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Everything posted by Runix

  1. KrissS666 said: - temple of R'lyeh : http://www.cardgamedb.com/forums/uploads/coc/med_temple-of-rlyeh-nn.jpg Ugh, I didn't even think about adding Temple of R'lyeh to my Serpents deck. Temple + Uroborus = free destruction. That's just broken. And for those still thinking I'm just a complainer and that this isn't that big of a deal, consider the following: Turn 1, player draws Degenerate Serpent Cultist, Deep One Assault, and three copies of Uroborus. Degenerate Serpent Cultist for cost 1, Deep One Assault it for cost 1, three copies of Uroborus go straight into play free, and with a 2 resource domain available for another card. Or, worse. Turn 1, player draws Cthulhu, Padma Amrita, Disguised Threat, Innsmouth Troublemaker, Khopesh of the Abyss. Innsmouth Troublemaker for cost 1, Disguised Threat for cost 1 into Padma Amrita, Khopesh of the Abyss on Padma Amrita for cost 2, activate the Khopesh and target Padma, she takes two wounds and is destroyed, boom, Cthulhu into play on Turn 1. Sure, it's a low probability that players are going to draw those exact cards at the start of the game (although I did have two copies of Uroborus hit the board on the first turn in a playtest, so similar scenarios are absolutely possible). But the fact is, it's not an unusual combination of cards - you'll find most of those in any standard Serpents deck - and the extraordinary power of those combinations is at serious risk of upsetting game balance.
  2. Carioz said: Is it Call-for-ban-day already? No, it's Complain-about-power-creep Day. Come on people, get your days straight! But seriously, I don't think there's one card that's a problem with Serpents (although if there was, it would certainly be Feathered Serpent, with Uroborus a close second). It's a deeper problem that has to do with how the game is designed. Allow me to isolate a few potential issues, as I see them. I suspect that the game designers have a "budget" that they use when they design cards. If a card is a cost of 4, that's a "budget" of 4, which can be allocated variously to icons, keywords, special abilities, and so forth. Quite simply, I think the game designers' "budgeting" is off, in that they aren't counting up costs correctly, which has resulted in steady power creep for the monster factions, especially Cthulhu. [Terror] Icons. A game designer could say, one icon should correspond with one resource cost. Cost 1, one icon. But the problem is, [Terror] is better than the other icons. It goes first, for one thing. It also really has two game effects: it helps win the Terror struggle, and grants immunity to Insanity. That, I think, is one of the serious problems at the core of the dominance of the monster factions: the game designers have been granting [Terror] icons too cheaply. Cthulhu has about as many [Terror] icons as Agency has [Combat] icons, but that puts Cthulhu clearly on top, as the Terror struggle goes first. If I had to choose just one icon for a character, I'll take [Terror], no questions asked; if you don't have it, you're not going to make it to the other Story struggles unless you're flooding out characters like crazy. Traits. I'm not sure that the designers have been budgeting for traits, which could be a serious issue. Most traits are not particularly relevant - Independent has some useful synergies with one or two cards, but it's not much. Deep One and Serpent, on the other hand, receive a whole slew of beneficial card effects. Given that fact, they should be not as good as the corresponding "generic" cards of the same cost, but I get the distinct feeling that that has not been taken into account. I worry that the designers are just slapping on whatever traits they think fit the "flavor" of the card best, without taking into account how that changes the power of the card - in other words, they aren't including traits in the "budget" of the card. As I noted above, Monster and Creature tend to be more of a vulnerability than anything else, and should be so budgeted - but again, I'm not sure there's any difference in cost for those cards. Flexibility. Any level of flexibility in using an ability dramatically increases its usefulness. An ability that can be used as an Action is much more useful than something that can only be done during the friendly Operations phase. An ability that can target a character is much more powerful than one where the target is chosen automatically or the other player chooses the target. An ability that has no cost - or which has an unusual cost, like a wound or a story progress token - is much more powerful than one that requires spending resources and/or cards, which are what usually provide limits on how much you can do. From that perspective, it can be argued that some of the cards in the mix seem to have gotten away from the designers when it comes to balance, in that they didn't properly account for the power of the flexibility built into the card. Descendant of Eibon would be fine - if he was powered by resources rather than success tokens. The Khopesh of the Abyss and the Diseased Sewer Rats would be a lot closer to being balance if the wounding effect was untargeted (e.g., "lowest skill character", or "opponent chooses"), rather than letting the triggering player choose. And hence, anything which is a no-cost Action that does not have a prerequisite condition to be met is very powerful. That is at the core of the problem with the Feathered Serpent - I think they seriously under-budgeted for just how incredibly useful it is to have a character whose icons are "pick which ever ones you find to be most useful when the Story phase rolls around". That's enormously powerful, and not in any way in line with the cost 4 of the card - and less by using one of the ways for getting Serpent players into play cheaply. The other Serpent characters are a bit more balanced, because they require resources to change icons (and Yig is expensive, and can't be "tricked" into play early). But again: it's not just one card. It's an overall design philosophy issue. The icons and traits awarded to the monster factions have tended to be, broadly speaking, much more effective than the icons and traits being awarded to the investigator factions, and that is not being taken into account in the card costs. The bottom line is, it's not the icons, and it's not the abilities: it's the cost.
