Smash Up: That 70's Expansion Review - Look At My Trucker Hat!

When will it end?............when?! Probably never as there's still plenty of room in my Smash Up Geeky Box! This is one of the longest running game systems ever giving even the likes of Fantasy Flight Games a run for their money when it comes to expansions. I will obviously never use every combination ever, in fact some factions may barely see any play from me after their reviews, there's just simply too many. Smash Up WIKI states that I should have 60 factions (subject to promos) and 120 bases making 1,770 possible combinations. . . . oh boy!
It saddens me therefore that I have to work at it to get people to play it with me - the fact it's best with only 2-3 players doesn't help. Hopefully one day the girlfriend will progress to this game so we can play it, but I don't know if this will be her theme really.......we shall see. Anyway, we got another expansion full of 70's themed factions - how do they fare? I'll just don my white suit. . .




Designer: Paul Peterson
Publisher: AEG
Age: 10+
Players: 2-4
Time: 45-60 Minutes
RRP: £24.99


From AEG:

Can you dig it? We’ve put Smash Up into the not-so-wayback machine and set the controls for “GROOVY!”

That 70s Expansion celebrates all the greatest pop-culture memories from the Age of Aquarius! Put on your mood rings, bust out your leisure suits, spin that disco ball and put the pedal to the metal good buddy! The streets are mean, there’s a bear in the air, but the music is fantastic and everyone is Kung Fu Fighting!



THE WAY I USE MY WALK


DISCO DANCERS

I'm certainly not a disco fan! Disco Dancers are based on duplicating the effects of standard actions (i.e. actions that aren't attached to any card), therefore increasing the number of minions the action can normally affect. These guys make for some creative combos when paired up with other factions. They work by having extra benefits when someone or something affects one of their minions be it your own or an opponent's. It can get crazy trying to fathom all the different effects that you could gain and so this definitely rewards a player with experience.

They have a mix of good card drawn and extra plays and even some means of gaining benefits depending on whether their opponents are tempted by the offer - though the VP one is a little odd as most opponents aren't going to be desperate to kill off their own minions. They're a cool faction in mechanics, even if they're not cool in terms of theme! #subjective


TRUCKERS

Now I didn't know Truckers were a 70's thing - the more you know! Truckers use play-on-base actions to move themselves and the base actions around and gain power. Naturally as you'd expect, mobility is their key strength given that they all have giant trucks carting them around. Combine them with an equally mobile faction like the Bear Cavalry or Pirates and it just gets sick in a fun way!

They can also mess with other base actions to screw up your opponents plans. If mobility isn't your key concern, then consider Steampunk as an alternative pairing for all their action love. It's an ok faction, not one of my favourites so far even if it is funny to use the DBZ Abridged "Look At My Trucker Hat" quote whenever I can, sadly few people will get that reference.



VIGILANTES

Vigilantes are only composed of 4 power minions, each with a very oppressive and reactive effect to cards played by other players. Essentially as per the name, they're the ones taking revenge for what the opponents are doing, making them a very reactive faction to play. You can't necessarily plan for what you're going to do with them as you need your opponents to act first. As a consequence of having high power minions though, they don't have as many in total compared to other factions.

Ideally you're going to want some means of recursion or another faction with extra minions to make up for the numbers. Not a faction I would recommend for the newbies in the group, but they're good fun to play if you like having the last laugh.




KUNG FU FIGHTERS

Kung Fu Fighters work together to strengthen themselves with +1 power counters, even draining them from other players' minions, and destroy weaker minions. As a theme they work really well. They're obsessed with +1 power counters so already if you're a veteran of the game you're going to be looking at combining them with any of the factions within the Monster Smash expansion. Plus the idea of Kung Fu Fighting Vampires, Werewolves or Killer Ants is too amusing to pass up. They're pretty easy to work with and combine with a lot of good factions that they're my favourite one out of the box.


VERDICT ON SMASH UP: THAT 70's EXPANSION


Maybe not the first expansion to pick up, but there's nothing too complex here that would throw off a new player. Certainly AEG have paid attention to the themeing of the factions this time round - each one presents a style unique from the others and act as you would expect them too.

A lot of the appeal of the various expansions is whether the theme appeals to you and it's no exception here. There's a lot of nostalgia present for those who like 70's music, shows and culture and therefore I'd say grab it soon if you're a fan. I'm not a 70's man personally but even I like some of the music and love a good kung-fu movie. It's another solid expansion for a game that refuses to die!




PERSONAL BGG RATING - 7


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