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Subject: Backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts rss

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aaron belmer
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Webster Groves
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BACKER:

So far I'm in as a cultist, and will build up to $200 by the end of the campagin. I saw a random $134 opening pop up and grabbed it. $200 is definitly the sweet spot. In fact that fathers day special at $200 was the primo grab I'd say.


GAMEPLAY:

So the game play seems simple. Let's take away the minis just for a second. Let's pretend they're cubes or cardboard chits. Let's just focus on the game.

My favorite game in the entire universe is Chaos in the Old World. It never ever ever ever gets old to me. Not at all. Every time I play it, it seems like I'm playing it for the first time. And that's a TOUGH trick to pull off.

But I realize over the years that I really value THEME and I really enjoy assymetrical powers. Which is why citow and games like War of the Ring (yes I have the CE) are some of my favs.

So Cthulhu Wars gameplay: seems simple. Seems Risk like. Move cubes around. Take control of gates. Gather power. Move around, battle, kill the world. All of this is fine.

It doesn't seem to really introduce anything new as far as game play. So do we need it to? I don't think so. It just has to work and be engaging to want to keep playing it. If Stratego had football size minis, I don't think I'd still want to keep playing it, even if I did think it was cool back in the day.

So what is it doing right?

Assymetrical Powers: I think games like Terra Mystica are bringing out a niche in our industry that has always been dabled with, but never moderatly exhausted, and that's assymetrical powers. Of course you have hits like Dune/Rex, TI3, Wotr, amoung others, which if you notice are huge hits.

Even little known titles like Draco (which is a freaking AWESOME game) really show off the coolness and staying power of assymmetricalness (word?) as a mechanic in board games. I think we're about to see this as a trend going forward, much like Deckbuilding from Dominion, and I think that's a good thing.

Expandibility: Hey, if Fantasy Flight Games has taught us anything, it's that people like expandability in games. I know I do. I know every time I see a new announcement for another Descent expansion, I pee a little in excitement. This game has A LOT of expansions apparantly already on board. You don't have to worry if the game is going to be supported, because it ALREADY IS.

Now a lot of people feel and have commented that expandibility is a problem for them, as it feels like you're only buying an incomplete game. I have a collector and completionist mentality myself, and have really struggled with it as an 'addiction' of sorts, weird huh. It is weird. It's almost Obsessive Compulsive by design, and have realized that in itself it's not healthy so have changed my persective a bit.

I think games like Power Grid, Ticket to Ride, and Railwars of the World have taught us that it's OK not to own everything. Just buy the basics, and for God Sake play the crap out of it until it starts to get stale, and THEN upgrade it. Now if it's a limited edition, or at a price you simply can't pass up, then go for it.

But these expansions for CW will be released into retail. And honestly right now they're higher than what they will be at online shops, they just are. CSI, MM, they always run specials and deals, especially at Christmas and holidays, just wait for it.

So I think that's what I'm going to do, get what I can for $200, then wait for the expansions, assuming I even like the game to begin with.

And one of the CR expansions is a double board. That seems awesome. I feel like I'm in the extreme minority that one of my favorite Railways of the World expansions, the Time Travel expansion, was a.w.e.s.o.m.e because it took the base game, then broke all the rules, on a bunch of different boards. Just pure brilliant, although it wasn't critcally received very well. I think CR has creative space to do this, and is doing it.

Quests: Remember waaaaaaay back a few years ago when Fantasy Flight Games released a cool game called Middle Earth Quest? It introduced assemetrical powers that had to complete 1 of a handful of quests. So part of the game you're trying to complete your own quest(s). The other half, you're trying to deduce what your opponent is doing, to try and stop him.

WHAT?!!? You've never played that?!?! Stop right now and go play, that game is friggin AWESOME.

Anyway, I feel like CR re-introduces this just a tad, in what limited knowledge I have of actual gameplay. You have certain tasks/quests/things you're trying to accomplish. Ok, that's cool. I like quests, I like tasks. I like to try and quash opponent quests. Must explore further.

