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Arrow315
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  Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Tue, 21 May 2013 22:53
So my friends and I have been playtesting an alternative way to play SW we refer to as "Hybrid". The idea is that everyone plays two races at the same time as a single race. This effectively gives every race four powers (two race; two special). These games are some of the most bizarre, ridiculous, savage, and fun games of SW I've encountered.

How to set up a Hybrid game:

1. Use a board for about 2x the number of players. Hybrid races need more room than standard races. In my opinion, 2x can feel a little roomy at times, so I prefer 2x-1 (ie three people on a five board).

2. When laying out the available races, put race combos out in pairs. Essentially you'll have two side-by-side stacks of six Hybrid races. You should options like Diplomat-Mystic Priestess-Ogres or Seafaring-Imperial Barbarian-Drow.

3. When picking a Hybrid race, treat all four components as a single race. You'll receive all the race tokens denoted by the badges. When playing, treat each token as if it possesses all four powers. When entering the board using a Tunnels setup; if both races are SWU start underground, if both are SW start above, and if there's one of each take your pick.

4. The rest of the game functions just like a normal Small World game, only with more tokens and powers in play. In over a year of playtesting the only difficulty has been running out of victory coins in the late game. (These games are high scoring. Most players approach 180 at least, and the record just broke 300.)

One last note: Obviously we haven't seen nearly all the possible Hybrid combos, but one or two have surfaced that simply don't work. A race of Kobold-Pixies simply cannot exist as the race powers are flatly contradictory. There is also the case of the Immortal-Marauding Gypsy-Flames that broke one game. They could not die, laid waste to all other races, and raked in incomes around 40 coins per turn. Aside from these two combos, however, everything else has proven to be quite balanced.

I hope people try a few Hybrid games and let me know what they think. Also, I'd love to hear about any bizarre/powerful/or broken combos that surface.

[Aktualisiert am: Mon, 08 July 2013 15:48]

      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Small World Hybrid Fri, 24 May 2013 03:18
I recently tried a three-player hybrid game and boy was it action packed!!
When my opponents managed to open with Royal-Wise Cultist-Ogres and Quarreling-Thieving Mummy-Ratmen, I thought I was dead! I probably would have been if I hadn't grabbed the Adventurous-Immortal Will-O-Wisp-Trolls. Kept me alive long enough to get a good in-decline stronghold.
The second slew of races was even more spectacular. I was sure the player who grabbed the Dragon Master-Merchant Kraken-Shrooms would win. Turns out that sort of money-making power couldn't stand up to a combined assault by Commando-Historian Mudmen-Skeletons and my Mounted-Martyr Pixie-Orcs!!! In the end I barely pulled off the win with a score of 223, just five coins more than second place!!
This is a great variant of Small World! Thanks for the post. We'll be sure to play it again!
      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Small World Hybrid Sat, 06 July 2013 13:08
I have a question about a hybrid combo that might be overpowered.
The other day in a hybrid game, I pulled Royal-Tomb Priestess-Shadow Mimes. My initial thought was that it just looked nice. Then I realized that on my second turn with them I could create an invincible tower of over twenty tokens. That would net me a guaranteed income of twenty coins from a single space that my opponents could do nothing about.
This was the first time we'd seen Tomb-Priestesses, so there was a debate about how they worked. After finding that answer on the forums it was clear we were playing the race by the rules. Nevertheless, my friends thought the combo was game-breaking. Since you guys created this version, what do you all think?
      
Arrow315
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Re:Small World Hybrid Sat, 06 July 2013 15:35
Well, ChosenSpeaker...
This combo generated a lot of debate. There seem to be two distinct camps regarding Royal-Tomb ???-Priestesses (the second race is not part of the issue, so I'll label it ???).
About half the Hybrid Council wants to simply ban this combo on the grounds that it guarantees victory.
The other half of us (myself included) believe that this should be a legal hybrid combo. My argument is that Seafaring-Priestesses have thrown just as many traditional games by building an invincible tower in the lake or a sea. Other hybrids that would create very similar circumstances would be Tomb-??? White Lady-Priestesses or Seafaring-Tomb ???-Priestesses. The key is to have the Tomb-Priestesses pick up another power that leaves them impregnable.
In my opinion, this is hardly game-breaking. Sure there's a very big Priestess tower that you can't do anything about, but it's more annoying than threatening. Remember, all other sources of income are increased as well, so the extras from the Tower shouldn't throw the scoring that much. More importantly, the Tower can't actually do anything to you, so just pound that player's new active race until he has no choice but to go into decline, removing the Tower.
There's no doubt that this is a powerful combo, but it can be dealt with. A broken combo is one that annihilates all the other races every turn while scoring obscenely well and there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Well, the Hybrid Council can't come to a consensus. It looks like this particular combo is going to be left up to house rules.
Hope this helps.
      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Wed, 10 July 2013 08:54
Thanks for the info. I completely understand both points of view. I'll probably leave the issue up to players if the race ever shows up again.

