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Subject: Is it me or... rss

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Bruno Gaia
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I played only two games of Smash Up: One with the base game and one with the Cthulhu expansion (two players).

In both cases we ended up saying: "yeah righ that must have been a extra bad match up because one side has absolutely NO CHANCE of winning".

Both games ended up with two disgusted players not even wanting to finish the game.
All in all it felt broken to the extreme, as in poorly playtested and totally unbalanced.

Worse: as we checked the rules (Cthulhu game) for any errors on our part, we realized we'd chosen the factions of the rules EXAMPLE(I surmise they wouldn't put an extremely broken match up as a rule example???? or would they???) which lead us with one guy auto winning all battles because he had strong cards that could make a difference and the other one could only add a few points a turn, never enough to make a difference at the right time...


Now I'm wondering: has it happened to other BGGers, were we really unlucky, is there something we've not understood, or are you supposed to play SU just for the "fun fun fun" of mixing races and not trying to play well at all because the possibility of having fun by playing well wasn't really included in the package (which at some point I suspected I have to admit...)


To me SU is like... Maybe the ONLY gaming object of the past few years I haven't been able to... understand.
And when I see the number of expansions I surmise that it sold well.
So I'd really like to know what I've been missing because, for now, it seems to me that a lot of otherwise intelligent people like a broken game just because you can mix pirates and dinosaurs...


Tell me I'm wrong...




PS: both my friend and I have literally tons of games under our belts (mostly euros though) and relish in discovering/analysing/deconstructing game mechanics... You know, late thirties, hardcore geeks who started playing boardgames at the age of seven...
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Marc Bennett
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i have found a big key to this game is not necessarily how much power you can play each turn.

for example, especially in a 4 player game you can win the game without winning a single base, just make sure to get second everywhere.

if you see someone piling up lots of strength on one base, dont try to fight them for first, try to take a second while using far fewer resources. this allows you to build up strength somewhere else.

the "game" of smash up isnt seeing how fast you can throw down power, its in how you decide which bases to go for when, with what placing.

sure the timing and combos are important, but not as important as the base taking decision.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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Well, I think you're wrong and it is very different from my 40 or 50 plays. Some matchups are better than others and some players are better than others as some seem to understand just by looking at a faction how to play it. Others not so much. But I haven't found any unbeatable combination. But if you have 1 player who gets the way to play a faction combo right away and the other doesn't get it, you can have a one-sided result. The real test when one of those games happen is to swap decks among the two players and play again. I would bet that most time the player who won the first game would also win the second or would come close to winning with the deck that got trounced the game before.
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Jeff Wood
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Yeah, I think you just got new Smash-Up player 'optimum' play. I thought at first that the high-power minion factions were unstoppable, Dinos would always win in my mind.

But then you get the Actions, and understanding how to use them...and be very non-apologetic for going on the attack, attack, attack with them. Left alone, yeah, powerful minions count. Don't let them be left alone.
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J
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I will say this. There are certain factions who's specialties happen to work well against other factions and doubly so if the player with the "lesser" faction is unaware of it. It's also no secret that the game is not perfectly balanced as certain factions do have higher win rates than others and perform better/worse based on the player count.

However, for the most part I've found that most of the factions, even if they are up against a bad rival, can out play their opponent with smart use and timing of their cards. The main learning curve of this game is recognizing what cards are good to use when and not wasting good cards.

I say "most" because... well there is one match-up that just seems very unfair every time they've gone up against one another in my group, namely Elder Things vs Minions of Cthullu. ET seem to have the perfect arsenal to ruin MoC.
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Bruno Gaia
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Klaxas wrote:
i have found a big key to this game is not necessarily how much power you can play each turn.

for example, especially in a 4 player game you can win the game without winning a single base, just make sure to get second everywhere.

if you see someone piling up lots of strength on one base, dont try to fight them for first, try to take a second while using far fewer resources. this allows you to build up strength somewhere else.

the "game" of smash up isnt seeing how fast you can throw down power, its in how you decide which bases to go for when, with what placing.

sure the timing and combos are important, but not as important as the base taking decision.


In your answer I see a new question arise : is SU reallly scales well for two players then. Cause I see your point in a four player game but being second in a two player just doesn't work
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Kevin Salch
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Smash up works OK as a 2 player game. However a lot of the game does improve with 3 or 4 players.
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Rick Teverbaugh
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brunogaia wrote:
Klaxas wrote:
i have found a big key to this game is not necessarily how much power you can play each turn.

for example, especially in a 4 player game you can win the game without winning a single base, just make sure to get second everywhere.

if you see someone piling up lots of strength on one base, dont try to fight them for first, try to take a second while using far fewer resources. this allows you to build up strength somewhere else.

the "game" of smash up isnt seeing how fast you can throw down power, its in how you decide which bases to go for when, with what placing.

sure the timing and combos are important, but not as important as the base taking decision.


In your answer I see a new question arise : is SU reallly scales well for two players then. Cause I see your point in a four player game but being second in a two player just doesn't work


Actually being second does work quite well in 2 player game in instances where the opponent spends way too many resources getting a win at 1 base and you can spend less to win at 1 or 2 others.
 
