Are you ready to Smash stuff Up?

Author: Pedro Dodero-Escalante   Date Posted:17 July 2018 

Hello fellow gamers, Pedro here writing about one of my favourite games of all time: Smash Up. As you may know we have the Smash Up tournament coming up soon and it is going to be titanic! Like for realz, it’s got Titans in it.

What are Titans you ask? Well they were originally introduced in the Smash Up expansion  “Big in Japan”, they are an additional type of card, distinct from minions, actions and bases. Every faction in Big in Japan has a titan, and more are added for the other factions in this event.

Each titan is essentially the 21st card of their corresponding faction, compared to the usual 20 cards per faction, except that a titan starts the game next to the player's deck and never goes to the hand, deck or discard pile of that player.

They also can't be played like any usual minion or action, in fact, they can only be played when a card (including the titan itself) allows you to play one.

Setup

Choose two Factions, and if you choose one or two factions with a titan, place the corresponding titan(s) near your deck. You can only play a titan when a card (including the titan itself) tells you to play one, that is when the conditions are met for it. Titans start the game on the table near your draw pile, they are never in your hand, deck or discard pile.

For example, The Vampire Titan, ”Ancient Lord” has the condition: “After you place two or more +1 power counters on minions in a turn, you may play this titan”. Or for example  Cthulhu: “Instead of your regular action play, draw two Madness cards to play this titan on a base with one of your minions”.

Titans are neither minions, nor actions, so they can never be targeted by cards that specifically target minions or actions. However, some very rare cards just target "cards" without specifying what kind of card. In that case, these can be used to target titans. If a card that can target a titan forces it out of play by destroying it, returning it, etc., the titan is simply set aside near its owner's deck. It never goes to its owner's hand, deck or discard pile. Usually, when a base is destroyed and replaced by another base (e.g. with Not in Kansas, Terraforming, Burn It Down), the minions there remain in play and go on the replacement base. Conversely, titans are actually removed from play if their current base leaves play.

Titans do not have power, but they can give power to their controller’s total at their base, either through their abilities or through +1 power counters played on them, so this adds a new rule to Smash Up: You must control at least one minion or 1 power on a base to get its rewards. So if you manage to get at least 1 total power with your titan, you're eligible to receive the base reward even without any minions there.

When a card tells you to play a titan:

  • You can choose not to play it. Playing a titan is always optional.
  • You may not play a titan if you already have a titan in play.
  • If you choose to play a titan, it's not "banked" and must be played immediately or not at all.
  • If you're allowed to play a titan "instead of your regular minion play", it means, on your turn, you can play the titan instead of playing your "free" minion of that turn. A "free" or "regular" minion play is the minion play you get on each of your turns and is distinct from "extra" minion plays, which are gained through abilities.
  • Similarly, if you're allowed to play a titan "instead of your regular action play", it means, on your turn, you can play the titan instead of playing your "free" action of that turn. A "free" or "regular" action play is the action play you get on each of your turns and is distinct from "extra" action plays, which are gained through abilities.
  • When you play a titan, If there is another titan on that base, they "clash". To do that, compare the total power of each titan's controller on that base, including the titans power; the player with the lowest total power must remove their titan from play. In case of a tie, the new titan is removed and the former one remains. There is an exception: If the base is Kaiju Island and if its ability isn't cancelled, you must ignore this step.

So, what about strategy? If you haven't played Smash Up before here are some quick tips to get an edge in the game:

  • Know your factions. The more you know them the more you know their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with them whether while you play them or face them. Knowledge is power, use it well.
  • Know the battlefields. Knowing and understanding the bases is important to get the most out of them. Some bases synergise with your factions and others can cripple an enemy. Don't just read their victory points, read their abilities/effects.
  • Keep your opponents on the defensive by removing or attacking their smaller minions. Don't face the big ones unless you are sure to come on top (Ninjas), that way you limit their influence in different bases. This can also be done by moving enemy minions or setting traps (Tricksters)
  • Chain, a lot. All factions have ways to give you the option of playing extra minions or extra actions (Wizards, Steampunks, Robots, etc), if you can, try chain an action that gives you an extra action that gives you an extra action that gives you an extra minion that gives you an extra action that gives you an extra minion that gives you an extra minion that gives you an extra action…
  • Either use laser focus or full invasion. Some factions are better when you focus most of your forces on one base (Princesses) or spread everywhere (Robots, Bear Cavalry). Use your factions’ strengths to decide which approach and to what degree.
  • Form alliances. Sometimes having an short alliance against a powerful player may pay dividends. But be careful, alliances in this game may not last long.

I hope this information helps you get prepared for the Titans Event. If you need more strategy, the Smash Up Wiki has a lot more.

One more thing, all Tournament participants will get a special discount of 10% off the purchase the Bigger Geekier Box or any other Smash Up games (subject to supply availability).