Cthulhu Wars Strategy Wiki
Crawling Chaos

Crawling Chaos is one of the four original factions for the Cthulhu Wars boardgame. It focuses on mobility and assassination of enemy Great Old Ones. Remolded Nightgaunts with increased durability {CG-B1} were later made available for purchase.



8 Power, 6 Acolytes, and a Controlled Gate in the Area with this Glyph: Sigil - Crawling Chaos.png
Unique Ability
Flight (Ongoing): All of your Units can fly (even Cultists). When Moved, they can travel 2 Areas. They can fly over Areas containing enemy units.
Spellbook Requirements
As your Action, pay 4 Power.* As your Action, pay 6 Power.*
*You may earn both of these Spellbooks in a single Action by paying 10 Power.
Control 3 Gates OR have 12 Power. Control 4 Gates OR have 15 Power.
Capture an enemy Cultist. Awaken Nyarlathotep.
Spellbook - Crawling Chaos.pngSpellbook - Crawling Chaos (Abduct).png Abduct (Pre-Battle): Eliminate one or more Nightgaunts from the Battle. For each one Eliminated, your enemy must Eliminate one of his own Monsters or Cultists from the Battle.
Spellbook - Crawling Chaos.pngSpellbook - Crawling Chaos (Emissary of the Outer Gods).png Emissary of the Outer Gods (Post-Battle): Unless an enemy Great Old One is involved in the Battle, a Kill applied to Nyarlathotep becomes a Pain. If Nyarlathotep cannot be Pained due to being surrounded, he is not Eliminated.
Spellbook - Crawling Chaos.pngSpellbook - Crawling Chaos (Invisibility).png Invisibility (Pre-Battle): Select one Monster or Cultist (from either Faction) for each Flying Polyp present and "exempt" it. The selected Unit does not participate in the rest of the Battle.
Spellbook - Crawling Chaos.pngSpellbook - Crawling Chaos (Madness).png Madness (Ongoing): After all Pain results have been assigned, you, rather than the Units' owners, choose the Area(s) to which all Pained Units will go. You may apply these results in any order (rather than the normal 'attacker first, then defender'), but you must still follow all other rules. Do this even for Battles in which you did not participate.

Spellbook - Crawling Chaos.pngSpellbook - Crawling Chaos (Seek and Destroy).png Seek and Destroy (Pre-Battle): Immediately move any or all Hunting Horrors from any Area(s) into the Battle Area.
Spellbook - Crawling Chaos.pngSpellbook - Crawling Chaos (The Thousand Forms).png The Thousand Forms (Action: Cost 0): If Nyarlathotep is in play, roll a die. Your foes lose that much Power between them; they have 1 minute to decide how much each loses. If they cannot agree, you receive Power equal to the number rolled. Flip this spellbook over; it cannot be used again in this Action Phase. During the Gather Power Phase, flip it face-up again.


Image Unit Quantity Cost Combat Spellbooks
Acolyte (Classic) - Crawling Chaos.png File:Acolyte (Classic) - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png

Acolyte (Alternate) - Crawling Chaos.png Acolyte (Alternate) - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
Acolyte 6 1 0
Availability: [Classic] Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x6), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x6), Acolyte Blister Pack {RPG-CG-A} (x2)
[Alternate] Alternate Faction Acolytes {CW-U12} (x6), Cultic Set 1 {EHP-4} (x6)
From his ancient tome he intones the words of power. Beware, sane world. The realm of madness awakens at his command.
The alternate sculpt units replace the classic sculpt Acolytes, and were originally developed for Evil High Priest.
Image Unit Quantity Cost Combat Spellbooks
Nightgaunt.png Nightgaunt (Painted).png
Nightgaunt 3 1 0 Abduct
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x3), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x3), Nightgaunt Blister Pack {RPG-CG-B1} (x1)
Winged beings with horns, claws, a barbed tail, and no face. They carry off their victims to an unknowable fate.
Flying Polyp.png Flying Polyp (Painted).png
Flying Polyp 3 2 1 Invisibility
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x3), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x3), Flying Polyp Blister Pack {RPG-CG-B2} (x2)
A horrible elder being, utterly alien. It is only partly material – as we understand matter. It preys horribly upon all earth life.
Hunting Horror.png Hunting Horror (Painted).png
Hunting Horror 2 3 2 Seek and Destroy
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x2), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x2), Hunting Horror Blister Pack {RPG-CG-B3} (x2)
Once sent onto the trail of its prey, not only does it never stop, it cannot do so. Forced by its inexorable fate, the Hunting Horror pursues to the death.
Great Old Ones
Image Unit Quantity Cost Combat Spellbooks
Nyarlathotep.png Nyarlathotep (Painted).png
Nyarlathotep 1 10 *

