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Subject: Dealing with Opener's opening rss

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Gary Bradley
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It has become tradition in my group, it seems, that Opener will pick his starting area to be right next door to one of the other factions. Ideally Cthulhu. His opening then becomes....Summon Abomination. Now if unchecked in the very next action, this Abom will walk into enemy territory and steal the home Gate. If this is Cthulhu's home Gate, that's probably game over for GC?

Do people consider this fair? Am I missing something? I mean what is the best response here? The moment that Opener summons an Abom, his immediate neighbours MUST immediately summon a Monster. When the Abom comes knocking they MUST immediately declare combat. And unless they kill that Abom, they will lose their Gate, either right then or very soon.

OK so a forced response from the opponent is fair enough, every faction can do that, and it is very much part of Opener's "thing", to force responses. But in general, every other faction cannot force a response *UNTIL* they actually march a Monster into their target's home gate area; and this is a very dangerous play for the aggressor as he can easily lose his Monster (since it has no meat shields), plus the power he spent moving it there. But for Opener it's very different; he forces the response the moment he summons a 3-point Monster. Furthermore, let's look at the possible outcomes of this forced response...

a) If the defender manages to roll a kill, he is saved for now....until the next Abom comes waltzing in. This is the best possible outcome for the defender and it is still not great.

b) If the Defender rolls a pain, the Abom will be right back next turn. And repeatedly thereafter until he finally gets the Gate.

c) If the Defender misses, the Gate is gone with no repercussion that I can see. This is devastating, especially for Cthulhu.

To make matters worse, in all 3 scenarios, there is also a 1/3 chance the Defender will lose a cultist as well, to add insult to injury.

Anyone see this as somewhat OP? For one thing, RNG is immediately deciding whether one player is immediately crippled or not. And for another the entire strat is low risk for Opener - for one thing he is not spending any power declaring combat, he is forcing the opponent to do it. For another, he wants a unit killed anyway, so it's win-win??

How would you deal with Opener making that sort of opening against you?
 
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Niko
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GaryB wrote:
It has become tradition in my group, it seems, that Opener will pick his starting area to be right next door to one of the other factions. Ideally Cthulhu. His opening then becomes....Summon Abomination. Now if unchecked in the very next action, this Abom will walk into enemy territory and steal the home Gate. If this is Cthulhu's home Gate, that's probably game over for GC?

Do people consider this fair? Am I missing something? I mean what is the best response here? The moment that Opener summons an Abom, his immediate neighbours MUST immediately summon a Monster. When the Abom comes knocking they MUST immediately declare combat. And unless they kill that Abom, they will lose their Gate, either right then or very soon.

OK so a forced response from the opponent is fair enough, every faction can do that, and it is very much part of Opener's "thing", to force responses. But in general, every other faction cannot force a response *UNTIL* they actually march a Monster into their target's home gate area; and this is a very dangerous play for the aggressor as he can easily lose his Monster (since it has no meat shields), plus the power he spent moving it there. But for Opener it's very different; he forces the response the moment he summons a 3-point Monster. Furthermore, let's look at the possible outcomes of this forced response...

a) If the defender manages to roll a kill, he is saved for now....until the next Abom comes waltzing in. This is the best possible outcome for the defender and it is still not great.

b) If the Defender rolls a pain, the Abom will be right back next turn. And repeatedly thereafter until he finally gets the Gate.

c) If the Defender misses, the Gate is gone with no repercussion that I can see. This is devastating, especially for Cthulhu.

Anyone see this as somewhat OP? For one thing, RNG is immediately deciding whether one player is immediately crippled or not. And for another the entire strat is low risk for Opener - for one thing he is not spending any power declaring combat, he is forcing the opponent to do it. For another, he wants a unit killed anyway, so it's win-win??

How would you deal with Opener making that sort of opening against you?
Why isn't the player who controls the gate simply summoning a monster after the gate is moved? Sure, Opener can simply move the gate again, but the other player can summon another monster, and so on and so forth. In that case I'd simply remind Opener that they are trading power while all other players are advancing their positions, i.e. both Opener and their target fall behind the curve and will have a hard time in the second round.

Some factions are indeed hit harder by having their starting gate moved, namely Cthulhu and Tcho Tcho, but I'd hardly call it game over;
Cthulhu has a lot of cost 1 monsters so he can probably keep going the longest with the move/summon game and while it will be a setback to have a single player relentlessly pick on you (it always is, no matter which factions involved) Cthulhu will likely still go into round 2 with two gates by placing a new gate in the starting area and holding on to the moved one.
TT will not have as much stamina in the move/summon exchange due to lack of cheap monsters, but they have the option to simply blow the gate when the abomination walks in. Not ideal, but I don't see it as a smart move for Opener to set themselves back only to force TT into a bad position.

EDIT: Lastly, you call it no risk for Opener, but they are expending 6 power to gain a single gate (3 summon, 1 move, 1 move gate, 1 capture, 1 move cultist to gate) plus 1 power for every time the defending player summons a monster after the gate is moved. Sure, they also cost one opponent a gate, but remember that opener wants gates build and if they just build their own gate it would be cheaper and advance those spell book requirements.

