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Subject: Never heard of Cthulhu, never played miniatures games. So what did we think of Cthulhu Wars? rss

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Nate
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Intro


I learned Cthulhu Wars existed in late January 2015. Before then, I had never heard of H. P. Lovecraft, or been exposed to the Cthulhu theme. Since then, however, I’ve read every review of Cthulhu Wars, watched every video, and followed (almost) every thread on BGG, because – c’mon – this game looks awesome!

By all accounts, I felt like my family would really enjoy this game. But in doing my research (reading/watching reviews), I was really hoping to hear a perspective from someone who:

A) had never played miniatures games before, like me;
B) had not been a previous Lovecraft fan, in case that made them more inclined to like the game; and
C) had not kickstarted it, to erase all doubt that any praise is simply a result of confirmation bias

all to help answer the big question: “Should board gamers like me pay $200 for Cthulhu Wars?” The answer to that question is always going to be “It depends”; however, if I can recount my own impressions of it as an outsider, if you will, I think it may be of some value for those in the same boat.

To that end, I’d like to introduce the players who will be playing, simply to give additional perspective and help you get an idea of whether your tastes are the same as ours and therefore might also agree with our impressions of Cthulhu Wars, or if they differ enough that you might disregard our impressions as “not applicable.” As these are just bios, however, please feel free to skip this section.

About the Players


We’ve always been a board game family. Mom wasn’t really ever into them, but dad would play with us all the time. I have four siblings, now with lots of little, preteen, and teenage nieces and nephews. We try to have a game day at least once a month, and of course on major holidays when we’re all together. Growing up, our food pantry wasn’t stocked with canned goods, but rather three walls of shelves stacked with board games. We pretty much played all the classic card games (plus several others), checkers, chess, and all the usual classic games such as Monopoly, Life, and Risk. We heard about Catan probably six or seven years ago, and for the last three years I’ve started the family collection of modern board games. Feel free to view my collection to see the ~70 games I’ve owned since then as that is the totality of our exposure to modern board games.

Nate (me), age 29: Currently, I like a little bit of everything, and really am just happy playing something. I do really love tile-laying games though; they just scratch the right itch for me. After that, I love a good party game with the family. Since we have that history and a lifetime of inside jokes, we can really play off each other and have some good laughs. I find myself avoiding games that leave me feeling mentally exhausted, although oddly I’d like to play some heavy Euros sometime to try them out. I also dislike negotiation games, worker placement, and games with a lot downtime between turns.

Favorites: Glen More, Vikings, Carcassonne, Seeland, Mysterium, Snake Oil, Concept

Dislikes: Agricola, Pandemic, Pitch Car, Bohnanza

Bud (dad), age 64: Dad, like me, has loved games since being a kid. He could pick a game and literally play it morning to night. He grew up on Checkers, dominoes, and card games, and is an expert at bridge. He’ll play anything with us; he just follows the crowd. If he had to name a dislike, it would probably be some of the heavier Euros I’ve owned, and tough worker placement games due to the stress that generates.

Favorites: Ticket to Ride, Castles of Burgundy, Jambo, Acquire

Dislikes: Agricola

Dave (brother), age 38: Dave is a software engineer, and has an engineering mind (and a brilliant one at that). He loves finding elegant solutions, and bringing them home. He favors negotiation games, and games featuring a lot of player interaction, as well as very light and fun games. He can’t stand Euro games. He’d just as soon sit out than play something involving taking actions or placing workers to obtain money, so you can buy resources, to exchange for victory points.

Favorites: Diplomacy, Once Upon a Time, Bacchus’ Banquet, Chess

Dislikes: Agricola, Puerto Rico

Linus (Dave’s son), age 15: Linus is me when I was his age; he wants to play a game all the time. He’s a gentle soul, but LOVES direct competition in a game, and messing up other people's plans. Like his dad, he’ll go do something else before playing anything Euro-y.

Favorites: Tigris & Euphrates, Chess, Tash-Kalar, 2 de Mayo, Quantum, Taluva, Scotland Yard

Dislikes: Agricola, Seeland, Sanssouci

Donna (my sister), age 33: I’m not exactly sure how to describe what it is that Donna likes in a board game. Sometimes the games I’m sure she’ll love, she winds up hating; and vice versa. I really hesitate to say she likes Euros or Ameritrash, because I can find many examples of each that she can’t stand. Her Favorites will have to speak for themselves.

