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Subject: 2 player Small World Tournament game 1 rss

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Paul
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I recently got involved in a 2 player Small World Tournament on the geek. The whole tournament is play by forum, so there is a record of the game and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to go over the game with some detail and discuss some of the decisions made.

His Turn 1

First round picks:

1. Alchemist Leprechauns [10]
2. Commando Orcs [9]
3. Dragon Master Skeletons [11]
4. Peace-Loving Priestesses [8]
5. Imperial Elves [10]
6. Swamp White Ladies [6]

I was the second player in this game, so my opponent went first and paid one for the Orcs who don't believe in underwear, I mean Commando Orcs.

His turn is a follows:

Quote:
Conquest

Take 19 with 2, removing 1 Lost Tribe
Take 13 with 2, removing 1 Lost Tribe
Take 14 with 2, removing 1 Lost Tribe
Take 15 with 2, removing 1 Lost Tribe
Attempt 11 with 1, need to roll 1 1custom6{0;0;0;1;2;3} = (3) = 3 Succeed, removing 1 Lost Tribe

Redeployment

2 each on 11, 13, 15, 19
1 on 14

Score

5 (start) - 1 (bypass) + 5 (regions) + 5 (orcs) = 14



So in my opinion my opponents first round pick was not so good. From my point of view Dragon Master Skeletons and Imperial Elves are the only two viable choices. The basic reasoning being Dragon Master Skeletons will pretty much dominate over every other combo available expect Imperial Elves.

The first player, in a 2 player game, has to get established on the board first and the second player gets first shot at attacking him. So the first player wants to pick something that is really hard to attack or scores really well and sets up for a quick decline. My opponent goes for the latter strategy to pretty great effect, except for the fact that his choice isn't going to hold up against Dragon Master Skeletons. He paid 1 and scored 10, netting 9 which is a pretty strong open, if this was a multiple player game, however in a 2 player game I am just going to come after him.

So we move on the my first turn, my picks are as follows:

1. Alchemist Leprechauns [10]
2. Dragon Master Skeletons [11]
3. Peace-Loving Priestesses [8]
4. Imperial Elves [10]
5. Swamp White Ladies [6]
6. Pillaging Kobolds [16]

So as you have already guessed I paid one and take Dragon Master Skeletons, but I do want to mention here that I did go into the think tank on this decision. Pillaging Kobolds with 16 Tokens is incredibly strong here. It's a strong enough combination to counter Dragon Master Skeletons. The Kobolds not only have enough tokens to reduce the effectiveness of the Skeletons, they can also score extra Pillaging points for doing it. It was a real coin flip for me...

There were 2 final deciding factors for me:

1. The cost - I would have to pay 5 coins to get to the Kobalds and I would be leaving a coin on Dragon Master Skeletons for my opponent. I would effectively be losing 5 or 6 points just to pick this option.

2. I knew which ever combination I picked next I would have to run it for most of the game and I felt the Skeletons had more overall staying power. I didn't want to get into a situation where it is turn 8 or 9 and I have around 8-12 tokens and I want to decline, but can't because it is a little too late in the game to do it.

My opening turn is as follows:

Quote:
Conquest

Take 19 with 1 and the Dragon, removing an Orc and returning an Orc,
Take 14 with 3, removing 1 Orc
Take 13 with 4, removing 1 Orc and returning one
Take 7 with 3, removing 1 Lost Tribe

Redeployment

1 on 19 with the Dragon
4 on 7, 13, and 14 (+2 Skeletons for killing 4 tokens)

Score

5 (start) - 1 (bypass) + 4 (regions) = 8


So my opening here is pretty strong, I take 3 out of his 5 regions killing 3 out of his 9 Orcs and then killed a Lost Tribe to gain 2 more Skeleton Tokens. I have one region that is immune to attack and the other 3 regions each have 4 tokens in them... That is tough to attack. So at this point I am way ahead by the token count, but I only net 3 points. So I am planning on using my token count advantage to over come the difference in the long run. I have 13 Skeletons to his 6 Orcs, he is a fighting at a 2 to 1 disadvantage from here.

His Turn 2

Quote:
Gathering of Troops

Leave 1 token on 11 and 15, taking 4 into hand

Conquest

Take 5 with 1
Take 10 with 1
Take 4 with 2

Redeployment

2 on 15
1 each on 4, 5, 10, 11

Score

14 (start) + 5 (regions) + 1 (Orcs) = 20

1. Alchemist Leprechauns [10]
2. Peace-Loving Priestesses [8]
3. Imperial Elves [10]
4. Swamp White Ladies [6]
5. Pillaging Kobolds [16]
6. Berserk Goblins [10]


I really expected my opponent to decline here. If I were to guess at his motivation, it seems to me that he really doesn't want to decline for 2 points. So he expands and tries to set up a better decline for the next turn. What he ends up doing is spreading his Orcs thin enough for me to create 2 more Skeletons... He really needed to decline here.

