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Junior Member

Posts: 12
January 2012
Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld and Smallworld Underground Sun, 06 May 2012 14:23
Here is a set of alternative rules that, selectively used, have the potential to make Smallworld even more interesting. Some of the rules and adjustments will have a significant impact on the game mechanics, while other only have a minor tactical influence.
Several of the ideas are borrowed and inspired from other games, other board game players and other forum threads. When it comes to the already existing race and special powers I have tried not to violate illustrations and the original concept, and I have of course strive to balance the mechanics and powers relative to the original rules.

Conquest rule (prohibition against emptying all your regions)
You must keep at least one region before each conquest and start your attack from this region. If you lost all regions but still have tokens left you may do another first conquest as usual.

Lost tribes (race progress: active -> in decline -> lost)
When an in decline race vanishes because the players active race enters in decline, each vanishing race tokens is replaced with a Lost tribe token.

Enslaving (in 3+ player games, enslave conquered active race token)
When conquer a region from another active race, the conquering race may choose to enslave the token normally sent to the tray. If so, the enslaved token stays in the region and serves as an extra token in defense. If the region is abandon in following rounds the enslaved token is returned to its player. Later, if the region is re-conquered by the enslaved tokens race, the slave token is counted together with its own race in order to overthrow the enslaving race. If the region is conquered by another race, the enslaving race loses one token as normal and the enslaved token is redeployed back to one of its own race's regions.

Prophet (convert Lost tribes to race tokens)
Once a game, when buying a race combo, a player may choose to turn one of the race tokens into a prophet. When done, place an extra VC on the race combo beneath the race you choose. Mark the prophet token by place it with the in decline side up. A prophet have the same power as the Sorcerers race power, but with that important different that it can only be used to convert Lost tribe tokens into tokens of the prophets own race, taken from the tray if any is available. The prophet token must stay in that region where the conversion took place and may not be redeployed. The prophet token can only be killed if it is placed alone in a region. Together with other race tokens when conquered, a normal token is sent to the tray and the prophet is redeployed. However, if the prophet token is left alone it might be killed. The player who kills a prophet is given 1VC from the prophet players own victory coins. Requires an implementation of the Lost tribe rule. Requires an implementation of the Lost tribe rule.

Muster (gain race token when no conquest is performed)
When a player does not perform any conquest at all during a round, the active race may muster one race token and redeploy it along with the other. Tokens can only be received up to race limit, i.e. if any are available in the tray.

Dragon attack/Volcano eruption (random event in marked regions)
Several set up of this mechanic is possibly.

SW) Dragon attack: Use the tokens from the Tunnels expansion. Place marker number 1, 2, 3 and a forth blank one (face down without number) in a four different mountain regions. In the region with the blank marker, also place one permanent victory coin and the dragon marker. This is the dragon's lair and this region is always worth +1VC to anyone who dear to conquer it. The other three numbered regions are possibly regions for the dragon to attack.
Last in every round, after the last players turn, one of the players roll the reinforcement die. If the result is blank, the dragon stays in his lair and protects the gold. If a number is rolled, the dragon moves there, automatically conquering it. Use normal rules for the dragon. This will leave the lair unprotected for the next round(s), make it possibly for player to conquer it. This dragon die roll is performed every round, after the last players move. If a blank side is rolled, the dragon returns to the lair and if a number is rolled the dragon moves there.
If a player picks a race combo with the Dragon Master power they immediately gain control over the dragon as normal. Remove the VC from the dragon lair region as long as the Dragon Master race is active. As soon as the Dragon Master race goes in decline, the treasures if refilled and the dragon token are returned to the lair. Last in that round, and all following rounds, rolls the dragon die again according to the rule.

SWU) Volcano eruption: Same mechanic as in the Dragon attack, but with the volcano. Place tunnel markers 1, 2, and 3 in different mountain regions. Then replace a fourth mountain token with the volcano token. Remove the Stone power from the pile of special powers and put it in one of the chasm region. This indicates that the four volcano region (the volcano plus the three mountains with markers) is worth +1VC to anyone that conquers it.
Last in every round, after the last players turn, one of the players roll the reinforcement die. If the result is blank, the volcano stays where it is. If a number is rolled, the volcano moves to that region, automatically conquers any race, if any, and sending one of the tokens to the tray. Then repeat the volcano die roll last thing in every round.
If a player picks the Flames, the Stone power bonus and the volcano die roll is negated until the Flames goes in decline.

SW+SWU) If the tunnels are in use for connecting the surface and the underground, best use the Dragon attack rule. Switch one mountain one the surface to a Black mountain and us it as the dragon lair. Then its possibly to use all of the tunnel markers (1-6) as normal, indicating the connected regions. If you use markers with higher numbers than 3, double dragon die rolls must be performed every round (if you not want to use a normal six numbered die). Add the die result together and move the dragon there. Both tunnel region with the same number (on surface and underground) is considered conquered by the dragon.
For hardcore games, use the Balrog instead of the Dragon. Regions conquered by the Balrog loses two tokens to the tray.

