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Subject: The Kickstarter arrives rss

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Mike Kozlowski
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Components:

The box is only moderately large (about 2-3x the size of a standard game; about 1/2 the size of Ogre), but holy cow is this well-produced.

With a company that hadn't made a game before, I was a little nervous about how well it'd turn out, and even at the best case, I was thinking it'd be that high-quality-but-kinda-amateurish thing that you see sometimes. But no, this is just absolutely great. The graphic design is phenomenal, the cardboard pieces are thick and well-punched, the plastic pieces are amazing (AND PRE-ASSEMBLED, FLYING FROG, SEE HOW THAT WORKS, not that I'm bitter about that Shadows of Brimstone bait-and-switch), and even the box insert is unbelievably sturdy -- thick, durable plastic rather than just flimsy insert-plastic. So A++ from a production standpoint. This is exactly what you'd hope a hideously expensive, massively-overproduced game would look like. The only downside is that it's hard to fit back in the box, and yet the insert is so high-quality that I can't bring myself to throw it away like I normally would.

Gameplay


1. It's surprisingly straightforward. You score up your action points, you score up your victory points (and optionally spend some action points to get more victory points), and then you take turns spending your action points on actions -- move, attack, build a gate, summon a monster or Great Old One, capture or recruit cultists, or do faction-specific actions. Repeat until someone gets enough VP to win (while also fulfilling all their unique faction goals).

2. It's wonderfully asymmetrical. Each faction has unique units, unique powers, and unique goals. If you play as Cthulhu, you're playing as a straight combat-oriented faction; if you play as the Yellow King, you're playing as a corruption-and-swarm oriented faction; if you play as Nyarlathotep, you're playing as a sneaky faction that tries to keep a low profile until late in the game they have developed powers that can start blowing everyone else away. Presumably the other faction in the game, and all the ones in the expansions, have their own unique characteristics.

3. It's cool how your abilities evolve over the course of the game. As you fulfill your faction's goals, you get additional "spellbooks" that give you more abilities, that change how you play the game, in major ways.

4. It is a really solid design. There's a degree to which it's a race to the finish with VPs, right, but the thing is: if you get to the "game ends" condition before you've fulfilled all your faction's goals (aka, gotten all your spellbooks), you lose. So you have to engage with those goals, which usually involve attacking people or spreading your dominion on the world or whatever, and can't just cheese-race your way to victory. It's fast-playing without being too fast, deeply thematic without being too fiddly, and complex without abandoning its essential elegance. Compared to other Cthulhu games, it's a marvel of economical, clean design, but it gives up not a lick of theme to something like Arkham Horror.

5. Okay, I lied, I want to say one more thing about the production values, which is that they really are incredible and having these giant Great Old Ones in the game is not some weird over-production thing, but really makes it feel special. When you bring out Cthulhu, you know it's not just another shoggoth and is something that your opponent should fear.

The upshot is: You'll hear a lot about this game for its components, and rightly so; but purely as a game, leaving its phenomenal components aside, it's totally worth buying. This isn't just a pile of Cthulhu minis tied to a weak ruleset, it's a first-rate excellent game that happens to have excellent components. I'd be interested in playing it if it was all cardboard chits... though obviously it wouldn't have quite the same table impact.

This is Kickstarter at its best. A game like this ($199 for the base game!) would never have been made by a traditional publisher, for totally sensible reasons; but having been made, it justifies its existence -- and pricetag -- very well. Hats off to everyone involved, and I'm looking forward to the expansion shipments.
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David Mitchell
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I agree that this game has as strong a theme as Arkham Horror. It's almost like they had the same designer.
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Nick Johnson
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Someone posted on another thread on how to put the game back in the box and I've found it works great.

Take the empty insert, put it face down. Load the back with all the tokens, dice and minis. Slide the bottom box cover over the insert. Then I usually get to a table edge so I can get my hand under the box. Push the insert up while flipping the box over. Now you can load the bigger minis and the boards. It works pretty slick.
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mateo jurasic
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So how did ffg get the brimstone minis so wrong...
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Greg S
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Sorry I missed the KS, but contemplating picking this up when it goes retail. We'll see......
 
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Chengkai Yang
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mateooo wrote:
So how did ffg get the brimstone minis so wrong...


Had an opportunity to play with them a few weeks back. While detailed, they feel flimsy and there was assembly required. They just seemed really fragile. If your not used to assembling your own minis it can be daunting. Also stuff like the spiders and the guy with the big wings just seem really prone to breaking.
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David Hoffman
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mateooo wrote:
So how did ffg get the brimstone minis so wrong...


I think your question was more "what is wrong with the Brimstone minis?" but I'm going to answer the How question first:

How'd they get the minis so wrong? In my opinion, between the MineCart levels ("you get everything for this one, discounted price!") and the numerous Stretch Goals ("here's a ludicrous pile of extras included in your pledge!") they overreached. They gave too much away and the only way, I guess, to make good was to cut corners.

