My wife is a big fan of strategy and top-down designed games where theme helps the game along.
Games like Boss Monster, Legendary, Grave Business and Room 25 are some of her recent favorites, and I tend to enjoy anything we can play together without completely screwing each other over.
About 6 months ago I picked up Small World from the store where I work, but I guess the rulebook didn't speak to me when I tried to read up on the game, so my brain made the game far more complicated than it needed to be, and thus I shelved the game until this last week. After watching a couple short videos on how to play, I played a couple shadow turns with myself to get the hang of things then gave it a shot with her on one of our weekly date nights. Small World has to be saved for date nights since the amount of components are like a siren's call to our 5-year old son.
Moving along to the actual game:
Seriously....Screw her stupid Commando Trolls followed right by Flying Orcs ending with ridiculously stupid huge tribe of Bivouacking Amazons.
My Alchemist Wizards just died and went into decline in no time flat, then my Diplomatic Tritons swarmed, obliterated her in-decline trolls and then stalled her stupid stupid flying orcs for a few turns. (because they were stupid.) Finally I got some Wealthy Ghouls on turn 9 to get a few last-minute points to come up barely short by 2.
She really caught on to the mechanics quick ,and once we both realized the power of "in decline" the game picked up and I could almost hear an audible "click" when she really got the game's strategy. That's not coincidentally the moment my game-playing ego died a painful death. I realized she had a good hold on the game and she saw the value of Flying Orcs vs my....anything.
To be honest, that moment is always my favorite moment in gaming, when a player "gets it" for the first time, as they suddenly get into the game a bit more and get down and dirty with the mechanics, no longer making tentative plays unsure of the consequences. I really love seeing players learn organically as they play, as silly as that may sound.
This will be the first of many Small World games between us, and hopefully next time I will have a Horde of Kobolds to swarm the entire board! Revenge shall be sweet, but mostly just lots of fun.
Awesome quick write up Jypsy.
We love small world!.
I own everything, underground, all expansions, realms, leaders , necromancer and royal bonus races.
Just as you experienced, when I first cracked out small world and we started to play our first game (a couple of years ago or so), I had it very complicated in my head, also the first game was a bit of a dud for us, we got a few important rules wrong and we're playing the races a bit like how "Risk" plays.
Second game ..we all "got it"... It was amazing, we were all hooked, the expansions got gobbled up. Good times.
We ( or rather I leaned towards) imposing "heavier" games on my group , which consists of immediate and extended family.
Agricola, Terra Mystica, Dominant Species, Dungeon Petz..
Small world never got a look in
Recently , with the launch of Small World 2 on ipad, festering my interest in the game once more..out has come the boardgame, we have even got a new group not only playing it, but just finished purchasing all base and expansion stuff.
Small World is a great game, it's theme is inherent in its design, it plays smooth as silk once you learn the many races and combos.
The races are amazing, the art a magical feast for the eyes.
Small world stands the test of time, a brilliant , brilliant family game and IMHO extremely good value for money.
It's a keeper.
Lefty / Happily Married / Parent of 2 Girls / Christian / Yucata User
Smack dat Ghoulie, Mr. Trolla!
Small World has to be saved for date nights since the amount of components are like a siren's call to our 5-year old son.
A lot of what you said resonated with me, but this just made me LOL, really. Thanks for that.
She had a good hold on the game and she saw the value of Flying Orcs vs my....anything.
See, I wouldn't have seen that combo as a big winner...funny how every game is relative to only itself. Yet people still wonder if Small World has replay value...
To be honest, that moment is always my favorite moment in gaming, when a player "gets it" for the first time, as they suddenly get into the game a bit more and get down and dirty with the mechanics, no longer making tentative plays unsure of the consequences.
THIS is why I love teaching games--because excitement results from that clicking sound.