Recommend
32 
 Thumb up
 Hide
38 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Cthulhu Wars» Forums » Reviews

Subject: The Rules Lawyer Reviews: Cthulhu Wars rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Reddish22
United States
Nampa
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
the Yellow Sign?
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I love board games. I love the strategy and decisions that go into them, and especially, I love that I can have fun while thinking. My gateway game was the Settlers of Catan, and my favorites are kind of all over the board with a range from Puerto Rico to Space Hulk.

So that's me - a background about my opinions - my reviews follow the same format every time, because these are the criteria I like to think about when I'm looking at purchasing a game. Feel free to check out my other reviews.http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/browse/boardgame/0?usern...

And now we're going to take a look at one of the most lavish board game releases I've ever seen, Cthulhu Wars! As a disclaimer - I've run multiple games of CW online through the play by forum function here on BGG and have interacted with the publisher multiple times in doing so. I haven't been paid or compensated in any way for any of this and I was a backer that paid for a full pledge (which cost me a worthwhile arm and a leg - luckily between Cthulhu Wars figures there are a lot of arms and legs and tentacles to go around.) I am only disclosing this incase anyone believes I'm a "fanboy"

1. The Components
No mention of Cthulhu Wars should ever occur without taking a moment to praise the components. The figures themselves are amazing and pictures of them don't do them justice, quite literally. Some of the figures reach heights of 180 mm. If you are at all interested in this game, please take a look in person if at all possible at the figures, they really do the theme justice. The cardboard components are nice and thick and are are equally worthy of praise. There are a few things, like the faction sheets and the doom track that I think should have been also printed on the thick cardboard, however the only reason that these components feel out of place is because the rest of the box is packed full of amazing. The rulebook is well-written and does a good job of creating a framework that actually does allow for the detailed interactions between all of the special abilities.


2. The Theme
This game is rooted in the lore of HP Lovecraft and the "Cthulhu Mythos." In the game, each player controls a faction of cultists, monsters and at least one Great Old One like Cthulhu himself. As this faction you attempt to dominate the Earth and crown yourself the reigning king of the doomed hunk of rock. Each faction is made up of a thematic brigade of monsters that serve their Great Old One, for instance the Cthulhu faction is served by Shoggoths, Deep Ones (think Shadow over Innsmouth), and Starspawn. As well as thematic monsters, each faction has special abilities, called spell books that tie into the stories of HP Lovecraft. However, while these abilities are small nods to the source material and are neat for Lovecraft fans, anyone can enjoy this game, not simply HP Lovecraft fans. One lovely touch that the publisher added, was on the back of each faction card are these terrifying snippets both from the stories of HP Lovecraft and from the design team. I do not wish to spoil these, but they are wonderful visions into the feeling of the typical Lovecraft story.

3. The Concept
Cthulhu Wars is not a story driven game like many games based upon Lovecraft's writing are. Cthulhu Wars is a strategy game that will remind many of Chaos in the Old World (I'll talk more about this later). The game essentially is an area control game with skirmishes happening here and there. The core concept of the game is extremely simple, each turn is made up of a phase where each player "gathers power points" that they then use to perform their actions over the course of an action phase. The action phase allows each player in turn order to take a single action (with some exceptions) until each player has run out of power. The turn structure is a little more nuanced than that, but not by much. As I said, the core of the game is simple - the complexity and the beauty in the game design arises from all of the special abilities.

Each of the factions has a series of 6 "spell book" requirements that serve as a goal for the faction. While the goal of the game is to collect "Doom Points" by controlling areas (with gates that can be build over the course of the game) on the board at the beginning of each round, a player cannot win the game until he has satisfied the 6 spell book requirements. As an example, the Black Goat faction has 4 spell book requirements that require them to spread out across the board - 1. Have units in 4 areas, 2. Have units in 6 areas, 3. Have units in 8 areas, and 4. Have units in an area that is shared with each enemy. After each of the spell book conditions are met, the player gets to choose from one of their available spell books. Each spell book provides a new special ability for the faction. Each of these special abilities is distinct and they feel very robust and different from each other (I'll talk more about this later too).

