Small World Underground

Posted on Posted in Board Games

small world underground boardgameSmall World Underground is a stand-alone game set beneath the surface of the same fun, light hearted Small World universe of epic conquests and fallen empires. It is designed by the original Small World author, Philippe Keyaerts. It features all new races and special powers and also introduces monster occupied regions that protect Relics and places of great power. Small World Underground is capable of being played on its own or combined with other Small World game elements. Small World Underground keeps the spirit of the award winning Small World, while putting a new spin on the game play.

Small World Underground includes 15 fantasy themes races of creatures along with 21 special powers. Some of the new races include:

  • Iron Dwarves – during troop redeployment, take 1 Silver Hammer token from the tray for each Mine Region you occupy, which can be then be used in future turns for conquests only
    Mudmen – during troop redeployment, take 1 new Mudman token from the tray for each Mudpool region you occupy and deploy it to the board
  • Flames – set off a volcano in one of the marked Abysmal Chasms. Any region adjacent to the volcano, or continuously linked to it via regions occupied by Flames, is attacked at the same Flames token cost as if it were empty.
    Will-o’-Wisps – you may use the Reinforcement die before any conquest of a Magic Crystal region, or any region adjacent to a Magic Crystal region that your Wil-o’-Wisps occupy

Lost Tribes from the original game have been replaced by Monster tokens. Fewer regions are occupied by these at the beginning of the game, but instead of being on their own, they are always stacked in 2’s. However, once conquered, these regions reveal a randomly-assigned Righteous Relic or Popular Place, which stay on the board for the rest of the game, and confer a bonus of some description to their current owner.small world underground board

There is also a new feature of a river which is divided into several regions that runs down the centre of each map. This river cannot be occupied at the end of a turn (except by the Kraken) but it can be crossed at the cost of a single token, which is redeployed at the end of the player’s turn. The river can therefore be used as a semi-defensive line, as it will cost any player to cross it, although this cost is not prohibitive. As the river regions are quite long, it gives players the opportunity to stretch out across the map to attack opponents who may have felt that they were safely out of reach. This is a nice, simple addition to the gameboard, and certainly gives options for future races and special abilities.

Each player will control several creature/power combinations over the course of the game. They will be spending points to draft these combinations and will use those creatures to claim control of various subterranean locations. Some locations hold relics or are designated as “places of power” and monsters must first be conquered before a player can claim these special benefits. At the end of each turn, a player scores points for the regions they hold and the player with the most pints at the end of the game wins.

Small World Underground can be played with 2-5 players ages 8+ and can be played in a game time of between 30-90 minutes. Available here.


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