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Subject: Should I keep Small World rss

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John Drach
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We got Small World for Christmas and for what ever reason have still not got around to opening it up and playing. We have a few games that the kids really like so those have been taking up all our time. So, I've been thinking of breaking it out soon and in preparation started to watch some videos on how it plays. Well, I'm just not feeling the challenge of it - at least from what I've seen.

My kids love Nexus Ops and Heroscape. Small World seems more like an area management game than a 'battle' type game. There is no offense/defense just place guys, score them and place them all over again. Maybe I'm missing something since it does rate very high - I'm just not sure what though. It's been compared to Risk I suppose but I don't really see that either.

Am I missing something? Is this more than a place your guys over and over again in the (more-or-less) same areas..count them, score them, and then do it all over again?
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Neil Brooks
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cptcanuck wrote:
Is this more than a place your guys over and over again in the (more-or-less) same areas..count them, score them, and then do it all over again?

No. But it's good.
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Josh
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Well the placing of your guys means 'killing' your opponents guys. The variable powers of the races make each turn a series of interesting choices. I don't own it, but if you don't want it I would be willing to trade for it
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Alfred Wallace
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Shadrach wrote:
Well the placing of your guys means 'killing' your opponents guys. The variable powers of the races make each turn a series of interesting choices. I don't own it, but if you don't want it I would be willing to trade for it


Well, he's listed it for trade already...

If you're looking for more games like Nexus Ops and Heroscape, this is not your game. The combat in this game--and there's a lot of it--is highly abstract. The challenge of the game is getting "civilizations" with the right powers at the right time. Armies, kind of like in our own world, tend to fight over the same patches of land because they're of strategic significance.
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Nate Owens
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Yeah, the value of Small World is really in all the racial powers and interactions. That's what gives the value, and that's why it's one of the best games to expand.
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Caleb
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San Il Defanso wrote:
Yeah, the value of Small World is really in all the racial powers and interactions. That's what gives the value, and that's why it's one of the best games to expand.


And yet, it still manages to feel far more bland than the bland-looking Vinci. Vinci's a great game; Small World feels like a cheap knock-off to me.
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John Drach
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alfredhw wrote:

Well, he's listed it for trade already...


Yes, I haven't made up my mind yet but did want to see what options there are out there if I do trade. The cost of shipping the darn thing may just make up my mind for me but still..I'm really struggling on popping that shrink or not
 
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Daniel Gerdes
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I feel like I may be in the minority on this, but I found the game not enjoyable at all. I can't really pinpoint why. Tons of pieces you have to constantly mess with and pretty dull IMO.
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Tim Robinson
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I personally really enjoy this game for what it is. My favorite part is the trash talking and negotiation that happens on every single turn.

The fact that the money/points are hidden makes this a great game of bluffing. "Just because I scored 17 points on this turn doesn't mean I'm going to win. The past four rounds all I scored was like 3 points."

I too really enjoy Nexus Op and will never turn down a game. However, Small World is a game that will always remain in my collection. So many people I've introduced it to love it as well.

My vote is for you to pop that wrap and play it.
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Abraham Drucker
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cptcanuck wrote:
alfredhw wrote:

Well, he's listed it for trade already...


Yes, I haven't made up my mind yet but did want to see what options there are out there if I do trade. The cost of shipping the darn thing may just make up my mind for me but still..I'm really struggling on popping that shrink or not


Opening it drops its value by what, $10?

So for $10 you can play it. If you don't like it, you can still trade or sell it as 'played once', which in trade value is probably just as good, or nearly as good as shrink.

so open it, play it and possibly love it. don't expect it to be heroscape or nexus ops.
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Bill Eldard
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cannoneer wrote:
San Il Defanso wrote:
Yeah, the value of Small World is really in all the racial powers and interactions. That's what gives the value, and that's why it's one of the best games to expand.


And yet, it still manages to feel far more bland than the bland-looking Vinci. Vinci's a great game; Small World feels like a cheap knock-off to me.


I've been a fan of Vinci for years, and I have to say that if the OP is looking for a battle game in the Nexus Ops-class, he won't find it in Vinci either.

