This is an expansion from the deep abyss of Lovecraft’s Mythos, which is a ingenious adaptation of the lore to a 4 Factions expansion for a game like Smash Up.This expansion features a new feature that it is going to make you mad. Madness Cards.
This new addition to the rules of Smash Up, doesn’t really affect the core mechanic of the game but it gives it a little twist of madness. Madness Cards have their own deck, but they all do the same thing.
For every 2 of them you have in your hand, deck, or discard pile by the end of the game, you get -1 VP. The Madness Card itself is an action that you can either return back to the madness deck at an expence of playing an action, or, you could actually play it as an action, in which case it goes to your discard pile, and you draw 2 cards.
Coming from the deepest trenches of the abyss, this factions is guaranteed to give nightmares to all your opponents, filling their hands, and minds, with madness. A pesky little card you want to get rid of as quickly as possible , making you to ‘burn’ your action to return it.
Or maybe you could use it. Who knows? Having the largest number up to date ever printed on a minion. 10. This nightmarish Faction is sure to make your rivals mad while you dominate the board with just a few calculated moves, and a hand picked Faction combination. There is a reason why, they are called the Elder Things.
There is a unique gameplay style with this Faction. It only has 1 minion. But enough copies of it. And this minion is none other than The Locals. A 2 power minion that when you play it, it allows you to look at the 3 first cards of your deck and put any Locals in your hand, while the other cards on the bottom.
Around this little minion is the concept of the Faction. And it actually works. Though it can have good and bad choices to combine them with. They generally work well with low power minion Factions. A very special Faction made for a very special expansion.
If the name H.P. Lovecraft means anything to you, then you must have heard about Minions Of Cthulu before. Maybe on your darkest dreams, or to a realm where madness reigns, but even you haven’t, night terrors should not be uncommon among your opponents.
Though much of its gameplay consist of drawing Madness cards to do many interesting and helpful things, from giving you straight forward power to playing extra actions, you should keep in mind not to gather many of them because when the game ends, you lose 1 VP for every 2 Madness Cards in your hand, deck, or discard pile.
This Faction is the only that can get rid of Madness Cards. With that being said, do you come in mind with any combinations? If not, check again. While on its own can be relatively effective, if combined with the right Factions, it can maximize its potential to a point where it becomes quite strong.
It can return Madness Cards back to their deck even from your discard pile, which means you can even play them to draw 2 cards, and still get rid of them. A great advantage no doubt.
This particular expansion is strongly based on its key feature, the Madness Cards. Every Faction in this expansion uses them, so it is easy to understand why all of the expansion’s gameplay revolves around them. It is a new and interesting mechanic, that puts a little spice on the traditional rules of the game, making it a new challenge to be conquered.
The Factions with Madness Cards, work best combined to each other than with any other Faction on the game, but that should not discourage you from trying to make your own combinations.
The Elder Things are all about filling your enemies with Madness Cards, while having strong ways to come first at some bases, especially if you try and spread your minions a bit.
With Innsmouth you want to gather as many Locals as possible and then play them as fast as you can, and even buff them to achieve victory. They can be combined with other low cost minion Factions for stronger combos.
The Minions Of Cthulu can be very effective with some Madness Cards discards, but don’t get too comfortable about it, because it can cost you the game in the long run. So be careful when you use it, and make sure you keep count of how many Madness Cards exist in your hand, deck , and discard pile combined.
Miscatonic University have the ability of returning Madness Cards back to the Madness Card deck just by playing cards, so you can imagine that they can combine great with Minions of Cthulu of the maximum power of both. But they can come by well by their own, by drawing Madness Cards which then they would play to draw 2 cards and THEN return them from the discard pile.
It is always best to end the game with a odd number of Madness Cards.( 1, 3, 5, don’t go over 5, it usually is not worth it. Even 5 is -2 VP at the end of the game.)
This expansion, due to its special feature, the Madness Cards, has one of the highest self compatibility in the game, with almost any combination between the Factions of this expansion being a strong one. But the overall compatibility of the expansion is not that great. And this is exactly for the same reason.
If you play one deck with Madness Cards, and one without, you will probably notice that it doesn’t combine that well. But , that doesn’t mean that it is not a good expansion all in all. It changes the game a little bit, and that by itself can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your own point of view and mood. Give it a try and let madness reign in the world of Smash Up.