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Cthulhu Wars» Forums » General

Subject: Which factions are the ideal choices for new players learning the game? rss

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-=::) Dante (::=-
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I know that certain factions are considered trickier to play well than others.

Of the following, which would you suggest are ideal for new players during their first game and which should be reserved for those with more experience:

Black Goat
Cthulhu
Crawling Chaos
Yellow Sign
Opener of the Way
Windwalker
Sleeper

Recommendations can include a caveat if all that needs to be added is a simple bit of advice. (make sure to do/not do x)

 
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Brian M
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If you have 4 all new players, stick with the four base box factions; Black Goat, Crawling Chaos, Great Cthulhu and Yellow Sign. The expansion factions seem to be overall a bit trickier.

Generally, Cthulhu is possibly the "easiest" faction to play, though not necessarily to win with. The Immortal ability means losing your GOO is just a minor inconvenience rather than a serious setback, so it is very forgiving. Cthulhu's spellbooks are very straightforward and easy to get, giving the new player a good clear path to follow.
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Thanasis Patsios
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I always go with Black Goat, Crawling Chaos, Great Cthulhu and Windwalker.

I would gradually go from them to (in order) Sleeper, Opener, Yellow Sign.
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Lincoln Petersen
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NasosP wrote:
I always go with Black Goat, Crawling Chaos, Great Cthulhu and Windwalker.

I would gradually go from them to (in order) Sleeper, Opener, Yellow Sign.


Except I would switch Shub with Cthulhu in the ordering.
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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NasosP wrote:
I always go with Black Goat, Crawling Chaos, Great Cthulhu and Windwalker.

I would gradually go from them to (in order) Sleeper, Opener, Yellow Sign.


I'd order Yellow Sign much lower. It's very different from the other factions, but it's not complicated. Arguably, the reason for delaying it may well be that against inexperienced opponents who don't know how to respond, it's too strong. The basic strategy of "bunker down with Hastur and Cultists, then roll a katamari ball of King in Yellow and Undead across the map for Elder Signs, leaving a trail of Byakhee to Feast", is quite effective when not interfered with.

Opener I'd definitely rank as the hardest faction, as it has a lot of complex-but-powerful abilities and is probably the most skill-testing faction, particularly with regards to the optimal timing of the single-use abilities. It requires a deep understanding of the game's dynamics to play well.
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Magic Pink
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Cthulhu is the easiest for a newbie, then Crawling Chaos. Yellow Sign is a little too tricky and Black Goat is too frustrating; it comes in FAR last in every game I've ever played.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Magic Pink wrote:
Cthulhu is the easiest for a newbie, then Crawling Chaos. Yellow Sign is a little too tricky and Black Goat is too frustrating; it comes in FAR last in every game I've ever played.


So then Cthulhu, Chaos, Windwalker and...?
 
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Greg Robertson
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This is in order from easiest to hardest to learn for the core game.

Great Cthulhu
Crawling Chaos
Black Goat
Yelow Sign

Some might argue that a switch needs to be made between Black Goat and Yellow Sign. But I beg to differ on this. Black Goat is more straight forward in terms of spell books than Yellow Sign. And I would also argue that Yellow Sign must be played by someone who has no problem manipulating the board to complete it's spell book requirements. So why do I have Black Goat so far down the list? Because the faction is not necessarily a hard one to play. But it can be very hard to fulfill the spell book requirements in order to win the game. Primarily being in "X" amount of areas and having units in areas with each enemy faction. It requires finesse and strategy to get the job done. Black Goat players often "RUSH" this process thereby depleting their power reserves which sets them for the game.

So for the expansions I would say the following order is appropriate from easiest to hardest.

