Cthulhu Wars: Box Cover Front
Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile
Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile
Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile
  1. Cthulhu Wars: Box Cover Front
  2. Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile
  3. Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile
  4. Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile

Cthulhu Wars Review

Cthulhu Wars excels in robust mechanics and rich player interaction, offering deep strategic gameplay within a thematic Lovecraftian universe. A high replay value makes it an outstanding choice for serious and casual gamers alike.
  • Gameplay Mechanics
  • Player Interaction
  • Replayability
  • Strategy Depth
4.5/5Overall Score

Quick Summary

Dissecting 'Cthulhu Wars': strategic depth, intense player interaction, high replayability make for compelling, chaotic fun.

  • Number of players: 2-4
  • Playing Time: 90-120 minutes
  • Recommended player age: 14+
  • Game Type: Area Control, Strategy
  • Designer: Sandy Petersen
  • Complexity: Medium-High
  • Theme: Lovecraftian Mythos
  • Deep strategic gameplay
  • Fantastic replay value
  • Dynamic player interaction
  • Immersive Lovecraftian theme
  • High cost
  • Large storage space
  • Complex for beginners
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Welcome to our board game table where sparks of madness meet strategic conquest in this review of Cthulhu Wars. On this eldritch-themed battlefield, players embrace the roles of otherworldly gods and monstrous beings, vying for dominance in a universe inspired by the peculiar mind of H.P. Lovecraft. Here, every aspect of the game promises a blend of chaos, charisma, and cunning as you navigate its deep waters and assess whether this game has the mystical prowess to summon fun from the gaming nether. Join us as we dive into the squamous heart of Cthulhu Wars, exploring the intricacies of its gameplay, the vibrant player interactions it sparks, and the infinite skies of replayability and strategic depth it offers. It’s time to see if this cult classic has what it takes to be a centerpiece in your game collection. But beware, for once you delve into the arcane world of Cthulhu Wars, your gaming nights might never be quite so tranquil again.

How It Plays

Setting up

To set up a game of Cthulhu Wars, each player chooses one of the unique factions and collects its respective Doom and Power markers, a faction card, and available spellbooks. The map is set in the middle of the table with the various gates, monster figurines, and the required number of cultists as indicated by the setup guide for the chosen player count. Place the ritual of annihilation track the area control marker at its start.


Dive into the gameplay of Cthulhu Wars by gathering Power points, which dictate your actions. Summon monsters, cast spells, and seek control of gates on different continents. Activate spellbooks to gain enormous tactical benefits and asymmetric abilities that differ vastly for each faction. Players take turns, with each action decreasing their Power until all are depleted, leading to the next round and Power refresh.

Winning the game

Victory in Cthulhu Wars does not come from annihilating opponents but from strategic dominance, achieved by accruing 30 Doom points. These points are garnered through controlling gates, performing rituals of annihilation, and fulfilling specific faction objectives as detailed by your spellbooks.

Want to know more? Read our extensive strategy guide for Cthulhu Wars.

Delving Into The Depths of Strategy

In my latest Cthulhu Wars review, the discussion surrounding the complexity of its gameplay mechanics was truly engrossing. These very mechanics are the backbone of any gaming experience and Cthulhu Wars masterfully balances sophistication with accessibility. Initially, players might feel overwhelmed, but after a few rounds, the game system starts revealing its intricacies in an inviting manner.

Summoning the Strategy

Transcending mere creature combat, Cthulhu Wars encompasses a diverse array of strategic layers. With distinctive factions and asymmetrical abilities, players must harness foresight, adapting their tactics as play evolves. Moreover, managing resources—particularly spellbooks—propels the gameplay to cerebral heights. Despite the complexity, the transition from novice to enlightened strategist is rewarding and stimulating.

Dynamic Deployment Decisions

Not only does each faction fuel the strategic fire differently, but the varied map shapes strategies forming a robust dynamic.SELECT username, email.Day />Night />Upon deploying units, players must contemplate territory control against spell timing and power allocation.

Moving into the next thrilling section, we weave into the heart of Cthulhu Wars—the Player Interaction Dynamics.

Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile

Forging Alliances Amidst Chaos

In our Cthulhu Wars review, we dissect the robust player interaction that breathes life into this game’s dystopian tableau. The elaborate interplay begins immediately, with each turn crafting a narrative of desperate alliances and shrewd betrayals. Certainly, the game’s design incentivizes cooperation amongst players to contravene the growing threat of dominating old ones. Yet, ingeniously, peace is ephemeral; the right moment of betrayal is as potent as an unforeseen spell.

Cunning Political Landscape

Moreover, Cthulhu Wars instigates a diplomatic ballet. Players broker deals leveraging their unique strengths, capitalizing on the strategic ebb-and-flow. As a matter of fact, savvy negotiation becomes synonymous with survival, ushering in bouts of frenemy-focused warfare peppered with intrigue and shifting power dynamics.

The Tug-of-War Ensues

Nonetheless, it’s the constant tug of war for influence that truly tantalizes. Players are frequently gathering, then surreptitiously locked in an intricate dance; a victor’s rise merely baits the next hustling usurper’s snare. In other words, player interactions are not just a sideshow but the spotlighted performance of Cthulhu Wars.

After delving into the cutthroat parliament that is player interaction, prepare to step into the occult labyrinth where Replayability and Strategies carve endless paths of possibilities.

Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile

Endless Depth in the Abyss

Whenever I delve into Cthulhu Wars for a review, I’m struck by something new, which is a testament to the game’s astronomical replayability. The strategic depth is vast, and variable player powers ensure that no two games are alike. Moreover, the plethora of factions, each with unique abilities and units, challenge players to adapt dynamic strategies every session.

A Crafting Strategy

Much of the game’s replay value stems from navigating the rich tech tree with spells and monsters—the route you take alters the gameplay remarkably. Initially, the intricacy of combining units ‘powers may seem daunting, but it rapidly transforms into a spellbinding puzzle to code and decode against opponents’ moves, keeping the gameplay eternally engaging.

Diverse Tactical Tapestry

Factions such as the Yellow Sign and the Great Cthulhu offer divergent paths towards victory, further amplifying replayability. Experimenting with various faction combinations against differing opponents underpins a fresh experience with every skirmish. What’s more, certain map expansions can be introduced, reconfiguring not just the physical battleground but the tactical landscape as well.

So, if you’re coveting a game that thrives on players’ strategizing complexity and one that tantalizes you with its back-for-more pull, Cthulhu Wars unfurls as a premier choice—I heartily recommend this cosmic confrontation!

Cthulhu Wars - Core set received from the Kickstarter. - Credit: RandomHajile


As we wrap up this review, the journey through the eldritch realms of ‘Cthulhu Wars’ has shown the game’s genius in design and execution. Whether you’re summing at the intricacy of its heavyweight strategy or the electric buzz around the table as alliances form and crumble, there is no doubt that this game delivers on its promise of Lovecraftian chaos and complexity. It has proven to be a well of replayability and consistently engrossing player interaction, carving out a distinct niche in the board game cosmos. So, if you adjure yourself a fan of strategic conquest games with a rich thematic backdrop, ‘Cthulhu Wars’ very much deserves a spot on your game night lineup. This is Jamie signing off on this review. Until next time, may your rolls be ever in your tentacled favor!

4.5/5Overall Score
Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.