Favorites: Castles of Burgundy, Ticket to Ride, Morels, Blueprints, Sushizock im Gockelwock, Downfall of Pompeii, Takenoko, Sanssouci, Acquire

Dislikes: Agricola, Taluva, Bacchus’ Banquet

Predictions


Everything written thus far was written before even receiving the game. It just feels more scientific to write out every thought I have about the game, including any and all concerns, and then write the review upon playing it to see how well the actual experience lined up with how I predicted it would go. This section is to lay out all of those predictions.

Will we like the game?

I think Linus and I will friggin’ love it, that Dave will like it a lot, that dad will say “It’s all right,” and that Donna will ask that we play Acquire next.

Is it worth $200 for us?

I’m stressing about this question. There’s no doubt this is a luxury purchase. People have a lot of different philosophies regarding whether something is “worth” it. I’m a single guy with no kids and an average income -- bills are paid up and debt is minimal. So if at least 3 of us really like the game and start playing it regularly, I will be okay with spending the money. Still, some part of me has to wonder how much of that value (for me) is the exclusivity factor. I can’t deny I feel some of that. To help others, I will try to parse that out, and answer the question with “Is the gameplay itself worth $200?”.

What criticisms do you have?

This is an area where the silence is a little scary. It seems like NO ONE has a criticism about the game, and it feels eerily quiet in that regard … like it should have SOMETHING wrong with it. I mean, is everyone so gaga that they’re blind to any flaws? Have those who waited a year and a half since the Kickstarter acquired Stockholm syndrome, so that whatever was finally delivered -- no matter the quality -- they were going to love it to death? I really do wonder that.

I do think the thin player mats will annoy me. I have that issue with Concept, constantly worrying with the little player aids hovering over the edge of the round table, that someone will rest their arms on the table such that it bends a corner or worse. I’d hate for that to happen here with the player mats. Also, as many times as I’ve read the rulebook, looked at player aids, read the FAQs, and followed the rules forum on here, I worry -- especially with my family -- that the rulebook will have enough ambiguities to make the game twice as long due to rule debates. We nitpick the tiniest details, and a game like this with so many interactions usually requires a lot of clarifications. I’ve already read a lot of those clarifications, so hopefully I can head those off when we sit down to play. We’ll see if it’s enough, and if the Omega rule has any effect on this (we’ll probably find something in its wording to debate as well!).

Initial Impressions


This was finally broken out on 4/6/15, as a four-player game between me, Dave, Donna, and Linus. Linus and I had actually spent an hour playing all four factions together to get a feel for the game, which was very helpful when teaching Dave and Donna.

First, it really isn’t an understatement to say the box is huge. It’s massive! Taking out each GOO was awesome because you were already sensing the destruction they were about to unleash. It felt epic.

We agreed to play a game simply to explore the game, and I did my best to explain rules as they came up. Reading the rulebook several times, as well as perusing the Rules forums was extremely helpful. Surprisingly soon, everyone had a handle on what they could do each turn, how battle worked, a solid understanding of the hierarchy of units, as well as the intricacies of capturing cultists. I didn’t bother to explain the Doom track until the third turn when it started making sense for people to perform rituals. That first game took about 2.5 hours (with breaks and pauses for Jeopardy), always allowing for takebacks, and the entire time everyone was engaged. Donna especially took great pleasure in “defecating” with the King in Yellow and his undead horde, and was unstoppable toward the end when getting the Third Eye. Looking back, it was obvious we needed to stop her; but again we were just getting a feel for the game.

As predicted, Linus absolutely loved it. I also couldn’t wait to play it again. Dave thought it was great, but Donna could have taken it or left it.

Second Impressions


We played this again on 4/11/15 as a 3-player game between me, Dave, and Linus. I won’t pretend we were playing anything close to optimally, but Linus wound up getting behind as Black Goat without a way to catch up. I made one ill-timed Ritual of Annihilation, at which point Dave used his spellbook to get 6 additional power, and wiped me off the board. Linus was a good sport, but did express worries about imbalance. I had my first doubts that this was worth the money, and Dave gave his honest opinion that this was a cool game, but it was just that -- another game. (After-the-fact edit: I think we just played really badly this game, as inexperienced players; I wouldn't take that session as reflective of the game at all.)