Simplicity:


I'm trying not to get bent out of shape that this game seems simple. I mean, Zombicide, when it first popped up on kickstarter just seemed Too Simple. I'm like 'screw that', THAT is the emporer's new clothes RIGHT THERE. I'm backing Zpocolypse! That's a meaty game! Substance over chrome! *sticks out tounge at zombicide*

*fastforward to present* I've played ZPocolypse 1/2 a game, and have played the CRAP out of Zombicide, and recently kickstarted the new expansion. All of it.

So I've learned that simplicity doens't neccessarily = bad game. Ticket to ride is simple and expandable, as is Dominion, and about a billion other decent games. So why not a Cthulhu area control game? Sure, could definitly work, why not? And at 90 minutes, may make it a helluva lot more accessable.

Theme

Well, I mean c'mon. they nailed it. I mean, we've just about had our run of zombie games, and the Cthulhu mythos is still awesome and dripping with theme, a mythos that almost no one has read, but everyone has played. Which is still fine. I've never read Lovecraft, but I love the world. I love Mansions of Madness, love elder sign, liked Arkham Horror, although don't like 4+ hour games. I don't pretend to understand the background of every monster, just like I never played any RPG of Warhammer Universe. I still 'get it' enough to enjoy it. It's a bunch of elder gods that are trying to destroy the world and drive humanity insane. Cool sounds awesome, here's $200.

Ok ok ok ok ok let's NOW let's talk about the MINIS.

I mean,what else are you going to say besides they're amazing. They are. Painters love em, although I'm not a painter. But I can see using them in other games, like the ones previously mentioned.

Who doesn't love moving around huge Elder Gods, great old ones, over and around the board. How freaking cool is that?

I guess the issue you have to ask yourself, regarding relative value:

Are you the type of person that likes to pimp your game? Do you upgrade your components? Do you buy fancier versions of games you already have? Do you own War of the Ring collectors edition? Pay friends to paint your minis? Upgrade the cubes to real wooden warriors in Lords of Waterdeep (upgraded mine for $30, he's still in the forums, and they're awesome).

If you do, and you like Chrome, then freaking GO for it. I mean, it's coming TO US pimped. How cool is that. So for all us pimp out fanatics, I'm trying not to look at the pricetag, and looking at the final pimped out production. Over the top huge intricate monsters and cultists all doing battle trying to destroy the world.


In the end, I think this has the potential to be a really great game . The greatest of the Ameritrashy titles to come along in a while. It certainly has a lot to offer, but at the same time has some serious shoes to fill as far as gameplay is concerned.

I'm also concerned that with a game so already enourmous, that it's only been playtested since last Novemember. That's Not Very Long when it comes to Assymetrical Powers, and I'm CALLING that this community is going to (after proper playing/playtesting), call out the strongest power, and that power will be houseruled, and we'll have 40 pages of houserule ideas. Hey, it happens to the best of em. And we'll call out the weakest, and we'll have another 40 pages of houserules.

But who knows, this could be a true Ameritrashy gem, destroying cultists, flying across the earth, doing battle, driving the world insane...
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Greg S
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
I'm not trying to be contrary here, but here is what I got from your posting:

1. Nothing new here, move on.
2. Seems pretty simple.
3. Expansions are too expensive.
4. Could turn out to be the worst game ever.

And yet you call this an endorsement? While you do say some positive things here, the overall feeling is "stay far away from this until you can get it cheaply, if at all". I guess I'm missing something....

Very confusing.
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aaron belmer
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
essayons7 wrote:
I'm not trying to be contrary here, but here is what I got from your posting:

1. Nothing new here, move on.
2. Seems pretty simple.
3. Expansions are too expensive.
4. Could turn out to be the worst game ever.

And yet you call this an endorsement? While you do say some positive things here, the overall feeling is "stay far away from this until you can get it cheaply, if at all". I guess I'm missing something....

