News for September 2010
Horror Among Thieves 4
A Call of Cthulhu Card of the Week by guest writer Marius Hartland
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 10 September 2010

There were witches and what their spells summoned; pirates and what they brought in from the sea; smugglers; privateers - and I tell you, people knew how to live, and how to enlarge the bounds of life, in the old time! This wasn't the only world a bold and wise man could know – faugh!
      – H.P. Lovecraft, Pickman's Model

Last week we saw what Miskatonic University is up to these days. Appearantly, it has something to do with support cards, a suspiciously missing card number and card selection. Museum Curator (The Wailer Below, F70) digs your deck for things, helping you finding it when you need it and putting the rest on the bottom of your deck. The whole Yuggoth Contract cycle is centered around scientists, human or something entirely different, knocking on the door of the Syndicate to get things done, and finding them whatever they need as quickly as possible.

Miskatonic University and The Syndicate overlap a little in card draw and deck manipulation. The former more in drawing and the latter more in manipulation, but both factions try to achieve a combination of quality and quantity advantage to compete with the more death and insanity focussed forces of the mythos. A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, and if we replace 'bird' with 'card' and 'bush' with 'deck' it all still makes sense. That really cool card you need this turn is somewhere, and you'll need it yesterday. Time to call in the Smugglers (The Wailer Below, F75.)

First, Smugglers replaces your hand with whatever was on top. Since you probably expertly timed this, chances are you are at least closer to finding what you want. So far, so The Laundromat (Whispers in the Dark, F17.) Second of all, your initial hand is put on the bottom of your deck, but in the order of your choosing. Much like with the Curator, the entropy of your deck is actually lowering, even though you would start to notice it very late in the game – Normally. Because this is where things get sneaky. Smugglers allows you to draw an extra card from the bottom of your deck. You know, the part you just spend carefully arranging.

Since both factions work so well together in this case, what else do we have? Arcane Translation (Search for the Silver Key, F64) has some interesting interactions with cards that draw cards. Recycling cards from your discard pile gives you more 'known quality' card draw -and- part of Arcane Translation's effect is that it ends up right on the bottom of your deck, right where the Smugglers are hiding their stash of contraband.

Some effects are nice when you can do them once, but they'll get really abusive when you can repeat them ad nauseam. Example? Dreaming of the Past (Journey to Unknown Kadath, F104) can stop stories from being won and conveniently enough has a clause that puts it on the bottom of your deck after use. Talk about being passive aggressive here. It isn't foolproof, but it certainly helps.

Manipulating space-time isn't a Miskatonic-only affair, though. These scientists love their Occam's Razor, but if you're looking to repeat entities far beyond their necessity, Yog-Sothoth is the key. And the gate. Forgotten Shoggoth (Mountains of Madness, F12) seems to have the right idea here. All in all, it may turn out that crime indeed does pay. Smugglers can be a cog in a devious combo-machine. And not only that, he's helping you to find the other combo pieces as you put him on the table by laundering your hand. Let's find those pieces!

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.

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Comments (4)

Published: 9/13/2010 3:27:05 PM

I don't see a clause about going to the bottom of the deck on Dreaming of the Past.  What am I missing?

Published: 9/13/2010 7:44:23 AM

Nice looking card, and on the whole a great cycle so far...

Published: 9/11/2010 4:36:10 AM

Clearly a forced effect, just like Clarney's toughness removal.

Published: 9/10/2010 8:35:08 PM

"place your hand on the bottom of your deck" - is  it forced efect or just action?

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