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Small World» Forums » General

Subject: Are there enough choices in the game? rss

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Ben Michels
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Let me start off by saying that I am very interested in this game, and I plan on buying it. The only thing I am worried about is that the aren't enough choices in this game for there to really be very much strategy. Other than choosing your race/ability combination from those available, what choices are there for you to make?

For those of you that have already played the game, is this a game where there are strategies to figure out that improve your chance or winning, or is it just a chaotic game where the winner is the one who is attacked the least by the other players?

Thanks in advance for all of your responses.
 
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Matthew M
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The choices are summed up in three main categories, one of which you've already named:

-What civ should I pick? - This is one of the main decisions in the game, and one you'll make an average of 3 or 4 times in a typical game of Small World. You may only make this decision a couple times, but you live with the consequences for a good chunk of the game so it weighs heavily. And it's seldom simple. There are costs associated with most of the options, the current state of the game on the board, and considerations about how your powers will interact with those chosen (or likely to be chosen in the future) by others.

-When do I go into decline? - This is arguably just as important as which civ you take. Timing is a key element to good Small World play...going into decline is basically a turn in which you do nothing. The trick is to go into decline on the turn before the one where your active civ will be largely decimated. The reason for this is that you want your decline turn to still score you a significant amount of points. If you decline too early you lose out on extra points your civ could have scored had you kept going. Worse is declining too late - when you've had half your active civ wiped off the map. Then you not only lose a turn to go into decline but you don't score well in the process. You'll make this decision one time less often than deciding which civ to take...but this is also a huge decision with heavy implications for your final outcome.

-Who should I target? - When you aren't declining, you'll be deciding how to best score points in the game. Sometimes (actually, many times) your best play isn't necessarily the one that will score you the highest raw total of points because you can score a higher net on another player by hurting him while you help yourself. The players need to be mindful of who seems to be doing particularly well in the game and smack that player around. Finding the balance between helping yourself and hurting others is where the bulk of the remaining decisions in Small World lie.

I'm a fan of Vinci, and for me Small World is a wonderful improvement on Vinci's core elements. Strong recommendation!

-MMM
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Dave J McWeasely
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I read through the rules and was left wondering 'is that it?'. It seemed to me like the game was missing one more interesting element to really tick ... like combat cards or something.

However, we played it tonight and were not underwhelmed by choices. In many cases player turns took 15 seconds, so the choices per minute were high.
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Graeme Christie
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I have only played 1 2 player game .. but ...

There are plenty of strategic decisions in this game. Both on the level of deployment of your counters to the board, and the timely selection declining your race and selecting an approprirate race power combo that suits the strategic requirements of the board.

When deploying your forces to the board, you need to consider not only maxing points through the conquests of terrortories, but also whether to position those forces to defend your defenseless in decline races, or to minimise the point scoring ability of a thinly spread competitor. Alternatively, you may need to whittle down the forces of a competitor in posession of a particularly nasty power, to force them into decline.

This is certainly not a hardcore wargame, nor should it be played as such. I would put the level of decision making and it's impact on the outcome of the game somewhere between risk and el-grande. After a few more plays I might be able to narrow that down a bit more.

I haven't played 3 players yet, so I can't comment on the 2 players bashing one player issue. However I would figure that as movements on the board are pretty erratic, and you can tend to leave one area of a board and re-deploy anywhere (on the outside borders), I don't think it will have the same problems as other games such as risk, antike etc where the player who starts the game in the middle of the two others cannot avoid getting bashed, as there is no forced deployment positions, and no real contiguous forces, battle lines or choke points.

If you get bashed by the other players, you probably asked for it, are clearly winnning, or have very vindictive fiends *** who like watching you sqirm, more than they like playing games.



*** Personal note: I'm looking at YOU Paul surprise

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Djali
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True, there aren't many choices, but enough to make a good game.
We've played 4 games so far, and we really love the simplicity and fast play. It is strategic enough without any extra cards, options, rules etcetera.
I would really recommend it!
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Ben Michels
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I am now pretty convinced that this is a game I will enjoy.
 
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