How to Awaken Nyarlathotep:
  1. You must have a Controlled Gate.
  2. Pay 10 Power. Nyarlathotep appears at the Controlled Gate.
Combat: Equal to the total number of Spellbooks on Faction Cards belonging to you and your enemy.
The Harbinger (Post-Battle): If Nyarlathotep is in a Battle in which one or more enemy Great Old Ones are Pained or Killed, you receive Power equal to half of the cost of Awakening those Great Old Ones. For each enemy Great Old One Pained or Killed, you may choose to receive 2 Elder Signs instead of Power.
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x1), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x1), Nyarlathotep Blister Pack {RPG-CG-B4} (x1)
The howler, messenger and soul of the Great Old Ones. Seek his favor at your peril.

Expansion Units[]

Image Unit Quantity Cost Combat Spellbooks
Acolyte (Handicap) - Crawling Chaos.png Acolyte (Handicap) - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
Acolyte 1 1 0
Availability: CW Onslaught 3 Stretch Goal Box {CW-E20} (x1)
This unit is used as a Handicap Acolyte.
High Priest (Classic) - Crawling Chaos.png File:High Priest (Classic) - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png

High Priest (Alternate) - Crawling Chaos.png File:High Priest (Alternate) - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
High Priest 1 3 0

Loyalty Card - High Priest.png Unspeakable Oath (Ongoing): At the end of any player's Action (even if it is not your turn), Sacrifice your High Priest (return him to your Pool) and gain 2 Power. This may also be done during the Gather Power and Doom Phases.
Notes: The High Priest is a new type of Cultist, it is Recruited like an Acolyte. Each High Priest generates 1 Power during the Gather Power Phase, can Create and Control a Gate, and can be Captured. Each Faction has only a single High Priest available.
This unit may also be used as one of the Unique High Priests.
Availability: [Classic] High Priests {CW-U3} (x1), High Priests {CW-U3-O3} (x1), High Priest Blister Pack {RPG-U3-HP} (x2)
[Alternate] High Priests {CW-U3-O4} (x1), Cultic Set 1 {EHP-4} (x1), Cultic Set 3 {EHP-6} (x1)
He leads the rites of old. It is time to awaken the great old ones! Iä! Iä!
The alternate sculpt unit replaces the classic sculpt High Priest, and was originally developed for Evil High Priest.
Brain Cylinder Token - Crawling Chaos.png

Brain Cylinder Figure - Crawling Chaos.png File:Brain Cylinder Figure - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
Brain Cylinder 4 0 0
Availability: [Token] Yuggoth Map {CW-M3} (x4)
[Figure] Shining Trapezohedron {CW-E15} (x4), Shining Trapezohedron {CW-E15-O3} (x4), Shining Trapezohedron {CW-E15-O4} (x4), Brain Cylinder Blister Pack {RPG-E15-10} (x1)
This helpless human, reduced to a mere living brain by the surgical and mechanical skill of the aliens, can now only communicate through electronic devices. What wisdom or warning can he relate?
See Brain Cylinders for rules. The Brain Cylinder figures replace the Brain Cylinder Tokens.
The Dark Demon - Crawling Chaos.png The Dark Demon - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
The Dark Demon 1 1 0