By the way, "Hybrid Council"? Made me laugh so hard! Thanks for answering in character.
      
player1573756
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Mon, 12 May 2014 07:37
tried this with buddies the other night. totally rocked! had to register just to let people know how great your hybrid thing is! sure is the craziest small world game ive seen. man those combos are wiked fun!
      
jaruz
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Fri, 16 May 2014 08:01
Tried it out as a two player game with the 3 player board. It was pretty ridiculous and fun! I was just wondering if you modified any of the powers or races to fit this type of play. Mainly the Barricade power and cursed power come to mind. I had both in this game and we felt that 7 regions or less was a good modification for the Barricade power. What about cursed? Do you think the penalty should be more severe like maybe a six coin penalty instead of 3? Also I am assuming that this version, the cap number of players is 3 correct?

PS saw some pretty crazy combos, like my bro had pixies and amazons with imperial and historian. He was getting a massive bonus every turn because of the sheer numbers he has (30 tokens) and with imperial... sheesh. needless to say he beat me by 50 coins lol 230 to 180
      
Ichthyodactyl
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Thu, 22 May 2014 01:02
This actually sounds pretty fun, I can fathom a few ridiculous combinations already.

I do have a question though, you say that when taking troops from the tray that you add the numbers together. By that, do you mean that you add both the racial numbers and the special power numbers and just taken tokens equal to that number from either or both of the races as the player deems fit? I realize that with these rules there is no differentiation between the two races, so I assume this is how it's done but I just wanted to clarify.
      
Arrow315
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Thu, 22 May 2014 03:03
First off, thanks for all the messages. It's nice to know that people are actually trying this.
In regards to adjusting any powers, I have to say that we've never done so in any of our games. For the most part I feel the powers are just as balanced in Hybrid as in the original game. In cases like Dwarves I feel like the abilities may be more playable. You do raise an interesting point with Barricade and Cursed. I don't think we've actually encountered Barricade in one of these games. The sheer number of tokens at your disposal makes holding as few as four regions difficult. The ability probably should be scaled up, but without experimentation I'm hesitant to give a definitive answer.
Cursed is also interesting. We have noted the loss of one power is less crippling when you still have three to draw on. The loss of numbers is actually more significant since you can't tackle some of the same obstacles as opponents. Dropping three coins, though, is not as significant as it used to be.
What might be a simple guideline is that in cases such as Barricade and Cursed (Imperial might be included in this) where the numbers no longer mesh completely, just double the number of the ability. These means the barricade bonus applies to eight or less territories, it costs six coins to skip Cursed, and Imperial kicks in after conquering your eighth province.

Number of players the game can support? Depends on the size of the board available. We've gone up to four players by using Realms or combining multiple boards using Tunnels. As long as you can make a board that'll support the number of players you should be good. For five players you only need a nine player board. Using Tunnels that can be the five player SW board and the four player SWU board, or whatever combination you can get too add up to nine.

Last question. When taking race tokens from the tray we did it essentially the same way as in the basic game. Because we lay out two side-by-side stacks of race combos, we basically are selecting two combos that are linked. This means that in the selection I'm picking the Mounted Pixies which come with the Imperial Amazons. This makes taking tokens easy because you can calculate the tokens for each of the two combos separately, only treating as the same race once they come into play.

I hope that answers all the questions. Thanks again for playing Hybrid!
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Thu, 22 May 2014 03:20
As a side note, I would encourage you to change your User Name. It will help people remember who came up with the great new way to play Small World...

