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The Non-Euclidically Comprehensive Call of Cthulhu New Player Thread

- - - - - WWDrakey New player Call of Cthulhu

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#1
WWDrakey

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The Non-Euclidically Comprehensive Call of Cthulhu New Player Thread

 

What is Call of Cthulhu The Card Game?

 

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is a 2-player Living Card Game (LCG) from Fantasy Flight Games, which is based on the Cthulhu Mythos. The Cthulhu Mythos is primarily based on the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, but has also been expanded by other writers, as well as through Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu the role-playing game.

 

Call of Cthulhu was originally a Collectible Card Game (CCG), which moved to the LCG format in 2008. For further info, see wikipedia entry

 

What is the Cthulhu Mythos?

 

See wikipedia article here.

 

Official Resources

 

 

Factions

  • Agency - Traditionally focuses on combat struggles and wounding effects. They have a high concentration of the Heroic and Willpower keywords, as well as abilities that activate when it is Day. Their Deluxe concentrates on the Government and Hunter subtypes as well as cards that can be paid for using multiple domains. Top 10 cards discussion.  

  • Silver Twilight Lodge - Offers a rich set of combo effects that trigger off of cards entering or leaving play, discarding cards, or having less cards in hand. They also have a lot of return to hand effects, a good icon spread of everything except Terror, and a good amount of the Invulnerability keyword. The older Silver Twilight Lodge Deluxe focuses on Rituals, but is of lower power-level than the new Deluxe expansions for other factions. Top 10 cards discussion

  • Miskatonic University - Features Students and Faculty of the famous Arkham institution. They have a lot of Investigation and card draw effects. This is the "Rush" faction so they tend to be fragile in terror and combat. They have some control effects that restore characters, as well as some icon manipulation. They also have the best Tome cards in the game. Their Deluxe centers around Explorers, Students, Faculty and Prophecy cards.  Top 10 cards discussion

  • Syndicate - Syndicate's strengths lie in various forms of “Control”, such as manipulating skill, exhausting or incapacitating characters, and tricky trades that allow you to stand your characters, take control of support cards, or look at an opponent's hand or deck. Their Deluxe cements (often literally) their core strengths and the ever-present Criminal subtype, as well as Tactic events. Top 10 cards discussion

  • Cthulhu - One of the best mono houses, which is able to run good builds with both Deep One and Serpent themes. It specializes in sacrifice effects, usually on a 1-for-1 basis, and story manipulation. There is also a lot of destruction effects, and multiple ways to lower the cost of Ancient Ones or put them into play for free. Their Deluxe centers around Cultists, as well as introducing a new Cthulhu-only Dormant keyword, which allows cards to ‘slumber’ at a particular Story and awaken when it is won. Top 10 cards discussion

  • Yog-Sothoth - A faction dedicated to Spells and the Arcane icon. They have a lot of effects that force your opponent to sacrifice characters, and are masters of the discard pile with the most recursion effects in the game. This swings both ways: sometimes it feels like their discard pile (and even the opponent’s discard) is like a second deck or hand, while at others they are hell-bent on discarding your whole deck away. Their Deluxe centers around the Yithian subtype, as well as having several cards with the Fated keyword, which allows for powerful effects, that can only be used a limited number of times. Top 10 cards discussion.

  • Hastur - Master of terror, insanity, and preying on the weak-minded. They have a lot of Cultists that follow the yellow sign and some icon manipulation, but their real strengths are in  “Control” through driving characters crazy, taking control of characters, canceling effects, and discarding cards (both from hand and deck). The Hastur Deluxe has been announced, and will naturally contain support for insanity as well as Lunatics, Cultists and Artists. Top 10 cards discussion.   

  • Shub-Niggurath - Has tons of monsters, faction-specific subtypes (Dark YoungCthonian, Mi-Go), the best "tutor" effects in the game, the best support destruction in the game, the best cost-reduction and resource-ramping effects, and effects that recur characters from the discard. Nothing quite says “Aggro” like an endless flood of horrors from the forest. The Shub-Niggurath Deluxe will soon arrive (as of June 23, 2015) and will contain support for the myriad Shub-Niggurath creatures as well as containing a new keyword - stalwart, which allows cards to return to the top of the players deck when they leave play. Top 10 cards discussion

There is also a wide variety of good neutral cards in the game, for a few have a look at the top 10 neutral cards discussion

 

Products

 

The game is one of the longest running LCGs, so it has quite a large backlog of cards (~1400 different ones, to be exact). However, there is no need to despair (well, apart from the fact that Ancient Ones are waking up and the worlds is doomed!) it is not an LCG where you will need to own everything to create competitive decks.

