to boot, giving another +1. I had still not attacked her active race (so they remained allied to me), but she was now unable to expand AGAIN. She declined and the Sorcerers left the board.

I then abandoned all the central territories and took over the edge spaces around where the Sorcerers had originally entered (now empty territory) and continued to NOT attack her active race if it was on the board, Her only point of entry was through her own declined race, and there were only 4-5 territories she could obtain at that. Without Flying or Halflings there was little she could do and she ended up conceding when it was clear the Skeletons were growing by a token every turn by abandoning central regions and focusing solely on taking out her declined race, never her active. I maintained a 'courtyard' in the center of unpopulated territory and came very close to having the 14 territories needed to completely occupy the edges of the board, denying any non Halfling or Flying race entry to the board.

Something feels broken.

The thread above references this logic, which I agree with:
AllenDoum wrote:
The trick is does "opponent whose Active race you did not attack" refer to:
A) Any player who did not have an Active race attacked.
B) A player with an Active race that was not attacked.

After all, the rule could have said: "The player selected could not be one whose Active race was attacked."


The rule state you select the player, not the race. If you have no active race, I obviously cannot attack it, and can therefor declare you my ally so my rear flank is protected.

But the Skeletons can conquer every border territory, making it impossible for new entry to the board except via Halfling or Flying.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
H-B-G
United Kingdom
Halesowen
West Midlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Just a quick question, but what were the Ghouls doing all this time? Were they surrounded by Skeletons and if not why couldn't they be attacked?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron R.
United States
Kentucky
flag msg tools
Diplomatic Anything in a two player game isn't much fun. We throw it out when playing 2-player games.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Devon Harmon
United States
Indianapolis
Indiana
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My first playing of this game left me rather underwhelmed, as it was a 2 player game involving diplomatic humans. The humas expanded without attacking, then sat there, eventually earning 10 points/turn.

In the future, I will not be using diplomat in any two player games.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
El Chupacabratwurst
mbmbmbmbmb
DaveD wrote:
Just a quick question, but what were the Ghouls doing all this time? Were they surrounded by Skeletons and if not why couldn't they be attacked?


This was my question, too. She should have been able to pound on your ghouls on one half of the board and steal all those points from you, and if you were still stubbornly sticking with your skeletons at that point she could have declined and taken whatever other open territory she could find with a new race.

Also, it's not necessarily broken as is, even if it's powerful. One of the obligations of this game, especially in 2 player matchups, is to plan ahead based on the races that someone is likely to bring on the board after you. If you know diplomacy is a possiblity, you have to try to box one half of the board in so that you're able to expand behind your lines while forcing the diplomat to either a) use his ability and make you an ally, foregoing expansion into your territory or b) ignore his ability, wasting the special power and allowing you to attack him as normal.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gareth
Switzerland
Zürich
Zürich
flag msg tools
My ass is green, but I don't let it worry me.
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah, Diplomacy and 2p games just don't mix well (I'd even argue for removing it in a 3p game too, but that might just be me).

Funnily Diplomatic Skeletons was the first power drawn in our first ever game of Small World leading to much discussion about how a race without any vocal cords or tongues could be Diplomatic

Our eventual conclusion: they must be really good mimes!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BT Carpenter
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
DaveD wrote:
Just a quick question, but what were the Ghouls doing all this time? Were they surrounded by Skeletons and if not why couldn't they be attacked?


The ghouls harassed her flank briefly and she destroyed all but two of them in a mountain as her second race entered the board. That pair of ghouls kept trying to expand out but a series of blank rolls meant they did nothing the rest of the game.

I didn't give a full session report because the focus was on the ability for the Skeletons to get complete coverage of the 14 outer territories with Diplomacy.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zack Boatman
United States
Santa Fe
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
It doesn't just say "choose a player", but instead says,"choose any player whose active race...".

It's pretty clear that you are not allowed to use diplomacy against a player without an active race on the board.

Your wife should have been able to come in and attack you anywhere at the beginning of the next turn as she had no active race on the board on your turn when you have to declare your ally.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
El Chupacabratwurst
mbmbmbmbmb
zboat wrote:
It doesn't just say "choose a player", but instead says,"choose any player whose active race...".

It's pretty clear that you are not allowed to use diplomacy against a player without an active race on the board.

