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Tzulcha the Green Flame – Independent Great Old One Cthulhu Wars Strategy

 

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.
Windwalker.
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.
Wait.
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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Mastering the Use of Byatis from Cthulhu Wars

 

Hey everyone!  Today we’re going to be talking about the neutral Great Old One, Byatis!

Byatis comes from the Great Old One Pack 4.

Byatis the serpent-bearded is a creation of Robert Bloch, but we don’t really get to know the full story until Ramsey Campbell describes him in The Room in the Castle.

The concept is that Byatis was captured and kept beneath a Norman castle, ultimately being used by a warlock as a source of power.  At night, the warlock would allow Byatis to roam the nearby village where it would grow more powerful by consuming townsfolk, gaining part of their vitality (and size).

That’s the origin, lets see how Sandy has represented Byatis in the game.

First of all, to awaken Byatis, you must have a controlled gate in an area with your Great Old One.

Second, pay 4 power and place Byatis in the area containing the Gate.  You’re going to want to be careful “where” you summon Byatis, more on that in a moment.

A quick caveat, as an Independent Great Old one, if Byatis dies, you lose control of it and allow someone else to take control of it.  This is a bit different from Terrors or Neutral monsters who are permanently controlled once acquired.

So what do you get for your efforts?

A 4 combat iGoo with a very interesting ongoing ability.

Toad of Berkeley (Ongoing): Byatis may neither move nor can he be moved with movement-type abilities (such as Arctic Winds or Submerge). He can still be Pained. If no enemy Units are in Byatis’s Area during the Doom Phase, earn 1 Elder Sign.

Effectively, if you can hold onto this iGOO and keep enemy units out of his space, you’re going to be getting 1.5 doom points each turn.

What else?

Like all iGOOs, Byatis has a spellbook, in this case, The God of Forgetfulness, an action cost 1 ability that makes all enemy cultists in an adjacent selected area move into Byatis’ area.

So how did Sandy do in representing Byatis in Cthulhu Wars?  According to the source material, those who look upon its cyclopean eye are forced to walk into its clutches, and since the thing can’t move elsewhere, it does need help bringing victims to itself.  Being unable to move except by being Pained can be frustrating to try and force combat, but since it’ll be generating Elder Signs if its left alone, it probably won’t be left alone for too long.

So how do you use this thing? Well it depends on which rules you have access to.

If you’re using the Azathoth neutral spellbooks, there are two spellbooks that can help you out.

If you get the Shriveling spellbook, you can help insure that Byatis won’t easily be sniped.  Remember, shriveling acts as a pre-battle action to remove a targeted unit from the battle and give the owner power equal to the cost of the unit shriveled.  You always need to be cautious about giving more power to the owner, but the net result is going to be negative since they would have had to spend power to move the unit towards Byatis, then power to initiate combat.

Another spell book that can be useful is Stars Are Right.  Stars Are Right makes it so that when you redeem elder signs for doom points, you also gain that many power points.  Since Byatis will be giving you extra elder signs, this can be a good way to use those extra elder signs for an immediate advantage.

What about Factions?

When choosing to get Byatis, you’re going to want to look for whether your faction helps move cultists near Byatis and those who are more able to defend Byatis.

Black Goat.

Black Goat is a great fit for Byatis.  Using Avatar can give you an excellent opportunity to send victims to Byatis.  Similarly, you can use Ghouls to move Byatis by giving yourself Pains.  Be cautious if fighting Crawling Chaos however as their ability to control Pains could ruin your day.

Crawling Chaos

While Byatis is a decent combatant, I’m not a fan of Crawling Chaos “with” Byatis.  Personally, as a Crawling Chaos player, I’d rather my enemy get Byatis because as a target, he’s an excellent way for me to activate Harbinger.

Great Cthulhu

Byatis is pretty nice with Great Cthulhu for the same reason that nearly all iGoos are good with Cthulhu.  Immortal.  A 4 cost iGoo is another great source of Elder Signs.  The fact that then you can gain still more elder signs via Toad of Berkeley is just icing on the cake.

