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Subject: Some Suggested Changes for Tcho-Tchos rss

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Dave Mendiola
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Hey guys, so there have been concerns expressed about the Tcho-Tchos on this post: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1804326/tcho-tcho-dont-seem.... The Tcho-Tchos seem to be very resilient, to the point where multiple factions attacking them appears to have little effect.

So naturally, we nerds have offered suggestions to fix this. Those suggestions were interspersed throughout the post. I've decided to gather up the ones I like and post them here. If you have any others, post below and I'll add them here.

1. Remove the options for Tcho-Tchos starting with a High Priest.

2. One less Elder Sign currently with Tablets. So you Sac 3 High Priests, you get 2 Elder Signs. That does mean that Saccing with 1 gets you nothing.

3. Tablets grants Elder Signs based on the amount of areas with both High Priests and Controlled Gates (High Priests do not have to control them).

4. Sycophancy deals with Power rather than Doom Points.

5. Update a spellbook requirement to "Control 3 gates with High Priests at the very end of the Doom Phase". This prevents a use of Tablets for one Doom Phase, specifically when it would grant the most points.

6. Update "Any Great Old One is killed in battle" to "Any GOO is killed in a battle involving Ubbo Sathla."
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Michael McFarlin
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I personally like option number 3, but also saw the proposal to change their GOO dies in a battle spell book to add a requirement that Ubbo must be in the battle.
 
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Nick Szegedi
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Option 1 would be the easiest way to deal with any minor changes! (Would change starting strategies!)😉
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Andy Blozinski
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I would start with 1,3, & 6 as a starting point and then consider if more needed to be done.
 
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Aaron K
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I ran a game with #1 last night. Even with a combined effort, TT won the six player game. It didn't seem to hold them back much at all.

Option #2 feels clunker than some other for some reason.

Option #3 would have been 2-3 less ESs, which would have put them closer to where second place was (8 points behind).

Option #4 I am not sure about. It would change how they feel.

Option #5 would have meant one less ritual and WW would have likely won.

Option #6 would not have changed anything much since they were trying to suicide Ubbo.

I might try out some of the above in my next game. Thanks!
 
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Jack Swan
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I think any changes should focus on two things:
- Tcho Tcho should not force all other players to focus on them
- Tcho Tcho should be required to change tactics depending on their opponents, not just turtle and collect Elder Signs by recycling their High Priests, like some kind of multiplayer solitaire variant. Right now there doesn't seem to be a single need to explore or spread out.

I would start by nerfing Hierophants to one Elder Sign per High Priest at DISTINCT Controlled Gates (requiring them to get at least three Gates for maximum ES).
Or, quite the opposite, one Elder Sign for each High Priest at ONE specific Controlled Gate (requiring them to gamble with their High Priests a bit more).
Or even: requiring the High Priests to be at an Enemy Controlled Gate. Now that's what I'd call devotion!
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Evan Carroll
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I played two games with Tcho-Tcho last night using the No Starting HP rule; both games TT was piloted by new players; both times they won with little effort. A suggestion that was tossed around was the Hierophants only goes off once per Phase, either Doom or Action. It seemed to be that the main first turn combo (incredibly easy to pick up) along with the free High Priests clustering in turn two and three granted a metric ton of Doom very quickly. They usually take such a lead by the second Doom Phase that even when the rest of the board turns on them, it's too late. You have to change your entire game plan, from the first turn, to compensate for them. In game one, thanks to some lucky ES draws, TT had 27 Doom before everyone else even had the 15 needed to give them their last spellbook - and the reason no one had the Doom was because they were focusing on attacking TT. Granted, good luck in draws and bad luck with dice helped that win, but it was still pretty lop-sided. I'll experiment with some of the things on this list (capping Tablets to two sounds good) and see where that goes.
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Aaron K
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Pr0xyWarrior wrote:
I played two games with Tcho-Tcho last night using the No Starting HP rule; both games TT was piloted by new players; both times they won with little effort. A suggestion that was tossed around was the Hierophants only goes off once per Phase, either Doom or Action. It seemed to be that the main first turn combo (incredibly easy to pick up) along with the free High Priests clustering in turn two and three granted a metric ton of Doom very quickly. They usually take such a lead by the second Doom Phase that even when the rest of the board turns on them, it's too late. You have to change your entire game plan, from the first turn, to compensate for them. In game one, thanks to some lucky ES draws, TT had 27 Doom before everyone else even had the 15 needed to give them their last spellbook - and the reason no one had the Doom was because they were focusing on attacking TT. Granted, good luck in draws and bad luck with dice helped that win, but it was still pretty lop-sided. I'll experiment with some of the things on this list (capping Tablets to two sounds good) and see where that goes.
Interesting suggestion. You could flip over the book and flip it back over in doom phase - or at end of doom phase if needing it to be even more of a nerf.
 