Windwalker
Sleeper
Opener

Now onto my reasoning for Windwalker being at the top. It's spell book requirements are straight forward and it's units are extremely combat oriented. The only real issue is that the faction is a mid to late game bloomer which can put some players off. I often think of it as a reverse Great Cthulhu faction! So why did I put Sleeper in the middle? Simply put, the faction has so many options available that it's often hard for new players to decide which routes to take to achieve maximum performance. It also suffers from being a mid to late game bloomer as it costs a lot of power to fulfill spell book requirements. Finally we have Opener of the Way! This faction is a completely different animal altogether. And that is not a bad thing! But I find that most new Opener of the Way players focus too heavily on "Million Favored Ones" instead of taking "They Break Through" + "Beyond One" combo. Opener of the Way is without a doubt the best tormentor in the game. BAR NONE! And that is how you should be playing to win. Summon your units at enemy gates. Steal their gates. Declare combat to take over areas. Upgrade your surviving units. "Beyond One" their gates to the middle of nowhere. Anything you can do to make your enemies lives miserable!

So what would be my final line-up including all factions(from easiest to hardest)?

Great Cthulhu
Crawling Chaos
Windwalker
Black Goat
Yellow Sign
Sleeper
Opener of the Way

Are other Great Old Ones giving you a hard time? Then summon "Hastur" of the Yellow Sign!
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Jamie B
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For my teenage son I taught him Yellow Sign first. The fact that it is played so much differently than the others seems to have made it easier for him.

It is possible that it could be attributed to the fact that Yellow Sign gets ignored a lot in the game.
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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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This is really interesting ... We frequently have one or two new players in our (rather large) group. Usually, we quickly introduce the different factions and then let the new guys decide which faction they want to play. For us, Black Goat is by far the most popular faction among first time players, and so far everyone quickly understood how to play it effectively. Therefore, my impression is that playing Black Goat competitively is actually easier for inexperienced players than to be fairly successful with Great Cthulhu. We DO tend to mention that it's not wise to go for Black Goat's 'number of areas' spellbooks too early, though ...

Regarding the expansion factions, I agree that Windwalker is the most straightforward of them. However, Sleeper requires a good understanding of all factions (well, at least of their faction abilities) along with a lot of patience, while even players with only two or three games under their belts were quickly able to make full use of Opener's abilities when playing Yog-Sothoth for the very first time.
Sure, timing is very important for Opener, but on the other hand the right moment for playing the powerful one-time-use spellbooks is fairly obvious in most cases. Sleeper also requires a lot of timing, but it's not as obvious when to be lethargic and when to take action. I'd say that to be successful, Sleeper constantly has to make smaller, but less obvious decisions, which is why I believe that Sleeper actually requires more experience than Opener. The freedom of the Sleeper faction will leave inexperienced players helpless, while Opener seems to have his plan laid out for him a bit more clearly.
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David E
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I've taught close to a dozen games to newbies, I think. Black Goat is always the most difficult for new players to grasp (not in terms of playing, but in terms of figuring out how to win), followed by Yellow Sign. I have yet to see a new player win with Black Goat, whereas I have seen a new player run away with the game as Yellow Sign (admittedly, because the other players were new too and didn't know how to stop him, or recognize that they needed to).
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Jason Farris
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My list from easiest to hardest would be:

Crawling Chaos (it's spell book requirements are almost a tutorial on how to play)

Cthulhu (easy to figure out but hard to win with)

Wind walker (Cthulhu slow)

Yellow Sign (very straightforward if you look at their spellbooks)

Black Goat (hard to win with and dependent on timing)

Sleeper (not difficult to play, but presents players with a lot of options that can make it hard to choose what you do).

Opener (highly dependent on timing and board manipulation)
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Thanks so much everyone!

Looks like a pretty even split between Yellow Sign and Black Goat. I'll have 5 players often enough that they'll both see a good amount of table time.


What specific advice would you give to new players to give them a a fighting chance with Black Goat?


What advice would you give new players about Yellow Sign to help them get a handle on how different their playing style is?
 
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corum irsei
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My order (from easiest to hardest):
- Yellow Sign (strategy is immediately obvious)
- Black Goat (very easy to play, but not necessarily to win)
- Great Cthulhu (similar to Black Goat; using the GOO is a bit trickier, imho)
- Crawling Chaos (still haven't really figured them out; can be frustrating for a new player)
- Windwalker (easiest of the expansion factions [probably even easier than Crawling Chaos...])
- Sleeper (this is an odd one; without some guidance I don't see a new player doing well with this faction)

I haven't played with the 'Opener of the Way', yet, but I suspect it's the hardest to play.
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Thanasis Patsios
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NuMystic wrote:
What specific advice would you give to new players to give them a a fighting chance with Black Goat?


