Origins Interview with Smash Up Designer Paul Peterson

cthuluJeremiah was able to catch up with game designer Paul Peterson at Origins, where he introduced us to a new version of Unexploded Cow, talked about Smash Up (including the Cthulhu expansion), and much more!


And don't forget to read our recently released interview with Paul, and Todd Rowland from AEG.

As always you can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now YouTube!

The Great Old Ones Won't Stay Hidden—A Cthulhu Smash Up Expansion!

cthuluWell, AEG was hoping to keep the secret until June 1, but you know ancient evil: It just won't stay hidden! The Obligatory Cthulhu Set is the third expansion for the popular Smash Up game. According to AEG "this set features crazy Cthulhu cultists, fishy Innsmouth locals, horrifying Elder Things, and good old Miskatonic University members (the Fightin’ Cephalopods). To be certain we got it right, this set also includes a new card type fittingly known as “Madness”, that each of these groups use to various effects. But remember that Madness brings you power but at a price." Since this was outed earlier than they'd wanted, AEG doesn't have a page up or previews yet, but they promise more next week.

You can read our interview with designer Paul Peterson right here.

There are already some complaints in the Twitterverse that people aren't really excited about an expansion that's all under the same broad theme. What do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000 Release Date

SU2-Box (1)Alderac Entertainment Group issued an update to their fans concerning the eagerly awaited release of Awesome Level 9000—the first expansion to last year's smash hit Smash Up! It looks like fans will just barely get their hands on the new cards by the end of this month, with a final and full release hitting in early April. From the Alderac FaceBook page -


We're giving mad props to Aldrac for actually keeping their fans posted with solid details about the release date for this title. Now we don't have to pester our local favorite game store with scads of phone calls asking if it's arrived yet.

We chatted with Smash Up designer Paul Peterson about AL9K, you can read that full interview here.

And as always you can find us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks for reading!

The Best Board Games of 2012!

Thanks for joining us for Post #200 here at Theology Of Games. In the Better Late Than Never category: Here they are—our picks for the best games of 2012! Now, realize that even though we both have a board game group that meets weekly, there are some games we just didn't get a chance to play. So games such as Mage Wars and Snowdonia and Myrmes just didn't get played. They might have made the list, and I'm sure we'll play those at some point. You'll just have to wait for the review. :) We also went off of the release dates as seen on each game's page on Boardgamegeek. There are a number of games I was sure came out this year, but I was surprised to see they were actually released earlier (Mage Knight, King of Tokyo, Kaispeicher). So without further ado... Mice & Mystics10. Mice & Mystics—It's essentially a dungeon crawler. You go through rooms, you fight swarms of baddies, you have weapons and armor and special powers, you roll dice, and you're following a loose sort of plot. My group is eight missions into the campaign and we're having great fun. One big reason it doesn't rate higher is that once I've played through the campaign, I'll likely never play the base game again. (Or at least until the expansion comes out.)

Lords9. Lords Of Waterdeep—This is a worker placement game with a thick veneer of fantasy to it. There's a fair bit of mess-with-your-neighbor-ness to it, but I was okay with it.

smashcover8. Smash Up—A card-battling, shuffle-building game, featuring different factions that you can combine to smash up one of several bases on the table. Light rules, cool cards, and fun faction combos. Check out our review here.

PlatoCover7. Plato 3000—This was a surprisingly fun little filler! It's basically rummy with special powers—if you can snag a copy, you should do so! You can read the review here.

gauntlet6. Gauntlet Of Fools—This is another filler that grabbed our attention. You grab your hapless hero and head into the dungeon, where you'll almost certainly die. Sounds fun, right?! Well it really, really is. Read our detailed thoughts on it here.

cover5. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game—The minis are way cool. The gameplay is fast and fun. AND IT'S STAR WARS! This is the kind of game I expect to sink a ton of cash into, but the looks on my kids' faces when we play makes it worth it. Here's our review of this terrific game.

cover4. Android: Netrunner—The first of two LCGs on the list is a remake of the classic CCG from the 90s. This reboot is excellent. The key is the asymmetrical play—with one playing the powerful corporation and the other playing the plucky, tricky hacker. This has so much potential for interesting expansions...I can hear my wallet screaming now... Here's our review.

box-SWLCG-left3. Star Wars Card Game—This is the start of something really great; the base set is already climbing to the top of our lists, and they haven't yet expanded it for 4 players. With the unique Edge Battle mechanic, paired up with some pretty awesome card artwork, the sky is the limit for this LCG. We're really looking forward to what Fantasy Flight has in store. In the meantime, check out Jeremiah's review.

Mayancover2. Tzolk'in—I can't remember the last time I was this enamored with a game. Rather than gush over it here, I'll just point you to my review.

Avalon1. The Resistance: Avalon—What can we say about this game that we haven't already? The Resistance is one of our favorite titles of all time, and Avalon adds just enough variance and depth to keep us coming back for more back-stabbing, lying, skulduggery and intrigue. The new/optional roles have increased re-playability even more. Read our review here; then go get the game. Now. What are you waiting for?!

So what did you think were the best games of last year? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you "Like" us on Facebook. And over on Twitter too!

A Review of Smash Up!

by Firestone You know what the world needs more of right now? Card games! Okay, Smash Up isn’t a deckbuilder, so I’ll give it a pass. What it is is a fast filler that has lots of room for expansion.

The game comes with eight different “factions”—a set of cards with a theme. There are pirates, ninjas, dinosaurs, aliens, zombies, wizards, tricksters, and robots. Each faction is very thematic and plays very differently. The ninjas can swoop in and exert influence at the last second, while the zombies can take things out of their discard pile. Basic stuff.

But where Smash Up is different is that you mix two of the factions, shuffle them up, and have a different combo each game. So you could have zombie pirates, or trickster dinosaurs, or alien robots. You get the best of each faction! Each faction has Action cards (that let you do cool stuff), and Minion cards (that exert influence and also do cool stuff).

The point of the game is to get to 15 victory points (VPs), and the way you (mostly) do that is by scoring Bases. The game comes with a slew of Bases, each with a unique name and special ability. So on one Base, each Minion there exerts +1 influence, or if you place a Minion on this base you can add another Minion to another base. Each Base has a different trigger number, and once the influence of all Minions there adds up to that trigger number, you score the Base. Generally, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place at a Base score, and the amount depends on the Base.

It's a pretty fun game, and a fast...ish filler with some neat combos. And I see that there’s lots of potential for expansions--and it’s put out by AEG, so YOU BETTER BELIEVE THERE WILL BE EXPANSIONS.

My biggest problem is that there's special text on the bases and all of the cards. So you spend a lot of time reading your own cards, reading your played cards out loud to the rest of the table, and reading other people's cards (and the base cards) already on the table. So what should have been a fast filler can be just a bit too long for what it is.

Also, some VP chits would have been nice.

Still, this is a fun game, and light enough that I could play it with my kids, or a youth group, or some nongamers. Check it out!

Thanks for reading!