Opener of the Way

There isn’t really any great synergy to Byatis and Opener.  However, there “is” a good aspect of this combo, which might be worthwhile summoning Byatis once.   One of Opener’s spellbook requirements is to lose 1 unit in battle.  Since Byatis generally has a big target on its back, this can be a great way to get your enemies to come to you instead of what Opener normally has to do, which is chase after people.

Sleeper

Similar to Opener of the Way, Sleeper sometimes wants to be attacked.  Using Byatis to encourage people to attack you can be an excellent way to take advantage of Demand Sacrifice, which says that as a pre-battle action, your opponents must choose to either grant you an elder sign or count your kills as Pains.  If they’re trying to kill Byatis they’ll always choose to give you an elder Sign, and if they fail, you’re likely to get an elder sign anyways from Toad of Berkely.

The Tcho Tcho

Tcho Tcho is a good defensive faction that can benefit from Byatis, but otherwise they don’t particularly benefit since unlike some of the other factions, Tcho doesn’t “want” to be attacked.  If you grew Ubbo Sathla to a point that people are afraid to attack him, it might be good to put him with Byatis, but still I’m hestitate recommending him.

Windwalker

Byatis isn’t particularly a good match other than that it is yet another way to get elder signs.  2 GOOs combined with Byatis could be 3 elder signs each round, which is pretty nice, but Byatis is a bit contrary to Windwalker’s normal advantage in mobility.

The Yellow Sign

Typically, if you play Yellow Sign and play Byatis, you’re going to end up abandoning Byatis as you travel around desecrating.  However, as a guardian of one of your desecrate tokens, it can help you retain the extra power of having a unit in the same area as your desecrate.  For the most part though, The Yellow Sign doesn’t have any need for Byatis.

Overall, Byatis is a good addition to your game.  He adds a target that encourages players to interact with each other, and in my opnion that’s a good thing.

So tell me, what do you think of Byatis? Did I miss something, or get something wrong?  Comment down below!

If you liked this video, I’d sure appreciate a Like, subscribe, all that jazz!

Thanks everyone, and Game on!

 

 

 

Getting the most out of the Azathoth expansion with Windwalker

 

Hey everyone, today we’re looking at the Azathoth expansion specifically in how it pertains to Windwalker.

When we look at the expansions, we’re looking for 3 different things.

  • Does the expansion shake things up to help break up the monotony?
  • Does the expansion help fill in weaknesses in your preferred faction?
  • Does the expansion help capitalize on strengths in your preferred faction?

Lets talk about windwalker’s weaknesses.

  • Windwalker is required to split its control over two halves of the map in order to get its spellbooks, north and south.
  • Windwalker has some power problems in the early game, much of their strategy relies on Ithaqua and hes expansion to get out.

Now windwalker’s strengths

  • Lots of defensive abilities both innate and from spellbooks making them fiercesome to combat.
  • Reliable easy rituals of annihilation at the expense of exacerbating their power issues.
  • One of the best single army mobility powers in the game.
  • Possibilities for lots of free units popping up across the map.

Honestly there are more strengths than weaknesses in windwalker.  You build up a scary army, control a few gates and intimidate people into letting you use rituals until you win.

Lets go through each of the components and see how they pertain.

Independent Monsters

  • Dimensional Shamblers. If you’re concerned with trying to defend yourself across the map, dimensional shamblers are going to help you in two ways.  One, you can summon them but not commit to where they will defend until someone moves in to attack.  Two, once you have a strong reliable unit like shamblers, you can more readily commit your wendigo to popping up in random places using Cannibalism.
  • Star Vampire. These are OK.  I think star vampire are fun to use, but honestly windwalker should be winning through rituals, so I’d be hoping for power if I used star vampires.  The fact that they are only 1 combat die means I’m a little hesitant at committing to these with my valuable doom points.
  • Elder Thing. This is a very scary unit, AGAINST, windwalker. I’d have a tendency to grab the elder things just to prevent Rhan-Tegoth from being assassinated.  In particular I’d be afraid of letting Crawling Chaos grab this unit as normally windwalker feels a bit more resilient against the harbinger ability.
  • Servitor of the Outer Gods. No one likes being given this unit, but windwalker does have a nice ability to summon wendigo using cannibalism which can someone reduce the sting of this unit.

