Category Archives: Cthulhu Realms

Cthulhu Realms

Two Down One To Go

With life events putting a stick in the spokes of life's bike, Ben was unable to attend the Friday night gaming group in Wisbech. Which meant that our gaming plans were also in chaos. I hadn't bought anything with me to play, because I had been expecting to play Agricola.
So my first game of the evening was my second game ever of Cthulhu Realms. If you remember I'm not a big fan of this “improved” Star Realms. Unlike Star Realms there is zero buzz for the game. Even with the imminent release of an app version (apparently due in next month or so) I don't think this will change.
I think Cthulhu Realms does have better rules for multiplayer. Particular how it handles the trade row, or rows in this case, and dealing the damage out to the players on either side of you. But these rules can be adopted in a multiplayer game of Star Realms. Which I may well do.
I still dislike the iconography, and decoding. Yes more plays will make it easier. But I'm very loath to put that effort in.
Playing the game this second time didn't warm me to the game, I'm still frosty about it.
Next up instead of Agricola we played a five player game of Caverna.
“Have you played Caverna?”
“Don't worry it's just like playing Agricola”
“Er I've not played that either”

I'd say the rules explanation at best could be described as lacking. Much of the start of the game was spent in frustration.

Ok, it's worker placement. I worked that out. Oh wheat gives me points at end, and can be used for food. Cool. I can work with that. Sadly I wouldn't work with that if I'd known it was half a point per wheat token I had.

Happily breeding pigs and sheep. Oh they are worth points at the end. Cool. What if I don't have a cow or dog I get negative points?!!! Why wasn't this mentioned at the start, but left to scoring.

Why were they levelling up their dwarfs? What benefit did that give you?

Ok you get the picture. It was like playing a game with a fog of war. The rules were need to know, and I didn't need to know.

I can't say I really enjoyed the game. But I think that is down more to being in the dark a lot.

Plus on top of all that another week with that bloody loud music being played. One more shot I think then my Friday's may just be free again. This group is fast becoming an unpleasant experience.


Why I Don’t Play Cthulhu Realms

I don't think it's a secret how much I love the game Star Realms. It is without a doubt my most played game. Which is down to the totally awesome app of the game. And the app is amazing value really, buy once, get across all platforms the game is available on, plus online multiplayer that is platform independent.

Cthulhu Realms is touted as an improved Star Realms. From supporting up to four players straight out of the box, one less faction, faster ramp up, weaker faction synergy abilities, locations easier to destroy.

So why am I not playing Cthulhu Realms more? Or even instead of Star Realms?

Well if you remember back to when the game came out and I got my copy I played my first game with Nath.

Nath didn't enjoy playing the game, despite loving Star Realms. For Nath the iconography of the cards got in the way of him enjoying the game. Now you could argue that if we had persevered with the icons with more plays then it would become less of an issue.

However even with the handy action summary on the sanity tracking card, deciphering the icons slowed the game down.

The other main stumbling block is there no app for the game! I think part of the success of Star Realms can be put down to its app. I'm not reliant on being able to get together with people to play, I can play solo against the AI, play a campaign, or online against others.

Then there is the Star Realms community that has built up around the game. Which once again has been aided big time with the app.

So despite Cthulhu Realms being the technically better game, it will not get much play with me while I still have that learning curve of the iconography to get over. An app would help with that big time. Plus the app would solve the problem of finding someone to play with (and it has to have online play from day one).

This game needs the app fast, else it will remain an also ran.

UPDATE: apparently TMG have an app in development with White Wizard

Father and Son Saturday

After suffering the car park that is the M25, forty minutes to do three junctions, I managed to get to the M40 turn off and cut across to Naths avoiding the rest of the worlds largest carpark, and the congestion on the M3 also. Arriving a good hour and a half later than planned. Once we had eaten lunch of pizza washed down with coke it was on to some games.

The only game Nath wanted to know if I had bought was Star Realms. I told you he likes the game. And it warms my heart that he does, and that we are able to share playing it together.

Below our game of Star Realms in full flow. In this game I introduced Nath to the Gambit cards.

Nath finished me off with a really good combo score of 33 damage, easily wiping out my remaining 19 authority.

So after suffering a defeat at the hands of Nath, it was time to try Cthulhu Realms.

Nath didn't enjoy Cthulhu Realms. I think it was because it was learning the symbols and having to decode them etc. The game did seem to drag and not flow like a Star Realms game. However I put that down to this being our first game and learning the symbols on the cards and decoding them, and also trying to work out what good cards were.

Castle Panic was fun, we both enjoyed it. For a good three quarters of the game it was like “Oh this is easy”. We were controlling the monsters, keeping them down to one or two. Then it all went to pot. We drew a Troll Lord or something that required drawing another three tiles, one of those three was draw five more tiles, Nathan was rolling fours, fives and sixes. All these new monsters were accumulating on one side of the board. Before we knew it our castle was over run, and we were holding on to survival by a thread. We were praying for a miracle to help us out. Sadly none appeared. The inevitable happened the monsters destroyed our castle and we were defeated.

It was amazing how the game went from coasting to being under such intense pressure in a single turn. That was fun.

Even though we lost, Nath was happy because he had a higher monster head count than me.

Tomorrow it's more Star Realms I think and an attempt to get Star Wars Imperial Assault to the table!


Good Timing

Sometimes things just work out nicely. Today is one of those times.

Tonight there is a games night at The Kings Head (hope people turn up this time).

However when I got home a package was waiting for me. I quickly ripped it open to see its contents.

Well I had guessed its contents before opening, this should be the copy of Cthulhu Realms I bought off Chris Shaner. When I found out he had picked up some extra copies at GenCon and wanted to know who wanted to buy a copy. I snapped his fingers off. Turned out I wasn't the only one and managed to get the last spare copy Chris had. A quick PayPal transfer and the deal had been sealed.

So back to my excited ripping open on the newly arrived package. Wait what's this around the box? OMG! This is awesome. Wrapped around the copy of Cthulhu Realms was a play mat for AGES!

Wow! I wasn't expecting that. What a big surprise. A very very nice surprise. The playmat looks amazing. I can wait to play the game on this mat.

But that wasn't the last surprise. On the side of the Cthulhu Realms box was a Nikola Tesla promo card for AGES.

The photo doesn't show it too well. But it's shiney ^__^

So I really can't say thank you enough to Chris for his very generous surprises, plus being prepared to ship a copy of Cthulhu Realms to the UK. Which isn't on sale here yet I believe (but is due to hit pretty soon).

So now you know what I'm taking to the game night tonight. AGES (got to use that awesome playmat) and Cthulhu Realms and maybe Arctic Scavenger. Think there is a theme to the games I'm taking tonight.