  3. I hate to consume the forum space with complaining, but after a significant amount of playing, I am slowly coming to a conclusion: Serpent decks are just way too good. I've tried a wide variety of approaches, but honestly, a Serpent deck on autopilot beats most everything but the most fine-tuned strategy, and even then it's very close. It's the ultimate netdeck. There's a bit of strategy to playing it out, but really, not much: you throw the Serpents at the other player, change the icons around as needed depending on what they try to put up for defense, and basically overrun the other side sooner or later. Generally speaking, the central problem is that the Serpents are very cost-efficient and very flexible (yeah, I know-that's their design feature). They are awash with Terror and Combat icons, and can readily switch between the two, which really helps them dominate the Story phase. Not only that, but they can generate Arcane if needed, which allows them to be used on offense and defense. And they're Cthulhu, which gives them ready access to powerful destruction cards that can sweep the way before them. The whole set of Serpents isn't completely imbalanced, but there are a few cards which really drive it and make it incredibly effective with little effort, and specifically, they are the cards that make it very cost-effective, too cost-effective in my opinion. If I were to identify a few "problem cards", they would be the following. Disguised Threat: This allows the nastiest of the Serpents to hit the board on Turn 1. I don't know how that's not a problem. Does any other faction have the ability to put its most powerful non-Ancient One characters into play on Turn 1? Feathered Serpent: Ridiculously cost-effective, this card will handily win any one-on-one Terror or Combat struggle with little effort, then ready itself with Arcane to be ready for defense. If this gets out on Turn 1, good luck defending against it. Uroborus: I didn't think much of this card until I really started playing it, but after playing it, well, wow. It's the ultimate anti-destruction card. You can't kill them. Once the Cthulhu player has his discard pile stacked with Serpents, these just keep coming back every time you kill them. It's incredibly annoying. After having played against it, my thought is: did we really need another reason for every deck to have to stack Snow Graves? And that's without Sibilant Cry, which is just the icing on the Serpent cake. (P.S. Is Uroborus supposed to be a unique card?) There is, admittedly, a fairly straightforward solution to a Serpent deck: the Khopesh. Sigh. They don't pack Toughness, so targeted destruction works. But bouncing doesn't, because they're so cheap; forced sacrifice doesn't, because the Serpent player will just laugh as he sacrifices a cheap Serpent and drops his Uroborus on the board; trying to win in the Story phase doesn't, because it's very difficult to account for all the permutations of icons you could be up against. All that really works is fighting Cthulhu with Cthulhu, and getting your destruction out fast enough to put the Serpents down, or at least until the other side pops them all back out with Sibilant Cry. I enjoy this game and find it to be relatively well-balanced . . . except for Cthulhu. It's like the designers throw the game balance manual out the window every time they design a Cthulhu card. At this point, even though I'm a rank amateur, I just don't see many other decks making a lot of progress against a Serpent deck, particularly one with the Khopesh and a bit of Shub mixed in to deal with support cards and milling. Maybe I'm speaking too soon, but my strong impression is that the developers let power creep set in with Cthulhu, and it's going to be really hard to put the serpent back in the basket (so to speak) at this point. P.S. One more point, while I'm ranting: Cthulhu is awash with Deep One and Serpent sub-types, which is one of its hidden strengths. Both Deep One and Serpent traits interact positively with a lot of other cards, but do not interact negatively that I am aware of. One hidden weakness of Yog and Shub is that they have so many Monster and Creature cards, which are vulnerable to various negative interactions that specifically target them. There is not, for instance, any Deep One or Serpent equivalent card to the Sledgehammer. That would make sense if Deep One and Serpent characters were slightly less cost-efficient than Monster and Creature characters; but as far as I can see, they are, if anything, more cost-efficient than their Monster counterparts. It's hard to find a Monster that's as cost-efficient as a Ravager from the Deep or a Feathered Serpent.
  4. Looks like a fun deck. I considered including Granny in my deck, but eventually decided not to use her, as I have two cards that rely on number of insane characters in play, and three others that go insane for their special abilities - not particularly good synergy! But in most Hastur decks, I think she's a solid addition, and can really help put away the other player when you have them on the ropes.
