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Subject: Alternate Thousand Forms rss

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Kolby Reddish
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First of all, let me clarify that I think the balance in this game is outstanding. I think Sandy and Co. have worked themselves to the bone balancing the game, and think it is very balanced. I have won with every faction, so I really think that any problems that take place with the game are group-think driven.

However, I've seen a trend in the last 10 games or so that I've played. Crawling Chaos, due to it's flexible movement for cheap, is often able to take vulnerable gates for very cheap. I've seen multiple times where Crawling Chaos has a power advantage, and with new players, they often don't realize how quickly Crawling Chaos can snowball.

One of the easiest ways that Crawling Chaos can snowball is with "The Thousand Forms" spellbook. For those who don't know, Thousand Forms allows for Crawling Chaos to roll a D6, then the other players must collectively lose that much power, or Crawling Chaos gains that much power.

When Crawling Chaos uses this power at the end of the round, if other players can't choose to lose that much power, because they don't have it, he gains it automatically.

Now with all that preamble out of the way:
I don't like this for several reasons.
1. It contributes to Crawling Chaos being able to snowball more and more if he ever gets a power advantage due to having more power than anyone else and being able to automatically gain power at the end of the round. Experienced players know how to stop this, new people, not so much.
2. Automatically gaining the power is not only more powerful than when the other players can pay to counteract the effects, it's less interesting. I love the metagame that skills like the Thousand Forms introduce, but when Crawling Chaos can automatically gain power by waiting until other players can't pay, this element is removed.
3. I also love that with skills like "Dread Curse of Azathoth" or "Ghroth" the player has to forfeit some of their defenses, by spreading out, to use them effectively. Ghroth will fail even 1/3 of the time with the maximum planning involved. Dread Curse can also end up being worthless if it fails. There is no element with this in Thousand Forms which is fine, but my variant would introduce one.
4. I also love that during the game, there is strong tension in WHEN to use certain skills or abilities. Take for instance, Black Goats spell book requirements to spread out. You usually don't want to do this early because it puts you at risk, but you NEED to do so to get your spell books which will help you to win. There is tension between what you want to do and the timing of whether or not you can get away with it. My variant would also introduce this element to Thousand Forms.

Enough to-do, but as a future lawyer, I'm overly verbose and have to justify the way I think cool

I would introduce text at the end of "The Thousand Forms" that if all other players cannot pay for the roll of the D6, the spell fails and Nyarly gains nothing.

I believe this would curb Nyarly just slightly, but introduce a lot more interesting choices as highlighted above. I've seen Crawling Chaos win 7 of the last 10 games, and any game not won by Crawling Chaos was won by me (I've played much more than anyone I play with.) I've also only played Crawling Chaos twice at this point, so it wasn't just me beating up on new people. I don't think Crawling Chaos is overpowered and needs a nerd, but I don't really view this as much of a nerf. It would require CC to use 1000 forms earlier in the round if it wants a guaranteed success, but it also introduces a lot of positives to the overall game and interesting tradeoffs for using this spell book.

This post has gotten entirely too long, but hopefully my thoughts are clear. We're going to be playing with this new variant for a few rounds and see how it works. I'd be interested in other people's thoughts and to hear if anyone will playtest/give some feedback.
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Dave Mendiola
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Honestly, I haven't seen the same thing you have. In the games I've played, Crawling Chaos has the same win percentage as everyone else.

One of the things you're not really mentioning is that the dice roll can be either 1 to 6, which means it varies so much, it becomes seriously powerful or insufferably weak. That unpredictability is a mark against it, when considering how it compares to the other factions.

Remember that Crawling Chaos has to spend 10 power in total on spellbooks, along with the 10 to summon your Great Old One. He literally won't be able to compete if he doesn't have this ability.

And this would most assuredly be a nerf.
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Kolby Reddish
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I'll repeat again, as I did in the other thread. I've probably played and watched more Cthulhu Wars games than most others because of modding the PBF games and running the game nonstop at SaltCon.

These aren't ideas born of inexperience. I don't see them making that much of a change. If you don't like them, that's fine. I'd like to see a few people try it if they think it's a good idea.
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T C
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It seems like it would just be easier to give the inexperienced players Crawling Chaos to play than to change the rules to make it easier for new players to counter an experienced Crawling Chaos player's advantage.

But of course none of us have to agree and we can all play with whatever rules we want.

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Eric Nolan
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An inexperienced player may not wait until the end to use thousand forms though. Doing this is almost always the best idea but I don't think people initially realise this. When my group starting doing this CC became a lot more effective and now it is rare for anyone to use the power book before the turn is nearly done.

At the moment, in my games at least, this spell book may as well read "Gain 1d6 power". Whether this needs to be adjusted is open for debate though. Personally I am not convinced that is over powered. It does seem less interesting when used this way. However the way it currently is written is relatively complicated and I'd be reluctant to make it even more so.

I'll mention this variant to my players and see what they think. If we become increasingly frustrated with CC getting +1d6 power every turn we may try it.
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T C
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Hivemind wrote:
An inexperienced player may not wait until the end to use thousand forms though. Doing this is almost always the best idea but I don't think people initially realise this. When my group starting doing this CC became a lot more effective and now it is rare for anyone to use the power book before the turn is nearly done.


