Picture five people sitting around a table holding different sized squeezy bottles of poster paint in various colors. in the center of the table is a two foot square piece of carpet. In turn they squirt paint from an edge inwards. They get points for how much paint they managed to get on the carpet and annoy other participants by painting over their colours. When they run out they get fresh bottles and the process repeats for a bit. That’s It in a nutshell.
Small World is played out on a map of twenty plus regions of mountains, swamps, plains etc. you start with a stack of creatures chosen from a limited draw each with a special ability. So it could be Commando/Wizards, Berserker/skeletons, Merchant/Giants. The mix of races and attributes keeps it fresh from a replay point. You spread your guys around the map trying to take regions in such a way as to score the max points. Some attributes like mining makes you score more points for taking mountain regions and so on. Some of the attributes give you things like defensive camps and castles to drop. Truth be told there’s a stack of combos and a number of expansions with an awful lot more. Some of them seem a little over powered. I’m looking at you Trolls but in cases like this it just means you have to put your own interests aside and cooperate to thwart leading players. So basically they’re overpowered
After you’ve done as much with your finite amount of dudes you can spend a turn going into decline like any good civilization. You pick another race next turn and go forth and conquer. The old race you had stays in place usually minus it’s bonuses and you no longer control it but they do score points for you. Declined races are usually low hanging fruit for fresh conquests (unless they’re trolls, bloody trolls).
Repeat for eight turns and count your points.
Small world is an old game now. It’s a rehash of a game called Vinci and it’s starting to age. Old doesn’t mean bad necessarily but for me,my gaming tastes have moved on and I want more bang for my gaming time. This will play well with kids. It’s up there with classics like ticket to ride and catan but I’ve already played those to death and I’m guessing you have too.
I’ll have it Knavecon. It’s a good game, well presented and verging on very good but not quite getting there. Opinions vary and it’s definitely worth a look, but make up your own mind about owning it