Small World Grand Dames Expansion Board Game (2nd Printing)
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- This is an expansion to Small World
- Adds depth and complexity to the base game
- Great addition to the popular Small World game
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But please take note that the correct price for this expansion is around $10, not the $45 some sellers are trying to gouge you for.
Cursed and Grand Dames both had a temporary shortage between printings which caused some sellers to be unscrupulous. The next printing should be available in early July 2010 so please wait and buy it for a reasonable price.
Grand Dames adds three new races and two new abilities. The abilities are nothing special, but two of the three races can make the game more interesting. The White Ladies advantage is that once in decline, they can never be attacked. Unforetunately, Days of Wonder overrated the benefits of this ability and does not give you enough White Lady tokens. The result is that you are unlikely to control more than three or four territories at the time the Ladies go into decline, so they won't get you as many victory coins as more numerous races would. When the Priestesses go into decline, they stack one token per territory held into a single territory, and they earn one victory coin per round for each token until the territory is defeated by an enemy. In a 2-player game, your opponent will always mass forces to defeat you, so the Priestesses aren't particularly useful, but in a four or five player game they can add a real dilemma because the Priestess player will likely win if not defeated, however, any other player who masses the forces to defeat the Priestesses is probably giving up so many victory coins that turn that they are significantly reducing their own chances of victory. The Gypsies have a strong incentive to abandon all of their territories each turn and start over. This adds an interesting twist because other players never know where they will come back onto the board.
Cursed! adds two races and five abilities.Read more ›
Grand Dames is a mini-expansion for Small World, introducing three new races and two new special powers. The concepts are an interesting mix, concentrating on defense and decline bonuses, but the practicality and balance seem off and none of them turn out that useful.
1) Gypsies - essentially one bonus victory point for each area you abandon at the beginning of your turn on the condition that you can't re-conquer them on the same turn. Ok with a strong offensive power, but nothing special.
2) Priestesses - when they go into decline they consolidate into one area (place one priestess there for each area you control at the time). Score one point per priestess each turn an usual conquering rules apply. Tough to make worthwhile, especially with a base unit number of 4.
3) White Ladies - when in decline, immune to conquest, racial and special powers. Sounds amazing, until you see the base unit number of 2. Useless without a perfectly complimentary special power.
The special powers:
1) Historian - a point for each race in decline when you chose this, a point for each race that declines while you have this active, and a point when you go into decline. Meh. Timing has to be really good for this to pay off.
2) Peace-Loving - three points each turn during which you attack no active race. Again, weak without perfect timing.
I like the attempt at diversity here, but unfortunately this set doesn't end up adding much to the Small World experience.
Anyone who plays Smallworld will understand that pros and cons to each race are changeable from game to game, but I think this is a good expansion to add a little variety for a low cost.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This expansion has some options that add to the game’s playability.
None of the races or special powers is a game changer, which can be a plus. Read more
I haven't played through all the races/special powers yet, but so far this seems like a fun addition and the powers are genuinely new (i.e. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Nils Krumnack
Pretty good expansion, white ladies seem really useless though.Published 17 months ago by Paul A. Brown Jr.
My one complaint is they way they are packaged. There is no tray or storage. Once you punch the pieces out of the cardboard there is no where to put them. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Joleen