Sunday, January 11, 2015

All, right, Zach, I finally played that second game of Smash Up

German monsters! Achtung, baby!

Heh. I wasn't ignoring you. It's really been this long since my original post since I played a second game of Smash Up. So, as promised, here's my actual play of our second game of Smash Up.

Our original impressions were mostly correct. Some sets are overpowered, and some combinations are ridiculously overpowered. We only played to ten points, as opposed to the official fifteen points, and it still took forever. We'd have a knockdown, drag-out fight over a base, with each of us playing a bunch of shitty, low-cost minions, and when somebody claimed it, the consensus was "Ugh, how many more times are we going to have to do that?"

The three teams were me and my eight-year-old, my wife, and Kenobi Jen and Dave. Lily and I were sprites and plants, Jen Classic was Ninjas and something else and Kenobi Jen had dinos and wizard people. Lily eventually lost interest (and when I say "eventually", I mean 45 minutes into the game/the third turn), and I wound up playing her hand. We had a zillion cards that allowed us to play extra minions...and, no minions. I don't know if this was bad luck, or just shitty design.

I've been playing a lot of Hearthstone, and the medium allows the correction of a lot of balance problems. Is this card undercosted? Well, now it costs more after the latest patch. There is probably errata out there that corrects some of the Smash Up balance issues, but we didn't look for it.


  1. Though I will note that Mrs. Josh, hardly the most ruthless of opponents, saw the chance to win by playing a minion on a base that gave 1 vp to the minion's owner for each minion killed there, and then killed her own minion. The game does support that kind of play.

  2. I actually hadn't been here in a few days, so when I checked out your blog this morning I got a good laugh out of this post's title. =P

    I've since played a game of Smash-up myself (a friend bought it), and it sounds like my experience was pretty similar to yours. The game seems fun on the surface (mostly because of the silly theme), but individual turns end up taking entirely too long for something that's supposed to be a "light" game.

    Also, you play Hearthstone? Why didn't I know you play Hearthstone?! I'm addicted to Blizzard (both the game developer and the frozen treat), so I feel this is something we should discuss at some point.

    And, lastly, glad to hear you're writin' fiction every day. Hopefully it's going well!

    1. I do like the concept of Smash-Up, but I agree it could have used a little more tweaking in playtesting in order to make the actual play reflect the idea a little more closely. I have similar complaints about Savage Worlds, which bills itself as "Fast Furious Fun". It's not nearly as rules light as it presents itself. (I would go so far as to say that it's not fast, it's not fun, and it makes me furious.)

      I started playing Hearthstone because I play Diablo 3, and I saw the ads for the three free packs when GvG game out. I was like "Hey, I like free stuff!", so I logged in to claim them and found that I really enjoyed the game. Send me a message on Facebook or through email if you want to meet up in-game.

      Fiction: It's going well. It's a bit disjointed, but it helps me overcome my biggest problem, which is that I tend to spend much more time dithering over what I've already written, rather than writing new stuff. This schedule keeps me on track, and if it doesn't work out, I'll have some raw material I can cannibalize for something else.

    2. Consider your book FACED! Also, regarding free stuff, you should also get a free character in Heroes of the Storm for your Diablo purchase. Not sure if mobas interest you at all, but if they do, you've got a demon hunter waiting for you! (The game's currently in closed beta, so you can't get in without an invite, but you can opt-in on the page and hope for the best.)

      I've never played (or even heard of!) Savage Worlds. Unless you meant Small World? 'Cause that game's a blast.

      Keep goin' with the fiction! Every little bit counts. Remember, Zelazny tried to make sure he sat down three times a day and wrote three sentences. Anything more than that was just a bonus!

    3. I signed up for the closed beta, but alas, no luck yet.

      Savage Worlds is a tabletop RPG generic system that allows you to emulate a number of genres. I wrote about it here in passing: