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Cthulhu Wars» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Assorted Games from a new Group rss

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Quentin Bohn
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The wife splurged on this game for us for my birthday, knowing I had been eyeballing it a while and our local game shop had most of the expansions for it. So, despite all the neutral monsters, we have stuck to mostly base factions, plus Sleeper, plus Opener, and High Priests. The Tchos and WW are in the mail, so no experience with them yet...

Anyhow, we have knocked down around 9 games. My wife and I have each managed to play all six of our factions and now that we actually know all the rules correctly (we goofed a few on movement and unlimited battle), we have the following opinions of the factions we have played:

Cthulhu-
If he gets rolling, man is he a beast. But he is so easy to disrupt, especially if Opener keeps swiping his home gate (my wife kept doing this to me). Seems to be much better with neutral GOO as an option. He has won two games, but one of those was early in the learning period and the other was our most recent five player.

Sleeper-
So damn fun to play but its easy to get stuck not knowing what to do next, especially if a lot of combat factions are in the mix. This is probably my second favorite to play and it did consistently well in our games, with my wife winning once with them.

Black Goat-
Probably my favorite to play, because they are deceptively simple with some neat tricks. They have won the most in our group, including one of the most massive comeback wins we have seen. When they have lost, they have always lost big, though.

Yellow Sign-
A lot of fun, but holy hell if people jump on you early you are boned for the rest of the game. They have won once in a runaway, but been curb stomped every other game they have been used.

Crawling Chaos-
These guys are fun, but always seem to come in second place. People seem to run into power issues with them and struggle if Nyarly gets sniped early on. They have always come in 2nd or 3rd in our games so far.

Opener-
Pretty much the same performance as CC, but I chalk that up to them being so complex to use and our group being new to the game. Like CC, they generally seem to be the second place guy in our games, but looking at the map expansions I just got, I think they are going to get a small bump when we start trying those maps out.

As a fan of Mr Petersons work on the RPG and of Chaos in the Old World, I knew I was going to like this game. What I did not expect was how much I would and how balanced all of these completely different factions are. It also is a pretty quick game if people are familiar with it, with 5 player games being one hour affairs in our group so far.

The game is also great as a social affair, since turns go fast and a certain amount of table negotiation is essential to the strategy. Most importantly, even people in last place were having fun when playing this game, which is the highest compliment I can give any game.

Anyhow, this is sessions and not reviews, so here is the general breakdown (from memory) for those keeping statistics. Games are listed with their factions ordered by victory standing at the end:

Game 1- Black Goat, Crawling Chaos, Cthulhu (T5 Ritual End)
Game 2- Black Goat, Opener, Sleeper (T5 Doom Track End)
Game 3- Sleeper, Crawling Chaos, Opener, Black Goat, King (T5 Ritual End)
Game 4- Cthulhu, Crawling Chaos, Opener, Black Goat (T4 Doom Track End)
Game 5- King in Yellow, Crawling Chaos, Black Goat (T5 Doom Track End)
Game 6- Black Goat, Opener, Cthulhu (T6 Doom Track End)
Game 7- King in Yellow, Opener, Cthulhu (T4 Doom Track End)
Game 8- Sleeper, Crawling Chaos, Black Goat (T5 Humanity Won)
Game 9- Cthulhu, Opener, Crawling Chaos, Sleeper, Black Goat (T4 Doom Track End)

Looking forward to more!
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Adam Starks
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Thanks for the reports!

Any given faction has threads saying it's overpowered and looking for tips to stop it, as well as threads saying it struggles and looking for tips to help it. I'd suggest crawling through the Strategy section, that way Crawling Chaos can get some notches with your group

There's a widely used session tracker here (almost 500 entries as of right now): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mLdwPs2CnQEmHCxz5HLW...

I went ahead and added your 9 games starting at row 496 of the Sessions tab. Feel free to fill out extra data (Time, Notes, etc), and please add any future games you play
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Dave Mendiola
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Make sure as Crawling Chaos you're making use of Harbinger. 2 Elder Signs is a fantastic deal for paining or killing a enemy GOO.
 
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David Chapman
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Oh, alright - except for Codenames
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AdamStarks wrote:
Thanks for the reports!

Any given faction has threads saying it's overpowered and looking for tips to stop it, as well as threads saying it struggles and looking for tips to help it. I'd suggest crawling through the Strategy section, that way Crawling Chaos can get some notches with your group

There's a widely used session tracker here (almost 500 entries as of right now): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mLdwPs2CnQEmHCxz5HLW...

I went ahead and added your 9 games starting at row 496 of the Sessions tab. Feel free to fill out extra data (Time, Notes, etc), and please add any future games you play


And that's only the second win for Humanity, right?
 
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Quentin Bohn
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Slight update:

Been playing this a ton for months now (too many games to track) with a couple different groups. Some observations on the factions based on our now expanded experience of many (mostly 4 person, but some 5 person) games since my last update:

Great Cthulhu-
Game is definitely winnable with him, as long as he does not have to go one on one against the Tchos or Openner does not swipe his home gate early. Biggest issues with him are that his strategies are fairly limited, and thus predictable. When he has won in our games, its been because he has been reckless and died intentionally to generate more Elder Signs, so maybe that's the key to him.