  5. Eyedunno52 said: -Sometimes games like this done "scale well" over time. -Finding people to play with is never an issue. -The theme is something that makes me wonder… Responses to your concerns. This game has actually scaled very well over time. As dboeren explained, FFG does not have the same incentives as a CCG publisher to try and drive sales. FFG is not likely to release an expansion pack with ridiculously overpowered cards, because that will kill sales of previous and future expansions. Rather, they tend to focus on adding new tactics, and giving players more responses to existing tactics, which increases the incentives for players to explore the card library, rather than focus on hunting down a few too-powerful cards. Over time, Call of Cthulhu has absolutely increased in the range of strategies and tactics available, so over time it has arguably improved significantly. Finding players is a non-issue for Magic, Yu-gi-oh, and Pokemon, but will be an issue for virtually any other game. That's just the way it goes. CoC players are not impossible to find, and I think there has been some growth recently, quite possibly due to spillover interest from Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, both of which are growing. The theme is distinctive, but not difficult to get up to speed on. Newer players are likely to identify more closely with investigator factions (Agency, Miskatonic University, Syndicate) and their tactics will likewise feel more familiar, but the other factions are not difficult to figure out. The games do play more quickly than the other various Lovecraft-themed games, excepting maybe Elder Sign. I think the theme is well-represented, although perhaps a bit less strongly than in the board games, and certainly less strong than in the RPG.
  6. .Zephyr. said: I think ST necronomicon might be there to get rid of other more scary necronomicons. I would not feel good about paying 3 and a card for one bounce that shrinks my table, but if you can destroy Cthulhus necro and maybe use it later it seems so much better. One note on this - it is expensive, as you note, as it costs 3, a card, and a character. Its main advantage, however, is not getting rid of other copies of the Necronomicon - although that is nice - but because it can be triggered as an Action. That provides a big advantage over the Initiate of Huang Hun and Lord Jeffery Farrington, both of which are Operations phase only. The possibility of using the Necronomicon as a critically timed action - e.g., after characters have been committed at stories - is something of a strength. Also, it allows you to pick up (and hence replay) your characters, which can be nice if they have "when enters play" powers and you don't want to otherwise include the Initiate of Huang Hun or the Knight of the Outer Void.
  7. The Rays of Dawn is a great card. I think there are still some copies of Twilight Horror out there for sale, though you will really have to look - I did a full search on Google, and probably looked at more than a dozen online retailers before I found one (and then bought the last copy - sorry! ). A lot of the Terror trouble for investigators comes from cards that have only one [Terror], and without that they are just so much easier to deal with. Also, Rays of Dawn aren't unique, so they stack - really handy for dealing with Serpent decks that rely on those icons for a lot of their abilities as well. Yes, it doesn't work on unique characters, but a lot of the cards that fill typical decks aren't unique.
  8. I don't mind the diversion at all. Thanks for the articles, they were very interesting! Turns out I am probably a Melvin, although I do have some Johnny to me. To COCLCG's concerns, the problem with the win-at-all-costs approach is that it tends to revolve around finding the most overpowered cards and stacking your deck with them. That produces lots of wins - but I'm fairly convinced that it's not the best approach to winning tournaments. This game has some very strong, very deep synergies (Voice of the Jungle/Dreamlands Messenger, for instance), but you don't get there by taking a what's-the-best-cards approach that your average Spike takes. Beyond that, there are some very significant scissors/paper/rock interactions in the game. Direct damage can wreak havoc on flooding strategies, but bouncing arguably beats direct damage, but a bouncing deck could have a hard time with a super-fast flooding deck. Consequently, the most competitive decks may not be decks that simply throw in the strongest cards from the faction that happens to have the most of them, but rather one with a clear concept that works against many other decks, but which also has built-in options for dealing with unusual strategies. That's more of a Johnny deck than a Spike deck. A deck that stomps most other decks (because it's loaded with overpowered cards) but falls apart against a few decks (that have direct counters to those overpowered cards) isn't going to get as far as a balanced deck that has a solid but not overwhelming strategy, but lots of options to deal with whatever comes up. Anyway, back to the original deck. I cut Victoria's Loft as noted, and replaced it with Enchanted Wood and The Rays of Dawn. I only have one of the Wood, and Rays of Dawn - while a surprising choice - actual works like a charm, as most characters have only one [Terror] (and Messenger from Beyond can remove a second one if needed), and most of my characters are unique and so unaffected. Take *that*, Degenerate Serpent Cultists! My general experience with this deck is that it is very weak the first few turns - it is not at all unusual to lose one or two Stories right off the bat, although Master of the Myths can really help limit the damage. But once it gets up and running with the critical characters and attachments out, it's really solid and just consistently shuts down nearly anything that gets thrown at it.