Monster attack (monster reclaims popular places and relics)
When defeating monsters in SWU, discard one of the tokens to the tray as normal but send the other one to a chasm region. This chasm is now the monster pool. Together with any defeated and redeployed monsters, ad one monster token to the monster pool after every even round (before the crown is moved). Then let the monsters try to conquer that popular place or relic region that is less defended. Roll the reinforcement die and ad the result with the number of monster tokens in the pool. If the result is a reinforcement number, +1, +2 or +3, and the total number of monster token is enough to conquer the region, move the monster tokens there as for any conquer. Note that the monsters never attack when a blank roll is made, no matter how many they are. The monster token stays in the conquered region until they are defeated again later on in the game, following the same procedure as above. To decide which region that is weakest just count token needed to conquer it. If it is even between two regions, the monsters primarily attack active race tokens, secondary in decline ones. If still equal they choose that region from the player with the lowest turn order number (player 1 before player 2 etc.). The rule might be adjusted to suit SW. Then use the Lost tribe and let them grow off board until they can re-conquer a Lost tribe region.

Turn order compensation (compensate player position with VC)
To equal the disadvantage with the player positions, before the game starts, give every player a extra VC for each turn order number after the first one. Player 1 gets no compensation; Player 2 +1VC; Player 3 +2VC etc.

Tritons (water race as a counterbalance to Seafaring)
Tritons can only conquer water and coastal regions. On coastal regions they have a -1 token cost. Their first conquest must be a water region of their choice or a coastal region bordering the edge. They may stay in the river and score from it.

Skeletons (no power against immortal races)
Same as original with one adjustment. Skeletons race power should read: For every two enemy tokens sent back to the tray, the skeletons gain one race token that may be redeployed after the conquest phase.

Shadow Mimes (empowered to imitating other races)
Pay 1VC to another player to copy that player's active race power for one whole round. The power is imitated until the Shadow Mimes next turn.

Leprechauns (race power transformed into a version of the T & L card "A gift from the sky")
Once a turn, before scoring, the Leprechauns may place 1 pot of gold in a region they control. The pot(s) stays in the region(s) for the rest of the game and is worth +1VC to the race that controls it. Only one pot of gold can be placed in each region.

Flames (can conquer volcano region but not cross water)
Same power as in the original rules with a few adjustments: Flames may also conquer the volcano region itself; consider it an empty mountain region. The volcano is immune to other races. They cannot cross the river nor conquer regions (unless Seafaring). If the quest: The one ring is in play, Flames cannot occupy the volcano in the last round. Tokens in the volcano region are redeployed in round second last round.

Trolls (Lost tribe lairs made permanent) When in decline Trolls turns into Lost tribes their lairs become permanent. The lairs stay in their respective region for the rest of the game no matter how many times it is conquered. Lairs give +1 in defense value to the tokens presently in control over it. The same rule might be given to the Fortified special power. Requires an implementation of the Lost tribe rule.

Halflings (enters the board through any two hill regions)
Halflings must enter the board through any two hill region and place their hole in the ground tokens there. These two regions must not be adjacent.

Diplomat (only in 3+ player games)
Removed in two player games. In 3+ player games choose a race, not a player, as an ally. It is possibly to ally with a race not yet on the board.

Martyr (bonus for token instead of region)
Each token lost is worth 1VC (Balrog or T & L cards may destroy 2 tokens in a conquest).

Corrupt (made pejorative, but differentiated from Martyr)
When a region of a Corrupt race is conquered, the opponent player must replace one or more of his conquering tokens with victory coins. The coin(s) is given to the Corrupt race player. A minimum of one race token combined with additional VC is required.

Peace Loving (can only conquer empty regions and hide amongst Lost tribes)
Only empty regions and regions with Lost tribes may be conquered. When Lost tribe regions is conquered, the Lost tribe tokens stays together with the Peace Loving race and add protection to them. If a region holding both a Peace Loving race and a Lost tribe is conquered, the Lost tribe token is discarded to the tray and the Peace loving race may be redeployed. Requires an implementation of the Lost tribe rule. Requires an implementation of the Lost tribe rule.

Imperial (gain points from many regions and from duration)
For each region in excess of three the Imperial race gains +1VC as normal. In addition to this, Imperial races also receive a bonus equal to the number of active rounds they existed in excess of three. Example given: The fifth time an Imperial race is about to score they possesses five regions. They then receive a +4VC bonus (+2VC for regions and +2VC for duration).

Historian (scores for Lost tribes, not in decline races)
Get 1VC for each Lost tribe region adjacent to the Historian races regions. Requires an implementation of the Lost tribe rule.

Magic (once, any power of choice)
Once, the Magic race may choose any active special- or racial power existing in the game set up, not just on the board or in the race combo tableau, and uses that power for one whole round. The effect last until the Magic race's next turn starts and is then used up.


[Updated on: Sat, 09 June 2012 13:10]

Junior Member

Posts: 12
January 2012
Re:Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld & Smallworld Underground Thu, 17 May 2012 01:33
To diversify the game more new mechanics and powers may be implemented for the relics and places. These objects are idealistic for given new powers. You may also vary the rule set up and the powers from one game to another. It is also possibly to add small quests and tie them to some of the artifacts. The idea is that if you manage to complete your quest you receive a great bonus in VC or a powerful ability. However, this idea is not fully play tested. I will describe the quests later on in this thread.

