We played a 6-player game of Small World with the Necromancer Island expansion and a lot of fun it was too. Our Necromancer pulled off a narrow win by getting his 14th ghost onto the map at the very end of the final turn, it doesn't get much more climactic than that!

Part of the Necromancer's success of course was getting himself into a position where it was nearly impossible for the other players to effectively oust him from the map; and in part he achieved this by investing in Seafaring, and taking both one of the map-edge sea regions... and also the lake surrounding Necromancer Island.

The thing is, the rules are slightly unclear about how Seafaring interacts with the Necromancer Island expansion. Necromancer Island itself does not count as a normal board region, and the rules explicitly state that the island's "Lake Region is immune to other players (even Seafaring ones)".

So does that mean that, with the Necromancer's Island expansion in play, the central Lake region is completely out of bounds to Seafaring races? Or out of bounds to other Seafaring races, but available for conquest by a Seafaring Necromancer? Or that the Lake region can be conquered by Seafaring as usual, but the island is unconquerable (and can still attack territories bordering the lake even if the lake is occupied)?

I ruled on the night that the Necromancer could conquer his own Lake... if only because the Seafaring power seems pathetically bad in a Necromancer Island game otherwise! But it's not at all clear to me that it's the right answer. If anyone knows of, or can hazard a guess at, an official ruling, it would be much appreciated!

  • My Necromancer Island expansion has sat in shrinkwrap, mocking me throughout NaNoWriMo. Now I really want to play! I'll give you a real answer after I've had a chance to examine the thing.
    – gomad
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 15:33
  • I'm still angling to get an "official ruling" on this at the BGG forums, but in the meantime, Pat's answer looks likely to be correct! Commented Dec 7, 2010 at 21:22

1 Answer 1


While not explicitly stated, it seems clear to me that the lake region no longer exists outside of Necromancer Island.

See the example of play on the smallworld-game website. There is also a statement from the publisher on BGG agreeing to the statement, "Seafaring is hosed"

Reminder - the Necromancer only checks for victory on his own turn, not the other players. He cannot spawn his way to victory on other players turns.

  • I agree that there's definitely an adjacency problem that arises if the Lake region continues to exist and it is occupied by a (non-Necromancer) Seafaring race... as then the Necromancer has to attack "through" an occupied region to be able to do ANYTHING from his island! Which would be a bit clumsy. Less of a problem if it's the Necromancer who is Seafaring, but certainly enough to give me pause. Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 19:30
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    @thesunneversets The rules state that "His(The necromancer's) Border Regions are those surrounding the central Lake Region" so it seems that the Lake becomes more akin to an off board location than an actual region.
    – Pat Ludwig
    Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 19:36
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    ludwig I think I agree that that's the intention, but it doesn't seem like it was necessary to hose Seafaring to make the Necromancer work; as long as he can't be blockaded in under any circumstances, and is long as his Island piece doesn't cover up so much of the Lake that there is no room for anything else to be there! Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 20:51

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