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Subject: The Smash Up Game That Failed, or: Please Help w Some Clarifications! rss

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Alex CG
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Hi all, first time posting, long time lurking.

Let me start off by saying, I love me some Smash Up. I've convinced 2/3 of my brothers-in-law, and 1 cousin, to play regularly and usually, though we drag incessantly, it's pretty fun.

Last night we had The Game, that one round that inevitably comes in a group of semi-serious gamers where competitiveness gets the better of fun and leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. My brothers-in-law/cousin are younger, so I'm always trying to be the moderator/judge to make things fair. And we really mucked up this game, I mean mulligans all over and all kinds of shenanigans. But that's par for the course, in a sense.

What we got tripped up against were three cards in particular that caused endless, and pretty much game-ending debate:

1) Wyvern--says to destroy a minion of power 3 or less, and then its Talent to reduce a breakpoint by 3. Initially, this player won with this card--but then another player contested and argued that because it does not say "may", the card must be done in order. And the way the base was, it meant there still wouldn't be enough to break the base afterwards.

We went with this eventually, but then it seems from some reading that there may be some variability with Talents? Can the player choose when to invoke, in which case they could break the base first, then kill someone?

2) Tooth, Claws, and...Guns - I know I've read this in other threads but there has been no definitive conclusion or community consensus, so I would like to raise again: this card says no "abilities" can affect this minion (one time, after which it will be discarded). 3 of us said this meant minion abilities--1 of us--obviously the dinosaur player--said it meant all actions & abilities.

Obviously with the way expansions have been released & with differences in wording, conventions change--but if it was about actions, it strikes me as strange that it wouldn't just say so. However, some things in the manual make me doubt, as it sounds like "abilities" can sometimes refer to special cards. In the situation in question, another player was trying to use some Bear Cavalry action to move the dino in question (a t-rex that was going to pop a base) to another base.

3) Blossom -- it says "up to three of same name". I argued that this meant at least 1, at most 3. Another player argued it meant 2-3, otherwise why specify "of the same name". Being familiar with games/gaminess in general, I read this as a sneaky way of making the condition generic-sounding but still applicable across the board: just 1 is the same name as itself, in which case the card just functions like an extra minion.

I've seen some agreement with this online, but not much--so I want to see if there's more of a consensus.

3b) Water Lilly - I was reading on the Smash Up Wiki that some people play w/ a "long phase 1" wherein something like Water Lily or Overgrowth would trigger as soon as you play?? This does not seem fair to me (and I was playing as plants!) but I'm curious now, is this a thing?

4) FINALLY -- more of a procedural question--what are the scenarios in which the player gets to pick order of operations, as in conflicts of triggering cards? How do you all operate with this? I think some of our arguments about what a card "actually" does would be solved by realising it depends on who is the active player and that they have a choice, but I've always been confused by this.

Thanks so much for your help and patience.

<3,

A
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Chet C.
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Hi Alex,

I'm probably not the very best at answering these questions, but I think the below information is accurate.

1) You proceed down the card in order. If nothing else, you always do on-play abilities first. In the case of Wyvern, which does not say "may", you need to destroy a minion of power 3 or less if there is one, even if the only other minion on that base is yours. And this must be complete before the Talent can be activated.

2) Every card except for King Rex has an ability, from minions to actions to bases to Madness to Treasures. The text on a card is its ability.

3) I think, "up to three" could easily mean one, despite it not making much sense with "have the same name". In fact, I would argue that zero fits the definition of "up to three".

3b) The "long Phase 1" idea is that Phase 1 is long. It does not carry into Phase 2. So at the beginning of your turn, you could use the ability of a Sprout to play a Water Lily, then immediately use the Water Lily's ability since it is still the beginning of your turn (Phase 1). You cannot, however, play a Water Lily during Phase 2 and then use its ability. Phase 1 ends when you no longer have anything to do specifically "at the beginning/start of your turn".

4) The order of operations of playing a card proceeds like this:
-Choose a card to play
-Unless it is an action that will go to your discard pile, choose where you will place the card
-Check to see if there are any abilities that say you cannot play that card there. If so, you must choose a different card/location or skip this part of your turn.
-Once the card is played, complete all on-play abilities written on that card in order. (EXCEPTION: "extra" minions and actions do not need to be played immediately, but can be played at any point during Phase 2.)
-If there are still any ongoing abilities in play that react to the played card, the active player chooses one to resolve. Once that is resolved, repeat this step until there are no more Ongoing abilities that react to the played card.
-(Side note, there may be Special abilities that can interrupt at various stages of this process. They should clearly state how they work so that there is no confusion.)

