Mythos Mayhem: Hail to the King (in Yellow)

Hastur of the Yellow Sign

Hello again, fellow Cultists, and welcome back to Mythos Mayhem, our series of articles breaking down strategies and gameplay in Petersen Games’ Cthulhu Wars! Now that we’ve talked about the gameplay basics and general strategies for every faction, let’s get down to the heart of the game – the factions. As an asymmetrical strategy game, each of Cthulhu Wars factions has its own unique units, Spellbooks, objectives, and strategies for world domination…and none more so than the devious, dastardly, and decidedly different minions of Hastur, Yellow Sign!

THE YELLOW SIGN FACTION

The theme of the Yellow Sign faction actually dates to before the writings of Lovecraft, to a collection of weird fiction stories called “The King In Yellow” by Robert W. Chambers from the late 19th century. The stories in this collection form their own “Yellow Mythos,” centering on the mysterious and otherworldly King in Yellow who drives men mad, which inspired, were referenced, and later tied to the works of Lovecraft himself, specifically the strange god Hastur. Yellow Mythos tales often focus on decadence and corruption, of creeping madness and otherworldly fear, and these themes strongly form the devious and strange play of the Yellow Sign faction itself.

As befitting its unique origins in the Cthulhu Mythos, Yellow Sign plays significantly differently from any other faction in Cthulhu Wars – its units fight differently, it earns its Spellbooks differently, and it has TWO faction Great Old Ones (one created by Chambers, the other by Lovecraft)! Much like the Yellow Mythos itself, playing Yellow Sign requires you to think differently about your games of Cthulhu Wars and play accordingly.

Faction Ability
Feast is a unique faction ability, in that it requires a specific unit (the King in Yellow) to perform a unique action (Desecrate) in order to provide a benefit…but what a benefit it is. So long as you have a unit and a Desecration token in the same Area, you gain 1 additional Power in the Gather Power phase – the same Power yielded by a Cultist! Considering you’ll be kiting the King all over the board throughout the game in an effort to earn Spellbooks (see below), and Desecration tokens cannot be removed, Feast gets more and more potent as the game goes on, and is especially important since Yellow Sign spends far less time managing Gates than other factions (see Strategies, below).

Yellow Sign’s Units
The followers of Yellow Sign are, generally speaking, the least combat-ready of the 4 core Cthulhu Wars factions. Not only do they have fewer combat dice per model than any other faction, they also have very little Battle support from Spellbooks and the like. Fortunately, what Yellow Sign lacks in fighting power is made up for with a special advantage, with more units (total 18) than any other faction!

Yellow Sign Units

Monsters

  • 6 Undead (Cost: 1; Combat equal to Undead in area minus 1): The typical bodyguards/meat shields/Desecration assistants to the King in Yellow can also pull off nasty hijinks with the Zingaya Spellbook.
  • 4 Byakhee (Cost: 2; Combat equal to Byakhee in area plus 1): These strange extraterrestrial steeds are Yellow Sign’s “combat” monsters, and can zip around the board using Shriek of the Byakhee.

Great Old Ones

  • The King in Yellow (Cost: 4; Combat 0): The King in Yellow is the most essential unit in Yellow Sign, thanks to his special ability, Desecrate, which is key to earning half the faction’s Spellbooks, activating the Feast faction ability, and to earning Elder Signs once Hastur and The Third Eye Spellbook are both in play.
  • Hastur (Cost: 10; Combat equal to current Ritual of Annihilation cost): “He Who Must Not Be Named” is a powerful combat unit thanks to his Vengeance ability, which allows him – not the owning player – to assign Kills and Pains in battle! This ability to “snipe” crucial enemy units is great, but be careful – Yellow Sign units tend to be spread out across the map, making Hastur liable to die without sufficient backup!

Nightmares and Dreamscapes
As is fitting for the faction based on a hallucinatory, madness-inviting play, Yellow Sign has some very nice synergy with some independent creatures from the Dreamlands and Azazoth packs…particularly those with a cost of 2 or less (which means you can get them for free when you Desecrate).

