|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 31 March 2011|
The public first learned of it in February, when a vast series of raids and arrests occurred, followed by the deliberate burning and dynamiting - under suitable precautions - of an enormous number of crumbling, worm-eaten, and supposedly empty houses along the abandoned waterfront. Uninquiring souls let this occurrence pass as one of the major clashes in a spasmodic war on liquor.
- H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow over Innsmouth
The setting of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is not only about cosmic horrors running rampant on the countryside. A lot of the terrible situations that drive the action forward result from the actions of Arkhams’ human inhabitants. The game is roughly set in the early 30’s of the 20th century, a part of history known as the Prohibition. With The Volstead Act in place, it became very interesting for enterprising business men to take advantage of the fact that alcohol is easy to make and high in demand. The fact that booze is now illegal only serves to drive the price up.
Most of this nasty illegality is presented in the game by The Syndicate, a loose amalgamation of rum-runners, corrupt politicians and sleazy journalists, centered around the Clover Carthage Company – an Irish truck company that forms the front of a large smuggling and bootlegging network and the Clover Club, their flagship speakeasy. For organized crime however, the faction lacks any true organization. Other groups have a central figure.
There are subtypes that have a central character that exemplifies how their group functions. Serpents have Yig (Screams from Within, F85) for example. A wide-spread subtype like “criminal” had to do without it, so far. They’re just a semi-loose collection of cheap characters. The Irish will get some backup now, at the top of their resource curve.
Johnny Valone (Aspirations of Ascension, F76) is a criminal of French/Italian descent that went through the ranks quickly and now tries to take over Arkham’s underworld, being particularly adept at the Syndicates’ ability to Intimidate (Secrets of Arkham, F16) whoever stands in the way. This ability is also tied into the skill reduction ability of the faction.
With Johnny V on the table, Clover Club Torch Singer (Core Set, F66) can do double duty, not only reducing skill, but also keep others in lockdown. Even a character like Demented Caretaker (Ancient Horrors, F8) will have some use after the ‘comes into play’ ability has been used.
Get On Yer Feet! (Core Set, F78) has amazing synergy with Mr. V, especially when combined with Gregory Gry (Twilight Horror, F5) – exhausting at least 4 characters, including most Ancient Ones is enough to shatter anyone’s’ dreams. The last time we looked at Syndicates rum-running operation they were starting to run things from the Atwood Science Hall (Core Set, F35.) This place is non-unique and turns your average Extortionist (Core Set, F71) into a highly skilled operative.
There are a lot of options opening up for syndicate, now that their most used subtype has a new function, as Valone is for all intents and purposes Syndicates’ own Ancient One card.
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.
The Godfather is Italian like he should be... Thank you for giving my ancestors their due! BTW, you can tell his family went through Ellis Island because his name was most likely altered from the more traditional Vallone.
Whoah. First time I have ever seen a card of the week article for CoC before friday.
Whoah! I wish he was actually Irish, but dang, I really like the looks of someone beefy like this for Syndicate.