4. The Ending
Due to the fact that players gain points each round from controlling areas on the board, the scores are generally pretty close to each other. While I've seen games where one faction pulls pretty far ahead after having a big turn, the game encourages other players to cut down the leader, if necessary. Aside from the doom points that you can collect each turn from controlling gates, each faction has at least one way where they can claim "Elder Signs." These Elder Sign tokens are drawn from a bag and have variable numbers on them, from 1-3. These Elder Signs may be turned in at any time for the amount of doom points enumerated on them. The Elder Signs create an interesting element where every player isn't exactly sure where the scores lie, but you can generally estimate about where everyone is at.


5. The Game play
I feel like I've already covered a lot of the game play elements above, but let me be clear, the game turns move very quickly. Additionally, because the game is a culmination of a lot of small decisions made over time, this game is not extremely difficult to teach to new players.

6. Replayability
The core game of Cthulhu Wars involves 4 different factions that are extremely distinct. Each faction has at least a few different strategies that they can attempt. Games of Cthulhu Wars for me so far have always lasted about an hour, even with new players. Probably the strongest commendation I can give here is that I've played Cthulhu Wars over 20 times now and I can't wait to play again.

7. The "Luck" Factor
This game has quite a bit of luck in that like most "dudes on a map" game, combat is resolved using die rolls. There are also some special abilities that are dependent on die rolls. While that seems like a lot of die rolls to resolve things, the sum of all of the luck seems to balance out. You just have to realize you'll have to do the best you can at planning and mitigating luck and laugh when it rarely does go completely against you. (In our last game, Nyarlythotep attacked 2 Black Goat Cultists with a single Hunting Horror. The Black Goat player rolled two kills, killing both the 3 point monster and the Great Old One, while the Nyarlythotep player rolled zero kills or pains out of 9 dice.)

Conclusions:
As I mentioned, I was a KS backer of this game and I'm very happy that I did. Initially, I was completely put off by the price tag. As I did more research into the game system, I was really impressed by the simplicity of the system that is augmented by having loads of special abilities. In this way it reminds me of Cosmic Encounter, a very simple framework that is changed every game by the different special abilities that players acquire throughout the game.

This game will always be compared to Chaos in the Old World. The games feel similar, playing as the bad guys summoning monsters, taking control of different areas and other similarities. In lots of ways, Cthulhu Wars feels more streamlined than Chaos in the Old World to me. Cthulhu Wars strips out any sort of spell cards or event cards and substitutes these for an increased amount of special abilities between the individual units and the Great Old Ones. I love both games, I just view them differently. When the KS was running for Cthulhu Wars, I told myself that I already owned the $40 version of Cthulhu Wars with a different theme by owning Chaos in the Old World. I WAS WRONG. The games can both have a spot in people's collections. They only feel similar on a surface level and I vastly enjoy Cthulhu Wars more.

Probably the biggest hurdle for Cthulhu Wars going forward is the price tag. Apparently the game will be available from Game Salute for around $160 with free shipping. That is a lot for a single game system, and it's understandable that most people won't be able or willing to drop that much money on one game. I completely understand those feelings, and I felt the exact same way at one time. When I decided that I really wanted the game, I looked at my shelf, sold a bunch of stuff I didn't play anymore and decided to back it. One of the strongest commendations I can give the game is that I was a DVM backer for the whole package and I spent over $500 on this game system and I don't regret it! There are many people that have asked if the publisher intends to do a "toned down" version of Cthulhu Wars to bring the price point down for a more general release. While I have not insight into the mind of the Peterson clan, I seriously doubt that they intend to do so. Cthulhu Wars was meant to be a grand vision, that evokes a certain type of feeling and it does that in spades. I understand that this isn't the type of game that every gamer can own, due not only to cost but to the huge size it takes up, but I can only share my opinion as an owner of it. Once again, even considering how expensive this game is, I do not regret buying it. I cannot say the same for games that have cost a lot less and that to me is a very strong recommendation in and of itself.

I also want to say one word about the expansions that are coming. For me as a backer of the full package, I really, REALLY look forward to the expansion material. I'm not sure how often I'll use the additional maps, the independent Great Old Ones, or independent monsters, but I know I'll use the new factions extensively. I mention this because if you are interested in this game, I strongly recommend picking up the faction expansions when they arrive later this year.