Loyalty Card - The Dark Demon.png

How to Obtain the The Dark Demon Loyalty Card: In the Doom Phase, when it is your turn to perform a Ritual of Annihilation, you may obtain this Loyalty Card and then place the Dark Demon matching your Faction's color anywhere on the Map. If you wish, you may also perform a Ritual of Annihilation. Each of the other Factions permanently loses an Acolyte from their Pools (or from the Map, if all are in play), gains 1 Elder Sign, and then adds to their Pools a Dark Demon of their Faction's color.
The Summons (Ongoing): Any Faction with a Dark Demon in its Pool cannot take any Action other than Recruiting the Dark Demon. (You can still choose to drop your Power to 0 and take no more Actions this Action Phase instead).
Metamorph (Ongoing): Dark Demons are a new type of Cultist and are treated as Cultists in every way, but they produce 0 Power during the Gather Power Phase. They are Recruited rather than Summoned, so a Controlled Gate is not needed to bring them into play. Dark Demons may Create and Control Gates, and they are worth 1 Power when Captured. They can be targeted by any Spellbooks or abilities that reference Cultists, but not Acolytes.
Availability: Masks of Nyarlathotep {CW-U10} (x1), Dark Demon - green Miniature STL {U10-N4}
Nyarlathotep is infamous for his multiple shapes. As the Dark Demon, this pig-like humanoid is terrifying to behold, but the horror it leaves in its wake is far worse.


Image Unit Quantity Cost Combat Spellbooks
Gate - Crawling Chaos.png File:Gate - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
Gate 1 3 N/A
Notes: Used for Colour Out of Space
Availability: Eldritch Gate Pack {CW-U9} (x1), Eldritch Gate Pack {CW-U9-O3} (x1)

Other components[]

Other components
Image Component Quantity Notes
Faction Card - Crawling Chaos.png
Faction Card 1
Availability: [Cardstock] Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x1)
[3mm] 3mm Die Cut Faction Card Pack {CW-E10} (x1), 3mm Die Cut Faction Card Pack {CW-E10-O3} (x1), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x1)
Faction Token - Crawling Chaos.png
Faction Token 1
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x1), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x1)
Power Marker - Crawling Chaos.png File:Power Marker - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
Power Marker 1
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x1), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x1)
Doom Marker - Crawling Chaos.png File:Doom Marker - Crawling Chaos (Painted).png
Doom Marker 1
Availability: Cthulhu Wars - Core Game (x1), Cthulhu Wars - Core Game {CW-O3} (x1), Upgraded Cardstock Items {CW-E11} (x1)
Custom Dice - Crawling Chaos.png
Custom Dice 1 Used for The Thousand Forms
Availability: Custom Dice Pack {CW-E14} (x1)
Battle Dice - Crawling Chaos.png
Battle Dice 20
Availability: Battle Dice - Crawling Chaos {CW-U16} (x20), All 200 Battle Dice! {CW-U24} (x20), ALL 240 BATTLE DICE {CW-U24-O4} (x20)
Neutral Unit Identifier - Crawling Chaos.png
Neutral Unit Identifier 6 (25mm)
3 (40mm)
3 (50mm)
3 (60mm)
1 (80mm)
Availability: Neutral Unit Identifiers {CW-U26} (x16), Neutral Unit Identifiers {CW-U26-O4} (x16)


Faction strategy[]

Crawling Chaos is weaker at first, taking some time to acquire its first few Spellbooks, so should focus on defensive play and looking for opportunities to capture Cultists early in the game. However, it is usually able to complete its Spellbook collection before other factions, at which point it becomes an offensive behemoth skilled at generating extra power, making Rituals more affordable.

Crawling Chaos's primary method of gaining Elder Signs is through the Harbinger, requiring the faction to attack enemy GOOs several times to stand a chance at winning. This is far easier when playing with Independent GOOs, who are generally weaker in combat. Bokrug and Y'Golonac are particularly appetizing targets, but take care to avoid Y'Golonac's The Revelations. Because of this, it is important to keep Nyarlathotep alive at all costs using Invisibility and Seek and Destroy—until the final Doom Phase, at which you should go all out attacking enemy GOOs. To ensure that The Harbinger lands, use Abduct and Invisibility to remove as many non-GOO enemies from the battle as possible. Between Flight and the Harbinger, Crawling Chaos is the best faction at precision strikes, which can be used to extract deals from other factions in return for assassinating a major threat.

