Gaming Unplugged: Smash Up

Have you ever wanted an army of aliens and zombies? What about one of robots and wizards? Well all of your crazy arm dreams have come true with Smash Up.

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Smash Up is a simple fun card game for two to four players. The gameplay has a much shallower learning curve than a lot of modern tabletop games. Each player picks two different deck s at random; the decks represent different armies or races. There are eight very different armies to you could wind up playing with, some combinations are utterly ridiculous. The basic Smash Up box has robots, aliens, zombies, tricksters, pirates, ninjas, dinosaurs (which may be cyborgs), and wizards. You play two of them at once! Players use these armies and the special abilities that come with them to take over bases. The bases are also themed after the different armies.

Now despite each army being awesome in their own way they also have their own play style. Zombies let you draw from the graveyard, aliens change the bases, wizards allow players to chain action cards. Every time you play you’ll have to compose a different strategy because you’ll never know what you’re dealing with. Playing aliens and changing out a base right before it scores is super satisfying.

smash up things

Players win by playing minions on bases to score the bases and claim victory points. Each base has different point values and different bonuses/extra rules. The bases all of have a point value and players place minions, with their own point values, on the bases in order to reach the total for the base. Once the last minion necessary to score the base is placed the three players with most minion points score the victory points for that base. Each player scores a different amount and sometimes it’s better to have the second most on a base. That sounds like a lot of number, but trust me once you look at the cards you’ll understand.

Smash Up looks like a really goofy game, and it is, but it’s also a very strategic minded one. You have to pay attention to what everyone is playing and determine the best course of action for yourself. On top of playing minions to score bases you all play actions. Actions are special cards that pair up with the style of play your particular army has. For example Pirates are great at moving units between bases and eliminating weaker minions so they have action cards that focus on those attributes. The pirate action “broadside” let’s you wipe out any minions of a chosen army with a value of 2 or lower. They can’t really take out anything stronger than that though. Smash Up is a fantastically strange strategic card game.

There is a lot of replay ability with Smash Up since the armies are always chosen at random, it’s the box of chocolates of card games, you never know what you’re going to get (sorry couldn’t resist). If you find yourself getting bored with the basic armies Alderac Entertainment Group, the makers of Smash Up, have put out some wonderful expansions with some of the most terrifying armies around (BEAR CALVARLY). The latest edition is the Pretty Pretty Smash Up it’s full of princesses, kittens, fairies, and horses.

If you’re looking for a great little card game with friends that is sure to get a few laughs, or if you’ve ever wanted to control an army of ghosts, Smash Up is an excellent choice. With plenty of reason to play multiple times with a different experience each time. Mix in a few expansions and you can play Smash Up until your hands can no longer hold the cards.

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Scott McCauliffe

My name Scott McCauliffe and I'm a nerd. I love comics, games, movies, toys, you name it and I'm a fan. Except LARPing, sorry guys, I just don't get it. I'm a graphic designer by trade and I work at a nice local newspaper, laying out a few of the pages. I'm very happily married to my wife and we have a beautiful little boy and another little one on the way. I like to write in my spare time and I also create posters and t-shirts that I sell online. Back in 2010 I wrote my own comic book and attended the inaugural Denver Comic Con with it in artist alley. That was exciting. I'm also writing a little bit of science fiction right now. I'm also an avid gamer, both video and table top. I love playing Pathfinder (D&D 3.5) with my friends and family. Many monsters know the fear of Welby Goodbarrel, halfling alchemist. I have a pretty nice action figure collection going. It's mostly Star Wars and Marvel, with some Batman mixed in for good measure. I'm kind of an all over the place guy, never really focused in on one thing I like to be deep in it all. And I accept any trivia challenges!

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