HP Lovecraft

How to win with Eihort, and what is that pointy appendage for?

Today I’m experimenting with just pasting the video text, let me know if its helpful being able to read the script, or if I should rewrite it!

Today, as we meet with Eihort, he has given us an impossible choice.   Do we allow him to implant a brood in us and eventually be eaten from within?  If that doesn’t sound like a good option, the alternative is to be viciously and violently slaughtered immediately.  Dang Eihort, at least take us to dinner first!

 

Hey everyone, today we continue exploring the Ramsey Campbell Horrors Pack 1, this time with Eihort.  Eihort is another Great Old One that was introduced by Ramsey Campbell in Cold Print.  This book is actually a bit difficult to get a hold of, and the story that introduced Eihort, Before the Storm, hasn’t been reprinted.  If you’ve read it, post your comments down below!

The fiction for Eihort says that those who encounter him in the cave tunnels underneath Severn Valley are given the choice of being killed or having his young implanted in them.  Of course, the young will eventually kill their host, and in the Revelations of Gla’aki, Campbell says that Eihort’s young will inherit the Earth.

This is a cool sculpt, and they give you these six brood tokens.  I’ll go over what you do with them in a moment.

This is what Eihort says, just like other Independent Great Old Ones, you must have a controlled gate in an area with your Great Old One.  You pay 4 power, and place Eihort in the Area containing the gate.

What’s significant about Eihort, is that when you awaken him, you take these brood tokens, and you replace all of your cultists with the brood tokens.  The brood tokens are cultists with a combat value of 1.  They cannot take the Move action or otherwise be moved by  your powers, though they can be moved enemy actions like Pains.

Ok, so there you go, you’ve summoned Eihort and now you have a bunch of unmovable brood tokens.  What next? Well, you start recruiting more cultists.  In this way, you can have 12 cultists with just Eihort and your base faction.  I am going to warn you, if you want to get the entire table to gang up on you, having 12 cultists is a good way to do that, so don’t be greedy.

What happens if your brood tokens get killed? Well, nothing much, at least not at first.  Eihort doesn’t give you a way to recruit or summon more brood tokens by default, and since Eihort has 0 combat, he himself isn’t useful for much other than capturing cultists.

Once you’ve recruited 3 acolytes, now you can unlock Eihort’s spellbooks, this is what it says.

Unclean Bargain. This happens during your doom phase.  If you have any brood tokens in your Pool, replace your Acolyte Cultists with brood tokens on a one for one basis until either you run out of acolyte cultists on the map or brood tokens in your pool.  This is not optional.

Ok, so once you’ve unlocked Eihort’s spellbook, for as long as you continue to control him, you’ll continue to pop out more brood tokens, forcing you to be a little cautious where you let your acolytes end their turn, as once they turn into brood they’ll be unable to move.

Ok, this is straightforward at first..but what happens when Eihort dies?  Well, if he dies, you lose control of Eihort, and his brood cease to serve you too.   Yup, that’s right, they become neutral cultists, serving no one.  Even worse, whoever takes control of Eihort, regains control of those brood.  A worse case scenario is for you to replace your cultists with brood, then immediately lose Eihort and all of the gates  your cultists had controlled.  Eihort is not an iGoo you want to summon when you aren’t in a position to protect him.

Ok, so how does he fit into each faction’s strategy?

Black Goat

Black Goat is a natural pairing with Eihort, as the brood are very similar to frenzied black goat cultists anyways and can allow Black Goat to neglect choosing Frenzy for a little longer while still getting the benefit of the additional combat dice.  However, do you do have to be careful as I like to expand with Black Goat, get my spellbooks, then contract my forces a bit to better defend my Areas.  With the brood, you can be stuck defending areas or allowing them to be captured.  For that reason, I like to expand with acolytes and maintain a strong base of power for my brood.  When choosing which cultists to sacrifice using Blood Sacrifice, I recommend brood tokens, since if you loose control of Eihort you’ll lose control of the brood anyways, so the more acolytes you can maintain the more protected you’ll be.