Just go up to the top right corner of the screen and click on the "Player####". On the Left you'll see a place to change your Password, Avatar, and Profile. Click on "Profile" and pick a new name for yourself!! Smile
      
Arrow315
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Thu, 22 May 2014 03:52
Entered a new name. Thanks for the recognition. This has made my day.
      
DAC cazaron
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Thu, 22 May 2014 05:42
This sounds awesome. When I pick up the physical version I'm totally going to try this.
      
player1573756
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Fri, 30 May 2014 19:32
hi there. i was just following some of the talk about doubling powers. i decided to be helpful and look at which others you might consider doubling.

igors - their ability is tied to the number of players. hybrid gives them more casualties with fewer players. they should probably need to cash in double the number of players for new tokens.

alchemist - 2 coins is so paltry in hybrid. it should be 4

historian - the coins rarely made an impact before and now they matter even less

hordes of - two tokens is no longer that many

peace-loving - again the bonus is worth less

wealthy - yeah fourteen coins is a lot but seven was a lot in the original

adventurous - another weak bonus

flocking - an even weaker bonus

wise - same as above

what do you think about bonus coins from abilities like forest or hill? should they be doubled? also why double imperial? eight territories is a lot to conquer before getting any bonus coins.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Fri, 30 May 2014 19:45
player1573756 wrote on Fri, 30 May 2014 10:32

hi there. i was just following some of the talk about doubling powers. i decided to be helpful and look at which others you might consider doubling.

igors - their ability is tied to the number of players. hybrid gives them more casualties with fewer players. they should probably need to cash in double the number of players for new tokens.

alchemist - 2 coins is so paltry in hybrid. it should be 4

historian - the coins rarely made an impact before and now they matter even less

hordes of - two tokens is no longer that many

peace-loving - again the bonus is worth less

wealthy - yeah fourteen coins is a lot but seven was a lot in the original

adventurous - another weak bonus

flocking - an even weaker bonus

wise - same as above

what do you think about bonus coins from abilities like forest or hill? should they be doubled? also why double imperial? eight territories is a lot to conquer before getting any bonus coins.


Maybe I'm missing something, but why are you talking about doubling the effect of each power? Is that a new addition that you're suggesting? And why are you saying that some of the powers need to be changed because they are weaker than normal?

Part of the beauty of this idea is that most of the powers work the same...you just have more races and combinations.

[Aktualisiert am: Fri, 30 May 2014 20:24]

      
Arrow315
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Sat, 31 May 2014 02:06
Player1375756, thanks for your input, but as rasmussen81 pointed out, you're taking things a little too far.
The vast majority of powers are fine the way they are. Even when you're playing with two races at once the balance remains more-or-less the same because everyone is doing that. That's why almost none of the abilities need to be messed with.
Here at Hybrid HQ we wanted to ensure that this variant is simple enough so that anyone with a knowledge of SW could pick it up without having to rethink their understanding of any races or special powers. If an ability is going to be tampered with, I think it should only be because the way Hybrid works in some way hurts the original function of the power.
While you're right about some of the bonuses not seeming as big a deal in Hybrid as in the original, that's only because the percentage of your profits that come from territorial holdings tend to increase from the larger territory. The bonuses from powers may appear less significant, but I can't tell you how many games have come down to a difference of only five coins or less, in the traditional game or Hybrid. The same rational applies to powers that effect the number of tokens you possess or combat ability. Nothing really needs to be scaled up as it performs the same way, just with more powers and tokens in play. Again, I understand the desire to simply double every aspect of the game, but believe me, that quickly leads to confusion and mechanics problems.
After reviewing all the races and powers myself, I have to say that there are only four candidates for tweaking, and I'll explain why I don't think we should.

Cursed: It still bites, but differently. Losing three coins still hurts since you normally drop only one. Having three powers when everyone else has four also hurts. They can afford to pick a race with one dud mixed in to the combo, but Cursed is a guarantee that you're missing out on some incredible synergy between abilities. The pile of coins next to a Cursed race can also make just as much difference.

Barricade: Hybrid makes it easier to conquer more than four territories in your opening turn, but you don't have to. Barricade is a tactical power. The idea is to limit your conquests to create a more defensible position. That works no differently here where a defensive stack of five tokens is equivalent to a defense of two in the traditional game.

