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Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Call of Card Gamers: Cthulhu LCG Crushes CCGs rss

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todd barker
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Call of Cthulhu is a fairly fast paced game where your goal is to win three story cards. You win story cards by placing 5 success tokens on them. In order to place success tokens you must commit characters to a specific story. Once both players have committed you go through a series of challenges that will effect the outcome of the story, winning and losing challenges has effects on your characters. Here are the different challenges and what they do to the winning / losing player.



For a full review complete with full size pictures and additional explanations go to http://toddsboardgames.blogspot.ca/2012/12/call-of-cthulhu-c...


Terror Struggle: The loser of the terror struggle must choose a character and turn that character 'insane'. An insane character can no longer participate in the story conflict, is returned to its owner's play area turned face down until the character is cured during a refresh phase.

Combat Struggle: The winner of a combat struggle places a wound token on an opposing character. Most characters can take only 1 wound, the exception is a character with the keyword TOUGHNESS +. The number that follows the + tells you how many additional wounds he can take, a character with toughness+1 can take 2 wounds.

Arcane Struggle The winner of this struggle chooses and refreshes a character committed to the story (this character does not have to have an arcane icon) This allows that character to be committed during his/her opponents turn.

Investigation Struggle: The winner of this challenge places a success icon on the story immediately. If this is the 5th token you claim the story and immediately carry out its text.

How do you figure out who wins each type of struggle It's easy! You simply count the total number of each icon and the player with the higher amount wins. If there is a tie nothing happens, unless a character has the keyword FAST, then they break ties for the icons that character possesses.

After you have done these 4 challenges in this order you total up the 'skill' of both sides and if they 'active player' (the attacker) has a higher skill he/she adds a success token. If the "defender" has more then nothing happens.

When a player fills all the success token slots available at a story, he/she gets to take the story card and immediately carry out the action written on it.

Now that you know how to win lets start with how you actually get to that point. Lets go over a player's turn in order:


> Refresh committed characters, turn 1 insane character back to sane, remove your statues from your domains.

> On a player's turn they will first draw 2 cards, they can choose to add any 1 card to one of their 'Domains' so that it provides additional resources.

> You may now play characters/support and or event cards from your hand by paying the appropriate resource cost.

> You choose which characters you are committing to each story, then the other player gets a chance to commit his characters to "Defend" a story.

Resources:

Most cards have a cost associated with them, in order to play this card you must meet its conditions (characters/support can only be played on your turn, most event cards are self explanatory as to when they should be played) and you must pay the total resource cost. Note in addition to having the required amount of resources to pay for a card, you also need 1 matching faction symbol. To activate a domain to pay for a cost you place your Cthulhu statue on it this signifies that it cannot be used again until your next turn. Note when activating a domain you cannot split its value to pay for multiple cards, nor can you activate multiple domains to pay for a single card.

This is an example of neutral cards with no faction symbol, to play these you can use any type of resources.

Faction Symbols in Domains.

Components: The artwork on the cards are superb, even the backs. The tokens are double sided as wound or investigation this stops you from worrying about as many pieces. The board although a little small is very visually appealing. Of course the coolest part about the game are the statues you use to mark your domains as you use them, they are detailed and just plain awesome.


Card Types: All cards have their 'type' printed on the bottom left. Story and Conspiracy Cards do not, but their picture is much bigger and they are printed longways instead of like a traditional card.

Support: Once support cards are played they stay in play until destroyed by another card's effects or if the character they are attached to is destroyed.


Event: An event card is a one time use spell or action, it is played directly from your hand and discarded after its text is resolved. Event cards can be played at any time and lots of them are intended to be played on the opponents turn.


Characters: These are characters from the Lovecraft universe, they make up the core of your deck. Characters are used to win challenges and place success tokens onto story cards as well as destroy other characters and turn them insane.


Story Cards: Story cards represent your goal in Call of Cthulhu, in order to win you must obtain three. Three will be face up at all times (after a player wins a story card a new one takes its place), and each turn players will 'commit' their 'characters' to engage in four types of struggles and hopefully win success tokens, when a player has 5 success tokens they win the story.

Conspiracy: Conspiricy cards work the same way as story cards except they are played from a player's hand instead of the story deck. Once won a conspiracy card counts towards the three required to win.


Who will enjoy Call of Cthulhu the Card Game?

Casual Gamers: Call of C'thulhu is more casual friendly than say Magic the Gathering because it is not a ccd. LCGs are expandable and still release new card packs quite frequently there is room to get 'heavy' into the game, but because the cards are not random and you can play a full interesting and fun game with just the core set this is certainly a more casual friendly option versus traditional collectible card games.

