We’re a family of geeks. (Sorry, girls, but that’s how we raised you.) So, when Geek and Sundry rolled out last month, we were hooked. Web series of awesomeness, ahoy! Chief among these is Tabletop masterminded by Wil Wheaton: a smart and genial geek god. (Yes, he’s also the actor who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.)
One of the first games that he reviewed and played with guests on the show was Small World (tagline? “It’s a world of (S)laughter”) – a fast-paced board game of strategy, conquest and
screwing over your opponents generally having fun.
How do you play? You play a randomly specialized fantasy race so you might end up with the Wealthy Amazons, Pillaging Tritons, Seafaring Elves, Diplomatic Giants from the mash-ups out on the table in any turn. Conquer and hold as much territory as you can, paying attention to special bonuses you can exploit (Humans get bonuses for farmland, Dwarves enjoy more revenue from controlling mines) and, when your opponents nibble away too much at your conquests, go into “decline” where you’re free to start a new combination in the next turn (meanwhile collecting some revenue from all of your old groups’ tiles still on the board).
We got a copy last week and have played, what?, about ten games so far? (A couple of these have been done back to back as it’s a short game, especially if you’ve gone with the 2-3 player option.) It’s addictive, absurd and adorable.
They have expansion packs. Maybe we’ll have to make a detour by another gaming store on our way down to the Congress to see if we can pick a little something up. Which reminds me, I really need to call it quits with the revisions to my conference paper. Maybe after one more game. . . .