Monday, August 20, 2012

It's a plane? It's a bird? No, it's an ORC! (Smallworld)

Okay, I did a weird and rather spontaneous visit to friends at Salo.

Despite my leaving being a bit hectic and very unarranged, I still picked up Smallworld with me.

And yesterday we played two 3-player games of Smallworld.

By the way, I see that a lot of random "googlers" come to this site with queries if Smallworld is good enough for just two players.

I've played only a couple of such games, and I played those with Tales and Legends event card deck. I think that the games were nicely chaotic and had weird occurences, but really, even with the card deck Smallworld is really at it's best with larger number of players.

But anyway, now to actual write-ups.

First game had following starting races (in turn order):

Wealthy Skeletons, Bivouacking Wizards, and Stout Amazons.

Stout Amazons were actually a damn good combo. They were last player in turn order, so they could choose where they landed their first conquests with little fear of reprisal. Because of that they played a second turn too, and went In Decline with amazing number of regions. Race they chose next was none other than Heroic Elves.

Elves in general are a horrific race if you got a good race In Decline. Amazon/Elf player couldn't have made it better, I must say (and it wasn't me, I'm not flattering myself here, heh).

Skeletons gave way for Corrupt Halflings, and Wizards soon forgot their spells and played only card tricks. They were switched to a mind-baffling combo. Flying Orcs! That's one fantasy cliché we haven't seen too much of yet.

And it wasn't a bad combo either. That meant that if there was only one region anywhere with only one defender, orcs would score another point from conquering it.

The emergence of flying orcs made other races less interested in leaving only a few tokens to defend their regions, so, for example, Corrupt Halflings didn't want to overextend their military might when slaying amazons in decline.

It took plenty of turns for Halflings and Orcs to whittle down the ancient and mighty empire of amazons, but eventually it happened and Elves were finally put into decline. About then, at the same time, Halflings went into decline too, because Orcs. Just because, orcs.

And then Orcs went in decline too.

Last races were (continuing Elves): Hordes of Giants. Halflings got Pillaging Trolls as their new active race, and Flying Orcs cut off their wings and Historian Dwarves started to speculate if they did ever actually fly fly.

Hordes of Giants and Declined Elves took a lot of casualties every last turn, but this didn't actually matter them much. Their player was scoring 10 or more points nearly every turn.

It was a nice and close game. I'm not sure if I've played a game where there was so few points in between 1st and 2nd place... Though if I felt industrious, I guess I could search whole this blog for Smallworld games. Heh.

Final scoreboard for game 1:
Stout Amazons/Heroic Elves/Hordes of Giants: 85
Wealthy Skeletons/Corrupt Halflings/Pillaging Trolls: 82
Bivouacking Wizards/Flying Orcs/Historian Dwarves: 71

Game 2:

Well, one game just wasn't enough. We played a second one straight away.

Races drawn (in turn order) were Imperial Tritons, Spirit Pygmies and Hill Pixies.

Because Imperial Tritons started the game, they had it easy to get perfect spots because of their racial benefit. They started to score Imperial extra points on the first round of the game.

Pixies were a weird race to play. They easily claimed a lot of Hills for them, but because of Tritons's racial ability they took always a serious beating on next round. This soon made tritons to go In Decline... and their legacy continued in a really horrible combo. Marauding Skeletons. With two rounds of attacks, they could somewhat easily get TWO skeleton tokens more per round, and certainly at least one.

Pygmies and Pixies both played perhaps one round too long. They finally went In Decline, but this only meant an extra turn for Skeletons to farm more bodies... Pixies took Dragonmaster Homunculi next, and Pygmies took Fortified Barbarians.

Together they were able to destroy enough Skeletons (and of course each other) that during last rounds of the game all races went in decline. Skeletons continued with last game's favorite combo, Stout Amazons. Homunculi could have continued maybe, but still decided to switch to Ransacking Trolls to get a fresh race for last turns.

Fortified Barbarians, whose fortresses had been brought down by Dragons and swarms of Homunculi, switched to Commando Giants. How the hell does that combo even make sense? How will giants infiltrate places unseen? Unless the meaning here is that they assault places while going commando or something...

However, it looked like we had a clear winner. Imperial Tritons/Marauding Skeletons and finally Stout Amazons were a tough combo of race combos (That sentence sure makes sense to the uninitiated...)

Final scoreboard for game 2:

Imperial Tritons/Marauding Skeletons(!!!)/Stout Amazons: 89
Hill Pixies/Dragonmaster Homunculi/Ransacking Trolls: 74
Spirit Pygmies/Fortified Barbarians/Commando Giants: 71

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