As for GOOs, I pick randomly, but I tend to exert up to one or two vetos if I really don't want to play a GOO because I feel it's too easy or too annoying. I still haven't played Shudde Mell or the Spider thing ::shudder::
Which one do you rate Shudde as? Just asking, because if memory serves (it does, since I just checked), Shudde ranks quite high on the difficulty scale in the Statistics thread over on the old forums. Which is totally weird, since Tsathoggua is #2 there (behind Glaaki) and both Tsat and Shudde rank just above Azathoth for me.
On a side note, I'll post my slightly subjective ranking on the GOOs today or tomorrow. Just need to get game #72 with Yog Sothoth + Black Goat Herald done, then I've played 6 rotations.
Honestly, even though I've never fought him, I think he'd be somewhat of a pansy. As long as you don't seal gates whille fighting him, you should have 3-7 rounds to kill him. His doom track is relatively short, and his modifier pretty low. His resistances could be a little annoying though. Still, just your guys blessed and he should be fairly easy to bludgeon. I just don't like the randomness aspect of fighting him, get an unlucky draw and you could basically have the game ruined in the first 3-4 turns (I also don't like how he closes places). ::Shrug:: he might be kindof neat to use in a four or five player game. I just think that in my types of games (typically 3 players) he'd be easy. Heh... He's so much easier than Atlach-Nacha... The statistics threads are meaningless in my opinion. If a bunch of softcore players have trouble against GOOs :') well, that only means that the GOOs are hard if you don't play the game hard enough. I think Atlach is probably the hardest GOO... After that, it's hard to say for sure. Probably Y'golniac. I think Tsathoggua's fairly difficult— not having access to, blessings, allies, or clue tokens is a major pain (and then he's very tough in direct combat). Most of the GOOs either have weak spots in combat, or are ineffectual before waking up— in either case, if you know what you're doing, you should be able to have a fairly high ratio against them ;'D (which is one reason I enjoy heralds, and vetoing GOOs I think are too weak— I play Nyarlhotep with modified rules because I love the masks— but I think he's a peice of cake according to his design). Btw, I love when people think Yog-Sothoth is difficult. He's such a joke really. If you're willing to do anything for a win, you can get investigators to dump their items and cash onto other players, and even take out a bank loan, then deliberately weaken him in suicidal combat then send him to an other world like Rlyeh if possible, the abyss or yuggoth if not. I.e. suicidal otherworld runs for the sake of getting a new investigator ;') cheap little exploit against him. Technically legitimate (I'd probably avoid it though, unless the game was getting extremely close, just because it would be boring).
My Nyarlhotep rules :') before you ask. [I think I'm going to make this a separate post also].
At the beginning of the game, do not put the masks in the cup. Random masks spawn when new gates open, after they're defeated the first time, they go into the monster cup for random selection afterwards. Masks do not effect the monster limit. They can be temporarily removed by gate closings or feds raid arkham type cards. This variant is particularly fun if you have all the box expansions and have the tougher masks from Dunwich and Kingsport, The Beast, The Skinless One, and the guy who destroys clue tokens (not his actual name) make town navigation quite a challenge :'D and a neccessity. ::Laughter:: and once you get a gate surge or two, the town gets really flooded. It makes it difficult to stockpile stuff. If you really want to add to this challenge :'D throw in Tzulchwa (or whatever his name is) as the herald, and then you'll also have cultists destroying clues while being defended by the masks. A thematic and challenging variant :'D I'd say try it, but you don't have Kingsport yet ;')
::Laughter:: I've never actually tried this with the herald, but when I finish my finals Saturday at midnight, I may play this as a 12-3 game :')