Often, when an expansion comes out for a game the expansion will try to alter the gameplay with new rules. Be Not Afraid... , an expansion for Small World, goes a different route: keeping with what worked in the original, and adding physical convenience.

Be Not Afraid... provides players with five new races (Barbarians, Homunculi, Leprechauns, Pixies, Pygmies) and five new special powers (Barricade, Catapult, Corrupt, Imperial, Mercenary) to be used with those in the original game. These new races and powers aren't overly powerful, making players drooling over them whenever they become available, but they do provide new and interesting strategies. For example, Corrupt makes an opponent give you a coin whenever they conquer one of your regions, which is a great deterrent to an opponent.
Imperial gives you a bonus for every region over 3, while Barricade gives you a bonus if you have 4 or less regions. Pixies are quite numerous but can only have 1 in each region at the end of their turn, making them great for attacking but vulnerable to being attacked. And I love the Leprechaun ability: They can put a pot of gold in any/all regions they occupy and score 1 coin for each one they still have at the end of their next turn -- but if an opponent conquers that region, the opponent gets the gold and coin!

Be Not Afraid... also provides something very useful: a storage tray. This plastic tray holds not only the new races and powers for this expansion, but also has room for other expansions as well! (Mine currently has all the races and special powers from Be Not Afraid... , Cursed! and Grand Dames.) While the cynical may see this as a way to encourage players to buy more expansions, I see it as a welcome touch of convenience, giving players not just new races and powers, but also a convenient place to store them -- something many expansions neglect to provide.

Be Not Afraid... continues the great mystical warring races and powers from the original Small World, offering players more options without tipping the balance in the new additions' favor. It provides new strategic possibilities, fun art -- and a place to put your new stuff.

Overall grade: A-

Reviewed by James Lynch

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