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Subject: CW compared to Gods War (aside from Gameplay) rss

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Arthur Petersen
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Hi, fellow fans of Cthulhu Wars and/or Sandy and/or Petersen Games in general!

Particularly due to the recent shipping boondoggle with O2 (the partially unexpectedly high prices compared to original estimates), I wanted to draw some comparisons between Cthulhu Wars and Gods War. This is not about gameplay – which is a big discussion in and of itself. This is about more practical considerations such as price; what to expect in shipping; what the KS may look like (at a basic level – don’t expect tons of deets for that!), etc.

Consider this an inside scoop of what Petersen Games has learned after doing two KS projects for one of the most massive game titles ever (in terms of size, and number of expansions).

The game itself
In Cthulhu Wars, the miniatures are quite large, and there are a good number of them (64 “real” ones plus 8 dinky power markers). This contributed greatly to the unusually high price (and size and weight). Gods War will have similarly sized units (ranging from “human sized” units on 25mm diameter bases (32mm scale) to enormous ones for Greater Gods). However, each Empire (the term for playable Faction) has 9 units, compared to 15-18 in CW. The core set therefore only has 36 units. There will be slightly more die cut things, as well as more cards and other little bits. However, I expect a smaller size, weight, and certainly price. This will make it more in line with other “big” mini based KS games, such as those put out by CMON, or our own OMD - it will not look so unusual from a price standpoint, even if some of the minis themselves remain large.

Size, weight, and Shipping
The above directly relates to shipping. With a lighter and smaller game box, it will not be as expensive to ship. Furthermore, we have learned a lot from the recent experience, and we are changing our emphasis on shipping. While we philosophically like the idea that every backer pays for their own cost to ship, the very fact that things are estimates initially make this more of an art than a science. What this means is shipping prices worldwide will be in a much closer range. And, given our new shippers we are confident in, we will have price estimates shown on day 1 of the campaign, and we will stick to them as much as humanly possible. To not understate the matter too much, it is not fun for anyone, especially backers, to see an enormous divergence in estimates during a campaign and what was recently sent out in the survey. To contrast this, I have been working hard with our new shippers to come up with something that will work for Gods War that will allow us to show prices during the campaign, and then use those same prices the day the pledge manager itself goes out. This means the prices are subject to far more inaccuracy, but that is for us to deal with. This will affect our stretch goals – we will not be able to offer such enormous things in addition on Gods War, compared to O2. By being more conservative with stretch goals (compared to O2 SGs which were some of the most generous of any KS project), we are able to handle more subsidized shipping costs. It is just a shifting of where money goes, and that’s how it is. But lowered shipping prices that seem more in line with smaller, lighter KS projects seems pretty important to a lot of people.

Expansions

Onslaught Two had so many options to choose from it led to great difficulties in not only estimating prices, but in even setting prices that could reflect reality. As much as we wanted to have each backer pay their expected shipping cost, when the shippers invoice us in the fall/winter of this year, I expect most individual backers’ costs to differ from what they paid. Even in a small project this will be the case, but in something that has 1700 very diverse actual combinations selected by backers, this problem is compounded.
Therefore, Gods War will have 1 core game, plus a similar sized box for all the Empire expansions. Then, a handful of other expansions all with similar sizes and weights (plus a single one that differs in size/weight). With fewer “types” of products from a shipping standpoint, setting shipping prices is a much simpler matter. I can set a good estimate for the core game, which will be the same for the Empires box, and I can set the same price for each expansion because of their similarity. With fewer expansions, this also makes pledge levels far easier to grok. Even with Nameless Cults on O2 which encompassed nearly everything, there were plenty in addition a backer could add on. With Gods War, there isn’t so much.
Let me put it this way – I expect 90% of all backers to get 1 of 3 possible combinations of products. All I need to do is figure out about how big and heavy each of these 3 combos will be to ship, and then get estimates for them around the world. That’s simple, and that’s the basic thing experts like CMON and Stegmaier obviously do. I also did this for Theomachy, OMD, and Dicenstein – very few people had issues with the shipping pricing for those projects. Gods War will be more like that.
The possible downside for some people, is that we are probably never going to have a project like O2 again, in which so many things are just there a la carte. Unless Sandy crazily really wants it to happen again.