Gamer Gamers: Because of the vast amount of lore that goes alongside any game set in the Lovecraft theme there are a lot of expansions for this game. This is a good thing, a game rich in lore and theme is easier to get into, introduce new players and there is always room for the game to expand and grow. A 'hardcore' gamer can really get into this because of the amount of cards available and deep strategy involved. You can really customize your deck until it works just how you like or until it's featuring your favourite characters, card gamers specifically will love this one.
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David Boeren
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Just one small thing I wanted to point out - Fast is actually not limited to the icons on that specific character.

From the rulebook:
"When resolving a story, the player who controls the most Fast characters
committed to that story wins all ties during icon struggles
and when determining success at that story. Note, however, that a
tie of zero is still even and has no winner. If the players also have
an equal number of Fast characters at that story, ties are resolved as
normal, with no effect."

I prefer this anyway as it might be a little cumbersome calculating how much fast there is individually for each struggle.


"After you have done these 4 challenges in this order you total up the 'skill' of both sides and if they 'active player' (the attacker) has a higher skill he/she adds a success token. If the "defender" has more then nothing happens."

In the skill check, it's also important to note that if the story is unopposed (ie - defender's side has 0 total skill) then the attacking player gets TWO tokens instead of one. This is a major thing in the game trying to set up unopposed story challenges or putting your opponent in a position where he may have to decide whether it's worth losing a character to death or insanity to prevent a story from being unopposed.
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todd barker
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dboeren wrote:
Just one small thing I wanted to point out - Fast is actually not limited to the icons on that specific character.

From the rulebook:
"When resolving a story, the player who controls the most Fast characters
committed to that story wins all ties during icon struggles
and when determining success at that story. Note, however, that a
tie of zero is still even and has no winner. If the players also have
an equal number of Fast characters at that story, ties are resolved as
normal, with no effect."

I prefer this anyway as it might be a little cumbersome calculating how much fast there is individually for each struggle.


"After you have done these 4 challenges in this order you total up the 'skill' of both sides and if they 'active player' (the attacker) has a higher skill he/she adds a success token. If the "defender" has more then nothing happens."

In the skill check, it's also important to note that if the story is unopposed (ie - defender's side has 0 total skill) then the attacking player gets TWO tokens instead of one. This is a major thing in the game trying to set up unopposed story challenges or putting your opponent in a position where he may have to decide whether it's worth losing a character to death or insanity to prevent a story from being unopposed.



I never noticed that about fast but I guess it only makes sense with the ways you can affect characters that were not in the struggle this will definatly change the game a little bit for me.

The skill check I have been playing correctly and thought I included but guess I just spaced out and left out one of the most important parts to the game haha.

Thanks for taking the time to actually give me feedback sadly most people don't
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Kris Vanhoyland
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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” ― H.P. Lovecraft
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Nice review, this is one of my favorite cardgames, and you made me want to play it right now!
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todd barker
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Bearpaw wrote:
Nice review, this is one of my favorite cardgames, and you made me want to play it right now!


Thanks, which expansion(s) would you recommend getting first? I wouldn't mind picking a couple up I've had a lot of fun playing the base game and would love if it got to see some more playing time
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David Boeren
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I would suggest Secrets of Arkham. You get a lot of great cards, an additional set of story cards, and it's more cost-efficient buying a boxed expansion over multiple asylum packs.

After that, maybe consider the Silver Twilight box to add an entirely new faction to the game or the Shifting Sands asylum pack if you want another set of story cards (these are the current set used for tournaments btw).
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Dice Man
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I've never actually tried one of these collectable card games, I think I will give one a try soon. anybody recommend which one to start with? I know they have a game of thrones version and Im a big fan or that and middle earth. too many to choose from.
 
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David Boeren
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Well, you've got several choices depending on what you're looking for.

The Lord of the Rings LCG is a co-op game, so first figure out if you want a co-op/solo game or a competitive game.

The rest are mainly 2p competitive games. A Game of Thrones has a multi-player mode, and Call of Cthulhu seems to have a pretty good 3p variant.

The two most developed games are A Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu, as in they have been around a long time and have a big pool of cards. I generally consider this a good thing as you have a lot of variety and so many ways to design decks. Some people seem to believe it to be a bad thing because they "have to" buy more cards. I dunno, it's their logic. Where do you stand on this issue?

Netrunner and Star Wars are both really new games, so they have very few cards. Also, both have a lot of buzz for being new and shiny. Netrunner's already a confirmed popular game, Star Wars we're not sure yet. Star Wars is notable for simplifying deck building. Some people feel this makes the game less interesting, others are glad that the scary confusing monster of having to pick cards themselves is gone.

Furthermore, Netrunner and Star Wars are both ASYMMETRICAL games in that both sides play differently. Netrunner is much more asymmetrical than Star Wars, but in both cases you would show up for a tournament with two decks, one for each side. Corp and Runner in the case of Netrunner, or Light and Dark in the case of Star Wars.