Great Cthulhu

Great Cthulhu, like most of the independent Great Old Ones, loves to get all cuddly with Eihort.  Cthulhu is one of those Great Old Ones that just likes to stay in bed and cuddle for a millennia or two, I don’t know if you knew that, there you go.     To maintain Dreams being a threat, you need acolytes in your pool, Eihort puts ALL of your acolytes in your pool, so there you go.  You do suddenly lose the ability to use Devolve, so it’s a bit of a double edged sword, you’ll want to recruit more acolytes ASAP both for the additional power but also the ability to respond to the threat of capture by devolving them into deep ones.  Given the choice of what unit to remove for Absorb, you’ll want to choose the brood over other units.

Crawling Chaos

One of the major advantages for Black Goat is their ability to have 9 units generating power, with Eihort, CC suddenly can compete on power once you’ve recruited more than 6.  This is good with the major power problems CC can have mid-game due to trying to unlock spellbooks.  My concern here, is that in order to leverage Harbinger, sometimes you have to take some risks with Nyarlathotep.  If you lose Nyarlathotep, Eihort might not be far behind.  If you lose gates and cultists mid-game due to losing control of your brood, that’s probably game, I don’t think you’re going to be able to recover from it.

Opener of the Way

Here’s the thing about Opener.  In my experience, he’s the most fluid of the factions.  This is the diametric opposite of the Tcho Tcho, where as the Tcho might spend the entire game never moving more than an Area or two away from where they start, Opener of the Way might win the game without any of the same Areas they started the game with.  Consequentially, the idea of a bunch of Brood who can’t be moved seems like a recipe for failure with Opener.  Don’t do it, everything with Eihort is forced, so you can’t even choose to just prevent someone else from taking him without paying the consequences of awakening him.

Sleeper

Sleeper needs quite a bit of power, and even just one extra cultist controlling a gate is 3 power.  The problem I have is that Sleeper is in a precarious position where it wants to be able to hunt monsters towards the end of the round, and Eihort can draw unwanted early attention.  Still, if you can get 2 extra gates above what you might normally have, for just a few turns, you can pay for most of your spellbook tax.

The Tcho Tcho

You know what I’m going to say…the Tcho Tcho don’t want to move, just sit there and win…the brood just want to sit there…wait a gosh darn c’thulhu minute!  Could it be, an iGOO that just wants to turtle and win? This is it, the iGOO get immediately 6 more combat dice, they can continue to recruit more cultists without much desire to spread out.  Not only that, but later in the game, Ubbo Sathla is really going to discourage anyone who wants to try and come in and kill Eihort.  This is a really good combination, and while I’m not a huge fan of the Tcho turtling strategy, if this is your thing, Eihort is your man!

Windwalker

What I like about Eihort, is that as you sweep around using Arctic Wind destroying things, your free acolytes you cannibalize are turning into 1 combat die brood tokens.  Where other factions have to consciously choose to recruit more acolytes, for you, you can focus on combat and very very quickly get out possibly all 12 cultists.  I suspect you’ll likely win before you even get all 12 out.

Yellow Sign

There isn’t a lot here to justify Eihort, as usual, Yellow Sign wants to avoid becoming a target, and the 1 combat dice of the brood isn’t going to dissuade much since you already have Passion.

Ok, and that’s Eihort.  When I first looked at this iGOO, I kinda ignored him.  He can’t fight, he doesn’t really add any crazy rules.  But honestly, extra power can really change the game.  How often are your strategies changed or cancelled because of the difference of just 1 or 2 power? Cthulhu Wars is very very tightly balanced, so moving a number here or there can really shift things.  With that, I don’t know if you always want Eihort in your game, but it can be fun to see the map shifting as one  player then another takes control of Eihort.

Ok everyone, that’s it for this week, please click like, subscribe, the whole deal, until next time, game on!

 

Wait, why do we call Eihort a He or him? Its putting its babies in people, isn’t it female? Then again, it doesn’t have a rather disturbing appendage that it injects its seed in people…ok, I guess I’ll go with it.

 

 

 

Then came pale movement in the well, and something clambered up from the dark, a bloated blanched oval supported on myriad fleshless legs. Eyes formed in the gelatinous oval and stared at him.

 

Living in a vast network of caverns and tunnels situated beneath the Severn Valley in England, Eihort appears as an enormous gelatinous blob supported on a plethora of bony, almost-skeletal legs. It’s whole body is covered in a shifting, writhing coating of eyes which constantly disperse and reform at random.

