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Cthulhu Wars - A Five Second Board Game Review

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03 May 2019 00:01 #296446 by MasonSokol
Cthulhu Wars is about as straightforward as a modern area...

That is not dead which can eternal lie. Or, y’know, whatever.
― James S.A. Corey

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03 May 2019 08:11 #296447 by Malloc
cw is the best example of a “Meh” game that people play because it cost as much as their 1st car.
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03 May 2019 08:44 #296451 by Vysetron
I love this series. Wish I'd thought of it. Keep up the good work.

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03 May 2019 09:17 #296453 by ubarose
@Vysetron

Anyone can submit a 5-second review. I would like to run them more often.
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03 May 2019 10:20 - 03 May 2019 10:22 #296456 by Ah_Pook

Malloc wrote: cw is the best example of a “Meh” game that people play because it cost as much as their 1st car.


I dunno, I think it's a good game. It's basically a mashup of Chaos In The Old World and Nexus Ops (both of which I like a lot on their own) that works really well. I've only played the base game so I can't comment on the zillion dollars worth of expansions, but I think dismissively writing it off because it's ludicrously overproduced/expensive does the game a disservice.

That said I definitely wouldn't have ponied up MSRP for it, but that's a different discussion.
Last edit: 03 May 2019 10:22 by Ah_Pook.

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03 May 2019 10:46 #296457 by Vysetron
I do think the game is good, but only "good". The main reason it's seen the level of success it has is the ludicrous production. It sticks in people's heads mostly because of what it looks like, not how it plays. If it was released with standees way back when it wouldn't have gotten the pile of expansions and support it sees today.

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03 May 2019 10:49 #296460 by Colorcrayons

Ah_Pook wrote:

Malloc wrote: cw is the best example of a “Meh” game that people play because it cost as much as their 1st car.


I dunno, I think it's a good game. It's basically a mashup of Chaos In The Old World and Nexus Ops (both of which I like a lot on their own) that works really well. I've only played the base game so I can't comment on the zillion dollars worth of expansions, but I think dismissively writing it off because it's ludicrously overproduced/expensive does the game a disservice.

That said I definitely wouldn't have ponied up MSRP for it, but that's a different discussion.


I can see where you're coming from and agree. Yet it's hard to separate cost from consideration, at least as far as subjective perception of value is concerned.

But I do hear a lot of people not only talking about the game, but playing it a lot. So they are getting some mileage out of their gaming dollars. The question I have about that is, are they playing it more because they sunk so much into it? Or is it because it's a legit game that people want to play a lot? Or some combo of the two, or more factors?

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03 May 2019 11:19 #296464 by MasonSokol

Colorcrayons wrote:

Ah_Pook wrote:

Malloc wrote: cw is the best example of a “Meh” game that people play because it cost as much as their 1st car.


I dunno, I think it's a good game. It's basically a mashup of Chaos In The Old World and Nexus Ops (both of which I like a lot on their own) that works really well. I've only played the base game so I can't comment on the zillion dollars worth of expansions, but I think dismissively writing it off because it's ludicrously overproduced/expensive does the game a disservice.

That said I definitely wouldn't have ponied up MSRP for it, but that's a different discussion.


I can see where you're coming from and agree. Yet it's hard to separate cost from consideration, at least as far as subjective perception of value is concerned.

But I do hear a lot of people not only talking about the game, but playing it a lot. So they are getting some mileage out of their gaming dollars. The question I have about that is, are they playing it more because they sunk so much into it? Or is it because it's a legit game that people want to play a lot? Or some combo of the two, or more factors?


I tend to question the usefulness of trying to make such a distinction, people say you enjoy the taste of alcohol or coffee because of the effects not because you are getting objective enjoyment from the taste, but I still get a big damn smile on my face from my morning coffee that I couldnt get from just warmed half and half and tons of splenda. These people *are* getting enjoyment and trying to suss out if it is *true* enjoyment can be a...not great road to travel ultimately.

