Just a quick update today to let you know about an impending shut down of the online store over this coming weekend as we shift systems…. Again.
The long story: Last August, after working on plans over three months, we finally made the jump to a new system called Neto. Why did we do it? Well, it allowed us to better track what stock we had and how much it cost, and ultimately allowed us to make better decisions for the business moving forward.
Well, 3 weeks ago, we got hit with a cheeky little surprise by this system that they would be increasing our monthly price by about 80%. Looking down the barrel of approximately too much a month just to have an online version of the store that didn't work exactly how we needed it to, we decided we needed to change again.
So, this week, we're changing again. We're moving back to Shopify (the old platform) but we're bolting on a lot of new features to make the system work better for us, as well as updating the theme.
So, let's get to a few questions you may be asking...
What about my order/orders?
If you have an order outstanding with us, it will, of course, still be outstanding. We can't guarantee that the order will appear on your customer account straight away as a lot is happening very fast behind the scenes here and we are really trying to move this data as fast and securely as we can. As for dispatched orders, we will only be monitoring orders from the last 3 weeks that are dispatched and not confirmed delivered so that we can still keep track of them. All other orders will be kept in secure data files in case we need them for auditing purposes.
I have a preorder for X! Is it still preordered?
Yes. See above.
But I have a backordered product that's waiting to be delivered?
Yes. Again, see above.
Do I need to make an account again?
Short answer… I don't know. Long answer… like I said above, we're moving a lot of things behind the scenes to get it all together in time for the switch so we will do our best to transfer current customer accounts across. If we do manage to do this, it will require you to make a new password though, as we won't be transferring passwords across.
What about the changes you implemented like Bundles and Time Frame information in the shopping cart?
We're still going to be doing that with the switch. In fact, I'm in the middle of implementing the code we need to show it right now.
When's Wingspan coming back in stock?
Ok… wow… unrelated to the current situation but sure. We're expecting the second printing to arrive some time in May.
But I still have questions and you didn't answer them here?
The final season of Game of Thrones is fast-approaching and there’s nothing better than playing out your grand-strategic plans for control of Westeros, or at least whatever other region you want to gain control of. So, to prepare yourself for the coming six episodes of fantastical wars for the survival of the seven kingdoms, here’s a few games to scratch that political strategy and machination itch.
The ultimate game of scheming, bluffing and strategic deception, Coup will definitely have you playing the political game against your friends. In Coup, you have the influence of two nobles of the political court, and each noble gives you access to an action, or may block another action. But, you don’t necessarily have to act like they’re the nobles you have. You can take any action you want and anyone at the table can call you out and you need to prove your influence. If you don’t have the right noble, your influence drops from two to one, or can knock you out of the game if it’s your last noble, but if you weren’t bluffing, your opponent is punished instead. The last player standing at the end of the game wins.
Coup really is one of the simplest and best translations of political machinations to hit the tabletop. It can be quite exhilarating to pull a fast one on your opponents and even better when you can catch someone out in a lie. With a low-price tag and a small box, it’s perfect to take along to any gathering with friends looking to stab each other in the back once in a while.
Now, while Coup may satiate your machinations desire, Root will fulfil the strategic. In Root, you control one of the four possible factions, Marquise de Cat, the Eyrie, the Woodland Alliance, and the Vagabonds. Each factions plays differently, with the Cats engine building their resource pool while attempting to police the vast wilderness. Meanwhile, The Eyrie musters their hawks to take back the Woods, and the Alliance hides in the shadows, recruiting forces and hatching conspiracies. Finally, the Vagabond plays all sides of the conflict for their own gain, while hiding a mysterious quest.
This asymmetrical game forces you to think strategically about your moves, all coated in a fantastic splash of colourful, and almost childlike, artwork. Root is a great game to add to your collection, and the Riverfolk Expansion adds two new factions and the ability to play with up to six players.
Did you really think I wouldn’t put this on the list? Please. This game is AMAZING. The best way to describe Game of Thrones: The Board Game is to think of it like Risk, but on steroids.