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John Curtis
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costguy wrote:
Smash up works OK as a 2 player game. However a lot of the game does improve with 3 or 4 players.


This has been my experience as well. As a 2-player game... the game is merely OK. This game begins to shine at 3 players. I do find more match-ups seemingly unbalanced in 2-player games. In addition, the Base draws are more significant in a 2-player game (in particular, those bases that give more points to 2nd place instead of 1st).
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I much prefer 2 players. Too much analysis present with 4 or more bases and it suffers a bit from kingmaker the more players there are. Ditto for another great AEG card game, Nightfall.
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Marc Bennett
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brunogaia wrote:
Klaxas wrote:
i have found a big key to this game is not necessarily how much power you can play each turn.

for example, especially in a 4 player game you can win the game without winning a single base, just make sure to get second everywhere.

if you see someone piling up lots of strength on one base, dont try to fight them for first, try to take a second while using far fewer resources. this allows you to build up strength somewhere else.

the "game" of smash up isnt seeing how fast you can throw down power, its in how you decide which bases to go for when, with what placing.

sure the timing and combos are important, but not as important as the base taking decision.


In your answer I see a new question arise : is SU reallly scales well for two players then. Cause I see your point in a four player game but being second in a two player just doesn't work


in 2 player you cant get second on every base no, but the calculation is still there, how many resources are you devoting to a base compared to the gain. if you can have one minion on a base getting second while they have tons, you have gained more than they did per card used.
 
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Alfred Spangler
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To answer the OP, it is NOT just you, BUT it's not Smash Up either. It's actually remarkably balanced - one just needs to know the particular strengths of each deck. Faction pairing is important too. If you otherwise like the game, keep at it! It will seem more balanced the more you play it.

And 2 player games are DIFFERENT, but no means less balanced.
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Jeremy
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Just played a game yesterday where I ended up winning the game, but it was sheer luck that I won. The person who should have won was using Innsmouth and Ghosts. To me this seemed like a terrible combo, but he made that sucker sing through good strategy and card management.

More time than not the dinosaurs lose and I've never seen the Cthullu faction (is it Eldar Things... I forget the name) win. Those are the two 'strongest' factions if you look at points for their minions. It's not necessarily about points as about smart/strategic play. Maybe you had some bad combos (they are out there) or maybe you tried to play the races inefficiently or maybe the game just isn't for you. Anything is possible.

You might just have to chalk it up to it doesn't fit you as a player though, which happens.
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J
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It's funny cause the first 4 times I played Dino's won all 4 games.

In my Experience the strength of the Dino's comes from being able to drop a lot of power with very few cards meaning they work very well against "careless" opponents who bring bases too close to breaking. Unfortunately they are also the only faction in the game with absolute 0 potential to play extra actions/minions and on top of that they have no card flow meaning they cannot really pull off big combos without their supporting faction's help.

The high power of the Elder Things always comes with a price which makes it a little harder to use it. Hence a huge part of their game is harassing opponent's with madnessess to make their game much harder to play.
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Alfred Spangler
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allstar64 wrote:
It's funny cause the first 4 times I played Dino's won all 4 games.


I swear, every time someone declares a faction over- or under-powered, someone comes along to discredit it. It's all in how you play!
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Josh Koehn
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Mordus wrote:

More time than not the dinosaurs lose and I've never seen the Cthullu faction (is it Eldar Things... I forget the name) win. Those are the two 'strongest' factions if you look at points for their minions. It's not necessarily about points as about smart/strategic play. Maybe you had some bad combos (they are out there) or maybe you tried to play the races inefficiently or maybe the game just isn't for you. Anything is possible.

You might just have to chalk it up to it doesn't fit you as a player though, which happens.



You should have seen my game the other day, a dino-shapeshifter combo led to victory in just four bases, faceless city with the war raptors is next to unstoppable.
All in all smash up is a great game, if you think your faction is terrible, its either the time-travelers or you are using your faction wrong.
 
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M. B. Downey
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brunogaia wrote:
I played only two games of Smash Up: One with the base game and one with the Cthulhu expansion (two players).

In both cases we ended up saying: "yeah righ that must have been a extra bad match up because one side has absolutely NO CHANCE of winning".

Both games ended up with two disgusted players not even wanting to finish the game.
All in all it felt broken to the extreme, as in poorly playtested and totally unbalanced.


Which factions did you all use?
 
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Bruno Gaia
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Being a Geek is a sure sign of a sound mind, cause it means you think that life as it is is dull and should be more interesting. Which it is.
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downeymb wrote:
brunogaia wrote:
I played only two games of Smash Up: One with the base game and one with the Cthulhu expansion (two players).

In both cases we ended up saying: "yeah righ that must have been a extra bad match up because one side has absolutely NO CHANCE of winning".

Both games ended up with two disgusted players not even wanting to finish the game.
All in all it felt broken to the extreme, as in poorly playtested and totally unbalanced.


Which factions did you all use?


First game I honestly don't remember (too loong ago, too many games in-between :) ) but, as I wrote, we played the Cthulhu expansion using the factions given in the example at the beginning of the rules. It happened purely by chance but as we checked the rules for any mistakes after such a bad game, we saw that we had played the "mixes" given as an example.
 
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