Thursday, February 7, 2013

House Rules: Small World Underground

One of the new elements in Small World: Underground are monsters that protect Popular Places and Righteous Relics. In the original Small World, a number of starting spaces contained a single tile of an ancient fallen race (known as Smurfs in our home games). In SWU, these starting spaces instead contain a pair of monster tiles. When the monsters are defeated, the player reveals a random token from a stack of Righteous Relics and Popular Places. These new monster tiles have one of seven images on them, but all monster tiles are mechanically identical, counting as two extra tiles you must defeat to take the space.

Why waste fun art?! It only took us one game to set up house rules for our critters and now it's time to share. It's a small world, after all.

SW Underground Monster House Rules
By Rich Howard and Nate Garner

Bears: Any attack on the Bears is resolved normally. They have no special ability.

Jelly Cubes: Any attack on the Jelly Cubes is resolved normally, except that the attacker automatically loses one tile after the attack is resolved.

Tin Golems: Any attack on the Tin Golems is resolved normally. The Tin Golems count as three tiles instead of two due to their armor and mechanical awesomeness.

Perberuses (Perberi?): Any attack on the Perberuses is resolved normally. When revealing tiles after defeating the Perberuses, continue drawing until you reveal a Righteous Relic.

Minotaurs: Any attack on the Minotaurs is resolved normally. When revealing tiles after defeating the Minotaurs, continue drawing until you reveal a Popular Place.

Hydra: After declaring an attack on a space with the Hydra, roll the reinforcement die and add the result to the number of Hydra tiles (2). If the number of Hydra tiles, plus the natural defense of the space, is greater than the number of tiles the attacking player has left, then the attack fails and the player moves to the reinforcement phase. If the player declares the attack on the Hydra as their final attack of the round, they must do so before rolling the Hydra's reinforcement die. They may then roll their own reinforcement die as normal. Whether they win or lose, they move to the reinforcement phase. They do not get to continue attacking if they have extra tiles left.

Giant Crabs: Giant crabs must be placed on a space adjacent to the River. Once defeated, both Giant Crab tiles move to an adjacent, unoccupied River space. If adjacent to more than one River space, the attacker chooses which space the Giant Crabs enter. If the Giant Crabs are defeated while in a River space, they are placed in any adjacent, unoccupied River space. If all adjacent River spaces are occupied, they are destroyed as normal.


Please remember to support your Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS) whenever possible. Many FLGSs have demo copies of their most popular games. They may also have game nights, tournaments and open demonstrations as well.

Live in the San Diego, California area? Visit my favorite FLGS: Game Empire. You can also check out gaming organizations like the San Diego Board Games Group, the College Area Board Games Group, and Geek Girls of San Diego.

Living in the Owensboro, Kentucky area? Check out my new favorite area store: Big Bang


  1. I really think you did a great job with the houserules. Although nearly immortal crabs have the most significant effect on game balance, I still think all the alterations add to the fun.

    1. In practice, they play out well. Moving the crabs around allows tactical options for the attacker. Lizardmen can skip the river spaces, therefor don't have to fight the crabs. I admit, I've only tried this on the two and three-player boards. The larger board may affect balance.