Just like the books, and the TV show, Game of Thrones: The Board Game has you taking control of one of six of the great houses of Westeros (Stark, Lannister, Baratheon, Greyjoy, Tyrell, or Martell) and vying for control of the country against your fellow players. You achieve this by placing orders on the board that can move your armies through the regions, or support neighbouring regions (an ability that you can use to your diplomatic advantage against your opponents), or even consolidating your power to increase the amount of influence you can spend to manipulate one of the three political tracks.
Recently, the Mother of Dragons expansion released and, as I’ve said in a review on the ATGN website, it absolutely is a must-have for anyone who enjoys both the political and the strategic elements of this great game. Not only does it add the Targaryens, along with Daenerys’ three dragons, to the possible playable factions, but it opens up the opportunity for vassal houses to allow you to manipulate the board by-proxy to achieve your final goal of domination.
2018 has come and gone and what a year it was. We never expected it to be the resounding success that it was and hope that 2019 will continue to be. We are also very grateful to you, our community of supporters, for making it possible. Not only did we see a massive bump in the store’s stock levels, but we also hired our first team member, Josh.
So, now that 2018 is in the rear-view mirror, and 2019 is upon us, we need to update a few things around the store as we plan to forge ahead this year.
After assessing our shipping rates, we’ve come to the conclusion that nothing will change for the foreseeable future. Shipping will still be a $12 flat rate with free shipping on orders over $120 and, if you’re a Brissy local, you can always elect to pick it up from the store as well.
We understand that our pricing is not that comparable to the bargain online stores popping up around the interwebs, but we still want you to get a good deal while enjoying our premium service. So, this year, we will be trialing a stronger Preorder Pricing program. You may have seen this popping up at various points last year as we tested out what you would respond to so we’ve decided to move ahead with a Preorder Pricing Program on all games and products.
How will it work? We will be working to get games up on our system as soon as local distributors provide us the necessary information we need to do so (price, expected delivery period, expected allocations) and we will run a Preorder Pricing Program below our regular price until the last possible moment we have. This may be until the day before the product’s release, this may be to a few days before the release, each pricing window will be set based on the product and the supplier (I’m looking at you Games Workshop…).
Move to Purchase-to-Play
Since we’ve opened, we’ve wanted to be THE place to play games in Brisbane. It seems now that we clearly are, as the store is frequently full, our events sell out, and table bookings are fast-becoming a requirement. The only issue we’re facing though, is many of the tables are being taken by people not interested in contributing to the vibrant community of gamers that call Vault home, and many of these community members are now missing out.
To rectify this, from February 1, the store will be switching to a Purchase-to-Play model. We still don’t want to force a table charge on you (as that just goes against our idea that there shouldn’t be a price on fun) so, instead, we’ll be requiring that anyone coming in to play a game or two in-store buy at least a drink or a snack when they do.
The best bit of this policy? It won’t affect you if you’re a Vault Games regular. We know you ALREADY support the store through the purchase of food, drinks, event bookings, and games. You are the reason we’re putting this policy into place. We want you to enjoy Vault Games.
We’ll be folding this policy into a new Conditions of Entry we’ll be putting up in-store as a poster to remind people that this community can only exist if everyone helps.
Increased Table Booking Price
To coincide with the demand for table-space, on February 1, we’ll be increasing our booking fee to $10 so that those that book will be exempt from the Purchase-to-play requirement of the store. (This includes any bookings placed in January for dates in February).
We’re also working to find a booking app that will give you more freedom to book table, knowing what is and isn’t available immediately when you go to book.
This is only a small piece of the Vault Games pie that we will reveal further throughout the year. We can’t wait to show you what we have brewing behind the scenes.
It's just four weeks until Christmas so here's the last part of our 2018 Gift Guide. This time, it's all about the other worlds we go to with roleplaying Games. In case you missed them already, you can still find our Board Games, Card Game, and Miniatures guides on the blog.
First, there's the next piece of the Waterdeep sourcebooks, Dungeon of the Mad Mage. Featuring a complex undermountain dungeon built by the Mad Mage Halaster Blackcloak, adventures can delve deep into the unknown, and make their way from 5th to 20th level as they discover the twenty-three different levels of the Undermountain. This is one book that can run a whole campaign for you and your adventuring party.