Yellow Sign’s monsters are notoriously wimpy compared to other factions, but the Gug (from the Dreamlands Underworld pack) can provide lots of literal punch with 3 Combat for just 1 Power. Their low Cost and high Combat makes them great defenders for your Cultists, allowing you to keep your Undead with the King in Yellow once you have The Screaming Dead.

Shantaks, found in the Dreamlands Surface pack, are a great addition to Yellow Sign’s arsenal, with a respectable Combat 2 and the very handy ability to Move anywhere on the map and take a Cultist with them for free! This latter ability is a very handy solution to Yellow Sign’s “Fortress Europe” problem, where the faction’s Cultists rarely move in favor of kiting the King in Yellow with his Undead-tourage around the map to Desecrate and earn Spellbooks; with Shantaks in the mix, you’ll be able to grab Cultists and move them to safe areas where they can build Gates and/or escape abuse by opponents.

Finally, the Elder Things from the Azazoth Faction pack are excellent bodyguards to the King, who is often the target of enemy Great Old Ones; they throw in a vital 2 Combat dice, and, using their Mind Control ability, they can shut down attacking GOOs’ annoying special abilities such as Nyarlathotep’s The Harbinger or Cthulhu’s Devour. Plus, they look totally badass. So there’s that.

Gugs make excellent bodyguards

YELLOW SIGN’S SPELLBOOKS

As a faction themed around widespread corruption, Yellow Sign earns its Spellbooks in a much different manner than the rest of Cthulhu Wars’ factions – namely, by Desecrating areas displaying certain yellow glyphs – in addition to awakening its Great Old Ones. Requirements include:

  • Place a Desecration Token in an Area marked with the Glyph Ͻ
  • Place a Desecration Token in an Area marked with the Glyph Ʌ
  • Place a Desecration Token in an Area marked with the Glyph װץװ
  • As your Action [for a Round], select another player. That player gains three Doom points
  • Awaken the King in Yellow
  • Awaken Hastur. Also receive 1 Elder Sign

Likewise, the tenor of Yellow Sign’s Spellbooks is also different from the norm of “one Spellbook per critter plus a few general use options.” The faction’s Spellbooks are, hands down, the most opportunity-cost efficient options in the game, with half of them giving two-in-one actions (most notably He Who Must Not Be Named and The Screaming Dead, and to a lesser degree Zingaya). Beyond those, improvements to the crucial Desecrate action and annoying enhancements to Cultists and Byakhee round out the package.

He Who Must Not Be Named...is named

He Who Must Not Be Named (Action: Cost 1)
The “Hastur” Spellbook is a nasty piece of work, which allows you to teleport Hastur to any area containing an enemy Cultist then immediately take a second action! The obvious use of this ability is to teleport Hastur to a lightly-guarded Gate and capture the Cultist or start a Battle there – both of which are all fine and good – but with this Spellbook (and Screaming Dead like it), it’s important to remember you do NOT have to take that second action with Hastur himself. This leads to some interesting possibilities during play:

  • HWMNBNing Hastur to an Area with an enemy Cultist, then moving him where you need him (remember, this Action is NOT moving);
  • HWMNBNing in the enemy backfield and running amok amongst unprotected Cultists;
  • HWMNBNing Hastur to an Area with a friendly Cultist then summoning an independent Great Old One wherever you need it;
  • HWMNBNing Hastur to an Area with a friendly Cultist and the King in Yellow and then Desecrating, providing both an extra body and allowing the King to scoot off or try again later in the turn;
  • And so on.

Passion (Ongoing)
Passion is a fantastic “insurance policy” Spellbook, granting you 1 Power each time one of your Cultists is eliminated by an enemy during the Action Phase. Considering the speed at which Yellow Sign can eat through Power (mostly by using The Screaming Dead and He Who Must Not Be Named to perform multiple Actions in a single round), Passion is even more useful, since it provides a bulwark against the predations of opponents who still have Power after you’re out for the turn. Now, your enemy’s must choose: do they want to capture or kill your Cultists, thus allowing you back into the turn rotation, or should they leave you well enough alone? Uncertainty and misdirection, as always, are your friend.

