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Preview: The Heart of Cthulhu (Father Dagon Expansion)

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

Sailing is full of peril especially when you are looking to discover new lands. There is so much out there that could go wrong piracy and sabotage and betrayal by your closest friends and Cthulhu. Wait.... Cthulhu? Yes hes out there too so watch out. This is what awaits you and your friends as you enter the world of The Heart of Cthulhu by Patrick Kelleher. The Father Dagon expansion is coming April 5th. Join us as we take a look at The Original Heart of Cthulu and the Father Dagon expansion.

The base game of The Heart of Cthulhu comes with 338 cards and 110 chips to mark your integrity and the crew of each player. The cards are broken down in to three 110 card decks, the Discovery deck, The Pillage deck and the Peril deck and 8 ship cards. The Father Dagon Mystery Deck expansion adds another deck of cards that adds an entire new mechanic of direct player vs player attacks.

Setting up the game is straightforward, all the decks are set out each player gets 1 ship card, three pillage cards and 3 integrity and crew tokens. The top two discovery cards are turned up and now your ready for turn one. The ship cards that each player received give a unique strength to that player that you may use once a round throughout the game.

The turns consist of 3 parts. The first part is to revive all of your essential Items and your ship card. These both are able to be used once per turn. The essential items come from the Discovery deck. The second step is to take the action of any card that you have that says to do something at the beginning of the turn. The final part of your turn is the Adventure Phase this is when all the fun happens.

"...the Adventure Phase this is when all the fun happens."

During the Adventure Phase of your turn you will start by drawing a card from the pillage deck. You may play up to 2 pillage cards from your hand during this round, meaning you can play both during your turn or hold on to one or two of them to play in response to other players actions. Other actions you can take during your turn are to activate your ship powers or any essential items you have. You may also play 8 integrity to claim a discovery card. If you are playing with the new Mystery Deck expansion you may spend 4 integrity to draw a card from the mystery deck.

When you pay 8 integrity and claim either of the two face up Discovery cards or risk it and take the top card of the deck, You will likely have to face some peril. The peril you have face is indicated by the skulls on the discovery card. You must defeat all the peril that is indicated on the discovery card in order to claim it. To defeat the peril you will draw cards from the Peril Deck equal to the amount of peril. The Peril Deck has 4 different cards, Basic (one time action), Curses(ongoing effect), Creatures and Perils, and Very Rare Beings. The last two will result in combat against the creatures.

Combat is easy you just have to roll higher than the target number and you will deal a damage, when you reduce the health to 0 you have won. If you do not hit the target number well then you loos some crew equal to the damage that the creature deals. All of this is well and good until the namesake of the game shows up. At this point all the players will have a chance to help defeat Cthulhu. After the old one is destroyed the player who revealed the card may take the reward and normal play is resumed. If a player happens to loose all the crew from their ship they must go to Davey Jones's Locker and pay a penalty of integrity, equipment and peril cards.

All of this is well and good until the namesake of the game shows up.

The game enters a final round when one player has 3 New World cards or the equivalent in Small Isle cards (two Small Isle cards equal one New World). Each other player will have a chance at stopping that player from winning.

This is a great mid weight card game. Although its pretty heavy as you have over 400 cards with the expansion in the box. When we played the first time Cthulhu came out in the first turn and set us back a bit from the beginning. This I imagine is a very rare thing, most likely you will come across him a little more prepared. The player verses player aspect that comes with the expansion creates a lot more choices to be made on your turn. Will you continue exploring or will you try and take out the competition before they explore the new world?

Players: 2-8

Year Published: 2021

Recommended Ages: 12+

Time to Play: 60-120

Transparency Statement

A sample pre-production review copy of Floating Floors was provided to Bert's Tabletop Games for review purposes. Final products may vary from what is portrayed in this article.



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