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Subject: Are You Required to Either Expand or Decline Each Turn? [answered] rss

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Just want to edit up front that this post has been disproven. There is no "expand or die" requirement in Small World.

----- original post -----

In another thread, Clay Cooper brings up a game-changing obvious interpretation of the rules that alters my small world!

The subject of that original thread focused on the ability of Diplomatic Amazons to conquer half the board in a 2-player game and declare the other player as their ally. Thereby "waiting" out the rest of the game collecting a large amount of points each turn. In essence, the Amazons just sit there.

I assume that everyone plays this way... that if nobody attacks you, you can just sit there turn after turn pulling in 10+ points.

Clay says, but wait a minute. What about the MAIN PREMISE of the game that states, if you don't conquer anything on your turn you must decline!

"What?, we all say? "Where did you get that idea?"

Page 6, top-left corner:

Quote:
"During his turn, each player must now either:

- Expand the reach of this race through new conquests

OR

- Put his race into Decline to select a new one."


Wow. It seems crystal clear to me that if you either choose not to, or fail to, conquer at least 1 new region during your turn, you MUST put your race into decline. There is no "sitting on your laurels" as it were.

Maybe this is obvious to you all, but it significantly changes the way my group has been playing this game for the better.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
I missed it - well spotted.
 
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brian
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
Skadar wrote:
Page 6, top-left corner:

Quote:
"During his turn, each player must now either:

- Expand the reach of this race through new conquests

OR

- Put his race into Decline to select a new one."


Wow. It seems crystal clear to me that if you either choose not to, or fail to, conquer at least 1 new region during your turn, you MUST put your race into decline. There is no "sitting on your laurels" as it were.

Maybe this is obvious to you all, but it significantly changes the way my group has been playing this game for the better.

At a bare minimum, if you attempted to conquer and fail, you still tried to expand the reach of your empire and cannot go into decline (as you can't do both in the same turn).

I think the basic premise is you do Option A or Option B. Just because you fail at, or choose to do nothing on Option A, doesn't mean that Option B automatically kicks in. You should be able to select Option A and choose not to attack.
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Philip Thomas
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
I also missed this, but it really doesn't solve Diplomatic Amazons. The Amazons will always be able to conquer a new region, thanks to their special ability.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
Philip Thomas wrote:
I also missed this, but it really doesn't solve Diplomatic Amazons. The Amazons will always be able to conquer a new region, thanks to their special ability.


Now I saw but didn't read the original post. If you attack the other player with the Diplomatic Amazons then you can't declare the Diplomatic power on them. So in a two player game, if there is absolutely no more room to expand without attack the opponent then it is moot....

I envisioned a split board with each player collecting roughly the same amount of VPs.

Further, for some reason I'm not thinking of, and one can use the Diplomatic Amazons in the envisioned way, I would call 'cheese-ball' and that player needs to learn how to play the game.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
Skadar wrote:
In another thread, Clay Cooper brings up a game-changing obvious interpretation of the rules that alters my small world!

The subject of that original thread focused on the ability of Diplomatic Amazons to conquer half the board in a 2-player game and declare the other player as their ally. Thereby "waiting" out the rest of the game collecting a large amount of points each turn. In essence, the Amazons just sit there.

I assume that everyone plays this way... that if nobody attacks you, you can just sit there turn after turn pulling in 10+ points.

Clay says, but wait a minute. What about the MAIN PREMISE of the game that states, if you don't conquer anything on your turn you must decline!

"What?, we all say? "Where did you get that idea?"

Page 6, top-left corner:

Quote:
"During his turn, each player must now either:

- Expand the reach of this race through new conquests

OR

- Put his race into Decline to select a new one."


Wow. It seems crystal clear to me that if you either choose not to, or fail to, conquer at least 1 new region during your turn, you MUST put your race into decline. There is no "sitting on your laurels" as it were.

Maybe this is obvious to you all, but it significantly changes the way my group has been playing this game for the better.


As I explained in the other thread, the word "must" is to be read with the word "OR" -- to make it clear that a player may not do both conquer and decline in the same turn.

