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Smash Up: Robot Faction Fan


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Smash Up

41 out of 42 gamers thought this was helpful

Smash Up is game that I had no knowledge of until two weeks ago. I was looking for card games or deck building games that were not collectible. I wanted a card game that had everything needed to play it in one box as I’ve grown tired of Magic the Gathering.

As I was researching different games such as Dominion, Ascension, and Nightfall, I kept seeing Smash Up come up. Finally my curiosity got the best of me, and I took a look at what Smash Up had to offer.

Let me tell you right now, after one look I new I had found what I had been looking for. Smash Up has everything I wanted. A self contained card game, prebuilt decks, very simple mechanics, a number of themes that cover a lot of interests, and short lite game play.

Now that I’ve got a few games under my belt, I’m even more excited about this game and it’s future. So let’s break it down. Everything I like about the game and few things to take into consideration.

-The Components
– 176 total cards
– Rulebook
– Box with card holding insert

The cards are very nice and durable, which is important because they will be shuffled many, many times during game play. Also, all the artwork on each card is very nicely done with a playful style that fits the game perfectly.

The rulebook is one of the best written and laid out rulebooks that I’ve ever read. It’s very clear and makes it super easy to learn how to play this game very quickly.

The box and the insert are very nicely done. AEG has done a wonderful job by giving enough space for each slot to hold a SLEEVED faction. This is very impressive to me as I’ve seen other games not take sleeves into consideration when making their boxes ( I’m looking at you Sentinels of the Multiverse ).

-The 8 factions

This is obviously the meat of the game. The 8 factions account for 160 of the cards, and they don’t disappoint. The variety of factions is fascinating. You have Aliens, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, Tricksters, Wizards, and Zombies. Almost any gamer will be able to find a faction that they can immediately identify with no matter their age. Each faction has 10 minions and 10 actions, except for the Robots. They have 18 minions and 2 actions.

The factions all play differently and give you 28 possible deck combinations. In short, Aliens bounce stuff, Dinosaurs are powerful, Ninjas are sneaky, Pirates move from base to base, Robots flood the table, Tricksters play tricks, Wizards use a ton of actions, and Zombies keep coming back. With all the combinations you’ll have a unique playing experience each game.

-The 16 bases

The bases are how you earn your victory points to win the game. Just as the factions, you get a decent variety of bases that are themed to match the factions. You actually have 2 bases per faction so to speak, and each base, except for one, has it’s own unique ability that is in play as long as the base is in play. So not only will you find awesome combos between 2 factions, but you will find awesome combos involving the base abilities as well.

-The game play

The basic concept of the game, called Shufflebuilding, is just shuffling 2 factions together to make a 40 card deck. This is both simple and complex at the same time. This game has quite a bit more depth to it than I initially thought. Any one can sit down with Smash Up and shufflebuild, but gamers that want depth will find it in the combinations of factions and how each faction works with each other faction. Not to mention finding combos that factions have with the different base abilities. And if the base game gets a little stale, you can add another set of base game factions in. This gives players different match up options because with 2 sets of factions, 2 players could both use Ninjas as one of their factions and so on and so on.

Now the game isn’t just about shufflebuilding, you have to play your minions on a base, and when the base reaches it’s breaking point any player who has minions at that base has a chance to gain victory points. Depending on the number of players in any given game, a base could possibly award up to three players points when it breaks. If a base happens to have minions from 4 players, that means someone isn’t going to earn any points. The first player to earn 15 victory points wins the game.

In my experience games will only last 30 to 45 minutes once each player understands how to play the game. Some games could be shorter or longer depending on the number of players which can be 2, 3, or 4 players.

-Replay value

This game has tons of replay value. With the 28 shufflebuilding combinations, this game should see quite a bit of play at your table. And as stated above, you can always add a second set of base game factions to add even more match up options for your players.

-Who will like this game?

This game hits a wide variety of players and game groups. It would be a hit for Family gaming, gaming with friends, any avid gamer, and even casual gamers. This is the type of game you could take to your local game store and get a game going with any one very quickly.

-Some things to consider

While this game is a huge hit for me, it might not be for every one. Sometimes the game takes on a role of “attack the leader”, and that can upset some people. Other times a player may fall very far behind in points and become disinterested with the game in progress. If your gaming group has players that fall into these categories proceed with caution. Otherwise, I’d recommend that every gamer give this game a try. It’s a solid 9 out of 10 for me.

P.S. Be on the look out for Smash Up Awesome Level 9000. The first expansion for Smash Up due out in April that will offer 4 new factions that should really add some exciting new game play.

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