Next, there is the new campaign setting sourcebook that ties in with a recent Magic: The Gathering set, the Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica. This sourcebook provides a complete understanding of the world of Ravnica, the different guilds vying for control, and the serpentine relationships and intrigue found within. This book also provides new playable races, including the Loxodon, a race of anthropomorphic elephants, and the Vedalken, a multi-planar amphibious race, but also provides unique spells, abilities and character build options based on the ten guilds of Ravnica. If you're a fan of political-based campaigns, or just a fan of Magic's beautifully-weaved lore of Ravnica, you must get hold of this book.
Finally, if you've ever wanted a product that fills the niche crossover of Dungeons & Dragons fandom and Coffee-table piece, the new Art & Arcana: A Visual History is the book for you. Art & Arcana is an illustrated guide to the history and evolution of the beloved roleplaying game told through the paintings, sketches, illustrations, and visual ephemera behind its creation, growth, and continued popularity. This book is a must-have for long-time fans of Dungeons & Dragons.
Fantasy Flight Roleplaying
Legend of the Five Rings scored an updated RPG this year from FFG and it is certainly one to get if you're a fan of classic Kurosawa films. Players are thrust into a feudal Japan setting where they must fight in both political and martial battles as they adventure through the Emerald Empire. Using an updated version of the classic Roll-to-keep system found in the original L5R RPG, Fantasy Flight has breathed new life into this classic RPG.
Early this year, Genesys fans got treated to the first fantasy-specific sourcebook for the system with Realms of Terrinoth. Based on the same setting as FFG's popular Runewars games, Realms of Terrinoth gives you all you need to run a Fantasy-based adventure using the Genesys system.
If you're looking to step up your loved-one's roleplaying game, you could grab them a range of minis to use in their adventures. WizKids' wide range of fantasy miniatures add some serious flair to the table. With insane levels of detail, and pre-priming so they're ready to paint, Deep Cuts and Nolzur minis are some of the best fantasy miniatures you can get at the moment. And, if you can't find something in the WizKid range, there's a good chance it will exist in the Reaper range instead.
Other Roleplaying Games
Star Trek: Adventures dropped last year and is the perfect chance to get your Star-Trek-obsessed friends into the never-ending world of roleplaying games. You can help them along by picking up a Game Master's Screen to run the game for them too.
Let's start with the big one, Warhammer. Warhammer is a titan in the miniature gaming world and it's latest editions (Age of Sigmar: Second Edition and Warhammer 40000: 8th Edition) have made the game more accessible than ever before. So, if you have a loved one eager to join in the fun, or wanting an easy way to expand their current armies, look no further than the Start Collecting sets. There is a wide range of armies available from both the Fantasy-based Age of Sigmar, and the Grim Sci-Fi Warhammer 40000. To see the full range, click here.
Dropping today is the latest Warhammer Quest game: Black Fortress. It is the first Warhammer Quest title set in the futuristic 400000 universe, and the best way to experience a narrative-styled adventure game. Tasked with exploring the mysterious Blackstone Fortress, a seemingly derelict station floating through space; you and your friends control a ragtag group of rogue traders as you discover new portions of the station, fight the creatures on board, and figure out what happened to the last inhabitants.Don't miss out on grabbing this one while we have it in stock.
It's here! We've been promised a trip to the bleak, pop-culture-infused, nuclear wasteland of Fallout since August last year; but just a few weeks ago, it finally arrived… and it's glorious. You can take control of the Brotherhood of Steel, Wasteland Survivors, or even the FEV infected Super Mutants, and wreak havoc on the wasteland against your opponents… OR… you can control a group of survivors through a campaign of skirmishes, fighting raiders, monsters, and the mutants as well, building up your settlement between games, and increasing your skills. With the two different ways to play, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare is a must-have for Fallout-fans. Check out the range here.
When Kill Team dropped this year, we were excited. Very excited. 4 months later, we're still excited. Kill Team remains the best place to start when it comes to miniature wargaming. With low model counts, quick gameplay, and a short run time, it doesn't take long to get your team ready and start winning games. With the recent Commanders expansion, special hero characters can join the ranks of your kill team, giving a stronger narrative element to the game that allows you to forge stories you and your friends will talk about for ages to come.Check out the full Kill Team range here.
