Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu at GenCon
The title says it all. In less than 2 weeks now my new game, Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu, will be slithering its way onto gaming tables as it debuts at GenCon. The wait has been long, but I am so excited for this to be coming out.
In case you haven’t read the rules yet, or visited boardgamegeek’s page, allow me to tell you a bit about the game. It’s a cooperative game for 2-4 players set in HP Lovecraft’s universe filled with dark monsters and ancient beings known as Old Ones that seek the destruction of our world. Players will work together to try and seal 4 gates across the board by heading to a location with a gate and discarding five cards that all match the town the gate is in. Simple, right?
Comparing card backs Left = Expansion, Right = Base Game
Along the way, they will be met with vile cultists who seek to wake up more Old Ones, each of which causes some horrible thing to happen to the players when it wakes up. If you ever have three cultists at a location and another one would be added, a new Old One wakes up. If Cthulhu wakes up (he’s the last of seven), you lose the game.
But that’s not all. Aside from just moving to locations to remove cultists by combating their efforts with heroic might, you also have to worry about the Shoggoth, terrible creatures made of nightmares that act as lieutenants for the Old Ones’ causes. If one appears on the board, it will take 3 actions (instead of just one like a normal cultist) to remove. And, as if that’s not bad enough, you will need to check the sanity die to see what ill effects might befall you for even coming face to face with such a horror.
It’s not all bad news though. Aside from your heroes, each of which has a power to help push back the coming tides of madness and chaos, you can also earn Relics – objects of power that have a single use, but can turn the tide of the game in your favor. Defeating a Shoggoth is one way to earn these items. Drawing them from the Clue deck is another.
One of the other cool features in the game is bus stations. From these locations (marked conveniently with bus stop icons), players can discard cards in their hands to immediately travel to any location in the discarded town card. Or, if they are feeling especially lucky, they can discard a town card from the town they are already in to travel to any other location on the board. Such mobility will be needed though to ensure you can keep the cultist and Shoggoth problems at bay.
In the end, players will need to use their 4 actions on their turns to move across the board, remove cultists from spaces before they can amass enough dark friends to wake another Old One, defeat roaming Shoggoth, travel via bus stations, and eventually seal gates. And if it’s done right, you push back the Old One’s chaos just a little bit further than before.
I can’t wait to hear what people have to say post GenCon when the game is in their hands. Sadly, I won't be present this year as work is keeping me pretty busy, but I'm excited for all those that will be attending. Please feel free to contact me and let me know your thoughts if you are one of the lucky ones to play at the Con. Until then, may your games be plentiful and may Cthulhu devour your soul last.
Picture of the board and a few of the cards. Notice the awesome miniatures for players, cultists and the Shoggoth!