I typically take Passion in the early game, often as my first Spellbook when facing  aggressive Factions like Crawling Chaos (who loves to capture Cultists), Cthulhu (who loves to eat Cultists all crowded up in Europe), or Ithaqua (who will often start right next door in the Arctic Ocean when facing Yellow Sign). While this ability will not stop these factions from picking on you – especially since your Cultists tend to remain bunched up – each time one is eliminated you get new opportunities to react and escape to safer pastures.

Shriek of the Byakhee (Action: Cost 1)
This Spellbook allows you to summon all your Byakhee to a single area from anywhere on the map. Keep in mind this book seems a lot like Crawling Chaos’ Seek & Destroy, it is NOT pre- or post-Battle triggered, which really changes its application. Ultimately, Shriek is far less essential to Yellow Sign’s strategies than the rest of its Spellbooks (in games with Azazoth available, I might swap it for The Stars are Right to make the most of my Elder Signs), it is still quite useful in a number of situations.

I most often use this Spellbook to protect the King in Yellow when he’s trying to Desecrate in the mid-game; rather than running away when someone comes after him, I use Shriek to call in Byakhee bodies for the impending Battle and keep trying to drop my token instead. But late in the game, this Spellbook also gives Yellow Sign the ability to execute lightning strikes against your foes. For example, if you had all 6 Spellbooks, you might use He Who Must Not Be Named to move to an area you wish to attack, then as your second action, use Shriek of the Byakhee to bring all your Byakhee to the same Area, then initiate a Battle (which is unlimited at this point). Assuming you had all your Byakhee in play, you’d be able to start a fight with between 10 and 15 dice, using all your best combat units where you choose the casualties inflicted on both sides, within a single round, for the low cost of 3 Power! That’s one helluva lightning strike, and used tactically, can really shock and awe your opponents.

Shriek of the Byakhee

The Screaming Dead (Action: Cost 1)
The Screaming Dead is Yellow Sign’s most essential Spellbook, providing the King in Yellow the power to move along with any Undead in his space and then perform a second, different action all within the same activation. In the vast majority of cases, that second action will be Desecrate – and for good reason. Left unchecked, it makes for a Desecration steamroller once the King has 4 or 5 Undead with him, allowing him to move then Desecrate (which is automatically successful since there are 6 models in this space), spawning a new Yellow Sign model to stay behind and gather Power via Feast. Needless to say, if you can get to this point in the game, you’re well on your way to winning – and you should rightly expect your opponents will try to stop you!

Even though this Spellbook is incredibly good and you’ll want to get it into play by the time the King hits the table, you need to keep a few things in mind when using it. First, the most obvious combo of TSD/Desecrate is going to drain your Power fast. Each time you use it, you’re spending 3 Power; the faster you burn through that Power, the sooner you’re out for the turn, and the more vulnerable you are to abuse by opponents still capable of acting. Sometimes, it’s not a bad idea just to use TSD to move the King and his Undead-tourage toward their target and skip the second action altogether; you won’t get a better deal than spending 1 Power to move up to 7 models! And, naturally, you can use this Spellbook in the same way you might use He Who Must Not Be Named to do things like move and recruit a Cultist in a new area, swoop in and Zingaya an enemy Cultist to expand your posse, call in reinforcements via Shriek of the Byakhee, and other hijinks.

