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Subject: Essential Expansions? rss

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Kevin Shaud
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I was just given the core game as a very generous gift and now I'm wondering which expansions do people consider essential for this game. I'm fine with the player count at four so I don't need anything that extends the player count.
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Peter O'Connor
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I would generally say any playable Faction Expansion, any Map expansions, and maybe the High Priest expansion.

Both the Faction Expansions and Map Expansions I recommend to add simple variety to the base game without adding to the options present within a game itself; not much neutral stuff, just more set-up options.

The High Preists are apparently quite good, but I've never played with them. They add in more options for each faction equally, but that's like the neutral stuff and bonus rules.

But nothing is ever quite essential; it's a very good game.
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Felix Lastname
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Maybe if you ask for non-essential stuff, you'll get vigorous commenting... whistle

So: High Priests. You need High Priests. Most people who try them do not consider them an expansion but a central part of the game.
If you can get Windwalker or Sleeper for a good price, do it. (Opener appears to me to be loved more by the people who play this a lot than by the casual CW players.)(Skip the TchoTcho.) More factions add massive variability, even if you only play with four.

If you can get maps, sure. Get one. Get a weird one: Dreamlands. Done.
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Choon Keat Kung
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Would definitely recommend faction expansion as one of your first purchases for CW. Even adding in 1 faction will significantly affect the dynamic of the game as others will have to adapt to new strategies against the newcomer.

Popular choice for faction expansions are windwalker, opener, and sleeper. I personally got opener as my 5th faction and i really love how it plays very differently from other base game factions. Some prefer windwalker for its straightforward-ness.

Generally recommend map or neutral expansion for experienced players as it could be rather overwhelming for new players to keep track of the various abilities.

Hope it helps!
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Chris Morris
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One word: EVERYTHING! But seriously, whatever you can get your hands on will definitely be valuable.

I know you said you are good for player count, but as others have mentioned, new factions add to the replayability and not just number of players. I recommend Opener, Sleeper and Windwalker in that order. Windwalker is great, but generally an easier faction to play, so we give them to newbies more often than not.

Also, High Priests get a lot of love but I've been "meh" on them so far. They are reasonably priced so a decent way to change things up without heavy investment.

The Ramsey Campbell expansions are awesome and I just got them and I look forward to playing with them. Personally I love all neutral expansions so if you can get your hands on any of them for a good price, I highly recommend them.

The maps look great but also add a lot of new rules so depending on your play group you may or may not want to consider those. Primeval Earth is generally the most widely regarded of them as it adds a lot more Power to your games so allows things to ramp up a bit more.

Also, if you can get a copy of the Omega Rulebook, it's a great help as it compiles all released expansions into one easy to read book with incredible art.
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Aaron K
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My suggestion of sequence would go something like this:

Base game
Two factions (I like Opener and Sleeper for this)
High Priests
One faction
One map
Azathoth
Last faction(or both if counting Ancients)
More maps and IGOOs/neutrals to taste
Whatever else I missed.

This doesn't include bling related stuff like foamcore storage and plastic gates. Those are difficult to tell others how to value them. I personally love the fact I own it all and highly suggest it.
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Bob Horton
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Againsto wrote:
So: High Priests. You need High Priests. Most people who try them do not consider them an expansion but a central part of the game.
What is it about High Priests that's so good? I considered getting them but wasn't overawed by the mechanics when I read the rules... they work in the same way as Tcho Tcho's HPs, right? But only 1 for each faction
 
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Felix Lastname
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High Priests give every faction a little more oomph (always good), and offer many tactical choices in regard to the power economy. You surely sometimes have power to spare to summon them - and suddenly having that extra power when you pop them (because this is what they do: High Priests are Mana Batteries) can elevate an okay turn into a massive triumph.
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Aaron K
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Some factions have a really common set of first actions. Playing with high priests gives variety to this. It is common for newbies to forget to use them, but high priests are great! I play with them in almost every real-life game (they can be awkward in pbf).
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Quazi Kenshin
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There are some excellent suggestions in this thread.

However, there are crucial elements missing from this discussion:

"What do you love about Cthulhu Wars?"

"What bugs you about it?"

You may find that you don't need anything beyond the core set to satisfy your group.

Or, you may enjoy the constant novelty of neutrals on random maps, all while juggling glow in the dark GOO's and technicolor gates with PnP unique High Priests and user created spell books based on obscure Lovecraftian slash fanfic from Reddit.

Or maybe you're a painter and just want to spend the wintry months coloring your personal army of madness.

Please share your gaming moments with CW. We can better tailor your experience if we know what it is you are looking for.
 
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bionic badger
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I would buy the playable factions before anything else. The variety in gameplay makes a big difference.

Then I would get a map or two, and probably not pick primordial (even though its good) but one of the other maps that features some neutral monsters.