All of this information comes from my head, but I have tried to inform myself from the Wiki http://smashup.wikia.com/wiki/Rules, which is the ultimate source of Smash Up knowledge outside of the canon (rule books). I hope everything I've said is true and that any mistakes will be corrected by other Smashers.
 
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Andrew J.
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For Wyvern, you must destroy the minion to get the benefit. You can destroy someone else's minion, but you're correct that if the breakpoint isn't reached the base doesn't score.

What's the exact text on the dino card? Usually an ability is minions only, but SmashUp is pretty good at marking when it covers actions/abilities.

For blossom, you could totally do 1. It says up to 3, no bottom limit.

For water lily, this is incorrect -- it triggers on your next turn.

----

When there's a conflict on when to execute different things, the active player chooses the order in which they execute.

Keep playing, whatever you do! SmashUp gets a lot better after a time or two around when you're all familiar with the mechanics and begin to learn what various factions do. It can be helpful to pick out a smaller set of factions (8-12) and learn those really well, then add in new ones as you get more confident with the existing factions. A lot of the fun in SmashUp comes from knowing what the other players have, and strategizing to counter it

AAJ
 
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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1) Base are scored at the end of a turn. Not during it. You should check the 5 turn phases in the rulebook. So even that he must destroy the minion first (because it is activated when the Wyvern is played), in the end, it doesn't matter at all.

2) Minions only.

3) It means between 0 and 3.

3b) We play that it require a whole turn before it trigger. Most likely the intended way the designer wanted it.

4) Active player activate all his shit, then in player order the other activate their shit. If more shit happens, active player goes first, then the others, and so on, until there is no more shit.
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Chet C.
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Your response to number 4 is true of Special cards, but not true of Ongoing cards. For Ongoing cards, the active player chooses the order and is not bound by player order.
 
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Jay Young
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Wildhorn wrote:
1) Base are scored at the end of a turn. Not during it. You should check the 5 turn phases in the rulebook. So even that he must destroy the minion first (because it is activated when the Wyvern is played), in the end, it doesn't matter at all.

2) Minions only.

3) It means between 0 and 3.

3b) We play that it require a whole turn before it trigger. Most likely the intended way the designer wanted it.

4) Active player activate all his shit, then in player order the other activate their shit. If more shit happens, active player goes first, then the others, and so on, until there is no more shit.


Everything but 3b is correct. Water lily's card is VERY clear in when it activates
Quote:
Ongoing: Draw a card at the start of each of your turns. Only use one Water Lily's ability each turn.


If you bring it out with Sprout you get to draw right after. Why would they introduce both Sprout and water lily with these effects if they didnt intend for it to chain. Everything happens during certain phases and things also recheck after events happen. Once one ability goes off, you then check to see if any more abilities can go off and resolve them.
 
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Alex CG
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Thanks for the answers, people. Just to clarify--I have something like 20 or 30 rounds of Smash Up under my belt at this point & have 4 of the expansions...but I find that even still things I took for granted come up as questions in later rounds, esp. when you're playing with competitive players! (I tend to let a lot of things go).

I finally understand the Sprout concept and agree, since its ability is auto-triggered by your turn beginning and isn't a card you "play" out on the field. It seems like there's still disagreement about "ability"; and while I think logically ability is separate from "action", the game canon does seem to support saying that ability means anything--in which case I don't know why the card doesn't just say that.

I am always trying odd combinations, and I have to say I have been having a blast w/ my latest expansion (AL9k, I believe?) with Ghosts & plants and trying them out in all kinds of strange combinations. I'm a fan of indirect forms of play & victory--I came very close with Ghosts & Wizards. I will yet!

Thanks!
 
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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zyocuh wrote:
If you bring it out with Sprout you get to draw right after. Why would they introduce both Sprout and water lily with these effects if they didnt intend for it to chain. Everything happens during certain phases and things also recheck after events happen. Once one ability goes off, you then check to see if any more abilities can go off and resolve them.


Because everything in the Plants deck is based on delay, to represente that plants need to grow before being fully effective.
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Jonathan Maisonneuve
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parqbench wrote:
I am always trying odd combinations, and I have to say I have been having a blast w/ my latest expansion (AL9k, I believe?) with Ghosts & plants and trying them out in all kinds of strange combinations. I'm a fan of indirect forms of play & victory--I came very close with Ghosts & Wizards. I will yet!

Thanks!


Time Traveller Aliens is amazing for that. I think when I played them I scored like 9 points without bases.
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Wim D
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Hi.

I'm a play tester for Smash Up for 4 expansions already. As such, I'm in contact with the lead playtester, who is also responsible for the rules questions. In case of doubt, he takes the question up to the designer of the game himself.
The lead play tester has been working on a FAQ for a long time, but never seems to get to publishing it. (there is very little time between the end of testing of one expansion and the preparation of testing of the next)
Several of the questions you ask have an official answer in that FAQ-in-the-making, but these answers have not been published yet.