  9. An admittedly unusual situation came up, and I'm interested to see if I interpreted it right. Cthulhu vs Hastur, Cthulhu plays out Feathered Serpent and Yig. Cthulhu commits the Feathered Serpent to a story. Action window opens up, Cthulhu changes one of the [Terror] icons on the Feathered Serpent to a [Combat][Arcane], as per its ability. Hastur responds with Socotophobia. What icons does the Feathered Serpent have? Here's how I read it. Unfortunately, FAQ 1.11 doesn't work really well, as in this case, you can't just add up the icons, due to the "printed [Terror]" qualifier on Socotophobia. So, first of all, one of [Terror] icons was already changed to [Combat][Arcane], so it keeps both of those. Socotophobia removes all "printed" [Terror] icons - but that's only two icons left. Yig adds one [Terror] icon, so that one remains. Final icon count, [Terror][Combat][Arcane]. Alternately, you could read Socotophobia "printed [Terror]" as meaning "as many [Terror] icons as are printed on the card". In that case, it's a simple matter of math: Serpent has three (three printed, minus one transformed, plus one Yig), and then loses three due to Socotophobia, final total zero. I don't favor that interpretation, however, as it's less intuitive. The way Socotophobia is written, it sounds like you start with the character as printed, zero out all its printed Terror icons, then calculate what's left from there. Which is correct?
  10. In resolving a story effect after a player has won the story, does it apply only to the resolving player unless it specifies "each player"? For instance, Chaos Unleashed: "Choose 1 domain you control. Take all resources attached to it and place them in your hand. Replace those resources with an equal number of cards from the top of your deck." Compare and contrast with The Opened Door: "Each player may take any number of cards from his hand and exchange them with an equal number of resources attached to a single domain he controls." By my reading, Chaos Unleashed affects only the player who won the story; The Opened Door affects all players. That would seem fairly straightforward, but for the FAQ, which succeeds in muddying the the waters with: "Conspiracy cards are not considered to have a controller, and any instance of the word 'you' or 'your' refers to all players." The problem is, if you consider "you" to refer to all players, a whole lot of Story effects make absolutely zero sense, like those that allow "you" to rearrange Success tokens; that can't possibly mean that both players get a chance to rearrange tokens if the effect is resolved. Despite what the FAQ says, when it comes to Story effects, "you" has to be the player who won the Story. I can see two ways to resolve this. One is to consider this as only applying to Conspiracy cards; the second is to consider it as only apply to the passive effects of Story and Conspiracy cards, as opposed to the effect that is resolved upon winning it, which is resolved by the winning player and which therefore refers to the winning player as "you". Am I reading this right?
  11. AGoT DC Meta said: Penfold said: Padma is gorgeous. Anyone able to share the art? Looking at her text, usually if there is some sort of hidden information, there is a "reveal" clause, otherwise how is the opponent to know whether you aren't able to trigger it? There may be some reasons why you want to hold back characters in your hand instead of playing it, so it's possible to "cheat" with her, if you were so inclined. Any idea why it's worded this way? The art is the cover art from the Words of Power pack. It does seem that it would be possible to "cheat" with her, although it would likely be very obvious is somebody attempted to do that. Most Cthulhu decks are very heavy on Cthulhu characters, particularly Serpent decks - if the player has three or more cards in hand and says "nope, no Cthulhu characters!" that would seem very suspicious indeed.
  12. Being the well-programmed consumer that I am, I ran out and bought this today. I think it's not as game-changing of an expansion pack as the previous entries in this cycle, although that's not really a criticism, as the last two or three have really had some powerful cards. I think Silver Twilight got the biggest boost in this expansion. Ritual of Exclusion is a very important card, because it neatly ties together two ST themes: character bouncing and card discard. One of the profound weaknesses of ST was that its discard-powered abilities emptied out the hand and left the player without many options; this very effectively fixes that problem. Magical Theorist is another card that's great for powering ST's various abilities. Free tokens on Rituals (very akin to High Elf abilities that put resources on cards in Warhammer, but I digress) will help add new life to a lot of the Rituals, like Ritual of Summoning, that were previously getting passed over. Being powered by Tomes is not a huge limitation - the ST have the very powerful T'tka Halot, and now have their own Necronomicon, and there are also the neutral Tomes available, like Whateley's Diary - and he is powered off all Tomes in play, not just friendly ones. Speaking of the Necronomicon, the ST version (John Dee Translation - there's an obscure reference for you!) actually is not that bad. Yes, it's more expensive than the Initiate of Huang Hun, but then, it isn't Restricted like the Initiate is. Also, you pay in advance rather than have to pay when you use its ability, which gives you a little bit of flexibility. Bear in mind that for ST, having to pick a character back up isn't always a penalty - it's often a bonus, as ST has a lot of "when enters play" effects that benefit from that kind of recursion. I can certainly see including this card in an ST deck. I particularly like the new Yog-Sothoth card Pulled from Beyond. Allowing you to play your opponent's character or support card - even for just one phase - is fantastic, as you can really wreak havoc on some decks by turning their own weapons against them.
  13. Really nice deck. I agree with you, the Ageless Mi-go is a critical character to get out, as well as the Mi-go Skull; I think I'd wait for an Ageless Mi-go in hand before starting to play out characters, especially against a Cthulhu deck. Somebody else expressed the fear that Mi-go could be the "netdeck" of Call of Cthulhu, since they synergize so well with each other and so naturally. I can see the point, but looking at this deck, I see a lot of room for effective play - both effective and ineffective sequences of cards.
