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Cthulhu Wars» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Newb review on the game. (2 player notes) rss

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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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I am going to start by stating that I am not a game reviewer. This will be just one gamer's thoughts and opinions.

Background info: (Skip it if you don't care about such stuff)
I am 43 and a life-long gamer of all kinds of games. My first "adult" gaming came around age 9 or 10 when an older friend introduced me to Avalon Hill games such as Dune. I was immediately hooked and played with their group every chance I got. I am only recently a "collector" and discovered the online community a few years ago. BGG was like discovering the bible of my own personal religion. So in a lot of ways I am still very much a newb by some folks definition. Anything else relevant about me can be found in my profile.

I played this game with my partner of 20 years, who is 53 and a die-hard gamer. I have convinced him to join the BGG community and he is in the process of setting up his own thing.

I do want to add, I was not a HPL fan prior to this game, and I jokingly admit that I just learned how to pronounce Cthulhu a few months ago. This mythos and history were not a part of my geek education. I discovered the game quite by accident on KS after the funding had closed. I read the creator's page and fell in love with the idea of the game. I went to their website to try and buy a copy and was too late. My partner located a copy on Amazon and got one from a retailer for 170.00 (free shipping through Prime).

Now on to my review.


Having read the BGG forums and all the KS comments, I was nervous that our copy would have flaws. Fortunately our copy was perfect. All components of the game were as they should be. Nothing missing, bent, broken etc.
The mini's (what drew me to want the game) were all gorgeous, detailed and screaming to be painted and displayed. More importantly, they begged to be played with asap.
The map board was nice and very versatile. My only complaints here, were I could wish for it to be a bit larger, and maybe a little more obvious lines of separation for each area (especially the water).
The tokens are of excellent quality and thickness. No complaints there at all. Though I DO want my plastic gates now.
The faction sheets and various tracks. This is by far my biggest disappointment. I am not going to harp on this subject because it has been acknowledged as a mistake that will not be repeated and Petersen Games has even went so far as to offer free replacements to their backers. For now I highly recommend you laminate these pieces right away or they will be ruined quickly.
The bag. Well, it's a bag. Not great, not bad.
The rule book. I have made a thread on this already. It is pretty, but IMO could have been easier to read. (referring to the print size and/or contrast)
The reference cards. They are ok. They definitely serve their purpose. After learning the rules, I used them almost exclusively.
The BOX and INSERT. They needed to be capitalized. The box is just beautiful and shiny and big. I love it completely. The insert on the other hand, should be licensed to kill. DAMN, that thing is alive. It is great in the fact it keeps your awesome minis safe, but I would rather have had a more functional insert for storing the whole game, not just the GOO's. I'll probably end up losing this thing in favor of something better.

Game Play:
I have played 3 games thus far, and will be playing several more this week.
It is a very easy game to learn. Teaching the basic mechanics to anyone will be quite simple and quick.
The complexity comes in understanding what each of the 4 factions can do individually. This is what makes the gameplay great! The six spellbooks each faction has adds another level of ability and available tactics for use. All the depth and character of the factions are slowly revealed as you fulfill the individual requirements to gain each spellbook. Some factions have opportunities to gain more than one at a time, if you use some thought and planning on your turn.
You will want to try out each faction to fully understand how to use and/or defeat them. What strategy you employ for one may not work as well for another.
All of this adds up to a lot of replayability for the game. Once you play the first time, you are going to want to jump right into another game.
The end of the game (winning) is achieved by meeting the requirement of having all six spellbooks in play for your faction when a player reaches the end of one of the two game tracks, (Doom, RoA)AND having the most points. Points are earned through various methods including the cool Elder Sign tokens (drawn randomly from the bag). These tokens having three point values (1,2,3) may be kept hidden until the win conditions occur, thus upsetting a victory through surprise! I like this element a lot. You have to be careful of HOW and WHEN you chose to declare victory.

2 player notes:
The base game was designed for 3-5 players. It can easily be played by two, but it is quite obvious that it would be way more fun with 4 or more. Some of the mechanics just don't translate well if 2 players are playing 2 factions each. (the recommended way for a 2 player game)
Most notably the Narly factions power grab spellbook. (Man I hate that thing!)
I would not let this bit put you off the game. Some of the BGG crowd are lobbying for a better 2 player game, and Petersen has a history of listening to his fans, so maybe? What's more, the BGG fans also have a history of creating their own variants, some already in the forums for this game. But my advice is to find a couple pals, and play the full game!

In the end, I give the game high marks. I rated it an 8 on BGG. It would have been 9 or 10 if the 2 player game was better. I am extremely happy with this purchase and plan to grab all the expansions. This game will gather no dust on my shelves for quite a long time.

I welcome all feedback, with the caveat that you consider this is my first BGG review and I am sure that there may be errors of all sorts. My main goal was to give an honest view of my opinion, as well as to try my hand at posting a game review.
Thank you for reading!
Nick
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Brook B
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Thank you for your truthful and thoughtful review! I have been on the fence about this game due to the higher cost. I also loved the look of the mini's and the production quality. I play with a game group of 3-4 pretty regularly so with the help of your review I may have to look into purchasing a copy!
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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I appreciate that Brook! If you have a regular group, you will absolutely get the most out of CW. Happy Gaming and thank you for commenting.
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Arturo Cavari
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Awesome review
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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Thanks Arturo!
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Mike B
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Welcome to the party Nick.
Great first go at a review, still don't know if I can justify treating myself to this game or not.
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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mibar01 wrote:
Welcome to the party Nick.
Great first go at a review, still don't know if I can justify treating myself to this game or not.


