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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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Cthulhu Wars

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13 Jun 2013 03:01 - 30 Apr 2019 12:44 #154035 by Mr. White
Cthulhu Wars was created by Mr. White
I know we're sorta talking about this game on the front page and in the components thread, but those are really about other, separate issues.

I have a question about the theme in particular.

I've only read one Lovecraft story, played CoC the RPG twice and one game of AH, so I'm not the best judge on what is Lovecraftian. Is this what his stories were about though? Old ones fighting each other? Warfare?

I seem to recall Age of Conan getting dumped on because countries going to war isn't what Conan or REH are about. There was a theme disconnect.

If Lovecraft wasn't about war...why is this game getting such a huge pass whereas Age of Conan didn't?

It sounds like this game is aping CitOW...though I'm not a superfan, the Chaos gods spreading their seed across the Old World _is_ what Warhammer Chaos is about.

Is it the minis only? Surely, there are have been tons of other Chtulhu minis produced over the years.

What's going on with this game?

The Old Ones Have Risen! Monsters Walk the Earth! Humanity is finished, but the struggle continues. Which Great Old One will rule the ruins of Earth? 

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Last edit: 30 Apr 2019 12:44 by ubarose.

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13 Jun 2013 03:34 #154036 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
No, this is not what his stories were about.

However, the Cthulhu fanbase doesn't care about Lovecraft much, in general. It's all about the "cool-looking" monsters.

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13 Jun 2013 14:09 #154057 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
If I was going to sum up the overall feel of Lovecraft's work, I'd say it's about an ancient evil that has always been here, and woe to the human who gets even a little exposed to it.

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13 Jun 2013 14:44 #154061 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars

hotseatgames wrote: If I was going to sum up the overall feel of Lovecraft's work, I'd say it's about an ancient evil that has always been here, and woe to the human who gets even a little exposed to it.


In one of Lovecraft's longer works, At the Mountains of Madness, there were indications of past conflicts between mythos creatures. During his many years of developing and editing material for the Call of Cthulhu rpg, Sandy Peterson built upon that idea and extrapolated that various Great Old Ones had come into conflict in aeons past. Peterson is the big name on the design team for Cthulhu Wars, so he is extrapolating even more from that same idea. I think that it's plausible. There has never been a clear hierarchy established for the Great Old Ones, at least not in Lovecraft's writing, so it stands to reason that those beings might come into conflict from time to time.

It's true that Lovecraft's stories tended to have a different focus. Typically his stories featured one or a few intellectuals who come across compelling evidence of a mythos monster. They are skeptical at first, but after applying rigorous logic find themselves forced to believe. The unlucky ones gain unbearable insights into the underlying nature of reality and go insane. The lucky ones manage some minor victory over the mythos and live uneasily ever after. This isn't really ideal material for a game, so even great games like Arkham Horror and Call of Cthulhu miss the mark by erring on the side of entertainment value. Cthulhu Wars ignores most of Lovecraft's style of storytelling and takes things in a different direction.

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13 Jun 2013 16:34 #154087 by hotseatgames
Replied by hotseatgames on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
The Bethesda Lovecraft FPS from several years ago tapped into it very well. Unfortunately the game was otherwise flawed, but its atmosphere was excellent.

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13 Jun 2013 17:08 #154089 by DukeofChutney
Replied by DukeofChutney on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
my experience is that most Cthulhu fans have never read any of Lovecrafts works, just derivatives and games.

The theme in this game does sort of work like others have said. The Chtulhu mythos monsters aren't exactly a bunch of friends, but as has also been said, the stories are about very limited human beings encountering the monsters, not the monsters themselves actually doing anything interesting.

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13 Jun 2013 18:44 #154104 by Jason Lutes
Replied by Jason Lutes on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars

Jeff White wrote: I've only read one Lovecraft story, played CoC the RPG twice and one game of AH, so I'm not the best judge on what is Lovecraftian. Is this what his stories were about though? Old ones fighting each other? Warfare?

I seem to recall Age of Conan getting dumped on because countries going to war isn't what Conan or REH are about. There was a theme disconnect.

If Lovecraft wasn't about war...why is this game getting such a huge pass whereas Age of Conan didn't?

It sounds like this game is aping CitOW...though I'm not a superfan, the Chaos gods spreading their seed across the Old World _is_ what Warhammer Chaos is about.

Is it the minis only? Surely, there are have been tons of other Chtulhu minis produced over the years.

What's going on with this game?


In addition to what Shellhead has said, I would add that Cthulhu is a subcultural phenomenon, nearly third place behind vampires and zombies in "mainstream geekdom," whereas Conan never really attained that status. And the larger an audience for a given subject is, the more that subject can be bent away from its canonical origins.

You can buy a Cthulhu plushie, but Thulsa Doom never had it so good.