Time's ticking down! There's only 6 weeks until Christmas now so let's get onto the next part of our 2018 Christmas Gift Guide, Card Games.
Magic: The Gathering
Let's get the big one out of the way. Magic: The Gathering is the world's largest Trading Card Game and, seeing as it's been played for 25 years now, it's unlikely to be going anywhere soon. So, what is there to get your Magic: The Gathering friend or loved one?
Commander 2018 Decks are back in stock! This year's release of preconstructed decks, this time focusing on Planeswalkers at the helm, are perfect for anyone wanting to jump into the Commander format, or just expand their collecting of new and fun cards. These deckst are extremely limited, so, if you want to get hold of one of the latest decks for the best casual format there is, order it quick.
There also are some great big-box items for the Magic collectors. Firstly, there is Commander Anthology: Volume 2, a boxset containing 4 of the best preconstructed commander decks of all time for the Commander format. These decks are pure power, and a must-have for anyone enjoying the format and looking for some extra spice for their collection.
There is also Planechase: Anthology a boxset containing four preconstructed 60-card decks from the Planechase 2012 sets, and a special planechase deck featuring all 86 planar cards from the original Planechase set, Planechase 2012 set, and promotional releases. Planechase is a ridiculously fun format and, when used in a Commander game, can create some memorable stories.
Finally, for the Magic-obsessed, we have the 'ultimate' present… Ultimate Masters. Releasing on December 7, Ultimate Masters is slated to be the last masters set for a long time. Not only is Wizards of the Coast printing must have cards like "Diabolic Tutor", "Temporal Manipulation", and "Mana Vault", but each booster box comes with a single, full-frame artwork version of the most sought-after cards. The price point may be a little higher than usual, but the Ultimate Masters set is not one to be missed. Preorders close on November 20 so get in quick.
Living Card Games
The Living Card Game series has been growing since Legend of the Five Rings was introduced late last year and shows no signs of slowing down. If you have any LCG-obsessed loved ones, or are looking at getting a friend or family member into the game, here's a few options.
Finally, there is the latest release from Fantasy Flight Games, Keyforge: Call of the Archons. Billed as a "unique-deck game", Keyforge sees you duking it out with your opponent to forge your three crucible keys before them. Each deck is randomly generated from three of the seven possible houses so each deck truly is unique and, each turn, you only activate one of those houses, strategically building up your Amber reserves to forge keys with.
Christmas is just eight weeks away, and if you haven't started your Christmas shopping, now's your chance. Over the next few weeks, we'll be here to help you find a gift for your tabletop friends with our 2018 Gift Guide. Today, we're starting with the largest range of presents, Board Games.
For the Casual Gamers
Let's start with what could possibly be the hardest crowd to buy for, the casual gamer. These would be friends and family that are not everyday gamers, but like pulling out a game to have some fun here and there. So here's a few suggestions:
The Mind - This game is not just a casual card game, but also a team-thought experiment. The aim of the game is to build a deck of ascending numbers out of the cards in every player's hands. Anyone, at at any time, can play a card from their hand but, if they play a card that is higher than someone else's, they lose a life. The catch? You can't communicate what cards you have in any way to the other players. You have to use… your mind. This game will be great to pull out on Christmas day with friends and family to see just how far you can go.
Bears vs Babies - Babies are taking over the world, and it's up to you and your fellow players to defend it, with your monstrous amalgamations of bear parts.When the evil army of babies are provoked, anyone with less body parts than babies loses their monster, and everyone with more scores points. When the onslaught of infantile invaders is over, the winner is the player with the most points. With artwork from legendary webcomic The Oatmeal, Bears vs Babies is a game that is sure to pull a few laughs.
Codenames: Harry Potter - The brand new Harry Potter version of the legendary Codenames game just hit the shelves and it is a sure-fire hit for this Christmas. In Codenames, a spymaster tries to communicate which words in front of them correspond with their team… without saying the actual word. This is a fantastic game to test how your family communicates with each other… or not. There's also an XXL Version of the original Codenames in case you have a big family, or members with some aged eyesight.
