Explore and Exploit the Eldritch on Cthulhu Island
From a quick glance, it may appear that this place is nothing out of the ordinary. But on closer inspection, one finds things hidden in the shadows; awful, powerful things, waiting to swallow up their next victim, waiting to be unleashed upon the world. This is why the park directors came here: There is power and resources to be gained, if only one knows where, and how, to look for them.
At the start of the game, Cthulhu Island has yet to be explored. Only these three starting locations are known. Further exploration is required to find the truly awesome powers that hide on the island. The location tiles that make up Cthulhu Island are separated into three levels. At first you will only be able to explore level I tiles. A location tile must be placed adjacent to two tiles no less than 1 level below its own.
What this means is that as the island expands, so do your options. For each power token spent to Explore, you draw a location tile of any level. Then you choose which one to place, depending on what resources and powers you desire. Not only that, but the level and placement of your chosen tile will impact how the island can be explored further. A well-placed Level I tile could seriously hamper your opponents’ options for exploration.
As you place a tile, you immediately gain the resources printed on it. These can be materials for construction your park, visitors, power tokens and more. Additionally, you may place an altar which gives you Influence, enabling you to harvest the location on later turns. It also helps in asserting Dominance on that location.
The exploration of Cthulhu Island is perhaps the most important strategic action, allowing not just for your own expansion of resources and powers, but for the hindrance of opponents as well. More and more options are available with each location tile placed, and each must be placed with careful forethought.
But simply placing a new tile isn’t enough to secure your victory. You must have control of the area as well, which you get through Influence and Dominance. We'll go deeper into this next week, so stay tuned!
You might also like to read our article How to Use your Cult: Area Control in Cthulhu Island