Gameday First Play – Cthulhu Wars

Posted on by Jesta

Ever played a dudes on a map game and thought, “I wish these minis were insanely bright and look like a block of plastic left over from making something else”?

Well your wish has been granted!

Cthulhu Wars is a strategy board game in which the players take the part of alien races and gods taken from the Cthulhu mythos created by H. P. Lovecraft. The game is physically large, and includes sixty-four figurines of the cultists, monsters, aliens, and Great Old Ones that range in height from approximately 20 mm to nearly 180 mm.

So the blurb immediately tells you how big it is and how big the minis are… That’s the problem I have with this game. They look awful to me and they didn’t need to be, it’s just a selling point, but whatever… To the game!

Each player controls a Faction based around a Great Old One and their monsters and minions. I had Hastur the Yellow.

Cthulhu Wars Hastur

You start with your Cultists on the board and everything else set aside. Each player has a starting space and you start controlling one gate.

Cthulhu Wars Cultists

You start by gathering Power… Power is the currency of the game and you gain it mostly for each Cultist you have and Gates you control.

There’s a cool catchup mechanism where each player always goes up to half the power of the faction with the most power. This stops people getting left behind.

Then the player with the most power becomes the new start player. They have a stupidly large disk that shows they are the start player, they can also determine play direction with it.

Then comes the Doom phase where you can score points. You get 1 point per controlled gate. Then you can perform a Ritual of Annihilation (no idea) to score again… if you do the Ritual of Annihilation track increases which I’m sure is important but I’m not sure why 🙂 I made me happy as it made Hastur’s attack stronger as it increased.

At this point you check to see if someone has reached the magic number (I want to say 30?) and won the game.

Cthulhu Wars Board

Then comes the action phase where each player spends power in turn order to take one action…

Here you can build a gate, move a unit, capture or attack and opponent. (This is a dice based combat system)

You can summon a Great Old One (if possible, most have criteria you need to match first) or a Monster.

Cthulhu Wars Player Card

You have a player card that shows what actions you have and how much your unit costs to summon and their abilities.

Actions are cool, some of your units have them and they cost power… But you have a spell book with criteria you need to meet… When you do you get to cover those spaces with a spell.

Cthulhu Wars Spells

Each of these spells, monsters, abilities etc is unique per Faction which is always nice.

Despite me HATING how the game looks like it was made by the Early Learning Centre the game itself is pretty good.

I’m awful at these dudes on a map type games and I just try to do things and hope it works out OK. In this case it didn’t as we didn’t really attack much and one player was left to run away in the lead. The game didn’t last long at all.

So, VERY good game spoiled by terrible minis and poor play the first time around 🙂

Definitely one to try again, and be a bit more aggressive 🙂

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