Only then would I look at high priests or GOO/monster packs. High priests are ok and easy to add, but definitely not a "must have".
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Tony Reardon
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HortonHearsAWho wrote:
Againsto wrote:
So: High Priests. You need High Priests. Most people who try them do not consider them an expansion but a central part of the game.
What is it about High Priests that's so good? I considered getting them but wasn't overawed by the mechanics when I read the rules... they work in the same way as Tcho Tcho's HPs, right? But only 1 for each faction


HPs function as extra cultists at their most base of levels, but a bit over priced for the pleasure. In this, they seem a poor choice at first, but once you set them into your faction's roster and consider what moves you can make with them, they can drastically change how your faction works, or boost options your faction already has. Black Goat, for instance, will love to summon theirs because the extra Cultist is an extra die for Shub. Windwalker can use Rhan Tegoth recruiting their HP to easy up their spellbook requirements of owning land in both Windwalker areas, since the faction has little to no means of getting Acolytes back in their pool for such a play. Sleeper and Crawling Chaos can redistribute power across turns with the Priest's normal effect, which for some of their Spellbook requirements is a big boon to their master plans. Cthulhu's recent changes to Dreams makes the High Priest a free cast in a later turn for it, while also keeping power in the current turn with their Cultist count not dwindling so much as they Devolve... These are just a few of the most popular uses.

So because they are such a simple but elegant game changer, they function MUCH different than the TchoTcho's HPs. The other faction's HPs are not baked in, so they open up options that were not there from the get go. TchoTcho's High Priests have tricks they can do, but those tricks are quintessential to the TchoTcho's identity from day 1. For others, it makes the expansion almost core in its viability. Plus it's one of those expansion pieces that all players can use, which makes it that much more fun to include.
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Bob Horton
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Thanks ToeSama, that helps clear it up for me

As for my 2 cents on the OP: one thing that nobody has mentioned yet is that the more "stuff" you have, the harder the game gets to play because of the more options that are available. This is fine for experienced players who know what everything does and thus can keep track, but if you're often playing with less experienced players, once you start adding Neutrals/Independents, that becomes too much for them to keep track of, and they'll be overwhelmed (which at best will mean they lose in-game to something they weren't aware of, or at worst will turn them off the game entirely).

If this is an issue for your group, I would recommend the expansion factions and maybe stop there (in my group we've also got the 8-player Earth map, but you've said you don't mind about player count). That's what we have in our group and we still get loads of variety, without it being too overwhelming for new players (alls we need to explain is what each faction is roughly going to try to do).

As for which expansion factions, I'd recommend Opener and Sleeper first, as in my experience, Windwalker and Tcho Tcho are quite centralising in the late and early game respectively, which doesn't introduce as much variety to the game dynamic as the other 2 expansion factions (don't get me wrong, I love Windwalker to bits and would heartily recommend you get him, and Tcho Tcho gets a lot of hate, but I also find them interesting to play against)
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Gary Bradley
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I would cite High Priests as the only actual "essential".

After that, other factions give more gameplay variety. I would go Windwalker -> Opener -> Sleeper (skip Tcho-Tcho completely).
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I know this isn't essential for most people - but, does anyone know how to get the plastic gates from the kickstarter?
 
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kahley wrote:
I know this isn't essential for most people - but, does anyone know how to get the plastic gates from the kickstarter?

Never mind. They are available directly off of the games website. Petersongames
 
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Arthur Daffos
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If you are looking for discovering the game with some friends, faction expansions are a core. Sleeper and Windwalker are the most beginner friendly, Opener to me demands too much knowledge of the game to be appreciated to his full potential by a new player. The Tcho Tcho are very odd style for CW and are one of the noob crushing faction. I dont recommend it. However if you plan to pich these take the high priests as well.

The maps if you wanna change the mechanics of the game are a good pick.

If you are a fast learner and you like high strategic games with mighty abilities clashing each other i would recommend the neutral units. The azathoth expansion or a monster pack are a good pick to begin with, then the GOO packs to add some crazy combos of GOO's in the game...
 
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Hector-Xavier de Lastic
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Ok,here are my thoughts as well:

I will give my suggestions in order, trying to maximize the ratio of options to the amount spent.

0) Get the High Priests. They are cheap and a add a host of opening moves, and mid-game options. May take couple of games to actually get used to the added flexibility.

1) Get a Faction expansion. From the most to least new-player-friendly, it's Windwalker, Sleeper and Opener of the Way. Tcho-Tchos, I do not recommend for the reasons other have stated, and I cannot know how the Ancients play out. A single extra Faction allows for a total of 15 extra player setups (26 different 2-3-4-5 player setups opposed to 11 2-3-4 player setups with the core game)

2) The Azathoth expansion. Neutral Units, spellbooks an a Great Old One will add a host of options in the setup so far. Given that Petersen Games have released loyalty cards and spellbooks to use Faction Great Old Ones as neutrals in games where their Factions do not participate, you are sure to have a lot of appealing options for your games.

3) A second Faction expansion. Six expansions gives you 56 different 2-3-4-5 player setups.

4) A third Faction Expansion or a different Map expansion are pretty interchangeable in terms of the number of extra options they make available (+56 2-3-4-5 player setups) - I would lean toward the map here, so as to shake up every preexisting setup instead of simply varying them.

5) Whatever you didn't get at 4)

6) Go wild. Neutral creature expansions > neutral Great Old One expansions > new Map expansions > 6-8 player versions of the maps you already have.

7) Summon the Great Old Ones. Money, time, space and morality become irrelevant.
 
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Aaron K
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Hector_Xavier wrote:
Money, time, space and morality become irrelevant.
Isn't that the truth...
 
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Graham Robinson
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In terms of amount of use I've got out of them:

Faction expansions.
High Priests.
Alternate maps.
Neutrals, including Azathoth "faction".
tcho tcho.

There's large jumps between all these levels except the first two...

Cheers,
Graham
 
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