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Subject: Playing against CC rss

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Anders Kernel
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Hi all,

Have played 3 games so far (3 person games all of them) and we are quite happy about the game. However, the last one was quite... annoying. We played Cthulhu (me), Crawling Chaos and Black Goat.

The first turn Crawling Chaos got his power up to 10. The next turn he put Nyarlathotep into play and used The Thousand Forms. He rolled a six and we had to let him get the PP. He build a few monsters. Next turn same thing happened - he rolled a six and we had to let him get the power. All in all it resulted in a game where he was easily in front the rest of the game and a pretty boring game for me and the black goat.

So, how do you beat that? Do you have to follow a special strategy against CC? I tried getting him with Submerge - which resulted in him using his 3 polyps to negate my monsters and easily taking down the rest of my army including Cthulhu (which was according to plan for me) but with the huge amount of power surplus he kept on generating my attacks never did much.

I am a bit frustrated as it feels that he won the game due to the luck of rolling extremely well on his first two Thousand Forms rolls which then snowballed powerwise for him, but I really think that we still should be able to beat him - but I cant see how.

Any advice is welcome.

Cheerio,
Anders
 
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Rev. Dr. O'Grady
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Well, according to this:
Quote:
The first turn Crawling Chaos got his power up to 10. The next turn he put Nyarlathotep into play and used The Thousand Forms.


He played it incorrectly.

If he only had 10 power, then used his action to summon Nyarlathotep (who costs 10), he would be at 0 power. He could not act again until the next gather power phase.

Even though Thousand Forms has an power cost of 0, he would still be done with his actions until the next gather power phase. So, the next time he tries to do this, point out the rule and proceed to stomp on him. (Or tell him ahead of time, to be a good sport.)

Also, given your description, I'm not sure if he only played it once per action phase--as once per action phase is all that is allowed.
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René Schep
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1. He couldn't use Thousand forms on his second turn, because you can't do actions when you have 0 power.
2. If he gets really lucky rolls like that, you'll probably have to suck it up as his opponents and pay the power. Giving him the extra power is almost always worse when CC rolls high.
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Dave Mendiola
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Well if he was at 10 and summoned Nyarlathotep and used Thousand Forms, he cheated. Once you're at 0 power, you can't do anything else, even if the cost of that ability is 0.

If you're Cthulhu, you need to go and kill him. The loss of Nyarlathotep is crippling to Crawling Chaos, as 2 of his spellbooks rely on it. Black Goat can help by Grothing the heck out of his cultists and doing Necrophagy when Cthulhu attacks.

Finally, he rolled a six twice in a row. That's just really good luck.
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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The earliest this could have happened would be the 3rd round?

First round all start with 8 power.
Second round 10 power, Summon, and turn over cannot use the spellbook. This should have painted a huge target on the CC player. Anyone who killed Nyarlathotep would have forced that player to effectively lose an entire round, all it takes is a single 6 if he is alone.
3rd round can start taking advantage of the extra power influx. Remeber by this time the other 2 players should have 25-35 power worth of "stuff" onto the board also.

CC should only have max 6 cultists and Nyar on the board by start of 3rd round.
First Round 6 cultists and 1 gate. Only way they could have 10 power in turn 2 is if they built/conquered and managed to keep control of a 2nd gate without losing any cultists. 6 power from cultists and 4 power from 2 controlled gates will give them 10 power in the 2nd turn. It would have cost 3 power to build the first round gate, at least 1 power to move their cultist who built the gate, leaving only 4 power in question to spend in the first round.
I would assume they moved more than one cultist so really only 3 unaccounted power from the first round. maybe built a monster to guard, maybe moved more than the 2 cultists.

Either way I say they were a huge sitting duck during round two that no one abused the heck out of.

Edit Either way in this game CC would have been better off going for a 3rd gate end of first round to go into round 2 with 12 power. Which then would have allowed CC to summon Nyar and still have power left to use the spellbook and still do actions end of round 2.

Edit in the second Black goat could have easily swarmed some monsters and killed Nyar. GC should have started round 2 action phase with at least 1 spell book, possibly even 2 if they built 2 portals round 1. Between GC using devolve mixed with dreams and Black Goat being able to swarm monsters, Nyarlothotep should have been stomped pretty efficiently barring just terrible dice luck.
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Michael T.
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After a few games i have to say that for inexperienced players the chance of CC getting too far ahead soon is very large. If he gets Nyarlathotep early -and this happens usually if he is allowed to have 3 gates after the second turn - he rules the game from then on because Nyarlathotep is almost unkillable and to hunt him costs points that are needed elsewhere. Keeping CC the first 3 or 4 rounds from getting Nyarlathotep as "the primary goal of the game" everytime he is in the game is a bit of a bummer for all players.

