I was playing the Small World Realms scenario 'A Dig Too Far' with some friends the other night. The map has 'veins of gold' that must all be dug from top to bottom, simultaneously. Strategically placed chasms force players (or should) to work their way down the veins into 'monster races' that are working their way up the veins.

The third player to pick got the first shot at spiderines and immediately grabbed them. Spiderines (as we read the rules) are able to pop up out of any chasms no matter where they are on the board, so the thing that is supposed to inhibit movement along the veins actually helps him get there faster and more efficiently. He got all three of the first layer on his first turn (good for 7 bonus coin) and then he abandoned the regions and let the monster races flood out. On his next turn, he was able to easily take over 2 of the three 'B' layers, and immediately got two relics for his trouble (stinky socks and the welcome mat... a deadly combination.) From then on (the second or third turn), he was basically unstoppable and beat the rest of us handily.

I controlled the Balrog, but could never get close to him because he could always pick up and pop out of a different chasm. He could also guarantee that the monsters (even when they were numerous) would never attack him by making sure he had more heavily defended squares when near monsters (they always choose to attack weaker spaces first.) Basically, they seemed insanely overpowered for this specific map / scenario. Has anyone else noticed this? The instructions explicitly say to take flames, sorcerers, mummies, and skeletons out of the game, but it seems to me that spiderines are almost as overpowered as flames in this game type. Was this just an oversight on the designers' part? Does anyone have a good strategy against early spiderines on this map?

  • 2
    I haven't played Underground so I don't know if this is different, but in Small World you can only abandon a region at the start of your turn, not during redeployment. If this was misplayed then it removed the opportunity for the other players to attack the spread-out spiders and reduce their numbers early.
    – Samthere
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:07

1 Answer 1


From the rules (p.7)

Troop Redeployment:

Once a player's conquests for the turn have ended, he may freely redeploy the Race tokens he has on the board, moving them from one Region to any other Region occupied by his race (not necessarily just an adjacent or contiguous Region), provided that at least one Race token remains in each Region under his control.

At the end of the Spiderine player's turn there should be at least one token per region, which means that

  1. He cannot "abandon the regions and let the monster races flood out"
  2. Other players should be able to attack that player, giving him losses and thus forcing him to go into decline eventually.
  • I think there is some misunderstanding, this is not a question of redeploying after conquests. Instead, it is 'abandoning' all your regions and starting a new conquest according to the rules of first conquest which for the spiderines includes coming up through chasms. See: cdn1.daysofwonder.com/smallworld/en/img/su_rules_2015_en.pdf page 8 "Abandoning a Region" and page 11 for the spiderines' special ability.
    – Drewmate
    Jan 26, 2016 at 17:41

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