Thursday, October 15, 2015

It's a Small World after all...

Sunday night board game at my place
This game probably wins the award for longevity in the "one I've been meaning to pick up..." category. I played it first a number of years ago, and liked it right away. Players control a series of fantasy races who invade and try to stake out as much territory as possible before playing themselves out, losing steam, and going into decline. Lots of player choices -- which race to choose from those available, where to arrive on the board, and how long to keep the race active before letting it go into decline so you can grab another one. Each game can be different because the races are randomly paired up with a special ability each game.

We were playing the Underground version, which Mike S owns. I began the game controlling the "Historian" Will O'Wisps. They get victory points each time another player race goes into decline. Since I took my turn last, I thought that would be a good way to pick up a few extra victory points. Next, I had the "Thieving" Mud-men, which others had shied away from because another race was in control of the muddy areas. As it turns out, their special ability -- to steal one victory point from any player with an active race adjacent to your tokens -- probably won me the game. I also briefly controlled a magic ring that did the exact same thing on one of my turns. I was adjacent to 3 of the other players, which meant they lost two points and I gained two points from each. That is a swing of four in my favor against three of the other four players (we had five total).

In the end, I was surprised I won the game. I never felt on any turn that I collected the most victory points. I guess I collected enough and avoided really low turns. The others accused me of "sand-bagging," by claiming I was losing. However, I could swear two or more players earned more victory points than me every turn. It was as great of a surprise to me that I won as it was to them!

Here's the boardgamegeek link for the game.

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