A final note on stretch goals

We have super awesome stretch goals planned, that I think everyone will love – LOTS of them involve BOTH gameplay AND new sculpts. Some don’t involve gameplay, certainly, but most do. And plenty of them are new minis as well. But lots are both. The plan here, is to have stretch goals that always enhance existing products (mostly core game and empires box, but also some that add to the handful of other expansions). This also greatly helps shipping to be lower and more consistent and able to be estimated and priced with greatly precision. This is because we can assume shipping estimates of all these boxes as if they already have all the SGs. If we don’t hit some of the high ones, we can then lower shipping, but not need to raise it based on them! (that was the original plan for O2 as well, but the enormous amount of SGs that were outside of any existing product shot that plan in the foot.

I hope this is useful information. If you are so scared about Gods War, due to your experience with O2 shipping (not to mention the pledge prices of the CW products), please don’t let that prevent you from checking out Gods War.

The gameplay has some similarities (another way to put it, they share a similar game space among tabletop board games, even if they are each their own beast), but that doesn’t mean they are the same at a practical level.

As far as gameplay, I’ll let Sandy, and our project (and our planned videos) reveal just how different it actually is from CW.

Edit post note:
hilariously, (at least for me), we did O2 largely as a result of what we saw people wanted - we tried to make it perfect for everyone, to let them get exactly what they wanted in the way they wanted it. Doing that inherently created problems (some of which were unforseeable). Live and learn! You think, after 7 or so very successful KS project, only 1 of which didn't break 100K in funding, you'd know everything about doing it. Nope!


thanks,
Arthur
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Pierre Lanrezac
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So say we all !
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Great write-up, I was in for the whole thing anyway, but I'm glad to see you learn from your past and strive to improve.

I'm eager to see the campaign start, and wish you a wildly successful funding.

Love you guys!
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Francis Carnicom
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@Arthur

What will be the best way to stay informed as to when The project begins? I do not want to miss the newsletter sign up (like I did with Onslaught 2 and had to pay for my Glowthuhlu).

Thoughts?
 
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Eofkent wrote:
@Arthur

What will be the best way to stay informed as to when The project begins? I do not want to miss the newsletter sign up (like I did with Onslaught 2 and had to pay for my Glowthuhlu).

Thoughts?
Why not simply sign up for their newsletter right now? That way you won't miss the start of the Kickstarter campaign and you will get any rewards for being signed up for it.
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After trying out Gods War at The Kraken last october, I've really been looking forward to purchasing this game and its extensions.

From what I've read in another thread, the whole thing should probably amount to $350, but with that recent issue with the shipping cost + VAT of Cthulhu Wars, I'm really wondering how much I would have to pay to get all that to France.

Has anybody got any rough estimate on that ? That's quite a lot of money to be honest, so I should probably budget all that ahead of time.
 
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Mark Buckley
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Well, roughly I'd figure on +20% VAT (=$70) + $50, so $120. Depends on what happens to shipping prices in the meantime.
 
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Arthur Petersen
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Eofkent wrote:
@Arthur

What will be the best way to stay informed as to when The project begins? I do not want to miss the newsletter sign up (like I did with Onslaught 2 and had to pay for my Glowthuhlu).

Thoughts?


the way we did it last time, is if you were already signed up for our newsletter, you didn't have to re-sign up to get the Glowthulhu, and I imagine we'll do the same thing for Gods War (if we have a free thing like that again), either way, signing up now for the newsletter is probably the best thing to do, other than monitor our KS updates and this forum right here. Plus you can follow us on twitter and facebook - I would imagine our website
petersengames.com

has links for all these things
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Arthur Petersen
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Shadow Hexagram wrote:
After trying out Gods War at The Kraken last october, I've really been looking forward to purchasing this game and its extensions.