 

Azathoth Expansion Unit: Dimensional Shamblers (Cthulhu Wars Unit)

 

The Dimensional Shamblers first appeared in the story “The Horror in the Museum” by H.P. Lovecraft

Shuffling toward him in the darkness was the gigantic, blasphemous form of a black thing not wholly ape and not wholly insect. Its hide hung loosely upon its frame, and its rugose, dead-eyed rudiment of a head swayed drunkenly from side to side. Its fore paws were extended, with talons spread wide, and its whole body was taut with murderous malignity despite its utter lack of facial expression. After the screams and the final coming of darkness it leaped, and in a moment had Jones pinned to the floor.

For the full text, check it out here on hplovecraft.com.

The dimensional Shamblers are primarily a defensive unit.  For 2 power you get a 2 combat power monster that doesn’t get summoned to a gate, no, instead you place it on your faction board, ready to jump into action when needed.  In response to a player’s action, you can move a dimensional shambler to any area.

There are a number of things you can do with this

  • repel an invasion when someone invades your area
  • Capture a gate by moving a shambler into an enemy gate that doesn’t have a defending monster.
  • threaten an area in response to being attacked
  • ?

What is your creative idea you can use this creature for?

What do the Elder Things bring to your cthulhu wars game

Today we research the first of the neutral monsters from our videos and discussions exploring what each optional element of Cthulhu Wars can add to your game!

This first monster is The Elder Things.  These monsters cost 2 doom points to take control of and allow you to immediately place an Elder Thing onto one of your gates. From that point forward, you can summon more Elder Things for 2 power each.

In addition to being a 2 combat monster, Elder Things have a unique ability to prevent other Great Old Ones from activating their special ability.  Bring these weird dudes along with you when you face a Great Old One like Cthulhu with his fearsome Devour ability or to take out Hastur.  Offensively or defensively, these guys are powerful  wards against other player’s Great Old Ones.

Watch the video for a faction by faction play by play, but I’m curious, what are your experiences with The Elder Things?

 

How to win with the Tcho Tcho in Cthulhu Wars

“There was a mind from the planet we know as Venus, which would live incalculable epochs to come, and one from an outer moon of Jupiter six million years in the past. Of earthly minds there were some from the winged, star-headed, half-vegetable race of palaeogean Antarctica; one from the reptile people of fabled Valusia; three from the furry pre-human Hyperborean worshippers of Tsathoggua; one from the wholly abominable Tcho-Tchos; two from the arachnid denizens of earth’s last age; five from the hardy coleopterous species immediately following mankind, to which the Great Race was some day to transfer its keenest minds en masse in the face of horrible peril; and several from different branches of humanity.”

That was an excerpt from HP Lovecraft’s The Shadow Out of Time,  not the first mention of the Tcho Tcho, but one of the first mentions of the Tcho Tcho by Lovecraft.

Who are those those Tcho Tchos and what role do they have in Cthulhu Wars?  Lets find out!

 

Hey everyone, so I’ve been working on understanding the Tcho Tcho for a few months now and here we go.

The Tcho-Tcho are supposed to be near human worshippers of the Great Old Ones.  They weren’t created by HP Lovecraft but were instead by August Derleth then expanded upon and interconnected in Lovecraft’s works the way he often did.  They’re shorter than humans, or at least their warrior caste is, with angry red skin, and live in Burma.  They’re supposed to have been genetically manipulated by the Great Old Ones so are not-quite-human.

So how does that translate into Cthulhu Wars?   First of all, this faction is more about the cultists than the monsters, specifically, they have 3 high priests of their own regardless of whether you’re playing with the High Priest Expansion (you Should play with the High Priest Expansion), and most of their abilities center around these high priests.  Second, their Great Old One Ubbo Satha is monstrously powerful but appears shackled, it’s pretty obvious that for this faction,  they’re channeling the power of the Mythos rather than mere puppets of their faction.

They only have one type of monster but they have a lot of them.  They’re called proto-shoggoths, we’ll talk about them more when we get to the spellbooks.

So that’s a quick summary of what units they have, let’s talk about their faction ability.  Its called Sycophancy and the way it works is that when an enemy player performs a Ritual of Annihilation they choose to either get 1 less doom or to allow you to get 1 doom.   If the Tcho player wins narrowly, there is a good chance his enemies chose poorly.

