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Subject: Stop! There should've been hammer time... rss

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Niclas Matikainen
Sweden
Gävle
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...Not to mention, more thieving, and genocide, and...

Anyway, Emi brought over two buddies of his for an evening of gaming, and since my brother had recently gotten Small World Underground for his birthday, the choice of game was obvious.
It turned out both of the new players were intelligent (and friendly) people, so the rules were quickly explained and we got underway.

Arv started out with the Flocking Gnomes before Emi’s Immortal Will-O-Wisps set up shop across the river. My brother came in with some Thieving Lizardmen, who got slightly hampered by the Gnomes being un-thievable. (I just noticed that we played the Gnomes wrong...)
Me, I started with some Frightened Drows, and this turned out better than expected. For the first turn, I was able to hide in a corner to grab some coins with Frightened, and since I was left alone the Drow ability kicked in on the following turn.

The Kraken had been the first race available, but everyone had skipped them since they were paired with Adventurous. Kal didn’t mind though. He took the four coins we had left for him, and then claimed the entire river for himself.
Unfortunately for Kal, the first four monsters carried Relics, so Adventurous turned out to be a dud.

I was able to spread out immensely on the third turn, thus gaining a pile of coins from my Drows. Retaliation was as swift as it was expected. Emi had gone into decline the previous turn, and now came at me with a combination of Stone Embers and some really nasty Relics.

The Sword of the Killer Rabbit, The Flying Doormat, The Shiny Orb, and The Stinky Troll’s Socks were all in play, setting up a very interesting situation. And the immediate Decline of my Drows.

Meanwhile, the Gnomes had been left unchecked, raking in piles of coins. But they were now spread thin and open to attack. I reentered the game with Fisher Iron Dwarves, removing any Gnome that was in the vicinity of water. With some timely assistance from my brother’s Vampire Liches and Kal’s Royal Shadowmimes, the Gnomes were finally forced into Decline on the fifth turn.

At this point, the Embers had carelessly left the Flying Doormat lying around. This became the bridge for a combined assault of Liches and Dwarves.
Oddly enough, the retaliation missed me, and I was able to spread out along the river for another turn, grabbing lots and lots of coins.

During all this, I forgot to use two Silver Hammers on one turn, wasting 1 point. As I noticed this (too late) I pointed out that “if I lose by 1 point, this is where it happened”.

By now, Arv was back with Reborn Cultists. Reborn obviously did nothing this late in the game, but the presence of the Great Ancient and the newly discovered Crypt of the Tomb-raider made him virtually untouchable. Again.
Emi hit the table with Shield Ogres, while my brother made a last attempt with the Vengeful Shrooms. Both of them stole some of my favourite fishing spots.

As my Iron Dwarves were now running out of tokens, I went into decline one last time. My final assault would come in the shape of the Mystic Spiderines. Being able to jump all over the board to secure Mystic Crystal regions sure was a nice way to end the game.

But it wasn’t enough. I ended up with 77 points. Which turned out to be, you guessed it, 1 less than Arv. Damn those forgotten Silver Hammers…
That being said, the real reason Arv won was because we didn’t attack him just because the Gnomes canceled our (conquering) abilities.

I should know better than that...

The final tally had Em at 68, Ka at 64, and my brother at 63. The latter had a few duds, perhaps keeping his Liches a turn longer than he should, and not having a chance to use the Vengeful ability so late in the game.
While Kal’s initial grab of the river seemed nice, it also turned out to hinder him as much as the rest of us once he went into decline. Emi got hit bad when we took out his Embers. On the turn they went into Decline, he only got two coins.

And me, I forgot those two hammers.
What can I say? “Called it”, I guess...
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Alain Curato
France
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Le goût "hammer" de la défaite...
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