I'll answer the questions as good as I can.

parqbench wrote:
Hi all, first time posting, long time lurking.

Let me start off by saying, I love me some Smash Up. I've convinced 2/3 of my brothers-in-law, and 1 cousin, to play regularly and usually, though we drag incessantly, it's pretty fun.

Last night we had The Game, that one round that inevitably comes in a group of semi-serious gamers where competitiveness gets the better of fun and leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. My brothers-in-law/cousin are younger, so I'm always trying to be the moderator/judge to make things fair. And we really mucked up this game, I mean mulligans all over and all kinds of shenanigans. But that's par for the course, in a sense.

What we got tripped up against were three cards in particular that caused endless, and pretty much game-ending debate:

1) Wyvern--says to destroy a minion of power 3 or less, and then its Talent to reduce a breakpoint by 3. Initially, this player won with this card--but then another player contested and argued that because it does not say "may", the card must be done in order. And the way the base was, it meant there still wouldn't be enough to break the base afterwards.

Wyvern does not say you may destroy. And the destruction takes place when he is played. You have to destroy a minion of power 3 or less when you play him. Of course, when there is no legal target, you cannot. As always, you do as much of the abilities as you can.

His ability to reduce the breakpoint is a talent. You can use it on any of your turns, during phase 2 of your turn, provided that he's in play.
You cannot use it when you play him during phase 3 of your or another player's turn, with Hidden Ninja for example.

Scoring of a base is done during phase 3 of a turn. So it's not possible to score a base before the ability of Wyvern to destroy a minion has been resolved.
parqbench wrote:

We went with this eventually, but then it seems from some reading that there may be some variability with Talents? Can the player choose when to invoke, in which case they could break the base first, then kill someone?

Talents can only be invoked during phase 2 of your own turn.
parqbench wrote:

2) Tooth, Claws, and...Guns - I know I've read this in other threads but there has been no definitive conclusion or community consensus, so I would like to raise again: this card says no "abilities" can affect this minion (one time, after which it will be discarded). 3 of us said this meant minion abilities--1 of us--obviously the dinosaur player--said it meant all actions & abilities.

Obviously with the way expansions have been released & with differences in wording, conventions change--but if it was about actions, it strikes me as strange that it wouldn't just say so. However, some things in the manual make me doubt, as it sounds like "abilities" can sometimes refer to special cards. In the situation in question, another player was trying to use some Bear Cavalry action to move the dino in question (a t-rex that was going to pop a base) to another base.

The designer and lead play tester both admitted that this card has been worded badly. This card would probably be worded differently in current expansions.
What it does is to cancel the first ability that affects the minion and subsequently destroys itself. If multiple abilities affect it at the same time, the current player chooses one. There has been an official ruling when it comes to ongoing abilities: it cancels that ability until the end of the turn (and still destroys itself).
As it is written, it would also cancel your own abilities. That means that when you play it on your own Armor Stego, it would cancel that Stego's own ability when your opponents turn starts. Therefor, this card is errata'd in the still to be published FAQ, so that it affects only your opponents' abilities.
It's up to you and your friends to decide if you apply this already or if you don't until the FAQ ever gets published.

parqbench wrote:

3) Blossom -- it says "up to three of same name". I argued that this meant at least 1, at most 3. Another player argued it meant 2-3, otherwise why specify "of the same name". Being familiar with games/gaminess in general, I read this as a sneaky way of making the condition generic-sounding but still applicable across the board: just 1 is the same name as itself, in which case the card just functions like an extra minion.

I've seen some agreement with this online, but not much--so I want to see if there's more of a consensus.

Up to 3 is 0 to 3. You could want to play this card and not have extra minions to play (paired with Ghosts for example, or with Mythic Greeks)
Why it specifies "of the same name", is to make sure you don't play more than one of different names.
parqbench wrote:

3b) Water Lilly - I was reading on the Smash Up Wiki that some people play w/ a "long phase 1" wherein something like Water Lily or Overgrowth would trigger as soon as you play?? This does not seem fair to me (and I was playing as plants!) but I'm curious now, is this a thing?

There are 5 phases in the turn. If you somehow manage to play a Water Lily during phase 1 (instead of the normal phase to play minions and actions, being phase 2), you'd still get to use the Lily's ability.

Incidentally the Killer Plant have their own way to play a Water Lily in phase 1, being the Sprout.

If you'd manage to play overgrowth during phase 1, it would still trigger the turn you play it. (for example, if you play it with Sprout + wizards' chronomage).

