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Subject: Jamaica or Smallworld? rss

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Farrell Seymore
United States
Opelika
Alabama
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I am wondering which game would be the next best addition to our middle school game club?
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jose silva
United States
Glenshaw
Pennsylvania
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Small world is a good game. Jamaica was horrible for me. I suggest you try before you buy. But I understand I am more of a heavy gamer and you might have different needs in your school game club
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Craig Liken
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Jamaica is a fairly light race game - has a fair amount of luck involved. I actually quite like it but opinions in my game group vary. If you want something light and fun it is fine.

Small World is again relatively light but is less influenced by luck.

It might really depend on the likes of your club. Numbers could also impact it - Small World plays pretty well from 2 to 5 players (although I find 5 players a bit slow for my taste). Jamaica is good with 4 to 6, but I don't imagine it being very interesting with 2 or 3 players.

I would see Small World as having the greater replay value - especially if you add the recently released expansions to it.


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Geo
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Small World. It has more involved gameplay. Jamaica is very light with almost no decisions to make.

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Patrick Wilhelmi
Germany
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While Jamaica has indeed some luck involved it is not as light as seems at the first glance. We've played it four times so far and I did win every match. And it was never even close.
But if I had to choose between two games Smallworld would also be my first choice without doubt. But it is a wargame and ganging up on the leader can sometimes lead to heated discussions.
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Michael Valenta
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Kanata
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I haven't played Small World but I did get a chance to play Jamaica for the first time last night. As was previously indicated, it is mostly driven by luck but can be an enjoyable game. However, given the price, I wouldn't recommend it and based on what I've heard about Small World it sounds like a more interesting game, at least for me.
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Boardgame Bjornis
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Oslo
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Smallworld. Great game! Over, and over again. Fun and light - but, as someone else commented; less about luck.
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Trent Hamm
United States
Huxley
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The game itself isn't important. Spending time intellectually jousting with likeminded folks is the real reason to game.
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liken@xtra.co.nz wrote:
It might really depend on the likes of your club. Numbers could also impact it - Small World plays pretty well from 2 to 5 players (although I find 5 players a bit slow for my taste). Jamaica is good with 4 to 6, but I don't imagine it being very interesting with 2 or 3 players.


I'd agree. My group played Small World for the first time with five players and it was ROUNDLY loathed. Too much downtime, too many players not having fun because they were getting pounded in between their turns. It has not seen play again.
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Brian Franzman
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Tacoma
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Another vote for Small World here. There is a lot less luck involved, but more than that, you have a lot more important decisions to make. Jamaica is fun, but I can only see myself playing it once in a blue moon, whereas we played a second game of Small World immediately after the first (which we seldom do). Small World takes more planning, and while it is a lot more about players' armies bashing each other, I'd still recommend it highly. Also, there are already expansions for Small World; I doubt Jamaica will ever get much by way of improvements or expansions.
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Mike
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It depends on what you are looking for. If you want a racing game that is very reliant on luck than give Jamaica a go. The game has beautiful components and it's very easy to play. Jamaica makes a great first impression, but I don't feel that it has long lasting appeal. You're mileage may vary though.

You should get Small World if you want an Area Control game that features lots of direct conflict and almost zero luck. The game is much more about tactical decisions and knowing when to send a race into decline. I feel as though the game can be dry at times and it can lack a certain excitement. However, it's still fun and it features enough variations in the races that it won't get old for a very long time.

If I had to buy one it would probably be Jamaica. At that age level they are going to love the pirate theme, the sea battles, treasure collecting and gentle "take that" nature of the game. Jamaica is a fantastic family game and people of all ages seem to enjoy it. Plus the turns go by very fast and a 6 player game will barely last an hour once you get the hang of it. I own both games and Jamaica was by far the more popular of these two.

~ Bones
 
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Bruce Padget
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Claremont
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dr.morton wrote:
While Jamaica has indeed some luck involved it is not as light as seems at the first glance. We've played it four times so far and I did win every match. And it was never even close.


I'll meet you halfway on this. I've played Jamaica three times, each with different groups, and won by large margins. But the strategy was pretty trivial. Move forward, and when you can't move forward, gather resources (food, gold) for moving forward.

But I also noticed that this strategy cut me out of virtually all of the fun of interaction. And frankly, I didn't find winning enough of a challenge to keep my interest.

I don't know Smallworld, but I definitely would not spend club money on Jamaica.
 
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Pete Lane
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Golden Valley
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Actually both games are excellent for middle schoolers. Sure the one is a standard race game, but the beautiful art and mechanics are very unique and will wow a younger crowd.

Small World might entertain many of us older more strategic board gamers, but there is no dice rolling, no real epic battles, and some of the mechanics might go right over the heads of a kid who sees Risk as intimidating. I could see there being many moments of "let's gang up on the kid we don't like" in that game...
 
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Farrell Seymore
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Opelika
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Thanks everyone. All points presented are valid. I probably need to order both as they both could see immediate play. I have a credit at a local game store. I gave both games to the owner and asked that he order the one that could arrive the fastest. Ultimately I will get the other soon. Thanks for everyone's help.
 
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Sue Hemberger

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Dist of Columbia
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My middle-schooler was just lamenting that we don't play Jamaica more often. For an all-MS group that includes newbies and kids who are basically social/playful, it could be a great pick.

Both sounds like an excellent approach!
 
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