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Subject: Two questions from a new player... rss

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Christian Heckmann
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Hey, just played my first game of Small World and two questions occured amidst battle. First of all, I should have addressed this prior to playing a round, but... What do "free regions" mean? I don't know whether this is the right term or not since I'm owning the german version, it adresses "freie/nicht freie Regionen" for instances as the skeletons special ability... The icon on the race-chart suggests that this should be the regions where no lost tribe starts out, but... I don't find it anywhere adressed in the rules. So what's a free region?
Secondly, it was unclear whether from where a player was able to attack... During the initial phase playing with a new race, one should be able to attack from beyond the boundaries of the game board. But what afterwards? Can a player keep attacking from the "outside" or does he have to attack regions adjacent to regions he occupies after his first succesful conquest? Thanks for clarifying in advance.
 
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brian
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Harblnger wrote:
Hey, just played my first game of Small World and two questions occured amidst battle. First of all, I should have addressed this prior to playing a round, but... What do "free regions" mean? I don't know whether this is the right term or not since I'm owning the german version, it adresses "freie/nicht freie Regionen" for instances as the skeletons special ability... The icon on the race-chart suggests that this should be the regions where no lost tribe starts out, but... I don't find it anywhere adressed in the rules. So what's a free region?

"Free" should be "empty" or better yet, "unoccupied" regions. So yes, it would be a region clear of Lost tribe markers and any race tokens. For the Skeletons, there ability allows them to gain tokens for conquering occupied, or non-free as you put it, regions.

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Secondly, it was unclear whether from where a player was able to attack... During the initial phase playing with a new race, one should be able to attack from beyond the boundaries of the game board. But what afterwards? Can a player keep attacking from the "outside" or does he have to attack regions adjacent to regions he occupies after his first succesful conquest? Thanks for clarifying in advance.

You must attack from anywhere you currently occupy a region. If you have no regions occupied (because it is the start of your turn, you lost all your regions since your last turn, or you purposely take up all your tokens in hand), then you may start on any border region. But once you start taking regions, you can only go after regions that are adjacent to your occupied region(s).
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Danny Mack
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As usual, Brian pretty much nails it.
I did want to add one thing though--He's right: after your first turn with an active race (once you are on the board, as you said, having entered from the edge of the map somewhere) you DO continue to attack/conquer new regions that are next to "bei" (or adjacent to) these initial regions. But rather than thinking about attacking from one region to its neighboring region (as you would in the game Risk) you actually conquer with tokens from your hand.
At the beginning of each turn you pick up tokens from the board (the extras) and use them to attack with. Of course you probably know all this, I just wanted to be clear.

You probably also know that at the beginning of a turn is the one time you can abandon/remove ALL of your tokens from a region you once claimed. This would include abandoning all of your regions in favor of re-entering the board from another angle. Obviously abandoning one, a few or all of your regions are specific strategies that are good moves only in specific situations (since keeping the regions is what gets you victory coins.) I just wanted to make the point that you don't HAVE TO conquer adjacent regions. You don't have to conquer anything if you don't want to.

Check out my "Cheat Sheet" for a step-by-step breakdown (in English, not German, alas.) Maybe this will help clarify your options.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/63442/smallworld-cheat...
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Pokey 64
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bandit_boy7 wrote:
I just wanted to make the point that you don't HAVE TO conquer adjacent regions. You don't have to conquer anything if you don't want to.


And I would like to point out, once again, that doing nothing on your turn is not an option.

The player has only two options available on a 'Following Turn" of which he MUST choose one. Neither choice is "do nothing".

Here's the rule again for educational purposes:

During his turn, each player must now either:
 Expand the reach of his race through new conquests
OR
 Put his race In Decline to select a new one.

 
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Bryan Stout
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panzer6 wrote:
bandit_boy7 wrote:
I just wanted to make the point that you don't HAVE TO conquer adjacent regions. You don't have to conquer anything if you don't want to.