Sure, but if an inexperienced player doesn't wait to use it until the end, then the proposed change wouldn't have mattered anyway. It just seems like the proposal is directed at protecting a new player who isn't playing Crawling Chaos. Why not just tell the new player what needs to be done to counter the situation? Sure they might ignore you, but the won't lose due to ignorance of what might happen.

Hivemind wrote:
At the moment, in my games at least, this spell book may as well read "Gain 1d6 power". Whether this needs to be adjusted is open for debate though. Personally I am not convinced that is over powered. It does seem less interesting when used this way. However the way it currently is written is relatively complicated and I'd be reluctant to make it even more so.

I'll mention this variant to my players and see what they think. If we become increasingly frustrated with CC getting +1d6 power every turn we may try it.


Is CC winning significantly more games regardless of who is controlling them when playing with a group of experienced players of roughly equal skill? If they aren't winning more games than they "should", then just being frustrated by the spell book doesn't matter much to the out come. Also consider the variance of the power from game to game. A game where they roll 6's for 3 turns in a row is probably going to be "over powered". A game where they roll 1's for 3 turns in a row probably results in them losing. There are quite a few powers in the game that have heavy swings to them. Over many games they balance out, but in any single game with some luck they can turn out to be over powered, and those are the ones that tend to stick out in players minds.

That being said, a compromise "nerf" might be to say that if the other players are out of power, CC gets half whatever they roll rounded up rather than nothing.
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Michael Dursch
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Interesting variant, I'd probably not mind playing this with newer players. I remember getting steam rolled by CC my first few games not knowing how to combat him.
 
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Sandy Petersen
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I kind of like having Nyarlathotep have the option of waiting till the end, but I understand where Kolby is coming from. sauron
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Benjamin S.
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Having it more predictable would be nice. 1-6 is such a huge range. One additional power makes barely a difference, while 6 means that you can steal 2 gates and abduct 2 cultists giving +2/4 VP and +6 power next turn.

Example:

Action: 1 Power
Roll 1d6
1-2 = all other players lose 1 power
3-4 = all other players lose 1 power and you gain 2 power
5-6 = all other players lose 1 power and you gain 3 power
 
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Adam Starks
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Here's an easy way to smooth it out without futzing with the averages: roll 3 times, and take the median (i.e. 1,2,3 gets them 2 power, 4,4,6 gets them 4, etc).

It'll make the extreme results (1 and 6) a lot less common, and the average results (3 and 4) a lot more common.
 
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Bernard Gourion
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Among all the variants, above i prefer the Kolby's one but in fact, i also prefer the initial rule : CW has a lot of very powerful asymetric powers. For example, powers of Opener or powers of the Windwalker are just terrific.

In fact, if i have a faction to change/improve, it should be IMO Cthulhu himself, because i find it quite hard to play as he has not necessarily huge special ability you can rely one... I already won with cthulhu but he's not a frontrunner...

 
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Arthur Petersen
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bengougou75 wrote:
Among all the variants, above i prefer the Kolby's one but in fact, i also prefer the initial rule : CW has a lot of very powerful asymetric powers. For example, powers of Opener or powers of the Windwalker are just terrific.

In fact, if i have a faction to change/improve, it should be IMO Cthulhu himself, because i find it quite hard to play as he has not necessarily huge special ability you can rely one... I already won with cthulhu but he's not a frontrunner...



You all should know what a cheerleader I am for CW. However, one problem is that Cthulhu works MUCH better when you include Indies. Of course, for me, no problem. I prefer indie GOOs in virtually every game, no matter the map or anything else in play. But, not everyone will have that option all the time. And, Cthulhu is greatly strengthened by having indie GOOs, due to his faction ability.

 
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Kolby Reddish
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I get that, but the base game should be balanced on it's own. I think that it actually is, but people who don't, won't like hearing, "Just buy the Indie GOOs."
 
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Bernard Gourion
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existoid wrote:
bengougou75 wrote:
Among all the variants, above i prefer the Kolby's one but in fact, i also prefer the initial rule : CW has a lot of very powerful asymetric powers. For example, powers of Opener or powers of the Windwalker are just terrific.

In fact, if i have a faction to change/improve, it should be IMO Cthulhu himself, because i find it quite hard to play as he has not necessarily huge special ability you can rely one... I already won with cthulhu but he's not a frontrunner...



You all should know what a cheerleader I am for CW. However, one problem is that Cthulhu works MUCH better when you include Indies. Of course, for me, no problem. I prefer indie GOOs in virtually every game, no matter the map or anything else in play. But, not everyone will have that option all the time. And, Cthulhu is greatly strengthened by having indie GOOs, due to his faction ability.



As like other pledgers, i haven't the indies, i haven't played with them but at first glance, if you add 5-10 units and indies spellbooks, it will complexify immediately the choice of every player. On one side, more choice is good for the richness of the gameplay as it will enhance life's duration of the game and provides also a good curb of progression, on the other side, it enhances seriously the entry cost of the game and moreover thematically speaking, it's not so cool (Slave market effect where you buy your slave's GOO, monsters, etc.): i do prefer introduce GOO with some event cards. If event cards are well designed, it could be thematically much more satisfying.

For cthulhu, effectively, it could help him to have indie GOO but then you can simply decide that Hydra Or Dagon can be recruited only by Cthulhu Faction and the problem could be solved (i.e. get a stronger Cthulhu faction). The side effect of indie gOO is that other factions can also recruit indies so it doesn't help Cthulhu so much.
 
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