Small World board game
Small World board game

Small World

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Overall Rank: #39 | Trending Rank: #122

Small World is designed by Philippe Keyaerts and is a fantasy-themed game similar in game play to his Vinci, which was released in 1999 by French publisher Descartes.

In Small World, players will be able to control characters from 14 fantasy races - dwarves, giants, orcs, elves, and so forth - while trying to take control of territory and push opponents out of adjacent lands and off the map. Even while dominating opponents, however, you have to keep in mind that your race's civilization is doomed as well, thanks to the passing of time and attacking of neighbors, so be ready to cast aside one tribe while taking the reins of another in order to keep dominating the world.

Small World is for 2-5 players and contains two double-sided gameboards, with one side being used for each of the different number of possible players. The 14 fantasy races come with matching banners and tokens, and the game also includes 20 special power badges to further customize the races along with mountains, troll lairs, fortresses, holes-in-the-ground, victory coins. and other items.

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User Ratings & Reviews

  • i really enjoy this territorial game and which to get more playtyhroughs of it. I bought some expansion packs but have yet to play with any of them.It's basically a better version of Risk.
  • This game really surprised me. The rules don't make you think it will be very strategically interesting. However, the mix of special powers and racial abilities really makes for some neat decisions. Knowing which combos will be the most valuable, and how to best take advantage of those abilities is crucial to succeeding. I'm also surprised how important it is to know when you should enter decline.Although I wouldn't necessarily define this as a family game, it is quite simple to understand the basic mechanism of conquering territories. I also really enjoy the flow of the game. After that initial decision of what race you want to take, the turns can really fly by. Also, because you have to go in decline on one turn but don't grab a new race until the next turn, players usually have plenty of time to make up their minds on which race they will take. This eliminates a massive opportunity for analysis-paralysis, which I greatly appreciate. I'm not sure if I love this game yet, but I certainly like it and want to play some more.
  • Pretty (but not necessarily very usable) components. Gameplay more or less fixes everything I dislike about Vinci. That game was sold years ago, but I suspect Small World might prove a keeper.
  • --Apr2009-- On first blush, more interesting than its ancestor Vinci. The presentation is pretty good (though, like some other voices, I'd like a bit more color or other distinction on the in decline side of the faction counters and a bit more color delta between woods and hills.) It plays very cleanly for a game with as much potential for analytic paralysis, but is probably at its best when played breezily.--Jun2009-- Yet after a few plays, it's not as clear. I think the tide has turned, and I'd prefer to play Vinci - if I had to choose between the two family members. But given that I rate neither terribly highly, I'd prefer something else.--Dec2009-- After a couple more plays, I'm less enchanted. The matrix of race and modifier leads to a rather chaotic evaluation problem. And the game is mostly about that evaluation problem, with a bit of interplayer whining "Attack her, not me" thrown in. I find I'm even less enthusiastic about the game when I win than when I lose.
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User Activity Feed

I haven't played games on a simulator yet. I play #Carcassonne on my tablet, as well as #Small World #Ticket To Ride #Castles of Mad King Ludwig and #Encore. I'll have to try out Board Game Arena. Is it pretty intuitive?

Camels + Racing = #Camel Up

Too many races + Territory Control = #Small World

Dinner Building + Card Drafting = #Sushi Go Party!

Haunted House + Traitor Game = #Betrayal at House on the Hill

Iconic Monsters + King of the Hill = #King of Tokyo

Bean Farming + Trading = #Bohnanza: Bohna Nostra

Trains + Route Building = #Ticket To Ride

I could do this all day...


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Community's Compendium I (fan expansion for Small World) board game
  • Players: 2 - 6
  • Playtime: Add
  • Designer: Desaix
  • Publisher:
Community's Compendium II (fan expansion for Small World) board game
  • Players: 2 - 6
  • Playtime: Add
  • Designer: Desaix
  • Publisher:
Small World: Be Not Afraid... board game
Rank: N/A
Trending: 1163
Small World: Grand Dames of Small World board game
Rank: N/A
Trending: N/A
  • Players: 2 - 5
  • Playtime: 40 - 80 min
  • Designer:
  • Publisher: Days of Wonder
Small World: Necromancer Island board game


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