Shub-Niggurath’s Fertility Cult Ability
This is probably the least-respected faction ability (it never gets stolen by Sleeper!), and it is admittedly weak, but it can be extremely useful on occasion in the mid-game or late game. First I want to say I see no need to make it more useful. Black Goat is just fine, and as previously stated, every faction is not just one ability, but how they all work together. So what use is Fertility Cult? It lets you spawn multiple monsters in a single action. This usually seems good to brand-new players. But after a while they learn that spending lots of power all at once is for suckers, and then they generally stay away from it so much that they forget about its utility.
My experience is that among experienced players, Fertility cult is typically used maybe once in a game. Here is how and why it comes in handy. Black Goat has comparatively weak battle strength. Her GOO has Combat based on gates & cultists, but she tends to kill her own cultists – it’s rare that she has more than 4 at once. Her spellbook requirements and spells all provoke her to sprawl across the map. Her best monsters, Dark Young, are typically only 1 per area, manning Gates. So she is a big fat target with low defenses, except maybe where Shub herself is sitting, and even that’s not guaranteed. In mid-game, the enemy starts to get some strength, and they want to flex their muscles. Black Goat makes an obvious target!
Here is where Fertility Cult comes into play. If Cthulhu or Nyarlathotep (or anyone else) sends a force into one of your areas, hoping to reap a reward, you can immediately spend 3-4 Power and suddenly bump up that Area’s defense discouragingly. No one else can do this. Remember, your monsters, once you have Thousand Young, are 1 combat for 1 power, the same as Cthulhu’s. Even a mere ghoul can take a kill for you, and he’s free to replace.
Now, in the late game a 6-spellbook enemy can move into your area and attack before you can use Fertility Cult. But it is still sometimes handy, because you can use it to restore your position after you have taken losses, keeping third parties from exploiting your weakness. Of course, once players are on to this trick, you’ll use it even less, because you will be attacked less often. But that’s fine, too.