Bonus Post 4 – Mike’s Ultimate Smash Up Faction

This week’s episode is the first to not feature an interview.

Instead, we get to hear a playthrough of Mike’s favorite board/card game, Smash Up by Paul Peterson and published by AEG.

Smash Up is a card game where players take two faction decks (20 cards each), shuffle them together to form a 40 card deck, and fight each other over a number of base cards. The first player to get to 15 victory points wins.

How big of a fan of this game is Mike? Well, he successfully completed a 100 game challenge with this game, and followed that up by becoming a playtester for upcoming expansions. (Sorry, no spoilers here because Mike and all other playtesters signed non-disclosure agreements.)

Mike actually recently updated his Top 10 factions list:

  1. Geeks (Big(ger) Geeki(er) Box)
  2. Ninja (Base game)
  3. Minions of Cthulhu (Obligatory Cthulhu Set; Titan in Titans Event Kit)
  4. Teddy Bears (What Were We Thinking?)
  5. Kung Fu Fighters (That 70’s Expansion – the first expansion Mike playtested)
  6. Samurai (Oops, You Did It Again – another expansion Mike playtested)
  7. Aliens (Base game)
  8. Truckers (That 70’s Expansion)
  9. Orcs (Smash Up: Munchkin)
  10. (tie) Fairies (Pretty Pretty Smash Up) and Wizards (Base game) – both factions having Titans from the Titans Event Kit

Honorable mentions:

  • Bear Cavalry (Awesome Level 9000; Titan in Titans Event Kit)
  • Elder Things (Obligatory Cthulhu Set)
  • Giant Ants (Monster Smash; Titan in Titans Event Kit)
  • Mythic Greeks (It’s Your Fault)
  • Shapeshifters (Science Fiction Double Feature)
  • Star Roamers (Cease and Desist)

Just for fun: if we were to put together a faction based entirely on Mike’s favorite cards in the game, it would look something like this. Call this Ski’s All-Stars:

  • Minions (11)
    • Shinobi (Ninja – Base game, power 3) – A very sneaky Ninja that shows up as a base scores and can help you steal some victory points.
    • Elder Thing (Elder Things – Obligatory Cthulhu Set, power 10) – The most powerful minion in the game.
    • Topper Chopper (Orcs – Smash Up: Munchkin, power 5) – Has the funniest ability in the entire game: “Talent: Do nothing.”
    • Imperial Dragon (Dragons – It’s Your Fault; also appears in Smash Up All-Stars – Big(ger) Geeki(er) Box, power 3) – How can I, an Asian culture enthusiast, not include this Asian dragon?
    • Aunt of Drakes (Ignobles – Cease and Desist, power 5) – One word: Khaleesi!
    • Lovey Bear (Teddy Bears – What Were We Thinking?, power 3) – This cute little guy is all about copying the highest minion power in play. Imagine if this guy was in play with the Elder Thing.
    • Rick Roll (Rock Stars – What Were We Thinking?, power 3) – “We’re no strangers to love/You know the rules and so do I…”
    • “Skinny Minnie” (Truckers – That 70’s Expansion, power 3) – Known by Mike as “Mister Honky-Mofo” due to the art used in the earliest drafts of this faction.
    • Wil Wheaton (Geeks – Big(ger) Geeki(er) Box, power 4) – The best card in the entire game. You can play him to cancel another player’s action – and he stays on the base. Quite the contradiction from Wheaton’s Law – “Don’t be a dick” – and also a reminder that we should all be nicer to Hwil Hwheaton.
    • Felicia Day (Geeks – Big(ger) Geeki(er) Box, power 4) – Felicia moves all minions in play to one base, usually causing it to break. The power of Anuss compels you!
    • Bushi (Samurai – Oops You Did It Again, power 4) – Potential for extra victory points with this minion.
  • Actions (9)
    • Probe (Aliens – Base game) – This card immediately makes me think of what the Aliens did to Cartman in the very first South Park, which is never not funny.
    • Seeing Stars (Ninja – Base game; also appears in Smash Up All-Stars – Big(ger) Geeki(er) Box) – A simple and effective way to make murder-death happen on a weak minion.
    • You’re Screwed (Bear Cavalry – Awesome Level 9000) – The name says it all.
    • Favor of Athena (Mythic Greeks – It’s Your Fault) – I like this card’s ability.
    • Freakin’ Laser Beam (Sharks – It’s Your Fault) – “Could you remind me what I pay you people for?”
    • Hyperspeed 10 (Star Roamers – Cease and Desist) – Are they wanting us to have lizard babies?
    • Wood For Sheep (Sheep – Promo faction) – The funniest card in the entire game. Not only does it pay homage to Settlers of Catan, it features a drawing of a shepherd making the titular trade – and a sheep with a funny expression on its face, looking like he is clearly being violated.
    • Power Poutine (Mounties – World Tour: International Incident) – Mmm, fries and cheese curds in gravy. Aaaagh!!
    • Chikara-Mizu (Sumo Wrestlers – World Tour: International Incident) – The fact I can correctly pronounce this action is a good enough reason to include it. By the way, it translates as “strength (chikara) water (mizu).”
  • Titan
    • Cthulhu (Minions of Cthulhu – Obligatory Cthulhu Set/Titans Event Kit) – Spreads Madness to other players and gives the player license to quote Cartman’s “Hey Cthulhu! ‘Sup?”

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