Friday, August 24, 2012
Smash Up the Awesome Review
Smash up is an awesome game, it says so on the box. It plays very easily and fairly quickly. There are 8 factions in the box, you take two of them, shuffle them together and that forms your deck. Next you place bases in the center of the table. These are the spots that you are trying to destroy. Then you take turns playing 1 minion and action each turn. Once a base gets to a certain level its destroyed and players earn points based on how much strength their force had at its destruction.
This is a Base card. The top left number is the required strength to destory it. The large numbers in the middle are the points its worth once destroyed. 5 to the winner, 3 to second place, and 2 to third. Each base also has a special ability written at the bottom of it.
Next up the Factions
A very "Mars Attacks" feel to their art work. The Aliens are average in their minion strength, don't have a lot of kill actions, but do have the ability to send a lot of minions back to their owners hand. They can choose their own minions or their Enemies.
The Wizards have some of the lower strenghts in the game. But they make up for this by allowing their side to play multiple actions a turn and draw a lot of cards. While they won't likely do the heaviest lifting on your side they will support your other faction quite a bit.
The Ninjas are masters of trickery and Death. They come with the most kill actions of any faction. And they have some neat tricks that allow them to swap their minions in play with ones from their hands, or even add new ones as a base is being destroyed to claim more Victory Points.
The Dinosaurs have the least amount of trickery, but back that up with the most power. King Rex here is the strongest minion in the game. Im not sure what else to say... they have lasers too.
Right behind the Ninjas in kill power are the Pirates. The Pirates have some ways to move minions around to different bases, both theirs and their enemies. They also have ways to keep their minions in play after a base is destroyed.
Every faction has 10 minions and 10 actions, except the Robots, they have 18 minions and 2 actions. In place of the other actions they get Micro-Bots, 1 strength minions who have bonus effects on them. Robots have a lot of ways to play muliple minions a turn, and their 2 actions let you draw more cards for each minion on a base. The Micro bots all tend to have stacking powers as well.
These guys I had the most trouble understanding. What they do is play Action cards that remain in play on each of the bases. These things offer either a bonus to the Trickster or a penalty to their foes. They also have ways to make people discard cards from their hand while they draw cards. They are a very Control/lock-down based faction.
The Zombies discard pile may as well be their hand. They have an amazing ability to play minions and actions from there as though they were in their hand. And given the right circumstances can drop an entire zombie horde in one fell swoop.
So I have played 5 games now. And thus far I have not seen a single combonation that looks unbeatable. I did hear that the Robot/Wizard combo was a poor one, due to the Robots having very few actions and Wizards wanting more. But I would like to see it on the table again to be sure it wasn't just a bad draw. To this point this is easily my number 1 Gen Con purchase. Its fun, fast, and easy to learn. The Rulebook is rather hilarious, and does its best to make the rules as clean as possible. I would fully recommend this game. It only goes up to 4 players so if your group is far too big for that be warned now.
They gave these away at Gen Con
At Gencon I spoke with the AEG creative director and he told us that a new expansion was already in the works and would be released either at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013. With 4 new factions: Ghosts, Steampunk, Russian Bear-Cavalry, and Plants(little shop of horrors) This expansion gives you the ability to play a 6 player game... Im not sure the game works well at that level though. But, I can tell you right now that I will be getting it as soon as humanly possible.