News for February 2012
The Terror That is Written and Bound
A Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 03 February 2012

All the tribes made medicine against Yig when the corn harvest came. They gave him some corn, and danced in proper regalia to the sound of whistle, rattle, and drum. They kept the drums pounding to drive Yig away, and called down the aid of Tiráwa, whose children men are, even as the snakes are Yig’s children.
    –H.P. Lovecraft, The Curse of Yig

While you plan your strategy, you can look at your game as a straight line, from Point A to Point B, traveled at whatever tempo your deck can manage. It’s a simple picture: You start at the beginning, you know your goal, and you try to reach it as fast as possible. However, in Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, things often become a little more involved. Dealing with multi-dimensional beings means your actual strategy may hit a series of curves, and you have to find the shortest road through multidimensional space.

Sometimes, your strategy wants you to focus–focus all your efforts towards a single story, focus building up one large domain, or concentrate on winning the struggles associated with one particular icon. Other times, you’ll plan to spread out in order to take multiple stories at once, using multiple domains and fielding an eclectic mixture of icons on the table to deal with a wide variety of threats.

And while you consider icons, there is yet another dimension to take into account. While a character normally has a defined amount of any particular icon, some characters take this concept right out of the Euclidian geometry of your standard strategical matrix and force you to reconsider their effectiveness when they add what are called “Booster Icons.”

Multi-dimensional challenges

Booster Icons are the large struggle icons featured in the text area of a card. While they don’t actually help the character win at the associated struggle, Booster Icons add extra struggles to the story, making those icons more relevant to your characters. They’re even better when the character is really good at the struggle he is boosting; otherwise the Booster Icons may backfire.

This brings us to Lucas Corn (Written and Bound, 10) who forces your opponent to answer the question, “Can I deal with three Terror struggles in a row while my opponent’s character has three Terror icons?” And Lucas Corn forces this question for free. That’s rather powerful, especially when fighting decks that are low on Terror icons themselves and don’t have much access to Willpower. He can even enter play on turn one, and if you also play The Enchanted Wood (In Memory of Day, 37), you force your opponent to address these new concerns without the intrinsic protection Terror icons normally provide.

Scarecrow scares the characters away

Sure, your opponent can decide that Lucas Corn’s mere presence is too problematic and pitch a character from his hand to shuffle him back into the deck. However, in this case, Lucas becomes a form of pre-emptive character removal, which is also good. You know Lucas Corn will be back to haunt your opponent, eventually, and later can come quite a bit earlier when you have a Summoning Circle (Terror of the Tides, 74) at your disposal. The zero in his cost means that just exhausting the Circle is enough to bring him back, at which point your opponent can try get rid of him again. But if your opponent enters that race, he’ll probably run out of characters faster than you can activate the Circle. Eventually, your opponent will have to deal with Mr. Corn.

Blunt instruments and bags of tricks

Lucas Corn’s skill of zero is somewhat risky. A Shotgun Blast (Core Set, 16) can take him out for free. Then again, he’s also free for Unspeakable Resurrection (Core Set, 119). The fact he’s aligned to Shub-Niggurath means it’s easy for him to be reborn time and again in the Shadowed Woods (Core Set, 133)… once again, for free.

While his lack of skill also means he can’t claim success tokens on his own, he makes an excellent support character for the rest of your ghouls, monsters, and cultists. If all else fails, you can consecrate an Altar of the Blessed (Core Set, 135) to provide him just enough skill to matter.

In the end, you can find plenty of tricks for a character who’s free to play, even if those tricks may simply force your opponent into a bind as he chooses whether to confront the newfound terror or to buy him off and send him back to whatever dimension from whence he came.

Thanks, Marius!

Look for Lucas Corn to terrify investigators, faculty, and cultists alike when he seeks the secrets of Written and Bound.

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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