My Turn 2:

I didn't realize it at the time, but I make a pretty big mistake here. I should have declined first and let my opponent decline right after me. I would have scored 4 points on the decline and then my opponent would score 5 points on the decline. Then I would have been able to pick up Pillaging Kobolds and wiped out all his Orcs and leave at least 3 tokens in every region, scoring 2 points each (1 for Pillaging and 1 for the region) and an extra 4 with my Skeletons. This leaves my opponent with the Imperial Elves and when he comes on he has to attack the declined Skeletons first or let me continuously score 4 in decline points. Then I spend the rest of the game just attacking his Elves for 2 points a piece.

From here he would have two options, both his options are pretty bad... He can either:

1. Attack me directly, killing 2 maybe/eventually 3 tokens at a time, with some good rolls on the reinforcement die and never use his Imperial ability.

Or

2. He can spread out taking a lot of regions and scoring well with his Imperial ability and then watch me continuously attack him at 2 points a piece with Pillaging...

The first option will just take too long, there just aren't enough turns to reduce my token count with any real effectiveness.

I haven't done all the math, but the second option, which is a little better than the first, won't score him enough points to catch up.

I'm pretty sure I would have just won the game if I had took this option.

Instead:
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

I abandon 19 and leave 1 token on 7, 13, and 14, taking 10 into hand.

Conquest

Take 15 with 1 and the dragon, killing one Orc and returning an Orc..
Take 10 with killing one Orc with 3
Take 11 with killing one Orc with 3
Take 5 with killing one Orc with 3

Redeployment

I gain 2 skeletons.
1 token on 15 with the Dragon.
2 tokens on 5, 7, 10, 11,
3 tokens on 13, 14

Score

8 (start) + 7 (regions) = 15




So now that we determined that this was a mistake, lets take a look at why I did it...

My token count now is up to 15 and I'll get it up to 16 and by the time the Pillaging Kobolds show up. I also have the Dragon Master ability to get easy kills for more skeletons. By taking this option I also force my opponent to decline for 1 point which is a really strong. 16 Dragon Master Skeletons is a match for 16 Pillaging Kobalds... I just realized, I don't think anything sums up my previous mistake better than that last statement. If 16 Dragon Master Skeletons are a match for 16 Pillaging Kobolds, then I should have declined if for no other reason than to keep the Pillaging Kobolds from my opponent. Basic Art or War 101, any resource you can't control, destroy, so your opponent can't use it. This subtle, yet incredibly simple piece of logic says it all.

His Turn 3

Quote:

Orcs decline.

Score

20 (start) + 1 (regions) = 21


My Turn 3
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

I will abandon region 11.
I will leave 1 token in 5, 7, 10, 13, 14, and 15, taking 9 in hand.

Conquest

Take region 4 with 1 skeleton and the Dragon, killing the Orc.
Take region 12 with 3 skeletons killing the Lost Tribe.

Redeployment

I gain 1 skeleton.
I leave 1 token on region 4 (with the Dragon), 5, and 12.
I leave 2 tokens on regions 7 and 10.
I leave 3 tokens on regions 13, 14, and 15.

Score

15 (start) + 8 (regions) = 23


The score is now 21 (him) to 23 (me). So the gap is closed, but he is coming on with the Pillaging Kobalds.

His Turn 4

Quote:
I will pay 4 to take Pillaging Kobolds [16].

Conquest

Take 17 with 3, removing a Lost Tribe
Take 12 with 3, removing a Skeleton
Take 13 with 5, removing a Skeleton and returning 2
Take 14 with 5, removing a Skeleton and returning 2

Redeployment

4 on each

Score

21 (start) - 4 (bypass) + 4 (Kobolds) + 4 (Pillaging) = 25

1. Alchemist Leprechauns [10]
2. Peace-Loving Priestesses [8]
3. Imperial Elves [10]
4. Swamp White Ladies [6]
5. Berserk Goblins [10]
6. Mounted Amazons [11+4]


This is about what anyone could expect. The Pillaging Kobalds were expensive, but they were worth it. He managed to net 4 points after paying 4...

My Turn 4

Quote:
Gathering of Troops

I will leave 1 token in 4, 5, 10, and 15.
I will leave 2 tokens in 7, taking 7 tokens in hand.

Conquest

Take region 14 with 1 skeleton and the Dragon, killing a Kobald and returning 3.
Take region 13 with 6 skeletons killing a Kobald and returning 3.

Redeployment

I gain 1 skeleton.
I leave 1 token on region 13, and 1 token in 14 (with the Dragon)
I leave 2 tokens on regions 5, 7 and 15.
I leave 3 tokens on regions 4 and 10.