I do see why people try to make that distinction, largely because they want to know if *they’d* get the same enjoyment, I just caution against looking too hard as to whether enjoyment is valid, since it basically always is ;)
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03 May 2019 11:47 - 03 May 2019 11:51 #296466 by ubarose
The over-sized monsters creates a level of ridiculousness that keeps people in a good mood even when they are being totally screwed. I feel completely comfortable playing CW at cons and open game meet-up with people I don't know very well because it attracts people who have a sense of humor. I don't have concerns that they will get bent out of shape, sulky, moody, rules lawyery, angry or argumentative the way people can get when playing other DoaMs. Players who are attracted to CW tend to be the kind of people who are invested in "having a blast" watching giant monsters beat the crap out of each other, rather than being invested in winning the game at all costs, or demonstrating their personal cleverness.

It looks like exactly what it is - big, dumb DoaM fun.
Last edit: 03 May 2019 11:51 by ubarose.
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03 May 2019 12:05 #296467 by hotseatgames
The only game that has been more of a hit with my group than Cthulhu Wars is Spartacus. We love how fast it is, as well as how straight-forward it is. It's also a joy to really dig deep into a faction so you can play it well. I have played each faction at least one time except for the Ancients, and I'll get around to them soon.

It's a top 5 for me, probably.
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03 May 2019 15:13 - 03 May 2019 15:14 #296476 by WadeMonnig
Well now, I guess we get to see what happens when we add a different editor star score to the mix :) I'd give it a 4.5.
I could (and probably will at a later date) write 1,500 words on what I love about Cthulhu Wars. I've played as all the base factions and shockingly, I liked all the base factions and would play any of them again. Granted, I love DOAM's but this is a fantastic one. I got my onslaught 2 copy (with a fist sized hole in the bottom of the box) for a mere $75.00 at a ding and dent sale. It's a game I will play in a heartbeat and it can go pretty damn quick. Definitely top 10 for me.
Last edit: 03 May 2019 15:14 by WadeMonnig.
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03 May 2019 15:29 #296477 by tk342
I wish I knew how to make this play fast. My group has really liked it every time we've played but it always ends up taking an hour or two longer than I would like.
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03 May 2019 16:44 - 03 May 2019 16:44 #296478 by ubarose
@tk342

Yikes! When we play the whole game only takes two hours tops. If everyone has played before it is usually only about an hour and half for 4 players.
Last edit: 03 May 2019 16:44 by ubarose.

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03 May 2019 17:25 - 03 May 2019 17:26 #296479 by Josh Look

Ah_Pook wrote: It's basically a mashup of Chaos In The Old World and Nexus Ops


And yet not anywhere near as good as either.

This game is a rare case in which I feel absolutely nothing while I play it. No excitement, no tension, no thrill of playing with giant plastic figures, and no real desire to ever dig in deeper to see if I’m not playing it well enough. Mechanically, it’s sound and nothing strikes me as bad, yet at no point do I feel like I’m having fun.

I love me some toy appeal and can enjoy a dumb game that has some, but I dislike the giant figures. I’m not completely anti-Lovecraft, but the theme is stupid. This could have been *the* kaiju game, with its dopey, dumb gameplay and with reasonably sized minis that actually gave it an MSRP that matches what you’re getting. But no, here’s one of the definitive KS projects with Lovecraftian monsters fighting because nerds. I didn’t pay for it, so I guess I have no horse in that race.

As an actual game, it’s fine. It’s not great, it’s not bad, it does nothing to rise above the other options in the same design space. To me, it’s boring and forgettable, which actually might be the worst fate a game can suffer.
Last edit: 03 May 2019 17:26 by Josh Look.
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03 May 2019 18:19 #296480 by WadeMonnig
*waits for Josh to add his rating to see how much it lowers the overall* Rally the troops, we've got a cthulhu rating war! :)

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