Smallworld is a quick playing civilisation and conquest game with a light-hearted family theme.
Each player selects a combination of race and power, and uses their selection to conquer territories on the board. Each territory you hold at the end of a turn scores you one point, collect the most points to win the game.
You can only have one active race at a time, which you use to conquer territories. You can then place it into decline, to no longer conquer, but to still score points on the regions it holds. You can also have only one race in decline at a time.
The key decisions are in which race to select from the available options, and when to move on to a new race. There are always six available races, and you can pick the next one for free, or spend victory points to pick a race further down the stack.
It’s important to trade off the advantage of purchasing a more expensive combination against the benefits it’ll bring.
The next choice is when to place a race in decline, too early and you won’t get the full benefit of your selection, too late and you’ll miss out on valuable scoring opportunities.
You need to watch how your opponents are doing. If you let another race sit in decline scoring lots of points a turn, then you will quickly fall behind. Don’t be afraid to go into conflict with other players, playing a friendly game by not attacking others will only see you lose quickly.
It should take around an hour to play, turns are quick and not overly complex, so there’s little excuse for analysis paralysis or long downtimes. Definitely worth playing and adding to the collection