Recommend
17 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Impressive, more thematic Pandemic game rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Ron Olivier, Sr.
United States
North Smithfield
Rhode Island
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I learned to play this game so I could demo it at a recent convention. Though I was not familiar with the Cthulhu mythos, I was familiar with Pandemic and decided it’d be pretty easy to adapt once I got one or two plays in.

While that did prove to be true, I was surprised at how significant some of the changes felt for this game, despite the gameplay being so similar.

1. Character cards are now 2-sided, and are flipped over if your character goes insane (loses all his sanity tokens). Insane characters take fewer actions and have lesser benefits than their sane counterparts. If all characters go insane, you lose the game. (You CAN regain sanity in this game).

2. The simple colored player markers of the original have been upgraded to grey plastic miniatures, which can be painted if you’re into doing that. The colored disease cubes have been replaced by cultist miniatures as well as 3 Shuggoth miniatures, which are much nicer and more thematic. VERY nice.

3. The rules of movement have been modified, but still feel very familiar.

4. The player cards no longer reference a specific location, but instead the name of the town that they occupy. For instance, the green cards are simply marked ‘Arkham’, while the map shows many different locations in Arkham such as the Police Station, the Park, etc. This makes the card much easier to transfer between players, and makes travel a bit less restrictive.

5. Certain events make you roll a ‘Sanity die’, which can make you lose up to two of your sanity tokens, place a couple of cultists on the board, or – if you’re lucky – do nothing.

6. Special Event cards have been replaced by Relic cards which offer some thematic-based relief, however, you must roll the sanity die when using a relic card – a nice twist.

7. Several ‘Old Ones’ cards are randomly placed at the top of the board. Each time an ‘Evil Stirs’ card is turned over or an Awakening occurs, one of the Old ones are revealed, and its curse is carried out. They’re like Relic cards, but with evil effects rather than good. If the last Old One (Cthulhu) is revealed, you lose the game. There are extra ‘Older Ones’ so you won’t always run across the same ones, and not in the same order (Though the Cthulhu card is always in the last spot to let you know you’ve lost the game.

8. In a break with the original Pandemic, the rules ‘suggest’ that players keep their cards face up in front of them, and advise each other of how to proceed. I think this game is a bit more difficult than the original Pandemic, so that seems like a pretty fair rule.

The Cthulhu theme does give this game a much darker tone, however, which could turn some people off. My wife, for instance, was quick to point out that this isn’t a game that she’d ever want to get and preferred the original for that reason. It would also have been nice it this could be played with five players, which was one of my complaints with the original game, too.

The extra rules (rolling the die, moving the Shuggoth(s) that are in play, and taking relic cards) seem a bit fiddly at first and takes a bit of getting used to. We made a number of small mistakes during our first couple of play-through sessions, but nothing so big as to ruin the game. I think that these would undoubtedly become second nature after a few plays.

I was impressed at the amount of player interaction that occurred at the demos. Though no formal poll was taken, most people that I taught the game to were extremely exuberant in their praise for this game, and I had lots of fun both learning the game and teaching it. No group that I taught was able to beat the game at it's easiest level (though one group came within one or two turns of doing so).

With all that being said, after playing it twice with my own group (and losing) the game twice, I think I really enjoy Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu better than the original game. It’s more thematic, somewhat more complex (without being too difficult). And thanks to the improved component quality, it looks and feels more like a real game than a prototype. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll give this a very solid 8.
23 
 Thumb up
1.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill Eldard
United States
Burke
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
While I don't find Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu any more difficult than the original Pandemic, I do prefer it over the original. I've never been into Lovecraft and generally stay away from any game with "Cthulhu" in the title, but this just hits the sweet spot for us. There's enough theme to make the bits and artwork attractive while avoiding deep-dives into the Cthulhu mythos.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mortego
United States
New Kensington
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review!

I suspect that many folks will disagree about Pandemic RoC being either equal to or harder than Pandemic (prime) but to each their own.

I LOVE this game! I own three Pandemics games:
Pandemic: The Cure
Pandemic: Iberia
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

All three I prefer over Pandemic (prime) but Pandemic: RoC is my favorite.

There's some talk of expansion but honestly, this game doesn't need it.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Johann Stralau
msg tools
killerjoe1962 wrote:

There's some talk of expansion but honestly, this game doesn't need it.


Hey mortego,

The way I read your post, it sounds like you understand expansions as a mandatory improvement/fix of a base game. I personally think they are just optional content, like DLCs for video games.

(e.g. I love Shovel Knight, but don't like the new DLCs. Still, I don't mind the DLCs being there for people who like them.)

I absolutely agree that RoC would never need to be "improved" by additional content, because it's an amazing game as it is. But that's just the point: New stuff would be optional, and people who loved the base game would certainly not be disappointed, if the same designer would create some additional, fresh stuff for the game.

What do you think? Maybe I just misinterpreted your post. If so, I'm sorry

Best Wishes,
Johann
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mortego
United States
New Kensington
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
LOL, I am the anti-expansion guy! Check out how many exapnsions I own. Too funny.

I was just saying that in my opinion I like Pan:RoC just the way it is but hey, If Chuck & the gang want to "pimp it up" be my guest! Mo' power to 'em!

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
chad pittack

California
msg tools
rantinronrevue wrote:

The Cthulhu theme does give this game a much darker tone, however, which could turn some people off. My wife, for instance, was quick to point out that this isn’t a game that she’d ever want to get and preferred the original for that reason. It would also have been nice it this could be played with five players, which was one of my complaints with the original game, too.


By no means am I poking fun at your wife (and I understand where she is going with this), but I found this comment to be funny considering the entire Cthulu mythos is fictional as opposed to let's say... an actual pandemic, which could actually threaten our existence.



With that being said, as someone who's only played this version of the game, thank you for the write-up. It's interesting to see the little nuances that separate this version vs. the original.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J H
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
My only ask on the expansion is to add more players really. The game itself is great.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Smith
Canada
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
killerjoe1962 wrote:
Nice review!

I suspect that many folks will disagree about Pandemic RoC being either equal to or harder than Pandemic (prime) but to each their own.

I LOVE this game! I own three Pandemics games:
Pandemic: The Cure
Pandemic: Iberia
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu

All three I prefer over Pandemic (prime) but Pandemic: RoC is my favorite.

There's some talk of expansion but honestly, this game doesn't need it.


I'd take a 5 player expansion though. Or maybe 2 more characters ( No one ever seems to want to play as the doctor, everyone just wants to be the hunter)
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.