Custom Board Game Stuff #1 – Smash Up

So I find myself wanting to write something about the various custom content I’ve made for the board games I own. There’s 3 of my games that have received this kind of attention – Smash Up, Legendary and Viticulture. I’ll go through the first of those now, and perhaps post about the others later.

Smash Up

One of the games that I’ve played the most in my collection is Smash Up. It’s a fairly simply card game, where each player takes 2 factions of a variety of themes which they shuffle together to make their play deck for a game. Each faction has a unique focus, for example zombies retrieve cards from their discard pile, wizards manipulate their deck and aliens beam things up! Players then take turns playing a minion and an action each turn, to try and capture a set of bases laid out on the table.

The nature of the game makes it extremely attractive towards having variants made for it. Each faction consists of 20 cards, in a roughly 10 minion/10 action split, and most cards have a few copies. As a result, when I came up with the idea of trying to make some kind of custom game/content for my girlfriend for her birthday, this took the lead in my attentions.

I had to start somewhere, and that somewhere was what factions I was going to add. I could have gone for something similar to the base game, somewhat open thematic ideas like pirates/ghosts/etc, but a far more fun idea was to base it on more specific things, TV Shows, Films and the Like.

  1. Batman – With my girlfriend being the target, this was an obvious choice. It’s a particularly awesome universe, and many of the characters are styled in a way that she loves, it just had to go on.
  2. Red Dwarf – I don’t even need to argue this, Red Dwarf is just an absolutely awesome example of British comedy at it’s best. I love the series and still hope for more, even if it’s impossible for them to live up to the stellar standard of the earlier series’.
  3. Doctor Who – While she’s less than enamored with Doctor Who, she does like the series somewhat and it’s so varied and exciting to me personally that I wanted it to make an appearance.
  4. Adventure Time – I never seem to want to watch Adventure Time on my own, but I do enjoy watching it with others, it’s a rather insane series vaguely targeted at children which was bought up a few times, and just felt right as an option that my girlfriend would love.

So I found some free time and set to work on thinking what the cards would do. Rather than stick to an overlying mechanic for each deck, I decided on which characters and props to include first, and worked from there. The Scutters for example, reduce a bases breakpoint, while Candy Kingdom people are low power, with a boost when they get surprised, or when Princess Bubblegum is around to motivate them.

To actually make the cards, rather than try to hack together some cut and paste of my own, I opted to make use of a proper service for printing cards. I did some research, and found both artscow and printer studio as options, with the latter working out cheaper if I did enough cards (236), I only needed 88 for this project, so I found a quarriors harry-potter card set and got those printed too (I haven’t used them though, sadly!). Here are the results!

Smash Up custom cards

Smash Up custom cards

If you’d like to see some more detail on the cards, I have them posted up on boardgamegeek where you can see them and print them yourself if you wish right here:



3 thoughts on “Custom Board Game Stuff #1 – Smash Up

  1. Pingback: Day 17- Fun Games for Writer Motivation and Goals | After Writer Dreams

  2. Patrick Moore

    Where did you get the image for the backs of the cards (the yellow one that says Smash Up. I’m looking to do the same thing, but I cannot find that image anywhere!


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