Score

23 (start) + 7 (regions) = 30


Turn 4 and the next few turns were just a back and forth slugfest. Each turn he would kill 3 skeletons and I would kill two kobalds and get a skeleton back. So it was an even match up, we were both losing 2 tokens each turn and we were scoring about even as well. He get 2 per conquest (1 for region and 1 for Pillaging) and I would just hold more total regions.

His Turn 5
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

Abandon all regions, taking 14 tokens into hand.

Conquest

Take 4 with 5, removing one Skeleton and returning 2
Take 3 with 2,
Take 7 with 4, removing one Skeleton and returning 1
Take 13 with 3, removing one Skeleton

Redeployment

4 each on 3, 4
3 each on 7, 13

Score

25 (start) + 4 (regions) + 3 (Pillaging) = 32


Second verse same as the first...

My Turn 5
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

I will leave 1 token in 5, 10, 14, and 15. Taking 7 in hand.

Conquest

Take region 4 with 1 skeleton and the Dragon, killing a Kobald and returning 3.
Take region 13 with 5 skeletons killing a Kobald and returning 2.
One left, I roll for 19,

I made the roll and took 19.

Redeployment

I gain 1 skeleton.
I leave 1 token on region 4(with the Dragon) and one in 19.
I leave 2 tokens on regions 5, 10, 13, 14, and 15.

Score

30 (start) + 7 (regions) = 37



1. Alchemist Leprechauns [10]
2. Peace-Loving Priestesses [8]
3. Imperial Elves [10]
4. Swamp White Ladies [6]
5. Berserk Goblins [10]
6. Mounted Amazons [11+4]


As these slugfest turns go on, I start to feel it a little more than my opponent. With Pillaging he can repeatedly abandon all regions and use his full token count to hit my skeletons. I, on the other hand, have to leave over a third of my tokens on the board to score and use the rest to counter. The Dragon Master compensates, but it's diminishing returns for both sides, but mine are diminishing a little faster than his. That last round we both score 7, I have the advantage, but the advantage is getting smaller and smaller. Also, now that I know I am losing a little faster than my opponent I really consider declining.

His Turn 6

Quote:
Turn 6

Gathering of Troops

Abandon 3 and leave two tokens on 7, taking 10 tokens into hand.

Conquest

Take 13 with 4, removing 1 skeleton and returning 1.
Take 14 with 4, removing 1 skeleton and returning 1.
Attempt 19 with 2, need to roll 1 Darth Servo previously rolled 1custom6{0;0;0;1;2;3} = (0) = 0 ( )

Redeployment

4 each on 7, 13, 14

Score

32 (start) + 3 (regions) + 2 (Pillaging) = 37



As you can see my opponent is feeling the diminishing returns as well, he only made 2 attacks and had to roll for the third. There was a small mistake here that would come back to haunt him a little later. He should have attacked region 19 and made the roll on region 14. He should have kept skeletons together so he can attack them more easily in later turns.

My Turn 6
Quote:

I will decline...

37 (start) + 5 (regions) = 42


I thought this was the best time to decline for a few of reasons.

1. The Dragon Master Skeletons had done their job, their high token count was enough to slow down the Kobalds scoring. Not to mention the Dragon had also reduced the number the Kobald's numbers.

2. In order to continue the attack I would have to abandon too many regions to do it.

3. It was getting late enough in the game that if I didn't decline now, I wouldn't have enough time to run my second race effectively.

4. I was Scoring 5 decline points, this is pretty decent, not great, but decent.

His Turn 7
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

Abandon all regions, taking 12 tokens into hand.

Conquest

Take 4 with 3, removing Skeleton
Take 5 with 3, removing Skeleton
Take 10 with 3, removing Skeleton
Take 15 with 3, removing Skeleton

Redeployment

None

Score

37 (start) + 4 (regions) + 4 (Pillaging) = 45


My opponents scores big here, these 8 points are huge at this point in the game especially since I had just spent the last two turns attacking him.

My Turn 7

These are my choices:

1. Alchemist Leprechauns [10]
2. Peace-Loving Priestesses [8]
3. Imperial Elves [10]
4. Swamp White Ladies [6]
5. Berserk Goblins [10]
6. Mounted Amazons [11+4]

There were 3 races I was really considering between. Alchemist Leprechauns, Imperial Elves, and Mounted Amazons. Mounted Amazons have the best attack, but they are too expensive for this late in the game. I rejected Imperial Elves because I still needed to open with an attack on the Kobalds and I knew I would never use the imperial ability effectively. So I took the Alchemist Leprechauns, 3 free coins on the and the Alchemist ability can't be blocked or countered in any way.

Quote:

Gathering of Troops

I'll take Alchemist Leprechauns

Conquest

Take 4 with 5, killing one kobald and returning 3.
Take 10 with 5, killing one kobald and returning 3.