As the card is written, you could use one sprout to play a second, use that to play a third sprout, and like this play and destroy all 4 sprouts in 1 turn. This is a good strategy on bases that reward you for destroying your own minions. As this is not how the designer intended this card to work, the Sprout will be errata'd in the FAQ-to-publish.
His text should be something like: Sprout - power 2 - Ongoing: If this card was not played this turn, destroy this card at the start of your turn. You may search your deck for a minion of power 3 or less, and play it here as an extra minion. Shuffle your deck.
parqbench wrote:

4) FINALLY -- more of a procedural question--what are the scenarios in which the player gets to pick order of operations, as in conflicts of triggering cards? How do you all operate with this? I think some of our arguments about what a card "actually" does would be solved by realising it depends on who is the active player and that they have a choice, but I've always been confused by this.

All scenarios in which multiple things would happen at once, and the rulebook does not describe an order of resolution (like for Specials played from hand before a base scores, the rulebook foresees a specific order).

But be careful, not everything happens at the same time.

When you play a minion for example, this is the order of things:
You place the minion face up next to a base. (you chose the minion to play and the base to play it at)
Then, "when you play a minion"-abilities trigger/can be played, like for Control Minion of the Geeks faction.
Then, the ability of the played minion is resolved (unless it's not an ability that triggers when the minion is played, like a talent)
Then, "after you play a minion"-abilities are triggered/can be played.

To clarify even more: when something can trigger abilities on cards in play as well as the playing of cards from player's hands, always resolve the cards in play firs, and then allow players to play cards from their hand.

An example:
A base is scoring.
It has (amongst others) the following cards on it:
Mole (from super spies)
Happy Zapper (from Mages)
Hippogriff (a monster from Smash Up Munchkin)
And the Pirate King (from Pirates) is on another base.
All of these trigger before the base scores. The current player choose in which order they resolve. Note that these all say "you may", except for Hippogriff.
So the current player can say that the Pirate player has the option to move his Pirate King first, then Hippogriff is triggered, then Happy Zapper and then Mole.
This means that the Pirate player has to decide wether to move him before he knows what Hippogriff will hit, before he knows if the Zapper will be boosted an before he knows what action the Mole will allow to play.
Only when all these have been resolved, the players will get a chance to play "before a base scores" abilities from their hand, in the order specified in the rulebook.
You cannot decide to move your Pirate King after your opponent played a Shinobi from his hand.

parqbench wrote:

Thanks so much for your help and patience.

<3,

A


I hope this all can help you.
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Wim D
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parqbench wrote:
Thanks for the answers, people. Just to clarify--I have something like 20 or 30 rounds of Smash Up under my belt at this point & have 4 of the expansions...but I find that even still things I took for granted come up as questions in later rounds, esp. when you're playing with competitive players! (I tend to let a lot of things go).

I finally understand the Sprout concept and agree, since its ability is auto-triggered by your turn beginning and isn't a card you "play" out on the field. It seems like there's still disagreement about "ability"; and while I think logically ability is separate from "action", the game canon does seem to support saying that ability means anything--in which case I don't know why the card doesn't just say that.

I am always trying odd combinations, and I have to say I have been having a blast w/ my latest expansion (AL9k, I believe?) with Ghosts & plants and trying them out in all kinds of strange combinations. I'm a fan of indirect forms of play & victory--I came very close with Ghosts & Wizards. I will yet!

Thanks!


An ability is the text on any card: actions, minions, bases, treasures, monsters, …

Not affected by other player's abilities = not affected by other player's cards. This does not mean it's not affected by base abilities. They don't belong to another player. Even if another player can make a decision about the ability because he won the base for example. (this is why they don't say: not affected by anything, as you suggested.)

Not affected by minion abilities is pretty clear I suppose.

Not affected by action abilities = not affected by actions.
 
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Jay Young
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Wildhorn wrote:
zyocuh wrote:
If you bring it out with Sprout you get to draw right after. Why would they introduce both Sprout and water lily with these effects if they didnt intend for it to chain. Everything happens during certain phases and things also recheck after events happen. Once one ability goes off, you then check to see if any more abilities can go off and resolve them.


Because everything in the Plants deck is based on delay, to represente that plants need to grow before being fully effective.


Wim D has a great write up on why it works the way I said.
 
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Patrick Hopkins
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I have all of the expansions (even Cease and Desist) and I think since the Sprout says "play it as an extra minion" you do that during your play phase. Therefore the Water Lily ability would not take place until the next time your turn starts.
 
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Wim D
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WildcatPat33 wrote:
I have all of the expansions (even Cease and Desist) and I think since the Sprout says "play it as an extra minion" you do that during your play phase. Therefore the Water Lily ability would not take place until the next time your turn starts.


No, when you get extra plays outside of phase 2, you have to play them immediately or not at all.

When you get extra plays during phase 2, you can bank them for later during that phase 2.
 
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