 

As an LCG, the game originally contained the Core Set, which was expanded upon by Asylum Packs grouped into 6 pack Cycles, as well as the Secrets of Arkham Deluxe Expansion. After the first three Asylum Pack Cycles a new faction, The Silver Twilight Lodge, was introduced via a faction-specific Expansion. After seven Cycles of Asylum Packs in total, the game was changed to expand through 2-3 Deluxe Expansions per-year. The new Deluxe Expansions are primarily faction-specific, but also contain general ones (with cards for all factions).

 

Core Set - The base game, with core cards for all factions except Silver Twilight Lodge.

 

General Deluxes (contain cards evenly spread around the factions):

  • Secrets of Arkham (no cards for Silver Twilight Lodge)

  • Terror in Venice

Faction Deluxes (contain a large number of cards for a single faction, as well as a few cards for the others):

  • The Order of the Silver Twilight - Silver Twilight Lodge

  • Seekers of Knowledge - Miskatonic University

  • The Key and the Gate - Yog-Sothoth

  • Denizens of the Underworld - Syndicate

  • The Sleeper Below - Cthulhu

  • For the Greater Good - Agency

  • The Thousand Young - Shub-Niggurath

  • The Mark of Madness - Hastur

Chapter Pack Cycles:

  • Summons of the Deep (no cards for Silver Twilight Lodge)

  • Dreamlands (no cards for Silver Twilight Lodge)

  • The Yuggoth Contract (no cards for Silver Twilight Lodge)

  • The Rituals of the Order

  • Forgotten Lore (No cards for Silver Twilight Lodge, due to the Cycle being a reprint of a Cycle that was published near the CCG to LCG transition)

  • Ancient Relics

  • Revelations

All of the deluxe expansions contain a full playset (3x) of each card, while the Core Set only contains 1x of each card. Secrets of Arkham was originally printed in a format with 2x of each card, but has subsequently been revised and reprinted providing a full playset (3x).

 

The Summons of the Deep and Dreamlands Cycles were originally printed in a format where half of the 20 cards were 3x and the rest 1x. The Dreamlands Cycle has now been made available as Print-On-Demand in the new format (3x of all cards), and FFG has promised that Summons of the Deep will be made available in the same fashion. All of the other Cycles have been printed with the new format (3x each). Old-format (3x/1x) versions of two Asylum Packs (At the Mountains of Madness & Ancient Horrors) were also originally available, as they were part of the transition from CCG to LCG. They have subsequently been reprinted in the new format.

 

When buying Asylum Packs (or the Secrets of Arkham Deluxe), it is best to check that you are indeed ordering the new updated versions, as some stores may still have the old ones in stock.

 

What to buy first

 

Preferred - The preferred starting point is to get 1-2 copies of the Core Set, as well as a copy of either Secrets of Arkham or Terror in Venice. This will allow you to have a decent pool to start building decks for all factions (except Silver Twilight Lodge). From there, you can either develop all of your factions further with the other General Deluxe Expansion, or branch off to any faction you find particularly appealing through that faction’s Deluxe Expansion... or even join The Silver Twilight Lodge with their Deluxe. After that, you can continue expanding the faction's one at a time through Deluxes, or start developing all of them evenly through Asylum Packs.

 

Budget - Due to their good average card power-level, the new faction-specific Deluxe Expansions (all except The Order of the Silver Twilight) provide a large enough cardpool for that faction for building a decent deck around. This can then be nicely complemented with the Shifting Sands Asylum Pack to obtain the current legal Story deck. Most game shops sell plastic crystals, glass-beads etc. that can be used for success / wound tokens. 

 

For further suggestions, see this FFG article containing suggestions for Super-Casual, Casual, and Competitive players.

 

Learning to play

 

A first glimpse into the games' mechanics can be obtained from the FFG video tutorial. For your first games this handy Turn and Rules Summary / Cheatsheet at Esoteric Order of Gamers will also be useful. 

 

There is also an excellent guide to resourcing in Call of Cthulhu available:

Part 1

Part 2

 

As well as two articles on understanding the finer points of timing in Call of Cthulhu:

Part 1

Part 2

 

Deckbuilding

 

Deckbuilding in Call of Cthulhu is extremely varied. A legal deck consists of 50 cards, with a maximum of 3x of each card by title (there are several versions of the key Ancient Ones, forcing you to choose which version to run). As with many LCGs, there is a restricted list of cards for Competitive Play, from which you can only have one (with the usual 3x), as well as two banned cards.

 

The major cause for the huge possibility of deckbuilds available in Call of Cthulhu is the way factions can be quite naturally combined. Dual-faction decks are the norm, but both “mono” (single-faction) and tri-faction decks are viable. With 8 factions, this allows for 8 different mono-faction approaches, as well as 28 dual-faction and 56 tri-faction combinations. Now that, is varied.