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Glitchy Predator
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I enjoy it quite a bit. I won't let it leave my collection any time soon, but it may not be for everyone. With all of the race expansions the game is really fun. The combat is part of the game, but really it comes down to the strategy of picking the right race at the right time. The game is, for the most part, very well balanced. There are some race/power combos that are better than others but for the most part it is very situational. Some are better early in the game, some late in the game, and sometimes there will be a race worth picking up for just one turn. That is the trick to the game, will you pick the right race at the right time? The combat is simply playing out these choices. There is strategy in the combat as well, but in general it will make far less impact than choosing the right race, and perhaps more importantly, abandoning a race at the right time.

Be advised though I think you need expansions if you play with 3 or more players. With 5 players and the original game only you start repeating races during the same game and that is less fun. With all of the original race expansions you won't see the same race twice, and there are some really interesting powers and races introduced. I like it enough I have bought every expansion, underground, and realms. But the original with race expansions is still by far my favorite of the set.
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Ron Olivier, Sr.
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Eldard wrote:
cannoneer wrote:
San Il Defanso wrote:
Yeah, the value of Small World is really in all the racial powers and interactions. That's what gives the value, and that's why it's one of the best games to expand.


And yet, it still manages to feel far more bland than the bland-looking Vinci. Vinci's a great game; Small World feels like a cheap knock-off to me.


I've been a fan of Vinci for years, and I have to say that if the OP is looking for a battle game in the Nexus Ops-class, he won't find it in Vinci either.



I've played both, and liked neither of them very much. But if I had to play one or the other, I think Small World is the better of the two. Perhaps because I know it will only last 9 rounds???
 
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Drew Thomson
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I don't think Small World would be a hit at your house. Trade it away.
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Rick Weckermann
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I am not alone, a whole bunch of expansions for game, and i still do not see the fun factor in this game. Unfortunately our gaming group requests it now and then, down to the archives i go and dig it out, otherwise it is buried in my pile of non playing games.
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Dutch Jones
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Keep it.
It's light, fun, quirky and harmless so great to play with kids.
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David C
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cptcanuck wrote:
We got Small World for Christmas and for what ever reason have still not got around to opening it up and playing. We have a few games that the kids really like so those have been taking up all our time. So, I've been thinking of breaking it out soon and in preparation started to watch some videos on how it plays. Well, I'm just not feeling the challenge of it - at least from what I've seen.

My kids love Nexus Ops and Heroscape. Small World seems more like an area management game than a 'battle' type game. There is no offense/defense just place guys, score them and place them all over again. Maybe I'm missing something since it does rate very high - I'm just not sure what though. It's been compared to Risk I suppose but I don't really see that either.

Am I missing something? Is this more than a place your guys over and over again in the (more-or-less) same areas..count them, score them, and then do it all over again?


The only solid problem I have with the game, is when you know you're going into decline... you basically sit and twiddle your thumbs for the x minutes while everyone else takes their turn, say "decline", flip your pieces, and then wait another full round.

Depending on the crowd, this could be like 10 minutes where you should have something to do on your phone...or...eek...talk to people.
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A boy named Sioux
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Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site SMALL WORLD from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Hudson: F*ckin' A!
Burke: Hold on a second. This installation GAME has a substantial dollar value attached to it.
Ripley: They can *bill* me.
Burke: Okay, I know this is an emotional moment for all of us. I know that. But let's not make snap judgments, please. This is clearly an important species HIGHLY RANKED GAME we're dealing with and I don't think that you or I, or *anybody*, has the right to arbitrarily exterminate them SELL IT.
Ripley: Wrong.
Vasquez: Yeah, watch us.
Hudson: Maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked BORED SENSELESS, pal!
Burke: Look. I'm not blind to what is going on, but I cannot authorize that kind of action. I'm sorry.
Ripley: Well, *I* believe that Corporal *Hicks* has authority here.
Burke: *Corporal* Hicks has...?
Ripley: This operation is under military jurisdiction and Hicks is next in the chain of command. Am I right, Corporal?
Hicks: Yeah... yeah, that's right.
Burke: Yeah... look, Ripley, this is a multi-million dollar installation HIGHLY RATED GAME. He can't make that kind of decision. He's just a grunt AMERITRASHER!
Burke: [to Hicks] Uh, no offense.
Hicks: None taken. Bishop, log us into eBay.
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Small World is not a thematic, fun, battling game. It is area control with some special abilities. I found it painful: not enough meaningful gameplay + fun for the time it takes to fiddle around with the cardboard and sit on your butt while in decline.
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Jon G
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I'm contemplating the same question as the OP. I own SW and the event deck, and have played it a half-dozen times, but I find dealing with all the cardboard chits pushes it from enjoyable to kinda tedious. Haven't played it in a year, and I think it'll eventually get traded.