The Third Eye (Ongoing)

Yellow Sign’s most attractive – and, in many ways, most powerful – Spellbook is also the most difficult to use. Much like with Feast and Passion, The Third Eye is an important tool for making up Yellow Sign’s general disregard for Gates during play, allowing you to score Doom in new ways. The Third Eye has two effects: while Hastur is in play, it reduces the cost of Desecrate to 1 Power, and also grants you an Elder Sign each time you successfully Desecrate. The catch, of course, is that you need both your Great Old Ones in play to benefit, and for your Desecrate rolls to actually go off. Put another way – to actually use this Spellbook you must:

  • Keep Hastur alive (which means not using him for combat, where he’s most useful)
  • Protect the King from attack (to keep Desecrating as much as possible)
  • Keep your Undead alive and with the King (to guarantee your rolls will go off)

That’s no mean feat either in terms of Power/time expenditure, and there are lots of ways to pick this apart even if you do make that investment (kill Hastur; kill the King; kill the Undead). So realistically, you probably won’t have the Power or bodies to ensure The Third Eye works reliably until the late game. Once you do, however, the role of the King in Yellow changes from a necessary path to Spellbooks to your most important scoring engine. Each Elder Sign is worth an average of 1.75 Doom, and if you’re using The Screaming Dead/Desecrate combo you can easily get 5 or 6 Desecration attempts off per turn. Since Yellow Sign rarely controls many Gates during the game, even one turn of this combo can flip the entire game in your favor!

Zingaya (Action: Cost 1)
I believe Zingaya is Yellow Sign’s most misunderstood Spellbook (every faction has one). While at first glance it seems an oddly specific ability (allow an Undead that shares a space with an enemy Cultist to replace that Cultist for another Undead), in truth it is a stealthy third “two-actions-for-one” Spellbook in the faction’s arsenal. Put another way, Zingaya effectively allows you to kill a Cultist and summon an Undead – all without using a Gate or declaring battle – for just 1 Action and 1 Power. In that light, it’s a pretty great deal!

Zingaya

The clearest utility for Zingaya is for the King in Yellow using The Screaming Dead, particularly when he’s low on Undead. Rather than simply Screaming into a new space and attempting to Desecrate, which would likely fail, the King could instead Zingaya, which will both remove enemy plastic and increase his chances of Desecrate succeeding. But it’s also a great tool for stealing the Gates Yellow Sign doesn’t want to spend Power on. For instance, if Zingaya leaves a Gate open prior to the King’s next Desecrate, you could also choose to take a Cultist rather than an Undead to snatch the Gate for yourself. Zingaya works especially well to break open Gates on heavily-defended areas which are light on Cultists; the presence of enemy monsters or GOOs does not affect the Spellbook at all, so you could move an Undead and Cultist into a space, Zingaya, then take the Gate right out from under the enemy’s nose!

STRATEGIES FOR YELLOW SIGN

Strategically, Yellow Sign defies much of the conventional wisdom that applies to the rest of Cthulhu Wars’ factions. While yes, the group needs Power to act and Doom to win, the way it goes about getting these resources is markedly different from other colors. Yellow Sign players rarely build Gates, summon monsters, or start battles; instead they use alliances, fleeing, and other uncommon and underhanded CW tactics to dominate their seemingly more formidable opponents.

On Desecrate
The King in YellowTo win with Yellow Sign, it is absolutely essential you understand the nuances and applications of the King in Yellow’s Desecrate ability, since it is the tool required to earn no less than half your Spellbooks and your central device for earning Elder Signs short of Rituals of Annihilation.  I’ve had games where I’ve earned upwards of 20 Doom just from Elder Signs (yes, we were new to the game, and yes, I had 15 tokens), so getting the Desecration engine working is a key part of a winning Yellow Sign strategy.

Let’s start with the action itself. Desecrate is an action that costs 2 Power, and allows you to roll a d6. If the result is equal to or less than the number of units you have in the Area, you place a Desecration token. Then you may place a Monster or Cultist with a cost of 2 or less in that space, whether you succeeded on the roll or not. So, in a sense, Desecrate is like a summon monster/recruit Cultist ability that does not require a Gate which sometimes also places a token in the Area – yet another two-for-one action! You should start by spawning Undead until you have 4 or 5, then shift to creating Byakhee.