 

An article on deckbuilding for beginners can be found here.

 

Official Tournaments

 

Call of Cthulhu follows the usual FFG tiers of Tourneys, ranging from smaller local Tourneys, through Store Championships (January - March), Regional Championships (May-July), National Championships (GenCon in the U.S.) to the World Championships, which are held at the FFG headquarters in Minnesota in November.

 

For further info, see here.

 

The State of the game

 

The time for FFG to consider Call of Cthulhu "Ready" has now come. Mark of Madness is the last new product CoC will be recieving for the known future, and Organized Play support ends with the year 2015.

 

That said, the game still retains quite a solid fan following, and these Forums are an excellent place to locate players... and with the games huge cardpool, there is almost endless space for deckbuilding and exploration with the existing cards.

 

There is also a lot of momentum for fan created additional content, or arranged Tourneys, as well as we're still expecting the final FAQs for the game. The game has retired with grace, with one of the strongest cardpools of any LCG ever, and will still be played by legions of cultists around the world.

 

Playing online

 

Call of Cthulhu can also be played online using two different open-source clients (Lackey and OCTGN), see this thread on ‘Cthulhu Night Online’ for details.

 

There is also a Skype chat for finding people to arrange games with:  skype:?chat&blob=N6PUlC-FSjguPjMdIMvNtoBwInZ1yuEmF_Fn_KlIuonoMXCcrImC3K0keOf-_ua4wr4OpcQf 

 

Copy the link into Skype chat, and then click the link to get into the group chat.

 

Pacta Arcana

 

Pacta Arcana is a long-running series of Articles on CGDB, exploring a particular 2-faction combination. In addition to providing an overarching idea, strategy and particulars of a deck, the articles sometimes also contain a ‘Budget’ version of the same deck, which can be built from a much more compact cardpool. An extremely good source for learning the art of deckbuilding.

 

Issue 1 - Cthulhu & Shub-Niggurath

Issue 2: “Cops and Robbers” - Syndicate & Agency

Issue 3: “Deal with the Dweller” - Shub-Niggurath & Silver Twilight Lodge

Issue 4: “A Study in Yellow” - Hastur & Miskatonic University 

Issue 5: “The Sideboard Sideshow” - Shub-Niggurath & 4 others

Issue 6: “The Meatgrinder” - Yog-Sothoth & Syndicate

Issue 7: “Monster University” - Miskatonic University & Cthulhu

Issue 8: “Dark Waters, Damp Graves” - Hastur & Cthulhu

Issue 9: “The Yoggy Bottom Boys!” - Yog-Sothoth & Silver Twilight Lodge

Issue 10: “At the Cuckoo-Cabana” - Hastur & Syndicate

Issue 11: “The Double Agent” - Agency & Shub-Niggurath

Issue 12: “The Miskatonic Demonic Fantasy Football Team” - Miskatonic University & Shub-Niggurath

Issue 13: “Allmother’s Eve” - Shub-Niggurath & Silver Twilight Lodge

Issue 14: “San Marco Breakfast Club” - Agency & Silver Twilight Lodge

Issue 15: “Flaming Cultists of Failure” - Hastur & Yog-Sothoth

Issue 16: “Dark Pact” - Shub-Niggurath & Yog-Sothoth

Issue 17: “The Never Ending Party” - Hastur & Syndicate

Issue 18: “Pacific Rim Slumber Party” - Yog-Sothoth & Cthulhu

Issue 19: "Don't Drink the Kool-Aid ™

 

The Great Cthulhu

 

The Great Cthulhu is a newer series of articles by mnBroncos, introducing the game for new players.

 

Play this game!

Tournament Experience

Deckbuilding and General Guidelines

Tournament Preparation

 

Podcasts

 

A backlog of the Elder Things Podcast 


Edited by WWDrakey, 09 October 2015 - 06:38 PM.

  • zordren, Danigral, HappyDD and 18 others like this

#2
WWDrakey

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So.. that happened.

 

I tried to collect any info, articles etc. that I could think of, but probably still missed a lot of things. The faction descriptions I blatantly copied from Danigral's Top 10 threads, adapting them a bit more to my writing style. The overall results is not quite as concise and to the point as one could perhaps hope, but I tend to ramble. It's a thing. Also, feel free to Shotgun Blast me, if you feel I misportrayed something. 

 

Thoughts? What did I miss? Any blatant errors?


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#3
Skelton

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Awesome. Very good read.

#4
blinovitch

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Esoteric Order of Gamers has a really helpful turn and rule summary that I use, and like to have on hand for new players.


