Welcome to the first TAY Board Game Night! Each week I hope to bring you a new board game to try out, throw in a mini blurb about why you should play this game, and then add some alternate playstyles or challenges for you to try while you play! Make sure you and comment on challenges you completed, alternative game modes, or just a funny story with the game. Above all let us know how well you enjoyed it!

For the unfamiliar, Smash Up is a multiplayer card game where you are going to take two faction decks of meme/genre characters (Like Zombies, or Ninjas, or Aliens, Or Steampunk,or Cthulhu, or Kittens...yes Kittens) and smash em together. Not literally of course, you’re just going to shuffle them together to make a deck of either super awesome or super funny combinations. Each faction has their own themes and abilities, so no two play exactly the same. Zombies love to return from the grave, Ninjas come out of nowhere, Steampunks love to retrofit anything and everything, and Cthulhu just makes the world go mad!

The game is fairly simple at its core, with players only being allowed to play one action and one minion each turn. You’ll be playing Minions onto bases to blow them up and earn you points, all the while using your actions and abilities to make sure you stay on top of game. However, players will quickly find out that there are plenty of crazy effects that will make for great combinations and plan ruining upsets. The game plays relatively quickly once you get it down, and there are very rarely any particularly hairy interactions that will bog your game down. The core set will play up to 4 players (8 factions), with each expansion adding 2 more players (4 factions). You can run up the number of players in your game to get more action in on it to, but beware, too many players can leave a bit of downtime for others.

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Alternative Playstyles:

Ban/Draft Mode: If you’re an experienced Smash Up player or group, and you’re tired of seeing the same combinations or want to tactically remove certain factions from the pool, consider having a round of ‘banning,’ a la League of Legends, before drafting your factions. Starting with the last player, and going in reverse picking order, simply go around the table choosing one faction that no one may choose. This should keep particularly annoying factions out of the fray as well as give lesser chosen factions more chances of being picked.

Straight-Up Draft: Staying in faction is nice, but what if you could have more than two? What if you could have some super combination of cards you’d never see otherwise? Start by mixing all* of your cards up, shuffling them to randomize as much as possible, then divide them out into 20 card stacks. Each player then takes two stacks. These stacks are your ‘packs’. Next each player takes one of the packs, chooses a card from it, and passes the pack to their left. You then pick up the pack passed to you, and choose another card. Continue until all cards have been chosen, then do the same with the second pack, only passing them to your right.

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*Consider drafting factions ‘as normal’ to create the pool of cards, or just go crazy and mix up your entire collection, its up to you.

Overall, Smash Up is relatively light on the rule yet wonderfully heavy on the themes of its factions. Different combinations will keep games from getting stale, and a healthy influx of new expansions has made for fun and new combinations. Smash Up is great for seasoned card slingers and new-to-tabletop gamers.

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Don’t forget to check out Cardboard Consoles, my weekly blog posts about tabletop gaming, news, and reviews. Have any questions or news? Tweet me @Eon_Blackcraft