Playing as Crawling Chaos
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 for a while, and he is stronger later in the game anyway. Your most awkward Spellbook requirement is often “Capture a Cultist,” so look for any chance to pull this off.
In the late game, everything changes. Nyarlathotep now has a huge combat ability (up to twelve dice); instead of fearing Battle, you should seek it. Smite enemies’ 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(s) you see fit.
Crawling Chaos is all about opportunism; striking at the weak and vulnerable. While some other Factions have a faster start on attaining Spellbooks, Crawling Chaos is often the Faction that completes his collection first. Your Units are not mighty in Battle, and your Spellbooks are defensive in nature. You are good at harassment, and at debilitating foes over time.
In the early game, this protects Gates from enemy Monsters. It is not as good in the late game, as you will often need your Nightgaunts to soak up enemy Kills. Abduct can sometimes be combined with Invisibility to pick off troublesome Monsters.
Emissary of the Outer Gods
Less useful when Great Old Ones are out, but it does keep costly Nyarlathotep safe from cheap attacks. Remember to use a Pain to Retreat him somewhere safe!
Safely place an invulnerable Flying Polyp in an enemy Area. This is also helpful in canceling obnoxious Units such as Starspawn.
Your signature Spellbook. Madness is not immediately destructive, but over the course of the game your enemies’ Units will scatter inconveniently, taking them time and energy to remedy the situation.
Seek and Destroy
Your Gates across the world are now protected from weak- to-medium attacks, since you can throw in a Combat 2 Monster at will. While on the offensive your attacks are cheaper, since your Horror joins in for free. This also gives Nyarlathotep extra meat shields in the event of an ambush.
Early in the game, Thousand Forms forces enemies to give up a Power advantage. Late in the game, it gives you a boost when your enemies are most vulnerable. Combined with Harbinger, you can achieve a surprise Power surge that will make your foes whine.
Thwarting Crawling Chaos
Crawling Chaos’ Units are excellent at staving off weak raids, but less effective against major attacks. Therefore, take the gloves off and hit Crawling Chaos with everything. As the Germans say, “Klotzen, nicht Kleckern!”*
Nyarlathotep is terrifying, but Killing him represents a major setback. Crawling Chaos may take a whole Action Phase to recover! Unlike those of other Factions, his Cultists have no real defensive capability (Cthulhu has Devolve, Yellow Sign has Passion, and Black Goat has Frenzy), so they are vulnerable.
There is not much you can do about Crawling Chaos’ 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.
* Essentially, “If you do it, do it right!”