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Cthulhu Wars is a strategy/horror board game from Lovecraft's classic Cthulhu Mythos.
Cthulhu Wars is a strategy/horror board game from Lovecraft's classic Cthulhu Mythos.
4,389 backers pledged $1,403,981 to help bring this project to life.

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Yet another update. Post-final I guess.

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ALL of our “edge cases” have been shipped now. Only an unlucky few have not yet gotten their stuff. If you are one of them, it is literally on its way. Hang tight. 

If you think something is amiss, please contact support@petersengames.com for help!

The Colour Out of Space

Also, I wanted to mention that my special Colour Out of Space variant for the game has been issued as a .pdf. It is intended for use with the colored gates which will be sent to backers of our Onslaught Two kickstarter, but of course they can be used with the normal gates (just put a dab of paint on them). I don’t think it is up on our website just at this moment, but you can get it at BoardGameGeek here.

A nearly-final update

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I say it's "nearly" final, because this is the last major update to make on Cthulhu Wars. *sniff* My baby has left the nest and is now out in your hot little claws, with luck bringing joy and terror to every heart. Dozens of creatures, never-before-figured, have awesome plastic models, and we have all reaped the rewards.

Our plan for the future is to use the Cthulhu Wars Kickstarter updates only to signal about new projects. Or (Shub-Niggurath forbid!) if some issue comes up with the unfortunate few whose packages are still on their way. 

It has been a long path through twisty little corridors.

Well, at last Cthulhu Wars has made it! We are so grateful for your support. It enabled us to produce what may be the greatest Lovecraft game of all time, and now it’s in your hands. Everyone has their game materials now, with a small handful of exceptions, who have only received part of their orders. If you are one of the unlucky few – please rest assured that we know every one of you by name, and are focused on completing the task. 

I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into the task of getting this game out to you – including mortgaging my house when our costs went up unexpectedly. I was happy to do it to ensure that you all got what you had pledged for, and deserved. I hope you will agree that the final result was worth the wait.

Why did it take so long?

I would like to do a sort of post-mortem here, and discuss each of the different tentative “ship dates” I am responsible for – all of which we missed. I am humbled by the errors we made from naivety and optimism, but happy for the experience and wisdom we gained for our future projects. 

DECEMBER 2013. Way back when, we actually promised this date. From the start I thought this was unlikely, but my business partner of the time assured me it was easy, and urged the date on me. He is no longer my partner for other reasons. I regret accepting his advice on this, but I also take responsibility for having done so. I chalk this incredibly early date to inexperience. I had only a vague idea how long it would take to do a boardgame (I hadn’t done one since the first Arkham Horror, back in 1987), plus more importantly I did not yet realize just how record-makingly massive the Cthulhu Wars project was.

APRIL 2014. So we bumped the date to April 2014. In January 2014 we had our first prototypes from China. Flushed with success, we felt the game was practically here, and I over-optimistically projected a shipping date. Alas many more hurdles remained and I was, again premature.

AUGUST 2014. I do not take the blame for this estimate – our original Chinese manufacturer must shoulder it. In April, we were led to believe by the factory that they were actively tooling for the game. We sent them a purchase agreement, which they sent back weeks later with some errors. We corrected it, and sent a new agreement. They returned it again weeks later, with more errors. This went on for 3 months. Our agreement wasn’t finalized until late July. During all this time, we believed they were moving forward on tooling, and early production, per verbal communication. But they did nothing during this time, except to delay and write errors into the purchase agreement. We did learn from this fiasco, and now we are very pro-active about checking on the factory. In fact, I sent my business manager and my son to China that summer to see what was going on, and immediately, production jumped into high gear. Lo and behold.

OCTOBER 2014. Again, for this delay I do not blame myself. The manufacturer wouldn’t commit on when the core game would ship from China for the longest time. When they did commit (in August) they said it would ship the last week of October. We were sad it had taken so long, but happy that at last we had a date. Then, in October, they told us they had “forgotten” about a 2 week Chinese holiday (the Moon festival), and that the game would be delayed further. We were livid, and let me be frank – we neither believe nor accept this excuse - how could they not know about their own annual holiday? But there was nothing we could do except fume. I sent my son to China right after Essen Spiel and he did his best to put the fear of God into them. At this time, tooling for the expansions was well on its way. However, due to what had happened and other factors, we spent over a month trying to identify an acceptable replacement factory for them, including my son visiting and talking to a dozen factories during 9 days in China. When we settled on one, they immediately were able to begin tooling for the expansions.  

