While visiting friends at Vaasa, we played a three player game of Small World.
The game had two new mini expansions, Royal Bonus and The Spider's Web.
New powers, races and their combos had impact in the game right from the start. First picks were Were-Giants, Flying Goblins and Lava Elves.
Lava Elves were rather annoying, because the lava makes conquering regions easy for elves. With a good declined race that would probably be quite devastating. Flying Goblins tried to fight the Giants a little so that they wouldn't spread all over the map uncontested, but that just didn't work out. Two giant tokens were removed before it was the second (even) game turn. So the giants conquered everything nonetheless, and goblins were pretty much crippled because of the onslaught.
First great decline wave was Lava Elves into Hordes of Tritons, Were-Giants into Fireball Barbarians and Flying Goblins into Behemoth Ice Witches. Were-giants and Fireball barbarians seemed to be dominating the game, though Behemoth Ice Witches tried their best to both kill active race tokens and reduce points gained from decline races. Though that race combo wasn't bad, they were suffering from the failures of goblins.
Hordes of Tritons were demolished by the barbarians, and winter tokens were reducing points gained from elves. Soon enough Tritons were deemed unworthy of an empire, and lo, one of the more terrifying combos emerged. Seafaring Shrubmen. With a little planning they would easily be able to conquer spots that'd be completely immune to enemy attacks. Suddenly the onslaught of barbarians didn't seem so threatening, after all.
As was the case with Were-giants, Fireball Barbarians quickly dominated a maximum number of regions. They entered decline, and new race pick was Ransacking Slingmen.
At this point it looked like it was a duel between Slingmen and Shrubmen for the victory. Goblins and ice witches had been getting so few points throughout the whole game, that their only option seemed to end it all with a bang. For the very last turn of the game Ice Witches entered decline and picked Underworld Pixies, who devastated great batches of land. But not enough. Far from it.
Were-Giants/Fireball Barbarians/Ransacking Slingmen: 83
Lava Elves/Hordes of Tritons/Seafaring Shrubmen: 77
Flying Goblins/Behemoth Ice Witches/Underworld Pixies: 66