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Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu» Forums » General

Subject: Help asked by a fan of FFG Lovecraft games... rss

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Ben Bosmans
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I love playing EH. I like ES. The new Arkham LCG will probably replace LOTR LCG in future expansion buy outs (although I will continue playing LOTR).

After an initial meh of MoM2, I start to like it in my 3rd play through...and AH is still in shrink, but very likely to be loved too...

So the question is obvious: should I buy this ? I am not very fond of Pandemic as the theme was not interesting and the 2 times I played in a group the game was killed by a terrible alpha player (Legecy was an absolute no go though as putting stickers on mint conditioned boardgames is terrible).

I DID enjoy the fantasy of Defenders of the Realm as a solo game though !

So any thoughts ?

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I was a Lovecraft fan before I got into board games, and chasing his writing is actually what got me into the hobby.

As far as mythos themed games go, I own Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, Rise of Cthulhu, Cthulhu Wars, and Arkham Horror.
I have never played any other version of pandemic.
I love AH but rarely get to play it due to time constraints.
I love P:RoC.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Mercer Island
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My background: I enjoyed but didn't love Pandemic. I'm fine with Lovecraftian mythos, but don't love it. I find Elder Sign to lack in the ability for players to help each other, plus it is a bit too random. Oh, and the flavor text is too small and faint to be of much use. I mostly enjoyed Defenders of the Realm, but found it ran long, and I didn't enjoy the gamble of rolling dice to defeat the big boss, and suffering greatly if you failed. EH is pretty good, but long and fiddly. AH is kind of fun, but way too long and fiddly. Witch of Salem is great, with a couple house rules.

I really enjoy Pandemic RoC. For me, it is closer to Pandemic than to any other Lovecraftian game. My wife vastly prefers PRoC over base Pandemic.

To decide whether to buy PRoC, I think you can use Pandemic and DotR as guide posts. The core of all 3 games is the same--move around removing threats to avoid dying before completing your big goal. PRoC doesn't have as much theme as DotR, but the theme is a lot more fun (for many of us) than Pandemic.

PRoC is just slightly more complex than Pandemic (not deeper). Both are far less complex than DotR.

I think any alpha gamer issues are going to be roughly the same with any of the three. Perhaps slightly worse with Pandemic, since it has less randomness than PRoc or DotR.
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mortego
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Yes, buy it, it's loads of fun to play and gives one enough of a Lovecraft taste that's enjoyable.

Funny note: I own Pandemic The Cure, Pandemic: Iberia & Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu but NOT pandemic (prime)....just not my cup of tea.
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Sebastian Beck
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Do not buy it. I love Arkham, love MoM 2, I like Eldritch and Elder Sign with Gates of Arkham.

I won Pandemic RoC on the first Shot.I love Defenders of the realm, but RoC Lacks on theme, on drama, on difficulty and on strategic depth.

Avoid this game.
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mortego
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Don't wait any longer. Buy this game. It's fun and the theme is great.
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JP Lovecraft
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I got this game for Xmas from my daughter and her boyfriend. It may not be for some people, but as a Lovecraft fan I have to say the flavor was great and we were running around frantically trying to close gates as the ancient ones took over. We've played twice and lost both times and I've never had so much fun losing. Everyone that has played it so far has really liked the game. Imo you're missing out as a Lovecraft fan if you skip it.
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I love Pandemic (original) and Pandemic Legacy, and am really liking Pandemic Iberia.

I enjoy Defenders of the Realm, Arkham Horror, Eldritch Horror, and am currently getting into the Arkham Horror LCG (my first LCG). For me, Reign of Cthulhu is a fun, occasional alternative to vanilla Pandemic.

First piece of advice: don't play coop games with overbearing alpha players. There's a good chance they'll ruin any coop game.

The big question is, aside from the alpha player, did you not enjoy Pandemic because of the theme, or because of the mechanics? Since you liked DotR, I'll assume it's mainly because of the theme, since DotR shares many of the same mechanics as Pandemic, but adds in the fantasy theme, bosses, dice rolling, etc.

Reign of Cthulhu also has monster movement, a little bit of dice rolling (the sanity die), and a bit more randomness in the form of the elder gods. But it's a lot closer to Pandemic than to DotR.

Reign of Cthulhu is surprisingly quick to set up, and games go very quick. It definitely doesn't have the in-depth brain-burning puzzles that vanilla Pandemic has; it substitutes a lighter, more luck-driven game. Because it's lighter, I'm not sure if it have as much replayability as vanilla Pandemic or Defenders of the Realm.

Bottom line: since you liked Defenders of the Realm, and since you like the Cthulhu theme, I'm going to guess you'd enjoy Reign of Cthulhu. Go in expecting a lighter, quicker game than Pandemic, DotR, or Arkham Horror; don't expect Reign of Cthulhu to have as much depth or replayability as those other games.
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Chris H
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Reign of Cthulhu hits our table a lot because of its fast set up and fairly brisk play. We love Eldritch Horror but it's a full afternoon game, takes forever to set up and pack up, and all players really have to be in the mood for it.

Pros: quick to set up, essentially a lean version of Pandemic with a nice randomised element to vary each game, theme is great, artwork, design and minis are all great.

Cons: tends to be an easier game than Pandemic Prime, characters like the Hunter seem really overpowered for the smaller scale of map, trading and travel both seem a bit too simplified.

The chief criticism is it tends to feel lacking in challenge. If the cards are stacked against you you'll lose badly, but mostly it's a fairly easy play for more experienced Pandemic players. We house rule a couple of things to up the challenge a bit:

- only travel from bus station to bus station (except the reporter)
- gates can't be closed if there is a Shoggoth on the space
- Shoggoths count as a fourth enemy on a space and can trigger awakenings
- reveal the first Old One at the start of the game

We have house rules one and two in all games as standard (travel just feels too easy as set out in the rules). House rules three and four up the ante quite a lot so can tip the game into hard territory quickly.

Overall Reign of Cthulhu is a winner with us: it's short and sharp, easy to teach, provides good challenge with some minor house rule tweaks, and has loads of theme and a few Old Ones not yet found in other Lovecraft games.
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