Secret Hitler - Made by the same pranksters responsible for the irreverent Cards Against Humanity, Secret Hitler is a hidden traitor game with a different twist. While each faction (Liberals and Facists) try to enact their policies in parliament, the fascists also win if the Hitler player is elected Chancellor. While enacting liberal policies won't change the game, enacting Facist policies give the president extra powers, such as being able to assassinate other players or investigate another player's affiliation. This game is perfect for any party, with it usually devolving into a shouting match between players trying to figure who is the bad guy.
For the Story Gamer
If you have a friend or relative that really loves a story to their game, there's some great options for them this year.
Betrayal: Legacy - The hit horror game Betrayal at House on the Hill has been translated to Rob Daviau's Legacy format, allowing you to forge a story of the haunted house over the course of a campaign. Betrayal: Legacy's campaign sees you and your fellow players taking on the role of a family, constantly moving into the house over different time periods, discovering something new and twisted with each family. It arrives on November 9 so get your preorder in today.
Arkham Horror: Third Edition - Another recent addition to the shelves, Arkham Horror: Third Edition updates the classic Arkham Horror board game with a new modular board, a few gameplay tweaks, and some thrilling new scenarios. You take control of an investigator, trying to uncover the mystery of Arkham, Massachusetts, as the old ones and their agents attempt to bring about the end of the world.
Discover: Lands Unknown - Discover: Lands Unknown is a new type of game. It's not like other games, in fact, it's not like any game, including other copies of Discover: Lands Unknown. You see, Discover: Lands Unknown is a unique game, meaning your copy will be unlike any other copy, with a mixture of components and cards that can only be found in your box. Together, you and your fellow players survive in the strange world you have just woken up to.
For the Regular Gamer
If your friend or family member constantly pulls out their games every week, then this is the section for you. Let them know that there is more than Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan with a few of these suggestions.
The Brigade - An Australian game that recently arrived from Kickstarter, The Brigade sees you and your fellow players each controlling a different firefighting outfit, defending the town of Tinderbox from it's infernos, while competing against each other for the population's loyalty. This is a fun game with stunning art that should be sitting on your shelf. Grab it while you can because at the moment, The Brigade comes with the both the 5-6 Player Expansion, and the University Kickstarter Stretch Goal.
Architects of the West Kingdom - Another Kickstarter darling, this time from Shen Phillips, the designer of the ever-popular Raiders of the North Sea, has hit the shelves in the last few weeks and is a requirement for any fans of Garphil Games' previous entries. Architects of the West Kingdom keeps some of the healthy worker-placement flavour of Raiders of the North Sea, with players placing their meeples on the board to resolve spaces, gathering resources, hiring apprentices, and constructing buildings and the final cathedral. You can also engage is less savoury activities, like taking Tax and using the Black Market, which will reduce your virtue and have a negative effect at the end of the game. If you're a fan of the Raiders of the North Sea games, or even Lords of Waterdeep, Architects of the West Kingdom is a must-have.
Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig - If your friend or family member is a fan of Castles of Mad King Ludwig, or anything from Stonemaier Games (Scythe, Between Two Cities, Viticulture, Charterstone), then the new entry into the series, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, is a solid-gold choice for Christmas. Combining a drafting mechanic with the original tile-building format of Castles of Mad King Ludwig makes for an extremely interesting and strategic take on the game, particularly with you working with the player on your left and right instead of just building your own, meaning you draft, and the other players help you choose where they go. This games turns the competitive format of tabletop gaming on its head, with you cooperating with other players just enough to get ahead.
For the Hardcore Strategy Gamer
Does your friend or family member want to be the best commander? To take control of the world and crush their opponents with their pure strategic might? Then have we got some suggestions for you.
Rising Sun - A release earlier this year from the folks at Cool Mini or Not, Rising Sun sees each player taking control of a house in a game of strategy and war loosely set in feudal Japan. Each round, players make alliances with the other clans, and scheme their way through political mandates to expand their forces, their faith to the mythical gods, and even break their freshly formed alliances for an advantage. At the end of each round, the clans go to war, claiming victory in a territory marked for battle. Rising Sun does a fantastic job of tracking a few key resources that can decide the game and sometimes, the clan that influences the game the least, can walk away with a huge win at the end.