"Cut corners" in the above sentence means, "went cheap on the materials for the minis AND provided them on-sprue with an idiotic amount of assembly required. How idiotic? There are cowboy minis where you have to glue the hat onto their heads. That idiotic.

During the campaign, of course, they claimed there would be "minimal assembly" needed for the minis. "Minimal" in that sentence meaning, "every single effing mini will need to be cut from sprues and assembled."

Yeah.

As far as what's wrong with the minis: The material isn't the best. If you're not a minis guy, it's a royal pain in the arse clipping and assembling the damned things. I received my games early on and I still haven't gotten to play thanks to minis assembly.

It's a big fail on Flying Frog's part. The game looks like it should be great but they really screwed the pooch in terms of the minis, something that's doubly-surprising when you consider the quality of (pre-assembled) minis in literally every other game they've ever put out.

But: Cthulhu Wars. Totally fantastic. Can't wait to play (maybe tomorrow night -- squeee!)
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Scott Everts
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mateooo wrote:
So how did ffg get the brimstone minis so wrong...


For another opinion on the minis, they are designed for hobby gamers that like to assemble and paint minis. So they are using hard plastic since that's better for painting unlike the soft bendy crap most companies use. If you are an "all thumbs" gamer and just want to play, then this game will frustrate you. If you are into mini games and like to paint then you will probably enjoy it.

I actually had fun putting them together and looking forward to painting them. I haven't painted minis in decades but excited to try it again.

FFP's biggest mistake was not making it bloody obvious the level of work needed to put them together. They have an outrageously popular game (just see the rating score) but there's a lot of people that have never assembled minis so got very frustrated and loudly complained on several threads. I feel for those gamers since I know it must of sucked to get the game and realize they had a lot of work ahead of them to get the game ready to play.
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Nick Szegedi
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Another comes to mind was the ART OF Tactics game: Samurai Battles.... Cool looking minis...but a lot of assembly before you can
Even play! (However, I am not really a minis/painter but still enjoyed putting them
Together!)

CWs is truly an Awesome game with Cool figures and simple but strategic Game play...Can't wait to play our next game!!!
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Peter Cruickshanks
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ScottE wrote:
mateooo wrote:
So how did ffg get the brimstone minis so wrong...


For another opinion on the minis, they are designed for hobby gamers that like to assemble and paint minis. So they are using hard plastic since that's better for painting unlike the soft bendy crap most companies use. If you are an "all thumbs" gamer and just want to play, then this game will frustrate you. If you are into mini games and like to paint then you will probably enjoy it.

Modern PVC minis, like Cthulhu Wars, or better yet Descent 2nd edition hero models and stuff like dust tactics, show just how good the softer PVC has gotten. Brimstone doesn't hold a candle to the detail on those. As an added bonus PVC just doesn't break. As for painting, it works just fine on either type.

I'll give you that high quality hard plastic has the potential to hold more detail than the softer PVC types, but that doesn't mean all hard plastic is better. The stuff in Brimstone reminds me a lot more of the stuff used for e.g the old Zvezda plastic military models. It's cheap and easy to produce, but it's really not good when it comes to detail reproduction or durability. Compare Brimstone models to, say, the plastic kits in the newest Space Hulk game. It's night and day.

I think David Hoffman pretty much got it right. They gave away way too much for too little. When it's a choice between not fulfilling or saving some money on production, but at least getting the product out the door, I do get FFP's decision. I do wish they just limited the stretch goals a bit and made sure it was doable instead though.


As for Cthulhu Wars, thanks for the thoughts laugh
I'm a Euro so I'll have to wait at least one more month before I have mine in hand. Having tried it out with the print-and-play I agree it's definitely not just a pretty box with pretty miniatures though. It's a dastardly fun game system too.
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Bruce Moffatt
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I love FFGs games, and I would have backed Shadows of Brimstone had Cthulhu Wars not happened at around the same time. I just didn't have the money to do both. I've deliberately avoided reading too much about SoB so I wouldn't plague myself with 'if only' thoughts.

I did read that some of the miniatures we're going to require assembly, much like a GW game, where you have a model building hobby component and a gaming component in your purchase. That certainly doesn't bother me (I love both) but I can understand dedicated gamers being frustrated by a game that you HAVE to build before you play. I guess the key is informed customer expectation. forewarned is forearmed.

As for PVC being difficult to break, there have been a few reports of Nightgaunt figures in CW being 'snapped off at the ankles, like they had been bent backwards and forwards repeatedly' both here on BGG and in the CW Kickstarter comments. This is damage that occurred in manufacturing, packing and shipment. Not at the customers end of the chain.