Thank you Mike! blush

When the new KS goes live in a few months, I am sure you will have way more input to help decide.
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Kyle S.
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For a 2player Thousand Forms spellbook, I limit the max power my opponents have to spend to 4 (I assumed that at 6, 3 factions could split it 2 power a piece, so going only against 2 factions and having 1 ally 4 max was enough to keep that split)
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shion smith
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In 2p since you are also your opponent (by playing the faction other than CC), you can always just choose to take the energy by simply having the non-CC faction not agree to the division of power. So for example if your playing CC and YS. Your CC uses 1000 forms and the other factions have 1 min to discuss, you can say... As YS I choose not to agree and let CC have the power.

Its quite powerful (no pun intended)
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shion smith
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Also in 2P we added a special rule that YS must wait till his second round before using the give 3 doom points as your action condition. As he will of course choose your other faction, and having an extra round to stall on the first turn actually enabled YS to mitigate his typical disadvantages if he opens with KIY
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Adam Starks
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shion_ca wrote:
In 2p since you are also your opponent (by playing the faction other than CC), you can always just choose to take the energy by simply having the non-CC faction not agree to the division of power. So for example if your playing CC and YS. Your CC uses 1000 forms and the other factions have 1 min to discuss, you can say... As YS I choose not to agree and let CC have the power.

Its quite powerful (no pun intended)

From the FAQ for the printed rulebook:
Q. When Crawling Chaos’s Thousand Forms or Black Goat’s
Ghroth abilities are used, can a player insist on taking part of the loss,
even if the other players don’t want him to? What if a player has no
Power or no Cultists - can he “disagree” with the division?
A. In the first case, this would count as a disagreement which
needs to be resolved. In the second - if a player refuses to, or cannot
contribute to the effect, he does not participate in further negotiations,
and his agreement is immaterial.

Basically, no faction an unilaterally decide to give all the power to CC or all the Cultist-Removing-Decisions to BG.

shion_ca wrote:
Also in 2P we added a special rule that YS must wait till his second round before using the give 3 doom points as your action condition. As he will of course choose your other faction, and having an extra round to stall on the first turn actually enabled YS to mitigate his typical disadvantages if he opens with KIY

Why do that? Even in 4-player games I regular use that as a stalling tactic in the first turn. This rule just handicaps YS.
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Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
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AdamStarks wrote:
shion_ca wrote:
In 2p since you are also your opponent (by playing the faction other than CC), you can always just choose to take the energy by simply having the non-CC faction not agree to the division of power. So for example if your playing CC and YS. Your CC uses 1000 forms and the other factions have 1 min to discuss, you can say... As YS I choose not to agree and let CC have the power.

Its quite powerful (no pun intended)

From the FAQ for the printed rulebook:
Q. When Crawling Chaos’s Thousand Forms or Black Goat’s
Ghroth abilities are used, can a player insist on taking part of the loss,
even if the other players don’t want him to? What if a player has no
Power or no Cultists - can he “disagree” with the division?
A. In the first case, this would count as a disagreement which
needs to be resolved. In the second - if a player refuses to, or cannot
contribute to the effect, he does not participate in further negotiations,
and his agreement is immaterial.

Basically, no faction an unilaterally decide to give all the power to CC or all the Cultist-Removing-Decisions to BG.

shion_ca wrote:
Also in 2P we added a special rule that YS must wait till his second round before using the give 3 doom points as your action condition. As he will of course choose your other faction, and having an extra round to stall on the first turn actually enabled YS to mitigate his typical disadvantages if he opens with KIY

Why do that? Even in 4-player games I regular use that as a stalling tactic in the first turn. This rule just handicaps YS.



I appreciate any feedback and ideas. We have been playing as much as we can and are slowly working on house rules to tweak the 2 player version.
 
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shion smith
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I think as written CC can unilaterally choose to get all the power for itself so long as no other factions have power to give. They would then not qualify under the second clause.

There is a minor case of where someone could say they wanted a part of the division, thus counting as a disagreement if things can't be settled, but not agree to any combination of division of the other points between other parties. But that's just loophole ish and I wouldn't allow.

Essentially you'd argue in that case that he is choosing to participate in the division, has the capacity to do so, and is disagreeing with the distribution between other factions. Essentially saying there is no distribution between them that would make me happy, oh and I'll take 1.
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Adam Starks
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Well yeah, if the other factions can't lose all the power, then Crawling Chaos gets it all.

And in the case you're talking about, where somebody keeps saying they'll contribute but then doesn't agree to any value, that person is effectively refusing to contribute.
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shion smith
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For 2P someone else had stated they don't allow Black Goat and Crawling Chaos on the same team. The reason being that they found the combination of Madness and Necrophage to be too effective. I've avoided playing games with this combo but don't really know if those abilities are too synergistic.

For Yellow Sign it is useful to also control CC since you'll get a more sheltered start, and madness will be under your control so you can keep your pained hoard together.
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shion smith
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Oh I'd meant they agree to contribute their part at a fixed number, but won't agree to the distribution of the remaining points between the other players. Yeah it's cheese.
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