Cthulhu Wars looks great, and the large pieces give it a high table presence. Each faction plays differently with unique figures and special abilities. Without any expansions Cthulhu Wars offers great replayability. However, Petersen Games has added several new expansions for those players wanting to enhance the gameplay. The High Priest Expansion offers a single figure with the same ability to each faction.
Opening the box you’ll find seven figures in the same color of the different factions, as well as seven loyalty cards. The seven loyalty cards are all the same, so if you were hoping that the different factions would have different abilities for the High Priest, you’ll be disappointed. High Priests share similarities to the Acolyte and they are another kind of Cultist. They can create gates, control gates, and be captured, just like the Acolyte. They also don’t require a gate to be placed on the board as they get recruited. They gain any abilities from spellbooks that mention Cultists but not those that specify Acolytes. Their value in combat is negligible, as they don’t contribute any dice, but their main priority is creating and controlling gates.
The biggest different of the High Priest is that they cost three power to get on the board, but if it is sacrificed you gain back two power. During the Gather Power stage you gain a power from his presence on the board, but they are useful in many ways. Several tips posted on the back of the loyalty card give you ideas for using them, but most of their power comes from sacrificing them. You can sacrifice them to gain extra power to become the first player or summon your Great Old One for instance.
In the end, the High Priest expansion doesn’t change Cthulhu Wars too much, but it gives you a more interesting choice of when to use an Acolyte or a High Priest. Since the abilities of the High Priest are the same for all factions, it doesn’t alter the balance of the factions. While the same sculpt is used for each one, they do look impressive on the board. If you want to add a little flavor to Cthulhu Wars without breaking the bank, the High Priest expansion is a great start.