Don't overexpand. You can probably stay in 3 areas throughout the whole game and work with Avatar, Necrophagy.


NuMystic wrote:
What advice would you give new players about Yellow Sign to help them get a handle on how different their playing style is?


I doubt there's any kind of advice to prepare someone for Yellow Sign. It doesn't mean they won't have fun or have a decent chance of winning. It's just pointless in my opinion as it's the faction with the most "out of the box" way of winning.

In general, I wouldn't worry too much about someone's first game. It should give him an overview on how his faction play and a first impression on what the others do. You can have the strategy discussion from the second game onward.
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Magic Pink
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I'll echo what other people are saying, Black Goat is INCREDIBLY easy to learn to play but giving that faction to a newbie player risks the player hating the game. Black Goat is just frustrating; you seem to do just as much as anyone else but never accomplish all the points they do.
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David E
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NuMystic wrote:
What specific advice would you give to new players to give them a a fighting chance with Black Goat?


Most new players overlook the power of Avatar (especially in the early game) and Necrophagy, and spend Power moving units around to get their spellbooks. Point out that with a little timing, they can usually spread around the map for free.

The most common question from new players (for all factions) is "Which spellbooks should I get first?" The answer of course is "It depends," but that's not helpful. For Black Goat, I usually recommend they start with either Red Sign or Thousand Young (pointing out that the latter depends on them bringing out Shub ASAP).

Quote:
What advice would you give new players about Yellow Sign to help them get a handle on how different their playing style is?


I tell them that their path to victory is to move->Desecrate, move->Desecrate, rinse, repeat, ad infinitum. I tell everyone else that they must not let Yellow Sign do this all game or he will win.

When YS asks which Spellbooks to get first, I tell him either Screaming Dead or Passion, depending on whether or not he builds a second Gate on turn 1 after summoning the King in Yellow.
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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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Magic Pink wrote:
... giving that faction to a newbie player risks the player hating the game. Black Goat is just frustrating; you seem to do just as much as anyone else but never accomplish all the points they do.

As I already mentioned, this is not my experience at all. In our most recent game, a first-time CW player nearly won with Black Goat (but to be fair, I think he had read up on strategies beforehand). In the end, it was up to the Crawling Chaos player to use his remaining Power to steal a gate either from me (Opener) or from Black Goat. He chose the Goat's gate, but if he had taken mine (or done something completely different), Black Goat would have won.

A few weeks earlier, we had another first-time player controlling Black Goat in a six-player game. I'm pretty sure she was not as well prepared as the other guy - afaik, she's basically a P&P RPG player and joined us mostly because one of her friends wanted to play CW. For some reason she was under constant attack from a couple of other factions. But she instinctively understood how to make use of Necrophagy and Avatar. Each time one of her gates was taken, she immediately stole another one and thus never really lost much of her Power/Doom income. In the end, she came in second with 34 Doom Points, closely beaten by Opener (35 Doom) who had the luxury of staying mostly unchallenged throughout the game.

I can only repeat that we rarely had issues with new players not being able to make proper use of Black Goat's abilities. In fact, the only instance I can think of where a Black Goat player wasn't quite able to come to terms with his faction was the very first CW game we had ...
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David Andersson
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I actually specifically keep Yellow Sign out of games with new players. Not because he's hard to play, but because he's hard to combat. If the other players don't know what they're doing then they'll almost always let Yellow Sign run away with it, which is never fun for Yellow either.

Easiest is by far Crawling Chaos.
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Peter Bowie
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My experience is contrary to this. Yellow Sign is led by its Spellbook goals (desecrate stuff, woo!) and Black Goat is misleading (spread out quickly? No? Build up slowly and gradually snipe off different areas? Ahhh).
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Graham Robinson
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I have seen all factions bar Windwalker played really badly by a new player, and only opener, yellow sign,chaos, and Windwalker played well by newbies.

Ymmv

Cheers, Graham
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knorki butchek
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I had good expierience with the coregame -yellow sign +sleeper.
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