Imperial: Is conquering a vast empire easier than in the traditional game? Yes. Is maintaining that empire easier? No. In fact, I'd day that maintaining your far-flung territories in Hybrid is harder than in the traditional game. Imperial may act almost like merchant (but with more tokens) on your first turn, but if the other players are any good your empire will hardly survive beyond that.

Igors: This is the only power that I think does need to be tweaked. The reason is because in the traditional game the Igors gain a new token for opponents' casualties equal to the number of players. In the traditional game the number of players is equal to the number of races in play at a time. In hybrid, there are technically twice as many races in play as there are players. This means that the Igor's ability should be viewed in terms of the number of races fielded by the players instead of the number of players. Playing with Necromancer Island works the same way. You're going to see an increase in the number of casualties anyway since Hybrid tends to get bloodier than many traditional SW games, but the Igors have an ability that already scales with the game, so it should just be remembered that they have to do that for Hybrid as well.

In conclusion, from my experiences playing Hybrid the game remains as balanced as a traditional game, just larger in scale. There should not be any need to adjust the powers of races that were already balanced to begin with. All of the abilities have their own time and place where they shine - whichever form of the game you are playing. Other than the Igors (which adjust themselves to the game) I wouldn't interpret any abilities differently.
Happy Hybrid.
      
player1573756
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Sat, 07 June 2014 05:38
sorry if i seemed a little forward. just trying to be helpful. sometimes i get a little carried away.
your right. it is important to keep the game simple. after playing some more i guess your right. the game still is balanced. thanks for looking my suggestions over if nothing else.
      
Arrow315
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Mon, 09 June 2014 04:57
player1573756 wrote on Fri, 06 June 2014 23:38

sorry if i seemed a little forward. just trying to be helpful. sometimes i get a little carried away.
your right. it is important to keep the game simple. after playing some more i guess your right. the game still is balanced. thanks for looking my suggestions over if nothing else.


Don't worry about. Really, I appreciate the thought. A few of your suggestions almost had me convinced, but ultimately I wanted to keep things as simple as possible. I had to lay down the line somewhere before people spiraled out of control. Thanks again for showing such interest. Have fun with Hybrid - that's really what I want this all to come down to.
      
ChosenSpeaker
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Wed, 09 July 2014 03:47
I'm back. Been a while since I posted, but I've been keeping tabs on what other people think about Hybrid. It's nice to see other people enjoying your version of SW as much as my friends and I do.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about an... unusual Hybrid game we had the other day. My friends and I wanted to try out the six-player map from the Kickstarter campaign, so we thought five people would be good if four played Hybrid races and one was the Necromancer.
We started the game off with some truly fun races: Imperial-Spirit Ogre-Cultists, Vampire-Reborn Drow-Sorcerers, Vengeful-Were Lizardmen-Priestesses, and Dragonmaster-Merchant Kraken-Liches. The Necromancer started with the Fisher power.
What made this game really intriguing from the beginning was that none of the races were overtly funny (e.g. no Pixie-Giants). In fact, most of them came across as races possessing distinct religions and ideologies. The Ogres building and empire in the name of the Great Ancient, the Lizardwomen in service to the Goddess of Vengence, the Drow cabal seeking to overcome their own mortality - it was dramatic world-building that we normally would not expect out of a Small World game.
Ultimately, we ended up keeping a record of what happened each turn and turned it into a narrative history about the struggle between the races. In the end we didn't finish the game when the initial races had to go into decline. The next set were silly things like Leprechaun-Flames and Gnome-Shrooms. We couldn't bring ourselves to disrupt the setting that had been created. It would have been like turning flaming-leprechauns loose int the middle of Lord of the Rings.
Though our game didn't turn out the way we'd wanted, I still have to thank you for posting about the Hybrid style of playing. Most games have been wonderfully funny slaughter-fests, this particular one just took a different route. Though unexpected, what we got out of this game might just be a bit more memorable than the usual SW fare.
      
Zachtheawesome
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Re:Small World Hybrid - An Alternate Way to Play SW Tue, 12 August 2014 16:54
I played, and it was tons of fun! Great idea!
      
    
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