If I had to highlight any weaknesses of the game, aside from the cost (which I realize for many is a huge burden), the weaknesses aren't necessarily with Cthulhu Wars but more with the genre that it belongs to. The game involves conflict, it involves picking on each other and direct combat. There will be some people that may not enjoy games that have this type of conflict, and that is perfectly okay. If you wish, there are many gameplay videos that you can watch to decide if the gameplay is something that you'll like.

One further invitation to try out this game, because cost is an obvious factor that will keep most people away from trying it, I have run many games of Cthulhu Wars here on the BGG play by forum boards. If you wish to try out this game and would like to try it using the BGG play by forum function here, please send me a private message or comment here and I'd be happy to moderate another game for people who would like to try it due to my review.

One last comment from me in this much too long review - is a word on the game design regarding special abilities. As you play the game, you'll have these moments where each special ability of your opponents seems CRAZY powerful. You'll think that for about five minutes until you receive a new ability and you realize that it is also CRAZY powerful. Each of the abilities on it's own feels ridiculously powerful and some of the combinations feels crazy. Every single faction has these combinations, feels distinctive and is enjoyable to play. In this way, it reminds me of Dune - the factions feel overpowered on their own, until you read the ability of the next one and see that every faction feels super powerful and this is where the balance comes from.

Cthulhu Wars is a great game. A perfect game? No, but with amazing components and very rewarding gameplay, Cthulhu Wars will stay in my collection for life.


Please include any thoughts about the review,

and as always, Thank you for reading!
54 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Markus
Finland
Helsinki
Uusimaa
flag msg tools
You don't need any more.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Well now I definitely will have a hard time waiting for my copy to arrive! Only 4 more weeks... thanks for the awesome review.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kelly N.
United States
Richmond
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Nicely written, and I agree with 99.9%. My only difference in opinion is the luck factor. Dice rolls are mostly a result of movements and decisions of a tactical nature. If you have better tactics than your opponents, then the dice rolls are somewhat mitigated.

However, as a CW owner and player, the fact that I read your entire review should make it obvious that I join you in the praise and enthusiasm for the game. I'm always hungry for all things Cthulhu Wars, to the point that I even read reviews by fellow players. I do not need to read them because I already own the game. But it represents an opportunity for more CW enjoyment.

Good stuff! Thanks for the write up. thumbsup
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
nexus rexus
msg tools
mb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Good review. The only thing i would change is the Chaos in the Old World part. Yes they are sort of difrent games but i cant stop the feeling that CW is CitOW 2.0. In a way that here every faction can be khorne, everybody can turtle and lay low like slaanesh, play the long term game as father nurgle or mess with the board (almost) like tzeentch.
In the WH lore there is a legend
At the begining of time 4 overlords created a realm where they can settle their differences. Every one of them made 1 rule to be true.

The Warrior said: Let it be that the fate of this world is decided by the streinght of warriors.

The Baron: Let it be that everybody is mortal and doomed to die.

The Prince said: Let it be that the hearts of mortals are easyly corrupted.

The Wizard added no rule of his own, but declared to make an exception from every one of the rest.

And i must say that fits perfectly in CW.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
W. Ruff
msg tools
Avatar
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Very well written, Kolby! I get mine today! I can't wait!!! This post has too many exclamation marks!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arthur Petersen
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
it's your sister Cheryl!
badge
I work for Petersen Games. AMA
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Wesso wrote:
Very well written, Kolby! I get mine today! I can't wait!!! This post has too many exclamation marks!


!

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Nunez
United States
Oklahoma
flag msg tools
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Am I understanding this correctly...on Amazon Cthuhlu Wars sales for $300.00 bagbag wow!! There is some encouragement to jump on Kickstarters! Nice write up BUT we all knew the glory which is Cthuhlu Wars!!

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reddish22
United States
Nampa
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
the Yellow Sign?
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Thank you for all the comments everyone! I enjoyed writing this review.
As for the comparison to CiTOW - I vastly prefer Cthulhu Wars, and I think this shows through in my review. One of the guys I play with says that Cthulhu Wars is what "CiTOW wishes it was." I share that sentiment almost 100%

I compared the two to try to give a more objective view of who would like the game and for what reasons. Same thing when I talk about the luck factor due to die rolls.


mikenunez wrote:
Am I understanding this correctly...on Amazon Cthuhlu Wars sales for $300.00 :bag::bag: wow!! There is some encouragement to jump on Kickstarters! Nice write up BUT we all knew the glory which is Cthuhlu Wars!!



