How to Play Smash Up in 3 Minutes – The Rules Girl

I’m the Rules Girl, and this is Smash Up, a shuffle-building game of total awesomeness for 2-4 players. In Smash Up, players choose two factions and smash them together, vying for world domination with their army of robot ninjas, zombie pirates, and more. The goal of the game is to win, and you win by scoring 15 victory points, typically earned by taking over bases. Bases award points to those with the strongest army of minions when the base reaches its breakpoint number, with points earned for first, second, and third place. When it’s your turn, you may play one minion and one action. You play minions to try to dominate bases.

Minions have a power number and sometimes abilities. These abilities are usually triggered when the minion is played, but sometimes minions have ONGOING abilities, or SPECIAL abilities that can trigger when stated on the card, even if it’s not your turn. Actions are usually one-time instant abilities, but sometimes have ONGOING or SPECIAL effects of their own. Once you’ve played 1 minion and/or 1 action, check to see if any bases have enough minions to score. If the power of all minions in a base has reached the base’s breakpoint number, each player adds up the power of their minions, with first place earning the leftmost number, second earning the center, and third earning the right.

You must have at least one minion on a base to earn victory points there. If there’s a tie, all tied players get points for the best position they tied for, while the next award level is skipped. Once the base is scored, double check for any final special traits on a base.

All minions on that base are then discarded and a new base replaces it. At the end of a turn, the current player draws two cards from their deck, reshuffling their discard pile if they have to, then discards down to 10 if necessary. The player on their left goes next. And that’s the game! Play continues until the end of any turn where someone reaches 15 victory points. If there’s a tie, keep playing until there isn’t one.

Ready to play? Each player shuffles together two different factions to make their smashed up deck. For a more competitive format, each player chooses one faction in clockwise order. Then, starting with the last player, each player chooses their second faction in counterclockwise order. Shuffle all the base cards and draw one base per player, plus one more.

Now each player draws five cards from their deck. If you have no minions in your opening hand, you may discard it and draw a new one. Whoever got up the earliest this morning goes first. If you like Smash Up, you might also enjoy its expansions, adding dozens of new factions to the mix like time travelers, bear calvary, and kitty cats.

If you like pitting wacky creatures against each other, try Small World or Henchling. If you enjoyed this video, consider subscribing to the Rules Girl for more ultra-concise rules explanations.