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For those of you who have played cults now, I want to see what opinions you have:
Plague: Can be grossly overpowered if you don't get the right hero out. First time I faced it I couldn't get a hero to save my life so I had 3 full armies all plagued. I was playing against ME and they swooped in with a few powerful units and slaughtered my entire line. Nothing is more depressing than a battle where all your units are operating at half strength.
Temple of Love: Annoying, especially in the beginning. Lone recon units and Heroes sent out to build resource collectors just go *poof*. Still, once I got a good army together it wasn't that tough to rush their city and take it down.
Religious Cult: These guys blasted me the first time. I thought I was doing so well when the request for a tribute came in. I ignored it, thinking "what's the worst that could happen?". Three turns later their super weapon met my lead army and cut through it like butter. I went down pretty quickly after that. From then on I made sure to take them out before it happened again.
Warlord: I hated this guy at first because he prevented me from expanding. His armies are tough with the occasional nuke attached on. Then I got a good army together, marched as close as I could to his base and dropped a base. Once I withstood the first few armies he threw at me it became rather easy and he would only send a single unit against me each turn. Until I was ready to take him out. He was very useful in keeping my opponents down.
OK, those are my first impressions. What were your experiences?
Good feedback. Pretty consistent with my experiences. When I played against the warlord, he was two hexes from my enemy and wiped them out pretty early so it made it a lot easier. Plus, he never used his nukes against me. Also, I played a pretty quick game against the Doomsday cult, so they didn't get their weapon built in time.
But the best fight is the last cult. I've tried twice and been beaten down.
Each of the cults are frightening in the own way, but once you figure out a decent counter, it's a lot easier. Except for the Warlord; still don't have a concrete tactic other than overwhelming force. But I agree, Palace of Love guards are especially pushovers. The Kabaagh thing is insane without tac nukes. Can't imagine how non-Man sides can take him down. Must go try.
The warlord was mopping me up until I drew Carlos "the assasin", sneaked him into the Fist's HQ and gave the warlord a couple new breathing holes. Without his leadership, the cult fell apart and I was able to retake all my now abandoned bases with recon units, and Carlos laid claim to the Fist's HQ.
I ran into the Fist of the Wastelands, on my first play. The Warlord's Doomsayers just mopped me up. I think I was more stressed about him than dealing with the Machine Empire. (I played as Empire of Man) I will admit, I do need to learn to design my own decks, though.
Max: "Let's hit him in the head with a mallet! That will cure his amnesia!" Sam: "You always say that!" Max: "Yeah but it will REALLY WORK this time!!!"
I played through em all with mutants and took care of most of the cult leaders with a slayer/assassin. The big nasty was a problem the first time when I "declined", then a bit easier on the replay. The palace of love is the most difficult IMO, loss of troops was just tough...especially the first time around. The fist was generally difficult, the palace difficult through removal and the big nasty was terrible when not prepared. I didn't really get hit by the plague queen all that much, so I'll have to see how replays go.
Temple of Love gave me one of my best moments in gaming I've had in a while....
Playing with the new Cults I've learned that the best way to deal with them is to send out assassins as soon as you can, well when I get the message that the Temple of Love is in town, I laugh it off since I have both Carlos and Valentine in my hand. Now I had no idea what the Temple of Love did, but I thought whatever went on in that hippy commune a bullet to the head should solve it. I wasn't so cocky anymore when first Carlos goes AWOL, then Valentine shortly follows suite a few turns later. Someone watching me play asks me whats wrong and I just sorta shrug and say "Guess they ran off togther to get hitched at the House O' Love". Later all my recon units follow suite and I'm virtually left blind fighting the Xenopods. I decide I aint gonna be sent home crying to the Emporer, and just load up my units into big stacks letting good old tatical nukes and gunfire be my recon. Moving a particularlly meaty stack of Mechs and tanks toward where I thought would be the Xenopod base, I instead run smack dab into the wastelands original Love Shack. One hell of a gun fight ensues but while chain guns are fearsome, Vengance mechs are more so. When the Sex Slug is nothing more than smoldering ashes I take a minute to savor the victory before I click on the Temple of Love to discover none other than.....CARLOS & VALENTINE! Up until this time I simply thought my units were getting destroyed I had no idea that my prior joke of the Temple as a Vegas Wedding Chapel had truth in it. Well shocked as hell to see them I shout out loud "What the hell are you doing here!", the friend watching me play looks over and says "If they could they might ask you the same question, you can at least be curteous and give em a few minutes to get dressed"
I've been playing through with my Imperial Infantry deck. Gotta love the Marines.
Anyway, I managed to knock out the defenses on the rapture device with conventional weapons (Marines+Burst Lasers=My Favorite Combo). In the meantime, the Xenopods have taken almost every base I built to get to the cult.
I'm liking that the traditional opponents have become annoyances as I learn how to deal with each new cult.
Analysis so far:
Fists - I got a good draw and a good starting position. Only lost two armies to their tac nukes and chain guns before I got a force which could hold them off while I built up an offensive army. This game netted me my most experienced army ever (the defensive one) at 170+ experience and a lot of battle honors.
Plague - Weak sauce. I had a geneticist out and made enough antigen that I was more annoyed when they moved the plague hut than anything else.
Love - Again, not terribly impressed. I've been using traditional tactics, which involve reconnaissance in force, so the only loss I suffered was when I accidentally stumbled onto the temple without any prep, and they seduced Kost away from me after wiping out his tanks.
