The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Randomness from the latest session

The Tales & Legends Expansion feels like it was designed for people who hate Small World. We just picked one of the themes at random, shuffled up and dealt, and got such lovely events as:

  • Every race goes into decline
  • Pass your race to the player to your left

The rest of the events were mild (typically throwing 2-4 points around), but once you remove the player’s ability to control their race, is there any point? No. (Now that I think about it,  the “Win an auction to just combine an available race and an available power from the selection to get as the next race” would have been annoying, but it showed up on the last turn).

Oh, and I’m ready to get rid of the “Cursed” power from any game I play. It makes a pretty random swing sometimes. Also, does anyone else get the feeling that  “Grand Dames” expansion is a not-so-secret misogynist? I mean, except for Gypsies those powers get skipped all the time. (Perhaps they should each get one more token).

Escalation is harmless, but continues to annoy me with the gross distribution of cards powers. The 1 card is just inferior to every other card. Really, I expect better from Dr. Knizia. (Quick summary — you meld a single card or multiples of the same value, when you can’t go higher you have to take all the cards in the middle. Whoever takes the fewest cards wins).

Variant off the top of my head:

  • You can play the “one” cards with any other meld. (Perhaps this should be for 1 or 2).
  • When you play the neighborhood watch card (aka “Pass”), you have to take the last meld into your cards. (So you’ll save taking the full stack, but pay some price).
  • The “Wild 1-7”  should be changed to a “Wild 2-6”

At least the game takes 5 minutes only.

I have nothing new to say about Dice Town.


Written by taogaming

July 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Funny, I played Tales and Legends and liked it enough. We didn’t see anything quite as crazy as “everything goes into decline”, though, which I can see would be aggravating. We did see the “create your own race” auction but it’s actually rather expensive; once you win the auction you still have to “buy” the race based on how far away the most expensive part would have been, so it’s just not a huge win. I don’t think we saw anything that I would have rated more than just flavorful.


    July 24, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    • Did you just shuffle up the deck, or sort the events by (mild/moderate/chaotic) and play with mild, or did you pick one of the ~6 theme subdecks, and use it? The rules do mention all three. We did one of the themes, and in hindsight saying “Mild” or “Mild + Moderate” is probably better.


      July 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

  2. Wep just shuffled everything together.

    Chris Farrell

    July 25, 2010 at 12:08 pm

  3. Wow, I’d missed that this had come out and just read the reviews and session reports. I’m going to pass. It looks like it just adds some unpredictable goals that slightly increase the value of short term tactical decision making. I’m happy with the short/long term planning ratio in Small World as it is. Plus, yeah, I hate those game breaking cards. Even if you choose not to play with them, I just don’t like them even existing.

    Oh, and yes, I also remove the ‘cursed’ power. It’s way too hard for the kids to value, and frankly, it’s just not any fun. We run into the same problem with the Dwarves, as well (although I leave them in). It’s not that they can’t be a valuable race, it’s just that their lack of tokens makes them usually boring, and very easy to make a mistake with.

    Lou W

    July 25, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  4. […] mail, go away in the mail. Traded this away for Small World + Expansions (just the first two, but I don’t mind missing the Tales and Legends […]

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