That's probably a reseller. The game will retail for around $160 with free shipping directly from Game Salute. It's a hefty sum to be sure, but with games like Imperial Assault retailing for $100 MSRP, Cthulhu Wars really doesn't feel like it's that outrageously priced when you see the quality and the amount of stuff you receive for that price.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Mendiola
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
reddish22 wrote:
As for the comparison to CiTOW - I vastly prefer Cthulhu Wars, and I think this shows through in my review. One of the guys I play with says that Cthulhu Wars is what "CiTOW wishes it was." I share that sentiment almost 100%


I don't know that I'd go that far. Chaos has some things going that Cthulhu Wars doesn't, but I too prefer Cthulhu Wars over Chaos.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Major Havok
United States
Niles
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Afrofrycook wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
As for the comparison to CiTOW - I vastly prefer Cthulhu Wars, and I think this shows through in my review. One of the guys I play with says that Cthulhu Wars is what "CiTOW wishes it was." I share that sentiment almost 100%


I don't know that I'd go that far. Chaos has some things going that Cthulhu Wars doesn't, but I too prefer Cthulhu Wars over Chaos.


It's been a long time since I've had CiTOW on the table. I don't recall any negotiation in that game beyond what players might attempt on their own (like any game really). So far my few CW games are feeling like a lighter/simpler/quicker version of CiTOW?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Neal Smith
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
DeePee wrote:
Well now I definitely will have a hard time waiting for my copy to arrive! Only 4 more weeks... thanks for the awesome review.


As a User waiting for it to arrive, where did the 4 weeks come from?

Is that what I have to wait as well???!! cool
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sandy Petersen
United States
Rockwall
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
I wrote the first-ever Lovecraft game.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
I will only say that I think this is the first review to detect the debt I owe to Cosmic Encounter, one of my favorite games ever.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reddish22
United States
Nampa
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
the Yellow Sign?
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Sandy Petersen wrote:
I will only say that I think this is the first review to detect the debt I owe to Cosmic Encounter, one of my favorite games ever.


Thank you! I think any game being compared to Cosmic is a great honor.

It's a wonderful design philosophy.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CARL SKUTSCH
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
badge
Alpha pedant
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
reddish22 wrote:
Due to the fact that players gain points each round from controlling areas on the board, the scores are generally pretty close to each other. While I've seen games where one faction pulls pretty far ahead after having a big turn, the game encourages other players to cut down the leader, if necessary.


So not that I'm thinking of buying this (oh, who am I kidding here?), but one thing that concerns me reading this is… Why bother? I mean, if the whole game seems like you stay neck and neck in score, why bother playing the whole game? Just jump to the last turn and see who wins? I don't like the idea of a game where your strategies throughout the game don't really seem to matter very much because it all revolves around what you do on the last turn.

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reddish22
United States
Nampa
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
the Yellow Sign?
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
skutsch wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
Due to the fact that players gain points each round from controlling areas on the board, the scores are generally pretty close to each other. While I've seen games where one faction pulls pretty far ahead after having a big turn, the game encourages other players to cut down the leader, if necessary.


So not that I'm thinking of buying this (oh, who am I kidding here?), but one thing that concerns me reading this is… Why bother? I mean, if the whole game seems like you stay neck and neck in score, why bother playing the whole game? Just jump to the last turn and see who wins? I don't like the idea of a game where your strategies throughout the game don't really seem to matter very much because it all revolves around what you do on the last turn.



That's a really good question, and one that I could accuse lots of Euros of - let me be clear though, what keeps the factions in check in Cthulhu Wars is that you have to fight each other. Space is limited. Spell books for every faction encourage movement and not simply turtling. So what I'm saying is that there is a lot of posturing that gets you into position for that interesting last turn. As I said, I've seen games where a player goes unchecked and does dominate? (Need proof - see some of the PBFs here on BGG)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dave Mendiola
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
skutsch wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
Due to the fact that players gain points each round from controlling areas on the board, the scores are generally pretty close to each other. While I've seen games where one faction pulls pretty far ahead after having a big turn, the game encourages other players to cut down the leader, if necessary.


