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Subject: Hobbit Alchemy wins the day! rss

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Dave Long
United States
North Carolina
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My kids and I got together with Tom K and his kids to give his 2008 Christmas present, Small World, a run through. (Yeah, I know...Sept 12, 2009 for first play? It's a long story...)

Anyway - the players:

Tom K (and son Rob)
Melissa K
Andrew L
Molly L
Me (and daughter Sarah)

We punched out the game, oohed and ahhed at the quality of the pieces, told Andrew to quit hitting Melissa, and got underway. I didn't note the scores, so I'll try to give you a general idea of the standings.

Turn One

Melissa led off with some Underground Ratmen(passing on 2 races), spreading out through all the caverns, scoring 7. Andrew played next with Commando Giants and also scored 7. Molly then passed on Heroic Orcs and Beserk Ghouls to take Dragon Master Humans. I passed on 2 VPs on the Orcs to take the Ghouls. Sarah's hot dice would prove to be my undoing though, as Tom and Rob came right in behind me, picking off several of my single units, which were overextended. Andrew led, with Melissa close behind.

Turn 2

Melissa continued with the Ratmen, scoring 10 or so. Andrew's Giants also spread out. Molly continued searching for farmland. Since I had lost 3 guys to the Orcs, I put the Ghouls straight into decline. Things weren't looking good for me at this point. Tom and Rob popped another ghoul, a neutral, and a Ratman to complete the turn. Tom/Rob and Melissa made big moves this turn, with Molly doing well. I was solidly in last.

Turn 3

Melissa declined the Ratmen, scoring 10 on their decline. Andrew expanded the Giants about as far as they could go. Molly also reached the limit of her expansion. Me/Sarah then had my Mounted tritons ride all over the Humans, while the Ghoul remnants chewed up a Ratman. Tom/Rob declined the Orcs. Melissa and I had big turns, while Andrew and Molly did well.

Turn 4

Melissa brought out Flying Amazons, and in payback for Andrew picking on her, ran all over his Giants, killing 5. Andrew and Molly went into decline. The Tritons contined to ride roughshod over Human farmlands, while the Ghouls started to nibble on the Orcs in a bit of payback. Tom/Rob brought on Merchant skeletons, which fought their way through a neutral another of Andrew's Giants, and a declined Ratman. The Skeletons grew to a total of 9, spread out 3 per province. Melissa at this point was cruising, with Tom/Rob firmly in second. Molly had third to herself while Andrew and I were lagging a bit (although I had made another big move).

Turn 5

Melissa decides that having her Dad/Brother run over her Ratman was Noy Going To Stand. She popped two of the three Skeleton Provinces. Andrew paid a couple of VPs to select the Wealthy Sorcerors, which he brought in through and around the Giant remnants, popping alone Amazon in the process. Molly brought on the Stout Elves (there's a contradiction!) which ran through some more Declined Ratmen and Orcs. I declined the Tritons, as I was one province shy of max occupancy, and I would have first shot at Alchemist Halflings next round. We decided that since the Tritons were going into decline, the Ghouls would go off the board prior to scoring, and that they would NOT get an attack round. Tom/Rob took a couple of provinces with the Skeletons (one vacant), and missed the 50/50 shot at a third, so no further reinforcements. Melissa's VP total started to fall off, as did Tom/Rob's. Andrew and I made big gains this turn, and Molly did OK.

Turn 6

Melissa took one more turn with the Amazons, although I would have personally declined them. Andrew continued to expand with the Sorcerors. Molly's Elves expanded and then immediately declined. The Hobbits popped up killing several declined Orcs and Amazons, to put pressure on Melissa and Tom/Rob. Tom/Rob took one more go with the Skeletons, and again missed a 50/50 roll to get a third province and new Skeleton. Since no one bothered my Tritons this turn, I scored big, with Andrew also doing well. Molly continued to chug along, but the decimated Orcs and Ratmen had left Melissa and Tom/Rob in bad scoring positions.

Turn 7

Melissa declined the Amazons. Andrew's Sorceror's continued to rampage, hitting a Triton. Molly brought on Wizards (and I have forgotten the advantage....grr...Hill, I think), running through a couple of Tritons. The Hobbits continued their expansion, and Tom/Rob declined the disappointing Merchant Skeletons. At this point, I had vaulted into the lead, with Andrew running a close second, as he and I had been unmolested for 2-3 turns. Molly, Melissa, and Rob/Tom were duking it out for third.

Turn 8

Melissa brought on Pillaging Dwarves for her final play. Andrew continued with his Sorcerors, but didn't have much expansion available except for his special power. Molly's Wizards took a couple of areas from the Tritons, but nothing exceptional. The Halflings finished up with another excellent round, while Tom/Rob brought out some Trolls for their last play.

Point Total (which I do remember) were:

Dave/Sarah 80
Andrew 77
Melissa 68
Rob/Tom 68
Molly 67

Both Andrew and I benefitted from being ignored mid-game, as we both racked up the points on Turns 4-7. All in all, a rather enjoyable game, and I hope to play again soon.
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