Friday, 30 December 2016

Pandemic Cthulhu

The last couple of years have been a bit hit and miss for me regarding wargames at least.  This is why this here blog has been more sporadic than I'd like.  My regular wargaming friends are in a "different place" to me with what they're focused on, so my gaming hasn't been as regular as I'd like.

However, I have been playing a lot of other types of games including roleplaying and, apposite to this blog post, boardgames.  I guess "tabletop games" covers everything quite nicely.  Anyway, my beloved wife is also an avid boardgamer and so aside from one or two weekly sessions with our boardgaming friends, we regularly while away an evening flipping cards and pushing tokens about.  

Tentacles dude....

This evening we decided to take on the sanity-shattering horror of Cthulhu and his nefarious ancient god-like monstrosities.  First on the table we played our newly acquired gem; Pandemic Cthulhu.  

We're big fans of Pandemic of course, so we've been delighted by the Cthulhu version that, while using the same basic rules engine, is theme-soaked and plays in a slightly different way.  
Generally we've found you have more mobility, but the "clock" ticks down far faster.  We've yet to play this with 3-4 players so it'll be interesting to see how it works with more than two when we finally do.

Pandemic Cthulhu is of course a cooperative game where the players are attempting to work together to defeat the game, or in this case, attempting to prevent Great Cthulhu, Destroyer of Worlds from waking up and eating everyone's sanity.

OK...OK...uh...nope...I'm terrified beyond the capacity for rational thought.

So, how did this evening's game go?

We played a pair of investigators; Marcello the Magician who was fascinated by the relics of the Old Ones and magical objects of all kinds; and Betty Lane, and intrepid reporter who, it seems, has an Oyster Card.

We arrived by train at Arkham, New England (USA), and set about the business of uncovering and thwarting the evil plans of the Cthulhu cultists infesting the towns of Arkham, Innsmouth, Dunwich, and Kingsport.

Arkham itself seemed near overrun and we would quickly stumble on the foul form of a Shoggoth.

Steeling himself with a mind-guarding box, the Magician took on and destroyed the mutated beast.

I say!  I say!  You there, gribbly thing of off with you, there's a good chap.

However, it was all a distracting ruse and the cultists immediately summoned the Elder God Dagon.

With Dagon awake, its cultists came out of the shadows and immediately called forth Yig the Father of Serpents.  With our first few turns done, and two Old Ones awake, things were not looking good for us!
Yig would make our task of sealing the four Gates across the towns VERY much more difficult.

More Shoggoths spawned and cultists spread over the next few turns as we managed to close the Gate in Dunwich. Yay!  

Between us we had also gathered nearly enough resources to close the Gates in Arkham and Kingsport and the race was on.  Innsmouth was a different matter however, as it was all but overrun by cultists and a mind-tearing Shoggoth...

Matters took a turn for the worse however, and in quick succession Hastur The Unspeakable One, and Ithaqua The Wind Walker woke up and caused us no end of trouble.  Elder Gods eh?  Tut!

Things got no better when Tsathoggua the Sleeper of N'kai joined the party to rob us of our gate-closing cards.  The fiend.

Only Great Cthulhu itself remained to awaken but by then the towns of New England (USA) were overrun with cultists and we were soundly defeated.

Up yours Cthulhu!

Pandemic Cthulhu is much more than a simple re-skin of Pandemic, and although it shares the same basic rules (the enemies spawn and multiply each turn while the players desperately try to keep a lid on the growing chaos), there's a lot of thematic flavour and rules in here to make it feel like a different game.

We've only played it a few times but so far its a great addition to any collection.

Anyway, battered by our failure we moved onto the second game for this evening: Elder Sign.

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