 

Spellbooks

The Mao Ceremony – This is a great spellbook for windwalker since you can use cannibalism to recruit them for free. Grab this spellbook if you’re thinking of a more combat-heavy game where you can use cannibalism a lot, otherwise this isn’t terribly helpful.

Umr at-tawil* This can give you the edge to get 4 gates and do a few rituals.

Undimensioned – On one hand, you tend to be spread across the map to get your spellbook and by the use of cannibalism, undimensioned can allow you to easily  retrieve your distantly populated units.  On the other hand, it feels a bit expensive if you were to just be collecting a free wendigo or cultist. I’d pass.

Recriminations –  If you’re unsure about the long term value of Umr at-tawil, taking recriminations can allow you to switch out at a later time.

Shriveling – This combined with Howl will really deter people from attacking you, helping you lock in your Ritual victory.

Stars are Right – Since you should be getting a lot of elder signs, this can be a substantial boost in power.

Which spellbooks to give up.

  • Ice age. This is a nice spellbook, but it costs power to activate, if you’re going to give up any spellbook, I suspect this will be one of the first ones.
  • If gnoph-key aren’t dying, this spellbook doesn’t do anything at all, consider replacing this with umr at-tawil until the end of the game

Azathoth, the big kahuna

Azathoth can be a good companion to Rhen Tegoth, but early on you’re unlikely to want to spend the power to gain him.  Unless another faction were going to use him against you to good effect, I’d avoid this guy to instead focus on getting ithaqua.  If you have itqhaqua, consider getting azathoth as having another GOO will help your rituals of annihilation.

 

How to win with windwalker faction in Cthulhu Wars

This faction…wow, as much as I dislike the passivity of Tcho Tcho, I love how active windwalker can be.

I really feel in control in a way that a lot of the other factions don’t.  In this video I explore all of the unique abilities, monster abilities, spellbooks and some opener advice.

Using the Azathoth Expansion with Sleeper Faction in Cthulhu Wars!

Hey everyone, I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of most of the azathoth expansion content with Sleeper, the faction needs most of its content so its hard to give up anything. The biggest advantage is recruiting monsters and getting free ones into your pool, but that applies to any monsters from any neutral box. I’m curious what master strategies some of you will provide, please help me catch what I missed!

I “am” excited about using Star Vampires with Sleeper, or bashing people with an Azathoth at the end of the round, but Sleeper has so many power issues I just don’t know if its possible to get it out without crippling yourself.

How to Win with Sleeper in Cthulhu Wars

Most factions in Cthulhu Wars have at least a couple noob traps.  Sleeper faction is filled with noob traps, lots of opportunities to make the wrong move and end up losing, often losing badly.

This isn’t “the strategy” for Sleepr, I’ve put together more microstrategies on how to respond to other player’s choices.

There will be a few more videos coming up, in the meantime join in the discussion and share your favorite strategies!

My Latest Two Cthulhu War Factions – Windwalker and Sleeper

Here we go! I pulled every string, reached out to everyone I could, trying to get a hold on the last two factions I was missing.  Everyone kept asking “thats great you did XYZ video but what about Sleeper?” “Oh, neutral spellbooks? What about Sleeper”, “Cthulhu tactics against the other factions, what about Sleeper?”  Someone probably asked about Wind Walker..maybe.

But here we go, someone in the comments told me where to get a copy, and BOOM, I did, and here we go.

🙂

 

Thank you so much GamesLore.UK!

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?

How to use the Neutral Spellbooks from the Azathoth Expansion in Cthulhu Wars

Its time to throw away those unwanted or useless (or used) spellbooks and upgrade your game!  I go through each faction and each spellbook in rapid succession giving you some ideas on how to upgrade your play when using the neutral spellbooks from the Azathoth expansion!