Rapture - So far, the nastiest. I admit I'm a slow player, and I felt really pushed by the timeline. Also, those turrets are just nasty.
? - I haven't played the final cult, and probably won't until tomorrow or next week.
It's like opening booster packs, but without the empty place in my wallet!
"The end is important in all things"
When I first went against the Rapture cult I just sat around waiting for the device to go off. It took 42 turns. That's really a lot of time to build a sizable army and crush them. Or nuke them from orbit.
Played with an Imperial rush tank deck.
The Fist was a death sentence for all my recon unit (leopard) until I escort one of them with an Tiger and and Elephant.
Pretty surprised by the briefcase nuke but I lose only a Leopard, a Mobile field post (non longer needed) and Winston Liu.
This is the first time I saw tactical nuke flying from the opposite side. I was lucky, I dodged them all.
The speed at which The Fist generated units was amazing. No time to breath.
Fist: 'traditional' enemy, but they really go for the throat with their initial armies. maybe they need to make 3+ a normal unit size before sending them out, unless they need the recce. I had been found but he still sent out tiny units. Yay free XP.
Plague: this got really depressing. I just had to extricate myself from other enemies to doom them, they died pretty easy once found.
Love: It is annoying to have the recce screen disabled 'randomly', perhaps there could be some 'a political officer reported problems' and if the unit can get back to base it wont become Loved. The final fight just needed some prep, first to draw off their EMP nades, then to smash them.
Thats where I am at so far. Great mini expansion. Adds nice strategic and tactical changes to the already involved mix.
I just played the longest and hardest game ever. I played Iron Man on a huge map with me as the mutants versus everyone else. I left the Cult option on random and ended up playing against the Palace of Love. It was impossible to get anywhere when my recon units kept disappearing. I was stuck at 1 human resource/turn for a long, long time. I finally managed to locate the humans and then the machines snuck in and took over a supply post. It was a long hard struggle to regain that, protect my HQ, and destroy the humans. After that things got a LITTLE easier. Most of the game I struggled with finding any of the bad guys. Especially the cult who were hiding in the mountains to the east. By the time I found them, I was out of cards with a couple of small but tough armies. I had found the cult with a saboteur but because of the shield on the palace, the most I could do in any given turn was 5 points of damage (which happens to coincide with the amount of points they are able to repair each turn). I managed to get a technologist into the captured human HQ up north and use the lab there to build a nuke. Bye bye cult! Around this time I had found the machine base and wiped them out. Now it was just down to the xenopods. Great, save the tough ones for last when I'm down to nothing! I had about 8 outposts scattered around the map and only one or two of them had any sort of guard, so now while I'm hex hunting for the alien HQ, they are sending armies all over and capturing all of my hard-earned outposts. Gah! I finally found their HQ (after taking over 3 or 4 of THEIR outposts) and had my technologist build another nuke. I expected it to be game over. Imagine my surprise when I realized it was a hardened facility and still standing! Fortunately, I had a fast moving army that quickly ran over there and mopped up the survivors. Game over, I win. It took me 97 turns(!) and my final score was 710. Total play time was around 4 hours, I think. [sm=icon_respect.gif]
Eesh. I was doing all right with my Empire 40 card 175 point deck on a huge map with 3 opponents and the Plague Cult was just about to receive a well deserved thrashing. I was able to keep the plague at bay by killing the heroes. I was two turns away from the plague hut with a couple of enhanced Vengeance mechs. Unfortunately the Machine Empire discovered the satellite uplink and the trident submarine. My first loss to a WMD.
I just came up against the great Tentacled thing playing the Muties. I had wiped the rest of the map, taken out the Machines and Xenopods, checked I couldn't WMD the thing, so collected the most powerful army I could when the monster started to roll.
2 Zeus platoons (One with nerve ammo), 1 EVO, 1 Zentarads, 1 Mauler, Artillery and 2 Razor support, with Blastomere leading to give +1 across the board.....
....and the Great Kaaaaarggh took them (and my HQ!). He was down to 7 hits though.
Has anyone found a way to beat this monster when you're not Human?
The Xenos are my babies. I got lucky enough to find the Black Mesa Lab and a War OGR, so I had two Beasts (each with an AT-HK Warlord and a Death Rod) (10/8 +2-7 damage with 10 HP), a War OGR (16/10 Multi-target and Reactive Armor), and a Destroyer (10/10 Massive Damage and Regen 1) in the front line with three Destroyers in the back under the command of R'lyah. Since Kabaagh concentrated on the War OGR, I didn't even take damage.
If I had to do it again without the luck, I'd sub a Destroyer in for the War OGR. I still wouldn't be worried about it. I might lose the two Beasts (which would only be 9/7 with 8 HP), but 5 10/10's shouldn't have a problem with it.
Ok, just played the second game with Machine, came up against the Rapture, but I was really lucky and got the War OGR just one hex away from my initial base and basically just owned them with tech and the OGR. That thing is just powerful to say the least, first time I recieved an uber unit like that besides the suitcase nuke. The rapture was almost finished and luckily I took them out on the last turn. (I'm using a slightly modified version of the shock-machine deck) Shock is sort of overpowered though in small skirmishes with tactics cards, but really with my deck I don't have many beat down cards besided styxx. And you really need tech cards and tactics to succeeded with this deck. The game took 92(612 points, Iron Man Mode) turns but in the end it was my tech/tactics that won the battle. Longest game I have ever played also btw. Cults is a great mini pack, I love the extra challenge.