This is an e-mail interview I did with Paul Thorn, winner of the Regional in Munich. I hope it motivates some of you guys out there to get actively involved in the tournament scene.
Hi Paul! For me you came like out of the nowhere. Now you have won the Regional in Munich. Being the first of 12 players doesn‘t sound like that a great achievement compared to other tournament games but you were ahead of players in that tournament that did quite well in the last European Championship in Liege.
How long have you been playing Call of Cthulhu?
I've been playing for about eight months. I started buying my own cards and deckbuilding about four months ago.
Have you experience with other customizable or strategy games?
COC LCG is the first customizable card game that I have played. I have played quite a few wargames and other strategic board games, though.
What has brought you into the Call of Cthulhu LCG?
A friend bought a core set and suggested that we play. I became an addict right away. We played many variations using randomly selected decks. After meeting a third player at a local game store, I started buying my own cards, and the three of us began meeting regularly to play using our own decks.
What has brought you into gaming?
I liked simple strategy games (like Risk) when I was a child, and started playing more sophisticated ones when I went to high school and discovered other people that shared my love of strategizing.
What is your favourite aspect of the Call of Cthulhu LCG?
The combination of out-of-game and in-game strategy is great, along with the great replay value originating from deckbuilding and randomized deck order. I ain't bored yet.
Is there anything you dislike about the game?
Perhaps that it's too addictive.
Although not having the cost of a classical CCG a LCG like Call of Cthulhu with a lot of cards now released can have an intimidating price point to new players. How important is having 3 copies of everything to win a tournament in your opinion?
I started out buying: The Order of the Silver Twilight Expansion, a couple of Asylum Packs, and a handful of cards on EBay. This small card pool allowed for some pretty good decks. I now own many more cards (and three copies each of the cards that I really like), but still less than half of the cards that are in print. The thought of having to spend a fair bit to build competitive decks was annoying at first. But the cost wasn't so high given the hours of pleasure I've derived from playing.
Your deck in the tournament was a very efficient one I would say. When playing CoC with friends do you even spend your time on building “flavour decks” like Deep Ones or Mi-Go or do you head straightly for the uber deck?
I like experimenting with decks and combos that will surprise my friends. I also like to set challenges, for example: Build the best possible mono-Miskatonic deck.
In one sentence: How do I build a good deck?
Start by building around a core of cards with strong effects, reasonable costs, and good synergy, and then play with that deck against a variety of opponent decks, making adjustments as you detect ways to make your deck better.