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Subject: Someone give me a reason to try this game again rss

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Weston Ferguson
United States
Everett
Washington
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I played this once a while back and was really turned off by it. I just thought there were better games out there that weren't as light or boring. I don't know what exactly made me not like it, but at the time I had been playing a lot of chaos in the old world, which is a excellent area control game, but it has a lot of other stuff going on.

Basically I'm looking for reasons to give this one a second shot, either tell me I'm not missing much or say this game is good and give me a why I might like it if I didn't the first time.
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Chun Ping
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cos Wil Wheaton plays it too

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Weston Ferguson
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Everett
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That's actually what sparked my interest in possibly trying again.
 
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Kevin 'Rocky' Robertson
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Only once, you play a game once and make up your mind! Okay go for it, but I need at least 3 maybe 4 plays before I know if I like a game or not
 
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Jeff Dunford
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People who like Small World like it because it is light and accessible (e.g. non-gamer friendly). If you don't like light games, Small World probably isn't for you.
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Greg Cornell
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I had the same problem the first time I played the game. I just didn't get it. No battles, just walk into an area with more people than your opponent (plus extra people to overcome the obstacles) and you've taken control of the area. Was I missing something? Shouldn't it have more to it than that?

If I had played it at a friend's house, I probably would have avoided the game after the first time playing. But the game was a gift from my wife for our anniversary so I felt that I should give it more of a chance. She was talked into buying it for me from the game store clerk, but after playing it, she didn't like the game much, either. I introduced the game to some of my gaming buddies and at least one said that it really bothered him - so he won't play it again.

I convinced my wife to give it a go again and she quickly learned how to wipe the floor with my active races and obliterate my races in decline. But her victory didn't nudge her to like the game any more than the first time.

Then we introduced the game to my sister and brother-in-law. They were skeptical at first, but found that the theme was pretty interesting to them and we actually had a really good 4-player game. My sister found a winning combination and racked up enough money to win the game.

I decided that the game might be improved with the expansions so I got the 3 expansions with new races and powers (Cursed, Grand Dames, Be Not Afraid). The added variety has made the game seem more interesting for now and it is really starting to grow on us.

I wouldn't give it a 10, like so many other people do here. In fact I'm surprised at how much attention this game gets on this site. But I do think it adds to my game collection nicely and I expect to bring it out on occasion for many years to come. I don't give up on board games easily and I think that every one in my collection will eventually come out because we need the variety. It is definitely different from what I thought that it would be when I first received it, and I can see it growing on us even more as we give it more of a chance.

Should you buy it? Only you can know. I think you ought to find something that excites you, but if someone gives this to you as a gift, don't roll your eyes. Give it a chance, you may be surprised.
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Ragnar Iceblood
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cpf86 wrote:
cos Wil Wheaton plays it too



argh, waching that made me want to pull my hair.

So many errors they did!

For instance, you cannot attack when you decline the ghouls!
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Kevin 'Rocky' Robertson
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The Ghouls can attack in decline

zombie
 
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Jeff Dunford
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manfromtherock wrote:
The Ghouls can attack in decline

zombie


But they cannot attack on the same turn they go in decline ... unless they are "Stout Ghouls."

Besides the previously mentioned error with the Giants (didn't take a mountain before conquering neighbouring regions with 1 less unit), they also have too many race/power combinations showing. There should only be a total of 6 available and showing, but they have 7 (the one on the top of the stack).

They also played pretty sub-optimally in the early going (can't tell for later turns, as most turns aren't shown), but that's not the point of the video. They demonstrated that it's a fun game without a lot of uncertainty... besides the final die roll and not knowing exactly what you're opponents might do on their turns.
 
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Ragnar Iceblood
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Didnt they also put the new race, as race # 1 ?
 
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David Hubbard
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The combat, as others have said, isn't terribly interesting in this game. It's a simple matter of having the right number and choosing where to spend your attackers each turn. Pushing your luck with the reinforcement die (or any race/power that uses it also) is about the only time luck or any uncertainty enters into it.

