|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 20 August 2009|
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to present for the first time this tournament report on the Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game World Championship event at Gen Con Indy 2009. As a special treat, this report is presented to you by this year's World Champion, Tom Capor aka "Magnus Arcanis". Without any further ado, take it away, Tom!
I have to admit it had been a rough year. The economy was swirling the drain, my job was in jeopardy, my mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and I was without a game to let me escape the stress. However Gen Con was on the horizon and things were looking up, the economy was no longer completely slipping away, my job was secure, but I was caught completely unprepared for the event. It wasn’t until Jim Black (’07 Cthulhu Champ) had set me up with some roommates (Lauren Mansfield, Ian Kicmol, Jared Duffy, and Jason Hawthorne who in his Call of Cthulhu championship debut was able to take home 4th place) so that I could attend the convention at all.
Being a CCG player, pretty much all we had to go on was CoC so needless to say (or is needed since I bothered typing it) prompted me to go over the card pool to see if I could come up with something. However, it wasn’t until Day One at Gen Con after talking with James Hata, Eric Lang and the gang that I decided to play. So I went over to the Exhibitors Hall and bought all the LCG™ I could find and starting putting what I thought would not only fit a play-style I liked but could give me the best chance at winning.
Unfortunately for me FFG was sold out of “The Spawn of the Sleeper” and “The Horror Beneath the Surface” AP packs so while I was scouring the card hall and my roommate’s collections to find a set of Marshal Greene and a pair of Government Exorcists I subbed in a few cards. So with my almost complete deck I returned to the card hall to meet some familiar faces and managed to make some new friends over some really fun games.
Among the returning players beyond myself were Jim Black, Kip Soteres (3rd place finisher this year), and of course John Sweigart (the ever-so-close 2-time CoC runner-up) who I’m sure will eventually win the title. I was also lucky enough to run into Chris (TheProfessor) and Kellen (the real Syndicate Liaison) who basically kicked the crap out of the dog-less version of my deck with his mono-syndicate build. Reason I say dog-less as I did still have the two AP packs from last year, but left the Alaskan Sledge Dogs, among other cards, in my room by accident and didn’t bother making proxies for them.
After looking at the pool of the cards available I had pretty much ruled out mono-Syndicate as a viable option. Little did I know how wrong I was as he consistently drained the skill of my characters into uselessness exposing and exploiting a glaring weakness in my deck.
So after getting to catch up with and getting to know tomorrow’s competition and at the last minute being able to borrow the few cards I was searching for (thanks again John and Kellen) it was time for…
Matching last year’s attendance, which is a good thing considering the format change, and after a few words from Jim Black (judge), Nate French (CoC card designer) and Steve Horvath (VP of... what? 8 bazillion different things) things where underway. The players this year were:
Chris Pastore, Kellen Pastore, Aaron Fenwick, Jason Hawthorne, Ian Kicmol, Stuart Bernard, Kip Soteres, John Sweigart III, Jared Duffy, Lauren Mansfield, Jim Black … and me, Tom Capor.
3x Undercover Security
2x Government Exorcist
3x Marshrall Greene
2x Agency Groundskeeper
2x Monster Hunter
1x Steve Clarny
2x Thomas F. Malone
3x Military Bike
3x Small Price to Pay
3x Shotgun Blast
3x Short Fuse
3x Aspiring Artist
3x Blind Submission
3x Infernal Obsession
8x Alaskan Sledge Dog
3x Descendant of Eibon
Through 4 exciting rounds four players remained.
1st Seed Tom Capor (Agency/Hastur) vs 4th Seed Kip Soteres (Agency/Miskatonic), 2nd Seed John Sweigart III (Syndicate/Hastur) vs 3rd Seed Jason Hawthorne (Agency)
As John and Jason’s game completely in a reasonable amount of time Kip and I struggled to do anything… for a really long time. With two extremely similar decks and neither of us finding our Jim’s (Descendant of Eibon) until the extreme late game it became a grudge match between the scholars of famed Miskatonic University and Alaskan Sledge Dogs… really. It wasn’t until a couple of my Jim’s showed up that the game began to decidedly sway in my favor which I road all the way to the championship.