Redeployment

None, but I will place a coin in each region...

42 (start) + 3 (coins upon pickup) + 2 (regions) + 2 (Alchemists) + 1 (ID skeleton) = 50


Opening with the attack here pretty big. First I reduced his token count to 8. The difference between 8 and 9 tokens is really big for the Kobalds for a few reasons:

1. With 8 they can only occupy 4 total regions. Since these are Pillaging Kobalds they can only attack 3 regions at most. So basically I'm reducing the effectiveness of both race and badge powers.
2. I keep myself to 2 regions, it keeps my defense up and makes pillaging even more useless.
3. Since I only have 2 regions I can put pots of gold in both. Due to the token count numbers Pillaging Kobolds can't hit both regions, so I am guaranteed one of the two pots. Therefore the worse case scenario is a wash... Not to mention one of the tie breaks in this tournament is overall cumulative score. If he declines, which I think is his best move at this point, then I get both, which is two free points. The only mistake I could have made was to only put down 1 pot of gold in 1 region only.
4. As I said, I think his best move is to decline, if the pots of gold entice my opponent to attack instead of decline then all the better.

His Turn 8
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

Abandon all regions, taking 10 tokens into hand.

Conquest

Take 4 with 7, removing Leprechaun, returning 4, taking Pot O' Gold
Take 9 with 3

Redeployment

5 each

Score

45 (start) + 2 (regions) + 1 (Pillaging) + 1 (Pot O' Gold) = 49



It's right here that I was sure I had won. My opponent's current score is 49, mine is 50 and I haven't taken my 8th turn yet. Basically I'm a full turn ahead.

I also thought he should've declined here and went for the Mounted Amazons for turn 9 and 10. The Kobalds are done and keeping them going here is just slow death. This was also the exact situation that I myself didn't want to get into as the Kobalds.

My Turn 8

Quote:
Turn 8

Gathering of Troops

I'll leave 1 in 10 taking 8 in hand.

Conquest

Take 9 with 8, killing one kobald and returning 4.

Redeployment

I'll put 5 in region 9 and leave coin in region 9.
I will leave 4 in region 10.

50 (start) + 2 (regions) + 2 (Alchemists) + 1 (ID skeleton) + 1 (for my own pot of gold) = 56

From here I felt like I won the game as long as I didn't do anything too crazy, like spreading out too thin and letting the Kobolds score Pillaging points off me. So I just hit him right back on region 9 and leave enough of a defense that my opponent can't take it back and leave myself a pot of gold. So between the pot of gold, my in decline skeletons, and the Alchemist bonus, I pull my score steadily ahead.

His Turn 9
Quote:

Gathering of Troops

Abandon all regions, taking 9 tokens into hand.

Conquest

Take 19 with 3, removing Skeleton
Take 13 with 2
Take 7 with 2
Take 3 with 2

Redeployment

3 on 3
2 each on 7, 13, 19

Score

49 (start) + 4 (regions) + 1 (Pillaging) = 54


So my opponent pretty much sees where he is at and gives up on taking on my Leprechauns directly. He went ahead took out my last skeleton.

My Turn 9

Quote:
Turn 9

Gathering of Troops

I'll leave 1 in 9 taking 8 in hand.

Conquest

Take 3 with 5, killing one kobald and returning 2.
With 3 in hand I will roll for region 7, I need a 1, 2, or 3... and I miss the roll.

Redeployment

I'll put 5 in region 3.
I will leave 4 in region 9.
I will also leave pots of gold in both regions...

Score

56 (start) + 2 (regions) + 2 (Alchemists) + 1 (for my own pot of gold) = 61


Again scoring points without spreading too thin...

His Turn 10

Quote:
Turn 10

Gathering of Troops

Leave 2 on each region, two tokens in hand.

Conquest

Take 18 with 2

Redeployment

None

Score

54 (start) + 4 (regions) = 58

That'll do it. Congrats, Paul.


My Turn 10

Quote:


Gathering of Troops


Leave 1 on region 3 and 1 region 9, taking 7 tokens in hand.

Conquest

Take region 2 with 2
Take region 4 with 2
Take region 5 with 2
Roll to take 10 with 1 token

Hiko Bunta previously rolled 1custom6{0;0;0;1;2;3} = (3) = 3

So I hit and also take 10.

Redeployment

None

Score

61 (start) + 6 (regions) + 2 (Pots of gold) = 69

Thanks, good game!


Thanks for reading and I hope all those Small World fans out there find this helpful to some degree.
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Some Donkus
Canada
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Thanks for posting! I only just got the base game, but those leprechauns seem harsh.
 
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Andrew
New Zealand
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Really good report. Gives some excellent tips. Thanks a lot!
 
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