News for January 2009
The Summons of the Deep
A preview of the latest Call of Cthulhu LCG™ Asylum Pack
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 19 January 2009

by Nate French

Julia Brown loved to dip into the occult. She never missed a chance to pick up an article on one of the ancient pagan religions, or to have a quick look through one of her grandfather’s ancient tomes. She didn’t really believe in the occult image with which she clothed herself, but she appreciated how it kept the mundane people of her day-to-day life at bay.

Julia was an attractive, quiet woman who had survived a rough childhood with no help from her parents. Scarred by her past, she did not trust those around her...

And so it begins.

The Spawn of the Sleeper, the first Asylum Pack in the 6-part Summons of the Deep expansion to the Call of Cthulhu LCG™ should be hitting store shelves soon. In this serial Asylum Pack release, we follow the tale of Julia Brown as she tries to come to grips with a haunting madness that plagues her at night.

Thematically, The Spawn of the Sleeper serves as the introduction of our protagonist, and sets the stage for her tale. Mechanically, this pack takes a close look at the terror struggle, representing the beginning of Julia’s night-marish confrontation with madness. This set also features a wide-ranging design concept known as “replacement effects,” that allow cards to alter and transform the natural progression of the game. Care to take a look?

Julia Brown, Insomniac

First, many thanks to Tomasz Jedruszek for his amazing renditions of the Julia Brown character. For now, Julia’s usefulness in the game is reliant on her replacement effect, which allows her to bypass the insanity-producing effect of the terror struggle. The word “instead” lies at the heart of the replacement effect, as it allows the new effect to occur in place of whichever effect it is replacing. Not “in addition to,” but instead. This means that when Julia Brown sacrifices and “replaces” herself with a new copy from your deck, you have effectively gotten around the consequences of losing a terror struggle. Beyond that advantage, you can also use this ability to gain tempo against your opponent, as the new copy of Julia is going to enter play readied, and able to defend the very next phase. Eventually, as her text implies, there is at least one more version of Julia in the series, as well as a “Sleepwalker” version of the character...and the implications of those characters with this card’s ability remain to be seen... but that’s a story for another pack.

Click on the image to the left to view a larger version.

Erich Zann, Strange Virtuoso

As a child, Julia overheard the strange, haunting music of Erich Zann, and the moment stuck with her throughout her life. In the CoC LCG™, Erich Zann provides another example of a replacement effect. Normally, when a player loses a terror struggle, that player chooses which of his participating characters goes insane: usually the most expendable character available. Erich Zann flips this decision on its head, granting the choice to the player winning the terror struggle, making it a much more formidable weapon to take into account. And with 3 terror icons of his own, Zann’s ability should frequently have opponent’s re-considering their ability to “soak” insanity effects with “chump” characters, turning him into a powerful presence during the Story phase.

Click on the image to the left to view a larger version.

Grim Wraith

The Grim Wraith gives us a third example of a replacement effect, and it provides the Shub-Niggurath faction with a bit of icon-struggle manipulation that can be used both offensively and defensively. With a deck built around the terror struggle, being able to “double up” on the number of terror struggles at any given story could prove useful. Sometimes, though, it might be even more important to deny an opponent the resolution of a struggle in which he has the advantage.

Click on the image to the left to view a larger version.

You can find these cards, and others, like “Dr. Carson,” “Called by Azathoth,” and “Those Without Faces,” in the The Spawn of the Sleeper Asylum Pack, releasing to stores this month.

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