|Another Thing on the Doorstep
A Call of Cthulhu Card of the Week by guest writer Marius Hartland
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 28 May 2010|
Of course I had my revolver in my coat pocket, but any motion of mine to reach in and draw it would be instantly obvious. Moreover, if I did secure it, there was no telling what effect it would have on the maniac. Even if I shot him once or twice he might have enough remaining strength to get the gun from me and deal with me in his own way; or if he were armed himself he might shoot or stab without trying to disarm me. One can cow a sane man by covering him with a pistol, but an insane man's complete indifference to consequences gives him a strength and menace quite superhuman for the time being.
- H.P. Lovecraft and Adolphe de Castro, The Electric Executioner
Secrets of Arkham is out now, and with it a resurgence of old favorites, like Albino Goat-spawn (SoA, F22) whose toughness makes it hard to be gunned down, even despite a cheap and playable 'day' card like Beneath the Burning Sun (SoA, F5.) Before I started cutting to the four-part 'Secrets Unveiled' previews (check out parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) of Secrets of Arkham we where looking at the upcoming The Yuggoth Contract cycle, and in particularly at Whispers in the Dark, which will be out soon. Time for a little recap:
We kicked off with Tyler Scindere whose moral ambiguity helps you get around problems when you want to have both heroic and villainous characters on your side - for example, when you use The Necronomicon (SoA, F9.) to gain control of an Ancient One. Speak to the Dead did some foreshadowing of the kind of effects the Yog-Sothoth faction would dip into in the near future.
We also looked at new subtypes like Serpents, Lunatics and Students... and this brings us to another new, minor subtype to be found in The Yuggoth Cycle: The Tactic. Minor, because there are only two across the cycle. After all, while it's flavorful to have cards tied together with themes and subtypes a lot of the card slots are filled with very open ended cards, to keep deck building as unrestricted as possible.
The flavor and function of tactics meet at character-driven combat. The men and women that make the Agency tend to be well prepared and well trained when it comes to an average shoot-out. But it wouldn't be Call of Cthulhu if situations where average. There are a lot of things that won't go down easy, even after a clean head shot. Worse, there are enough things where you'll be hard-pressed even telling where they keep their heads or if they even have one. Sometimes firepower alone isn't enough. Sometimes you must shoot smarter, not harder.
So, there is that Goat-spawn with all that toughness. Even worse, emerging from the Dreamlands are the mighty Gugs that only get more angry when you wound them. Not to mention wound cancellation and support characters staying away from stories so combat doesn't get them. The Blackwood Detective Agency is in trouble. Time for some double team action: One draws the attention, the other sneaks to the side to try to hit a weak spot. Flanking Maneuver (Whispers in the Dark, F2) allows you to do just that.
Such a maneuver isn't that easy to pull off as it takes the full attention of two of your characters, a free domain and expending a card but The Agency faction usually deals with opposition by wounding and sometimes that's not enough. While it doesn't deal with Ancient Ones, it might just be the thing against Ravager from the Deep (Core Set, F46) – It's not likely you were going to exhaust characters to take it head on, so having an extra tactical option makes a lot of sense.
The Miskatonic University and The Syndicate are poking their noses into things they really shouldn't. While Tyler and Erin stir up trouble, it's up the The Agency to keep the streets clean – using any tactics available.
Special thanks to Marius Hartland, who provided this card preview.
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.