Wil Wheaton plays board games. And loses.
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I bought Smash Up after seeing it on the TableTop Day live show, and it's one of my favourite games - possibly my favourite adversarial (as opposed to co-op) game. And that's not just because I have a 100% record. Okay, that's only over three games. I just wish one of the local game shops had the expansion in stock.
I thought they did a good job of showing it off, as it can seem daunting at first with so many different cards and abilities. I also particularly liked that they told us who played what between cuts rather than just jumping from one part of the game to another. I think that was one of the few minor flaws in the first season in games like this, so it's great that they're doing it this way now.
@Farlander: The deck choosing happens a little like the initial placing of settlements in Settlers of Catan, if that helps. So the players pick one faction in turn, and then they pick their second in reverse order. It's actually a pretty fun part of the game, as if you see an early player pick a faction and you know how he thinks and what he's planning, you can screw them over by picking the second faction they probably want. ;) What I can't remember off hand is how to decide who picks first - I think we do the same as who gets to take the first turn, so whoever woke up earliest, but it's been a few weeks since I last played so I'm not sure, and the rules are all the way in the next room.
There are 20 cards for each faction, though the split is different between minions and actions (Robots have 18 minions and only 2 actions, as the most extreme example), and you do indeed simply shuffle your two factions together to form the deck from which you draw. But I don't know what the proper definition of "deck-building game" is, so I don't know whether it's correct or not.
Obviously each faction has its own strength and the way your two factions work together is a pretty important part of the game - which is why showing the deck-choosing part would've been nice.
What I liked about the game is that it wasn't centered around direct conflict. At first, I was disappointed that the creatures weren't directly fighting each other, but then I remember how many gamers I know are turned off by games where creatures are directly attacking another player's creatures.
However, I typically like games where a large portion of the scoring is kept secret or is undetermined until the end of the game...with this one, a player knows in the final rounds exactly how many points he must get to win the game, which I think is a little disappointing.
I like the ideas of the different deck combinations. I feel like there might not be a lot of variety after a few plays though.