After playing 2-player Small World a couple of times, I have a few thoughts about strategy in the 2-player game which I thought I would share.
Some or all of these may be valid in the 3, 4 and 5 player game, or they may not be. Let me know what you think.
1. The more units the better.
The number of units you have directly relates to your offensive and defensive ability as well as your flexibility and the number of actions you can take in a round. Some races and powers give you bonuses to one of these abilities, only extra units give you a bonus to all of them.
2. Don't spread yourself too thin.
Just because you have superior numbers, it does not mean that you should be spreading them across the entire map. If you allow your opponent to capture two of your territories defended by a single unit each, you have lost two territories, but more importantly, you have permanently (in most cases) lost two of your units.
3. Consider that the bonus VP powers may make you a target.
Generating an extra victory point for every field you hold is great but remember that your opponent will go out of their way to remove you from any fields you capture.
These powers also make you more predictable. If my opponent scores double in fields, I know they will try to take my fields. Knowing that, I will always re-enforce them.
I would imagine this point is even more important in games with more players. If you have merchant and are scoring twice as much per territory as my other opponents, we are probably all more likely to target you.
4. The Sorcerers ability to add units is powerful but it can be countered.
One game, my wife picked sorcerers. Fortunately, I was able to always have at least 2 units in each of my active race's territorys which she was able to attack. The result was that she was never able to use the sorcerer's special ability.
5. The Amazon's ability is very powerful but you should be careful.
This is a special case of more units are better and don't spread yourself too thin. When attacking as amazons, you get 4 free units. This is great for taking out a well defended territory. You should always be aware that you will lose those 4 units after attacking, so don't take more territories than you can defend. I got caught out with this one a couple of times.
6. Trolls are very good in decline.
A declined race can only ever have one unit in a territory. Trolls, however, add an extra defense to every territory they occupy. This makes it very difficult to remove them. If you can get a your Trolls into a mountain territory, and into decline, your opponent will have to send 5 units to remove that one Troll.
In our last game, my wife managed to get her Trolls into decline early in 3 out of the 4 hills on the 2 player map and some other miscellaneous territories. They sat there, steadily earning points for a good part of the game.
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These are some of my personal strategy observations for the 2-player game, I might add some more once I play a few more games. Let me know if you think I have missed any (I'm sure there is a lot more) or if you agree/disagree with any of these.
Some good points.
If we are talking specifically about the 2 player game I would say there tends to be more direct confrontation. Therefore I place a higher value on the combat abilities and a lower value on the scoring abilities than I ordinarily would for a 3-5 player.
That doesn't mean to say I will always choose combat oriented combos for 2 player, I just value them more than I normally would.
- Last edited Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:55 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:34 pm
2. Don't spread yourself too thin.
Well, sort of. The key is not to spread thin and then hope to keep it, but there's a lot of times a thin spread is a great way to go. I've pulled 40+ coins in 3 turns by carefully chosen thin spreads while other folks were pulling in 6-8 a turn.
1. If you have Diplomacy
They can't take it from you and you just cash in.
2. If you can cut off their access to getting to your units
Hobbits or Heroic are the ideal way
3. You can be defensive and hard to take
Fortified, Bivoacing, Trolls, etc.
I like to do a thin spread then go into decline- For sure, my opponent can take the regions "easily", but they have to decide every turn if they want to focus on my non-active race and the cash flow from that, or the active race taking action.
You can then use your decline race as a sort of buffer against attacks as it slows down the opposition getting to your active race, OR, enter from a completely different section of the map so they have to choose to concentrate on one, or another group.
Spreading thin is mostly a problem if you've got a group with few units (Dwarves, frex) or you're facing up against Berserking, Skeletons or Amazons etc.
Fort Walton Beach
Here's some analysis behind not spreading yourself too thin (from a newbie though, so take it with a grain of salt):
In the 2-player game, every territory you conquer (from your opponent, not just an ancient race or empty territory) is worth +1 VP for you for at least 1 turn, and is probably -1 VP for your opponent for at least one turn (although that is not guaranteed -- your opp could possibly take it back). To take an empty territory gives +1 VP for you but nothing taken from your opponent (except the potential opportunity of your opponent to gain +1 VP).
Therefore, if you can attack a spot with no additional defensive bonuses and only 1 enemy unit, you can change usually change the VP differential by +2 (+1 for you AND -1 for your only competitor) for the price of 3 units. To get the same VP differential taking open space, you would have to play 4 units total.
So, spreading too thin could be a huge detriment to you...and if your opponent does it, pounce on 'em. (Obviously, before going in decline it may make sense to get a large VP boost before having to reduce all territories to 1 unit, but if you want to keep the race, don't spread too thin!)
- Last edited Mon Jul 5, 2010 1:48 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Jul 5, 2010 1:47 pm