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Subject: An Opener Strategy rss

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Sandy Petersen
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Opener of the Way is the hardest faction to master. It takes a delicate sense of timing to use him just right. Which I guess makes sense as “God of Time”.

His first spellbook comes when there are 8 Gates on the map. This happens in the first turn, or early in the second.

Opener’s spellbook They Break Through lets you summon Monsters at other people’s Gates. This usually the first spellbook taken by Opener players. No surprise, because it helps fulfill two of spellbook requirements – “Lose a unit in combat” and “have units at two enemy Gates”. This is usually a multi-step process. First you get They Break Through. Then you toil away to earn Million Favored Ones, which lets you promote. Then after a turn or two of combat, your units advance to an impressive state, but you are way behind in Doom points and haven’t summoned your Great Old One, and you lose. Maybe one of your Dragon spells lets you jump forward and almost achieve victory. Is there another way?

What if you DON’T take They Break Through first? What if you go for an early Yog-Sothoth awaken? He’s not expensive, and his Key and the Gate ability makes him a Gate. This means you can Summon Monsters at his location.

Pre-Game – pick a starting location where you can easily reach a space which is next to two opponents. For instance. If your opponents are Cthulhu, Crawling Chaos, and Black Goat, set up in an area adjacent to Arabia, the North Atlantic, or the Indian Ocean (which will be adjacent to two of them).

Turn One – Recruit a High Priest. Summon a Spawn. Move the Spawn to the strategic space, next to two opponents. (If you don’t use high priests, instead move a Cultist to a safe place for a Gate, then summon a Mutant to guard your home Area).

Turn Two – transform your Spawn into Yog-Sothoth. You should have 2 Power left over. See? Yog-Sothoth is adjacent to two opponents’ Gates (maybe more). Take Dragon Ascendingas your reward, and immediately cash it in to pop up to 8-10 Power (this works unless you are the last player to take your turn, and everyone else spent a ton on their first action). If you have a High Priest, sack him now for 2 more Power. Doubtless 8 Gates are on the map by now, so take Channel Power too.

Ideally, you see a Gate without defensive dice. Move onto it. When the foe brings out defenses, Yog-Sothoth summons a Mutant. Maybe two, if you have time and Power. If all the Gates have a defender, and you don't want to take a chance that the enemy will roll a "6" vs. Yog, summon a Mutant in his space, then move them both to the Gate. In any case, when you fight, you should clear the area with Channel Power. If you are lucky enough to get a Mutant killed, you can get Million Favored Ones and then promote the other.

Use the remainder of your Power advantage to work on a second Gate or summon another Mutant. The cheapest way to take over the newly-vacant Gate is to Beyond-One to a Cultist’s space.

Turn Three – you start with 12-14 Power (you should have 2-3 Gates, Yog-Sothoth, and 6 Cultists). Plus this turn you probably get another spellbook from 12 Gates on the map. From here on out the strategy has to fork, depending on your opponent’s plans.

This strategy relies on using Dragon Ascending for an early game cancellation of Yog-Sothoth’s cost. This comes at a time when the enemy players are spending 8-10 Power apiece to summon their own Great Old Ones, which effectively negates their turns. You have Yog-Sothoth, to pick off the Gates they leave en prise as a result of their inaction. You use Channel Power to make up for Yog-Sothoth’s initially low Battle dice. Once Million Favored Ones kicks in, Yog-Sothoth has meatier monsters by his side and plenty of dice.
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Chris Foster
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It sounds fun! Opener is my favorite faction, at least from a distance.
What's your favorite Azathoth spell for Opener? I was thinking Undimensioned, and the All-In-One doesn't have any movement tricks and feels like he could get spread thin pretty easily, and the ability to redistribute at will seems nasty. "Moved to assault my lonely Great Old One, off by himself? Well, I'll swap him with... All of my mutants and a few cultists for good measure. Enjoy!"
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Alexander McKinney
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In the Azathoth video I seem to recall there being an independent spell book that let you pay a power to swap other spell books in and out. How did that work with single use spell books? Can you swap them out, and if so does that refresh them for a new use?
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Jim FitzSimons

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I'd bet that once used they are no longer an active spell book for swapping purposes to prevent that exploit.
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Alexander McKinney
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dawgdoc wrote:
I'd bet that once used they are no longer an active spell book for swapping purposes to prevent that exploit.


That is most likely.
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Sandy Petersen
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icemantis99 wrote:
It sounds fun! Opener is my favorite faction, at least from a distance.
What's your favorite Azathoth spell for Opener? I was thinking Undimensioned, and the All-In-One doesn't have any movement tricks and feels like he could get spread thin pretty easily, and the ability to redistribute at will seems nasty. "Moved to assault my lonely Great Old One, off by himself? Well, I'll swap him with... All of my mutants and a few cultists for good measure. Enjoy!"


Well, he has two "movement" abilities. Kinda sorta.

First is Beyond-One, which lets him carry a Gate far across the world. In the Yuggoth play video, you get to see my son Link use this to take a Gate to a strategic location (the Slime Sea Overlook).

Second is They Break Through which, though it's not, technically, "movement" does serve the function of getting your units in other people's areas.

Nonetheless, Undimensioned would probably be pretty handy. For one thing, since you can easily place a unit at someone else's Gate, you could do that first, THEN Undimension a huge army there to steal the Gate.
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Arthur Petersen
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lexifer wrote:
In the Azathoth video I seem to recall there being an independent spell book that let you pay a power to swap other spell books in and out. How did that work with single use spell books? Can you swap them out, and if so does that refresh them for a new use?


