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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Friday, 27 December 2013

Welcome to the Secret War!

It was a few days before Christmas when it felt that Santa had visited early. I opened my front door to find the postie had deposited a largish box on my doorstep. I had completely forgotten about the emails sent by Modiphius about the Achtung Cthulhu books and when I saw the label on the box I almost squealed with delight! Especially as this is the first time I've recieved goods from a Kickstarter. With Christmas just around the corner I didn't have time to post about it, but now the dust is settling I thought I'd give you all a peek at what is a fantastic product!

The front cover of the Investigator's Guide. The artwork is just sumptuous!
The Keeper's Guide. I think this cover conveys the 'pulp' nature of these books, rather than the more traditional investigation theme in Call of Cthulhu.
The books are just lovely. The covers are a nice matte finish and are very pleasing to hold. The artwork is just stunning and the books just scream quality. Oh, and they have that 'just off the press' new book smell! :) Inside the book, the pages are of a nice weight of paper and are nice and glossy (but not too much!). There is a also a ribbon style book mark. All in all, I can't fault these books. And I'm quite fussy about books!

So, aside from the quality of the books themselves, what can you expect to find in them. First off, there are a couple of versions of them for different RPG systems. I received the Call of Cthulhu/Savage Worlds versions and you will find rules for both systems side by side throughout. The relevant sections are nicely denoted by 'Cth' for CoC and 'Sav' for Savage Worlds, as illustrated below. Further to that, the character creation chapters are duplicated in their entirety (not word for word, obviously) for each section, which makes a lot of sense.
Some more atmospheric artwork graces a page that amply demonstrates the dual nature of the books.
The Investigator's Guide contains a wealth of information that players need to know to create a character and understand the setting. It starts off with some descriptions of what life was like during the Second World War and some timelines of important events. It then moves onto the most important bit - character creation. Here the book really gets to work and gives a wealth of new occupations and skills that are required for this era. Importantly it gives some civilian occupations, as well as the expected intelligence and military ones, so the players don't need to think they must be a soldier or spy. There are also some character generation tables if the players aren't into creating their own, or for Keepers to pre-generate characters. Finally, there are a few tables of stats for weapons and equipment pertinent to the war. Of course, I'm still not sure what effect a bazooka will have on a shoggoth!
More lovely artwork. Just makes you want to grab your mates by the collar and make them play this!
 The Keeper's Guide is basically what you'd see in the CoC rulebook without the actual rules! There are chapters on secret organisations, spells and tomes, monsters and otherworldly entities, combat and use of period technology, like planes and armoured cars. There are also chapters with sample stats for various types of people the characters might encounter, from Air Raid Wardens to Gestapo officers. Basically, there is too much stuff in there to go into detail, but it's safe to say that there is a good few evenings worth of reading there and tons of stuff to get you into running a game. I've actually already run one scenario in this setting using the Three Kings campaign from Modiphius and I could really have used this book, as I had to wing some things.
Well...CoC is notorious for being lethal to characters! :)
Here you can see the sort of extra skills you'll find in the book. Let's hope you never need Artillery!
All in all, I'm very happy with these books and I simply cannot wait for the campaign books that will be coming in 2014, taking us from North Africa to the Pacific, via the Antarctic! I'll definitely be using these in 2014 and if you're into Call of Cthulhu I would definitely recommend checking them out when they hit the shelves.

3 comments:

  1. I've been reading through the pdf versions of these books recently and am loving them. Can't wait to try a game

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  2. Looking forward to some battle reports that use this setting :-) .

    This edition of the book gives stats for Call of Cthulhu/Savage Worlds. You mentioned that another version exists; what does it support?

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  3. Weird war 2 is definitely a good candidate for some Pulp Alley games and there's lots of inspiration here. I don't usually talk about roleplaying in this blog, but I may at some point.

    The other system covered by this series is Fate.

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