I will agree that PVC is usually a more robust plastic and more prone to bending than breaking. Styrene is a far more rigid medium with only limited flex, so it will snap very easily if too much pressure is applied. All the dangly ornaments on the Space Hulk Terminators are a prime example of the fragility of styrene. One figure has a small chalice dangling from a power cable that I had to drill and pin to make it more permanent. Before I'm done painting I just know I'll have more pinning to do to make the models durable enough for gameplay. There are some small ornamental skulls in the Escape from Goblin Town Hobbit set that almost all broke of their styrene 'ropes' before I had finished painting the scenery. If you're a modeller, unless the damage is profound and obliterates detail, the challenge of getting these things put right is part of the pleasure of the build (if you're interested, I secured the break with a drop of liquid styrene cement, then once dry, I painted the area around the break with liquid superglue, giving it a hard second skin to protect it from further breakage).

To get back on topic, Arthur has mentioned that Panda factored in a replacement percentage in the amount of pieces manufactured. If there are figures in the range that are more prone to damage, statistically they can be identified and have those issues addressed.
 
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William M. Buff
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How long does it take for shipping? I've been waiting a week since it said it shipped, it's in my state but not at my house or post office
 
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Stuart Holttum
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reptar33 wrote:
How long does it take for shipping? I've been waiting a week since it said it shipped, it's in my state but not at my house or post office


Be happy you are in the US.....
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W. Ruff
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Every review, pic and video I watch only makes me want this game more!
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Wesso wrote:
Every review, pic and video I watch only makes me want this game more!


yes. As I sit in the UK waiting for my pre-order, when I ordered it I thought "Something to look forward to".

Then the US backers started to crow and discuss and now I want to launch a helicopter raid on the boat and storm the container!
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Markus
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Neal Smith wrote:
Then the US backers started to crow and discuss and now I want to launch a helicopter raid on the boat and storm the container!


Let me know when the helicopter is departing, I'll help you out.
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Sandy Petersen
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You're launching a helicopter raid on Great Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, the King in Yellow, and Shub-Niggurath? This I got to see.

Incidentally, tomorrow's update (165) has information about the EU, Australia, and ROW shipping. I can't repeat it here, because we are actually GETTING this information later on today from the shippers, and my time machine is on the fritz. (Hounds of Tindalos in the works.)
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Sandy Petersen
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Wesso wrote:
Every review, pic and video I watch only makes me want this game more!


Are you a backer or pre-order, Wesso? Petersen Games stands by ready to appease your desire for this game!

Sandy
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Sandy Petersen wrote:
Wesso wrote:
Every review, pic and video I watch only makes me want this game more!


Are you a backer or pre-order, Wesso? Petersen Games stands by ready to appease your desire for this game!

Sandy


Sadly, no ... man, that hurts to write. I just started playing designer board games three weeks ago with Arkham Horror and I am hooked! The rabbit hole, so to speak, led me to your gem of a game. Your son mentioned your website and I went to place my order but the certificate has expired. I am ready to order!
 
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Greg Robertson
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Wesso wrote:
Sadly, no ... man, that hurts to write. I just started playing designer board games three weeks ago with Arkham Horror and I am hooked! The rabbit hole, so to speak, led me to your gem of a game. Your son mentioned your website and I went to place my order but the certificate has expired. I am ready to order!

You've made an excellent choice my friend! Let me give you some recommendations for when you purchase.

If you have the funds, your best bet is to pick up the Necronomicon bundle. It provides the most product at the largest discount available on the site. I cannot recommend it enough for folks who missed the Kickstarter!

The alternative is the the À la carte option. Pick up the core game and the add-ons as you can afford them. My suggestions are listed below.

1) Core Game (This is where the fun begins!)
2) High Priest Expansion (a great add-on at an affordable price)
3) 6-8 Player Map (This is essential for more than 5 players)
4) Faction Bundle (Nice discount + options for more than 5 players)
5) Map Bundle (Nice discount + tons of new playable modes)

Some people would ask why I recommend the Bundles over buying each faction or map expansion separately. The obvious answer is the total discount you will receive when purchasing. You can just as easily buy the add-on items you want over time. Just be prepared to pay more for the items and having them all shipped at different times.

I just wanted to take the time to give you the information you will need to make an informed decision. And the community welcomes you to the Cthulhu Wars family!

Cthulhu Wars! Game responsibly.
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Arthur Petersen
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Wesso

Email me at Arthur@Petersengames.com
 
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Sandy Petersen
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dlminsac wrote:
I agree that this game has as strong a theme as Arkham Horror. It's almost like they had the same designer.


Just caught this. I must say that I was NOT the designer of Arkham Horror - that was Richard Launius. I am proud, however, to have been the main developer of the design as sent to Chaosium.

Sandy
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