|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 28 January 2011|
…The temple of Cybele was splendid and thronged with worshippers who performed nameless ceremonies at the bidding of a Phrygian priest. Tales added that the fall of the old religion did not end the orgies at the temple, but that the priests lived on in the new faith without real change. Likewise was it said that the rites did not vanish with the Roman power, and that certain among the Saxons added to what remained of the temple, and gave it the essential outline it subsequently preserved, making it the centre of a cult feared through half the heptarchy.
- H.P. Lovecraft, The Rats in the Walls
As you are reading this, thousands of Byakhees have flown out to deliver The Twilight Beckons across the globe to spread the madness to a game store near you. Yes! The first Asylum Pack from this new cycle is out today, so now you can smell, taste, and feel the cards for yourself. You may even be aware that you can use them to play a game. So, how about I take a look a little further into the future and take a bite out of the second pack of the cycle? Beware: Perilous Trials await as you fall deeper into the clutches of the Silver Twilight.
Last week we looked at Hasturs’ method of smoothing the resource development via cost reduction. Cost reduction offers a lot of flexibility, making sure your domains give you the maximum output. Since all factions have their own strengths and weaknesses, and this cycle refocuses each factions’ ability, let’s take a look at the faction whose central focus is to bring out the most and strongest characters out the quickest, even if it means bypassing the whole resource/domain system itself. That faction is Shub-Niggurath.
Since the core set came out, the Shub-Niggurath faction has the one most efficient cost reducers in the game: Priestess of Bubastis (Core Set, F123.) Being able to dynamically assign a virtual resource to play your characters means Shub-Niggurath can get out more and bigger characters, madly spawning A Thousand Young when other factions have barely started playing. A turn one Hungry Dark Young (Core Set, F131) is certainly a possibility, and only the beginning of an unstoppable swarm of monsters and cultist.
If you plan to take advantage of this slightly higher curve to swarm so very early in the game, you might run into some consistency problems. You are only allowed to play three Priestess of Bubastises in your deck, meaning that instead of exploding onto the table, you get a little behind because you’ll actually need to play resources to get the slightly higher costing characters out. The solution? More Priestesses, of course! Perilous Trials gives you some backup in the form of One of the Thousand (Perilous Trials, F32.) Even while they serve a similar purpose, there are some notable differences though.
You won’t often be inclined to send a Priestess to a story. Especially when it comes to opposing a counter-investigation. The lack of icons means that the only reason to do so is if there is an opening, or you need a fall-girl for lost terror and combat struggles. One of the Thousand is different that way. While she doesn’t have the base skill to actually score you success tokens, she can knock opposing characters insane, hopefully before success is determined. Even when there is nothing practical to do with resource acceleration, that should slow down the game a little and buy you some time to bring out the big guns.
She also serves a more obscure purpose. Yog-Sothoth doesn’t put his blasphemous eggs in one basket. Aside from also prowling stories, the Gate and the Key are determined to attack your deck itself. As an alternate win condition Yog-Sothoth has the ability to deplete it so they can win without ever claiming one token. One of a Thousand increases your chances by artificially giving you more cards. In fact, she can theoretically make your deck endless by shuffling back repeatedly so you’ll never run out of cards to draw.
While it is not her primary purpose, in case things run into a stalemate you are less likely to be decked. The downside is that you might draw some cards later than you would without an endless stream of cultists above it but that hardly should matter if the early game advantage is yours already. How many opponents can answer a regular first-turn Y'Golonac (Core Set, F122)?
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.
Thanks for the preview!
Apparently all factions get some serious cost reduction this cycle. This is interesting, since I thought, one of the reasons they restarted the game as an LCG was the overabundance of cost-reduction cards in the CCG...