The other essential half of the Desecrate equation is the faction’s special Feast ability, which grants you 1 Power when you have at least 1 unit in a space with a Desecration token. Feast is a vital tool for Power, since you’ll be spending a lot of your time and focus on moving the King around the table looking to Desecrate, rather than building and tending Gates, so you’re going to need to spread your units out eventually to make the most of it. When I want a good solo “Feaster”, I choose Byakhee – they get the greatest economy of combat dice when they’re on their own (1+ number of Byakhee in their area), and with Shriek of the Byakhee in play, are not locked down to any particular area in the long run.

While your early to mid-game uses of Desecrate will be to get Spellbooks and set up Feast, late in the game it becomes the primary tool for scoring Doom. Once Hastur’s in play and you have The Third Eye, the King becomes your primary tool of victory by Desecrating indiscriminately to earn you as many Elder Signs as you can before he gets hunted down and killed (and he will be). This late-game points surge is likely when you’ll come from behind to win, so the sooner you can get your Spellbooks out of the way and onto scoring, the better!

Opening Moves (Turns 1–2)
In the beginning of the game, you have two, seemingly opposed goals in mind: first, you need to start working towards your hardest Spellbooks as fast as you can; and second, you need to hold off as long as possible before committing to your goals. Yellow Sign tends to eat through Power very quickly, and players with any level of experience know how central the King is to your strategy, and will do everything in their power to kill him – unless you actively work to hold off your moves, you are going to get ganged up on and your strategy will fail.

Yellow Sign does not follow the conventional wisdom of “Get to 10 Power by Turn 2.” The two strongest openings I have found are either to awaken the King in Yellow Turn 1, or pull off the more aggressive “Zombie Outbreak” start. Both have their place, though the standard open is much easier to execute and less contingent upon the factions in play and your ability to negotiate alliances!

Option #1 – Turn 1 King in Yellow

Turn 1 (8 Power)

  • As an Action, give one opponent 3 Doom (0 Power; Spellbook choice: Passion); do your best to get a 1 or 2 turn alliance in exchange for this Doom if you can!
  • Move 1 Cultist to Scandinavia (1 Power)
  • Awaken the King in Yellow (4 Power; Spellbook choice: The Screaming Dead)
  • Desecrate in Scandinavia (2 Power; Spellbook choice: Zingaya); add Undead to Scandinavia
  • If successful, use The Screaming Dead to move to North Atlantic; if failed, use The Screaming Dead to move back to Europe (1 Power)
    • If during the round one of your Cultists are killed or captured later, use The Screaming Dead to move to North Atlantic to set up for Turn 2.

King in Yellow Start

In Turn 2, you will have the King in play along with at least 1 Undead, and hopefully be in North Atlantic. North Atlantic is a great Area for Yellow Sign (at least until Cthulhu is awoken with Power and Submerge), since it borders with spaces containing each of the three glyphs you need to Desecrate to earn Spellbooks, allowing you to go wherever you’re least likely to face combat with the King as you build up your gang of Undead.

Option #2 – Zombie Outbreak!

Also known as the “Zingaya Start” over on BoardGameGeek’s Cthulhu Wars forum, this brutal strategy builds your Undead posse much faster while brutalizing Crawling Chaos, Black Goat, or Windwalker (in that order)’s starting area. Fair warning: expect your opponent (s) to carry a grudge after this opening!

Turn 1 (8 Power)

  • Summon an Undead (1 Power)
  • Chose an opponent as your prey, then move the Undead to Arabia (if the victim is Crawling Chaos or Black Goat) or Scandinavia (if the prey is Windwalker) (1 Power)
  • Strike an alliance with a different player, giving him 3 Doom as an action for his allegiance (0 Power; Spellbook choice: Zingaya)
  • Bide your time, moving your Undead adjacent to the prey’s starting Area as necessary until your prey is at 1-2 Power, then move in (1+ Power)
  • Zingaya as many times as you can afford (1–4 Power)

Zombie Outbreak Start

With the best possible success, you could begin Turn 2 with 8 Power, 6 Cultists, 4 Undead in your prey’s starting Area, and a prey with just 2 Cultists and probably 5-6 Power total (e.g. half the first player’s Power). They’ll be unable to summon their Great Old One for at least a turn, and quite possibly 2, as they struggle to rebuild their Power base. Meanwhile, you can simply move an Undead to a nearby empty Area, play 4 Power to awaken the King in Yellow (Spellbook choice: The Screaming Dead) then use TSD to move right back into your victim’s starting Area and Zingaya or capture the remaining Cultists, or Desecrate, place a Cultist, and take their Gate. Muhahahah!

