Corey's Crib Notes

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Basic Strategy for Small World

This game is deceitful. Based on its cutesy artwork and simple rules, you might be tempted to think that there is not much to this game. Beware Captain, there be tactical dragons in these waters. However, for this quick guide we won’t be going too far off shore.

There are only two real issues a newbie should be aware of and the rest you will need to learn from experience:

  1. Picking a race and power combination.
  2. Knowing when to die.

Picking Your Race

  • Don’t rush your decision.
  • Pay close attention to the “style” of the race. Is it more of a blitz, decline, defensive, or a niche race and which style will suit your current position on the board?
  • Look at the race and power combination. Some of these are game killers. Unfortunately, you might need experience to spot these.
  • It’s ok to spend a few points to get a great race/power combination that is down the line.

Knowing When to Die

As in life, acting, and now Small World, you need to know when to make an exit. The biggest mistake a newbie makes is trying to hang on to a race far after the race has peaked. Equally true of someone who declines every second turn.

My father-in-law has this staying: “Family, Friends, and Fish start to smell bad after three days”. I would apply that saying to this game as well. 2 to 3 turns per race is a good guideline. Of course it all depends on the races that you and your opponents have. That’s the beauty of this game: there is always exceptions.

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