Kate, Eszter, Eitan, Emily, Nadine
Kate 21, Nadine 17
Kate’s first play, I think my first play with just 2. Kate dumped fewer cards than I did, I had 9. We played with random chips, 3 of the -2’s came out at the end.
Small World Underground
Nadine 105 +12, Emily 105 +11, Kate 90, Eszter 86, Eitan 74
Eitan and Emily brought this, they’ve played a lot and really like it, first play for everyone else – first 5-player game for Emily. We liked the artwork, theme and humor, such as the Sword of the Killer Rabbit. It took me a while to get into it, which is of course related to not understanding the game, as well as some non-game distractions. It’s fun but, as Kate noted, with too many aspects of Cosmic. There are a lot of different extra powers, so it’s hard to get a handle on yours vs. everyone else’s, and the interaction and effects. I benefited from Gnomes because that was the free item available on my turn. You can’t really plan, and like many 5-player games there’s nothing to do when it’s not your turn.
Emily got the most points per round except at the end, and we all thought she was winning. She always does well and knew what she was doing. But you don’t have that much of a choice on what to do, it’s very tactical, and more chaotic with 5 players. Kate was the only one who went into Decline twice, due to her board position, but at the end she wasn’t sure that it was worth it. Also there are dice, I hit 1 out of 4 for an extra region. It seems like there’s an advantage to going first and second because the board is more open, there’s no compensation for going later except sometimes a coin or two on the selections. For a game where the main mechanic is attacking other players, it would be helpful to have open scoring; coins are victory points, hidden til the end. If other people have defenses and you don’t then you get attacked by default, and defenses aren’t always available. We recounted points at the end when Emily and I tied, then checked the rules for the tie-breaker, which was tokens on the board. We each had 11 until Eitan noticed that I had mistakenly counted regions with tokens, and had 2 in one area.