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Some questions from a CoC LCG newbie

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#1 timf



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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:21 AM

Hi there!


I'm back on the FFG Forums after a few (many) years of absence, it seems.  I started out as an ardent Arkham Horror player, and that waned, and now I'm back as a CoC LCG player.  A few of us in my playgroup have picked up the base game, and we're slowly starting to wade in with the expansions as well.


We're going to start out with casual play, but hopefully make it out to some organized play sometime soon.  If anybody can answer a few newbie questions, that'd be awesome.


What are the best asylum / expansions to get at the start?  I'm sure I'll be getting them all eventually, but I'm looking for where to begin.  I'm pretty sure I'll be a Hastur player for the time being.


From an organized play perspective, what's the current meta like? If I show up to tournaments, what style of play should I be expecting, and what story set is currently used?


Lastly, from a collector's perspective, are there any promos out there that I should keep my eyes out for?  Or is everything found in the published expansions?




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#2 Toqtamish



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Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:48 AM


#3 TheProfessor



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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:19 AM

I have no opinions on best packs to pick up, except Shifting Sands to get the current story cards.  The metagame is a bit fidgety right now - Worlds was dominated by a Yithian deck, but in friendly play that is considered impolite at our local.


The story set from Shifting Sands is the current official set of story cards.


There are a couple of full art cards in the promo world, but nothing functionally different than the published set.

#4 dboeren



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Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:11 AM

Good early things to pick up would probably be Terror in Venice and the reprint of Arkham Horror when that comes out soon.  A second Core set would also be a good thing at some point and if you are interested in playing in tournaments you definitely want the Shifting Sands pack since that has the current set of Story cards.


You mentioned being a "Hastur player".  FFG hasn't put out the Hastur box yet, although some people are guessing that it might be the next one out after the recent release of the Syndicate box.  We'll probably see an announcement within the next month or so and find out if that guess is correct.  But aside from that there are three other things I wanted to mention:


1.  Most decks in CoC tend to be dual-faction.  The tradeoff of having twice as many cards to choose from is generally a good deal in return for only a very small increase in resourcing difficulty.  Mono-faction decks can work, particularly if they follow a theme that has a lot of cards which buff that theme such as Deep Ones for example, but unless they are of this type they may be less competitive than a dual faction deck.


2.  Most players tend to play all the factions rather than having loyalty to any particular one.  They may have favorites of course, but since the cards are sold in such a way that you get all the factions, why not use them?  All the LCGs are pretty much like this, although Thrones players probably gravitate a little more to their chosen houses than the other games.


3.  Finally, Hastur tends to shine best as a support faction, but they don't have a lot of beefy characters which can make it tricky to run an all-Hastur deck.  Historically my advice for mono-Hastur has been not to rely too much on insanity as a strategy because you will run into bad match ups against some decks who have a lot of characters that are immune to it through Terror or Willpower.  So, I typically advise putting in some take-control cards to avoid having all your eggs in that one basket.  This has gotten slightly harder since the most recent FAQ update when Stygian Eye and Infernal Obsession were both added to the Restricted list - you can't do *quite* as much taking control as before, but it can still be done.  My expectation is that once the Hastur box does come out (whenever that may be) that Hastur will finally be in a good position to run mono and will get a lot of interesting new tools.  Also, check out the Lunatics.  Just because your opponent's guys might not be able to go crazy, yours still can if you want them to and they can give you some good benefits when they do.


In all the LCGs, promos are just alternate art.  They do not have different rules.

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#5 timf



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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:57 AM

Thanks folks.


dboeren, I read your articles on deck creation on BGG - they're great, thanks for them.  


One of the things that I've had to wrap my head around for this game is dual-factions.  In most of my other card game history (Doomtown, Shadowfist, L5R, Babylon 5), playing a single faction was the path to victory.  Trying to get myself into the space that I should double-faction is going to be interesting.  I guess I'll play around a bit and see what factions blend well with Hastur at the start.  I'll certainly play all the factions, but my interest for my first few deck builds is in Hastur - I've always enjoyed the Hastur mythos.


A quick follow up question - is there any advice on how to build out your domains?  It seems as if you should build up one 'big' one, to the cost of your most expensive card, but after that, is there any reason to build up a second (or third) big domain?  Or should those domains build to 3, 2, or 1?

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#6 Saint7



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Posted 06 March 2014 - 10:02 AM

> A quick follow up question - is there any advice on how to build out your domains?


Hi Timf, welcome to the game - I'm a newbie too who started out but maybe I can still help answer your question. Generally, speaking, when you play with the pre-built decks from the Core set, yes, your strategy is sound - build up a big domain to the cost of your most expensive card (which could very well be an Ancient One).


However, this strategy changes depending on how you build and customize your deck. For example, if you prefer a 'rush style' deck where you have nothing but cheap characters (nothing higher than a 3 cost) then it makes sense to spread out your resources to have your domains as 3-3-3. 


I typically tell newcomers to the game (I teach it at my workplace) that you can either go 'vertical' to bring out a single big gun like Ancient Ones or 'horizontal' to bring out smaller characters but in greater numbers.


Sometimes, I like to put at least one 'Eldritch Nexus' in my deck to ensure that I have a fourth domain that has at least one resource. The reason is that a lot of cards ask you to pay for their Action cost (if you're lucky, it'll only be a cost of 1) and I don't want to dip into my primary three domains to do that. It's wasteful to drain one domain of several resources when you only want to trigger an action that costs 1.


Anyways, I'm sure the senior members of the forum have additional advice as well.

Edited by Saint7, 06 March 2014 - 10:09 AM.

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#7 dboeren



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Posted 16 March 2014 - 09:50 AM

Usually you won't need all three domains built up, so 3-3-3 isn't as common as something like 3-3-1, 3-3-2, 3-2-2, or 3-2-1.  Reason being that even later in the game you'll still have some small cards being drawn and once you're top decking you may only need your biggest two domains anyway and your small domain can still pay for "pay 1" effects.


A rush deck may not even get to 3, especially if it has discounting cards in it.  I've played Syndicate decks with Johnny V's Dame that typically only went to 2-2-1 for instance.


On the other end, a Cthulhu deck with lots of big characters could want one big domain first.


It can matter how many factions you have too.  A single faction deck is happy with a small 1-domain but a dual faction deck might want to build it up to 2 purely so that it can match either color even though they may not need the size.