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13 Jun 2013 19:15 #154110 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
I haven't read most of the Conan books, but I did read the first several years of the excellent Marvel series based on the books. That included a lengthy storyline involving a couple of warring kingdoms in Hyperborea. I remembered one especially good issue was titled The Shadow of the Vulture, so I just wiki'd that to see which two countries were involved.

Oddly enough, it turns out those issues of the comic were totally based on a non-Conan story of the same name and by Robert E. Howard. But that story was a Red Sonja based on a couple of historical battles from the 1520s! That wily Roy Thomas transplanted that story into Hyperborea and replaced Red Sonja with Conan, while introducing her into the comic in a different story.

So maybe the guys that designed Age of Conan were fans of the Conan comic book instead of the original Conan books.

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13 Jun 2013 19:24 #154117 by metalface13
Replied by metalface13 on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
The problem people had with Age of Conan is that nobody got to play as Conan. There are lots of wars waging in the Conan stories, but the focus is on Conan, not the nations. Also the game wasn't that fun. So I heard, never played it. Plus it was the design team's followup to War of the Ring, talk about high expectations.

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13 Jun 2013 19:51 #154120 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
That Cthulhu Wars kickstarter is going to cost me some sanity points. My gut instinct is that the game will be mediocre, but those minis and that map keep calling to me. Even if the game is mediocre, it seems possible that the quality of the components will enhance the game just enough to get my friends to play it and like it.

Hypothetically speaking, if I were to back this Kickstarter, I would go for the following combo:

Cultist level ($150), which is the base game

the plastic Gate miniatures ($25), which are stupid but look cool

The Opener of the Way expansion ($48), so we can play 5-player, and because it looks like this faction really changes up the game.

The Primeval Map expansion ($40), because I like the sound of the plastic icebergs forcing the endgame into a big knife fight in a phonebooth situation.

The Dreamlands Map expansion ($48), just because I have always liked the Dreamlands setting and want those map boards.

And because all of the above would put me well above the $200 minimum, I would receive the following Great Old One mini-expansions for free:

Yig
Atlach-Nacha
Ghatanothoa
Bokrug
Abhoth
Chaugnar Faugn
Cthugha
Father Dagon
Mother Hydra

plus 8 more dice for free.

The base set alone weighs about 8 pounds, and those GOO minis are all probably large, so all of this stuff might end up weighing close to 20 pounds. Good thing I wouldn't be paying international shipping rates.

But that would be $311 for a game of unknown quality. By comparison, I bought Arkham Horror plus all the expansions for roughly the same amount, and I love that game. The big difference is I was able to gradually by those Arkham Horror releases as they came out, and I only had to buy the base set at first to discover that I loved the game.

I could probably get by without the extra map boards, and just pick up the base game, the plastic gates and the Opener of the Way for a mere $223 and still score all those bonus Great Old Ones.

But this is all hypothetical for now. In the next two weeks, I will find out if I will still have a job, depending on if our current investors can agree upon a sale price to the potential buyer. Then I still need to weigh my upper middle class income against big spending that might arise in the next twelve months, involving a car, a computer, and business attire for my girlfriend as she approaches graduation and her new career. I suppose $311 is nothing compared to all that, but the accountant in me worries anyway.

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13 Jun 2013 23:41 #154137 by PavingMantis
Replied by PavingMantis on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars

Shellhead wrote:
plus 8 more dice for free.


For free.

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14 Jun 2013 06:32 #154155 by ioticus
Replied by ioticus on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
Man this Kickstarter broke my will and I failed a sanity check. I'm in for everything :(
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shellhead

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14 Jun 2013 06:36 #154156 by Bull Nakano
Replied by Bull Nakano on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars

PavingMantis wrote:

Shellhead wrote:
plus 8 more dice for free.


For free.

Where do I sign for the free dice?

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14 Jun 2013 14:02 #154168 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
My initial impression of the game was Cthulhu Risk, and then after studying the player mats, I also picked up on a Chaos in the Old World influence. After studying online comments by Sandy Peterson and his son, I'm also seeing the dynamic battlefield of Nexus Ops and a little bit of The Hills Rise Wild.

Peterson has admitted to the Chaos in the Old World influence, but in Cthulhu Wars, players effectively need to perform different kinds of actions for each of their six advancements, and they get to choose which order they receive their various advancements. Plus there isn't a Khorne-equivalent driving the whole game. If the Petersons are being honest, then they have been playtesting the hell out of this game, with particular focus on keeping all these different advancements balanced. They noticed early in the playtesting that there was one particular advancement for each faction that playtesters kept choosing first, so they made each of those advancements into starting powers for those factions. This might actually be a pretty good game. Still not sure if it's a $175+ game.

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14 Jun 2013 17:43 #154213 by SuperflyPete
Replied by SuperflyPete on topic Re: Cthulhu Wars
I've been looking at this (Lovecraft fan) and it seems to me that the best option for this is to not buy the game, and just get Reaper (and other brands) of Cthulhu miniatures and play Strange Aeons or something.

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