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Peter Bowie
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I like 6, since it seems more like a nerf to Cthulhu than anything, as written. 1 maybe, since it is a bit odd they get a straight buff. Maybe if they had to remove 2 regular Cultists instead of 1?

But I've not actually had an issue with Tcho-Tcho. They ramp up fast, but have poor power/gate economy. After a Tablet round, wait 'til they run out of power, capture the Cultist at their gate and plop yours there instead. Alternatively, any decent attacking force (like Nyarla + Hunting Horrors or a Cthulhu army after submerging) can push out their area at once.
 
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Dave Mendiola
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C3Gaming wrote:
I like 6, since it seems more like a nerf to Cthulhu than anything, as written. 1 maybe, since it is a bit odd they get a straight buff. Maybe if they had to remove 2 regular Cultists instead of 1?

But I've not actually had an issue with Tcho-Tcho. They ramp up fast, but have poor power/gate economy. After a Tablet round, wait 'til they run out of power, capture the Cultist at their gate and plop yours there instead. Alternatively, any decent attacking force (like Nyarla + Hunting Horrors or a Cthulhu army after submerging) can push out their area at once.


How are they running out of power before others? They don't have much to spend their power on.
 
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Aaron K
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Afrofrycook wrote:
C3Gaming wrote:
I like 6, since it seems more like a nerf to Cthulhu than anything, as written. 1 maybe, since it is a bit odd they get a straight buff. Maybe if they had to remove 2 regular Cultists instead of 1?

But I've not actually had an issue with Tcho-Tcho. They ramp up fast, but have poor power/gate economy. After a Tablet round, wait 'til they run out of power, capture the Cultist at their gate and plop yours there instead. Alternatively, any decent attacking force (like Nyarla + Hunting Horrors or a Cthulhu army after submerging) can push out their area at once.


How are they running out of power before others? They don't have much to spend their power on.
I would think the issue is being caused by ritualling when others don't.
 
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Geoff Vogel
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A variant on #1: EVERYONE starts with a HP in play, normal version only. Not quite sure what the extra power would do.

Honestly though, I'm not a fan of either version of #1, but I'm passing it along. My concern is that groups without HPS won't be able to balance TT. On the other hand, I don't like the idea of forcing groups to use HPs because someone chose TT.

I think the Tablets idea might work. A TT player can always sac a lone HP to reduce the ritual cost if needed.

#6 just seems like a good idea period. Or possibly change it to "Either a GOO dies in a fight with another one OR US dies" That way people can't block TT simply by having their GOO run from them.
 
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Dave Mendiola
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So we demoed some of these changes (1 and 3)and it still doesn't look like we've solved the Tcho-Tcho problem. The change to require areas with controlled gates and High Priests didn't seem to impede the amount of points gained by the Tcho-Tchos. Despite having only 2 gates the entire game, the Tcho-Tchos were able to solidly win, despite other players having 3-4 gates throughout the game.

Couple of things.

1. Sycophancy seems really strong with high player counts, as people in the back will give their points to the Tcho-Tcho faction more than those who are in the lead. This has twice given the game to the Tcho-Tchos.

2. The change we made seems to slow down the acquisition of points rather than hamper them.

3. To be fair, in this game, Sleeper ritualed the first round, which got the Tcho-Tcho engine running.

4. The Tcho-Tcho player said he enjoyed the change to the faction. Instead of simply turtling in a spot, he had to branch out a bit.

