Learning to play Smallworld and I have a question about coins. My understanding is:

  • Each player gets five (5) "$1" denomination coins at the beginning of the game
  • The remainder of all the other coins (all denominations: $3, $5, $10, etc.) get piled around the world map, face down
  • When you receive coins for your controlled regions at the end of your turn, you pick these coins randomly, meaning for each property/region, you could get a $1, $3, $5 or even a $10
  • When you put a race into decline and choose a new race/power combo from the mats on the side, you pay to skip race/power mat combos that you don't want with random coins from your pile, so you never know whether you are paying $1, $3, $5 or 10 for each one you skip

So to begin with, if any part of my understanding above is incorrect, please begin by correcting me! But assuming I'm more or less correct, then my question has to do with running out of coins:

What happens when all coins have been exhausted and paid out to each of the players, but the game has not progressed to the 10th/final round?

1 Answer 1


Your understanding is incorrect, as can be seen in the official rules. During setup, you put the coins to the side of the board:

Place all remaining coins, including all "3"s, "5"s and "10"s, in a Victory stash next to the board, within easy reach of all players.

Then, at the end of your turn, you receive 1 coin (i.e. one point) from the supply for each region your tokens occupy. It does not matter whether the region was occupied in previous turns or not, you always get that coin. The different denominations do not randomise how many points you get, they are just there to aggregate the points you collect (so if you occupy 10 regions, you can take a 10 coin).

When taking a new race, you pay 1 coin on each race above the one you take. Again, you do not put higher denomination coins down here, you always put down 1 coin per race.

This means that you can, in theory, know exactly how many points each player has at any point during the game. However, each player keeps their points hidden to make this information difficult to track, and no-one is required to confirm their current point total at any point during the game.

  • Thanks @ConMan (+1) - but then what is the Victory Stash (3s, 5s, 10s coins) used for? And what happens when you run out of 1s coins, which happened during our very first game? Jan 20, 2023 at 14:42
  • 3
    @hotmeatballsoup you make change, turning in three 1s for a 3 or five 1s for a 5, or ten 1s for a 10. Just like how money works Jan 21, 2023 at 15:49

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