Place the Map

There are two pieces to the Map (Eastern and Western Hemisphere), each of which is printed on both sides. The two sides have identically-shaped continents, but the 5-Player side of the Map is divided into far more Land Areas than is the 3-Player side.

2-Player Game:
Go here for instructions on how to set up Cthulhu Wars for 2 players.

3-Player Game:
Arrange the Map so that both 3-Player hemispheres are face-up. The map will display 13 total Areas.

4-Player Game:
Arrange the Map such that one 3-Player and one 5-Player hemisphere are face-up.

For your first games we recommend using the 5-Player Eastern Hemisphere and the 3-Player Western Hemisphere. In either arrangement, the Map will contain 17 total Areas.

5-Player Game:
Do NOT place both 5-Player sides face-up unless you are playing a 5-Player game (this is only possible if you have one of the Faction expansions). The 5-Player game Map contains 21 total Areas.

Recommended Set Up for your first 4-Player Game.

Alternate Set Up for 4-Player Game.

Set Up Tracks, Tokens, and Dice

  • Place the Ritual of Annihilation track at one end of the table.
  • Place the Ritual of Annihilation Marker pointed at, or on, the lowest number (5) of the Track that matches the number of players in your game.
  • Place the Doom Track next to the Ritual of Annihilation Track.
  • Place the Gates and Dice within easy reach of all players to form the general Pool.
  • Place the 36 Elder Sign Trophy Tokens (hereafter referred to as “Elder Signs”) in the Cloth Bag and shake them up.
  • Alternately, you may simply turn these Tokens facedown on the table (with the Elder Sign on top) and mix them up.
  • Hand each player a Hint Card.

Set Up Factions

Each player must select a Faction to represent. Players may select their Factions randomly, or they may take their choice. In the event of a dispute, allow younger players to have first choice.

Each player takes their Faction Card, Spellbooks, and all plastic pieces belonging to their color. If the Yellow Sign Faction is in play, that player also takes 12 Desecration Markers.

Players should then place their Doom Markers at 0 on the Doom Track and their Power Markers at 8 on their Faction Cards’ Power Tracks.

Set Up Start Areas on the Map

Players’ Start Areas are listed on their Faction Cards. All players start with one Controlled Gate and 6 Acolyte Cultists in the Area marked with their Faction’s Glyph. Each player should place one of their Acolytes on top of their Gate.

The First Player

When Great Cthulhu is in play, that Faction’s player is always the First Player at the start of the game. He takes the First-Player Token and sets it in front of him. If Great Cthulhu is not in this game, you may choose the First Player by any means you wish. (it is recommended going alphabetically by Faction name—i.e., Black Goat is before Yellow Sign).

The Windwalker Faction may never be the First Player at the beginning of the game.

The First Player then chooses which side of the First- Player Token to set face-up, thus determining the direction of play. The First-Player Token will change hands over the course of the game and the direction of play may change, as well.

Black Goat’s starting position in Africa.