Very confusing.


ha ha, observant and fair. It's more stream of consiousness. I mean, I don't know if my brain has made up it's mind that this is a 'Good Deal' yet. It's almost internal dialouge trying to convince myself to stay with this at the present $ point. Any other comments and feedback welcome of course, but you're correct in that I'm not 100% convinced either way.

edit:
"...could turn out to be the worst game ever..." not sure I said or hinted at that.
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
essayons7 wrote:
I'm not trying to be contrary here, but here is what I got from your posting:

1. Nothing new here, move on.
2. Seems pretty simple.
3. Expansions are too expensive.
4. Could turn out to be the worst game ever.

And yet you call this an endorsement? While you do say some positive things here, the overall feeling is "stay far away from this until you can get it cheaply, if at all". I guess I'm missing something....

Very confusing.


Butt, butt, it has the potential to be King Turd on Shit Island!!!
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Greg S
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
zenmazster wrote:
essayons7 wrote:
I'm not trying to be contrary here, but here is what I got from your posting:

1. Nothing new here, move on.
2. Seems pretty simple.
3. Expansions are too expensive.
4. Could turn out to be the worst game ever.

And yet you call this an endorsement? While you do say some positive things here, the overall feeling is "stay far away from this until you can get it cheaply, if at all". I guess I'm missing something....

Very confusing.


ha ha, observant and fair. It's more stream of consiousness. I mean, I don't know if my brain has made up it's mind that this is a 'Good Deal' yet. It's almost internal dialouge trying to convince myself to stay with this at the present $ point. Any other comments and feedback welcome of course, but you're correct in that I'm not 100% convinced either way.

edit:
"...could turn out to be the worst game ever..." not sure I said or hinted at that.


That was my take from the "King Turd" comment.

But I appreciate your explanation of the "stream of consciousness" format, which does clear things up.
 
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aaron belmer
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
essayons7 wrote:
zenmazster wrote:
essayons7 wrote:
I'm not trying to be contrary here, but here is what I got from your posting:

1. Nothing new here, move on.
2. Seems pretty simple.
3. Expansions are too expensive.
4. Could turn out to be the worst game ever.

And yet you call this an endorsement? While you do say some positive things here, the overall feeling is "stay far away from this until you can get it cheaply, if at all". I guess I'm missing something....

Very confusing.


ha ha, observant and fair. It's more stream of consiousness. I mean, I don't know if my brain has made up it's mind that this is a 'Good Deal' yet. It's almost internal dialouge trying to convince myself to stay with this at the present $ point. Any other comments and feedback welcome of course, but you're correct in that I'm not 100% convinced either way.

edit:
"...could turn out to be the worst game ever..." not sure I said or hinted at that.


That was my take from the "King Turd" comment.

But I appreciate your explanation of the "stream of consciousness" format, which does clear things up.


Actually I re-read my comments, and in context it does come off that way, so I've changed to: this has the potential to be a really great game.
That was the intent of the statement anyway.
 
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David Laine
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
essayons7 wrote:
zenmazster wrote:
essayons7 wrote:
I'm not trying to be contrary here, but here is what I got from your posting:

1. Nothing new here, move on.
2. Seems pretty simple.
3. Expansions are too expensive.
4. Could turn out to be the worst game ever.

And yet you call this an endorsement? While you do say some positive things here, the overall feeling is "stay far away from this until you can get it cheaply, if at all". I guess I'm missing something....

Very confusing.


ha ha, observant and fair. It's more stream of consiousness. I mean, I don't know if my brain has made up it's mind that this is a 'Good Deal' yet. It's almost internal dialouge trying to convince myself to stay with this at the present $ point. Any other comments and feedback welcome of course, but you're correct in that I'm not 100% convinced either way.

edit:
"...could turn out to be the worst game ever..." not sure I said or hinted at that.


That was my take from the "King Turd" comment.