Crawling Chaos has a major weakness due to two of its Spellbook Requirements, which require it to spend 4 and 6 power as actions, respectively. It may be worth putting off the 6 power requirement until you get a high roll with the Thousand Forms. As such, obtaining Power is more important for Crawling Chaos than any other faction, which is helped along by summoning Nyarlathotep as early as possible—but enemy factions will realize this also, and will usually work to prevent Crawling Chaos from gaining power through the Harbinger or the Thousand Forms. In addition, while the faction has formidable defensive capabilities against small skirmishes, it falters against major assaults and has no method of deterring capture of its Cultists.

Spellbook strategies[]

  • Abduct: This spellbook is primarily useful in thinning out enemy mobs, allowing Kills and The Harbinger to hit higher-value targets. It also provides a small level of deterrent against enemy Monsters in the early game.
  • Invisibility: This spellbook can be used in three main ways—removing strong enemies to lower the risk of the battle, removing weak enemies to raise the reward of Kills, or even casting Invisibility on high-value Crawling Chaos units in order to keep them safe from Battle.
  • Seek and Destroy: This spellbook can be used both to project power anywhere on the map, and to ensure that Nyarlathotep always has a minimum meat shield to reduce his risk in battle.
  • Emissary of the Outer Gods: Like the previous Spellbooks, this spellbook is a good tool for keeping Nyarlathotep safe, allowing him to retreat when attacked.
  • The Thousand Forms: This spellbook is critical for dealing with the disadvantage inflicted by Crawling Chaos's expensive Spellbook Requirements and Nyarlathotep's own unit cost. It should be used as late in the round as possible, increasing the odds that the opponents will be forced to grant Crawling Chaos the bonus Power. If used earlier in the round, enemy factions are unlikely to grant Crawling Chaos the bonus power, but absorbing the hit may still throw their plans into disarray.
  • Madness: This spellbook is very helpful during the late-game GOO hunt, as it can be used to separate enemy GOOs from their defenders and make them ripe for assassination. If allying with Black Goat, this can be used to great affect alongside Necrophagy to break up large enemy mobs.

Recommended openers[]

  1. Turn 1 (8 Power)
    1. Move 1 Cultist to an open location, preferably not adjacent to another faction's starting location. (7 Power)
    2. Build a Gate. (4 Power)
    3. Summon 1 Hunting Horror to defend that Gate. (1 Power)
    4. Summon 1 Nightgaunt at your original Gate. (0 Power)
  2. Turn 2 (~10 Power, 2 Doom)
    1. Awaken Nyarlathotep, take "The Thousand Forms". (0 Power)
    2. Alternatively, repeat Turn 1 to get enough Power for next turn.
  3. Turn 3 (~10 Power, 4 Doom)
    1. Summon 1 Hunting Horror. (7 Power)
    2. Pay 4 Power, take "Seek and Destroy". (3 Power)
    3. Start capturing Cultists, taking Gates, and attacking any GOO that may be out.

Other notes[]

  • Flight is defined by its destination, and not by Areas it crosses over. As such, Crawling Chaos can fly over an Ice Age Area with no penalties. However, because Eradicated Areas are skipped, rather than moved over, Crawling Chaos would still have to lose a Unit when flying past such an Area—but this also means that skipping an Eradicated Area would not count against one of the two Areas moved over for Flight. Flight can also be copied by Ancient Sorcery to be used simultaneously with Burrow.
  • Emissary of the Outer Gods still allows Pains or Kills to be assigned to Nyarlathotep, even if he cannot be retreated. However, it does not provide protection against direct Eliminations such as Unholy Ground.
  • Invisibility exempts a unit from being considered "present" in the Area for all purposes for the duration of the battle. For example, the Combat rating for Undead or Byakhee would be reduced accordingly, and Opener of the Way units can be prevented from being promoted. Conversely, a Ghoul would be able to use Necrophagy if made invisible.
  • Madness allows Crawling Chaos to control the order and destination of Pains, but all other rules must still be followed. Madness does not allow Crawling Chaos to select which units become Pained, place them in an Area with Units of the opposing faction, or modify Retreats that are not the result of Pains (ex. Howl).
  • Only players who have the ability to contribute to the cost dictated by The Thousand Forms may take part in the negotiations, even if they are currently inactive (ex. Windwalker). If the enemy factions as a whole cannot pay the cost, Crawling Chaos gets the Power automatically. If a player wants to pay some part of the cost, the other factions must still agree with this course of action.
  • The Harbinger applies to the cost to reawaken the targeted Great Old One, so long as Nyarlathotep is present Post-Battle and a Pain or Kill is applied to the target. This means that for GOOs whose cost changes, like Cthulhu, the bounty will be based on the cost for the next time that GOO is awakened, but the bounty will still apply even if the effect of the Pain or Kill is negated, as with Rhan-Tegoth. This applies to the GOO itself, not its units—so Crawling Chaos would only receive 2 Elder Signs in a single battle against Nyogtha regardless of whether it is affecting one or both units—and only includes Power cost, not lost or refunded—so Crawling Chaos would receive nothing for eliminating Azathoth, since its power requirement is a loss rather than a payment, and would receive 3 Power from Cthugha. As this is specifically Nyarlathotep's Special Ability, the Elder Thing's Mind Control may be used to prevent it being applied.
  • While Earth Cats are treated similar to Cultists for the purposes of Spellbooks, they do not count as Cultists in general, so Crawling Chaos cannot capture them to fulfill its Spellbook Requirement.


