Interviews

Crazy Eights: Arthur Peterson on Cthulhu Wars Onslaught Three

Cthulhu Wars has become synonymous with a premiere designer board game.  Just displaying the game on the table gets people to look over.  Petersen Games is now on their third Kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars, and I was able to ask Project Director Arthur Petersen about Cthulhu Wars and the Onslaught Three Campaign.

It seems like Cthulhu Wars keeps on getting bigger and bigger. What do you attribute to it’s success?

I think it’s the perfect storm (in a good way) of all the elements that make any fantastic game: stunning art (and miniatures), innovative gameplay, endless replayability and drenched in theme. When you have any of those features in spades, you have a good game, when you have all of them, you have a great game. In short, it is completely captivating and simply fun!

What is included in the Onslaught Three Kickstarter?

We have an entirely new Faction (The Ancients) and a new map (Shaggai). Those are the main ones, but we have several others as well, including the Masks of Nyarlathotep – including several of his famous “Thousand Forms.” Finally, there’s entirely new “bling” including a new version of Cthulhu and alternate Acolyte sculpts for the original core game and Faction expansions.

Why did you decide to add the Ancients as a faction to Cthulhu Wars?

Sandy has always loved the ideas found in “The Mound,” which is not one of Lovecraft’s more well known (or well written) of his stories. But the entities and ideas found in it are neat, and he wanted to use those as the basis for the new Faction. Early in the Kickstarter campaign we’ll release some updates from Sandy detailing his thoughts and design concepts for them.

Is the Dire Cthulhu just a new sculpt, or will it add something to the game when the Great Cthulhu faction isn’t used?

It’s just a new sculpt at campaign launch. We do have a stretch goal to add new rules, however!

Will the new acolytes be bigger than the current ones, affecting the number of factions on the board?

No, they are the same size as the original sculpts – it shouldn’t clutter the board more than it already is, if that makes sense!

Does it get more difficult to balance all the factions with the number of combinations available to play in each game as well as the way spellbooks can be added in a different order, as well as neutral factions?

It’s more difficult to balance additional Factions, yes. However, neutral units are relatively easy, however. Factions MUST match up and play fair against all others. However, neutral units really range more, and are better or worse depending on many situational variables. In the end, these are self-balancing, however, because if a particular event during play causes a particular Faction to be able to benefit really well from a particular neutral Monster, one simply counter is for YOU to gain them first! They are always valuable to any Faction, so this counter is the nuclear option, if you will, when dealing with neutral units.

Do you have a preferred or essential setup when you play Cthulhu Wars now?

For me, it’s to always include the High Priests, and have as many Independent Great Old Ones available as possible. Any other expansions I can switch out whenever, doesn’t matter. But high priests and indie GOOs as we call them are always a must. And of course, every possible playable Faction should always be available to select from to play as! That’s a given!

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned throughout the Cthulhu Wars/Kickstarter process?

Sandy has no doubt learned different lessons, but the greatest lesson I’ve learned is that you should never launch a Kickstarter until you are basically ready to send the project to the printers and manufacturers! If you can have it “printer ready” before it even launches, so many other good things will fall into place that you will naturally be able to avoid nearly every egregious and common project creator mistake!

There’s a ton of expansions, and all of them are available through the Kickstarter right now.  They’ve crushed their goal at this time, and they’ve run successful campaigns in the past.  Whether you just want the base game or want to add a couple expansions or get everything available, this is an excellent opportunity to do so.

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