The one ring (a Smallquest for great reward)
Protect its region with +1 defense.
When the ring is drawn, the player to the right places the volcano in a chasm (or on in a mountain region if you play SW). The race holding the ring may conquer the volcano region as a normal mountain but only during the last round if the game. When done, the ring is destroyed and the player receive 10 victory coins but looses one of the tokens on the mountain (redeploy the other). To make it harder, use a version of the Monster attack rule and let the monsters always hunt for the ring.

The dragon sword (automatic conquers regions)
Automatic conquers regions, just like the dragon. The sword does not make the region immune.

The supreme orb (first player power)
Last in every round, after the last players turn, the one possessing the orb becomes the first player for the next round. The other players turn order is not changed.

The wizard's wand (sorcerers power but for in decline race token)
Works just like the Sorcerers race power, but it convert in decline and Lost tribe race tokens.

The troll curse (decrease VC production in adjacent regions)
The region containing the troll curse relic and all adjacent regions is worth 1VC less each time someone scores from them. They may still be worth something due to a special or race powers.

The welcoming doormat (bring new races to the map for free)
If player possesses the doormat when entering in decline the doormat is removed from the board. Next round when the player is about to bring on a new race, any race combo may be picked without cost. No victory coin is placed on other combos. Redeploy the doormat in the region where the new race enters the map.

Keep of the motherland (10% tax from other players)
The Keep protects the region with +1 in defense. It is not worth any VC by itself, but it works as the tax center of Smallworld. All opponent players that earns more than 10VC in a round, must pay 1VC in tax to the player in control of the Keep.


[Updated on: Fri, 08 June 2012 22:51]

Junior Member

Posts: 12
January 2012
Re:Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld & Smallworld Underground Sun, 03 June 2012 01:54
Here is an attempt to give more tactical option to the regions on the SW map. I have not found logical and easy functions for all of them yet but here are a few examples.

Swamp (no redeployment from swamps)
The swamp and marsh regions allows no redeployment the same round they are conquered.

Farmlands (cultivate the field for extra VC)
Any race occupying a farmland may try to cultivate the fields. The use of the field works just as the original Leprechaun race power: Put a victory coin on the field and if it is still there the next turn the coin is "harvested" and goes to the player. However, if the region is conquered before the next turn the VC goes to the conquerors. The farmland rule requires an implementation of the adjusted Halfling race power.

[Updated on: Sun, 03 June 2012 21:49]

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July 2007
Re:Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld & Smallworld Underground Sun, 03 June 2012 14:00
Interesting ideas about how to change Small World and Small World Underground. Have any of them been tested in your games, and if so, how did the testing go? Smile
Junior Member

Posts: 12
January 2012
Re:Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld & Smallworld Underground Sun, 03 June 2012 22:25
Not all of the ideas are fully play tested but several of the small adjustments, like the (in my opinion) logical changes done to the Skeletons, Tritons and Flames race powers is now permanently adapted in our game group. Conquest rule and the Lost tribe rule are also unquestioned in every Smallworld game. Other small changes, like the Muster rule and the Turn order compensation is only tested a few times but feels both solid and valid.

The more advanced rules, like the use of Prophets or the Enslaving rule is most of all sketches and still on a theoretical level.

[Updated on: Sun, 03 June 2012 23:13]

Junior Member

Posts: 12
January 2012
Re:Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld and Smallworld Underground Fri, 08 June 2012 23:00
Advance region rules and valuation

This is an attempt to give a more tactical game based on the regions on the SW map. The basic idea is that most of the regions are connected with a given rule or option, pretty much like the mountains and the water regions already is in the original rules. In this set up you must imagine that an active race scores from a regions, due to recourses they gather and/or utilize in the regions, meanwhile an in decline race not longer conduct so much trade, cultivation or mining. Therefore an in decline race scores from just linger on the map, i.e. the scores per occupied region; no matter what sort of region they are in. The thematically angle might be a little hard to digest, but it is necessary from a game play point of view. Each region types are also given a special rule.

Region value to active races
Swamp: 0VC (only scores to in decline races)
Other regions: 1VC
Farmlands: optional +1VC (agriculture, works like the old Leprechaun power)
Mine: +1VC to all races, +2VC to dwarfs.

Region special rules
Mountains: +1 token in defense
Forest: no redeployment after conquered
Magic: Protects the region like the Gnome race power, i.e. no relic, special or race power may be used to conquer the region.
Cave: Tunnel region and targets for the dragon attack (see the Dragon attack rule).

[Updated on: Fri, 08 June 2012 23:25]

Junior Member

Posts: 12
January 2012
Re:Alternative and advanced rules to Smallworld and Smallworld Underground Sat, 09 June 2012 13:06
Think I will transform the rules into scenarios instead. Dragon attack; The Lost Prophets; Slave World and several other rules will be very nice features in Small World Realms. I'll be back... Razz

[Updated on: Sat, 09 June 2012 13:06]

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