Tiny Swords SMAAASH is an original board game designed and produced by myself. I handled the game rules, artwork, graphic design, marketing, etc, including a fully illustrated manual. Production began early 2016 and finished in early-mid 2017 with a successful Kickstarter campaign. An updated version of the manual is in beta testing as of 2021.
The game is a turn-based strategy brawler where players assume control of a team of 16-bit monsters in themes like Sweet, Spooky, Moon, and Mermaid. Each team also has a Captain offering unique game-changing powers. Their goal? To physically push other players' tiles off of the board while keeping their monsters and Captain safe.
One complication is a central Heart of the Battle tile in the center of the board that players must stay connected to in order to survive. At the end of a player's turn, if any of their tiles are not connected, they are eliminated from the game. If a player loses either all 5 of their monsters OR their unique Captain tile, that team is knocked out! The last team standing is the winner.
This was my second tabletop game after the success of the lightweight card game Tiny Swords.
I wanted to use the same pastel swordfighter characters in a new system and really stretch myself as a game designer. With that in mind, I created an approachable yet deep game that's as strategic as it is slapstick.
Final boxart from game, with creator's old name.
Example of a single team from the game.
Sample pages from game manual, revised 2021 edition.
Quick Reference printed on back of Player Reference cards and back of manual, revised 2021 version.
How to Play
Player turns consist of two Actions, each of which can be:
MOVE: The player slides one of their face-up tiles up, down, left, and right on the board (tiles are face-up when the character and stats are visible). They can Move up to the Speed number on the bottom left of the tile. During the Move, they may push any face-up tiles in their way.
SMAAASH: The player chooses one of their face-up tiles to attack another adjacent tile (even their own!). The player adds Damage Tokens to the target based on the attacker and defender's Type (a literal rock-paper-scissors system). Then, the player pushes the target away one space per Damage Token total. Tiles can have an infinite number of Damage Tokens, but if they get flung off of the board, they're instantly eliminated!
FLIP: Players can choose one of their face-up or face-down tiles and flip it over. Face-down tiles cannot be pushed or attacked, but they also cannot take Actions until they are flipped face-up. Players can flip a tile face-down to remove all of its Damage Tokens.
Manual page about Block tiles, revised 2021 version.
In a three or four-player game, players who are eliminated early on can still influence the finale by sharing control of special Block tiles. These neutral blocks can float anywhere on the board, helping or hindering the remaining players. Blocks can also be attacked directly and broken open to gain precious Bonus Tokens, allowing a player to take an extra Action on their turn.
The key interactions of Move, SMAAASH, and Flip are all the player needs to learn in order to get started, but experienced players can take advantage of special Captain powers. Players may use these powers as long as their Captain is face-up, but that also means their Captain will be vulnerable to other players' attacks!
Tiny Swords SMAAASH shipped with four different Captains offering wildly different playstyles, but I have another set of four that I am playtesting as a future expansion.
Two of the Captain power reference cards. The grey/blue bar indicates whether a power is usable by the Captain, monsters, or both.
For example, Marsha Latte's Sweet Swap can only be used by the Sweet team monsters, but the Teleport action can only be used by the Captain herself.