Tzulcha is awesome! If you choose to include this Independent Great Old One in your gameplay expect a lot of tug of war action as everyone tries to either hold onto this iGOO or prevent everyone else from doing so.
On the other hand, if your players are still learning the game, this might be too much of a shakeup before everyone has really mastered the basic strategies of how to win with each faction.
Hey everyone! Today we’re exploring one of the members of the court of Azathoth, Tulzscha the Green Flame!
So today I’m going to be going in depth with another Great Old One, Tulzscha! Tulzscha is a bit unusual for a great old one because often Lovecraft would reference a being but not describe how it looked. But in this case, he described Tulzcha as this roiling green flame, but actually didn’t name him. I was unable to discern quite where the name came from, possibly from the Call of Cthulhu game, if anyone has more information, I’d love it if you posted in the comments.
Now Tulzcha is a member of Azathoth’s court, and as such, he seems to operate in more of a support capacity than an outright bruiser or threat of his own. He gives you a few more options, helps you catch up in areas that you are behind in, and can block other players from leveraging rituals of annihilation as effectively, but combat isn’t his thing.
Tulzscha is an Independent Great Old One, or as I call them, an iGOO. He costs 4 power to awaken and you must have your Great Old One at a gate you control, which is where you summon him. He has a combat value of 1, which reflects the fact that his job is not to dominate the battlefield, and in fact, you have to protect this guy as he’s going to have a BIG target pained on his flaming back.
The reason you summon him is primarily for his Gather Power Phase ability, Undying Flame. And this is what it does.
At the end of the Gather Power phase, earn 1 doom if at least one faction has more doom than you, earn 1 elder sign if at least one faction has more elder signs than you, and earn 1 power if at least one faction has more power than you.
Now how I like to think about this power is that I can totally crush one or two aspects of growth, say power and doom, knowing that Tulzscha will help me catch up with Elder signs. Also, I intentionally like to have Tulzscha help me out with elder signs because they’re worth more than doom points on average.
What about his spellbook? Well this one is rough, to earn his spellbook, as an action, you cause each enemy faction player to gain 2 power. In a worse case scenario, your enemies will intentionally wait until you’ve given them the 2 power to immediately destroy him, so make sure that the 2 power you give them isn’t too advantageous.
The spellbook’s name is called Ceremony of Annhilation, lets look to see if its worth giving your enemies a possibly huge advantage like 2 power.
During the doom phase, when you perform a ritual of annihilation, you may choose to pay nothing, and instead EARN power equal to the current position on the Ritual of Annhilation Track. Then advance the marker 1 step. You earn no extra Doom points nor Elder Signs by doing this.
Wow, this is pretty awesome, and if you can pull it off, can possibly pay to resummons a slain GOO, activate some more of the expensive abilities several times (like Dreams, Ghroth, or Dread Curse of Azathoth), or any number of possibilities. Before committing to using this ability though, keep in mind that it can potentially shorten the game, and that power is of no use to you if the other players all decide to do rituals as well and trigger the ending.
If you can hold onto this iGOO for any length of time, you’re most likely going to be gaining some serious advantages, and if you aren’t getting an advantage from holding onto him, then that probably means you’re winning anyways!
OK, How to get the most out of this iGOO?
First, as a Dancer in the Court of Azathoth, how does he interact with some of the spellbooks from the Azathoth expansion?
Well, there is really only one excellent combo with the Azathoth spellbooks, though all of the neutral spellbooks are still good like normal.
That one spellbook combo is Stars Are Right. Oh My Cthulhu! This is a sick combo, and when I say sick, I mean sanity loss inducing madness. If you turn in all of your elder signs for doom points and power, then each turn that you hold onto Tulzcha, you’ll gain another elder sign as long as other players have any remaining elder signs,. I love this combo, because it potentially forces your enemies to turn in their elder signs or yield to you continually gaining more elder signs.
Alright, what about the factions?
You need to keep Tulzscha safe. You know what they say, Save the Tulzscha, Save the world. Or in this case, destroy the world, or, actually, they probably don’t say anything like that, maybe just keep him safe and win the game, yeah. Anyways, look for opportunities to make an impregnable stronghold OR leverage the fact that your enemies will be attempting to destroy this iGOO by setting up traps.
Lets look at Black Goat.
Black Goat is already about dragging its feet and trying to take as many actions as possible AFTER everyone else, using Ceremony of Annihilation to have a large amount of available power to work with is GREAT. However, You all know that for me, I’ve never once had Groth work for me, not even once guys! So get rid of that piece of garbage and grab Stars Are Right. Drag your feet and dominate with what will feel like an immense amount of remaining power.
Ok, Crawling Chaos. This faction, just like all factions, would love to have Tulzscha hanging out, but Crawling Chaos does have a cool ability to keep their flaming buddy safe, Flying Polyps. Other than a slight defensive ability, use that extra power from CoA and pay for those expensive spellbooks!
Great Cthulhu time! Well…. You get an elder sign for summoning Tulzscha, and you have big bruisers to help keep him safe. I do think they’re a good combo, but the real reason I think they work is because Cthulhu struggles to compete in some regards and an iGOO whose primary job is to help catch up can really help Cthulhu to focus, However there isn’t any one ability here that I can see that really makes this feel “awesome”
Opener of the Way! And you were grumpy that you couldn’t compete with elder signs! Now that inability to get elder signs makes everything worth it! With Tulzscha, you should be consistently getting elder signs whether you choose to reveal them or not. And with CoA giving you extra power, he obviously gives you more access to abilities that are otherwise too expensive to do more than occasionally such as Dread Curse of Azathoth.
Sleeper Faction time. Sleeper has few ways to get Elder Signs, so almost assuredly Undying Flame will be giving you elder signs each turn. The reality is, however, that you’re very unlikely to be able to gain Tulzscha early on, due to how difficult it is to get Tsathoqua before someone else snatches Tulzscha up.
Tcho Tcho – Combine Tcho Tcho’s ability to gain elder signs with Stars Are Right and you should have an almost excessive amount of power. The difficulty is that you have few ways to protect your flaming buddy, but if you can get some more neutral units or otherwise distract your foes, you can be primed for a huge advantage.
Ok, lets be real for a moment.
Windwalker and Tulzscha are great. You can have cheap rituals of annihilation or ones that give you large amounts of power. You can block other factions who rely on doing multiple rituals of annihilation to win the game, because you’re pushing the cost of Rituals up for free (and actually gaining power). Combine that with using howl as a defensive strategy then later on with Arctic Wind to move this unit around for free, you’re really able to keep Tulzcha alive better than most factions.
Where was I going with this? Sorry, Windwalker and Tulzcha, Fire and Ice , BFFs for life! But we have to accept that getting 3 Great Old Ones out is tough, possibly too tough. Still, if you have an opportunity to grab this iGOO, I say go for it!
And finally, what about Yellow Sign? Be wary about abusing CoA too much, as getting 2 elder signs from doing rituals of annihilation is normally a key part of your strategy, but really, that extra power when combined with Third Eye, allows a ridiculous rate of elder sign accrual, we’re talking potentially several elder signs a turn. If you have that going soon enough, the game will be over before you need to worry about protecting Tulzcha too much.
So that’s Tulzcha, a great old one that if you can hold onto, will significantly tilt the odds in your favor. But, Should you play with this unit in your game?
What I’d suggest, is that if your group wants more conflict and battle, adding an iGOO like Tulzscha will really create a lot of tension encouraging battles. On the other hand, if your group prefers to play with slow build up and few battles, Tulzscha may unbalance your group and create more conflict than you like.
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