DECEMBER-JANUARY 2015. This turned out to be the actual date for the core game. Our past disappointments taught us a lot. Our own blunders cost us time and money. The ploys of our manufacturer cost us more time and more money. Through it all we emphasized keeping the quality top-notch. 

DECEMBER 2015. Having turned to a different manufacturer for the expansions, I think most of you would agree that the delay we faced in the transfer was worth it. We had a fairly high breakage rate in the original core game, but not in the expansions, where there has been vanishingly little damage. (And, if you are one of the few who did get a broken bit, we are as always happy to replace it for free.). By all accounts, the expansions are better produced, look nicer, and are higher quality. 

Are we mad at our original manufacturers, Panda Games?

Not all the delays were on them. They DID produce excellent quality work. It was mostly just the slow speed of production we weren’t prepared for. We have let them know our feelings in great detail, and we may yet again work with them in the future (though with more pro-active questioning and visits). We lost many months of time due to them. To be fair, the game took a year longer than our initial estimate, so I guess Petersen Games must take some of the blame. There is plenty of blame to go around.

How have you dealt with the delays?

Internally these delays give us fits. They cost us time, money, and precious good will. We have taken two major steps to try to deal with the fallout from these delays. First, we are active with updates, and try to be as honest as possible about the delays. We are generally positive and optimistic instead of gloom-and-doom, but that’s my personality. That’s Petersen Games’ promise to you. What have you learned? Well, what does not kill us makes us stronger, right? We have been flexible throughout the process, shifting manufacturers and shippers around. We now are much more proactive with our new factory, and have visited them four times in person, during the production of the expansions. This new way of doing things has dramatically improved communication and understanding for such a massive board game project, leading to a much quicker job of producing the expansions. 

We are willing to take any steps to ensure a smoother and quicker process except compromising on the quality of the game components themselves. I am unduly proud of the success that has been Cthulhu Wars, and I and my team feel it was worth the wait. We hope you do too. Thank you thank you thank you We are so grateful for your support bringing us to this point. We have risen from a nonentity to being the producer of one of the hobby’s premier games. We will never forget who did this for us. If it was not for your faith, as well as your patience, we would not be here, and we would all have to return to our day jobs.

A note about US and Asia shipping

The shipping partners responsible for our US and Asia regions provided us with overly optimistic fulfillment estimates for the expansions. They repeatedly missed these dates, always providing new ones. The remaining US orders are partial orders - our US shippers simply did not include all of the SKUs needed for these orders, and you received some expansions, but not others. Combining this lack of diligence with the repeated delays, we have decided to no longer use them for any future projects. We are currently working on the other edge cases. 

Unfortunately, it seems that all of Central and South American is “edge cases”. They are supposed to have shipped, according to our vendor. A handful of people in Asia need to provide the shipper with phone numbers, or it won’t be delivered. Please answer our e-mails on the topic.

How can I help Petersen Games move ahead?

Sign up for our newsletter! (it's a link on our website, Petersengames.com).

Check out our upcoming game Gods War (probably launching in April 2016). It has the same amazing figures and quality you saw in Cthulhu Wars but in a dark fantasy setting. I am extremely proud of the job I have done on Gods War, and I think anyone who likes asymmetrical strategy will find it the perfect companion game to Cthulhu Wars.

Important!!

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If you are still having trouble getting your shipment and you are in the USA, you need to directly contact fulfillment@jittransportation.com and tell them. We will be involved with ALL the e-mails sent to jittransportation, but you need to tell them - the sooner the better.

You do NOT need to contact jittransportation if you are outside the USA. 

We did state the above in our previous update today, but it was not included in the update e-mail that went to all backers. Now you have it. 

Shipping and other stuff

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This is a short update to let you know that we are still concerned about those who haven't gotten their packages. 