And I would like to point out, once again, that doing nothing on your turn is not an option.

And I will point out this thread, where everyone else, including the publisher, disagrees with Pokey. All the arguments were hashed out there. Let us not repeat them here, PLEASE.
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Danny Mack
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I crave your indulgence Barliman (and OP)--I don't want to rehash all of this, but I am curious about one thing in Pokey's stated viewpoint...

Pokey, you keep tooting this horn to any newbie that will listen. Fine. Let's say for a minute that the designer/publisher is to be ignored, and your way is THE way.

How do you reconcile this view of yours with the legitimate option of abandoning regions at the beginning of your turn? This strategic option IS stated in the rule book and seems to be out of step with your realization of the rules as written.

If (for example) I start my 3rd turn with 5 regions and I abandon 2 of them at the outset of the turn. Clearly this is not an in-decline turn (because I'm not just flipping & scoring.) As such, am I required (by your definition of "expand") to conquer 3 regions on my turn so that my end total exceeds my starting total? If I fail to do so--say my last attempt is foiled due to a bad die roll--does this invalidate my active status and the moves I made on my turn?

Or do I just have to conquer 1 region per subsequent turn to remain active? If this is the case, whenever I opt to abandon more than 1 region at the outset of any active turn, my status would be better defined as "contracting" rather than "expanding," would it not?

Everybody just makes fun of you on this and dismisses your viewpoint. So I've never really heard you get a chance to explain this (what would seem to be a discrepancy.) I'm not saying you're going to convert me, but I'm curious what the game would be like at "your house." You already know how it would be at "my house."
 
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Danny Mack
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[Just to clarify:]
I already read the other thread where Eric stepped in with THE ANSWER from D.O.W., was subsequently ignored, and the admins eventually locked down the thread. Everyone was being "snarky," and Pokey wasn't answering the questions per se, or explaining his system--he was busy reacting to comments. I want him to spell it out for me--I don't understand how he reconciles the printed rules with his system of interpretation. To me it seems to be unworkable...and it's not about persuading his old wargaming buddies of what's on BGG.

I read the same rules and have come up with the interpretation that as an active race you have some viable strategic options/actions to take. As an in-decline race you have none of them--you flip & score. "Once you start down the [in-decline] path forever will it dominate your destiny..." etc. But before that point you can expect to do things like: conquer, re-enter the map, abandon certain regions, redeploy, roll for a final conquest, etc. As long as you're doing actions, you are active.

It's all in the rule book. I don't see anywhere that says you MUST do one of these to legitimately stay active and the rest are optional, for strategy's sake. And yes, I've read the paragraph about "Subsequent Conquests/Turns." To me there's no problem--it's describing the kinds of things you can expect to see on a regular active turn, since directions for "1st Turn" are pretty taken up with just how to enter the map (which you don't do on subsequent turns.)

I think that section of the rules is drawing attention to the BIG difference in this game vs. other war/expansion games. You almost never stop "expanding" with your team in any other game, unless you've just been defeated. So the rulebook must address that, and help players to understand the decline mechanic since it's so pivotal in the game and so out of the ordinary (and so different from the active turns.)

So, I'm not trying to persuade you, Pokey. Please don't take this as an argument. I just want you to understand how I see things so that you can know better how to explain to me what you see. I am genuinely trying to figure this out from your perspective, so, if you please, just focus on explaining your interpretation (and how the aforementioned "seeming discrepancy" is resolved.) Thanks.
 
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Bryan Stout
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Danny, are you trying to get another thread locked?

I guess I should also have included a link to the earlier thread where the discussion all started, and especially this entry, where pokey explains how his interpretation works.

I think it would be better for everyone's peace of mind, including pokey's, if you asked any questions via geekmail, rather than in public like this.
 
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Danny Mack
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Good idea, Barley.
Pokey, feel free to drop me a line on this topic. Then you and I don't have to hog other people's threads with N/A info.
 
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