Consider a scenario:

  • Round 1: I play spirit ghouls and dispatch them somewhere on the map.
  • Round 2: I make ghouls in decline.
  • Round 3: I choose the other race (X) and play them according to the rules.
  • Round 4: I make the race X in decline.
  • Round 5: I choose another race (Y) and play them.

Considering that:

  • I can play ghouls actively while they are in decline
  • I can have two races in decline thanks to spirit property
  • My spirit race are ghouls making them undead, as I always kill the other race in decline
  • None of my races (either X or Y) are stout


  1. What happens during the round 2? Can I play my ghouls actively when I'm making them in decline? As the rules say that I can do either one or the other I expect the answer would be negative.

  2. What happens if during the round 2 one of my opponent would successfully attack the group of 4 ghouls occupying one of regions, killing one of them and making 3 others coming back to my pool of active troops? Can I dispatch them during the round 3?

  3. The most interesting one: considering my ghouls are spirit and they just won't die, can I play them actively during the round 4? The situation is a bit different than in a question 1 as the rules say that I should play my ghouls before playing the active race so technically I could play them even if during the round 4 I would be wiping them out of the map, while making the race X in decline. However, in this case I won't as because they are spirit they would prevail, which makes the case even more complex.

1 Answer 1


(1) You are correct - if you Decline your active race, that's all you do in that turn. There's no window of opportunity for conquering at all.

(2) I believe Declined Ghouls operate as a special case: normally only one token of a Declined race stays in a region, so it's very obvious what happens when that region is conquered (the token is obliterated). Declined Ghouls however have all the characteristics of an active race, so I'd say that, as long as you still have Ghoul-occupied territories on the map, you can redeploy them in just the same way as you would your active race.

(3) A Spirit race never leaves the map, even when in Decline; Ghouls can still carry out conquests even while in Decline. I don't any real contradictions going on here: as long as your Spirit Ghouls stay on the map, and it may be a very long time, they can still conquer territories and generally behave much like an active race. Note however that you can't do some Conquering with your Spirit Ghouls and also put another race into Decline in the same turn. It's one or the other out of Conquering or Declining on any given turn, that really is the golden rule! (unless the active race you choose to put into decline has the "Stout" power - In this case you could use both the Spirit Ghouls as well as your active race to attack, and after scoring still be able to put the active "Stout" race into decline, therefore reaping the benefits of both special powers)

  • 2
    For what it's worth, this is the way the Small World game on the iPad is coded…
    – ghoppe
    Commented Aug 22, 2011 at 23:07
  • 2
    Regarding (2), you write: "as long as you still have Ghoul-occupied territories." Actually with the active race if it is wiped out of the map you can come back with troops you have in the pool starting from the edge of the map. I would expect that declined ghouls works the same. Meaning if I have 6 ghouls on a single territory and they're conquered I should still be able to use 5 of them to conquer one of edge regions on the map. Am I right? Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 7:43
  • 2
    @Pawel, that's a really good question actually! I've up voted your original question because there's been a lot to think about here :D My inclination is to say YES, you should be able to redeploy surplus Declined Ghouls at the edge of the map if they are conquered completely off the map. The redeployment rules are quite clear on how you handle conquered pieces (one gets discarded, the rest redeployed) and there is nothing to suggest to me that Declined Ghouls would be an exception to those rules. Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 8:48
  • 2
    This thread on BGG has a lot of rules clarifications from the developers. It confirms your answers for (1) and (2) and (3), and @pawelbrodzinski's hunch above.
    – Erik P.
    Commented Aug 23, 2011 at 14:17

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