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finarvyn

Best Cthulhu board game?

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finarvyn

I'm looking to find a simple boardgame that captures the essence of the Mythos without being too complex. One that I can figure out without too much stress and play with some gamers in their mid-teens.

 

I own copies of Arkham Horror and Eldritch Horror. I love the concept of both but they have way too many small pieces for setup and the rules seem to have a steep learning curve. I suppose I might figure them out eventually, but I don't have the motivation to plow through the rules at the moment.

 

When I look around in game stores I often see games with some sort of Mythos slant to them, but it's really hard to tell how simple and/or enjoyable they will be by just reading the back of the box.

 

Anyone have any suggestions?

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mvincent

Try:

Cthulhu Wars: an excellently balanced game that is steeped in Mythos

Mansion of Madness: or if you're not tied to mythos: Betrayal at House on the Hill is an even more incredibly fun horror/investigation game

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Nick Storm

Forget Arkham horror and Mansions of Madness - Both require quite a bit above average in 'investments' from gamers. Not easy to play for first timers, those who don't know/care for the Mythos. Lots of pieces and heavy set up times.

 

Eldritch Horror = Arkham Horror light. Not a bad choice here but you already have /know that.

 

Elder Sign = kinda like Mythos yatzhee. Dice are easy to use and rules are easy. Highly recommend for first timers.

 

Cthulhu Wars = Do you OWN or have access to this Lamborghini of wargames?  Even so, it may be simple to play but VERY fiddly and delicate to get interlocking faction strategy. Not recommended for new players. Need above average strategos and highly motivated gamers for this bad boy.

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alter

You always can try Twilight Productions Inc. Cthulhu!!! Hastur La Vista Baby! It's simple, it's fun and setup time isn't very long. Cool little game with over 100 minis. But for the one player only Elder Sign is must have. This game is so intense in solo play. Thats strike me first when I played solo. 

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golfsale

Creatures & Cultists and The Hills Rise Wild; probably the two best things Pagan Publishing have ever released.

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Pookie

You always can try Twilight Productions Inc. Cthulhu!!! Hastur La Vista Baby! It's simple, it's fun and setup time isn't very long. Cool little game with over 100 minis. But for the one player only Elder Sign is must have. This game is so intense in solo play. Thats strike me first when I played solo. 

 

I have a full review of Cthulhu!!! here.

 

The game that you want might be Pandemic Board Game: Reign of Cthulhu. It is released yet, but will be out later this year. It is relatively short and it enforces the need to think about what you need to do.

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trevlix

Agree on Cthulhu Wars - the price is high, and people who don't like "Risk"-like games will be put off, but well worth it IMO.

 

If you like AH and EH, I'll also point you to Witch of Salem. This is like Arkham Horror-lite.

 

I've been enjoying Cthulhu Realms lately. This is a deck building game with a mythos theme. Its definitely on the comedy side, but a fun quick game.

 

Has anyone played Kingsport Festival? I've heard its good, but do not have first hand experience.

 

Also, if you buy any of these games, don't forget to use the YS Amazon link to give ol' Yoggie a bit o coin! :)

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alter

And another game is out there: Stars Are Right! Little logical game, with funny imagery from the creator of Unspeakable Vault of Doom. It's simple, it's fast, it's fun. It is From Pegasus Spiele IIRC.

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Pookie

And another game is out there: Stars Are Right! Little logical game, with funny imagery from the creator of Unspeakable Vault of Doom. It's simple, it's fast, it's fun. It is From Pegasus Spiele IIRC.

 

It is published in English by Steve Jackson Games.

 

It is a fine looking game, but be warned, it is a fiddly game and it is not easy to keep track of everything in game.

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BenJoss

A Study in Emerald based on Neil Gaimans short story of the same name is excellent.

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mvincent

Forget Arkham horror and Mansions of Madness - Both require quite a bit above average in 'investments' from gamers. Not easy to play for first timers...

 

Cthulhu Wars = Do you OWN or have access to this Lamborghini of wargames?  

 

Fair points: Cthulhu Wars is expensive, and I mainly mentioned Mansions of Madness in order to plug my true favorite: Betrayal at House on the Hill (though, there is an app for Mansions of Madness, it does capture the feel of CoC, and the game pieces are good for CoC players that want miniatures).

 

Betrayal at House on the Hill is like Mansions of Madness, but without setup, complexity or a referee. And it's a different scenario each time. Plus, I can usually starting playing this immediately with six brand new players without needing to explain the rules beforehand (and we can often finish in about 20 minutes) Although it seems complicated with hundreds of tokens, those can all be discarded. Instead of fishing around for the correct tokens:

1) If an Event card requires a token, just use the Event card itself to mark the location (place it under the room).

2) Use a half-dozen generic tokens (or miniatures) instead of the provided scenario & Monsters tokens (their labels aren't really needed, and aren't ascetically pleasing anyways)

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rylehNC

I'd say Elder Sign. It takes advantage of the great art FFG has used for its Mythos games over the years, and is fairly easy. Eldritch Horror is by far my favorite, however.

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finarvyn

I think I played Betrayal at House on the Hill a few months ago and I had totally forgotten. It was fun and pretty simple.

 

I think I'll check out Elder Sign, too, because it sounds awesome.

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gladius

Elder Sign is good, and a staple, but I find after playing it for a year or so, we never break it out anymore. It also has quite a few fiddly bits.

 

I have Kingsport Festival. It's much simpler than AH or EH, but retains some of that flavor. I find that it's not really deep enough to satisfy me but it may be good as a lighter game. It does seem somewhat linear (with fewer strategic choices) compared to the others but has some interesting mechanics and nice art.