In short, it doesn't suck as much as you think it does and it really is not that good of a move for Opener.
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Adam Starks
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In this particular case, I would wait for Opener to move the gate and then simply build a replacement (after summoning a Monster to defend against the Abomination in the new area, of course). If he insists on Beyond-One-ing around to force you to bring out Monsters, then he's just engaging in tit-for-tat, which is poor tactics for everyone. Point out that he's wasting power and accomplishing nothing. Unless his explicit goal is just to be a dick, he should stop.

More broadly, super-punishing another faction early is poor tactics. You're making an enemy for the rest of the game, and messing up the ecosystem in a way that is unlikely to favor you. For instance, when Yellow Sign or Windwalker or Black Goat are running away with the game, Opener will wish Cthulhu was in a position to fulfill his predatory role. Instead, Cthulhu will be using their meager resources to wage a small revenge-war.
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Bob Boberson
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I think I don't understand... why couldn't GC in this scenario wait until Opener actually moves an abom in and then summon a shoggoth or starspawn? I also don't understand why the action of Opener summoning a monster (but not yet moving it) would require that GC immediately summon a monster.

Edit: Oh, Beyond One.
 
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Ville Mankinen
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To sum up what has been said above, here's the breakdown on what Cthulhu should do if Opener starts next to him:

GC: -1P to move a cultist to another ocean area as usual (down to 7P)
OW: -3P to summon Abomination (down to 5P)
GC: -1P to summon Shoggoth (down to 5P)
OW: -1P to move Abomination to R'lyeh (down to 4P)
GC: -1P to move another cultist to an ocean area, possibly to the same area as previously (down to 4P)

Now, if Opener starts using Beyond One to move the gate, Cthulhu just summons a Deep One in the new location every time. If this continues until the turn ends, both have wasted their turn, but Cthulhu has a Shoggoth and all Deep Ones out, while Opener has only an Abomination on turn 2, which puts him in a much worse situation (while both are obviously easy pray to, say, Crawling Chaos).

If Opener realizes his error and abandons this strategy, Cthulhu can build a second gate in the area he moved his cultist(s) to, or in R'lyeh if Opener used Beyond One.

All in all, this isn't a very good opening for the Opener.
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Mike Heil
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Villain wrote:
To sum up what has been said above, here's the breakdown on what Cthulhu should do if Opener starts next to him:

GC: -1P to move a cultist to another ocean area as usual (down to 7P)
OW: -3P to summon Abomination (down to 5P)
GC: -1P to summon Shoggoth (down to 5P)
OW: -1P to move Abomination to R'lyeh (down to 4P)
GC: -1P to move another cultist to an ocean area, possibly to the same area as previously (down to 4P)

Now, if Opener starts using Beyond One to move the gate, Cthulhu just summons a Deep One in the new location every time. If this continues until the turn ends, both have wasted their turn, but Cthulhu has a Shoggoth and all Deep Ones out, while Opener has only an Abomination on turn 2, which puts him in a much worse situation (while both are obviously easy pray to, say, Crawling Chaos).

If Opener realizes his error and abandons this strategy, Cthulhu can build a second gate in the area he moved his cultist(s) to, or in R'lyeh if Opener used Beyond One.

All in all, this isn't a very good opening for the Opener.


You think this is bad? Try playing 8 player map and he starts with the They Break Through.

In any case. As Cthulhu I always summon a Deep One in home ocean first action if Opener is in the game and posturing.
 
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Adam Starks
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Yeah, that's basically what it comes down to: posturing.

Black Goat can do a similar thing if Yellow Sign goes for the King + Gate opening: Sack 2 Cultists for Red Sign, bring out a Dark Young, and walk it adjacent to wherever Yellow brought out the King. If they build a Gate, walk in and Battle-Bully them off to take the gate for yourself. If they don't then you can build your own gate, secure in the knowledge you blocked their 2nd Turn Hastur.
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Dr Gosburo Coffin
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Ze_German_Guy wrote:
Why isn't the player who controls the gate simply summoning a monster after the gate is moved? Sure, Opener can simply move the gate again, but the other player can summon another monster, and so on and so forth.

This. Early on, when the expansion factions were still new, one player in our group made extensive use of the strategy GaryB suggested, but everybody responded by just summoning a monster at the gate that had been Beyond-one'd. Most of the time, they were cheap monsters with 0 Combat, so it wasn't even worth it for Opener to initiate battle, as there wasn't even a chance to lose a unit and earn a Spellbook for it. Opener failed miserably in that game.
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Gary Bradley
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Doh. We've been playing wrong. Or at least the owner of the faction taught us wrong. Only now realise that the Gate controller moves with it. Big difference.
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Mike Heil
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GaryB wrote:
Doh. We've been playing wrong. Or at least the owner of the faction taught us wrong. Only now realise that the Gate controller moves with it. Big difference.


Well that solves the mystery of the Absconded Gate. Great work gang!
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Bob Boberson
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LordZon wrote:
GaryB wrote:
Doh. We've been playing wrong. Or at least the owner of the faction taught us wrong. Only now realise that the Gate controller moves with it. Big difference.


Well that solves the mystery of the Absconded Gate. Great work gang!


... and Opener would have gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling kids!
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