A Couple of Kickstarters


While the EOG hasn’t been backing too many Kickstarter campaigns—mostly because the high standards of quality around here are rarely met by amateur publishers—we have seen a couple recently that have raised an eyebrow and have got us tentatively reaching for the well-worn wallet.

Cthulhu Wars

Cthulhu Wars

by Sandy Petersen

Sandy Petersen needs no introduction to fans of Cthulhu gaming. Creator of the much-loved Call of Cthulhu role-playing game (the 7th edition of which is currently holding its own very successful Kickstarter campaign), he and two colleagues have lunched this new strategy DOAM (‘Dudes on a Map’) boardgame. Only this time the dudes are Elder Gods, and the map is a ruined Earth. The campaign is a huge success already ($290K with a $40K goal as of this writing) despite the fact there’s not a whole lot of info about the game beyond a rough outline. The names Risk, Twilight Imperium and Chaos in the Old World have been mentioned, but let’s face it, most people aren’t backing it so much for the game, as for the over 60 gorgeous miniatures. Gamers can’t get enough of Cthulhu-themed minis, and these ones, by Fenris Games, look spectacular. And of course they can be used with your games like Arkham Horror. Very tempting indeed …

Final Tally: 4,389 backers, $1,403,981 raised.



by Taban Miniatures

I can think of at least five other games with the word ‘escape’ in them, including the recent Level 7 Escape by Privateer Press. This one, by French company Taban Miniatures, is called Escape: Fighting For Freeedom, and is a tactical post-apocalyptic boardgame for 1-6 players, featuring 35mm miniatures that ooze character. For my money, the French create much more interesting and engaging fantasy backgrounds (eg Rackham’s world of Aarklash), though sometimes the rules translations can leave a bit to be desired. This game is set in the postapocalyptic universe of Eden, and has the advantage of already being a popular game (a basic version was released a couple of years ago in Ravage magazine), only now it has been expanded and enhanced. They’ve passed their $39K goal with 22 days to go. Great miniatures, but just another tactical boardgame or something different? The first gameplay video didn’t really blow us away but we’ll be watching for more …

Final Tally: 493 backers, $112,552 raised.

The EOG has certainly got its eyes on both of these campaigns, though we haven’t yet taken the plunge on either. It’s all very well having a bunch of great miniatures, but how good are the games? We’ll be keeping a close eye on things as more information is revealed …


  • Ken H says:

    Cthulhu Wars looks cool but the price is nuts! $100 for a base boxed set is my limit. Space Hulk set that standard and since $100 is now passe companies are pushing the envelope. Just say NO and teach them a lesson.

    • Universal Head says:

      Considering the amount of plastic in the box, the price seems reasonable to me, but unfortunately I have to add $45 shipping as well – so count yourself lucky! Seriously, those of us not in the US have been paying over $100 for games for a long time—and in Australia our dollar is virtually the same as the US one.

      For example, Games Workshop’s Hobbit game is $125 in the US. That should be $132 in Australian dollars. Sure, it has to be shipped etc, but in Australia it retails for an unbelievable $205.00.

      So you can see why this looks quite justifiably priced, from my perspective! I think you’ll find that even in the US the days of large games full of miniatures at less than US$100 are quickly slipping away. And it’s because of production costs, not greed on the part of the publishers.

  • Mike says:

    Pledged, because it’s Cthulhu and Sandy Peterson is involved as well as Fenris Minatures. Played a lot of Call of Cthulhu in my younger days.

  • Brent Lloyd says:

    Escape looks marginally interesting, though I am burning out on these kinds of Kickstarters – high maintenance and they get expensive fast. The game play video looks merely ok, I suspect it will be “just another tactical miniatures game” as you mentioned.

    The 35mm miniatures are really what push me away from this game. Everything else I own is 28mm, though it does seem as if more and more 35mm is trying to be the new standard.

    I bought into Cthulhu Wars but (so far) am gonna pass on Escape.


    • Universal Head says:

      Good point about the miniatures, though it seems 25/28/32/35mm scales are all becoming pretty vague these days depending on the whims of the manufacturer. Though it’s nice to share minis between games and there’s really no payoff for a small publisher to go out on their own with a unique scale, one would think.

      I’m still undecided on Cthulhu Wars. I love the minis but the cost is very high, and I would love to read more reviews of the gamplay before committing.

What do you think?