I've always played Smallworld with the belief that the Sorcerer's swap/replace ability was only used at the end of the player's turn. But I recently played it with a different group who said the power could be used at any point during a player's turn.

How do other people play this ability? Does it really matter?

  • If you could only use the ability at the end of your turn, how does the "per opponent" clause work?
    – Hao Ye
    Mar 26, 2015 at 21:56

2 Answers 2


From the rules

Once per turn per opponent, your Sorcerers can conquer a region by substituting 1 of your opponent’s active tokens with one of your own from the tray.

From the FAQ

Q: Can Sorcerers use their Ability after placing all their units?

A: It depends what you mean. The Sorcerers cannot use their Ability after doing a final conquest for the turn using the Reinforcement die roll. But they can use their ability otherwise.

So it should be playing during the attack phase, before the reinforcement die roll.

Personally, I don't think it makes a big difference, but in Smallworld one point can make the difference.

  • 1
    The main differnce I can see is in expanding throughout a territory. If there is a region in your way that has single occupancy and you're allowed to convert at anytime, then the cost of expansion reduces. However if you do it at the end but before reinforcement, then you'll have to stump up 3 tokens to conquer that region which may reduce you're ability to proliferate during that turn. As you say, one point can make the difference.
    – E_L
    Nov 14, 2012 at 14:07
  • 2
    Just to add to this answer (which I think is correct BTW). Playing Small World on the iPad the AI allows the conversion to take place at anytime during the attack phase but before the re-enforcement die roll. Often have used the iPad as a way of confirming the rules. Mar 27, 2015 at 13:55

The sorcerers' conversion is in fact a special type of conquest

See the Rules on page 9:

Once per turn per opponent, your Sorcerers can conquer a Region by substituting one of your opponent's Active tokens with one of your own taken from the storage tray

So you can use it whenever you want during the conquest phase. This can matter as converting a lone unit can give you access to interesting regions behind it with the rest of your army.

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