We played three player Small World at Chris’s place last night. It went down well.
Small World is basically claustrophobic Risk. The main developments on Risk are:
* fixed ten turn duration
* getting VPs at the end of every turn for holding regions
* diceless combat (mostly)
* lots of special powers
* your armies get no reinforcements. Once the kingdom expands to its limit, you have to put your army into decline and start a new one with different powers
Small World’s designer released a game called Vinci back in 1999 that was the foundation for Small World. I played Vinci a few years ago and remember it as having drab graphics and a confusing rulebook. Those two criticisms certainly don’t apply to Small World.
The map is very colourful and the tiles and counters are very attractive. Some argue that they are less usable than Vinci, but I found them OK. To be fair, the counters might be hard to track in a six-player game.
I didn’t read the rules, but full player aids are included and I quickly grasped everything I needed to know. I have played quite a bit of Risk at Conquer Club recently and that helped me get back into the swing of things.
Other improvements over Vinci are shorter play time and a better executed fantasy theme.
Some argue that Small World is Vinci for Dummies, but if you take it for what it is, a light multiplayer romp, it’s great.
This is Bruno Faidutti’s game of the year and I can see why.
7/10, but could climb.
P.S. I wrote this post using Pyroom. Certainly helped me keep focussed.