SmashUp: The Obligatory Cthulhu Set

SmashUp is a card game that our family really enjoys. Especially my wife. We usually play with random decks to make the games much more interesting and it allows us to get familiar with all the sets. This is good for a couple of reasons:

  • We force ourselves to learn new sets so that one person isn’t winning all the time
  • It helps being familiar with the set you’re playing against

Latest Set

The latest set released by AEG is The Obligatory Cthulhu Set. Obligatory for sure! We love all things Cthulhu. We own Elder Sign, Mansions of Madness, and Cthulhu Gloom. All of which are based on H.P. Lovecraft’s brilliant stories. In fact, I own H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Collection.


Probably the most exciting thing about this set are the Madness cards. Madness cards add a unique twist to the game in that you can lose victory points if you have any Madness cards at the end of the game. This is in true Lovecraft fashion since Madness is nearly always bad. When someone scores 15 or more VP’s, each player counts the number of Madness cards in their hand, deck, and discard pile. For each 2, lose 1 VP.


The set comes with 4 new factions and 8 new base cards. The set is pretty much what you’d expect in terms of the darkness and destruction that accompanies anything Cthulhu.

Minions of Cthulhu

The best thing about this faction is they provide the ability to get rid of Madness cards, often by passing them to an opponent. They also allow Minion movement to other bases.

Miskatonic University

These are students that are a little too eager to take on Madness cards. But this allows them to perform additional actions and play more minions per turn. They have some ability to remove Madness cards.


This faction love to stack. The Minions are only power of 2 but you can almost always play more than one minion per turn and they stack quickly, giving you a lot of power and also making it more difficult for your opponent to remove you from a base.

Elder Things

Want to give your opponents Madness cards? Choose this faction. A variety of horrors and sacrifice but you’ll drive your opponent mad quickly.


My wife and I played with the new factions only for our first game. We wanted to see everything in action. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. Like I said before, the Madness cards really add a unique twist to an already fantastic game.

If you’re going to play using any of the non Cthulhu factions, it is more fair if everyone else gets to choose one of the Cthulhu factions due to the Madness cards. You can use an action to get rid of a Madness card, so this isn’t required. Just my personal opinion. I feel like the other factions would be at a disadvantage, especially playing against Elder Things.

We like this set better than Awesome Level 9000. A couple of that set’s factions just aren’t that fun. If you love SmashUp, The Obligatory Cthulhu set is a must have.