I think Vinci's use of wooden disks and a scoring track got the job done 20% faster, and that made a difference for me. That, and I preferred both the race to the finish line and fact that you could get really odd nations (especially with doubled powers) in Vinci.
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Nate L
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Small World is an area control and a very light war game in that regard. The fact that players do conquest other's territory is why I would classify it as a very light one. Territory control may not be for a lot of people. Yet, the reason for its popularity is the simplicity works for this game, and the different race and power combinations is very enjoyable. Some of the combos are so silly, yet work so well together, it can make for a great new game. People think that any race and combination, at any time, is right together and will earn you the same amount of points. They are wrong. It's all about timing, the combo picked, and where they locate themselves on the map. As also mentioned above, keeping points hidden is a great mechanic, and the art of negotiation becomes a factor as a result.

There is more strategy in this game than people take for granted.

I don't know if your household will enjoy it, but I love it. I personally am not a fan of Heroscape because of how much the dice results in the combat. I love that with Small World there is no complicated fighting mechanism. But when you fight, you do not simply place the pieces randomly, you have to figure out what is more advantageous for you to do. The claustrophobic map of this game works great for this game.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Small World is worthy enough to be in any players collection, at least if they like fun games.
 
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Kamille
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To keep Smallworld or not depends on your personal Taste. You like the game or you don´t like it. I would not keep it just because it has a high rating if I did not have fun with it.

I personally do not like it for the following reasons:

Looking at the board my eyes are overwhelmed by colorful chaos with no clear structure. A bit too colorful and chaotic for my taste. The Material logistics are fiddly and elaborate. Markers must be constantly searched, unpacked and packed away again. And there are too many individual rules which makes the game less intuitive to play. It's a mass-compatible remake of the better and more clearly regulated Vinci. What I also do not own but know. I would prefer other games before I had to fall back to Vinci. The new design appeals to more people. What in my view is not bad either. Many people have fun with this game. To me it's not fun and that's why I would not want to play this game by choice. Reason enough for me not to own it.

That's just my humble opinion of this game.

But I am happy for all the people who enjoy it.

regards Hessi
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Les Marshall
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It's simply a matter of taste. Your kids seem to like games with a fantasy/sci-fi theme (Small World has this) and a confrontational mechanic that embraces random outcomes (Small World has no randomness).

I like Vinci far more as it plays six and has more variety of civilization powers. Still, there are no dice and "attacks" are really bids for area control.

Large multiplayer games may be more to your taste. Go grab "Descent" or "Fortress America" or "Twilight Imperium". Relatively simple rules, lots of dice and lots of hammering away at things.
 
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D S
United Kingdom
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SW is definitely not an automatic/mechanical process of placing and scoring pieces. As others have said, it's all about the interaction, both between players and between the various race/power combos. But it's certainly not similar to many true wargames, Risk comparisons aside.

If by challenge you mean skill, there's certainly skill to the game, if you measure skill as I always do (can some players who know the game consistently do better than others who know the game). I know people I usually beat and people who usually beat me at this.

Incidentally, on offense/defence, that particular distinction is very strong in Smallworld, just not through stats. There are 'offensive' races such as Tritons and Amazons, and 'defensive' ones such as Trolls. And there are interesting sub-varieities: Elves have an apparently defensive skill that means they're often exceptionally well-placed to attack, as they don't really mind spreading out. Similarly, there are offensive and defensive special abilities. Some players like doubling up with similar abilities (my Heroic Halflings have four invincible regions) whereas others like to mix and match (my Bezerk Trolls can spread out very fast, and then they're really hard to shift, even in decline).
 
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