I remember when Nyarlathotep came to my city—the great, the old, the terrible city of unnumbered crimes. My friend had told me of him, and of the impelling fascination and allurement of his revelations, and I burned with eagerness to explore his uttermost mysteries. My friend said they were horrible and impressive beyond my most fevered imaginings; that what was thrown on a screen in the darkened room prophesied things none but Nyarlathotep dared prophesy, and that in the sputter of his sparks there was taken from men that which had never been taken before yet which showed only in the eyes. And I heard it hinted abroad that those who knew Nyarlathotep looked on sights which others saw not.
--H.P. Lovecraft

Between the bums and the criminals, nobody ever really understood why San Francisco had become the tech-hub of the universe. But it was, and we were hooked. Every shiny new gadget debuted right in our backyard, and we snapped them up as fast as they could make them.
So it really came as no surprise to anyone when the most mind-shattering personal electronic device to hit the street yet was going to be unveiled at Moscone Center. I had a pal who'd been reading up on it, and he told me this thing was going to change everything we knew—everything we thought such a device could be. It was beyond the childish tinkering of the internet, smart phones, and such feeble toys. It would take humanity to the next level of consciousness-altering communications. A true gestalt experience, in which every mind was linked with every other. One mind, one thought, one voice.
We filed eagerly into the auditorium. Taking clean, plush seats, the throng buzzed with excitement as we guessed excitedly about what this could be. Suddenly there was a hush, and nervousness replaced excitement as the great man himself took the stage. There he was in his trademark turtleneck and jeans, looking for all the world even better than before the cancer had eaten away at him. The press called it a 'miraculous recovery.' How little we truly knew.
As the keynote began, something odd happened. Our benefactor relinquished the stage to a man none of us had ever seen before. Tall and dark, his eyes glinted like starlight as he approached the podium. He smiled as he began to speak resonantly about the world, the device, and his plans for both. His accent was liltingly middle-eastern. It immediately put us all at ease, with its strange soporific quality.
After that, I remember little. I recall the lights blinking out, and then the images pouring from the projectors at the stage. It was a sickly glow, one that made me feel uneasy and slightly ill. But I could not take my eyes off it. Images splashed across the screen at an agonizing rate—a kaleidoscopic splattering of baroque horrors. I felt myself drawn further and further into the abyss of mania streaking across the screen... after, I don't know what happened. The next thing I recall is walking down Market Street in a daze. The sky overhead was sickly and tinged with green. Droplets of slime oozed over every surface. The city was abandoned, silent... dead. In my peripheral vision, I saw inhuman shadows cavorting in a strangle alien dance.
Ben Monroe


"The uncertainty is the worst. No one looks up. I remember when we could see the sun. You can't now, because They blanket the sky. No one wants to look up, and They know that. Everyday we live with the knowledge that it might be our last day. The only warning is a slither of sucking wind, flapping of wings, or the brush of something utterly alien on your skin. Then you're gone. I see fewer and fewer friends as time passes. How long before it is my time?"
—David Mendiola