To me Small World is all about the ebb and flow of players throughout the game. Knowing when to enter decline, which race/power combo to choose and how to best use them are the "meat" of the game. There are race/power combos that are meant to battle their way across the board, races meant to grab some land and hold on as long as they can, races that are meant to come on the board for a turn or two and then go away... which ones come up, when they come up, and what the other players are using are the important decisions to make.

Suffice to say I like the game a lot. There are interesting decisions to be made, light but still satisfying "combat" and back-and-forth between players, but the whole decline system means people are rarely marginalized or outright eliminated from the game early on. The art style and potentially silly/comical combos I find very refreshing and entertaining too.

The game has had several expansions, and the stand-alone Small World: Underground is lots of fun too. I hesitate to say SW:U is better though, simply because as much as I love the games individually, I personally don't like how they combine together as a system. I think SW:U is a better game, but hate the thought of not using all the SW races/powers I've come to love. I have Tunnels, and have played using races/powers from both games together in other ways but I personally don't like how they combine.
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Weston Ferguson
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How do the 3 expansions mix with the base set and how do they mix with underground?
 
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David Hubbard
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Small World has six expansions, and they all work great with Small World. Three provide additional races and powers. In my opinion they can be ranked:

Be Not Afraid > Cursed! > Grand Dames

The other three are:

Tales and Legends - A deck of cards that are revealed once per game turn. Each card has some specific effect on the game for that turn. I think it's an OK expansion but don't play with it often. It basically adds some randomness to the game.

Isle of the Necromancer - This adds a scenario-like objective to the game where one player (the Necromancer) is trying to win via a special objective while the others must keep him from doing so. I've yet to play it.

Leaders - I don't believe this expansion is readily available any more, but I know it works well with Small World.

So they all work well with Small World. While they are rules for integrating Small World and these expansions with Small World: Underground... that's where they start to lose me. Maybe it's just me, but I'll try to explain.

With a few exceptions all of the races and powers can be freely mixed between the SW + expansions and SWU. Exceptions include things like Immortal Elves... Immortal is a SWU power that prevents a player from losing army tokens in battle, an ability that Elves from SW have on their own. If combos like that are drawn, you simply draw again.

The problem I have with mixing the races and powers is that some combos are really strong, and that SW powers and races are often generally better than SWU ones. Overall, Small World mitigates this by the auction mechanic in picking races... there's supposed to be "better" combos that people want, and lesser ones people might take later because they've racked up points. I like that system very much... but it's just the combination of the two that takes things a little too far in my opinion.

SW and SWU maps have various types of terrain and SWU has simple rules for converting most of them... Forests = Mushroom Forests and so on. The catch is there's one less terrain type in SWU, so there's no counterpart for Farmlands. This impacts the Humans and Halflings somewhat. There's a rule in the FAQ for compensating Humans in SWU but again, to me it just starts to feel clunky. Furthermore, some special terrain bonuses (like Magic sources) are fairly spread out on the SW map, but with the SWU conversion rules they're often clumped up on the SWU map, which I think favors races who get bonuses from them.

There's another expansion,, Tunnels, which was released to try and help integrate the two games even more. It lets you play on a combination of maps from both games. On paper it looks great, but in the games I've played with it the two worlds play out segregated... there's been little motivation to take SW races into the Underground and vice versa. It just felt like I was playing two side-by-side games of SW and SWU. Again, maybe that's just my experiences with it.

Finally, SWU adds important places and relics to the game... randomly drawn locations and items that are placed on the map for players to fight over for specific bonuses and/or points. This can be freely integrated into either game without any trouble.

Ultimately, I think the problem I have is that I think Small World: Underground is a better, more refined version of the game that stands on its own better. I just wish I could get past some of the gameplay issues I have when trying to combine the two.
 
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