The "Ready your Troops" phase of the Conquer option says the player "may" take tokens in hand to attempt conquests. This is permissive, not mandatory, so there is no requirement to take up tokens (and hence, no requirement to attempt a conquest).

Note that sitting on your laurels is not often a viable strategy. As in the other thread, if you're in a 2P and using Diplomat, it can win the game (but that suggests that Diplomat is unsuited for 2P games). In pretty much every other situation, your opponents can simply eat up your empire -- the way they would if you had declined, but without affording you the chance to get something else on the board.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
Making another post about it doesn't make it more true.

Section 4 of the rules:

Quote:
In following turns, the first player moves the Game Turn
marker up one spot on the track and the game continues
clockwise. During his turn, each player must now either:

 Expand the reach of his race through new conquests
OR
 Put his race In Decline to select a new one.


(Emphasis in original game rules).

THEN, there are two subsections in blue.
First section:
Expanding through new Conquests
Quote:
> Ready your Troops
Leaving in place one Race token in each Region they occupy,
the player may take all his other Active Race tokens from the
map back in hand and use them to conquer new Regions.
> Conquer
All rules relative to the conquest of a new Region (see
Conquering Regions, p. 4) must be respected, with the exception
of the rule relative to the First Conquest - which only applies to
new races entering on the map.
> Abandoning a Region
Only those Race tokens that were taken back in hand may
be used to conquer new Regions. If a player wishes to free up
some more Race tokens, he may opt to entirely empty up
some - or all - Regions, leaving no Tokens there; but in this
case, these now abandoned Regions will no longer be
considered his, nor bring him any Victory coins. If the player
chooses to abandon all the Regions he previously occupied,
his next conquest must follow the same rules as its First
Conquest (see First Conquest, p. 4).


Second Section:
Entering In Decline
Quote:
Once a player thinks that his Active race is overextended
and no longer has the impetus required to
continue expanding successfully or defend itself from
increasingly threatening neighbors, he may choose to put it In
Decline by selecting a new Race and Special Power combo from
those available on the table at the start of his next turn.
To do so, the player flips his current Race banner upside down,... (blah blah blah)


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The rules make it very clear that the choice is between two choices. There is no provision for 'if you fail to conquer anything then you have to decline'. The choice is 'keep your active race active' or 'decline your active race'.

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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
ColtsFan76 wrote:
Skadar wrote:
Page 6, top-left corner:

Quote:
"During his turn, each player must now either:

- Expand the reach of this race through new conquests

OR

- Put his race into Decline to select a new one."


Wow. It seems crystal clear to me that if you either choose not to, or fail to, conquer at least 1 new region during your turn, you MUST put your race into decline. There is no "sitting on your laurels" as it were.

Maybe this is obvious to you all, but it significantly changes the way my group has been playing this game for the better.

At a bare minimum, if you attempted to conquer and fail, you still tried to expand the reach of your empire and cannot go into decline (as you can't do both in the same turn).

I think the basic premise is you do Option A or Option B. Just because you fail at, or choose to do nothing on Option A, doesn't mean that Option B automatically kicks in. You should be able to select Option A and choose not to attack.


That's not what the quote says, though. It doesn't say "try". It says "Expand".

That makes a certain amount of sense. If you don't attack anyone during your turn, the result in terms of board position is exactly the same as if you went into decline (prior to flipping your control markers, of course).

I do not have the rules with me, so there may well be another rule that contradicts this. However, the rule as quoted is quite clear - expand or die. The choices are *not* "attempt to expand or go into decline". I do agree it's poorly worded, but then I'm not really a fan of the newer version, especially compared with Vinci.
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Philip Thomas
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
CM Randall wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
I also missed this, but it really doesn't solve Diplomatic Amazons. The Amazons will always be able to conquer a new region, thanks to their special ability.


Now I saw but didn't read the original post. If you attack the other player with the Diplomatic Amazons then you can't declare the Diplomatic power on them. So in a two player game, if there is absolutely no more room to expand without attack the opponent then it is moot....