And then there's Warhammer: Invasion. It's sort of middle-aged, and the one I know the least about. Something with fighting over territories? Can't say much here.

Personally, I like Call of Cthulhu and Netrunner the best. CoC has I feel the most variety of any of the LCGs due to the large card pool and ability to mix factions more freely than the other games. Netrunner shows immense promise but I'd like to see more card packs released for it. But, it appeals a LOT to boardgamers who like the all-in-one-box feel of not having many expansions yet. I have no idea what they'll do when more come out though. Anyway, Netrunner's a great game with any size pool that emphasizes bluffing more than deck design which is interesting and somewhat unique.

A Game of Thrones is pretty popular, they seem to have more people in their big tournaments than the other games if that's useful for you. It's a great game, but feels a little more constrained to me since your decks are pretty much always single faction plus some neutral cards. It's just not practical to do something like play a Baratheon/Lannister deck. You pick one or the other and that means less choices and fewer deck combinations. But, if you're the sort of guy that wants to play your favorite house it's certainly great for that.

Star Wars is too new to tell ANYTHING, it just hit stores like *yesterday*. A few people have advance copies but in general we just don't know yet. I wouldn't recommend it at this point until we know more.
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todd barker
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dboeren wrote:
I would suggest Secrets of Arkham. You get a lot of great cards, an additional set of story cards, and it's more cost-efficient buying a boxed expansion over multiple asylum packs.

After that, maybe consider the Silver Twilight box to add an entirely new faction to the game or the Shifting Sands asylum pack if you want another set of story cards (these are the current set used for tournaments btw).


Thanks for the info I didn't even know there was a boxed expansion I'd only seen the asylum packs
 
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todd barker
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dboeren wrote:
The two most developed games are A Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu, as in they have been around a long time and have a big pool of cards. I generally consider this a good thing as you have a lot of variety and so many ways to design decks. Some people seem to believe it to be a bad thing because they "have to" buy more cards. I dunno, it's their logic. Where do you stand on this issue?


Definitely a good thing, more cards give you more options and more options make games more fun

Warhammer Invasion actually plays beautifully, you need to burn 2/3 sections of your opponent's capitol and which section of your capitol you place cards in determines your income / attacking units / quests / how many cards you draw. I have only tried the base game, kind of puts me off that their race choice is so limited and my favourite races don't get capitols but fill support rolls with neutral cards to add to the races that have capitols.
 
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David Boeren
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There are several boxed expansions for CoC.

Secrets of Arkham has new cards for all the factions.
The Silver Twilight box adds a whole new faction but has a couple cards each for the others.

And recently they have stopped releasing Asylum Packs and are going to ONLY boxed expansions. The first series of them are faction boxes, with the apparent intent that a starting player could pick up a Core and the box for their chosen faction and be able to have a pretty good deck right away from just those - similar to the House boxes for A Game of Thrones.

The first one is already out for Miskatonic. The second one will be for Yog-Sothoth and was recently announced along with some spoilers, it's expected around February or so.

Once all the factions are done, they will likely shift to some other theme for the next set of boxed expansions but this is a long way out.


I spent many years playing Warmachine and other minis games so I know what you mean about your factions not be represented. It can really turn you off a game when something like that happens, but Warhammer has too many factions to make ALL of them first class citizens so it was pretty much doomed to fail on that account no matter what. Some factions are going to get to be in the spotlight and if your favorite wasn't one then you're simply out of luck.
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todd barker
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dboeren wrote:
And recently they have stopped releasing Asylum Packs and are going to ONLY boxed expansions.


This is the most exciting news I will get today, do you know if they are moving away from the card packs for all their LCGs? Either way they were what was really stopping me from getting into the LCGs my local store doesn't carry a lot of the packs but they will carry boxed expansions
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Even though I have already picked up over three complete cycles of Asylum Packs, I hope these are eventually re-released in the box format, to maintain the accessibility of the card pool for new players.
 
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David Boeren
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There hasn't been any official word for the other LCG's yet. My own speculation is that they're probably going to wait and see how this format does w/ Call of Cthulhu. If it sells well, they may consider it - but probably only for the older LCGs. See, the boxes are set to come out about 4 months apart - so that's not something you'd want for a brand new game like Netrunner or Star Wars. These games are starving for more cards and people won't want to wait that long.

So, it's probably only A Game of Thrones and Warhammer: Invasion that might adopt it I think. Lord of the Rings is already doing a mix.

There's also been speculation of reprinting the asylum packs in boxed format. If they do this, they'll probably do the Dreamlands cycle first since that's the only cycle that hasn't yet been reprinted in the 60-card format. A typical small box expansion has 165 cards. Six packs @ 60 each is 360 cards. So, it seems likely to me that they'd break each cycle into two boxed expansions if they did this. One box is possible, but they'd have to increase the price accordingly.
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