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Subject: My Gaming Stories and Questions about Relocation rss

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Pei Kong
United States
New York
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I just finished playing two games (a 4 player game and a 2 player game) and they were both quite great. A lot of the fun factor came from the ridiculous pairings that came up (Commando Halflings), which sounded so silly but in practice were very dominant.

The four-player game was very enjoyable, except the first pairing in the queue was Cursed Ghouls (there was definitely a lot of cursing going on), which, needless to say, were skipped over several times.

Person on my right, we'll call her Jessie, started and chose Wealthy Wizards, which did their job. I decided to with Dragon Master Ratmen, whose pet dragon got its fill of Lost Tribesmen. Person to my left, Carl, picked up Pillaging White Ladies and the final person, Earl, got Underworld Dwarves.

At the start, I knew I had to attack the Dwarves. The special power made the Dwarves start off getting 7-8 coins a turn early, so I used my Dragon to devour some Dwarven flesh (only one 3-token territory, sadly) and spread myself thin to prep for a decline, since Berserk Amazons appeared on the queue.

By the time I got the Amazons, I was pretty much targeted by the other three. The Dwarves decided to hang out on Mining mountains as the other two were planning on ganging up on my Declined Ratmen with new races. Carl declined the White Ladies on 4 regions, and picked up Spirit Skeletons, while Jessie declined the Wealthy Wizards and chose Mounted Giants.

After my Amazons shredded through some declined Wizards, the Skeletons steamrolled half my Ratmen, who on the opposite side of the board where my Amazons were. On the Giants turn, I was able to convince Jessie to attack the rest of my Ratmen instead of my Amazonians, which ended up leaving two Dwarf territories surrounded by the multiplying Skels and Giants on horseback and ultimately got taken over.

On my next turn, I relocated my Amazons, took up some hills and clawed my way through more Wizards and tried to thin out as much as I can, so I could take the Cursed Ghouls, which had around 18-21 coins on it. The Dwarves finally declined and Earl took up Commando Halflings which destroyed most of my Amazons. On my turn, I declined the Amazons.
At this point, my concerns shifted from the Dwarf/Halflings to Carl with his Skels, since the Dwarves were hurt enough that they weren't producing much (about 2 per turn) and the Halflings only got 5-6 territories a turn, while 15-16 Skelly tokens were roaming the upper left side of the board unbothered, not to mention the 4 coins Carl was getting every turn from the White Ladies. The Mounted Giants were on the bottom left with no more room to move around and most of the declined Wizards were gone.
Luckily, after my Amazons declined, the Halflings relocated and started to wreak havoc on the Skeletons, while I unassumingly planted my new Ghouls on a mountain. After I declined my Ghouls, everyone else followed suit by declining their own races.

Then it was the last turn, so Jessie picked up some Bivouacking Orcs and rampaged through some Skeleton. I spread my Ghouls to 3 regions and picked up some Forest Goblins, who scrounged the empty upper right region for forests. I think the Skel player picked up Swamp Priestesses and the Halfling player picked up Seafaring Gypsies both of which had about 6-7 coins on them and each produced 4 coins via conquest phase.

The match ended up being fairly close, iirc:
Me - 82
Carl - 76
Jessie - 74
Earl - 72

However, both Carl and Earl were new, while Jessie and I had already played before. So the newbies were able to learn very quickly and be a force in the same.

After that, Carl and I decided to do a 2 player game, which ended up being extremely hilarious and enjoyable, partly because he is a good friend of mine and we both find very trivial things amusing.

It started with having Cursed White Ladies being on the second queue, which prompted Carl to take whatever was first queue, which were the Forest Skeletons. The Skels brutalized some Lost Tribesmen and gained 1 Skeleton token. The Skeletons were fairly short lived, since I decided to take Dragon Master Halflings, which tore through his Skeletons.
And so, for about 3 turns I was playing cat and mouse with the Skeleton and completely obliterated him, forcing him to decline. We were laughing the whole time at this, because of how ridiculously outmatched his Skeletons were and how even more ridiculous it was that Carl was trying to relocate his Skeletons away from my Halflings.

After I thinned out my Halflings, I declined, and Carl took up Marauding Gypsies, which destroyed most of my Halflings. To respond, I tried to use Wealthy Giants to take out some Gypsies but only was able to reduce their ranks by 2, while they conquer-relocate-conquer'd for about 8-10 coin a turn. This was the highlight in the game because Carl had pretty much wasted 4 turns getting destroyed when he should have declined early, and yet these Gypsies were slowly getting him back into contention, which we both thought was absolutely ridiculous and hilarious. As the game started to end, I had to get this Gypsy funny business out of the way, so I went with Berserk Sorcerors, ran over 3 Gypsy territories and converted one lone Gypsy to end the game.

The score was 72 to 52 with me coming out on top. So it turned out that wasn't as close as we thought, but had Carl declined earlier, he could have made a game out of it.