 

Cthulhu Wars is monstrous in size, price, and strategy. Not for the faint of heart.

 

The Stars are Right is a nice pattern-matching game that has a mythos flavor, but the mechanics are really more like "Set" than AH.

 

Keith Baker's Cthulhu Gloom might be an interesting story-telling diversion.

 

Witch of Salem felt flat to me, but is definitely simpler than AH or EH. 

 

The Doom that Came to Atlantic City, while on the surface looking like Monopoly, is not really. It's simple enough that I played it with some younger family members. The minis are very nice. I need to break this one out again. It's a bit tongue-in-cheek.

 

I detest Munchkin, but of course someone gave me Munchkin Cthulhu as a gift. Kids seem to love Munchkin, though, so there's that.

 

I await Cthulhu Pandemic with bated breath. I'd like to try Study in Emerald now that there's an affordable edition out. 

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nclarke

Nobody has yet mentioned Cubicle  7's Cthulhu Tales based on their Hobbit Tales game which is due out fairly soon, by Gencon I reckon. You can get the rules from C7's website to see if it will work for you.

 

http://cubicle7.co.uk/our-games/cthulhu-tales-2/

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finarvyn

Witch of Salem felt flat to me, but is definitely simpler than AH or EH. 

 

I await Cthulhu Pandemic with bated breath. I'd like to try Study in Emerald now that there's an affordable edition out. 

 

A shame about Witch of Salem. My wife isn't much of a board gamer (she likes RPGs) but she does like witches and that might have been a major selling point if the game was well done.

 

I bought a copy of Pandemic years ago (still in the shrinkwrap as I type) and it looked cool. Cthulhu Pandemic sounds really awesome.

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Badger

I'd be remiss if i didn't suggest my own game, Feed the Shoggoth!. :) I wouldn't call it the best Cthulhu board game, but if we're going to mention Cthulhu Gloom, i figure it's worth tossing in. 

 

-=badger

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AirborneXO

I'll also chime in with my modest effort - Mythos Tales, which gives a Call of Cthulhu 'light' experience a bit like a sandbox chose-your-own-adventure in the mold of Sherlock Holmes: Consulting detective:

 

https://8thsummit.net/product/mythos-tales-products/preorder-mythos-tales-kickstarter-hardback-edition/

 

It's on the boat currently, slated for a late September release :) would never claim it was the best but serves nicely as an intro for people not familiar with the Mythos.

 

Cheers, Hal

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ContentsMayVary

Mansions of Madness Second Edition has just been released. It looks pretty good (so good, in fact, that I just ordered it today ;))

 

It improves on the first edition by using an app (which you run on a tablet) to replace the keeper that used to be needed to manage the scenarios. I'm looking forward to playing it next week. :)

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Nick Storm

yep, I can't wait to see how the integration of the game and phone app works. 

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yockenthwaite

yep, I can't wait to see how the integration of the game and phone app works.

 

I'm probably being a bit of a dinosaur, but I'm a bit reluctant to buy a game relying on an app that may stop being supported in 5 years or so. In other words I'd really like to be able to play the game properly in many years to come. It's not an insignificant cost ...

 

Maybe it's the computer scientist in me (my first degree) - too much experience from seeing software become obsolete.

 

But I'd be very interested to hear how people get on with playing it. I was looking at the game's BoardGameGeek page just the other night.

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finarvyn

 

I'm probably being a bit of a dinosaur, but I'm a bit reluctant to buy a game relying on an app that may stop being supported in 5 years or so.

 

I'm probably being a bit of a dinosaur, but I still use an old flip phone and couldn't use an AP if I wanted to... :-)

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yockenthwaite

I'm probably being a bit of a dinosaur, but I still use an old flip phone and couldn't use an AP if I wanted to... :-)

Haha! My mobile phone isn't even as new as a flip phone ;) Mine is about 15 years old. I do have an iPad and iPod touch though.

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ContentsMayVary

 

I'm probably being a bit of a dinosaur, but I'm a bit reluctant to buy a game relying on an app that may stop being supported in 5 years or so. In other words I'd really like to be able to play the game properly in many years to come. It's not an insignificant cost ...

 

Maybe it's the computer scientist in me (my first degree) - too much experience from seeing software become obsolete.

 

But I'd be very interested to hear how people get on with playing it. I was looking at the game's BoardGameGeek page just the other night.

 

I guess the app doesn't need to be continued to be supported - it just need to continue to run. Since old PC games from 1995 still run fine 20+ years later (even if some need an emulator), I think it'll be fine. :)

I'm probably being a bit of a dinosaur, but I still use an old flip phone and couldn't use an AP if I wanted to... :-)

 

You couldn't possibly use a phone for the app anyway - the screen would be far too small. I'm using a tablet, but it also runs on PC or Mac.

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yockenthwaite

I guess the app doesn't need to be continued to be supported - it just need to continue to run. Since old PC games from 1995 still run fine 20+ years later (even if some need an emulator), I think it'll be fine. :)

Hopefully it will be ok, yes. But I'm afraid I've known quite a lot of apps that stop being supported and no longer work on recent or current iOS versions, including apps I have bought myself. Changes in the iOS infrastructure can easily break old apps. So, no, I'm not confident unsupported apps will continue to work as well long-term as old PC games do, albeit with some effort.

 

Again I wouldn't be so concerned if this was just a £30 or similar game I was buying. But I don't want to spend nearly £100 and possibly be unable to play it in 5 years.

 

Of course this is me not knowing quite how integral the app is to the 2nd edition gameplay. Would it be playable without the app, if the worst happened?

 

Also I'm not wanting to decry the potential of an app to improve the gameplay. But I do have concerns about its implications for the game's longevity.

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