Third Impressions


On 4/25/15, dad finally joined us for a 4-player game with him, Dave, Donna, and Linus, with me supervising. In the first round, everyone mirrored each other with moving cultists and building gates to expand their power base. But in the second round, three players summoned their GOOs, while Linus deferred and with his power supply romped around the map stealing gates. He jumped to an insane lead on the Doom track; however, everyone at that point focused on him as the leader, and he soon fell behind as Dave (Yellow Sign) began desecrating like crazy. With Hastur in play, he began earning Elder Sign after Elder Sign, and eventually won easily. Everyone had an excellent time with this play-through, and it was fun for me just watching.

Final Thoughts


After this third play-through, I think our opinions are beginning to solidify on Cthulhu Wars. Of course, this was dad’s first exposure to the game, and I’m glad that he really liked it. His thoughts were if we were able to play this once a week or so, to where we stayed familiar with the game and strategies were honed, this would more than likely be an all-time great.

I think I have to agree with that. The reality is, unfortunately, is that we’re likely to break this out once a month at most. I very much wish I could play this every week or every other week with similarly enthusiastic players. If I could do that, spending $200 wouldn’t take a second thought. Heck, I’d probably splurge for the expansions. But the fact is, as infrequently as we get together, and with 50 other games in my collection vying for attention, I find myself thinking I’d much rather have $200 in my pocket than the game on my shelf.

I hate to say that, because the game is near perfect. It really is. I can’t think of a single thing to improve upon it (except the player mats, but that’s been discussed at length). The gameplay is so intuitive, the placement of your monsters is incredibly satisfying, the combat is so streamlined, you’re not mentally exhausted after playing it … it’s an excellent, excellent game. I don't think we looked at the rulebook more than once, and that was just to make sure we had the map set up correctly. It's amazing how it clicks, and every rule question that arose I already knew the answer for, which is a testament to the presence the Petersen family maintains on the Rules forum here.

Yes, the game is absolutely worth $200 -- worth it for the production costs, and worth it solely for the gameplay. But there’s no doubt it’s a luxury purchase. For me, the price point can’t be justified given how infrequently we will play it. I don’t begrudge it being so extravagant, and I think even the designer, Sandy, can acknowledge that there will be a segment of the board gaming population that can want Cthulhu Wars, can afford Cthulhu Wars, and can love Cthulhu Wars, but who can’t justify the price point in the context of a group who meets once a month, and wants to play other games also, so that CW only gets brought out every other month or so. For $50, yeah, I’d still buy it; but that’s not what this project was about, and that’s ok.

Hopefully, this will help others who are wondering the same things I did. The game is fantastic. The insane amount of hype surrounding this game isn't unfounded. The only question you have to answer is will you play it often enough to make it worth $200, which is completely subjective. For me, it's no; but that's a very sad, regretful no.

Note


I realize I'm not the best writer. This is my first and probably only review, written only because I felt I had a unique perspective as a buyer of this game. I chose this format simply because it's exactly what I was looking for in a review in doing my research. But be assured I don't have ideas of becoming the next big reviewer
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David Boeren
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A solid and honest review, thanks for posting it.

I get the feeling you guys don't like Agricola much...

And final point: "had never played miniatures games before"

You still haven't played a miniatures game. Cthulhu Wars may be an awesomely over-produced boardgame, but it's still a boardgame and not a miniatures game. If you want to see what a good miniatures game is like I would recommend looking up Warmachine. A real miniatures game is also expensive so I highly doubt you guys would take to it, but it's worth being aware of the difference.
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Nate
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Yeah, Agricola was pretty much hated all around, despite us recognizing it as a well-designed game. Just gave us knots in our stomach.

And thanks for the clarification regarding miniatures games. I do see your point.
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Thanks for the very honest review! I really agree that this is a game that rewards repeated play. I've been lucky enough to introduce it to 4 friends that aren't really board gamers and I've played it almost every week since it arrived. Because this is the only game this group has played, I have the benefit of repeated play that you don't have, and I totally understand your perspective. (I don't have that perspective with this game, but do with many of the new crop of euros that seem to be mostly interchangeable.)

Thanks again.
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David Boeren
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I'm one of those who likes games that benefit from or even demand repeated plays. Also, I'm a fan of the Cthulhu theme.