I envisioned a split board with each player collecting roughly the same amount of VPs.

Further, for some reason I'm not thinking of, and one can use the Diplomatic Amazons in the envisioned way, I would call 'cheese-ball' and that player needs to learn how to play the game.


Two methods for the Amazons here.
1) Each turn, the Amazon pulls out of a region and reconquers it. If this counts as expansion, then there is no problem.
2) (if 1 is outlawed). The Amazon player takes care to surround some territory with her pieces. Each turn she pulls out of a region next to said territory, and conquers a region inside the territory.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
dcooley wrote:

I do not have the rules with me, so there may well be another rule that contradicts this. However, the rule as quoted is quite clear - expand or die.


Quote "expand or die" from this please:
http://static.smallworld-game.com/lang/english/images/sw_rul...

Show me where it says 'if you fail to conquer anything, you must decline'.

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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
You people read into the rules too much.

At the start of your turn, you decide if you will Decline or Not.

If you Decline, then you decline and score.
If you don't decline, you can expand with your active race.

you are Never forced to Decline.

All of the various Rule FAQs support this. For example, if your Active race is wiped out but you still have an in-decline race, you may choose to "expand" with 0 units and score for your declined units. You are not forced to decline and score 0.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? No, we haven't.
Okay, you've convinced me. Two things seal the deal.

1) You can't "try and fail" to conquer and THEN say you are declining. I shouldn't have written that.

2) And this, which is right out of the rules.

Faranim wrote:
if your Active race is wiped out but you still have an in-decline race, you may choose to "expand" with 0 units and score for your declined units. You are not forced to decline and score 0.


Thanks for keeping me on track.
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
Philip Thomas wrote:
CM Randall wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
I also missed this, but it really doesn't solve Diplomatic Amazons. The Amazons will always be able to conquer a new region, thanks to their special ability.


Now I saw but didn't read the original post. If you attack the other player with the Diplomatic Amazons then you can't declare the Diplomatic power on them. So in a two player game, if there is absolutely no more room to expand without attack the opponent then it is moot....

I envisioned a split board with each player collecting roughly the same amount of VPs.

Further, for some reason I'm not thinking of, and one can use the Diplomatic Amazons in the envisioned way, I would call 'cheese-ball' and that player needs to learn how to play the game.


Two methods for the Amazons here.
1) Each turn, the Amazon pulls out of a region and reconquers it. If this counts as expansion, then there is no problem.
2) (if 1 is outlawed). The Amazon player takes care to surround some territory with her pieces. Each turn she pulls out of a region next to said territory, and conquers a region inside the territory.


Yet there will be a maximum amount of territory to expand eventually either no more room on the map, or the number of Amazons eventually will be tapped out. So the feasibility of such a strategy is there, but the game will be quite close, because the Amazon player's opponent will have and control about the same amount of spaces. It would be a giant cold war of each player sitting on their side of the map gaining roughly the same amount of VPs.
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
This is a slightly pointless argument (I would never play the Amazons this way, and besides the rules interpretation its based on is questionable) but the Amazons can never be tapped out. They always have 4 extra attacking units, and as they abandon an area each time that gives them a 5th unit.

As for running out of areas, simple model, Amazons have surrounded Areas A&B which are adjacent to one another. They occupy Area C, adjacent to A and B but otherwise surrrounded by Amazon territory.

1st Turn after setting this up. Amazons abandon Area C and conquer Area A.

2nd Turn: Amazons abandon Area A and conquer Area B

3rd Turn Amazons abandon Area B and conquer Area C. Unless conquering an area you abandoned 2 turns ago doesn't count as expansion, this is their expansion move, and they can repeat the cycle ad nauseam.
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
Philip Thomas wrote:
This is a slightly pointless argument


OK.. You're probably right.
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly?
Mr. Cooper has an active and creative imagination, but I have to believe most players will disagree with this interpretation. It has never occurred to me that the rule meant anything other than that a player can either keep his civilization active or put it into decline on each turn. It isn't unheard of for someone to want to keep a civ active even if he can't conquer anything new (maybe it's earning him a lot of points or he has a lucrative retired civ), so this isn't an academic question. Check with DoW by all means, but I'll be shocked (shocked!) if they say you have to go into decline if you don't conquer a territory.
 
