Central Theme: Crawling Chaos is all about opportunism; striking at the weak and vulnerable. While some other Factions have a faster start on attaining Spell Books, Crawling Chaos is often the Faction that completes his collection first. Your Units are not mighty in battle, and your Spell Books are defensive in nature. You are good at harassment, and debilitating foes over time.
Early Game: In the early game, focus on safety and power-building. Use Flight to set up bases in inaccessible Areas. Nightgaunts with Abduct discourage enemies from attacking your Cultists – at least they’ll need to send more than one Monster. You won’t need Nyarlathotep himself for a while, and he is stronger later in the game anyway. Your most awkward Spell Book requirement is often “Capture a Cultist,” so look for any chance to pull this off.
Late Game: In the late game, everything changes. Nyarlathotep now has a huge combat ability (up to twelve dice), and instead of fearing battle, you should seek it. Smite their Great Old Ones for the Harbinger bonus. You can perform Rituals more safely than other players, because you can restore the power imbalance with Thousand Forms, so you are not left as vulnerable afterwards. More than any other player, you can hit an enemy where he is weak. As a result, if one player has surged ahead, the rest may try to convince you to save the day. Go ahead and save the day, but be sure to exact promises and tribute from the others. For instance, “Before I strike, I want you to evacuate your Gate in South America.” Promises are not binding in Cthulhu Wars, so make sure you “see the money” before taking whatever action you see fit.
- Emissary of the Outer Gods: Less useful when Great Old Ones are out, but it does keep expensive Nyarlathotep safe from cheap attacks. Remember to use Madness to use a Pain to retreat him somewhere safe!
- Abduct: In the early game, this protects Gates from enemy Monsters. In the late game it is not as good, as you often need your Nightgaunts to soak up enemy Kills. It can sometimes be combined with Invisibility to pick off a good Monster.
- Invisibility: Safely place an invulnerable Flying Polyp in an enemy Area. Also good to cancel obnoxious Units such as Starspawn.
- Seek and Destroy: Now your Gates are protected across the world from weak-to-medium attacks, since you can throw in a two-dice Monster at will. While on the offensive, your attacks are cheaper, since your Horror joins in for free. Also gives Nyarlathotep extra meat shields in case he is ambushed.
- Madness: Your signature Spell Book. It is not immediately destructive, but over the course of the game, your enemies’ Units scatter inconveniently and it takes time and energy to restore the situation.
- Thousand Forms: Early in the round, it forces enemies to give up a Power advantage. Late in the round, it boosts you when they are most vulnerable. Combined with Harbinger, you can achieve a surprise Power surge that makes your foes whine.
Thwarting Crawling Chaos: Crawling Chaos Units are excellent at staving off weak raids, but less effective against a major attack. Therefore take the gloves off and hit him with everything -– as the Germans say, Klotzen, nicht Kleckern! Nyarlathotep is terrifying, but if you do Kill him, it is a major setback, and Crawling Chaos may take a whole turn to recover. His Cultists have no real defensive capability, unlike other players (Cthulhu has Devolve, Yellow Sign Passion, and Black Goat Frenzy), so they are vulnerable. There is not much you can do about his power drain abilities. Just suck it up and remember that it may be better to let your own Power drop rather than give him an undeserved boost.