The Numbers
There was a decent turnout for the Small World Tournament in 2023. The first Heat saw 57 players show up to compete. Unfortunately, we were only able to muster up 12 copies of the game. We expanded 9 of the 12 games to 5 players to get everyone a seat. It may have been the same 12 copies in the second Heat, but we only had 48 players show up, so it worked out to a nice even 4 players at each table. The third and final Heat only saw 36 players show up, so 9 tables was all that were needed. In the end there were 69 unique players in the three heats. Through 33 tables, there were 4 players who won 2 heats to top the leader board, and a total of 29 winners. Only 25 players would be able to compete in the Semifinal.
Heat 1
I asked each winner to add the races that they used to the bottom of the scoresheet because I wanted to get an idea of which races were popular amongst the winners. Of the 11 winners who provided this information in the first Heat, 5 of them used Orcs, while the Tritons and Elves were used by 3 of the 11 winners. Ghouls, Giants, Trolls, Skeletons, Sorcerers, and Ratmen were used by 2 out of the 11. Halflings and Humans were used by 1 of the 11 winners, and the Amazons, Wizards, and Dwarves were not used at all. Surprisingly, all 8 of the winners who played in 5 player games, only used 2 races. The other 3 winners were on 4 player tables and used three races.
Heat 2
In heat 2, only 10 of the 12 winners provided the data. The Ratmen and Halflings were the most used in the second Heat, by 5 of the 10 winners. The Humans were next, used by 3 of the 10 winners. The Tritons, Elves, Trolls, Skeletons, Amazons, and Wizards were used by 2 of the 10 winners. Only 1 of the 10 winners used the Orcs and Sorcerers, while the Ghouls and Dwarves were not part of the winners. With 4 player games going 9 rounds, instead of the 8 rounds in a 5 player game, players tended to use more races. Only 3 of the 10 winners used only 2 races through 9 rounds. 6 of the 10 winners used 3 races, and 1 winner used 4 races through the 9 rounds.
Heat 3
In Heat 3, data was provided by 7 of the 9 winners. Sorcerers led the way, used by 3 of the 7 winners. The Tritons, Orcs, Humans, and Trolls were used by 2 of the 7 winners. Ghouls, Skeletons, Ratmen, Amazons, Wizards, and Dwarves were used by 1 of the 7 winners, while the Elves, Halflings, and Giants did not see the winner board. In terms of the number of races used by the winners, 4 winners used 3 races, 2 winners used 2 races, and 1 winner, Dennis Mishler, used only 1 race for 9 rounds. That race was the Fortified Sorcerers.
Overall Heat
So, through the 3 Heats, the Ratmen and the Orcs led the way, leading to 8 wins on the 28 tables that provided data. The Tritons were right behind, with 7 wins on the 28 tables. 6 wins for the Halflings, Humans, Trolls, and Sorcerers. 5 wins for the Elves and Skeletons. The Ghouls, Giants, Wizards, and Amazons saw wins at 3 of the 28 tables, and the Dwarves only saw victory at 1 of the 28 tables.
Semifinal
The top 25 players qualified for the Semifinal. Nearly all of the top 25 players showed up, so only our top alternate was able to qualify. The tables were set with 5 tables of 5 players. The games went smoothly and our winners and the races used were as follows:
 Dennis Mishler with Wealthy Skeletons and Hill Wizards
 Tricia Wolff with Alchemist Ratmen, Mounted Trolls, and Merchant Halflings
 Andrew Bichard with Stout Ghouls, Bivouacking Tritons, and Berserk Skeletons
 Jack Wolff with Stout Dwarves, Forest Sorcerers, and Hill Ratmen
 John Myers with Spirit Halflings, Underground Ghouls, and Pillaging Tritons
Final Table
Round 1: The order was randomly set and our five finalists were ready to go. John started the game by grabbing the Mounted Amazons and promptly picked up 9 points, a great start. Dennis followed with Swamp Halflings and picked up 7 points. Jack grabbed the Dragon Ghouls, but only gathered 5 points. Tricia took the Fortified Ratmen and scored 6. Andrew paid 3 coins to skip up to the Seafaring Skeletons, scoring 4 points.
Round2: John’s Amazons were the first to pull double digit points. Dennis’ Halflings performed better in the second round. Jack used the second round to have his Ghouls go into decline. Tricia’s Ratmen performed well. Andrew decided to go into decline with his skeletons.
Round 3: John decided it was time to decline his Amazons, and still scored well. Dennis continued with his Halflings, scoring 11 this round. Jack picked up his new race, paying 2 coins to jump up to the Underground Sorcerers, which had a coin on it. The Ghouls and Sorcerers performed well for Jack, gaining him 11 for the round. Tricia decided to put her Ratmen into decline. Andrew paid 3 coins to pick up the Merchant Elves and scored a total of 8 for the round.
Round 4: John paid 1 coin to jump over the Forest Dwarves (which now had 4 coins on it) and picked up the Alchemist Giants as his new race. Dennis put his Halflings into decline. Jack did well with his Ghouls and Sorcerers this round, which was noticed by the rest of the table, and the discussion of who the threats were began in earnest. Tricia paid a coin to jump the Dwarves and picked up the Wealthy Trolls. Andrew was not considered a threat, so his Elves and Skeletons had a chance to pick up some good points, 12.
Round 5: John’s Amazons are getting beaten up, but his Giants are doing well. Dennis pays 1 coin to jump over the Dwarves and take the Berzerk Wizards, but poor rolls kept the wizards to just 3 points this round, but his Halflings still scored 6. Jack is now being targeted by the rest of the table as the presumed leader, even though he is in third with points. Tricia’s Trolls are getting stronger. Andrew is being left alone after his poor start, but scores 15 this round with his Elves and Skeletons.
Round 6: John’s Amazons are nearly gone, so John puts his Giants into decline. Dennis’ Wizards have better rolls this round, scoring 7 to go along with his halflings 5 points. Jack’s ghouls took a beating, so he sends his Sorcerers into decline. Tricia is rolling along with her Trolls still getting stronger, scoring 7, to go with her Ratmen’s 4. Andrew scores a game high 17 for the round, and now needs to be noticed.
Round 7: John pays 4 coins to get the Commando Amazons to start the round. Dennis is doing well with his rolls now, so the Wizards are scoring well, and he still has 5 of his original Halflings on the board. Jack pays 2 coins to jump up to the Stout Tritons, scores 4, and goes into decline. Tricia goes into decline with her Trolls. Andrew picks up 12 points after the table noticed his previous round.
Round 8: John has a solid last round, pulling in 15 points. Dennis continues with good rolls, scoring 11 with his Wizards, along with 2 remaining Halflings. Jack picks up the Forest Dwarves, which were passed over 8 times. The Dwarves score an additional 5 for him. Tricia picks up the Heroic Humans and targets the only player yet to score in the round, Andrew. Andrew was able to end the round with 10 points from his original Skeletons and his Elves.
In the End, it was a very tight score. John won the game with 83 points. There was a threeway tie for second at 81 points, between Dennis, Jack, and Andrew. Dennis won the tiebreaker of the most pieces on the board at the end, and Jack won the die roll between he and Andrew. Tricia was only 1 point behind them, with 80 points.