  14. This is my first "serious" deck, or rather attempt at one, although it ended up being more thematic than competitive. But I do rather enjoy the theme. Deck description below, with discussion on some specific cards to follow. Initial playtests indicate that the deck is potentially very strong, but not quite consistent enough to be tournament level. The Ladies in Yellow The Distinguished Ladies Society of Arkham is proud to sponsor the Carter Memorial Theatre in its upcoming presentation of The King in Yellow! This noted play has been a sensation in Europe, and all the rage in New York - now it comes to our community, and is sure to thrill audiences, and to be an occasion to remember! Character Maureen de Garmeaux (LR) x2 Deranged Diva (***) x3 Messenger from Beyond (Core) x3 Victoria Glasser (Core) x2 Alyssa Graham (ER) x3 Bringer of Fire (AH) x3 Danni Devine (LR) x2 Elise Warren (WaB) x2 Master of the Myths (IT) x3 Hastur (TSC) x2 Support Arkham Asylum (Core) x2 Guardian Beast (TSS) x2 The King In Yellow Folio (LR) x2 Stygian Eye (IT) x2 Victoria's Loft (Core) x3 Event Political Demonstration (Core) x2 The Greatest Fear… (SoA) x2 Apeirophobia (NN) x3 Horrifying Daydreams (PT) x2 Power Drain (Core) x3 Scotophobia (Core) x2 Strategy As a mono-Hastur deck, the focus is on control. Specifically, this deck focuses on minimizing the characters available to the opponent, through limiting cards in hand and cards drawn, and through rendering characters insane. There is not one key card that drives the strategy. Rather, each of the effects - card discard, removal of Terror icons, insanity - can be achieved through multiple cards, and multiple combinations of cards. The focus is more on finding synergies across a variety of cards, rather than on relying on one or two cards to drive the whole deck. That the deck is stacked with lovely ladies is a happy coincidence. Some cards are certainly powerful in the context of this deck, as follows. Apeirophobia: OK, this card is potent in virtually any deck, not just this one. This has been the topic of recent conversation, and I think the people here are beginning to sense how powerful it is. This card absolutely shuts down opponents who try and get clever by deploying powerful characters early - e.g., a fast Terror of the Tides. As such, the very possibility of it being played - an open domain with two resources and a Hastur match - is enough to force defensive play, limiting cards to low-skill characters. That's game-changing, and important. This particular deck is very touch-and-go in the first few turns, and relies heavily on dropping the Apeirophobia hammer at just the right time. As such, this is the one card I would like to see in the opening hand more than any other. Again, it requires very careful timing, but done right, can dramatically slow down the pace of the game, allowing the insanity and discard "engine" to get set up. Alyssa Graham: Again, a topic of recent discussion, and yes, Ms. Graham is indeed very powerful. I primarily use her for cutting enemy draws from two down to one, which - after losing a good chunk of the hand to Apeirophobia - is critical. The timing is such that she can only cut draws by one card (there is not a timing window to execute a sanity-restoring action to cut the second draw), but still, one card a turn is really powerful. With Arkham Asylum, she can be used again during your turn, and specifically to bring back powerful cards from the discard pile - like, you know, Apeirophobia. Is she balanced as a card? Absolutely, yes. One thing to understand is, since her ability requires her to be rendered insane, no attachments are going to protect her. That means she can be wounded, destroyed, returned to hand, or (ironically) rendered insane before she can use her very powerful ability. And she is a huge target for all of those. So how do you keep her in play? Well, if your opponent has been forced to discard his hand, and he's drawing one card per turn, and his characters are all insane, and you've got a Power Drain in hand, well, it's not too hard to keep her around . . . Deranged Diva: One insanity per turn effectively free, and more with Arkham Asylum. No, it's not targeted, but still, it's very nice. Again, if you've cut the opponent's card count down, he's not going to have a lot of characters available, so this is very effective. Combos really well with the Messenger from Beyond, as most characters in the game have either one Terror icon or none. The King in Yellow Folio: This is the card I wanted to use, and it's a good one. The Folio-bearer (I prefer Elise Warren, because, you know, she's nearly indestructible) is absolutely ideal as a defender in the story phase - send her in to whatever story the opponent has committed the most characters to, then drop Scotophobia, crazy stuff happens. Again, this is a very powerful card for forcing the enemy to play very defensively - if you have an open domain with a Hastur match and The King in Yellow out, they have to consider the possibility that you will play the Folio/Scotophobia combination. So wait, what about Willpower? Well, yeah, that's a problem. You can wait for Hastur to take care of that, but in the meantime, there's . . . Stygian Eye: Such a good card. Again, if you've been able to limit the opponent's access to cards, this just adds insult to injury by stealing one of their better characters. If the opponent is off to a strong start, this can potentially help turn things around for you. This allows effectively permanent control of a character with a Terror icon or Willpower, which is really nice. Its only limitation is that it is unique, so you have to pick your target carefully. Danni Devine: The veteran players will note that I'm running two copies of several support cards, and this card is one reason why. Ms. Devine allows Hastur support cards to be brought into play more readily; while Ms. Graham allows the deck to be stacked, Ms. Devine is particularly useful, in that she can potentially increase your draws from two to (effectively) three per turn. Very handy. The restriction on needing two or more insane characters in play shouldn't be a problem. Also note that Maureen de Garmeaux can duplicate Ms. Devine's ability, to really accelerate your access to cards. One item of note: given the special powers driven by number of insane characters in play, in this type of a deck you don't want too many insanity-proof characters. Counter-intuitive, but important. Master of the Myths: Yes, he is very good, and yes, he (with Hastur and the Bringer of Fire) is crashing the ladies' party. In playing this card, I am of a mixed mind; he is very good at what he does, but I am reluctantly coming to agree with some others here that he is not quite as game-changing as the Khopesh of the Abyss, or even Apeirophobia. In this particular deck, he is really handy for holding the line and limiting the damage until immediate threats (read: the Khopesh) can be dealt with and the insanity/discard "engine" gets set up. He doesn't win the game for the deck as much as he keeps the player in the game until the real game-winning cards can start doing their thing. Should he be restricted? Not sure, but I can see both sides of the argument now. Speaking of which, how to deal with the dreaded Khopesh of the Abyss with this deck? Well, obviously, direct insanity effects will work in some case, and Political Demonstration isn't quite impossible to get out as Ms. Warren carrying The King in Yellow Folio should be able to handily win a Terror struggle. But there is something of a secret weapon in the mix: Guardian Beast! It is completely counter-intuitive, but after figuring out that Stygian Eye does not work (the opponent still controls the Khopesh, if not the character), I suddenly realized that Guardian Beast can be played on any character, and works like a charm - can't use the Khopesh, can't bring another one into play, because it's unique, and additional Terror struggles? - bring it on! The main drawback is you have to wait for your own operations phase - which, yes, can feel like an eternity. As such, I think an advisable approach would be to use a minimal defense - Master of the Myths, Elise Warren, Stygian Eye - until the Khopesh comes out of the other player's hand, either played out or discarded through Apeirophobia, before deploying your more vulnerable characters. Anyway, that's the deck. Again, I don't think it will be winning any tournaments, but it's great fun to play. I would not be surprised to see some of those cards show up in tournament-winning decks, however - I think Hastur is really coming into its own with this latest cycle.
  15. Here is what I would put for pairings: Cthulhu/Shub: Cthulhu's specialty is character destruction, and Shub is very strong for support card destruction. They form a devastating combination that can effectively shut down the opponent's ability to keep cards on the board. Hastur/Yog: Hastur and Yog both have enormously powerful events, and Yog in particular has ways of bringing events back into play. Combined, they have the potential to form an extremely potent control deck. Silver Twilight/Miskatonic: Silver Twilight is very strong right now in my opinion, but they seem to burn cards very quickly. Miskatonic is weak, but they're great at drawing cards. Easy solution: use Miskatonic's card draw to feed the Silver Twilight engine. Agency/Syndicate: I put these together because I didn't know where else to put them. But seriously, they both have cheap characters, and lots of ways to boost their characters; the idea would be to flood out characters, but add in supports and attachments to make them potent and keep them protected.
  16. I also recently put together a mono-Hastur insanity-themed deck, I will post it when I get a chance, but I do have a few quick thoughts. Dangerous Inmate would be a good addition, but I prefer Deranged Diva. Either way, you get one "free" insanity a turn once they're out, which is really useful. Also, I would seriously consider adding Horrifying Daydreams; I think you need an event-based insanity in addition to your character-based insanity effects, as otherwise you could face serious trouble if your opponent has a way of keeping your characters out of play (e.g., getting repeatedly hit with the Initiate of Huang Hun). Also, Apeirophobia - just an amazing card all around, it honestly belongs in nearly every Hastur deck.
