Game Night Review – Smash Up

Drinks & Dice 6/26/2015 game night wrap up and review- Smash Up!

Smash Up is a fun, easy to learn Shufflebuilding game for 2-4 players. I started playing this game two years ago while I was working at WasabiCon. I was helping run the game room where we offered several different board games free to play for attendees. This game was one I recommended the most because of how easy it is to learn. In short, you play minions on base cards and when the collective minion power reaches or exceeds the base power it scores (or breaks). Each base card has the number of victory points each player will receive when it scores. You need 15 VP to win the game. There are also action cards you can play that allow you to do different things, i.e. play another minion, destroy another players minion, or gain 1 VP. after you play one minion and action you draw two cards from your deck to end your turn. One of the greatest parts of this game is the replay value. When you setup your game you combine 2 factions together and each faction combination will change your strategy. Here is a blurb from the Smash Up official website.

smash up cardsIt may sound simple, but how simple is it when your opponent’s Zombie-Ninjas Assassinate your minions then create an Outbreak, loading the Base with minions from their discard pile?  Or when their Pirate-Dinosaurs Full Sail onto the base with the mighty King Rex, whose massive power dwarfs that of other minions?

Each combination gives a different experience, Pirate-Aliens play very different than Pirate-Zombies, and with 8 factions in the base set there are tons of combinations to try out!

This past Drinks & Dice game night Tracy and I went over to a friends house and decided to SMASH UP some bases. If Tracy gets her way (she usually does) she plays the Pirate Dinosaur factions.

smash up

I played the Robot Aliens but my favorite combo is the Zombie Tricksters. One of my biggest issues with the game was fixed in a newer version so make sure you buy the newer one. My issue is how you have to keep track of each base so you know if it will score. The newer version does away with the math and each base has a token you move along the edges to keep track of each bases score. (UPDATE: The company has posted that it was not practical for them to release those base cards commercially.) If you would like to print mats for the base cards to sit on you can and they work great. The awesome people over at Board Game Geek created some and released them on their site. I printed them on photo paper and I use a small token to move around the mat. You can also download them at this mirror.

smash up base mat

The unique way this game combines two different decks allows the players to use different strategies to play. There are also several different expansions for Smash Up and the new factions are very fun to combine. For this game night we only used the base game so none of us used any factions found in the expansions. Tracy and her trusty Pirate Dinosaurs snuck in for the win while our friend Rachel used a Trickster combo to score a base. Tracy used a special ability of one her Pirate minions to move him to that base before it scored. This move gave her the majority of the points on that base and also took her all the way to 15 VP. These types of moves are what keep this game exciting. You can never tell what someones strategy will be and if someone is holding a specific action back to play at just the right moment to strike the winning blow!

That wrapped up this months game night, keep gaming and check back for another Drinks & Dice wrap up and review.

If you would like to purchase Smash Up, any of the expansions, or any of AEG’s other games you can find them on Amazon and in their official online store.


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