Game of Thrones: The Board Game - Mother of Dragons - Game of Thrones: The Board Game was released in 2011 and, eight years later, it's finally getting the expansion it deserves, Mother of Dragons. With this expansion, the Targaryen house is added to the game, along with a new game board depicting Essos, the new Iron Bank track, and a Dragon Strength track, which is used by the Targaryen player to track the brutality their dragons can meter out across the land. Long has Game of Thrones: The Board Game sat on my must-play list, but now, with this new expansion, it's a game I'll force onto the table at every engagement, at least, until l I've lost all my friends from sheer exhaustion or back-stabbing diplomacy.
Halloween is coming up and, despite being natives of the southern hemisphere, it's always fun to pull out the scarier titles and build an evening around the spooky night of our northern counterparts. So, here's a few game that can help set the mood.
The brand-new edition of Fantasy Flight's classic Arkham Horror may release the day after Halloween on 1 November, but that doesn't mean you can't pick up this great horror game in time for a weekend horror party.
The new edition of Arkham Horror sees a complete overhaul to the game, with a new modular map that changes with each scenario, and an ever changing codex of goals that reveal themselves as you play, meaning you never know what the final goal is.
We'd be in big trouble if this game didn't appear on the Halloween list. Betrayal is a semi-cooperative game for 3 - 6 players that starts you out as a group of misfits exploring a strange house together. Eventually though, the haunt will be revealed and one of you may turn on the rest, forging your own way to a different goal. Combine this with the Widow's Walk expansion, and you have 100 possible scenarios to play out over your night of fear and terror.
If you're keen to play Betrayal in a campaign format, you can always preorder a copy of the upcoming Betrayal: Legacy that is due out by the end of the year.
Ah yes, the classic horror game Werewolf. A game where everyone takes on a role within a sleepy little village, but some of those villagers are secretly werewolves, and every night, they go out and kill a villager. Well, what if it all happened in just 10 minutes?
One Night Ultimate Werewolf condenses the classic traitor hunt game into a fast, and thoroughly-engaging, one-round event, with the village choosing to lynch someone in a single morning. There's no moderator (the narrative is made simple by a smartphone app), no waiting for the game to end when you die, just one night to win or lose.
Dread is the stress-inducing roleplaying game that I always pull out around Halloween. The physical tension created by this game once has a player on the floor crying, and another screaming and running to the kitchen. But what makes it so good? The Tower.
You see, Dread isn't a roleplaying game that uses dice or cards. It uses a single Jenga tower in the middle of the table. If a player needs to perform an action that could have a negative outcome (like jumping over a gap while an inferno rages beneath) or an action that their character may not necessarily have the skill for (like fixing a bullet wound), they pull a block from the tower. If the tower falls, their character dies.
This is a must have for the halloween table, and is made even better if you can set the mood with the right lighting and a great soundtrack. There currently isn't a phsyical version of the game available from us but you can pick up a pdf version from the Drive Thru RPG Store.
Vampire: The Masquerade is the original and ultimate role-playing game of intrigue and horror. Taking on the role of Vampires in a modern world of darkness, you must walk the razor edge of your thirst for blood, going slowly mad until you consume what you must to keep going.
All the while, you deal with the political intrigue and subtle machinations of the dark underworld of modern society, both the mundane, and the mythical. The latest edition of Vampire: The Masquerade modernises the game's rules so that it's easier than ever before to get your world of darkness role-playing fix.
Like Betrayal at House on the Hill above, Mansions of Madness sees you delving into a haunted house of mystery and horror, but, unlike Betrayal, there is no traitor. Instead, you and your fellow players work your way through the game with a digital application acting as your game-master, giving you the narrative, and acting as the enemies you encounter.
Working together, you uncover the mysteries behind the Mansion, and, hopefully, locking away the old ones for centuries to come.
Hello fellow gamers, Pedro here writing about one of my favourite games of all time: Smash Up. As you may know we have the Smash Up tournament coming up soon and it is going to be titanic! Like for realz, it’s got Titans in it.
What are Titans you ask? Well they were originally introduced in the Smash Up expansion “Big in Japan”, they are an additional type of card, distinct from minions, actions and bases. Every faction in Big in Japan has a titan, and more are added for the other factions in this event.