The Eternal Game
At the final table John Sweigart III was waiting for me. John and I were talking during the final swiss round (which we were schedule to play each other but opted for a draw), and based on what we were playing the match was basically going to come down to Syndicate (his speed) vs Agency (my control) and who could control the most puppies.
Things started off fast for John with 2 Aspiring Artists and a Byakhee Attack giving him a +3 hand advantage within in the first two turns and gave him the options for significant field presence. While I focused on destroying and stealing his Alaskan Sledge Dogs building my own puppy army John was getting success tokens. Before long he was descending upon stories with a pair of Eibons throwing success tokens all over the place winning two quick stories and built up 4 success tokens on the final story. Then Dreamwalkers arrived symbolizing the start of one of the longest and greatest comebacks in Cthulhu championship history. With a victory at Dreamwalkers we now had a game. John quickly re-won his second story but was far from winning a third and I from winning a second.
All the time spent controlling the ‘Dog-Advantage’ suddenly became worth it as my superior field presence was starting to show being able to bring the game into a stalemate and all I needed was something to overcome his two Descendants. This is where the Military Bike earns its greatness as a pair of them show up and two quick turns without answer allowed me to break through the easily over an hour and a half test of mental stamina.
We have to wait until next year to do it again!
My heart goes out to Chris Pastore who in the final round of swiss had the win on the table granting him access to the top 4 showdown when a critical error opened the flood gates for Jason Hawthorne’s Agency barrage.
And to John for having to suffer heart break a second time after being that close. Just one more card or one more move, or just one more piece of good fortune and his dream too would be realized.
I hope both of you and everyone else can use this experience to strengthen your Cthulhuian resolve and I hope to see all of you again next year.
The Thank You List
Got to thank the parents if it weren’t them I wouldn’t be possible and thank all of you wishing my mother the best as she mounts her own comeback against cancer. To my brother Rob, if I wouldn’t be a gamer today if I didn’t have an opponent. Thanks to Ron Kotwica, a master gamer and owner of Mr. Nice Guy Games in Oakmont, PA. If it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be where I am today. Thanks to Donald (yep, that guy) Hargnett for not only being a good friend but showing us the game that would allow me to realize one of my greatest dreams. Thanks to Jim Black for not only Judging the event and making sure things ran smoothly but for finding me some travel buddies. Congratulations to you and Deanna on your engagement! Thanks to Jason Hawthorne, Lauren Mansfield, Jared Duffy, and Ian Kicmol for putting up with me for the whole trip and for letting me sit shotgun. Thanks to John Sweigart and Kellen Pastore for loaning me the cards I needed to complete my deck at the absolute last minute. Obviously, without your generosity and kindness…
I said it was obvious.
Have to thank FFG and their staff for continuing to support and pump out the game (now, about that legacy format…). To Eric Lang for not only creating the game we all love, but putting up with me hanging around for 4 days.
And to wrap up this ridiculously long hunk of text, thank you. Yes you. The one reading this. No, not the guy next to you and certainly not the guy down the hall that smells. You. Believe it or not you actually read that whole thing. I for one congratulate you on your dedication and sheer determination to finish this monstrosity of a tournament report. You sir (or madam) have my thanks.
And thank you, Tom, for giving us such a great breakdown of Cthulhu Worlds. Thanks again to everybody who participated and we will see you 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. To learn more about Call of Cthulhu, visit our minisite.
Enjoyed playing you, Tom and thanks for the generous deion of our battle... most especially for not referencing the fact that you whooped me twice once in Swiss and once in the finals!
I hope to have something more competitive next year, but in the interim, congratulations and enjoy the spoils of victory!
I was very sorry to read about the hard year you've had. I hope the coming one brings better things.
Warmest regards and best wishes.
Kind words from a good and friendly player! Well done Tom! Congratulations!
Well, Cheer for our new Champ'. Nice to see someone involved in his new status.
I wish the best for you Mum, Tom, and hope we might play a game or two some day.
Many congratulations to a worthy winner and thanks for the great report. If you ever happen to be on the other side of the pond, let me know, I am always up for a game or two...
@Henry: Did you even play this? Also... is your capslock broken.
Nice article! The bad, waiting until next year may not be a factor, since europe will have it's own tourney this fall :D
ARKHAM HORROR IS ONLY THE BEST WHEN IT'S A BOARD GAME.