My point is not that he is too strong but that the game seems to revolve around him.
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Arthur Petersen
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Von Strubel wrote:
After a few games i have to say that for inexperienced players the chance of CC getting too far ahead soon is very large. If he gets Nyarlathotep early -and this happens usually if he is allowed to have 3 gates after the second turn - he rules the game from then on because Nyarlathotep is almost unkillable and to hunt him costs points that are needed elsewhere. Keeping CC the first 3 or 4 rounds from getting Nyarlathotep as "the primary goal of the game" everytime he is in the game is a bit of a bummer for all players.

My point is not that he is too strong but that the game seems to revolve around him.


So, let's say that Nyarlathotep is out, and you don't want to hunt him down? So what? Pursue your own strategy, take gates where you can, and exploit your own spellbooks. Instead of focusing on killing Nyarlathotep, why not take a gate or two of his?
The fact that CC revolves around Nyarly is a double edged sword - an inherent weakness of any faction that relies upon a single unit is that such a unit cannot be everywhere at once. Instead of killing Nyarly, take his least defended gates. He has some things to mitigate this (such as powerful defensive Battle spells), but even inexperienced players should be able to see how to use their own spellbooks to take a gate or two.

If you are Black Goat, exploit Red Sign to defend against Nyarly himself capturing your gates. Use Ghroth, and openly collude (is that an oxymoron?) with other players to take out blue's cultists.

If you are Cthulhu, then maybe you SHOULD attack Nyarly at least once. If you fail to kill him, shrug your shoulders and take his gates with your beefier units. Also, if he is spread thin, then use Dreams on him.

If you are Yellow Sign, totally ignore CC like you ignore everyone else anyway!
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'Panda ThatsMe
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existoid wrote:
If you are Yellow Sign, totally ignore CC like you ignore everyone else anyway!


Hahahhahahahahaaaa!!!
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Bernard Gourion
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existoid wrote:

If you are Yellow Sign, totally ignore CC like you ignore everyone else anyway!

And during the late part of the game, when YS has his 6 spellbooks, YS can launch his special anti-Nyarla commando : 1PP to get Hastur on him any where + 1 PP Shriek of the BYakhee to get bodgyguards for your beloved Hastur + 1PP for immediate attack. With Vengeance, bye bye Nyarla...
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Adam Starks
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Just be careful. Nyarly is very likely to Pain Hastur. If you did this when he had 6 Power, he'd almost certainly take 5 Power for Harbinger, then Re-Awaken Nyarlathotep, and still be able to use Thousand Forms.
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Arthur Petersen
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AdamStarks wrote:
Just be careful. Nyarly is very likely to Pain Hastur. If you did this when he had 6 Power, he'd almost certainly take 5 Power for Harbinger, then Re-Awaken Nyarlathotep, and still be able to use Thousand Forms.


Of course, even if you are careful to wait until he has less than 6 power, you might be instead giving him 2 elder signs, which is not trivial!

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David Etherton
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Four out of six games I've played, CC has won. This is with very little overlap in players (except me, of course -- and yes, I won my single play of CC as well). It's getting to the point where I'm really looking forward to either a 3p game without him, or the expansions. It's too easy to play him well.

I tried Cthulhu for the second time last night and unfortunately I went after Hastur first (to keep yellow from running away with the game) and then in the aftermath I failed to slow blue down. He kept kicking KiY around the map, paining him for at least two elder signs per turn.

I didn't play Cthulhu particularly well (made several suboptimal moves) but it seems (as others have observed) that it's really difficult to win with big green because paying four power per Elder Sign gets really expensive. It seems like the only way he can win (and IIRC the way I saw him win once) is to take and hold a bunch of gates so he can reliably ritual. But anybody with a lot of gates has a huge target on their back. Dreams is great but often expensive for what you get as well.

Anyway, getting a bit off topic. Still really enjoy the game.

-Dave
 
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Dave Mendiola
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Great Cthulhu operates like Khorne in Chaos. He operates optimally by taking other people's gates, so they're cheaper to gain and they take something from your enemy.