Your wife should have been able to come in and attack you anywhere at the beginning of the next turn as she had no active race on the board on your turn when you have to declare your ally.



Actually, I thought Days of Wonder clarified this exactly in reverse--you choose an opponent, and when they select an active race they are then in an alliance with you and unable to attack.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BT Carpenter
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
As quoted above -- if you attack a player's newly declined race, you have not attacked their active race (as they don't have one).

Otherwise, Diplomat should be worded 'Select an Active Race...'

Luckily it didn't mar the evening, we just swept the board and started a new game, but she did make me promise to post about it and get opinions.

-=-=-

As to her play - the only real defense she had would have been to immediately decline the moment they hit the board in the $5 position and get first crack at them.

I'm not in a position to recreate the game right now, but might take that up as a project to show what happened. Part of it was definitely die rolls, we had many blank rolls though the skeletons got a lucky reinforcement against a border mountain which didn't help her case.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laurence Parsons
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
Old enough to know what's right
badge
Young enough not to choose it
mbmbmbmbmb
byronczimmer wrote:
DaveD wrote:
Just a quick question, but what were the Ghouls doing all this time? Were they surrounded by Skeletons and if not why couldn't they be attacked?


The ghouls harassed her flank briefly and she destroyed all but two of them in a mountain as her second race entered the board. That pair of ghouls kept trying to expand out but a series of blank rolls meant they did nothing the rest of the game.


Hang on a second. What were your ghouls doing? Why were they attacking at all? Unless I've been playing entirely wrong, when a race is declined, it's entirely passive. It can't attack.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave G
United States
Illinois
flag msg tools
El Chupacabratwurst
mbmbmbmbmb
freduk wrote:
byronczimmer wrote:
DaveD wrote:
Just a quick question, but what were the Ghouls doing all this time? Were they surrounded by Skeletons and if not why couldn't they be attacked?


The ghouls harassed her flank briefly and she destroyed all but two of them in a mountain as her second race entered the board. That pair of ghouls kept trying to expand out but a series of blank rolls meant they did nothing the rest of the game.


Hang on a second. What were your ghouls doing? Why were they attacking at all? Unless I've been playing entirely wrong, when a race is declined, it's entirely passive. It can't attack.


That's the Ghoul racial ability, they can attack and expand in decline.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laurence Parsons
United Kingdom
Bristol
flag msg tools
Old enough to know what's right
badge
Young enough not to choose it
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks. My mistake. I knew they all stayed on the board, but had missed the bit about still being able to attack.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Rose
United States
Walnut Creek
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
freduk wrote:
Thanks. My mistake. I knew they all stayed on the board, but had missed the bit about still being able to attack.

The first game where ghouls hit the board, we missed that bit as well.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
MGS
United States
Fitchburg
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Warhammer: Diskwars
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree that Diplomat tags to a an opposing player rather than an opposing active race. But, do we have an official word on this?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
H-B-G
United Kingdom
Halesowen
West Midlands
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ronaldo wrote:
I agree that Diplomat tags to a an opposing player rather than an opposing active race. But, do we have an official word on this?


I asked the question

Quote:
In Small World, is a race with the Diplomat power allowed to nominate a player, who has just declined or who has not yet had a turn (and therefore has no active race) as an ally?


The Answer

Quote:

Yes indeed, the only restriction in the choice of an ally is that you cannot choose a player if you just attacked his active race.

Best Regards,

Franck Lefebvre
Customer Service
Days of Wonder
Come out and play!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
BT Carpenter
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
That means Diplomat in a 2 player game with Skeletons or Amazons is broken.

Skeletons: Can grow to large enough to take over all border regions.

Amazons: They get 11 permenant tokens and enough recurring offensive power to take 11 regions. Spreading thin isn't a concern for the Amazons (I mean, look at them). The other player will be forced to canabalize their own territory when coming onto the board.

In both cases, the Diplomatic/XXX is best as the SECOND race to hit the table since you can just spread out in a way to protect your own declined race and cordon off territory from your opponent.

The only counter to this is seeing them coming and rapidly expanding so they can't form the great wall of china properly. You're then vulnerable when you go into decline. This means that 'turtle' races and bonus VP races aren't as good as offensive power or hordes.

If both players know how icky the Diplomats can be, there are some effective counters - but overall, they're teetering on 'broken' in two player.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.