It seems to be a small world after all, just not exactly how you expected. This game makes players fight for conquest and control over a world that is literally too small to fit them all in at once…you have to scramble to fight against everyone playing, using tactics to knock them back and out of the game once and for all. In Small World you basically want to be king of the hill…even if it means kicking your loved ones all the way down it to achieve this victory!
The game is designed by a man named by Philippe Keyaerts as a follow-up from his previous game, Vinci. Small World is inhabited by a strange myriad of characters ranging from dwarves and wizards to giants and orcs and the idea is to use these characters to occupy territories with their troops/tokens.
How To Play The Bloody Thing
At the beginning of the game each player chooses one of the characters available out of a random selection. Every race has two tiles that interlock to describe the race and additional special ability or scoring opportunity. This could mean as an example that you have Dwarves as the race and Flying as the special ability…it would be an amusing start it you had flying dwarves! Can you imagine? ‘Cause all I see is the image from Lord of the Rings where Gimli got thrown over to the bridge by Mr. Fancy Pants!
Anyhow. There are also numbers printed on the tiles to show how many race tokens the player may draw when using their chosen race. This is basically how many troops you can put out at any given time. By using these troops, you capture territory on one of four different playing maps. Of course like any other game, it all depends on how many people are playing to what map you get. It would be stupid to player a 5 player map for two people…pretty much defeats the point of the game! So to occupy these territories you must place a certain amount of troops in it as it is based on the location, number of defenders and special abilities of the players race. You got enough tokens to move? Then you get the capture. We don’t need to explain that if you can’t do it, then it fails. Now it’s a bit unfortunate for the opposing player because if you can occupy a territory the it means one creature token from their defending garrison is removed from play and the rest are given back to try to find other territories. After each turn you’re scored on the number of territories you have and perhaps if you’re lucky some racial abilities will provide a bonus too.
When you go for captures the majority of them are without a die roll however, at the end of the turn if a player isn’t able to capture a territory because their tokens are insufficient, then they may roll a special die called the reinforcement die. Pretty self-explanatory, yeah? The idea is to roll this customised six-sided die which increases the strength of their capture by the number rolled. If this fails…then oh well, try again next time. All the tokens are returned to the players other occupied territories and that’s the turn done. These cannot be sent out again to capture another territory, even if it means they would have had enough.
As you can guess from what we’ve already explained, the amount of tokens or troops in a race will eventually diminish over time as people capture territories and someone will end up reaching the maximum capture for territories. Once this happens then the player can announce they are going into decline which allows the player to select a new race to bring into the playing field and their previous tokens remain in place fixed as they continue to gather points. The only way to stop this is to capture the territory.
Luckily the game doesn’t go on forever because I’m pretty sure if there wasn’t a turn-cap, we’d be playing for days! So yeah, the game ends after the turn limit is reached and the player with the highest score overall wins the game.
Pros and Cons
- Every new game has a new setting which versatile
- Fun group activity
- Can have a lot of laughs as you can choose who you want to screw over the most from your friends
- Well put together as a game
- It can take up time depending on how long people take to decide what to do
- Need to know the rules properly which can also take up time the first time you play
What Made You Want To Play It?
We, like we’ve mentioned in the past, like to play these games with friends, especially if said friends own a lot of board games. We were introduced to this game on a regular board game night as something new to play and we enjoyed it thoroughly. It really is a game of who you can screw over the most for laughs and can be extremely light-hearted entertainment when you have more than 2 people playing.
Would You Recommend It?
We recommend it to anyone who wishes to play a new board game because let’s face it, if you’ve already played it then you know how awesome it is already. It’s a very tactical game so need some insights to be able to enjoy it. Even then if you aren’t sure about it, just try it. We can guarantee there will be a ton of laughs involved!