So not that I'm thinking of buying this (oh, who am I kidding here?), but one thing that concerns me reading this is… Why bother? I mean, if the whole game seems like you stay neck and neck in score, why bother playing the whole game? Just jump to the last turn and see who wins? I don't like the idea of a game where your strategies throughout the game don't really seem to matter very much because it all revolves around what you do on the last turn.



The thing is, you don't just look at the points, but the board itself. Board position is just as important as the points themselves. If everyone has equal points, but one person has 5 gates and a GOO vs. everyone else having 2 or 3 gates, the person is clearly in the lead.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Starks
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Much of the game is building up that last turn. Here's some possible game states:

Great Cthulhu:
1) Has his entire army submerged, and 3 gates secured
2) Has his entire army spread across 5 gates, and in the lead
3) Only just got Cthulhu out, and is good for maybe 1 medium-strength assault.

Black Goat:
1) Has 4 gates, 3 controlled by Dark Young, with a Mi-Go in each area, and a smattering of cultists for support
2) Is tenuously holding onto 6 gates, and preparing to be ganged up on
3) Doesn't even have Shub-Niggurath, and can't contribute much beyond Necrophagy

Crawling Chaos:
1) Has 2 turns in a row controlling 5 gates
2) Has all his spellbooks and monsters out, and is set to make the king
3) Has rolled poorly for Thousand Forms the whole time, and is yet to get his Spend 4 Power or Spend 6 Power spellbooks

Yellow Sign:
1) Got Hastur out on turn 2, and has 10 Elder Signs
2) Has a couple gates, numerous Desecrated areas, and is focused on bringing down the frontrunner
3) Did nothing this turn except finally summon Hastur

These could describe any given faction during the last turn, and each has a massive effect on how the last turn or two will play out, and each is the culmination of a series of events occurring over all the previous turns combined.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arthur Petersen
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
it's your sister Cheryl!
badge
I work for Petersen Games. AMA
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
I will argue that not only does the board presence dramatically shift from round to round, but that the doom points (VP) do not uniformly rise either. The number of gates a player controls corresponds directly to doom points gathered per round, so the rise of doom points can't really be uniform - and, as Reddish added, look at the PBFs for proof.

There are two additional features which make victory uncertain until the end: spellbooks and elder tokens. Each faction gains elder tokens in different ways, and gets a different average number. Because these are secret amounts of Doom Points, this specifically conceals the true victor until the end (and this mechanic was put in the game explicitly for that purpose). Also, if one faction has an amazing board presence, but does not have 6 spellbooks, and the game ends, he loses. I have seen players tie, but only one had 6 spellbooks.

One feature of CW that sets it apart from many games, is that there are wild swings in board presence and power total each round. This directly results in uneven doom point scoring.





2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
reaching out from the in-between spaces...
United States
Baldwin
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
skutsch wrote:
reddish22 wrote:
Due to the fact that players gain points each round from controlling areas on the board, the scores are generally pretty close to each other. While I've seen games where one faction pulls pretty far ahead after having a big turn, the game encourages other players to cut down the leader, if necessary.


So not that I'm thinking of buying this (oh, who am I kidding here?), but one thing that concerns me reading this is… Why bother? I mean, if the whole game seems like you stay neck and neck in score, why bother playing the whole game? Just jump to the last turn and see who wins? I don't like the idea of a game where your strategies throughout the game don't really seem to matter very much because it all revolves around what you do on the last turn.



I'm just curious here, but do you prefer runaway leader games? It seems that in CW players of equal skill will be neck and neck which is a sign of a well balanced game.

The other option is that if played well, each turn you keep getting further and further ahead, which many people would call the game out on a runaway leader issue.

Could you give an example of a game that isn't a runaway leader issue but doesn't keep players neck and neck?

I'm just really curious about your statement and mean no disrespect.

