Mondays are still long days. Especially after a long weekend. My Company gave us Juneteenth off this year in support of the Black Lives Matter movement that has been sweeping the country. There was a lot of folks who needed a lot from me at work today.
We went with an easy game for a Monday night, Smallworld. We are on vassal again one more time (we are still at stage 3 in COVID-19 recovery) using the the Smallworld vassal mod 4.0. I had the physical game on the table so I set it up in vassal and we just dove right into the game .
In Smallworld you play the part of a civilization expanding throughout the know world. The know world's size is based on the number of players each amount of players has a separate map board. We were four strong on this Monday (Adam, Rick, Chris and myself). Initially the board is scattered with the "lost civilization" which occupy 10 of the 39 map spaces. The lost civilization starts out in decline. Decline means that the civilization no longer has special abilities or can move around the board and conquer more territory. The game started off with six of the races with their attributes available to the players. Each race past the first one costs a victory point to take (ie.. the third one costs 2 vp and the fourth 3 vp). It was late it was Monday and we forgot an important rule. The price you pay for each one stays with the race that you skipped and is claimed by the player who buys it next. We were just throwing the VP back into the bank for some reason. Even though if you look at the pic above there are clear spaces to put the VP.
The game became quickly stratified. I think that the the mechanics we ignored would have evened things out a bit. Rick took the lead in the first turn and didn't look back. I was close to surpassing him a few times but never could sustain enough momentum to get there. Ricks Pillaging Ratmen set the pace fast. I came right behind him with my Amazons but rick wisely went into decline and chose Tritons as his new race and they quickly mopped up my Amazons that I had put into decline.
We had a very lively debate about the pairings of the attributes and the races. Were the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings Halfling Commandos? We landed on they were.
The game plays fast and the mechanics are simple. The worst part of the game is remembering what the special abilities do. If you have the physical game there is a cheat-sheet that comes with it to remind you. The vassal mod did include it but it was hard to read and must have been older because it did not match the physical one or the FAQs. I recommend this game to players of all levels. The rules are light and the strategy can be as involved as you want it to be. There are a lot of expansions out for this game if you have grown weary of the same combinations the vassal mod also included a couple expansions. My wife Mary is a very casual player and this is one of her favorite games from our collection.
Designed by: Philippe Keyaerts
Published by: Days of Wonder
Year Published: 2009
Recommended Ages: 8+
Time to Play: 80 minutes