From what I've read in another thread, the whole thing should probably amount to $350, but with that recent issue with the shipping cost + VAT of Cthulhu Wars, I'm really wondering how much I would have to pay to get all that to France.

Has anybody got any rough estimate on that ? That's quite a lot of money to be honest, so I should probably budget all that ahead of time.


don't know yet, because we dont' know all the sizes and weights involved.

That said, the plan as I said is to have shipping be shown on the KS and to have that be essentially what we charge when the PM goes live after the project.
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I'm curious, in playtesting, about how long does it take to explain all the rules for Gods War? For Cthulhu Wars I can get it down to about 30 minutes to go over everything, but in my few brief experiences with Gods War it felt like there was a lot more stuff to go over, even being familiar with the CW rules. Have you been finding it to be more complicated or similar to Cthulhu Wars in trying to explain to new players?
 
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existoid wrote:
Shadow Hexagram wrote:
After trying out Gods War at The Kraken last october, I've really been looking forward to purchasing this game and its extensions.

From what I've read in another thread, the whole thing should probably amount to $350, but with that recent issue with the shipping cost + VAT of Cthulhu Wars, I'm really wondering how much I would have to pay to get all that to France.

Has anybody got any rough estimate on that ? That's quite a lot of money to be honest, so I should probably budget all that ahead of time.


don't know yet, because we dont' know all the sizes and weights involved.

That said, the plan as I said is to have shipping be shown on the KS and to have that be essentially what we charge when the PM goes live after the project.


Thanks for your response.
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Arthur Petersen
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paddirn wrote:
I'm curious, in playtesting, about how long does it take to explain all the rules for Gods War? For Cthulhu Wars I can get it down to about 30 minutes to go over everything, but in my few brief experiences with Gods War it felt like there was a lot more stuff to go over, even being familiar with the CW rules. Have you been finding it to be more complicated or similar to Cthulhu Wars in trying to explain to new players?


We explain the base rules of CW during demos at conventions in about 10min. We cover everything in those 10 min except Unlimited Battle, which we explain mid game when someone is near to getting 6 spellbooks.

We haven't done as many Gods War demos, but yes, it would probably be more like 15 min, possible 20. But, due to it's nature, we would save things - for example, no explanation about Chaos Rift (other than that it exists) until the spike shatters, same with Compromise, no explanation until it happens. That saves lots of up front time.

Sandy is a super-master at explaining rules and getting the demo running, so he has a "short list" of how to explain for demos for his team, and we really can do it very, and be comprehensive and very understandable. Sandy will probabyl have such a thing for GenCon for Gods War, so we'll see how long it takes then!



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From what I can remember, the explanations didn't really take long compared to other boardgames.
 
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You saying this caught my interest. Would it be possible to get a script or pointers for explaining the rules quickly and clearly? I find that is the hardest problem in bringing people to my table. Everything seems so complicated and imposing to new people, that covering all the important points in a clear, logical fashion would be a great help. I just never manage to do that. Also, how do you guys handle the problem of introducing all the faction specific abilities without overwhelming people? I generally have people read spell-books aloud when they take them, but perhaps there is a better way.

If Gods War is more complex still, might I suggest including a section in the final rulebook that covers explaining the game? Passing around the book for fine points is okay, but a nice concise section upfront that covers all the bones of the game would be welcome, I think.


existoid wrote:
paddirn wrote:
I'm curious, in playtesting, about how long does it take to explain all the rules for Gods War? For Cthulhu Wars I can get it down to about 30 minutes to go over everything, but in my few brief experiences with Gods War it felt like there was a lot more stuff to go over, even being familiar with the CW rules. Have you been finding it to be more complicated or similar to Cthulhu Wars in trying to explain to new players?


We explain the base rules of CW during demos at conventions in about 10min. We cover everything in those 10 min except Unlimited Battle, which we explain mid game when someone is near to getting 6 spellbooks.

We haven't done as many Gods War demos, but yes, it would probably be more like 15 min, possible 20. But, due to it's nature, we would save things - for example, no explanation about Chaos Rift (other than that it exists) until the spike shatters, same with Compromise, no explanation until it happens. That saves lots of up front time.