It would be perfect if only I had time to play it regularly
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Let me first say that I come from a different position than you: being a Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu RPG fan for years; being able to afford the game, but barely so; calculating value of a game a little differently.
So I basically knew what I was getting myself into, apart from actual gameplay and "will I love the game" question everything was clear from the get-go.
And I love the game to bits - with two criticisms:
- the oft-cited player mat quality
- for me, the game lacks a little in variability and therefore does not continuosly provide exploratory interest on its own after playing each faction 2 or 3 times (matter of taste whether this is negative or a non-issue)


However, with your unique approach to the subject, your insightful commentary, and overall with your genuinely honest approach without any overenthusiasm nor huge scepticism, this is, singlehandedly, one of the best reviews (withouth rules explanations) that I have ever read!

What's more, it helps new customers so much more to put the game into perspective, way more than the "propagandistic" approach of lauding it to high heaven (not criticising enthusiasm, just saying that the positivity machine can easily steamroll new customers).

You, sir, have won the Geek for me today!
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Nate
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Dumon wrote:
Let me first say that I come from a different position than you: being a Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu RPG fan for years; being able to afford the game, but barely so; calculating value of a game a little differently.
So I basically knew what I was getting myself into, apart from actual gameplay and "will I love the game" question everything was clear from the get-go.
And I love the game to bits - with two criticisms:
- the oft-cited player mat quality
- for me, the game lacks a little in variability and therefore does not continuosly provide exploratory interest on its own after playing each faction 2 or 3 times (matter of taste whether this is negative or a non-issue)


However, with your unique approach to the subject, your insightful commentary, and overall with your genuinely honest approach without any overenthusiasm nor huge scepticism, this is, singlehandedly, one of the best reviews (withouth rules explanations) that I have ever read!

What's more, it helps new customers so much more to put the game into perspective, way more than the "propagandistic" approach of lauding it to high heaven (not criticising enthusiasm, just saying that the positivity machine can easily steamroll new customers).

You, sir, have won the Geek for me today!

Wow, thank you very much! I had no idea what to expect when I submitted this, and I was quite nervous. That's incredibly kind of you to say.
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To be honest - this approach is a unique one here on the Geek. Most reviews come either from a "more informed" vantage point (this is not criticism, just an objective comparison), from a more enthusiastic stance or from a dismissive stance. The "scientific" approach with "opinion-gathering etc." is very different.
It is also very helpful for people that don't want to be swayed by opinionated approaches (nothing bad at that, just different)...


What I am saying is - if you had fun writing it (and I hope you did), and you would want to, then take this approach with any new game you and your group tries out! I am sure the Geek will appreciate it, and potentially new customers definitely will!
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They didn't play a tactical miniatures war game maybe. But it is indeed a miniatures board game. I'd take a look at Arcadia Quest, Star Wars Imperial Assault or Descent 1st Edition for tactical/war-gamey miniatures board games.
 
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dboeren wrote:
You still haven't played a miniatures game. Cthulhu Wars may be an awesomely over-produced boardgame, but it's still a boardgame and not a miniatures game. If you want to see what a good miniatures game is like I would recommend looking up Warmachine. A real miniatures game is also expensive so I highly doubt you guys would take to it, but it's worth being aware of the difference.

Or look up Strange Aeons, a Cthulhu-themed miniatures game. After all, with Cthulhu Wars, you certainly have the monster miniatures for it! Mansions of Madness has Cthulhu investigator miniatures, as does RAFM Miniatures.

SA: including demo kit : http://strange-aeons.ca/sa/?page_id=23

Glad to see Linus enjoyed it!

 
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Quote:
But there’s no doubt it’s a luxury purchase. For me, the price point can’t be justified given how infrequently we will play it. I don’t begrudge it being so extravagant, and I think even the designer, Sandy, can acknowledge that there will be a segment of the board gaming population that can want Cthulhu Wars, can afford Cthulhu Wars, and can love Cthulhu Wars, but who can’t justify the price point in the context of a group who meets once a month, and wants to play other games also, so that CW only gets brought out every other month or so. For $50, yeah, I’d still buy it; but that’s not what this project was about, and that’s ok.

This should be quoted, and quoted, and quoted, and quoted. I wish more people around here had such an even-keeled and mature response to the cost of this (and other) games.
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captainraffi wrote:
Quote:
But there’s no doubt it’s a luxury purchase. For me, the price point can’t be justified given how infrequently we will play it. I don’t begrudge it being so extravagant, and I think even the designer, Sandy, can acknowledge that there will be a segment of the board gaming population that can want Cthulhu Wars, can afford Cthulhu Wars, and can love Cthulhu Wars, but who can’t justify the price point in the context of a group who meets once a month, and wants to play other games also, so that CW only gets brought out every other month or so. For $50, yeah, I’d still buy it; but that’s not what this project was about, and that’s ok.

