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Small World: Be Not Afraid...» Forums » General

Subject: Barbarians seem weak. rss

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Joshua C
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Am I the only one who finds the Barbarians a bit on the weak side? I balance everything again the Ratman (8 units, no downside or upside). With Barbarians you get a pretty nasty downside (no spreading your units after your turn) for just 1 more unit. Not being able to "fortify" your units leads to either playing overly defensive because you don't want to leave your areas with only 1 defender. Or the places you want to take get easily taken over.

I feel like they need 10 units, or their negative should've been weakened. Or given a small positive to offset the big negative.
 
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Danny Mack
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I feel this is coming (yet again) from the perspective that all races should be equally formidable in all situations. I don't think that was ever the intent of the designers. Some races are stronger than others; some weaker than others, and most are quite situational.

What is true of every race?
(1) How you play the Barbarians (or any other race), (2) which power they are matched up with, and (3) what opposing races they share the board with are the primary factors that will determine their point-making ability, their longevity, and their overall "strength" in any given game.

Perhaps it is helpful to think of their racial power as being "sheer numbers" and then they have a drawback--what Eric Hautemont calls a "negative power" to counter their innate strength. If you can play them strongly, and make use of their board position & special power the Barbarians can really shine. But it's true, they do cause you to think/plan differently than most other races in Small World.

Your comparison to the Ratmen is a good litmus test, just as I compare the powers to Alchemist--does this power help me make at least 2 coins per turn? If not, I should just go with boring old Alchemist. Personally I feel the Barbarians are fun to play, and fresh, because even after MANY games of Small World they still challenge me to think in order to do well with them. I welcome the challenge as part of the fun.
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Paul Burton
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They do seem to be weaker than Ratmen. Similarly, Cursed is weaker than Dragonmaster.

It all depends on the factors listed by bandit_boy7, in addition to (4) how many gold coins are on it.
 
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