At this point, I feel that Sycophancy giving the Tcho-Tchos doom points is too powerful in larger player count games, when you're playing with players who aren't experts. I would suggest it simply decrease the points they get, rather than giving them the choice.
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Peter Bowie
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Afrofrycook wrote:
How are they running out of power before others? They don't have much to spend their power on.


They typically cap at around 13 starting power, and most of the worthwhile actions cost 2 or more (summoning a monster/high priest). Especially after a ritual, they'll run out of power quick, then get hammered by the other factions.
 
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Douglas Buel
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Afrofrycook wrote:

3. To be fair, in this game, Sleeper ritualed the first round, which got the Tcho-Tcho engine running.

Then I cannot take this seriously
 
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Aaron K
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dbuel wrote:
Afrofrycook wrote:

3. To be fair, in this game, Sleeper ritualed the first round, which got the Tcho-Tcho engine running.

Then I cannot take this seriously
This is not an outlandish strategy for Sleeper. It is actually pretty effective on Dreamlands.
 
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Curtis Fullom
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My playgroup has fallen apart over the last few weeks, so I haven't had a chance to test the solution I was considering for the Tcho-Tcho. Nonetheless, in theory I like it better than any of those yet proposed on this thread, so I'll toss it out:

Tcho-Tcho Changes:

1. No Starting HP
2. Tablets of the Gods (Doom phase):When you perform a Ritual of Annihilation, you also receive 1 additional Elder Sign for each of your High Priests in play. Then, Eliminate those High Priests. Finally, remove one High Priest in your pool from the game permanently. This is not optional.

This modification seems to help everything at once: it preserves the Tcho-Tcho feeling of extreme early strength while making them more effectively fall off later, is a significant indirect nerf to Martyrdom, it forces the Tcho-Tcho to spread out to more gates (either earlier or later), rely more on the Proto-Shoggoths for protection, and lowers their total doom point potential... but now that I'm actually typing it it, I wonder if it would actually solve anything.

Let's suppose Tcho-Tcho get their ideal game, so:

Round 1: Get a second gate and high priest. Gather to 11 power. During Doom Phase summon Ubbo using HP. Grab Hierophants to get HP back. Doom total: 2

Round 2: Sac HP to reach 13 power, remove starting gate and rebuild it, taking Tablets. Recruit 2 more HP to have three. Leverage Ubbo to take a third gate. Gather to 15 Power. During Doom Phase, Ritual at cost 5 with Tablets. Get back both remaining HP's for two additional spellbooks. Doom total: 8 + 4ES.

Round 3: Start with 10 power. Get some Proto-Shoggoths to defend yourself. With luck, some GOO dies somewhere (so TT sees it coming and sacs a HP). Reach the Doom Phase with the same 3 gates. Gather to 14 power, then ritual for 6. Someone else rituals and gives you a doom point. Doom total: 15 + 7ES. During this doom phase, someone else reaches 15 doom, so you receive your last spellbook and your remaining HP for free. Game ends if TT draws enough 3's, but that's fairly unlikely.

Round 4: Start with 8 Power. Turtle in on 2 gates again and do nothing, like TT always does. Reach Doom Phase unaccosted. Gather to 11 power, then ritual for 8. Doom total: 19 + 9ES. Almost certainly win.

Of course, this version of Tcho-Tcho is very weak indeed in round four, but if no one feels like fighting them they still win on the fourth doom phase. Oh well, this is what playtests are for.

In any case, I feel like there is also a thematic argument to be made for this change. I have never liked the idea of a human faction: it seems wrong to presume that any human population would be able to impact things in the scenario of Cthulhu Wars. There's a sense of scale which needs to be respected. Ubbo-Sathla's lore, meanwhile, is that it will eventually grow and consume all the life on earth. This diminishing of the Tcho-Tcho's forces as their “slave” GOO gets too powerful to control appeals to me.

Oh, and I've had this sitting around since before OS3 began, so the Yothan's design did not influence it. Now that another faction has units disappearing, it's slightly less attractive as a solution since it would not be entirely unique, but I still like it.
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JH
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Talae wrote:
This is not an outlandish strategy for Sleeper.

Yep. Half of Sleeper's spellbooks are expensive enough that Ritualing for one hardly hurts more, and it's better to do it before the cost goes up. Plus this way doesn't help other players the way the rest of them do (except TT).
 
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