Sandy is a super-master at explaining rules and getting the demo running, so he has a "short list" of how to explain for demos for his team, and we really can do it very, and be comprehensive and very understandable. Sandy will probabyl have such a thing for GenCon for Gods War, so we'll see how long it takes then!



 
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I can explain the main game in 10 minutes or so. I cover the types of unit first (cultist, monster, goo), then go through the summary card, acting out as I go. Then mention faction abilities, spellbooks, and requirements. I get people to read out spellbooks as they get them, and I may point out subtleties if the spellbook needs it.

I do the factions overview before that, as people need to choose factions before setup. That's probably another 5 minutes.

Cheers, Graham
 
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therealbuserian wrote:
I can explain the main game in 10 minutes or so. I cover the types of unit first (cultist, monster, goo), then go through the summary card, acting out as I go. Then mention faction abilities, spellbooks, and requirements. I get people to read out spellbooks as they get them, and I may point out subtleties if the spellbook needs it.

I do the factions overview before that, as people need to choose factions before setup. That's probably another 5 minutes.

Cheers, Graham


I do it exactly like that. It helps tremendously if people have already played Blood Rage or Chaos in the Old World, as I don't have to explain to them how action points work. As Arthur said, I also don't mention unlimited battle until someone is close to reaching 6th spellbook.
 
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esed wrote:
I also don't mention unlimited battle until someone is close to reaching 6th spellbook.


I don't mention "unlimited actions" at all, to be honest, or not as such. I explain stepping on and off gates as something you can do on your turn, in addition to your action. I mention unlimited combat as a possibility after explaining spellbooks. And then remind them and go over the "once per location" bit when it starts looking relevant. I used to explain normal actions and unlimited actions, but found the concept confused people more than it helped.

cheers,
Graham
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What I've always done is:

• Start off with a general explanation of the game (30 sec basic pitch)

• Go into the Faction Card elements (sometimes noting who is playing what factions and their themes)
- Power Track
- Unique Abilities
- Units/Unit Types/Stats
- Spellbooks / Spellbook Requirements

• Give an overview of each phase:
- Gather Power/First Player (how Power is tallied)
- Doom Phase/Ritual of Annihilation (how Doom is tallied)
- Action phase
- Movement (how moving is "weird" compared to other actions)
- Recruiting / Summoning
- Gates (building/misc rules)
- Capturing
- Declaring Battles

I probably go into the factions a bit more at the beginning and try to give people an understanding of what types of things they might want to do with their faction, but yea, easily 20-30 minutes for me. I potentially overexplain some things, but I'm worried about people missing important rules (and complaining about it later, "I didn't know you could do that!")

cheers,
Graeme
 
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thecsapprentice wrote:

You saying this caught my interest. Would it be possible to get a script or pointers for explaining the rules quickly and clearly? I find that is the hardest problem in bringing people to my table. Everything seems so complicated and imposing to new people, that covering all the important points in a clear, logical fashion would be a great help. I just never manage to do that. Also, how do you guys handle the problem of introducing all the faction specific abilities without overwhelming people? I generally have people read spell-books aloud when they take them, but perhaps there is a better way.

If Gods War is more complex still, might I suggest including a section in the final rulebook that covers explaining the game? Passing around the book for fine points is okay, but a nice concise section upfront that covers all the bones of the game would be welcome, I think.


existoid wrote:
paddirn wrote:
I'm curious, in playtesting, about how long does it take to explain all the rules for Gods War? For Cthulhu Wars I can get it down to about 30 minutes to go over everything, but in my few brief experiences with Gods War it felt like there was a lot more stuff to go over, even being familiar with the CW rules. Have you been finding it to be more complicated or similar to Cthulhu Wars in trying to explain to new players?


We explain the base rules of CW during demos at conventions in about 10min. We cover everything in those 10 min except Unlimited Battle, which we explain mid game when someone is near to getting 6 spellbooks.

