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Source: Board Game Geek

This past week at game night we got to play Cthulhu Wars. A guy from work brought it over, we got in part of a game finding ourselves having disperse the group before the game reached fruition. Victory is based on two conditions victory points and having claimed all 6 scrolls before the game ends; but I jump ahead of the wagon, let me go back and talk a little about the game before I jump straight to the end.

Each player gets 1 faction placard. Each faction is different, not just a little but they are so varied it seems like it wouldn’t mesh well as a game. Everything from unit cost to scroll abilities are different. At first glance it seems broken – like one faction has a significant advantage – but that is not the case. Each faction has such outrageous abilities that they balance each other out.

The game is broken nicely into phases and rounds. Each round consists of 4 phases – and I may not get their names entirely right but you’ll get the idea.

Phase 1 – Power Gathering
In this phase you gather power from your holdings on the board. 1 power for every Acolyte Cultist and 2 power for every Gate, are the main ways of getting your power.

Phase 2 – First player
This phase determines which player goes first. The player with the most victory points goes first if there is a tie the Cthulhu faction goes first. It just so happens that I was playing this faction. I went first 🙂

Phase 3 – Victory Points
This phase adds victory points to the point tracker. Players receive 1vp for each gate they control. This is also when you could preform the Ritual of Annihilation, in which you spend power to double those points. Be warned the ritual gets more expensive each time it is preformed so getting it earlier makes it cheaper.

Phase 4 – Action
This phase is where players get to take their actions, each action taking a certain amount of power. There are some special abilities that allow some factions to do unique actions that cost no power.

The game play is very easy to learn and seems simple. However, what sets this game apart, something I mentioned earlier, the unique factions – that is where the complexity of Cthulhu Wars is found. Every player gets a faction that is entirely different from all the others. This level of variation is beyond even Twilight Imperium. Whose factions are mostly the same except for a few technology differences. (Twilight Imperium is complex in a different way.)

So the game goes around round after round with players expanding, attacking opponents, and gathering their spell books. Every round points are added and the first player to reach 30 points on the score tracker ends the game. At that point players add in any hidden victory points and the player with the most victory points wins the game. Contingent on if they have all 6 of their spell books. If not, the player with all six spell books and the highest score wins the game.

Cthulhu Wars involves a lot of reading each factions abilities and figuring out which strategy would work best for that particular one. Each one varies so game play would depend on which one you had. I had The Great Cthulhu and in hind sight I should have focused more on claiming ocean territories and smashing opponents. Oh well something to remember for next time.

Like I said at the beginning we weren’t able to finish the game so I can’t give a full picture of the game. But we played long enough for me to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the game and would play again at the next opportunity.

But, who won? I’m glad you asked. No one. That’s the short answer. No one got thirty points to end the game and no one had all 6 of their spell books. But of all the non winners I had the most points. By one.

Until next time,

Running Man

P.S. – Here are some pictures of our game. I really liked the miniatures, very large and very detailed.

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An Acolyte Cultist

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Black Goat Faction

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Cthulhu

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