You can swap them out. It can make it very powerful!
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Lincoln Petersen
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You can swap them out, but they stay used I'm pretty sure. Also Yog is all about huge swings in power/doom points. When playing him you should aim for a SUPER turn in which secures you the game. Usually this is the 3rd or 4th turn when people have tons of power and you might be lacking so you spend a bunch of power then dragon ascending up to the highest power.
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Alexander McKinney
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linkthestink wrote:
You can swap them out, but they stay used I'm pretty sure. Also Yog is all about huge swings in power/doom points. When playing him you should aim for a SUPER turn in which secures you the game. Usually this is the 3rd or 4th turn when people have tons of power and you might be lacking so you spend a bunch of power then dragon ascending up to the highest power.


That's still incredibly useful, using a one-shot spell book and then getting an Azathoth spell book for the rest of the game would be nice.
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Lincoln Petersen
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It is, but I don't think having that any azathoth spellbook is as good as dragon ascending.
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Arthur Petersen
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linkthestink wrote:
You can swap them out, but they stay used I'm pretty sure. Also Yog is all about huge swings in power/doom points. When playing him you should aim for a SUPER turn in which secures you the game. Usually this is the 3rd or 4th turn when people have tons of power and you might be lacking so you spend a bunch of power then dragon ascending up to the highest power.


I've always heard Sandy say that spellbooks that are lost and then regained with recriminations flip back as if never used (so, for instance, you can use thousand forms twice in one round this way).

Certainly, that seems to be in the spirit of the game - for example, when you lose an indie GOO, its spellbook goes away as if it were never in play.

Sounds like something to add to the FAQ if it is not gone to the printers yet.
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Alexander McKinney
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existoid wrote:

I've always heard Sandy say that spellbooks that are lost and then regained with recriminations flip back as if never used (so, for instance, you can use thousand forms twice in one round this way).



That sounds like it could be powerful.
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Lincoln Petersen
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Show me in the rules where it says they flip back over? (hint: It doesn't.)
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Arthur Petersen
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linkthestink wrote:
Show me in the rules where it says they flip back over? (hint: It doesn't.)


But does that mean that positively they don't, or that the rules are silent on this very rare situation? I'd imagine it is the latter, and clarification might be useful, because, like I said, that's how it seems to work for indie GOOs. Why not add an FAQ?
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Lincoln Petersen
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That's because Indie GOO's and their spellbooks are unique. Faction spellbooks (Azathoth expansion is technically a faction I think) flip over when told on the spellbook. Also to my knowledge there are no once only indie GOO spellbooks.
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Dave Mendiola
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While it shouldn't flip over for balance reasons, I can see people getting confused, so I agree it should go into the FAQ.
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René Schep
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A good rule of thumb is:

If it comes up in the forums and isn't specifically stated in the rulebook. It should be either in it or the FAQ.
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Greg Robertson
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lexifer wrote:
existoid wrote:

I've always heard Sandy say that spellbooks that are lost and then regained with recriminations flip back as if never used (so, for instance, you can use thousand forms twice in one round this way).



That sounds like it could be powerful.

Opener would be an unstoppable force unto itself. Just imagine resetting Dragon Ascending and Descending each turn. Very VERY bad!

Are other Great Old Ones giving you a hard time? Then summon Hastur of the Yellow Sign!
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Arturo Cavari
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I think that Dragon Ascending and Dragon Descending shouldn't be allowed to be reactivated when swapped. It would be waaaaaay overpowered.

Yog would have a free ritual of annihilation every round for the cost of 2 power (swapping twice), and would be able to gain a ton of power every round with dragon ascending.
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Lincoln Petersen
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Yes using Dragon Ascending and Descending every turn would be BRUTAL. I'll have a look at the FAQ/rulebook and see if it says anything specific about the once only spellbooks.
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Sandy Petersen
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It clearly states on Dragon Ascending and Dragon Descending that "it cannot be used again" which means it does not "flip face-up" if it is swapped out with Recriminations.
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Chris Foster
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But just getting recriminations and swapping out your 2 "dead" spells is incredibly powerful. Only weakness is that Opener is slow to gain his spellbook in the first place, and has little direct control over when he gets them as compared to other factions, so Recriminations could easily be snapped up by another faction if they know you're gunning for it.
How viable is starting as far away from the other factions as possible and building 2 gates first turn? Is there any spot on a map that's more than 2 spaces away from any other? Because if so, you could be pretty hard to hit just by virtue of distance and ignore defense to just give yourself a boost for the next turn, as well as likely guaranteeing your first Gate spellbook that turn.
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Dave Mendiola
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Sandy Petersen wrote:
It clearly states on Dragon Ascending and Dragon Descending that "it cannot be used again" which means it does not "flip face-up" if it is swapped out with Recriminations.


The reason there is confusion is that in many games, when an object has left play, it's "gate state" is lost. Magic and Netrunner are two examples of such games. So it's understandable that there is some confusion.
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Arturo Cavari
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Afrofrycook wrote:
Sandy Petersen wrote:
It clearly states on Dragon Ascending and Dragon Descending that "it cannot be used again" which means it does not "flip face-up" if it is swapped out with Recriminations.


The reason there is confusion is that in many games, when an object has left play, it's "gate state" is lost. Magic and Netrunner are two examples of such games. So it's understandable that there is some confusion.


You're bringing back memories of my MTG playing days. How I loved my Worldgorger Dragon combo.

Quote:
But just getting recriminations and swapping out your 2 "dead" spells is incredibly powerful.


That's true, but I don't think it would be overpowered.
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René Schep
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You could technically take the spellbook instead of 1 of your 2 one shots. Then use your 2 one shots with the remaining slot and rotate that out to another spellbook. But that might be too slow, seems kinda mediocre if the game ends before your 3rd spellbook in that slot has done anything.
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