  17. OK, I'll take the contrarian position here. Someone has to, anyway! Arkham Horror: Simply put, it's Clue: The Cthulhu Edition. It's as if someone started out with Clue, added a Lovecraftian theme, then added in a whole lot of bits and pieces just because they could, then went to FFG with it, and they said, "Looks good, but needs more pieces." I played a couple of times, I don't recall finishing a game, I only have vague memories of it becoming clear that I was going to lose because I didn't have enough moves to get from the Boarding House to the Kitchen to retrieve either the Elder Sign or the Candlestick, I can't remember. The theme is strong, but underneath, it is, in my opinion, an overly complicated and overly random board game. Mansions of Madness: Honestly, haven't played it. I looked at a video demonstration and it struck me as having a few more RPG elements than Arkham Horror, but other than that, being another rehash of Clue. Only literally set in a mansion, and with many of the same rooms. I can't verify whether it has a Candlestick or a Lead Pipe, but I wouldn't be surprised. Elder Sign: It's Yahtzee: The Cthulhu Edition. Or as one wag on BoardGameGeek put it, Yahtzee-Sothoth. Again, the theme is strong, but underneath, it's a dice-rolling game. Its main selling point is that it's fast, and so for that reason I do play it on an occasional basis. Call of Cthulhu LCG: OK, I'm tempted to say that it's Magic: The Cthulhu Edition, but it's not quite that. The gameplay is definitely different enough that the similarities end with the fact that it's a customizable card game. The theme in the LCG is very strong, and the gameplay is cerebral and challenging, as befits a Lovecraftian themed game. Its main weakness on the theme front is that players do play both sides - not just the investigators, but quite frequently the monsters, and very often a strange mix of them. I don't have as much of a problem with that, but for some people it does ruin the mood. Call of Cthulhu Role-playing Game: For theme, the RPG is the best, hands down. It does require a very good GM who can craft epic Lovecraftian tales, and without that runs the risk of devolving into really bad schlock (although I am sure there are players who play it for that, and love it for that). If deep immersion in the Lovecraft world is what you're looking for, it's all about the RPG. The main reason it's not as popular as the other titles above is, well, it's an RPG, and requires a bigger commitment of time and learning the rules, as well as interaction, than a board or dice game that's straightforward to learn and play. In my opinion, "best" depends on what you're looking for. If it's theme, the RPG. If it's challenge, the LCG. If it's accessibility for a broad audience, Arkham Horror. If it's cool looking components, Mansions of Madness. If it's fast play with easy rules, Elder Sign.
  18. My question is this. The rulebook clearly states that actions are to be taken alternating between players, except for disrupts. Well and good. But does a response count as its own action, or as part of the action that it is responding to? The rulebook would seem to indicate the former, while the FAQ would seem to indicate the latter (see the timing section and the sequence of action there). So, specific example: Operations Phase for Player A, Player A plays a Hungry Dark Young, and as its ability puts an Albino Goat-spawn into play from of his discard pile. Player B has in hand a Stalking Hound and a Horrifying Daydreams. He wants to put the Stalking Hound into play using its triggered response, but also wants to hit the Albino Goat-spawn with Horrifying Daydreams before Player A can have the chance to put an attachment on it that would make it immune to insanity. If Player B puts the Stalking Hound in play, does the opportunity for action go back to Player A - because that response is itself an action - or to Player B, because the response was technically part of Player A's action?
  19. That's correct - but note that if you are using the dread combination with Arkham Asylum, restoring her counts as an action, so you will have to wait until the action window at the end of the draw phase to do it. As such, you will never be able to deny both card draws for the other player, so your opponent will always be able to draw at least one card. As noted above, though, Hastur also has other cards that can be used to clean out the other players' hand. Alyssa Graham alone is bad enough, but with Arkham Asylum, Byakhee Attack, etc., things can get really ugly for the other player really quickly. I'm no fortune teller, but I see a lot of Khopeshes and Shotgun Blasts and Lord Jeffery Farringtons in her future.
  20. Narsil0420 said: I think this is happening with Call of Cthulhu because sales are probably starting to drop. It's been going for a few years and I would imagine is the least popular LCG. I'm not sure about that, however - I suspect that Warhammer is the least popular of the LCGs at the moment. FFG hasn't even bothered to think about reprints for early Warhammer sets the way they have for Cthulhu. But yes, Cthulhu seems to be overlooked relative to Lord of the Rings, and certainly relative to Game of Thrones. Which is something of a shame, as Cthulhu and Lord of the Rings are probably the two most innovative designs among customizable card games right now. When it comes to formats for Lord of the Rings, however, I'm perfectly OK either way. One problem with the monthly packs is that their Encounter cards end up getting used in only one quest, setting aside player-made quests, which is a real shame. Boxed expansions just get a lot more mileage since their Encounter cards can get reused in follow-on expansions.
  21. Yipe said: Moral of the story? Always ask your FLGS to host a regional championship. What's the worst they can they say? "Host your regional championship? Sure thing! But we're closed Mondays, and Tuesdays are Magic night, and Wednesdays are Magic night, and Thursdays are Magic night, and Fridays are Eurogame night, and Saturdays are Magic night, and Sunday we play nothing but miniatures. So . . . how does early Saturday morning sound?"
