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Small World (SMW) WBC 2022 Event Report
Updated December 14, 2023
77 Players Kirk Porteous Event History
2022 Champion & Laurels

Rats: Gotta Kill Them Sometimes!

This year’s Small World tournament was a great start to the con with a Demo, Three Heats, Semifinal, and Final all taking place on the first wennkend. The demo was packed and I was excited to see many of the attendees go on to play in a heat. Overall, there were 77 unique players. Six players won two Heats; most others who advanced to the Semifinal had a win plus a second or third place finish in another Heat.

Shoutout to Tim O’Flynn and his deluxe board, which made the final visually pleasing and even more exciting.

Our Final brought Karl Bodenheimer, Alex Anderson, Chris Russell, Kirk Porteous, and Dennis Mishler together. During the first round, every player skipped the Swamp Sorcerers. The Forest Trolls were the costliest combination in this round, costing 3 coins.

As typical for Small World, there was some table talk about who was winning. Players were frequently wrong about who was in the lead, which resulted in some unpredictable moves. This could have been part of their metagaming to influence others or demonstrate how quickly the leaders can change throughout the game. But it was interesting for me to watch players attempt to influence others with biased information – just a reminder to trust no one while playing games. ;)

In the end, 4 out of the 5 finalists played as three races throughout the game; the other player played as four. Throughout the game, Pillaging Ratmen, Spirit Giants, Forrest Trolls, and Dragon Master Tritons proved to be smart investments. Some combinations that didn’t seem to go together thematically, such as diplomatic orcs, still earned respectable scores. The two highest round totals (17 and 16 points) were earned by the first and second place finishers respectively. So maybe there is something to panicking when someone gets a great score in one round! Kirk had two small-gaining rounds but besides that, was consistently strong the entire game. He ended up winning the tournament, which is no surprise to anyone who has had the (mis)fortune of playing against him at WBC (he beat the GM in one of the Heats of Small World as well as a few other tournament games throughout the week). The final scores were Kirk with 89, Karl with 80, Chris with 76, Dennis with 76, and Alex with 71.

Some things I noticed about GMing this particular game:

  • The same questions were asked multiple times. Next year we will answer FAQs in advance
  • Dwarves were the most commonly skipped over race
  • Players are willing to pay big for preferred races/special ability combos
  • About 25% of players were female; let’s keep increasing this!!!
  • There were multiple ties. Additional tiebreakers will be determined by the next tournament

Thank you to everyone who made this a positive experience, especially the assistant GM Brad Raszewski (who did most of the GM duties anyway). Most importantly, it seemed like everyone was excited to be back at WBC playing a great game!

2022 Laurelists Repeating Laurelists: 2
Karl Bodenheimer Chris Russell Dennis Mishler Alex Anderson Erica Kirchner
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
Finalists with GM Samantha Berk.
GM  Samantha Berk [1st Year]