Turn 2 and Beyond
No matter which start you choose open with, your attention in Turn 2 and beyond should focus on getting the King + Undead buddies to Desecrate areas with the appropriate glyphs to earn his Spellbooks. You’ll want to do this as early as possible; while it’s virtually guaranteed the King will be the first Great Old One in play, the fact remains he has 0 Combat and little backup early in the game…and once others GOOs start to take the field, his life expectancy will drop substantially.

Getting these Spellbooks early will require some risk-taking, but with a little dice luck and some good planning, you can pull it off even after enemy GOOs start to hit the table. As we know from previous Mythos Mayhem articles, many factions will summon their GOO in Turn 2…but doing so is likely to leave them with little, if any, Power to act. This is your opportunity to get your Spellbooks while they’re tapped out!

Assuming you end Turn 1 with the King in North Atlantic and your Desecrate rolls go off as expected, your next moves might go like this:

  • The Screaming Dead with King + Undead to North America East (1 Power)
  • Desecrate in North America East (2 Power; Spellbook choice: Shriek of the Byakhee); add Undead to this Area
  • The Screaming Dead with King + Undead back to North Atlantic (1 Power)
  • The Screaming Dead with King + Undead to West Africa (1 Power)
  • Desecrate in West Africa (2 Power; Spellbook choice: The Third Eye); add Undead to this Area
  • The Screaming Dead with King + Undead back to North Atlantic or Zingaya a Black Goat Cultist (1 Power)

Turn 2 Ideal Placement

That (admittedly rosy) picture would leave you with the King, at least 3 Undead, 5 Spellbooks, and the freedom to start building Gates and occupying Desecrated areas in preparation for awakening Hastur in the mid-game. Assuming your opponents are smart and trying to prevent this from happening, you may spend a bit more time using Zingaya to (re)build your Undead-tourage prior to Desecrating, but assuming even average luck, you should be able to reach phase II of Yellow Sign’s plan early in the mid-game.

Mid-Game Moves (Turns 3–4)
But let’s assume for a second you don’t manage to roll a 1, then 2, then 3 for your Desecrate rolls, and you’re not at 5 Spellbooks by the time your opponents start acting with their Great Old Ones. What then? By now, anyone with experience or who’s paying attention will know what you’re up to and how weak the King is, and probably send a few attacks (or, Azazoth help you, Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep) your way to harass him. In cases like this, be like Sir Robin and run away.

Caution is the better part of valor

In the midgame, you’ll find most players are not willing to spend lots of Power just to run down a single model (since they won’t be sending just a GOO after you…if they’re smart) and without 6 Spellbooks, will probably give up the chase. Thanks to The Screaming Dead, a “tactical retreat” like this is cheap and lets you move all your necessary models for a single Power, so use that cardio against thick headed or stubborn opponents. Remember, you can still move the King after using The Screaming Dead (even though both actions move models, they are different actions), so you can cut some (Un)dead weight to get to safety rather than take an attack. Just TSD/Move, then in the next turn, use Shriek of the Byakhee to summon your Byakhee to the King’s space as a bodyguard and bodies before your Desecrate. I repeat: muhahaha!