This should be quoted, and quoted, and quoted, and quoted. I wish more people around here had such an even-keeled and mature response to the cost of this (and other) games.

Absolutely there is reason to consider passing on the game if you can only play it one day every 2 months or so. That being said the reviewer said he has purchased 70 games in the last 6-7 years, so at least 10 games a year. At that purchase rate, only playing once a month on average, most of his games would only get one or two days of play. So if he is planning on a similar purchase rate this year, the next question is whether buying Cthulhu Wars and only 4-5 other games this year is a better entertainment value than buying 10 different games that are cheaper, but are also going to spend a lot of time sitting on the shelf.
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Nate
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morpheus133 wrote:
captainraffi wrote:
Quote:
But there’s no doubt it’s a luxury purchase. For me, the price point can’t be justified given how infrequently we will play it. I don’t begrudge it being so extravagant, and I think even the designer, Sandy, can acknowledge that there will be a segment of the board gaming population that can want Cthulhu Wars, can afford Cthulhu Wars, and can love Cthulhu Wars, but who can’t justify the price point in the context of a group who meets once a month, and wants to play other games also, so that CW only gets brought out every other month or so. For $50, yeah, I’d still buy it; but that’s not what this project was about, and that’s ok.

This should be quoted, and quoted, and quoted, and quoted. I wish more people around here had such an even-keeled and mature response to the cost of this (and other) games.

Absolutely there is reason to consider passing on the game if you can only play it one day every 2 months or so. That being said the reviewer said he has purchased 70 games in the last 6-7 years, so at least 10 games a year. At that purchase rate, only playing once a month on average, most of his games would only get one or two days of play. So if he is planning on a similar purchase rate this year, the next question is whether buying Cthulhu Wars and only 4-5 other games this year is a better entertainment value than buying 10 different games that are cheaper, but are also going to spend a lot of time sitting on the shelf.

Just a quick correction: We played Catan 6-7 years ago, which marked our exposure to modern board games. I personally started acquiring games in November 2012, via Amazon as well as trades. I've sold 15-20 games as well. So the final result is I'm sitting at around 50, but have no plans to continue that trend of game acquisition of ~2-3/month. You learn a lot about what you do and don't like during that initial purchase frenzy, and 50 games already feels like a lot.

As far as value, that's tricky. When we're all together, we start in the morning and play till evening; and we have a lot of fun just playing something ... anything. If all we had was a deck of cards, we'd be just fine. Then again, I get a thrill out of introducing something new, and everyone REALLY digging it.

So when I say I'd rather have the $200, it's also because we have plenty of other games to play; and if we're not going to play CW any more often than we are, that's where I say it's not worth it for us.
 
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David Etherton
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Dumon wrote:
- for me, the game lacks a little in variability and therefore does not continuosly provide exploratory interest on its own after playing each faction 2 or 3 times (matter of taste whether this is negative or a non-issue)

Have you tried Iron Man Cthulhu Wars? (Name paraphrased from a post from Arthur IIRC)

Basically, draw your spell books randomly as you earn them. Lots of variability in game play!

-Dave
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Games to try
Considering your family, you definitely should try Robo Rally!
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etherton wrote:

Have you tried Iron Man Cthulhu Wars? (Name paraphrased from a post from Arthur IIRC)

Basically, draw your spell books randomly as you earn them. Lots of variability in game play!

-Dave

Dave, thanks for the suggestion, and no, I have not. Thankfully, I haven't played enough games yet to know the ropes in all factions, and neither do my co-players.

However, this idea brings with it another problem - that of strategy and balance. If you play this way, you are hard-pressed to apply any strategy, and even goal-oriented tactics will be complicated, as the ground shifts beneath you. Now, that would be not a problem, were it not for the fact that this method can grossly benefit one player while strongly hindering another.

I am a special kind of animal, I know. Maybe because I come from the Eurostyle side of gaming, still love it, have moved into hybrid lands, but only occasionally stroll into Ameristyle land...
 
