Tonight I played a game I’ve not played in years that my partner bought me as an early Christmas present! Smash Up! Which is also my earliest memory of any sort of playing any sort of deck building game (but really it’s more ‘shufflebuilding’). Of course, back then I played with more than just a core game. The core game is an excellent introductory game for area, deck and hand management as it doesn’t rely on earning cards but still requires players to be aware of the different cards available and the effects that cards have within the game. The state of play is simple; get two faction decks, mix them and on your turn you can play a minion on a base and/or play an action. The aim is also simple enough, play enough attack power as a group on a base to break it and be the player with the most attack power on that base to earn the most victory points. 15 VP wins you the game.
I played as both Pirate Aliens and Pirate Dinosaurs and managed a win both times! I can’t entirely call them victories as I was playing with my group who had never played before. Every faction has a different play style; alien cards move other player’s minions to their hands, pirates move your minions from base to base and affect minions on specific bases, and the dinosaurs have a lot of attack boosting abilities and cards. I adore the game’s freedom of mixing two different play style factions into one deck and making the player work out how to best use both styles. Although, I do remember once getting Ghosts which heavily rely on discarding cards, and another that needed you to have a larger deck of cards and I lost shockingly as neither play style was easily combined with the other. Saying that, it is worth noting that even factions that don’t compliment each other can be used to win so long as you plan your turns in advance. My big plan was to play King Rex on an untouched base then move him to a base I couldn’t play him on using Full Sail. The group must have seen through this though as they very quickly prevented me from doing that! I still managed a win!
I must have gotten some true nostalgia from playing it though as I’ve already ordered an expansion for it! Quality game!