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Clay Cooper
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
Holy Crap! I didn't mean to get all of this started! surprise
I just got back from work, posted on the previous thread that I'm more than likely wrong, and find all of this!
Good grief! I'm sorry everybody! I was WRONG!!!
OK? Better?

By the way, I never said if you "failed" to conquer, I said if you choose not to conquer. Calm down, Skadar, your small world is safe.
 
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Clay Cooper
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
Not trying to get anyone's head scarf in a bunch, but I'd still like to get an official ruling on this, though. Tee, Hee!
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
byronczimmer wrote:
dcooley wrote:

I do not have the rules with me, so there may well be another rule that contradicts this. However, the rule as quoted is quite clear - expand or die.


Quote "expand or die" from this please:
http://static.smallworld-game.com/lang/english/images/sw_rul...

Show me where it says 'if you fail to conquer anything, you must decline'.



OK, show me where I said that. If you're going to quote me, perhaps you should bother to read what I said, which was that the OPs quote was logically correct, but if that's not what the rules said then it was factually incorrect. I know how to parse a sentence, you should try it sometime.
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
Forgive me if this has been said already, but couldn't you just abandon a region and then recapture it? (I'm sorry, I don't have the rules in front of me).
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
If you played Mtg or any other CCG, the rules interpretation is pretty much clear.

Quote:
Once a player thinks that his Active race is overextended
and no longer has the impetus required to
continue expanding successfully or defend itself from
increasingly threatening neighbors, he MAY choose to put it In
Decline by selecting a new Race and Special Power combo from
those available on the table at the start of his next turn.
To do so, the player flips his current Race banner upside down,... (blah blah blah)


May is not must.
May is optional.

On the other hand, Oliver did give an answer to it if you still not sure.

plaguewielder wrote:
Forgive me if this has been said already, but couldn't you just abandon a region and then recapture it? (I'm sorry, I don't have the rules in front of me).


Yes you can, so if the rules said you must conquer, when regroup, just take one of your region and conquer it again. Done!
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
Ufff.. just don't use the Diplomatic power in 2p game(s) and end this whole debate
You should never be forced to decline active race because of failing a conquest of at least one new area on your turn.
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
WARNING: do not use the Smallworld player aid sheets...they miss crucial data.
As Yoda would say "there is no try, only do".

In other words I concur the rules imply that if you fail to conquor new lands you do not go into decline.

Most folks screw up the troop redistribution at the begininng and end of each turn. (you can only abandon territories at the EDIT:end of your turn.)
 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
cptwacky wrote:
WARNING: do not use the Smallworld player aid sheets...they miss crucial data.
As Yoda would say "there is no try, only do".

In other words I concur the rules imply that if you fail to conquor new lands you do not go into decline.

Most folks screw up the troop redistribution at the begininng and end of each turn. (you can only abandon territories at the begininng of your turn.)


I believe the Amazons are the exception to this. I believe you can abandon when taking away your 4 tokens, if I remember correctly... I may be wrong...

 
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Re: Are we ALL playing this game incorrectly? [answered]
fishfleas wrote:
cptwacky wrote:
WARNING: do not use the Smallworld player aid sheets...they miss crucial data.
As Yoda would say "there is no try, only do".

In other words I concur the rules imply that if you fail to conquor new lands you do not go into decline.

Most folks screw up the troop redistribution at the begininng and end of each turn. (you can only abandon territories at the begininng of your turn.)


I believe the Amazons are the exception to this. I believe you can abandon when taking away your 4 tokens, if I remember correctly... I may be wrong...



Yes. The four extra Amazon tokens must be taken off the board at the end of your turn, before you count your score. You may abandon regions to get those four off the board (in which case, you will not get points for those regions, of course).
 
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