Crawling Chaos is effect, but remember he has to pay a lot of power to finish his spellbooks, so use those windows to take gates from him.
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David Etherton
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Afrofrycook wrote:
Great Cthulhu operates like Khorne in Chaos. He operates optimally by taking other people's gates, so they're cheaper to gain and they take something from your enemy.


Sounds like good advice to me. On the other hand, a terrible way to play Cthulhu (like I did last night) is build a third gate on your first turn to get a spellbook, then proceed to hand it over to CC. The problem is that finishing the first turn with only two gates gives you enough power to bring out Cthulhu, and nothing else. Of course losing a gate and a cultist is even worse -- you're stuck with nine.

I suspect a stronger opening move for Cthulhu is move, build second gate, and then maybe summon one or two Shoggoths depending on whether anybody leaves anything worth taking in range. Then you can bring Cthulhu out with some decent defenses in place?

Also looking forward to getting enough repeat plays in with the same folks (and no new players) so that the games don't stretch out into 3-4 hours. This is a 90-120 minute game IMO.

-Dave
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Arthur Petersen
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etherton wrote:
Afrofrycook wrote:
Great Cthulhu operates like Khorne in Chaos. He operates optimally by taking other people's gates, so they're cheaper to gain and they take something from your enemy.


Sounds like good advice to me. On the other hand, a terrible way to play Cthulhu (like I did last night) is build a third gate on your first turn to get a spellbook, then proceed to hand it over to CC. The problem is that finishing the first turn with only two gates gives you enough power to bring out Cthulhu, and nothing else. Of course losing a gate and a cultist is even worse -- you're stuck with nine.

I suspect a stronger opening move for Cthulhu is move, build second gate, and then maybe summon one or two Shoggoths depending on whether anybody leaves anything worth taking in range. Then you can bring Cthulhu out with some decent defenses in place?

Also looking forward to getting enough repeat plays in with the same folks (and no new players) so that the games don't stretch out into 3-4 hours. This is a 90-120 minute game IMO.

-Dave


YOu are right on that it is a 90 minute game - often even shorter the more experienced you get.

Yes, I only go for 3 gates as Cthulhu the first Action Phase when I'm playing against complete beginners. Otherwise, I never do so, you will always be too vulnerable to CC.
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Adam Starks
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You can also spend your 2nd turn doing other things. Say you ended the first turn with 2 Gates, a Star Spawn, and a Deep One. You could take Regeneration during the Doom Phase, then summon another Star Spawn, move both Star Spawn to another player's starting area, and declare a few combats. Alongside potentially getting both your Kill spellbooks, you can also severely hamper another player, and get a gate or two out of it.
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Dan Thorpe
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I won a 4 player last night as CC too. It was my 5th game, and my opponents 2nd. In the game no one had played our factions before. Thus my first in CC though i have played against him in my other 4 games.

In my 5 games the wins are... 1 x Cthulhu, 1 x Yellow King, 3 x Crawling Chaos, 0 x Black Goat.

In turn 1 I moved two units and then built two gates. Having 3 gates I took the spellbook to roll the power gain dice. My second turn I summoned Nigel (our nickname for him) and took the spellbook for no one being able to kill him without a GOO in the fight. Then my next action was to roll the dice (although no one ever let me have power, they always lost theirs). But that was it basically. From turn 3 having Nigel out, and being able to generate power (or making others lose theirs which is kind of the same thing) I always had more power. My opponents had to use their power doing their own thing, like getting out their GOOs. For turns 3 and 4, I ended up having 8 power left, and 6 for the next one. With that I was just flying Nigel around and capturing their Cultists. I won by turn 5 in the action phase. I pained two GOOs over the last two turns and took 2 elder signs for both.

Now i think this was a perfectly good game even though it was me doing it because they didnt realise from a 2nd play (or me from a 5th play really) that having 3 gates after the first turn was incredibly powerful. My turn 1 being unchallenged essentially gave me that victory.

HOWEVER this is possible with other factions. My 4th game I played the King and had 3 gates after turn 1 in that too. Turn 2 I got the King out and started desecrating. Turn 3 I got Hastor out. I was then using Hastor to hop around with his spellbook and was munching on yummy cultists. I didnt win this one though because of my unlucky elder sign token pulls. I had 12 of them by the end of the game 9ish were 1s, the others being 2s.

Even the Black Goat (nickname Bob) has his Avatar action to hop (swap) around the board moving single cultists to areas you want them in (for possible capture). He is slower though with needing to be somewhere first that is dangerous for the moved Cultist.

