Saturday, 27 May 2017

Mid-winter Cthulhu-mas [Onslaught 2 Unboxing]

So, a couple of days back I got my Onslaught 2 kickstarter for Cthulhu Wars, rounding out my collection (no, it's not *everything* in the range, but it's close). So, without further ado, some pictures.

This is the Tcho-Tcho faction, who play quite differently to the others: They only have a single monster type, but they get 3 High Priests (which the faction abilities revolve around). Their Great Old One, Ubbo-Sathla, is actually free to summon—if you do so in the Doom phase. The faction as a whole is very powerful in the early game, but loses steam in the late game due to reliance on those High Priests for so many abilities.

This is Byatis, the Toad of Berkely. It can't move, but it's got good combat dice.

Byatis's unique spellbook allows it to sucker in nearby enemy cultists to capture or kill, so not moving isn't so terrible then.
Tzulscha, the great leveler. Tzulscha's signature ability is to grant you a bonus Doom, Power, and Elder sign if anyone has more than you.

Tzulscha's unique spellbook turns the normally costly Ritual of Annihilation into a source of power instead—but the ritual grants you no score as a result.

These two are the Great Old One Nyogtha, the serpent twins. Even while separated across the board they can still act in concert—whenever one takes action, the other may perform the same action for free; and if one is engaged in battle, the other gets to declare a battle for free.

Nyogtha's unique spellbook allows the second 'head' to be reawakened on the cheap if it gets killed.

This is Gobogeg, a complete unique Great Old One. He can only be summoned late game, but is incredibly powerful both in battle and outside of it. In battle he can cause all units involved to suffer damage if they haven't already got a damage result. Outside of battle, any time a Great Old One is awakened, the owning player gets a 6 power refund.

Gobogeg's unique spellbook is very meta: Whoever controls him at the end of the game gets to choose all factions, expansions, and so forth for the next game.

These are the Dreamlands surface monsters. Shantaks (the winged dragon-esque things) are super mobile—they can move anywhere on the board(s) in a single action, and carry a cultist with them for free.

Gnorri's (snake demons) are Doom generators. More of them in play, more bonus Doom points.

Moonbeasts (toads?) are disruptive little buggers, and when first summoned are placed on an enemy spellbook, negating it for a turn, or until they pay a Doom to remove it.

Underworld monsters for the Dreamlands. Leng Spiders are not major dice, but they convert 2 Pains to a Kill in battle, which has some interesting uses.

Gugs (the gorrilla-esque monsters) are cheap, major combat dice—but they're clumsy, and cannot capture Cultists.

Ghasts are horde monsters, good only for capturing Cultists or soaking damage. That said, when summoned, you always summon all 4 at once.

 The Yuggoth map. Like Earth, it's a contiguous map with wraparound left and right edges. On the left board is the slime sea, where Slime Molds can be summoned. One the right board is the Green Pyramid, where the Watcher slumbers. The gameplay dynamic seems like it will be quite different from both the Earth and the Dreamlands maps.
Yuggoth monsters. The six Slime Molds are only minor combat dice, but they can change allegiance depending on who controls the slime sea overlook.

The Watcher is much like the Bhole from the Dreamlands—just much scarier. If the Watcher is awoken, he attacks the Green Pyramid area, once per player in the game, and cannot be permanently killed.
A size comparison between map types (something I'd not thought to photograph last time I did an unboxing). On the left is a 6-8 player board for Yuggoth's Green Pyramid. On the right is the 3-5 player board for the same region.

The 3-5 player board is 20" x 20", the 6-8 player board is 24" x 24", it might not sound like much, but it increases the play area per board from 400 sq in to 576 sq in.

 Next we have the final part of the Onslaught 2 Kickstarter: The Omega Rulebook. This has all the rules, FAQs, parts lists, and so forth for every expansion. It also includes a free bonus expansion for having unique High Priests (just ability cards, no models).

The book itself is an excellent resource (as it should be), the rules layout is clear and easy to understand, while there are also lavish illustrations and artworks throughout, along with pictures of all the shinies. (Sadly no gallery of painted sets—but hey, can't have everything).
 One of the artwork spreads, showing both line and final painting of a 3D gate model.

Art/summary page for The Sleeper faction, showing Tsathoggua, tips on stopping Sleeper, and their victory/epilogue brief.