Recently I have received a copy of Smash Up to review and over the week-end my husband and I have discovered this game. The game is for 2 to 4 players but apparently we keep hearing or reading that it is better when you play 3 people. Personally, we will try to tweak it have 6 players so that our kids can play with us. We realize that it could make the play time a bit longer if we do so.
The goal of the game is pretty simple – use your minions to crush enemy bases and the first player to score 15 victory points wins! The game is essentially a shufflebuilding game where you select two factions which contains twenty cards each, shuffle them into a forty cards deck and compete to smash bases.
As I mentioned previously there are 8 factions in this game. Let me present them to you:
Each faction is composed of twenty cards. You will need to choose two factions in order to play.
You will also have sixteen bases included in the game. Before the game start, you will shuffle the bases and positioned some for play. You will have to put as many bases as you have players plus one. For example, if you are three players you will put four bases on the table. The rest of the bases are put on the side for future use when a base if conquered. Oh! Each base also has a breakpoint that needs to be conquered as well as three value point listed on the card for the first, second and third. Bases also possess an ability that could be done during or after conquest.
So the first player to play is the person who got up the earliest that morning. Most board games have funny rules to decide who is the first player. It had some twist I find! Play continues clockwise. On your turn you will play one minion, one action, play one of each or play none. Once you have finished your turn you can pick two cards for your hand. You cannot have more than 10 cards at a time in your hand.
To play a minion, you will select a base and put the minion card beside it, facing toward you. Do what the card says and move on to the next step. To play an action, show your card and do what it says. Once you have finished, you need to discard the action unless it has an ONGOING ability.
Slowly as the game progress, you will check regularly if the base is ready to score. Scoring a base happens if the total power of all minions on that base equals or exceeds the bases’s breakpoint.
When a base is score, the player with the most power on it is the winner. That player gains victory points equal to the number on the left on top of the base. The second highest gains the middle number and finally the third place gets the number on the right. Once a base is score, all cards return to the discard piles of each player except the ones who have some special ability allowing them to move to another base. Once a player reach fifteen value points, the player wins the game.
For the price of the game, you get quite a bit in it – 8 factions, amazing dividers, and 16 bases. The game is easy to learn and play. You should expect a game time of about 45 minutes. This game is perfect for ages 12 and up. However, I am pretty sure that my younger kids ages 8 and 10 will grasp the concept quite rapidly – maybe even faster than me… After two games with my husband, I have yet to win. However, even if I get frustrated because I do not completely get the ability that I need to do or simply because my hands is packed with minions with no actions (or vice versa), I persevere and I hope to win Smash Up one day.
Smash Up has also a bunch of expansions which will make you game even more interesting like Awesome Level 9000, The Obligatory Cthulhu Set, Science Fiction Double Feature, The Big Geeky Box (Essentially this is a storage box which allows you to store the game and its expansions in it. It also contains plastic dividers, one factions and two bases.), Monster Smash, Pretty Pretty Smash Up, Smash Up: Munchkin, and It’s Your Fault. And from what I have seen on BoardGameGeek.com a new expansion titled Cease and Desist is coming out this year.
Smash Up and all its expansions are available for purchase at your favorite game store, even on amazon.ca and amazon.com.
Disclaimer: Thanks to AEG for sending the above mentioned game for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this post . Please note that the post was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.