Each titan is essentially the 21st card of their corresponding faction, compared to the usual 20 cards per faction, except that a titan starts the game next to the player's deck and never goes to the hand, deck or discard pile of that player.
They also can't be played like any usual minion or action, in fact, they can only be played when a card (including the titan itself) allows you to play one.
Choose two Factions, and if you choose one or two factions with a titan, place the corresponding titan(s) near your deck. You can only play a titan when a card (including the titan itself) tells you to play one, that is when the conditions are met for it. Titans start the game on the table near your draw pile, they are never in your hand, deck or discard pile.
For example, The Vampire Titan, ”Ancient Lord” has the condition: “After you place two or more +1 power counters on minions in a turn, you may play this titan”. Or for example Cthulhu: “Instead of your regular action play, draw two Madness cards to play this titan on a base with one of your minions”.
Titans are neither minions, nor actions, so they can never be targeted by cards that specifically target minions or actions. However, some very rare cards just target "cards" without specifying what kind of card. In that case, these can be used to target titans. If a card that can target a titan forces it out of play by destroying it, returning it, etc., the titan is simply set aside near its owner's deck. It never goes to its owner's hand, deck or discard pile. Usually, when a base is destroyed and replaced by another base (e.g. with Not in Kansas, Terraforming, Burn It Down), the minions there remain in play and go on the replacement base. Conversely, titans are actually removed from play if their current base leaves play.
Titans do not have power, but they can give power to their controller’s total at their base, either through their abilities or through +1 power counters played on them, so this adds a new rule to Smash Up: You must control at least one minion or 1 power on a base to get its rewards. So if you manage to get at least 1 total power with your titan, you're eligible to receive the base reward even without any minions there.
When a card tells you to play a titan:
You can choose not to play it. Playing a titan is always optional.
You may not play a titan if you already have a titan in play.
If you choose to play a titan, it's not "banked" and must be played immediately or not at all.
If you're allowed to play a titan "instead of your regular minion play", it means, on your turn, you can play the titan instead of playing your "free" minion of that turn. A "free" or "regular" minion play is the minion play you get on each of your turns and is distinct from "extra" minion plays, which are gained through abilities.
Similarly, if you're allowed to play a titan "instead of your regular action play", it means, on your turn, you can play the titan instead of playing your "free" action of that turn. A "free" or "regular" action play is the action play you get on each of your turns and is distinct from "extra" action plays, which are gained through abilities.
When you play a titan, If there is another titan on that base, they "clash". To do that, compare the total power of each titan's controller on that base, including the titans power; the player with the lowest total power must remove their titan from play. In case of a tie, the new titan is removed and the former one remains. There is an exception: If the base is Kaiju Island and if its ability isn't cancelled, you must ignore this step.
So, what about strategy? If you haven't played Smash Up before here are some quick tips to get an edge in the game:
Know your factions. The more you know them the more you know their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with them whether while you play them or face them. Knowledge is power, use it well.
Know the battlefields. Knowing and understanding the bases is important to get the most out of them. Some bases synergise with your factions and others can cripple an enemy. Don't just read their victory points, read their abilities/effects.
Keep your opponents on the defensive by removing or attacking their smaller minions. Don't face the big ones unless you are sure to come on top (Ninjas), that way you limit their influence in different bases. This can also be done by moving enemy minions or setting traps (Tricksters)
Chain, a lot. All factions have ways to give you the option of playing extra minions or extra actions (Wizards, Steampunks, Robots, etc), if you can, try chain an action that gives you an extra action that gives you an extra action that gives you an extra minion that gives you an extra action that gives you an extra minion that gives you an extra minion that gives you an extra action…
Either use laser focus or full invasion. Some factions are better when you focus most of your forces on one base (Princesses) or spread everywhere (Robots, Bear Cavalry). Use your factions’ strengths to decide which approach and to what degree.
Form alliances. Sometimes having an short alliance against a powerful player may pay dividends. But be careful, alliances in this game may not last long.
I hope this information helps you get prepared for the Titans Event. If you need more strategy, the Smash Up Wiki has a lot more.
One more thing, all Tournament participants will get a special discount of 10% off the purchase the Bigger Geekier Box or any other Smash Up games (subject to supply availability).