As mentioned a few weeks back, I got together with some of the crew to play some tabletop games. Now, I’m not veteran when it comes to designer board/card games, but I thought it would be a fun idea to share with you my thoughts and impressions on each game we played. Unfortunately we didn’t get into as many as I had hoped (I think the beer played a part), but we still had a blast. Let’s take a look at the games that were played.
The first game we jumped into was Smash Up. Smash Up is a competitve “shuffle-building” card games for 2-4 players. Each player picks 2 themed decks (Robots, Zombies, Pirates, etc) and uses these to capture “bases”. Each base has HP and creatures that are summoned onto that space do damage to that base. The creatures but into play by the players do not actually attack one another, only the bases that are on the table. Once the damage threshold has been met, the player that had the most creatures on that points receives points based on the breakdown on the card. X points are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. On some bases, only one placement scores and there are varying point values across the bases so an element of strategy can be used when looking at how to spread your forces. Spells also come into play as a way to move the odds into your favor or to mess with another players hand.
As this was my first time playing this game, I spent most of the game digesting the information that was in front of me and getting a hang of the system. I chose Wizards and Bears as my “smashed up” deck. While I didn’t end up winning, the game was still very fun. It’s fun to screw over your friends in any game and I really enjoyed the artwork of the decks as well. The total score needed to win is relatively low, which keeps the games to around the 30-40 minute mark which I find to be very ideal. I’m looking to try different deck combos and maybe some day unseat the UNDEFEATED Michael.
The 2nd and last game we played (beer/snack run took up a bit o time) that evening was Dominion. Dominion is a deck building card game for 2-4 players. You have to think that your are building a territory/country with each turn. You have cards that give you currency directly (gold, silver, copper) and you use those to buy more cards with each turn. Examples would be the Village (+1 Card – draw additional card, +2 Actions – play additional Action cards) and the Smithy (+3 Cards – Action cards). These cards specificly modify what you are able to do each turn. Once you play all the cards in your deck, you will shuffle your discard pile and resume play. Each turn you are increasing the number cards in your deck allowing you to do more per turn. There are 3 phases to each turn, Action, Buy, and Clean Up, with the end of the turn allowing the player to draw 5 cards into their deck. The game ends under 2 conditions – when the stack of Province cards (the highest-value Victory card in the base game) has been exhausted, or when any three other stacks in the Supply have been exhausted. At that time, the players count the number of Victory Points in their complete decks, and the player with the highest score is the winner.
Againg, another game that was my first time. I really enjoyed Dominion. Having a strong economy is very key to building your deck. With the set limits in the victory conditions, it prevents the game from running on and on into a marthon situation, which I always like. I ended up tied for first place so that was a plus. There clearly is strategy into how you buy and play your deck, one that I will need to further explore over time.
I feel that Smash Up is more accessible to newer tabletop players but if you are playing with experienced and FRIENDLY people, they should have no problem explaining either of these games to you. The most important thing is that you just have fun with it!