News for October 2010
Climbing to the Top 12
A recap of the Castle Stahleck LCG event by guest writer Marius Hartland
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 22 October 2010

...The castle was infinitely old and infinitely horrible, full of dark passages and having high ceilings where the eye could find only cobwebs and shadows. The stones in the crumbling corridors seemed always hideously damp, and there was an accursed smell everywhere, as of the piled-up corpses of dead generations. It was never light, so that I used sometimes to light candles and gaze steadily at them for relief, nor was there any sun outdoors, since the terrible trees grew high above the topmost accessible tower. There was one black tower which reached above the trees into the unknown outer sky, but that was partly ruined and could not be ascended save by a well-nigh impossible climb up the sheer wall, stone by stone.¨
     – H.P. Lovecraft, The Outsider

There are places that just exude history. It's hard to not feel the weight of centuries when traveling along the Rhine into Germany, where every mountain seems topped by an ancient castle, each telling its own story from times when thick walls where the only thing standing between ancient nobles and the ravages of war. Being from the Netherlands, any verticality is automatically impressive – I rarely get to be above sea level – but I didn't come there to bask in history, I came there to join a couple of hundred gamers in the making of new stories of victory and defeat.

Castle Stahleck (An awesome name for a castle, I guess it means 'Steel Corner' or something like that) was built in the twelfth century under orders of the Archbishop of Cologne. In the 17th century it was destroyed by French soldiers, and rebuilt last century, and now it functions as a hostel. It is a steep climb from the medieval city of Bacharach. The steepest climb however, is the uphill battle against the decks of players confident enough to travel to this place. Stahleck tournament organizer Wolfgang Penetsdorfer welcomed gamers from across the world, mainly competing in Living Card Games: A Game of Thrones, Warhammer: Invasion and my weapon of choice: Call of Cthulhu The Card Game.

Everyone had prepared for encountering the dreaded The Seventy Steps (In Memory of Day, F30) / Magah Bird (Journey to Unknown Kadath, F110) combo – Clearly the best deck at this moment – but the players that showed up chose to go for originality rather than brute force, which served to emphasize the positive attitude of Cthulhu players toward their game. I always stubbornly pick Syndicate, no matter the metagame, although I saw fit to include three copies of Richard Finchington III (Ancient Horrors, F7) just to be sure, even though it has some anti-synergy with my deck (I also run The Terror of the Tides (The Terror of the Tides, F67) to serve as a surprise blocker – a trick that Finchington blocks off.)

The Stahleck event plays out over three days, with competitions in different formats including multiplayer, highlander and even some drafting. Through most of these events I used some variation of the Syndicate deck, winning about 50% of the matches with it and usually sat down for some tense, action-by-action match with both players close to winning, hoping to find that one Panic (Core Set, F77) to seal the deal.

The main title event was on Saturday, using standard LCG decks in one-on-one duels. Francesco Zappon took the title using a Cthulhu/Yog-Sothoth deck. His story can be found on the forums.

Wolfgang arranged an excellent pool of prizes, so there was something cool for every participant to take home. Not only that, but special guest artist Tiziano Baracchi was present to sign cards and sell prints of his card art. All in all Stahleck 2010 was another successful LCG event at a beautiful location. I hope to see you there, next year!

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 (12)

Published: 10/28/2010 2:29:52 PM

Indeed a great report for a great game event. It was my first time in Stahleck but definitely not my last...

Many many Thanks to Thorondor for organizing this cool venue.

And big thanks for the aprticipants who were all of them most kind to play with.

I posted (in french) a report on the Cenacle Chtonien (page 2 of the thread). I included the rankings of all 5 Cthulhu LCG tournaments (for what my memory allowed me to remember).

Misisng guys on the group picture: Christian "Manonthemoon" Kretchmer, Pablo Rambla Dapena, Wolfgang Penetsdorfer. They were playing AGoT LCG at that moment.




Published: 10/28/2010 3:33:00 AM

...and if you click on the link that says 'Wolfgang' you will see a picture of... Wolfgang... :D

Published: 10/27/2010 5:17:52 PM

3 guys sitting in front (from left): Max "mr patate" Muccin, Ivan Bertazotti, Stavros "wendigo" Gessis.

behind (from left): michele "msommi" sommi, arnaud "arcanis" roman, michael "jhaelen" ruth, francesco "konx" zappon, marius "marius" hartland, gijs "gijsdb" de boer, fred "fredhot" taton, gijs "gijs" bouwman (could be that i mix up the gijs-guys)


@faqtotum: there will definately be something with LOTR LCG at the next lure.

btw: whats your real name or MECCG-nick? no idea about the person behind your nick ...

Published: 10/27/2010 10:55:05 AM

So, please tell us the names of those guys in the photo !

Published: 10/27/2010 10:54:24 AM

So, please tell us the names of those guys in the photo !   Which one is Wolfgang Penetsdorfer, etc. ?

Published: 10/25/2010 11:32:59 AM

Amazing event and this castle, cool.

Published: 10/25/2010 4:25:04 AM

I went to the venue twice for the Middle Earth: The Wizards event in 2006 & 2008.  Castle Stahleck is the absolute greatest place for such an event.  Just getting there is an adventure in itself.  Plus, it is so easy to get to.  Now that FFG are coming out with their own Middle Earth game, I expect Wolfgang to include it in the next ME event, yes?

I encourage anyone considering to go to do so as it surely will be one of the most memorable gaming events ever.  I will try to make it next year!

Published: 10/25/2010 3:31:34 AM

A bit embarassing the picture but thanks for the report :)



Published: 10/24/2010 7:33:50 AM


Next year i will go for the second last place (in stead of last)

See you then!

Greetz Gijs

Published: 10/23/2010 5:42:53 AM



Nice report!


Volgend jaar ben ik er weer bij!


Gr Gijs


PS: it's good that you didn't mention our defeat at the Nations Cup!

Published: 10/22/2010 4:28:54 PM

Purple Monkey Dishwasher!

Published: 10/22/2010 3:35:36 PM

Wish I was there...

I'll start saving up for next year!

(and thanks for the great report)

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