News for April 2011
Kaboom! 7
A Call of Cthulhu weekly spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 29 April 2011

The phenomenon was most marked over College Hill, where the crash awakened all the sleeping inhabitants and led to a bewildered round of speculations. Of those who were already awake only a few saw the  anomalous blaze of light near the top of the hill, or noticed the inexplicable upward rush of air which almost stripped the leaves from the  trees and blasted the plants in the gardens.
      – H.P. Lovecraft - The Haunter Of The Dark

The sense of dread is spreading. Destruction seems to be everywhere these days. Reports come in of strange squid-like beings underground, causing earthquakes and leaving nothing but rubble behind. Science getting more and more out of hand; the mysterious Hermetic Order of the Silver Twilight attracting more and more members... it’s all enough to make you a little desperate. If you’re part of The Agency, dedicating yourself to upholding normalcy, it’s enough to drive you a little insane.
It’s a slippery slope, but sometimes the choice is hard. What risks are acceptable? When is a little collateral damage too much, especially when the whole world – The entire universe even, hangs in the balance. Sometimes it’s easy to slip up, and go a little too far.
Through Inaction
One of the defining features of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is the domain system. Almost every action you take has a cost associated with it, paid for by draining one of your domains, each holding a portion of your resources. Since you’re starting out with three of those domains, this means you get to take roughly three actions each turn: The three action soft limit. This limit is “soft” because some cards or actions don’t require a domain to be drained, and it’s possible to gain domains. But in general: You’re given just three options to do something, so you better make the best of it.
One of the most overlooked actions however, is inaction. Doing nothing. There are cases where doing nothing is the best course of action. To quit while you are ahead. Because actions aren’t just limited to the number of resources or the number of undrained domains, but also on the number of cards you have in your hand. Playing three cards per turn and being given the opportunity to use one card as a resource means you could very well run out quickly enough, as they are normally only replenished by drawing two new cards each turn.
Sometimes, you’ll need a backup plan. Extending your board position is nice – but as a counter to that, it’s entirely possible to overextend. Without cards on hand, it’s hard to recover from, say, a Dimensional Rift (Secrets of Arkham, F50) wiping everything off the table. The rift does take two actions to activate though, and is generally very resource intensive. It’s possible to see it coming in time, and keep something back for plan B. Most of the time, players will play the game as if there is no plan B though.
Not According To Plan
So, there’s the Agency. Feeling that humanity is pretty much cornered they lash out at everything, always going in, guns blazing and seeing the whole “ask questions” part as a bit of a hassle. A dangerous hassle. The way things are going, they can’t afford to be careful all the time. And sometimes they mess up, but that can’t be avoided – and the alternative is worse. Overextending against the Agency now becomes a lot more dangerous. Imagine them Shotgun Blast-ing (Core Set, F16) everyone at once. That’s what a Catastrophic Explosion (The Gleaming Spiral, F82) looks like.
Remember that symmetrical cards are never symmetrical. You can keep some of your agents behind to take the place of those brave souls who have sacrificed themselves for the good of mankind, while baiting the forces of evil into your trap.
And The Meek…
One thing about the explosion may surprise you, rules wise. As with the Y’ha-nthlei Statue a couple of weeks back, it looks for an unmodified, printed skill to determine if a character is hit or missed. Double checking the most recent rulings about printed values showed that Insane characters have a skill of 0, but the printed skill on them is undetermined. Not zero, but Null.
When the game is looking for a printed value for skill it won’t find any actual ink, and so it can’t say if the printed skill is above or below the threshold value of the effect, and the effect will automatically fail. This means that neither the Statue nor the Explosion will harm Insane characters, even though their actual skill is zero.

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 (7)

Published: 5/2/2011 2:45:34 AM

Yeah, i agree with pp_lord. It's loyal, affect your character and just wound the character not destroy it. I think this assylum pack's will bring the end of rush decks. Poor syndicate and miskatonic fraction.

Published: 4/30/2011 10:02:18 AM

I do not consider this one a "bomb", for two reasons: if affects your characters too and it is loyal. 

Published: 4/30/2011 3:49:54 AM

Wow, fun! :D

I wonder if there will finally be some card(s) that deal(s) specifically with the Disaster subtype?

Published: 4/29/2011 7:35:01 PM

Oooh! The subtype of this card is "Disaster".

You are right FFG, this card is a disaster.


Published: 4/29/2011 5:39:34 PM

Could we please get consistent rulings on how these sorts of things are treated between each of the LCGs? AGoT treats null as 0 and there have been multiple cards and situations that have dealt with what is an established way of dealing with things there. For an issue of this nature, it would be much, much, much easier for players and fans of multiple LCGs if they all worked the same way.

Published: 4/29/2011 5:37:53 PM

I totally agree with Tokhuah. Now every competitive deck will HAVE to be Agency and something else (and I guess that something else is Hastur, given the last FAQ). Not very good for people who hate agency. Not very good for the meta. Not very good for people who are trying to build a gameplay on something else than removal. Might be time to move to AGOT where at least there is a more balanced environment.

Published: 4/29/2011 5:07:07 PM

Buy buy weenie investigator decks... This about seals Agency as stand alone tier 1.

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