We haven't done as many Gods War demos, but yes, it would probably be more like 15 min, possible 20. But, due to it's nature, we would save things - for example, no explanation about Chaos Rift (other than that it exists) until the spike shatters, same with Compromise, no explanation until it happens. That saves lots of up front time.

Sandy is a super-master at explaining rules and getting the demo running, so he has a "short list" of how to explain for demos for his team, and we really can do it very, and be comprehensive and very understandable. Sandy will probabyl have such a thing for GenCon for Gods War, so we'll see how long it takes then!


That may be your problem right there - we explain virtually nothing about specific spellbooks and abilities.

Towards the end of the game explanation (after the Phases, and how Actions work, etc.), we explain what spellbooks are, how you get them, and that they can be either Actions, Battle abilities, or ongoing abilities, but not much else. We go over faction abilities just as quick, though Sandy sometimes allows each player to say what these are specifically. We have to explain that GOOs have their own abilities too of course, but not much else, except for Desecrations since that is a little more complex.

We go over battle very quickly too - we explain the basics that you total combat dice, roll, simultaneously inflict kills, then pains, then move on. When the first Battle of the game actually happens we go slowly, step by step as they do it. This way, they sort of have it explained to them twice.

It's all about painting the picture of the concepts, and then worrying about the nitty gritty of the rules and abilities as they actually play the game. Sandy (or whoever) watches the whole demo and offers helpful, objective, advice to players in the most basic ways (such as "if you don't know what to do on your turn, work towards fulfilling a spellbook requirement, as those are always good") but also repeats rules pertaining to whatever the players are doing in the moment. So, we walk them through each phase the first time through, and during the first Action phase remind them of their options, etc.
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Arthur, Cool Mini or Not has made an addon costing $8, that enables retrocompatibility between Zombicide: Black Plague and Massive Darkness, so characters from both games can be used in one and another.

Can we expect such option for God's War?
 
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Venshad wrote:
Arthur, Cool Mini or Not has made an addon costing $8, that enables retrocompatibility between Zombicide: Black Plague and Massive Darkness, so characters from both games can be used in one and another.

Can we expect such option for God's War?


They already said you can use the factions from CW in GW without any problems. It's just that Cthulhu and company will ALWAYS win
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Venshad wrote:
Arthur, Cool Mini or Not has made an addon costing $8, that enables retrocompatibility between Zombicide: Black Plague and Massive Darkness, so characters from both games can be used in one and another.

Can we expect such option for God's War?


While I haven't played Black Plague, my guess is that its rules are far more similar to Zombicide than CW is to Gods War.

While there are some similarities to the two, there are enough substantive differences that you'd have to just come up with your own variant ruleset in order to combine them.
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Just wanted to help clear up a little in regards to the shipping, especially since I saw some comparisons to Zombicide: Black Plague.
This was my my Cthulhu Wars DVM Pledge:

If I remember correctly, I paid $45 for shipping back then to Malaysia...

Below is my Black Plague (with all extras);

Please note that each of the CMON boxes was approximately the size of the second box from the top from the Cthulhu Wars DVM pic. Also, The CW box was packed literally taking up every empty space in the boxes, whereas the CMON ones had a little empty space. How much was CMON shipping? $97.56...

Why am I posting this? Well, mainly since I've seen Petersen Games getting some negative flak in the KS comments section as well as a little here.

I honestly see the shipping estimate changes as this; The estimate was an awesome deal, and now it's just a good deal and more realistic. The Petersens have always tried their best to get the best rates possible, even the point of taking it upon themselves to absorb the excess costs when they got the estimates wrong the first time. To expect them to do so again isn't fair at all to them.




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thank you, Zain. It always helps to show pictures. CW is indeed a beast of a product line, in terms of size and weight!

I also note that you are from the strange planet of Earht!
 
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existoid wrote:

We explain the base rules of CW during demos at conventions in about 10min. We cover everything in those 10 min except Unlimited Battle, which we explain mid game when someone is near to getting 6 spellbooks.



Would love a video of Sandy explaining the game in about 10 min.
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