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Subject: Small rule change concerning the Dwarfs rss

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Arjan Ang
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Since the Dwarfs are considered to be really underpowered due their small amount of tokens, I thought it would be a nice idea to give them a free Leader token. The normal rules for Leader tokens apply. This way the dwarfs get a litte more viable imo.

Good idea or not?

 
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B C Z
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Reston
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This should be in Variants, not Rules.

Responding as a rules question: No, the Dwarves do not get a 'free' leader token.
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Trevor Schadt
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Glenshaw
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Donderwolk wrote:
Since the Dwarfs are considered to be really underpowered due their small amount of tokens, I thought it would be a nice idea to give them a free Leader token. The normal rules for Leader tokens apply. This way the dwarfs get a litte more viable imo.

Good idea or not?


First of all, this should be in the "Variants" area, rather than the "Rules" area, since what you are proposing is a variant. :-) That being said, on to the issue...

Dwarves are considered one of the worst races in Small World. The trick is knowing when to pick them: you want to wait until they have the coins built up on them that will offset their natural disadvantages. Also, you want to choose them as your penultimate race of the game (i.e., if you go with a 3-race strategy, choose them second) because their ability means you want them in decline as long as possible.

As with all races in SW, a race that looks potentially suboptimal can really shine with the right Special Power. Obviously, "Hordes of..." from the "Cursed" expansion is a no-brainer, as that gives you 9 Dwarf tokens to work with, usually enough (given appropriate maneuvering) to take 3 Mine spaces. "Stout" is also a great choice for Dwarves, as it allows you to go into Decline all the faster. Anything that lets you spread across the board faster (either through skipping regions, using fewer tokens, or both) is also a good match for the Dwarves, making Underworld, Flying and Commando excellent choices.

Here's one thing you might not have considered: Cursed Dwarves. If they come up in the beginning of the game, they should have 6n (where n is the number of players) on them by the time everyone has chosen their second race, which in a 3-4 player game is a boatload. Take them as your third race (or second, if you're the last to pick a second race) if your current Active Race is on its last legs. Take one territory (hopefully, but not necessarily, a Mine), ride it for a turn (if that), then Decline. You didn't get much from being on the board, but you got 18-24 VPs (some of which were originally yours anyway) just for picking them as a race.
 
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Stephan
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I have always interpreted this as a conscious choice on the part of the designer, and hoped that he shared my feelings about dwarves in other games (like Blood Bowl) being boring and/or just plain too strong.
 
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Jim bo
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I actually think this is quite a good suggestion for a variant to help balance the dwarves.
 
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Adam Smiles
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Dedham
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ADMIN NOTE: Moved from Small World: Rules to Small World: Variants
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Chris Olsen
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Yesterday I played a game with Dwarves and they surprisingly shined. Forest Dwarves on the 3-player mat. Three out of four adjacent spaces on the lower edge are forest, one is also a mine. Scored 9pts my last round with them with only 7 tokens.

As others said, it really is all about when you take them.
 
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Marc Du Rietz
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I don't consider 9 points when active with a drop to 5 directly after declining that great. Especially since you could have easily been wiped out by anyone (unless the attackers were little white girls) if they considered you as a threat for Small World-Domination.

But every now and then you manage to sneak yourself into a couple of mines before declining, and sometimes you are left alone. In which case you can score significant numbers when declined.

Another point that can be made for keeping the Dwarfs as originally intended is that Small World has a built in balancing system, consisting of extra payments in order to skip a particular race
I mean Dragon-Master Dwarfs with 3-4 VP on them is a very good pick, in almost any situation for instance.

Interesting idea to lend them a free Leader Token, the only flaw is that everyone doesn't play with leaders (I have no idea why, since it's the best expansion so far) hence it doesn't apply to the entire game, but to a official variant.
 
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Chris Olsen
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Steek wrote:
I don't consider 9 points when active with a drop to 5 directly after declining that great. Especially since you could have easily been wiped out by anyone (unless the attackers were little white girls) if they considered you as a threat for Small World-Domination.

Interesting idea to lend them a free Leader Token, the only flaw is that everyone doesn't play with leaders (I have no idea why, since it's the best expansion so far) hence it doesn't apply to the entire game, but to a official variant.


In this circumstance they had a decent pile of VP that came with them and I came onto the board away from my opponents and behind wall of declined tokens. Was more for making of point that Dwarves are extremely situational and not long lived.

I have the Leaders expansions but we've never used because my friends have yet to be interested in trying it.
 
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Andy Leber
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I'm also of the mindset that having weaker races is a good part of the game, and that trying to change that fundamentally changes the game in a way I don't agree with.

I feel that the "adding a coin to skipped races" is NOT supposed to simply "make up" for weak races, or to try and fix it. It's a fascinating, very intentional rule that works best in conjuction with weaker races.

The "add a coin" mechanic, along with going into decline, are 2 key gameplay elements that, along with weak races, makes the game so compelling.
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Chad Weaver
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Holmes108 wrote:
I'm also of the mindset that having weaker races is a good part of the game, and that trying to change that fundamentally changes the game in a way I don't agree with.

I feel that the "adding a coin to skipped races" is NOT supposed to simply "make up" for weak races, or to try and fix it. It's a fascinating, very intentional rule that works best in conjuction with weaker races.

The "add a coin" mechanic, along with going into decline, are 2 key gameplay elements that, along with weak races, makes the game so compelling.


Agreed. Merchant Dwarves sat at the front of our list last game (five players) for several turns. When I took them in my next-to-last turn, I grabbed a quick 5 for two territories (plus two for merchant and one for mine) and 8 my last turn (got an additional mine territory). Doesn't sound amazing, but tack on 6 bonus coins players dropped on the race for skipping it, and 5 and 7 coins for my declined Ghouls on the last two turns, and I snuck into second place!
 
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Jim bo
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Holmes108 wrote:
I'm also of the mindset that having weaker races is a good part of the game, and that trying to change that fundamentally changes the game in a way I don't agree with.

I feel that the "adding a coin to skipped races" is NOT supposed to simply "make up" for weak races, or to try and fix it. It's a fascinating, very intentional rule that works best in conjuction with weaker races.

I agree that the add a coin mechanic is not supposed to make up for weak races but I also believe that it doesn't need weak races to fulfill its role. It's there to balance players' valuations of power+race combinations and not having a large disparity between them makes for tougher decisions and hence a more interesting game.

If you have a race that is perceived to be considerably weaker than the rest then you will often find players skipping that race because it becomes a no brainer and the race will in most cases need a reasonable amount of coins to make it an acceptable choice. I don't think that's good for the game unless the race is designed specifically for that purpose like Cursed is as a power. Thematically I don't believe that was the intention for Dwarves as the fantasy/middle earth period doesn't make them out to be any weaker than Orcs, Elves, Humans, etc as a race overall.

If DoW did intend for a race to serve this 'weakling' purpose, Goblins or Kobolds may have been a better choice but then may have added a rule to charge a player 2 coins (or something to that effect ) to skip over it (similar to cursed) so that it doesn't hang around at the top of the stack for half the game.

I'm sure some will suggest certain situations that in conjunction with a particular power may be enough entice a player to choose dwarves without the need for coins (like dragon master dwarves) but I'd suggest those situations are very limited when compared with the viability of all the other races and I'm sure if DoW could turn the clock back and print a 4 on the race card rather than 3, they may well have done it.
 
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