Cthulhu Wars is a mythos based board game in which a group of players take control of a Great Old One and their cults and battle for power over a map. The game is usually won by completing the "Doom Track". The game makes extensive use of mythos elements, as well as making its own assumptions and connections.
On Earth, mankind had the polluted the air, water, and land. Famine, wars, and plague spread like a cancer across the Earth. There were those few foolish but kind-hearted souls who tried to reverse the damaged inflicted on the world, but it was a lost cause. The Old Ones had plans for Earth, and through the eons guided the world toward a destination which was to their liking. By the time the end came, the conflicting but compatible agendas of the various Old Ones were complete. The waste, poison, and irradiation made the Earth more hospitable to the Old Ones, pleasing them greatly. Their influence grew as the stars aligned, speeding up the sickness in the world.
Then the Wars erupted on Earth. All it took was psychic nudge to set things off and mankind did the rest. Wars exploded and spread from the Third World to the First World, engulfing the streets of their cities. Massacres became the norm in the towns and cities of the First World. The combatants developed strange new weapons, but no one could gain a decisive advantage. Humans ran on the streets, burning and killing, shouting and destroying. Never in human history had blood flowed like this. As the world burned in a holocaust of freedom and ecstasy, the Old Ones finally rose from their eons long slumber.
Each faction is composed of a Great Old One (or two, rarely) eight to ten monsters, and six cultists. The players start the game with their cultists and must unlock their monsters and Great Old Ones, as well as spellbooks to enhance their abilities.
Green Faction - Great CthulhuEdit
Blue Faction - Crawling ChaosEdit
Red Faction - Black GoatEdit
Yellow Faction - Yellow SignEdit
Earth is the base map with no additional features changing gameplay. Great Cthulhu starts in the South Pacific, Crawling Chaos starts in Asia/South Asia, Black Goat starts in Africa/West Africa, Yellow Sign starts in Europe, Sleeper starts in North America, and Windwalker starts either in the Arctic Ocean or Antarctica.
Purple Faction - Opener of the WayEdit
Opener of the way has the unique ability to choose its starting position, and its units promote into each other.
Orange Faction - SleeperEdit
White Faction - WindwalkerEdit
- Great Old One: Ithaqua, Rhan-Tegoth (secondary)
- 4 Wendigos
- 4 Gnoph-Keh
- Ice Age
Neutral Faction - AzathothEdit
Azathoth is not a playable faction and has no cultists. Instead, players may "recruit" its units and spellbooks to their faction.
- Great Old One: Azathoth
Packs of neutral figures that may be recruiting by any player into their faction.
Dreamlands Surface Monsters PackEdit
Dreamlands Underworld Monster PackEdit
Seven High Priests for each playable faction. Function as cultists with greater abilities.
Great Old OnesEdit
Packs of neutral Great Old Ones that may be recruited by any player into their faction.
Great Old Ones Pack OneEdit
Great Old Ones Pack TwoEdit
Great Old Ones Pack ThreeEdit
The Primeval Earth map comes with thirteen glacier pieces involved in the maps game style. Over the course of the game, glaciers form in the north and south over gates, preventing them from being used by players. This slowly creates a narrower playing field as the players compete over the still usable gates on the equator.
Great Cthulhu starts in the Iapetus Ocean, Crawling Chaos starts in Upper Mu, Black Goat starts in Hyperborea, Yellow Sign starts in Terra Australis, Sleeper starts in Lower Mu, and Windwalker starts either in Poseidonis or Antarctica.
The Dreamlands map is in fact two maps, the surface and the underworld, connected by tunnels. Each map has four citadels, and controlling all of a map's citadels leads to instant victory, regardless of the Doom Track. The surface is inhabited by Zoogs, which prevent players from using gates and therefore must be exterminated. The underworld is inhabited by the Bhole, which attacks and destroys gates, especially those near the citadels.
Great Cthulhu starts in the Sea of Dawn (surface), Crawling Chaos starts in Mt. Ngranek (surface), Black Goat starts in Zura (surface), Yellow Sign starts in Celephais (surface), Sleeper starts in the Tower of Koth (underworld), and Windwalker starts either in Olathoë (surface) or the Peaks of Throk (underworld).
The Yuggoth map has three unique features to change gameplay. First there is the Slime Sea and the Slime Sea Overlook: if a player controls a gate on the Overlook they may summon and command up to six Slime Molds. Secondly there is the Laboratory, in which players may convert their cultists into Brain Cylinders, which function exactly like cultists in which they provide their faction with power, but cannot fight and cannot move without being carried by another unit. Finally there is the Green Pyramid, which gives gate additional power but runs the risk of awakening the Watcher of the Green Pyramid, which goes on a rampage across the map destroying any units it finds.
Great Cthulhu starts in the Nitrogen Sea, Crawling Chaos starts in the Methane Sea, Black Goat starts in the Spore Badlands, Yellow Sign starts in the Radiation Wastes, Sleeper starts in the Oxygen Sea, and Windwalker starts either in the Ammonia Sea or the Polar Sea.
A second set of expansions, still under development.
Is a faction of cultists with Great Old One and monster servants, rather than the cultists being servants of the Great Old Ones. Comes with three high priests.
- Great Old One: Ubbo-Sathla
- 6 Proto-Shoggoths
Cosmic Terrors PackEdit
- Great Race of Yith
- Quachil Uttaus
Ramsey Campbell Horrors Pack OneEdit
Ramsey Campbell Horrors Pack TwoEdit
Great Old OnesEdit
Great Old Ones Pack FourEdit
Library at CelaenoEdit
Extra spellbooks for players, but may become overdue and incur the wrath of the Librarian. Also includes the Custodian who "cleans up" after the Library's inhabitants.
Deviations of Mythos CanonEdit
- The distinction between the Great Old Ones and the Outer Gods, while referenced, is largely ignored. Many of the beings traditionally considered Outer Gods, most notably Shub-Niggurath and Nyarlathotep, are referred to as "Great Old Ones."
- The Night-gaunts are loyal to Nyarlathotep, who in canon was their enemy. Their canonical master, Nodens, is absent and unmentioned in the core game, as are all the Elder Gods.
- The Mi-go only appear to worship Shub-Niggurath, and are opposed to their other canonical gods Nyarlathotep and Yog-Sothoth
- The deformities in Wilbur Whateley and the Dunwich Horror are portrayed as a progressive mutation, rather than being present and constant from birth.
- Ithaqua, rather than merely inspiring the legends of Wendigos, actually has a Wendigo army.
- Despite their links in canon, Father Dagon, Mother Hydra, and the Deep Ones may be played against each other.
- The Dreamlands do not appear to match Earth's geography.
- Cultists, which are explicitly Human, appear on Yuggoth without being kidnapped by Mi-Go. This may suggest that map is set in humanity's future.
- Azathoth does not destroy the universe upon being awakened.
- Recruiting neutral monsters allows canonical enemies to serve alongside one another; the Great Race of Yith may fight alongside Flying Polyps, and the Elder Things may fight alongside Shoggoths
- The Yithians appear in their conical forms where none should be present, such as Modern Earth and Yuggoth.
- Gobogeg is entirely created by Petersen Games, being "their interpretation" of the thing beyond the mountains at the end of At the Mountains of Madness, a role generally considered to be Yog-Sothoth.
- The Tcho-Tchos do not appear to worship Zhar and Lloigor.
- The Bhole and the Dhole appear to be separate entities rather than alternate spellings of a single name.