The thought process should be like so.  If a player performs a ritual and is ahead of the Tcho Player, they should normally choose to let the Tcho player get 1 doom.  If the player is behind the Tcho player, they should choose to get 1 less doom.  The thought process here is that if you let a Tcho who is already ahead of you get more doom, he might end the game before you can catch up, otherwise, if you’re already ahead, you might be able to end the game before the Tcho player can catch up.  Keep in mind that the doom score can’t be assumed to just be the visible score, try and calculate 1.5 doom points per elder sign they have.

 

 

Your Opener

Ok, as the Tcho, you put your faction in an empty area with a faction glyph, this typically means you’re going to start in North America if you’re playing with a lot of other core factions.  That’s fine, it’s a good place and often makes it feel like you’re more isolated from the other factions.  Even if they’re scared of you (and they WILL be scared of you at least after the first game) they’ll often end up squabbling and be wasting resources against each other.

Ok, first turn, what do you do? You’re going to want to immediately move into another zone and build a second gate, this is a good idea in general, but crucial for you, why? Because of your third action. It’s pretty nuts, but one of your spellbook requirements is to as an action, remove your controlled gate in your start area.  Do this as your third action and take the Hierophants spellbook.

What this spellbook says is that when you earn any spellbook (including this one), immediately place a free High Priest at One of your Gates.  If you have no High Priest in your Pool, instead you advance Ubbo-Sathla’s Growth counter by 1.

So now you have two High Priests and 1 gate.  As your fourth action, build another gate.

In your first doom phase, you’re going to start with 12 power, sacrifice one high priest to get Ubbo Sathla, which is going to give you a spellbook and another high priest.
Take Tablets of the Gods, this says “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. This is not optional”

At this point, you could then perform a Ritual of Annihilation, giving you 3 elder signs and 2 doom points. 3 Elder signs is enough to get another two spellbooks, I recommend Soulless and Terror.  This will, of course, give you back two high priests.

Soulless says “When Captured and Sacrificed, your cultists provide 0 power (instead of the normal 1 Power).  This is going to be good persuasion to other players to take advantage of other cultists first, and going into round 2 is typically when cultists start getting captured.

Terror says “Choose one: 1) Your enemy’s Combat total is reduced by 1 per Proto-Shoggoth in the Battle. 2) Your combat total is increased bv 1 per Proto-Shoggoth in the Battle.”

So let’s do a recap.  At this point, if everything has gone perfectly, you have your Great Old One out, you have 6 cultists, 2 high priests, and 2 gates.  You’re down a little on power, but you’re up quite a bit on doom points.  IF this puts too big of a target on you, and only you know if it does or not, you could choose to forgo the Ritual of Annihilation, but I’m going to go forward with this as unless the other factions, you aren’t marauding around picking on accessible gates.

You have 2 remaining spellbooks to get, one could happen right away, when any Great Old One is Killed in Battle and the other which will be harder, when another player performs a Ritual of Annihilation or has 15 Doom.

Try to be discreet about your spellbooks, you don’t want people to realize you’re going to have your sixth spellbook probably by 3rd turn.  Also, you’re going to want to pay CLOSE attention to when other people perform rituals of Annihilation.  Not only do they activate your sycophancy but its also a spellbook, so when it happens, you need to take advantage of it.

Now how do you get a Great Old One killed in battle?  Ubbo Satha is pretty fragile in the beginning before he bloats into the giant Godzilla GOO that he becomes.  Throw him in battle, make it very known that anyone who gets close is welcome to slaughter your GOO, you won’t hold it against anyone.  This will do two things, one, it will throw them off, sometimes for the rest of the game.  I call it the “twitch”, its when people don’t actively think about something they respond off of what they know, and what they “know”, is that killing your GOO only helps you.  Sometimes it helps further encourage your isolation, which for the Tcho is a good thing.  You may get Ubbo out there and have him get killed, you may not, either way, a GOO will die soon enough whether it’s yours or someone else’s.

So at this point, you’re mostly playing the slow build game.  You want to be ignored long enough for you to build out another gate or two (keep in mind, you have 9 units that can hold gates, similar to the Dark Young of the Black Goat) and try to get off at least one more ritual.  You want to be left alone long enough for Ubbo to get big.

