So, it took a while, but after I tried it one drunken Saturday night, I can confirm I love Call of Cthulhu LCG and would go so far as to say it is, and for the last 12 months has been, my favourite game. Like most first nights, details from that particular night are sketchy, however one thing is indisputable-the game was fantastic.
This was confirmed a few times over when the same people, sober, played the game again the next day, and apart from a couple of rule misinterpretations, we had the basic mechanics down. Suddenly it wasn’t just about shuffling up two random factions from the core set any more, it was about working out which factions we liked, and what sets we needed to buy to get them.
The two teams I immediately liked were Agency and Miskatonic. They seemed to have a natural synergy with investigators. The Anthropology Adviser seemed just too good at getting your guys out quick and ensuring you get an investigation success token EVERY story challenge. However my saucy girlfriend decided that those were her colours and I went looking elsewhere. A fine introductory article on FFGs page had a quick two paragraph summary of what each affiliation did, and their relative strengths and weaknesses. Being a cheerer for the underdog, liking all things mafia (well, the dames and the booze and the gambling) and being a sucker for punishment, I naturally went for Syndicate, who were rated by the article as one of the most challenging to play and win with.
What you see below in an incarnation of the first deck I made, tuned up by myself and National Australian Cthulhu champ Kenny Nguyen over the last 15 months. It’s not going to win worlds, but it is UBER fun, and still my favourite deck to play with 15 months on. It is fast, has theme and you are nearly always doing something. The list is below:
The Mafia is taking out the trash
3x Jon Pechon
3x Mr. David Pan (who has somehow morphed into Doctor David Pan in my head)
2x Thomas Fleming
3x Hard Case
3x Hack Journalist
3x Johnny V’s Dame (yep, its good to be Johnny V)
2x Thief for Hire
2x James Crusher
3 x Syndicate Liaison
3x Peter Clover
2x Tyler Scindere
3x Triggerman (the nuts in this)
2x Johnny Valone (needs to keep up with the three dames)
2x Seventh House on the Left
3x Low Blow
3x Blind Fighting
3x Gun Runner’s Club (one of my favourite cards)
1x Richard Finchington III
As I said earlier, this deck is fast and fun. Johnny Vs dames speed up your getting dudes out early, and if you can drop her turn one, with a then one cost Triggerman, you are looking sexy for the game. David Pan combines lethally with Joe Pechon, and 7th house on the left, Hard Case, Syndicate Liason, Panic and Low Blow all help keep your opponent off-balance in attack and defence. And when you spam out all your wise guys and are running out of hand, Gun Runners Club kicks in so you can sit back, relax and draw more cards.
I have won a fair few league nights with this deck, and bombed out a bunch of times also. However, the thing that makes this deck good, and why I am writing about it, is that it is ALWAYS fun to play, win or lose, and it has been that way since I was a noob. So if you are new to the game, make a Syndicate deck. Johnny Vs dames are really the only thing you absolutely need, the rest just season to taste (and your collection).
Call of Cthulhu is, as I said, an awesome game. Because it uses the Living Card Game model, you don’t need to spend oodles of $$$ on boosters trying to get the cards (usually rare) you need. FFG have cranked up their organised play support for this, making lots of cool playmats, deck boxes and alternate art cards. And did I say the game is fantastic? Next time you are in your FLGS ask the owner if you can have a demo, and if they don’t have it, tell them that you will creep into their house, summon a green tentacled monster from another dimension and…actually, just ask them to stock it!
Store Championships, Regionals and Nationals are on their way this year, with Worlds roughly scheduled for November in the US. If you don’t play this game, have a go. If you do, revel in it, because it is terrific!