In my previous post [found here] I talked bout Cthulhu Realms. At the end of my post I recommended Star Realms over Cthulhu Realms to new players and I’d like to address that, as well as talk about a few things I left out of my original post. Over the last week I’ve played Cthulhu realms about 25 times, in both 2-player and 3 player games. I don’t think I’ve used the phrase “Wait, we’re playing this wrong” more in my whole life combined than I did while playing this game. It almost drove me insane.
I had brought big bag of games with me to play something on my lunch at work, since I knew there would be a few of us at the same location all week. Cthulhu Realms saw the table on day two, and almost never left. Everyone had played Star Realms, so I quickly went over some of the changes (without consulting the rules page) and we began to play. Having multiple requirements to be able to activate an ability was an obstacle to smooth play for a while, but once we got the rhythm of it, week got through two games. In the middle of the third game, someone asked a question for which I had to consult the rules. In doing so, I learned that the single row of available cards to buy that is used in a two player game, becomes multiple rows of cards in a multiplayer game. Instead of a 5 card row, you use a three card row between each player around the table. Players only have access to cards that lie between them and their neighbors.
We dealt the cards with the new, correct format and played a few more games. We neared the end of a game, which felt like it would be our last. Someone asked another question for which the rules sheet was necessary. Again, I found we had been playing wrong. When causing sanity loss, it effects both of your neighbors. We had been playing it so the active player targets another player, or divides the damage as he wanted. This newly found rule would make the games much quicker, and we all wanted to try it out. This happen time and again. How the discard symbol works, that you can Abjure (remove from game) from the cards available to buy, and more.
Part of the reason for this is that I had read the rules just before playing a two player player game, plus I was trying to make it Star Realms. Recently I played a four player game, which was AMAZING! The fact that damage affects both your neighbors, but not the fourth player adds a layer of finesse. I think this game is easily more fun than Star Realms. Also, it has a player board instead of the cards you had to flip back and forth, and swap them in and out to keep track of your life total. We are working on getting a double deck together to play an 8 player game at one of our game nights.
I’ve over played the game at this point, and am going to take a short break, returning to some of our other Lunchtime games, but I expect to get this out again later this month. I will certainly be a regular once Summer is over and work normalizes again.
Push through the iconography, it’s well worth it.