Bioshock, Mass Effect and World of Warcraft were my favourite games when I was younger, I spent most of my teenage years stuck to a console or sat at my PC, living in the digital world. Yeah, I went outside, I did other stuff too but I got most of my enjoyment through gaming and being immersed in the digital world. I didn’t play boardgames or miniature games or tabletop games or whatever you want to call them at all really, I knew Games Workshop existed, I knew there was something out there, it just wasn’t a world I got into until many years later. Now, it’s the opposite, I play so many boardgames but kind of neglected my love for video games and it’s something I’ve missed for a while so when I discovered Auroch Digital and what they were up to, I got a little bit excited and nostalgia set in.
Auroch Digital is an indie game developer based in Bristol, making some pretty interesting games. That’s cool. The thing that really drew me to Auroch Digital it the fact that they have made video game adaptations of classic boardgames from Games Workshop, Steve Jackson Games and something their working on at the moment, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, an adaptation of the RPG designed by Chris Birch and Modiphius games.
The Achtung! Cthulhu universe is dark and terrifying, a band of Allied heroes fight the Secret War against the Nazi Black Sun and their rivals Nachtwolfe. The Nazi factions have turned to the ancient and terrible powers of the Mythos, weaponizing evil to win the war.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is a turn-based strategy game that takes inspiration and ideas from the Achtung! Cthulhu roleplaying game universe. During the game, you’ll control a tough band of heroes trapped behind enemy lines trying to uncover and foil a Nazi plot of terrifying evil. A mix of light and dark, a combination of good and evil, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics has a beautiful. blend of tactics, storyline, and action and I was lucky enough to play in tabletop form.
The team at Auroch Digital playtest a new game design using a tabletop version and I thought that was genius. Of course, you can explain a game to me, I can read about it and watch videos on it and I can get a good idea about it but to be able to sit down and physically play a game that isn’t fully produced yet in digital form was awesome and I really enjoyed the game, specifically the element of light and darkness that is used to represent Good and Evil throughout, creating a dramatic and terrifying narrative. A sense of fear, when you’re backed into a corner, you don’t really know what’s behind you and you probably don’t want to find out. Experiencing the secret history of World War Two, frightening inhuman conspiracies and the unbelievable war machines which were the product of Nazi scientific genius – and how close we all came to a slithering end!.
Combined with the clever mechanics implemented by the designer, I’m excited about this.
Clever mechanics, what do you mean? well, inspired by an RPG system used in some of Modiphius’ games, they created something fun and adapted it for video games, so it’s basically like playing the tabletop version when playing the video game version and I really like that. How does it work? when an attack succeeds, thanks to sterling leadership, you’ll a pool of momentum, which can then be weaponised! All characters have special momentum actions they can perform – a rake of machine gun fire, a fast snap-shot with a pistol, a mysterious ethereal effect. The system allows you to control this, layering it with the normal actions of your team to build ingenious combinations of tactical brilliance rivaling Monty, Zhukov, Rommel, or Patton.
It was great to meet the team, find about some of the cool stuff they have going on and re-ignite a love for a hobby I thought I had left behind. Speaking to Tomas Rawlings, who is leading the video game design, and founder of Auroch Digital, it was clear to see that video games and boardgames are often seen as two separate hobbies when in fact, they can be combined into one.
Taking these huge tabletop games and RPG games and turning them into exciting, innovative video games is impressive and I can’t wait to play more.
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics has been funded by Auroch Digital and Ripstone but there is currently a Kickstarter running with a goal to add on loads of extra cool stuff like adding the heroic Pathfinder Demonhunters into the game, adding a valuable unit for commanders seeking to turn the Nazi and Mythos tide!
I had a great time playing the game, I can’t wait to see it brought to life and feel immersed in this dark and scary world.
You can check out the Kickstarter page here: Achtung! Cthulhu Kickstarter