There are so many strategies I like it. But you really do need to get on top of CC early otherwise he just wins. You gotta keep his power down.
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Sandy Petersen
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I am delighted to see that some people feel that CC is overpowered, because I get a lot of mail about them being too weak.

I stand by my advice in the rulebook for defeating CC:

Reiterated here, I said:

Crawling Chaos Units are excellent at staving off weak raids, but less
effective against a major attack. Therefore take the gloves off and hit
him with everything -– as the Germans say, Klotzen, nicht Kleckern!

Nyarlathotep is terrifying, but if you do Kill him, it is a major
setback, and Crawling Chaos may take a whole turn to recover. His Cultists have no real defensive capability, unlike other players (Cthulhu has Devolve, Yellow Sign Passion, and Black Goat Frenzy), so they
are vulnerable.


Look at it this way - his cultists are actually pretty easy to capture with your Great Old One - he can't go after your Great Old One without using his own, since his monsters don't roll any combat dice worth mentioning.

Killing Nyarlathotep just once is a terrible fate for him, and even the dread Thousand Forms is unreliable at best. Yeah he gets extra Power from it, but he also has to SPEND extra Power - it costs him 10 Power just for two of his spellbooks, and a lot of his Thousand Form money gets taxed from him right there.

A typical game of Cthulhu Wars lasts 5 action phases (ending in the Doom phase of the 6th turn). Since the first two turns, he won't be able to use Thousand Forms, this means he will get its benefits exactly 3 times, for typically 9-12 points per game.

Compare with the other factions: Cthulhu gets extra points for Y'ha Nthlei though not as many as Crawling Chaos. On the other hand, his monsters actually pack some punch - they are certainly cheaper per combat dice rolled. And his Dreams ability means that CC has to space his monsters out around his gates - he can't just amass them.

Black Goat makes out like a bandit in Power. With Red Sign earning her Power, plus super-cheap monsters.

Yellow Sign should earn far more than 9-12 points with Desecrations, and most of his monsters are free. He's a very inexpensive faction to operate.

I think CC is a solid faction, but there are ways to disassemble his doom point machine.

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David Etherton
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I suppose if everybody complains every single faction is either overpowered or underpowered then you've done a great job balancing them

(I think some factions are definitely easier to play well, particularly against new players though, which is more a problem with me not knowing enough people who want to play CW as much as I do)

-Dave
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JH
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In the ten or so games I've played, I've seen everyone win at least twice. As far as I can tell no faction is over or underpowered. Not even Black Goat, which is tricky but handily wiped us all out in our last game guided by a player who had never won before.

I did basically everything the OP notes in my last game as CC — the second-round summon, good rolls with Thousand Forms (I even had an extra power so I could use Thousand Forms right away), a power surplus that let me capture a mess of cultists in sequence, etc. I managed to knock a strong-seeming Cthulhu down a few pegs. I was doing really well, I thought! I had most of my units out, lots of territory, and all my spellbooks before anyone else. I was second in points but not too far back.

Then all of us were overtaken by the slow-build and late explosion of Black Goat. She rapidly got to 26 points after a solid round with five spellbooks, then spent her one turn in the last round spreading to eight areas for her last one, revealed her elder signs and that was it! Never even got in a fight.
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David Etherton
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Sandy Petersen wrote:
A typical game of Cthulhu Wars lasts 5 action phases (ending in the Doom phase of the 6th turn). Since the first two turns, he won't be able to use Thousand Forms, this means he will get its benefits exactly 3 times, for typically 9-12 points per game.


In a lot of newbie games, everybody plays nice the first turn and just builds two gates. This gives CC enough surplus power to bring out Narly on the second turn and get off his first Thousand Forms.

In later games, I usually warn people to not build more than one gate their first turn since they're difficult to hold and it's far easier to take than to build. I ignored my own advice last game and had CC steal one of my gates. It's also enough for him to build one gate (at least 4p) and capture a cultist (not impossible with Flying).

So I suspect part of being an experienced player is preventing CC from starting with more than 10 power on their second turn!

-Dave
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David Etherton
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Huh... might be hard to stop CC from turn 2 Narly with High Priest in play.

Four power: move a cultist, build a gate
Three power: recruit high priest
One power left over for something, summon a Nightgaunt at the new gate maybe

Turn two: 10 power, sacrifice high priest, summon Narly, and you've qualified for two spell books. Hope for a high roll on thousand forms, either way you probably still have about 5 power left.

-Dave
 
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