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#5
Lomiat

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Dboeren wrote a really nice guide to resourcing that FFG put on their site. It was presented in two parts: part one and part two.


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#6
Toqtamish

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While I appreciate the plug, my podcast has nothing to do with CoC. 

 

The Non-Euclidically Comprehensive Call of Cthulhu New Player Thread

 

 

Podcasts

 

A backlog of the Elder Things Podcast 

 

A backlog of the Adeptus Podcastus Podcast

 

 



#7
Skelton

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Not yet. Cthulhu moves in mysterious ways.



#8
Toqtamish

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He must be a Chaos god



#9
dboeren

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"Preferred - The preferred starting point is to get 2-3 copies of the Core Set, as well as a copy of Secrets of Arkham."

 

I would probably edit this a bit.  3 copies of the Core is more than you need to start with (I'd say 1-2), and Terror in Venice is also an excellent first expansion.  I don't think we want it to sound like there's a huge investment just to get started when one Core + Arkham/Venice will do nicely to get a taste of the game.



#10
WWDrakey

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Updated with all of the suggestions so far, including a slight tuneup of the "Preferred" route of buying and mentions to all the content brought up so far.

 

How the Adeptus Podcastus made it's way onto that list is anybody's guess. Personally I blame Yog-Sothoth. He has a nasty habit of messing with my view of time and space. I thought it was already obvious to all that the Chaos gods are mere Servitors of the Ancinet Ones, but apparently this particular moment has still not discovered the all-pervasive presence of the Lurker on the Threshold. Oh, you'll learn. Or so he says. Or, perhaps, said. Will say? Ehh... 



#11
Toqtamish

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There was the Domain Drain podcast as well but that is 3 years out of date now. 



#12
blinovitch

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I'd also suggest grouping some of these sections together. Learn to Play would pull together deckbuilding basics, tutorial videos, rules references, and resourcing strategies, for instance.



#13
WWDrakey

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I'd also suggest grouping some of these sections together. Learn to Play would pull together deckbuilding basics, tutorial videos, rules references, and resourcing strategies, for instance.

 

Good idea with combining some of the portions.. that said, only followed this partway, as I feel that learning to play and deckbuilding are two distinct phases of getting into a game.



#14
WWDrakey

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Added a link and instructions for the Skype chat.



#15
FunkeXMix

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Guys, since expanding the player base is so crucial for the fun of this game, shouldn't we focus some articles or threads on decks that are fun and easy to understand. Decks we bring along when introducing the game to a new player? I tried with 1 copy of the core set, but the game is to slow and luck based to impress.



#16
Corwin81

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Now that's a fantastic sticky - great job !

 

A suggestion related to the "top 10" topics by faction, referred to here.

These are very helpful for newcomers, and I've been wondering it it wouldn't be worth expanding to a top 20 considering the huge card pool in CoC.

More specifically, we could have top 10 characters and best 10 support/events per faction.

The added value would be high for factions which have a lot of strong non-character cards - characters still form the bulk of most decks, so having a top 10 crammed with events/supports provides limited guidance on how to populate the "meat" section of a pack.

 

Also for the neutrals, the top 10 is taken up by a lot of factions cards playable without resource match, leaving a lot of excellent "true" neutrals out...

 

Of course I have noticed the honorable mentions, which can be retained in addition to give even more depth.

In the end, these "top cards" topics are one of the the best ways for new players to create a toolbox for their favorite faction to build from.



#17
WWDrakey

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Updated with more up-to-date information (For The Greater Good arriving, Dreamlands reprint, not being touched by rotation etc.). 



#18
Danigral

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Should we start working on a variety of "starter" decks, perhaps combining several of the deluxe boxes and recommending some alternates? While some of the deluxe boxes come with decklists, and FFG has posted others on their website (links to those might be good...), there isn't really anything for starting to combine deluxe boxes, or using one of the more recommended entry points of core, secrets, and venice.


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#19
crackotage

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Hey guys, just getting into CoC, not a big player base in my area that I know of, so figured you would be my best resource. I like Danigral's idea of starter decks, with cards from, say, a core set or two and one of the starting expansions. I think being able to see a deck built with a limited selection would make it easy to see why certain cards would be picked above others based on the type of deck.

 

My wife and I are playing with a single core set, and I'm waiting to receive my Secrets expansion. Good advice in this thread, it's really helped me get a feel for planning out my deck.



#20
ejazzyjeff

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Great posting for beginners!  I've had the game for a year and a half, due to other things happening, haven't started playing until last weekend, few bumps in the road on rule clarifications, but had a great time playing the game.  I really amazed that there is literally no CoC players at the game stores I visit even at one store they don't even sale the game!  







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