This week saw the regrouping of the three Bracknell members after a month long hiatus (One meet up!). Despite it's inauspicious debut Smash up has become a firm favourite in the East Berks section of GNN. Before any real discussion on games was entered into the title was barged to the front of the queue like an eastern european at ski lift. Dominion was pulled from the baking soda pot for our Bracknell leader board game, if there was time. (There was time).
We elected to go for random selection of factions with James getting first pick of the eight face down packs. He chose the much sought after Robots! He was pleased. We all then picked our factions in turn and ended with this: James - Robots and Ninjas, Chris - Aliens and Tricksters, Paul - Zombies and Pirates. I'd seen James do very well with Tricksters so I was hoping they would play well in combo with the Aliens however, going several turns without Minions (The guys that score points) is not a good strategy and I was left stacking shelves as the other two racked up points on the bases. Four quite tricky bases had come out in the first draw so the start was slow with players organising thier hands for optimal moves.
This is quite key and a hidden aspect of the game that isn't apparent until after a few plays. The nature of the game is stymie each other from smashing the bases, therefore producing heavy sweeping moves is strong play. The Robots are a good faction for this as they link up well with other cards. Also the Ninjas have a unique quality in that they can whisk in as a base is scoring and change the outcome. James was very tempted to do this on some early bases but kept his powder dry (Unlike the Pirates Garrrrrr), however toward the end of the game he used his hidden cards to great affect, nipping in and stealing the win after Paul had smashed a pirate ship. (Or something).
James - 15
Paul - 11
Chris - 11
As mentioned above that left us time for Dominion on the All Games leader board. I choose the point salad version of cards which would guarantee some high scores. All three players made the mistake of filling their hands with Victory Point and Action cards early on and therefore money for Provinces was stretched out. The game wore on and it was starting to look like we were going to run out of 3 separate piles of cards, itself a game ending condition. Eventually the Provinces depleted and everyones huge decks were tallied.
Paul - 65
James - 63
Chris - 61
Discussing the game afterwards both James and I rued passing on 1 point Estate cards because of his Masquerade action card. Effectively that creates a 2 point swing in the totals and either would have changed the positions in this game. Also if my uncle had tits he'd be my aunty.