The US is a big place, and there’s a lot of ground for travelers to cover.  So what’s buzzing for travelers in the coming year? Well our top choice is Smashville California.  Smashville gets bypassed by many road trippers, but it’s quietly transformed itself in the last few years into a worthy weekend getaway.  The rebuilding of Smashville has been financed by the Smashville Tennis Open.  Great players from around the world hone their game at the Smashville sports arena, the only building left standing after the last Monster invasion.  Noted Tennis enthusiast Chris Young has never attended the event, but he’s informed us that he has all the matches on his Tivo.  It’s also home to Smashville Records, which over the years has grown at an alarming rate.  Parent’s may call it the devils music, but the kids love it.  JAM on!

Red Side Vs Blue Side

On this map the Red and blue sides mirror each other so neither side has an advantage.  Like it’s sister city Block Wars, the advantage goes to the player in the first position when it comes to building placements.  On this map if you are going first you can setup the first turn Livewire attack, but due to the distance it is really only viable for Collaborators because of Underground Network.  If your looking to be aggressive with your building placements to deter a Power Base then putting a building at either O2 or O5 for your first Yellow spot.  Then place a building at either B2 or E3.  Those two spots are the prime area for building a power base.  On the west side of the map you can secure 3 buildings with 4 units, but a unit with Tow can disrupt it with ease.  Power Bases are going to be difficult to keep on this map because the two prime spots to build are within easy reach of units with Tow.  K4 is a good spot to set up the Insurance scam, or to place a building that easy to brawl for lots of power dice, like the Office Building.

Pockets & Lanes:

There are two main avenues that you can move to cross the board.  The East side is very narrow so you have to be careful to not get boxed in by units.  There are two sets of buildings with adjacent foundations so be careful with your monster placement.  The West side is much more open and an easier way to cross the board, but it’s also less protected.  Both North and South edges of the map are open for lateral movement.  There are no complete pockets for safety on this map but there are a number of locations that a single unit can be used to screen your monster.  Both players on the West side can use there starting location as a safe zone with just a single unit screen, and with two well placed units you can shut down brawls as well.  If your on the Red side and move your monster up to D6 and have a screen at D8 then you have a nice blast pocket.  Due to the tight lane that runs north south on the East side there’s a couple of spots where you can screen with a single unit.  If you place your monster at M4 with a unit at M3 you then have a nice safe pocket.  you can then move up to L7 and have a unit at M9.  The Blue player has the same set up.  On the far east side of the map a monster can be safe from power attacks and brawls if they have a single unit.  You could have your monster at P8 and then have a unit hold the negative zone at P11.  There are few ways to set this up.  if you have a unit that grants cloak like a shadow gate your monster can be protected from everything but swat power attacks.  Also on the east side there’s a spot at L8 where you could Super stomp down 4 buildings for 8 power dice.  There are a number of spots along that path where you can pull off a 3 building stomp.  A monster with super rampage can move to J3 and rampage south through 3 buildings if you have 7+ speed.  If you are looking to set this up be thoughtful about your building placements, you don’t want a harmful hazard waiting for you at the end.

Monster Vs Morpher:

Morpher advantageSmashville gives a couple of big advantage to Morphers, and one of them you better be ready for. At the start of the game if the Morpher player places on the 3 blue and the 1 red spot as shown, then they can secure 3 buildings without the help of any of there units.  Unlike units they can’t be towed out of position.  A Interceptor and a C-Type Shinobi can disrupt 2 of the buildings, but if they also build a power base with units on the East side, then it gets tricky on what to try and disrupt.  Aggressive placement may be a better option for disrupting.  Placing a building with Livewire might deter them from this opening secure, and the best spot for that is D3.  The other advantage that this map offers morphers is that there are 4 corner foundations.  If one of the corner foundations has the Privateer Press building on it, then the Morphers can hyper up next to it and show up along any boarder location on the map.  This can let them cross the board and potentially get into alignment with you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop this.  It’s a deadly trick so you have to be ready for it.  If your the Morpher player and you get to place first, I would recommend the West side foundation as it’s generally safer from unit attacks.  Because of the corner foundations I would say that this map in general favors Morphers more then Standard Monsters.

A word from our Minions:

Based on the layout of the spawn points this map favors faster units, with some sort of movement ability.  To get to most of the power zones you need at least 5 speed.  There are 2 neutral spawn zones on the East side of the map within 4 spaces of a starting spawn zone.  Units will tend to be more weighted on the East side of the map because of this.  It will be difficult to make easy use out of the spawn zone at I1, or I17.  You can send a unit down the middle to a power zone.  It will be hard to gather lots of units on the west side unless you have access to an action that can bring out a unit.  Making the West side safer against unit based attacks on your Monster.  Slower units are going to have a hard time getting into the fight, there are a several rough terrain spaces that are positioned to make it extra difficult for units without any special movement abilities. Next time we will take a look at the beautiful beaches and shoreline amusement parks of the Boardwalk Brawl.