Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a tactical RPG from Red Wasp Design set against the backdrop of World War One Lovecraftian horror. Having trouble vanquishing the dark forces of the Mythos? If so here are a few hints and tips to help tip the balance of play in your favour.
- Concentrate your attacks: It can help to focus several of your attacks onto a single enemy unit to kill it rather than damaging several units. Each enemy unit you remove is one less who can attack you during the enemy turn.
- Upgrade to survive: At the end of each mission you will have a chance to upgrade your team’s stats, skills (via the Investigator Upgrade) and weapons, equipment and armour (via the Quartermaster). Carefully use these options to spend the XP (experience) and money ($) earned to improve your team.
- Protect wounded investigators: When you use a First Aid Kit on an unconscious investigator and revive them, they can’t move that same turn so are vulnerable to attacks. It may be best sometimes to kill off some of the enemy before you restore an investigator. Another tactic is to give a newly conscious unit a dose of Syringe so they have some Action Points that turn to move or fight.
- Use cover: Any unit in cover (a trench or crater, the little green shield next to a unit indicates it is in cover) is harder to hit. So wherever possible, position your investigators in cover and try to force enemies out of cover. For example if you are in a crater and the enemy is closing in, move so they have to engage you where you are in cover and they are out of cover, rather than you both end up in the crater.
- Medical Stations as strong points: Each turn an investigator is on a valid square next to a medical station, it will be healed some damage. This makes them great positions to defend against waves of attacks as you can heal damage each turn. Plus you can then save your First Aid kits to restore unconscious units.
- Unconscious units are not dead! Once an investigator’s Hit Points (HP) reach 0 it becomes unconscious. From here you will have 1 to 4 turns to get medical attention to it although if you complete a level and a unit is unconscious, you won’t lose that unit.
- Use Overwatch: Any Action Points (AP) left over can be used to deliver a single normal attack during the enemy turn. So if you know where the enemy may spawn in from, or don’t have enough action points to move and attack, then take advantage of this and let them come to you! Another example is to shoot at an enemy but saving enough Action Points for a close combat attack, then switch weapons to a blade or club at the end of the turn so when the enemy closes in during their turn, they get attacked.
- Cost the enemy Action Points (AP) to attack! Many enemy units that come in close to get you, can do 2 or more attacks if they don’t have to move. So, you can often stop them from maximising their assault by forcing it to move just 1 square to attack you and if you’ve completed your attack and you have a few AP left, then step away!
- Use Psychoanalysis: This is a vital skill in the game and while initially only Emma Gold is ready to use it, it is recommended that you train and equip others to also. It can help to bolster Sanity (SAN) before a unit goes insane but even once an investigator goes insane, you can still use the skill on that unit to restore them. This can cancel out the lost turn of paralysis and stop the slide into unconsciousness of mania.
- It’s magic! Magic is a powerful tool in the game. However casting spells costs Sanity (SAN) as well as Action Points but the benefits can be huge. For example the spell Health of R’Lyeh is really powerful because it allows you to heal units at any distance away.
- Make gas your friend: The enemy units are overconfident of their Chemical Protection, unaware of gas or psychopaths who will blunder through gas to get at you. Turn this to your advantage by putting an investigator closer to them, but in such a way that they will travel though gas to get to to them. That way you can trick them into moving through gas and taking damage. Note that not all enemy units are vulnerable to gas.
- Note the terrain: Some surfaces (mud) are slower to walk over and so cost more AP to traverse. Other surfaces (trenches) are a little easier. Be careful about your route as you can take advantage of the terrain to maximise your movement cost. You can also position yourself so the enemy has to move through mud to get to you, so costing them lots of AP and giving you more time to attack them before they can attack you.
- Don’t exit investigators from a level till ready: Any unit who is named as having to complete a level will be unavailable for use once they reach the marked objective square. So sometimes it is best to not enter this square until you are ready, so keeping that unit available to attack.
- Swap it! You can swap items between investigators who are next to each together, even if they are unconscious. The button next to the end-turn button is the one to use for this. So if the conscious unit has no First Aid kit and yet the unconscious investigator does, simply swap it to the conscious unit and then use to heal. You can also get creative with swapping as it costs no Action Points, for example if 2 units need to move through gas and you only have 1 gas mask, then move through the gas in such a way that you can swap the mask between the two and yet still progress.
- Mix your tactics: The different types of weapon and action have different uses. So for example, the heavy machine guns are not very accurate, but you can fire several times in one turn (depending on your Action Points) whereas close combat gets a huge bonus to the HIT% when you spend additional Action Points, making it a good way to counter units in trenches and craters. Try to use a mix of tactics to take on the enemies of humanity.
- The human tank: One approach is to armour up one of your investigators with lots of strong armor and use this unit out front to soak up attacks. It will slow them down as armour costs Action Points in-game. However, using the Investigator Upgrade screen to boost that investigator’s DEX and INT and so improve their total Action Points, can counter this.
- Race against time: A couple of the levels have a turn limit to them. Keep an eye on the narrative text at the end of each mission for clues as to what is next and keep some Syringes in your equipment to speed the movement up of key investigators if the combat has slowed you down too much.
This guide was originally available at Red Wasp Design, and has been reprinted here with permission.