With any luck and some dedication, you should be able to get all your Desecrate-based Spellbooks by the end of Turn 3. As soon as you do, it’s time to go to Phase II: getting Hastur into play so you can score tons of Elder Signs via The Third Eye and run away with the game. To get Hastur and your corresponding last Spellbook (which should be He Who Must Not Be Named), you’re going to need 10 Power – a tall order if you’ve not been focused on using Feast or building Gates in and amongst (see sidebar). The easiest way to get to 10 Power if you’re not already there is probably start moving the King & co back towards a “safe” Gate, dropping off Undead at or near any areas with Desecration tokens as you do. If you’ve been protecting your Cultists well, you should only need your original Gate, 6 cultists, and 2 Desecrated Areas with Yellow Sign units in them to pull it off – though you’ll benefit much more if you have more than 12 Power the turn you awaken Hastur so you can immediately run off and Desecrate after he hits play!

Don’t Forget to Feast!
There is a warning you will need to follow while you’re on walkabout, and that is don’t forget you need to build up your Power! While keeping the King alive is important, he only costs 4 Power to awaken and doesn’t require a Gate, so don’t overinvest when you can summon him later and build your Power base to keep up with your opponents.

There are two primary ways to build Power for Yellow Sign: either building Gates (likely near your start area, where your Cultists are still hanging out) or by leaving models behind after Desecrating to benefit from Feast. Most of the time, people will opt for the latter, as it’s cheaper, but it leaves your models spread out. I recommend leaving Byahkee behind in this case: not only can you get them for free after Desecrate, they also are much stronger on their own (2 Combat) and can be moved cheaply (via Shriek) so there’s no real downside to leaving them scattered about versus, say, Cultists or Undead.

Byakhee guarding Feast tokens

Late-Game Moves (Turns 5+)
You should definitely have 6 Spellbooks by Turn 5 – probably a lot earlier – and be well into Phase II of your plan. Unlike other factions, unlimited Battle is a distinctly bad thing for you…in other players’ hands, so you’ll need to press our advantage early and often. Use the King to aggressively Desecrate every area you can, being careful to keep his Undead bodyguard numerous (better for the battles that will be coming your way, and to guarantee success + an Elder Sign). Avoid combat-oriented factions (or pretty much anyone with 6 Spellbooks) like the plague, as they’re all capable of running you down and immediately starting Battle as an unlimited action. You’ll probably lose the King at least once during the late game (if you don’t you’ve probably got the game in the bag), but remember you can reawaken the King anywhere you have yellow units and no Gate, so he can reappear amongst his entourage or a “safe zone” away from the fighting and start his shenanigans all over again!

Elder Signs Everywhere!The other key to late game success is to keep Hastur alive so The Third Eye (and your Elder Sign machine) continue to function as long as possible. Unlike the King, Hastur is very expensive to reawaken, especially considering your paucity of Gates, so you need to avoid the temptation of He Who Must Not Be Named and unlimited Battle as much as you can. I typically keep Hastur back near my blob of Cultists, using Vengeance defensively to pick off Great Old Ones and other combat all-stars and blunt any assassination runs that come my way. Watch out for “ranged” attacks, such as Opener’s Dread Curse of Azazoth, or brute force attacks which can thin your bodyguard ranks without fear of reprisal. In these cases, use He Who Must Not Be Named to teleport away from the fighting and force the enemy to give chase. It’s super annoying!

As you pile up Elder Signs, keep a close track and never forget: reveal Elder Signs as soon as you hit 30 Doom to end the game in the action phase! This is one rule I have forgotten many times in the past, and I know of at least two games as Yellow Sign where waiting to the next Doom phase to reveal my Elder Signs has cost me victory.

I SAW THE SIGN…

Wow! As you can see, Yellow Sign is a faction quite unlike any other in Cthulhu Wars – devious, dastardly, and sneaky as all get out. If you’re the type that likes playing by your own rules and throwing off opponents with guile and unexpected moves, look no further than the King and Hastur!

And that wraps up our series of articles on the core game and its 4 factions! Coming up on Mythos Mayhem, we’ll start looking at some of Cthulhu Wars many expansions, including new factions, independent monsters, new maps, and the minions of the dread nuclear chaos, Azazoth. Until then, fellow cultists!

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