  22. Thank you all for your assistance. I eventually put together a three-sphere deck, and have started trying it out, and so far, so good . . . sort of. The one thing I am finding is that I am heavily dependent on getting critical attachments out for the heroes. Basically, if I can get Steward of Gondor and/or Celebrian's Stone onto Aragorn, it's smooth sailing; if not, it's very rough going. I find that the first few turns are absolutely critical (one of my complaints with this game, but I'll set that aside for now), so I tried to tilt the character balance toward cheap Lore and Leadership characters that I could get out to hold the line before the critical attachments come into play. The first few turns are always heart-wrenching. But once Steward/Celebrian/Unexpected Courage/Burning Brand are up, it's a virtual cakewalk. I could probably tighten it up by removing situational cards like Fortune or Fate and Miner of the Iron Hills, but I wanted to design a general-purpose deck and only resort to specializing it if absolutely necessary given the scenario. If the early game proves to be too challenging, I may eventually retool with Theodred/Eowyn/Denethor. Aragorn, Heir of Gondor Hero (3) Aragorn (Core) x1 Denethor (Core) x1 Bilbo Baggins (THFG) x1 Ally (23) Henamarth Riversong (Core) x2 Snowbourn Scout (Core) x3 Erebor Hammersmith (Core) x2 West Road Traveller (RtM) x2 Miner of the Iron Hills (Core) x2 Daughter of the Nimrodel (Core) x2 Rivendell Minstrel (THFG) x2 Faramir (Core) x1 Northern Tracker (Core) x2 Elfhelm (TDM) x1 Gildor Inglorion (THoEM) x1 Gandalf (Core) x3 Attachment (15) Song of Travel (THoEM) x2 Protector of Lorien (Core) x2 Celebrian's Stone (Core) x2 Steward of Gondor (Core) x2 A Burning Brand (CatC) x2 Unexpected Courage (Core) x2 Forest Snare (Core) x3 Event (12) Sneak Attack (Core) x3 Dwarven Tomb (Core) x2 A Test of Will (Core) x3 Will of the West (Core) x1 The Galadhrim's Greeting (Core) x2 Fortune or Fate (Core) x1
  23. Very possible, and could make for interesting gameplay. That relates to the issue of what makes Perambulans so powerful: it radically changes, not just the icon struggle and the outcome of the story, but the rest of the game, as weaker characters could not commit to other stories. I think that was problematic enough that we won't see another exactly like it, but we may see some variations, as you mentioned, on who can be committed to the Conspiracy story (only), or under what conditions.
  24. dboeren said: I suppose in the end what is important is that all factions are equally attractive to play, not that they have equal numbers of cards. So, this is probably a reasonable choice for the first set. However, I would still very much like to see Silver Twilight get the focus for one of the upcoming sets as they are substantially behind everyone else and could really use some extra cards at some point. While what they have is certainly interesting, there are just not enough choices for them yet. I suspect that FFG probably considers the Silver Twilight expansion to be a dedicated expansion for them, so I would not expect to see another for several expansions yet. ST admittedly still has fewer cards than the other factions, but they have picked up cards at a disproportionate rate over the last couple of cycles. But beyond that, even though they don't have the same card count, they still have some very good cards that have seen a lot of action in recent tournaments. With ST decks placing in regional tournaments, I think it can be argued that they're competitive at the moment, despite the shortage of cards. Following Miskatonic, I would think that Syndicate would be up next for an expansion, or possibly Agency. Both factions just haven't seen as much play recently as the various monster factions. Of the monster factions, Hastur would probably be the next one up; Cthulhu is certainly doing fine, and both Yog and Shub have been seeing a lot of play in top decks, so I think they're doing OK as well.
  25. dj2.0 said: A good change, but I am already getting nostalgic for the walk home from the game store holding a new pack. It used to be once a week (at least!), then down to about 6x a year, and now down to about 3 with a box to wonder over instead of a pack. After the current cycle the Cthulhu packs are finally dead, and thats a landmark for an old black border gamer like me. So ultimately this is a further step in the (right) direction from the point of view of making the game less of a collectible market, but when this first happened it had a different context. The game was renamed as a Living Card Game and it felt indeed that it had come alive more in the new format. The scene with rares had become stagnant and exclusive. So the cut in quantity of cards was ok with me, but the loss of quantity of cards with this change doesnt feel the same. I guess times are hard and all and the lower cost is going to help a lot of people and draw in many more new players, which is cool too. But I feel the draw for new players wont balance out the loss of nearly 100 cards from the annual pool. I understand where you're coming from, but for every one of you, there are probably ten people who are active players but way behind on expansions (that would be me), and a hundred players who are saying "I'd love to play, but wow, that's a lot of cards to catch up on". It's a classic dilemma for games with lots of expansions. Keep cranking them out to keep the most avid fans happy, or try and keep the total size of the game under control so new players have a chance to catch up? They've been through this with Magic: The Gathering, with Advanced Squad Leader, with virtually every RPG series and miniatures system out there. It's not an easy decision, but I think FFG is going the right direction by trying to keep it under control. For really hard-core gamers, well, this isn't the only LCG out there. If you're missing the trip to the game store, try adding in The Lord of the Rings, Warhammer: Invasion, A Game of Thrones, and (soon) Netrunner, and there will be plenty of trips to the game store.
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