Black Goat-
Still the same opinion: Easy to learn, hard to master, but fun to play. I think this is the faction others should be balanced around, especially since there are so many openings for this faction.

Crawling Chaos-
Over time, this has become one of the more dominant factions in terms of winning in our group. Once people started adapting to using Nyarlies ability and sometimes using it as a source of power to buy the last books, the win percentage shot way up. I would almost go as far as to say CC is too good, if either WW or Sleeper are in play (with Demand in play), because they can rack up Elder Signs faster than even a runaway YS player.

Yellow Sign-
Love this faction, but our group pretty much goes out of its way to snipe the King early, so its hard to win in our group with him. In games with more slow developing factions in play, you can do the Hastur and pals crawl, though, so we think this faction is like BG and right where it needs to be, balance wise.

Opener of the Way-
Great fun faction with lots of ways to win. Biggest problem is in large games he can ruin the entire game for Cthulhu by swiping his gate early. Opener probably changes in strength the most radically by the number of players or specific faction being used than any other faction, which is a good feature, imo.

Sleeper-
Maybe we are not playing him well, but this has sort of become the weakest faction to our group. He just has too much to accomplish with very little power to do it. The biggest issue we seem to have is he seems about a turn behind most factions, mostly because nearly half of his abilities revolve around having Sleeper on the table, which interferes with trying to be economical with the free monster ability. Demand also causes huge problems if CC is being played, since it is not optional as written for the Sleeper, making him the sole and ideal target for all of CCs Elder Sign gaining tactics. He kind of also has the opposite problem of Cthulhu in that there are too many things to do with him, so its easy to loose focus. If I were to try to fix the faction, I would change the faction power with the option to provide a monster that already exists in play and make Demand optional for Sleeper.

Wind Walker-
This faction is definitely a little above average, but as our group got more experience his winning percentage dropped to that of most other factions. CC hard counters him pretty well and the Sleeper imitating his hibernation ability makes it nearly useless. You can also control him by simply timing when everyone gets their book six, thus preventing him from winning until you are ready to stop him which also prevents him from just outright beating face. Howl working in a fight with a Great Old one is where it jumps the shark a bit, but that is made up for by his inability to strike at remote enemies.

Tcho-Tchos-
Even with the nerfs to the books, we found this faction to be too good and simply boring to play with or against. We took a suggestion from this board and changed the faction ability to provide power, instead of doom, and it made a massive difference in both balance and how much Tcho can get away with pure turtling. Its still a top performer, but not a runaway that forces everyone to gang up on it or lose.

Purely Anecdotal, but our win percentages have basically put our factions in these brackets (and weakest to strongest within these bands):

Lower Tier Factions: Sleeper, Cthulhu
Mid Tier Factions: Yellow Sign, Opener, Black Goat
Top Tier Factions: Wind Walker, Tcho-Tcho, Crawling Chaos

Bear in mind that even this is a minor deviation in ability to win, with perhaps only Sleeper truly not being where it should be.

We have also used the alternate maps and neutral monsters/Old Ones in our games here and there, and find that it does not upset the apple cart too much. YS and Cthulhu seem to get a little better with neutrals in play and the Primordial Earth Map seems to hamper Opener a bit, but that's about it. We do use the HP expansion every single game, which might be negatively affecting Sleeper (and bumping WW a tad), but everyone likes having the option to bank power.

Overall, its been several months and our group cannot get enough of this game. I probably lose the most and I enjoy it more than anyone. That is the mark of a great game.
 
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Quentin Bohn
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PS- Humanity won again in our group, but that was due to a runaway Opener player cresting 30 before anyone had their books done.
 
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Adam Starks
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Quick note: all Spellbooks and Abilities are optional, unless otherwise stated, so Sleeper can already choose not to use Demand Sacrifice if he's trying to deny Crawling Chaos the extra Elder Signs.
 
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Sam
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Would be interested to hear your thoughts on Cthulhu strategies - my group still struggles to win with him.

Also, with Tcho-Tchos, do you use both the nerfed books AND the power-for-doom swap, or do you only use the latter?
 
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Guillaume Andriot
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Phazael wrote:

Sleeper-
Maybe we are not playing him well, but this has sort of become the weakest faction to our group. He just has too much to accomplish with very little power to do it. The biggest issue we seem to have is he seems about a turn behind most factions, mostly because nearly half of his abilities revolve around having Sleeper on the table, which interferes with trying to be economical with the free monster ability. Demand also causes huge problems if CC is being played, since it is not optional as written for the Sleeper, making him the sole and ideal target for all of CCs Elder Sign gaining tactics. He kind of also has the opposite problem of Cthulhu in that there are too many things to do with him, so its easy to loose focus. If I were to try to fix the faction, I would change the faction power with the option to provide a monster that already exists in play and make Demand optional for Sleeper.


One thing I didn't realize early with Sleeper is how strong Energy Nexus is. Especially combined with Burrow. Tsathoguaa should never go anywhere without a sorcerer at his side. Many player won't even bother attacking you once you explain to them how it works.

On the other hand, I find I rarely use Capture Monster. It sound really cool on paper, but it will draw a lot of aggro from the other players and Sleeper really does not want that. He thrive on looking non-threatening and being forgotten. Capture Monster is nice if you are allready in a good position and have a lot of unspent power near the end of the action phase, but its not a core grimoire that you should get early in most games.
 
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