Which leads me to ask for a couple rule clarifications:

- If you have tokens like Hole-in-the-Ground or Dragon, when you do a relocation do you lose those two tokens, or do you get to reassign them after you have relocated? Hole-in-the-Ground rules are a bit tricky because it says FIRST two regions. So, if you remove the Halflings off of those two Holes-in-the-Ground you lose them and don't get to reassign them to new territories. But does relocating allow you to reassign them because it's like you're doing a new conquest?

- In the 2 player game, my opponent had Marauding Gypsies, which happened to be quite the combination, but we might have misunderstood the rules a bit. We assumed that the Gypsies could conquer, relocate (getting coin for abandoning), then conquer again getting coin from only the territories that are conquered in the second conquest. Is this right? Or when the rules say "you must keep one token on the territories you control" does it mean you cannot relocate on the second conquest?

Overall, I had so much fun in these two games, and got Carl to consider buying it so we can bring it to the Games Club @ our school. I do like the fact that, although the game is easy to learn and a lot of the moves you make are very straightforward, there is enough subtlety in the game that experienced players have an edge over newer players. The large variation also gives some depth to the game, while the 40-80 minute/per game time frame makes it perfect for club meetings/parties/get-togethers. I find this game is much more fun with competitive people who add some personality into the game play as opposed to the overly serious players. The style of the game gives way to more interaction to the game (like naming certain tokens, adding flavor text to conquering, possible sound fx, etc etc.)

I worry that, if either Carl or I get this game and play it often at our games club, it'll get worn out and less exciting because of the straightforwardness of the game or because we exhaust enough possibilities that the game gets predictable. I would also like it if the territories changed, to add a bit more variation, but this problem is easily fixed.

So I would like your thoughts: Should our club get this game, and if so, should we keep the game play to a minimum per week (that's how often our club meets) just to keep the game fresh? If we could only get 1 or 2 expansions, which ones do you suggest?

PS: Please excuse the lack of coherence in this post as it is my first thread-starting post on BGG.
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Travis Hall
Australia
Brisbane
Queensland
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Slyintine wrote:
- If you have tokens like Hole-in-the-Ground or Dragon, when you do a relocation do you lose those two tokens, or do you get to reassign them after you have relocated? Hole-in-the-Ground rules are a bit tricky because it says FIRST two regions. So, if you remove the Halflings off of those two Holes-in-the-Ground you lose them and don't get to reassign them to new territories. But does relocating allow you to reassign them because it's like you're doing a new conquest?

Hole-in-the-Ground tokens are placed in the first two regions the Halflings conquer ever. Re-entering the board is not one of those first two conquests, so the Hole-in-the-Ground tokens are lost if you choose to abandon all your regions and re-enter the board somewhere else.

The Dragon token is placed in the region on which you use the power. It doesn't matter where the Dragon is before that, or what else you have done that turn.

Slyintine wrote:
- In the 2 player game, my opponent had Marauding Gypsies, which happened to be quite the combination, but we might have misunderstood the rules a bit. We assumed that the Gypsies could conquer, relocate (getting coin for abandoning), then conquer again getting coin from only the territories that are conquered in the second conquest. Is this right? Or when the rules say "you must keep one token on the territories you control" does it mean you cannot relocate on the second conquest?

When the rules say you must leave at least one token in each region you control, that's exactly what you must do. While collecting tokens back from the board for another set of conquests using Marauding is very similar to the Ready Your Troops phase, it doesn't say to do the Ready Your Troops phase a second time, so any rules normally applicable to the Ready Your Troops phase (such as abandoning regions) do not apply. You Ready Your Troops, Conquer, take tokens beyond one per region into hand, Conquer again, Redeploy, then Score. Since abandoning occurs during Ready Your Troops, you can't do it later.

So you misplayed that.

Remember, always follow the rules just as they are written. Don't try to guess at appropriate play using heuristics. Just do what the written rules say.
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Andrew
United States
San Francisco
California
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Great report!

I really enjoy Small World (and have all the expansions as well as the print-and-play random map), but having taught it half a dozen times over a month has taken some of the sheen from it.

As you described, Small World is a straightforward game, and while there's quite a bit of variety, its depth is limited. I played it like crazy at first and then have dropped off since, now playing it once in a while.

Your points echo my experiences: it's easy to each, fairly short, accomodates a wide range of players, and is far better when played with personality (which it sounds like you guys do fantastically) than hardcore calculation.

If you do get Small World, I recommend Grand Dames and Cursed, as I find the powers change how you play the game a bit more than those in the base game, and trying out the Random Map Expansion for additional variety. There's also at least one more expansion coming out ("Legends of Small World" or something).
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Pei Kong
United States
New York
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Thanks for the tips and suggestions!

@Travis: Thanks. I think I was confused by the fact that, when you relocated, you put everything into your hand, which gave the impression that you treated a relocation as a brand new conquest. Now I know to take all the rules as literally as possible. Curious, I couldn't find any information about relocating in the manual, did I just skim past it?

@Andrew: Alright. I saw the Random Map generator and it reminded me of Catan, which would go over well with the people at my club.
 
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