Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Cthulhu Wars!

Cthulhu Wars is a game of epic struggle as the Great Old Ones clash to determine which one rules the Earth. No matter the outcome, it seems that humanity loses. The game is currently on Kickstarter with more than 2 weeks to go and it is way past the funded level and will be made. The figures are all sculpted in the standard miniatures game scale of 28mm. The monsters are quite large.

The game is designed by Sandy Peterson, a guy that knows a thing or two about Cthulhu, having written the classic pen and paper RPG Call of Cthulhu.

The Kickstarter has options to just buy the figures by Faction, special 1st player marker sexy figures, sculpted gates, custom dice, posters, t-shirts, and additional factions. You could just buy in on a faction and play with your friends using your own figures, or use the figures for horror RPGs. As minis go, these are a good value, look great and should paint up well.

There are lots of extra factions and choices including additional Great Old Ones. They are planning 13 additional Factions. These are $48 each. The first is Yog Sothoth. Others planned include: Tsathoggua, Ithaqua, Azathoth.

There are also 3 map expansions including the Dreamlands with a new maps and plastic pieces. These are $40 each.

Cthulhu Wars is played on a huge world map (ala Risk) and each player gets a unique army led by one of the Great Old Ones. The base game factions are: Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, and Hastur. Other figures are listed in the complete list below.

I am quite impressed with the figures and the game design itself.

One of the interesting features of the rules is how first player and turn order are determined. The player with the most power goes first, but they get to choose if the round is played clockwise or counter-clockwise around the table. Neat. Power is determined by how many people and gates the player controls. This includes cultists captured in the turn before! Those guys are then killed and returned to their player's off board unit supply.

On your turn you may do one of the following:
Recruit a single Cultist (get more dudes on the map)
Move your dudes (spending 1 power for each) to an adjacent territory
Create a Gate (a portal to bring in Monsters) (only one per territory)
Capture Cultist - your monsters can help recruit your enemies forces to your side
Battle - fight enemy units in the same territory
Summon Monster to a territory where you have a controlled gate
Control Gate
Ritual of Annihilation
Awaken Great Old One

Players recruit Cultists and summon monsters and gain power and Spellbooks until they have enough power to win.

I will probably always think of this as Cthulhu Risk and to me that is a good thing. A 15 page text only rulebook is posted on the Kickstarter and I think it reads pretty well and the components are great. With Sandy Peterson involved, this is likely a pretty good game. But the price - $150 for the base game. Woah.

Here are the factions in the base set:

The game includes the following (quoted from the rulebook pdf):

Player Hints & Tips
Mapboard of Earth (in two pieces, printed on both sides)
4 Faction Cards
4 Power markers (faction-specific)
4 Doom track markers (faction-specific)
1 Ritual of Annihilation Marker
Starting player tile (circular)
24 Spellbooks (6 per Faction)
~12 Desecration markers (yellow sign)
16 Gates (cardboard, large)
30 Elder Sign chits (two-sided: one side has the Elder Sign, the other has a number – either 1/2, 1,
or 1 1/2)]
· Thus, a third of the Elder Sign chits say “1/2”
· A third read “1”
· A third read “1 1/2”
20 six-sided dice
24 cultists, six each in four colors; BLUE, GREEN, RED, YELLOW
5 Great Old Ones; Cthulhu (GREEN), Nyarlathotep (BLUE), Shub-Niggurath (RED),
Hastur (YELLOW), The King in Yellow (YELLOW)
4 Deep Ones, 2 Shoggoths, 2 Starspawn (all GREEN)
3 Nightgaunts, 3 Flying Polyp, 2 Hunting Horror (all BLUE)
2 Ghouls, 4 Fungi, 3 Dark Young (all RED)
6 Undead, 4 Byakhee (all YELLOW)
Total types of figures: 18
Small figures = 39 (cultists, deep ones, nightgaunts, ghouls, undead)
Medium figures = 14 (shoggoths, flying polyps, fungi, byakhee, King in Yellow)
Large figures = 7 (starspawn, hunting horror, dark young)
Huge figures = 4 (Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, Hastur)
Total figures: 63 + 16 Gates


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