I didn’t go into detail how Ubbo works.  Every round after you summon him, he gets 1d6 bigger.  For me, that means he’s probably an 8 by the sixth round.  For everyone else, he’s probably a 14 or 15. 😉  You also keep resummoning him for the cost of a high priest, so that’s another good thing.  Whether he’s dead or not, resummoned or not, he will continue to get bigger, so definitely don’t forget that.

Ok, let’s talk about your proto shoggoths.  You have a lot of them, and because of that, your Terror spellbook is pretty powerful.  You have the ability to reduce your combat total by 1 per proto-shoggoth or increase your combat total by 1 per proto-shoggoth.  Which should you do?

To answer that question, you need to know how many kills your enemy is likely to make and you are likely to make.  If you have 2 proto shoggoths and your enemy is one unit with 8 dice, they’re likely to kill 1 unit and you’re most likely going to pain them.  In that scenario, you could increase your attack dice by 2, still be almost guaranteed to lose 1 and maybe both proto-shoggoths, but now you’re pretty likely to eliminate your one enemy target.  This could allow you to retain a gate or to drive someone out of a zone.  Alternatively, they’re attacking with 3 units with the same 8 combat dice.  Increasing your attack is unlikely to drive them off, they’ll still have 1-2 units left, so you may be better off reducing your enemy’s combat dice to try and save at least one of your proto-shoggoths.

To summarize, if it’s harder for your enemy to replace units than you, increase your attack dice if it’s more important for you to survive even if you lose the battle, decrease their attack dice.

Now everything I’ve described will give you a best-case scenario, whats nice is that often it might happen just because the other players either don’t know how many doom points you’re going to get or are too distracted with whoever else is even more of a threat.  After all, while you’re a threat just sitting around doing Rituals of Annihilation, the other players are a threat because to get their spellbooks they usually need to attack each other.

But what is your next spellbook and how do you finish the game?

Martyrdom.  This spellbook says “if your high priest is assigned a Killed, all other Killed inflicted to your other units become Pains instead”.  This is going to allow you to survive battles you shouldn’t, protect Ubbo once he gets big, and defend your gates.

Your final spellbook is going to be Idolatry, which makes sense as this is your most combative portion of the game.  This is what it says

Idolatry: Select an Area containing another Faction’s starting Glyph (even if that Faction is not in play). Move any or all of your Units in adjacent Areas into the selected Area.

It is for that reason that you may want to make sure your gates and units are near some of the other Faction Glyphs so that you can more easily take advantage of this movement ability towards the end of the game.  Ubbo will die multiple times, but for the price of a High Priest, he’s the cheapest of the GOOs so take advantage of that.  Also with Martyr, he may not die very often at all.

And that’s the Tcho Tcho basics.  It will probably only work once, but like the other factions once you have the way the faction plays down you can start working on counters to respond to the other players trying to stop you from executing on these strategies.

What do you need to look out for?

In the beginning, Crawling Chaos should be trying to get some easy kills off of your GOO with Nyarlathotep.  When Ubbo Satha gets bigger this probably won’t be a problem but in the beginning it’s just begging to activate his Harbinger ability.

General vulnerabilities.  You may not be giving them power, but often times factions that need to get some easy wins like Cthulhu will look at your faction as the one to help fuel their spellbooks.

Travel.  I’ve never seen the Tcho Tcho travel very far from their home base, it’s just too difficult for them to do that.  For this reason, Crawling Chaos is again a real threat as their flight allows them to attack with relatively little ability to counter.

Also unlike Black Goat with their ability to waste turns to keep their power towards the end of the round, the Tcho Tcho will likely spend a lot of their power up front and have to watch the other players have free reign of the map.

The Tcho Tcho have a lot of vulnerabilities, they are definitely more passive and are a good reminder that in Cthulhu Wars, it isn’t who controls the world that wins, but rather who brings the most Doom.

I have a question for you all, I won’t have Sleepers or Windwalkers until my shipment comes from the most recent Kickstarter.  I’ve been thinking about playing them with some stand-ins so I can finish this series of the core factions.  What does everyone think? Should I move on to the independent monsters until I get the real units, or are you all ok with me doing these videos with stand-ins?