Really? I thought he was just trying to guess what Great Old One was going to be in the next expansion.
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Re: Why I'm backing Cthulhu Wars - Musings and deep thoughts
Well, here's what's stopping me:

* Cthulhu is public domain. Gamers who don't want minis have plenty of games (including Sandy Petersen's fantastic Call of Cthulhu RPG). CW is the most complete and consistent (ie. same sculpter -- and, if you want more women in the hobby industry, the sculpter is a woman, so support this KS) Cthulhu miniatures set out there, with the least cost per mini compared to previous releases, mostly metal. The 28mm figures actually match most of the monsters in Arkham Horror and are a great upgrade to some of the mini's in Mansions of Madness. The plastic, however, is Descent plastic. This plastic is perfectly paintable, but games of similar plastic quality have more "stuff" for the tightwad BGG dollar. Anyway, if you can wait in your own house of R'lyeh, it's possible that another company will release a set of Cthulhu plastic miniatures at better prices. Keep dreaming. Reaper will be having another KS, and in their last one, they had a few random mythos monsters, including a $40 gigantic Cthulhu for $10 KS.

* The only really good KS deal is the free GOOs at $200. Most others aren't better than OLGS, a common situation with KS boardgames, no doubt because of distributors. Problem is, that only the Father's Day pledge level hit this "sweet spot". Pretty much all other KS I've seen have either a lower "sweet spot" or better KS offers.

* HPL's Mythos did not have factions. Derleth added "white hat" Elder Gods (eg. Nodens) and it could have been him who even tried to tie the Mythos to the four elements (eg. Cthulhu = Water). Bleargh. Call of Cthulhu's FFG also adds factions to the mythos.

* Unfortunately, I don't have time to play more boardgames cry and have 450+ mini's and 60+ 3D dungeon tiles from KS alone. surprise Anyone looking for a 5th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle set?

* Mythos Miniature OCD. Many, though not all, mythos monsters fit into certain families (although many races were independent) and interacted with each other, at least in the RPG. The HPL figure will be an add-on. $200 is already as much as I've pledged in a KS, $300 for the base and four expansion (and eight GOOs) is a darn good gaming price, but still tough to pull the tentacled trigger. If anyone wants to trade away their CW miniatures (including just the non-game collector's ones), send me a PM. I have enough Cthulhu art that I can make some not-for-general-distribution counters. As trade bait, I have boardgames, Cthulhu plushie, Mythos CCG cards, and Cthulhu promotional items.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
* SPOILER: And, finally, Asenath Waite was a MAN.
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David Laine
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Sam and Max wrote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
* SPOILER: And, finally, Asenath Waite was a MAN.


Spoiler (click to reveal)
Well, Asenath was still biologically a woman. That didn't change when her father swapped souls with her body, even though at that point "Asenath's" gender identity changed and "Asenath" became a man trapped in a woman's body. blush


Not to say I really want the miniature. I managed to snag a Father's Day, so I'll see what it goes for on eBay once the game comes in. Who knows, maybe there'll be people out there who are excited about it. All I know is this is probably the best bundle I can hope for.
 
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I'm at the $450 level to get the base game, the board expanisions (all three, with mini's) and the additional 4 factions plus 7 extra cultists.

This makes it by far the most expensive game I have every purchased. I bought the LOTR CE for about $400. . . the difference I see between these two is that LOTR CE was a KNOWN outstanding game that the premium edition just added more awesomeness. . . .Cwars is. . . an unknown, possibly just advanced risk. Or Dragonlords. Or NexusOps. or. . . . variation on those themes. Not sure the minis will carry the day. . .

I also think that the odds of this getting a massive FLGS/OLGS distribution is low - especially for the (expenisive!) expansions .. .so, if you think you are going to pick one of these up when printed for a third off, I'd move quick. I doubt seriously that the expansions are printed in bulk - again, because they are very expensive and especially when all they are doing is adding "variety" - not fundamentally changing game play, which are you going to get by just owning the base.

I'm rationalizing this by not having bought the FF mini's, and that I'll be able to get some serious mileage with other Cthulu games like Arkm and MoMadness. . .

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