Jorune
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
T C
United States
Unspecified
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
I'm guessing that he is asking how much skill plays into being the winner? Players of equal skill, should be neck and neck. If a skilled and experienced player is neck and neck going into the last turn with someone playing their first game, then that could be a problem. The more skill a game requires, the less likely that all players will be of equal skill. And the more room for improvement you have thru practice and watching better players play. All these things can contribute to replay value and strategic depth of a game.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arthur Petersen
United States
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
it's your sister Cheryl!
badge
I work for Petersen Games. AMA
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Except....

players of equal skill will not always actually be neck and neck vis a vis Doom throughout the game (though they can be). The game is highly asymmetric, which contributes to this phenomenon, but I'll break it down round by round as to why this could be:

One virtual constant of CW is that there are always 4 to 6 rounds. Always. I am not aware of a game that was more or less.

Round 1 - the maximum gates you could realistically have is 3, but 2 is common for various reasons. At this point, neck and neck, whatever the skill level.

Round 2 - did you build your GOO or do something for spellbooks, OR expand your number of gates? Really, you can't expand too much this early, but some players could go up to 4 gates, or even 5 if he's really lucky (say, Crawling Chaos with his flight ability), while others could stay at 2, because they had two, and all they did was Awaken their GOO (for example, Cthulhu often does this). In this example, Cthulhu probably only has 4 doom, while Crawling Chaos could be at 7 or even 8 Doom - double Cthulhu's score. However, an experienced player would laugh if you counted Cthulhu out at this point.

Round 3 - the differentiation could start to really separate depending on various factors, but most solid players will have at least 3 gates by this round. In the case of Cthulhu, if he only gained one more gate, and CC was able to retain at least 4 (perhaps he had 5 but lost one), then the spread is:
Cthulhu is only at 7, but with an elder token
CC is at 11 or 12, probably with no elder tokens.

However, perhaps only ONE of them now Rituals, because the other has a plan for his power. Let's say it's CC who rituals. Now, he's at 16, with Cthulhu still only at 7ish.

That's halfway through the game. I have seen games almost exactly like this, and Great Cthulhu ended up winning handily.

At this point, both factions will try to maximize gates and complete spellbooks. CC may want to lean on Harbinger, Cthulhu may want to kill Cthulhu a few times. It all depends.

In Round 4 or 5, the player who will ultimately win will likely have at least one big turn in which he has 5 gates, and rituals, adding 10 Doom, plus an elder token.

At the outset of rounds 5/6 most competent players (except perhaps Yog or Yellow Sign) should have crossed 20 Doom. It is actually here that players' scores often begin to look similar (though even at this point, not always).

I hope this makes my point.

Last GenCon, I saw Black Goat come completely from behind - he had been using blood sacrifice for elder tokens each round, so no one knew his real score, but besides that, he was counted out, having gotten down to two gates. But then, the final round he had 8 gates! (5 cultists plus 3 dark young) due to good power management and a little luck in Battles (not to mention handy uses of Avatar and Necrophagy). Anyway, though the others were all in the low twenties, to his 15 or something, he far surpassed them by going up 16, then getting two more elder tokens (one for ritualing with Shub, the other for his final blood sacrifice), and finished with over 40 Doom. He went from more than 5 Doom behind the guy in second to last place to being more than 10 Doom ahead of the the guy who got second place!

THAT'S Cthulhu Wars. goo

The player was the guy who edits for Chaosium, by the way. He really likes Shubby. Almost too much.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Starks
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
She got dat lady hump.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam Starks
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
Among other protuberances...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reddish22
United States
Nampa
Idaho
flag msg tools
designer
the Yellow Sign?
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
AdamStarks wrote:
She got dat lady hump.


They're far from lovely.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CARL SKUTSCH
United States
New York
New York
flag msg tools
Agricola, Sekigahara, Concordia, Innovation, COOKIE!!! (and Guinness)
badge
Alpha pedant
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Have you seen it? You should - Cthulhu Wars Review
morpheus133 wrote:
I'm guessing that he is asking how much skill plays into being the winner? Players of equal skill, should be neck and neck. If a skilled and experienced player is neck and neck going into the last turn with someone playing their first game, then that could be a problem. The more skill a game requires, the less likely that all players will be of equal skill. And the more room for improvement you have thru practice and watching better players play. All these things can contribute to replay value and strategic depth of a game.


I think that's what I mean. My original question was more of an emotional reaction to what the reviewer had posted. I want to feel skill matters enough in a game. Y'all seem to be saying, yes it does in this one.

May all your babies be shoggoths.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.