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Sandy Petersen
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This was a great review that I enjoyed reading, and I agree with pretty much every point he made except that of course I think the faction cards are fine. angry
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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Sandy Petersen wrote:
This was a great review that I enjoyed reading, and I agree with pretty much every point he made except that of course I think the faction cards are fine. angry

Ditto!
But of course I laminated ALL my boards. whistle
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Terrific review. If all reviews were of this quality I would read everything on BGG. It's a real delight when something of this quality pops up in to the 'review' box.
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littleturd wrote:
The only question you have to answer is will you play it often enough to make it worth $200, which is completely subjective. For me, it's no; but that's a very sad, regretful no.

That's the big question, and unfortunately it matters more for Cthulhu Wars more than most games with that price tag. I've been too flippant with my boardgame purchases in the past and if something doesn't get played often enough I try to push myself to trade it off or sell it. The idea of having a $200 ornament taking up an entire shelf is scary. I know that I myself would likely be happy to play it often, but I would have to play it at least monthly for over a year to justify the purchase and that's pretty unlikely.

My group, and my own tastes, are to jump around between games pretty often. I $200 is enough for 4 complete games. If I could somehow know for a fact that Cthulhu Wars was going to be a top 5 game for me, and that my group would mostly agree to play it often, then I could justify it.

Great review, thanks!
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Arthur Petersen
United States
Texas
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it's your sister Cheryl!
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I work for Petersen Games. AMA
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Let me be the Cthulhu's advocate for a minute

The reviewer says the price is "worth it for the gameplay" and "if we were able to play this once a week...this would more than likely be an all-time great" and "the game is near perfect. It really is."

I get that you can get four games for $50 each. But, how likely are any one of them (or even their sum) going to be equal to the might that is Cthulhu Wars?

I think it's psychological - the price tag is a big deal and people don't want to spend it, but they're willing to spend smaller amounts on weaker experiences.

You're not going to play those $50 games once a month for a year, either, because they're less fun, right? You might play one of them every month, but not all four of them. So, mathwise, it's not actually like you're getting better play experience for the cost, it seems.

Ok, I'm just shamelessly plugging it, because I hate to see someone literally say it's "near perfect" and yet people are still not convinced. I can't tell you what to do with your money.

Here's the question - is it worth $150 Just look out for the Onslaught Two KS.




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Rev. Dr. O'Grady
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Answer: It's worth it!
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steve lieb
United States
Waconia
Minnesota
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I (personally) like Sandy P and respect him for all the work he's done in a number of different venues.
I like the Cthulhu mythos, and play both the rpg (not as much as I'd like) and other boardgames of it (like Arkham Horror).

I appreciate the insightful and honest review.
My gut?

It's just too flippin' expensive. Oh, there's going to be a "1%ers" and die-hard cadre that for either, the price is irrelevant. But for most gamers, this is just going to be out of reach, and that's probably a shame.

While of course there's a ooh-ahh-cool facet to the parts included, I can't help but wonder if flat-cardboard tokens-on-stands wouldn't have served as well as game pieces, and let this monster-game (in a couple of respects) hit closer to the $100 or even lower price point? Hell, still offer the $200+ one for the niche gamers who want the *Cadillac* version, but overall IIRC this plus expansions will run $600! That's....just silly prices.

Sandy, I'd love to play your game, it sounds like a great premise. But: I'm not going to sacrifice a car-payment to do so, nor do I particularly need gorgeous tokens to caress to enjoy gameplay.
 
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David Etherton
Scotland
Edinburgh
Midlothian
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There are copies in the secondary market here for about $130-140, maybe keep an eye out for one close to you to save on shipping. Hell, there's a copy for pickup at Strategicon (in Los Angeles next weekend) with an initial bid of $80 and a BIN of $100.
 
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Adam Starks
United States
Austin
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While I won't argue that this game is expensive, it's not so much as to be in the realm of 1%ers. It's true that the whole package (excluding the upcoming Second Onslaught) approaches $600, but that's the same as the launch price of the Playstation 3, which had a rocky start, but ended up selling to a ton of people ranging from Lower to Middle to Upper class (in the US at least). It's simply a matter of priorities.

For me personally, time with friends is tighter than money (not to say it wasn't an agonizing decision to go all in, nor to mention the fact that it was done in payments ranging from June 2013 to March 2014). While I could buy 4 great games for the same price as CW, I wouldn't necessarily get more play out of them.
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