If you are still having trouble getting your shipment and you are in the USA, you need to directly contact fulfillment@jittransportation.com and tell them. We will be involved with ALL the e-mails sent to jittransportation, but you need to tell them - the sooner the better. 

We are in contact with our shippers every single day (well ... almost. We didn't bother them on Christmas for instance) and we are exercised to ensure that everyone gets their stuff. More meaty information later on, I hope this week. If we don't post more information this week, it means we haven't gotten any joy yet, but we are never going to stop working to get y'all your deserved rewards. 

One piece of great news is that our new shippers appear to be able to send out the materials without breaking the figures. Only a vanishing few backers have reported damage to their pieces or components, which makes us happy indeed. And yes of course our promise is to replace free anything irreplacably damaged in shipping. 

Some notes on various bits and pieces

The Art Prints - the art prints were not sent in the same boxes as the rest of the components, so they will (sometimes) arrive at a different time. No need to panic. 

The weird burgundy figures - some backers were surprised by these. I guess they'd forgotten or something. They have no game function and are purely for collectible purposes. The square gray-green "cups" are pedestals upon which they can sit. There are not enough pedestals for all of the collectibles. In fact, it's 5 short, because we did not provide pedestals for the extra 5 cultists we threw into the mix. The exact mix of sizes and shapes of pedestals is intended to be able to fit all of the collectibles, but some of them overlap a bit. Ah well. Sandy does not ever intend to release rules for using the collectibles as a game feature. 

Where is my stuff? Some itemsare in flat, brown boxes at the bottom of one of the other, larger boxes. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - check the bottom of each box and make sure you're not missing something. 

The die-cut punchboards. This is another freebie. Yes it has all seven of the factions, including a few small balance changes. You can either use the die-cuts or just stick with the regular cardstock which is what I myself (stubbornly) do. 

H. P. Lovecraft - unless you specifically ordered him, you only get him if you were a Book of Eibon or De Vermis Mysteriis backer. 

Extras - we do not have extras of any items for sale. The expansions will not be in stores until this summer at the earliest. Unless a store owner was a backer, and wants to put one of his hard-earned copies on his shelf. 

Crawling Chaos spotlight

Gamerati has a keen article about Crawling Chaos. Check it out here. The author not only focuses on every single spellbook and how best to use it, but gives an example of how to play the faction properly. Even if your goal is to defeat Crawling Chaos, it behooves you to see this analysis. 

http://gamerati.com/mythos-mayhem-the-masks-of-nyarlathotep/

They have other articles worth checking out on the topic of Cthulhu Wars, as well. 

An intro - http://gamerati.com/mythos-mayhem-what-is-cthulhu-wars/

general strategy - http://gamerati.com/mythos-mayhem-destroying-mankind-for-fun-and-profit/

how to play Great Cthulhu - http://gamerati.com/mythos-mayhem-ia-ia-cthulhu-fhtagn/

how to play Black Goat - http://gamerati.com/mythos-mayhem-getting-your-black-goat/

Autumn Cthulhu

Mike Davis, editor of the respected Lovecraft eZine, a free online source of terrific horror, has a kickstarter going on that I invite all those who love Lovecraft's craft to check out. 

It has already funded so you are getting in on a sure thing!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lovecraftezine/autumn-cthulhu-tales-of-lovecraftian-horror

And remember, there would be no Cthulhu Wars without the tales from which it sprang. 

Blindsided by our shippers! An informational update

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So, the information we have been giving is from our shippers, but it turns out that they were over-optimistic with their speed in delivery. To this point, only about 70% of the USA packages have been shipped, If you do not yet have a tracking number, you are probably in the remaining 30% which they are still working on. 

Their over-optimism was based on (a) it was a bigger Christmas season for shipping than they'd expected, and (b) they did not fully understand just how complex our shipments were. Despite our trying to explain to them - it was still a shock.

In Asia, tracking information has been generated, and should be sent out soon. 

In Australia and Europe, some people have gotten their packages, some have not. We have no new news here, but all the packages have made landfall and mostly should be on their way. 

More breaking news as it comes.