By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
The battle of the titans, or rather Elder Gods has begun! The question of which H.P. Lovecraft inspired tabletop board game is better needs to be asked. When Petersen Games and CMON are dealing out destruction in an unearthly scale, the challenge lays more in which sculpt is better. My money is with neither. Cthulhu is an unwieldy creation that’s hard to realize in any visual format; the author wrote:
A monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind.
To imagine a beast with no skeletal structure lumber through the craggy depths of the ocean floor, reaching out with a vague form of primitive arms is far more frightening than a toad like form–or any creature with an endoskeleton. A perverse sense of propulsion through the water or air to crush its victims, a swooping of its many tentacles, to make sense of how it truly attacks can boggle the mind! Perhaps what this chimera like creation of Lovecraft sustains itself on is not even meat at all. The panic is enough.
The notion of Cthulhu being a blasphemous caricature of the human form arrived later as more enthusiasts who wanted to carry on this author’s work emerged. To say the unfathomable imagination of a creator is better than another’s is akin to saying having this type of phobia is far better to describe those chills which precedes an invisible force coming at you!
My unboxing video of Cthulhu: Death May Die began as simply that, but it quickly developed into a review as I was looking over the footage. It sums up my thoughts not only from the perspective of a collector of 28mm miniatures but also as a purveyor of Lovecraft’s lore. I apologize for not mentioning Karl Kopinski, Adrian Smith and Mark Mcvey in it. In 2020, I plan to film and edit a few more unboxing / review type videos. Not all of them will be super timely upon release but I shall try. Certain products are meant to be enjoyed as a visual marvel, and this board game is certainly that!