Accidental Games and Smallworld Poll

As followers of this blog will be aware I have a list of games that I like to call “The If Only…” List. This is a list of games I really want to own but for one good reason or another have not yet bought. “Accidental” games are pretty much the exactly opposite.

These are games I had no intention of buying, but because of one reason or another I did. In the last two weeks I have bought three of them! Risk: Balance of Power

The first was Risk: Balance of Power. This was the least accidental as I was quite interested in seeing how Hasbro had engineered a specific 2 player variant of Risk that actually worked. I have only gotten it to the table once since I bought it and I got trounced. I like the ideas of cities and capitals and special actions you can purchase with your dead troops (which basically helps equalise the game). I don’t much care for the new plastic arrows, mainly because you need 60 neutrals on the board split between 10 territories and trying to fit 6 of the arrows into Belgium or one of the other small areas is impossible. I can’t see what was wrong with army men! The arrows look nice and sound like a great idea but they don't work well in practice. Maybe if they had included some 3 troop arrows for the neutrals… but Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrotthey didn’t.

My second purchase has yet to arrive but it was the blue starter pack  for Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. I accidentally bought this after being outbid for it on ebay when it was going cheap. After I lost the auction I decided I probably did want to try the game so I bought it. However Royal Mail seems to be holding the bunnies hostage so I can’t comment on it.

The third and final accidental purchase was FFG’s Cosmic Encounter. I used to own the Games Workshop edition of this game and I got separated from it when I broke up with my Girlfriend. I had only ever really played the game once and found it difficult to get others to play because of the perceived imbalance in the powers system. Cosmic EncounterBecause of that I never really thought much of the game and when I saw FFG had reprinted it my gut instinct was “Why?”

So, curious, I watched Tom Vasel’s review on the game, which confirmed my fears, the alien powers were still unbalanced as all hell and so I dismissed the game and never thought about it again. That is… until I started to listening to the Dice Tower regularly as Tom and Eric and various other contributors couldn’t praise the game highly enough. I even checked out the very down to earth Scott Nicholson and he too loved the game. Then I saw a copy on ebay cheap and so I accidentally clicked the Buy It Now button and a couple of days later I have the game in collection. (Although not from Ebay… No, the company *cough Evo Books cough* was out of stock, so I picked it up even cheaper with Board Game Extras)

Other than punching all the cardboard out and bagging up the bits I haven’t really checked the game out. I’m putting it away for my birthday, but, as always with FFG, I’m impressed with the bits!

And so that was my three accidental purchases. I also picked up a copy of Stone Age for Easter, the expansion to Settlers of Catan the Card Game, Traders and Builders for Small WorldCarcassonne and Deathmaster’s Dance for Warhammer: Invasion

Finally the results of the Small World poll are *almost* in. There are still a couple of hours left to vote. When Tom Vasel reviewed this game I turned the review off halfway through as the game just didn’t sound interesting to me. It’s odd, I like fantasy, I like Wargames, but Smallworld just didn’t seem to have any dynamism, It seemed bland and uninteresting. However, as I listened to old episodes of the Dice Tower on my way to work a couple of weeks ago, I felt I may have been hasty in my judgement.

I went back and watched the review, all the way through this time but I still couldn’t fathom the hype and so I asked you guys to tell me honestly… is it really that good?

And the results? 5 votes for “Yes! Buy It Now!” no votes for anything else… Really… That good???

Well… I don’t think it’ll be going on the If Only list (unless someone can be really convincing) but it may end up as another Accidental Purchase if the price is right… and who knows I might be pleasantly surprised.

Until next time… Keep on gaming.


  1. Hi,

    About Smallworld, it's like I have the same feeling.
    I like the graphic, the race & power choice, even the way to choose one couple, but it seems to be too light / simple when it comes to "conquer the world".
    I didn't have a chance to play this game yet, and I think it's better to wait a first play before buying it...

  2. Glad I'm not the only one... :)

  3. I rented it from my FLGS. Like Bart CB I loved the art and the powers and all the choices. However, the actual game play ended up being very boring. There was no intensity. It was just pushing back and forth. Despite this I actually would have bought it, but my brothers (my main gaming group) were not excited about it so I decided against it.

  4. Thanks Brad, I have to agree that from all I've read that is exactly how I thought the gameplay would feel. As a miniatures wargamer and rpg gamer I think I would expect more from this game than it would deliver and I would end up disappointed. Of course, if I find it cheap... that's a different story.


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