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old boy

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    , AB, Canada
  1. Yeah, making bad decks would be easy, but I don't want to do that. Tweaking deck lists, trying to get the upper hand between games, is at least half the fun of customizable card games. I have been paying for my actions, of course. The swarms of dorks come out only if I've got nothing better to do with my resources (and I may have been exaggerating the sheer numbers, just a li'l). You bring up a good point, though; there's no real reason to think that we've got all the rules down perfectly. We're both new, and self-taught. Let me run you through a sample game, to see if we're making any mistakes, and to illustrate my average experience with the rush deck. (skip this whole part of my post, it's probably boring) I'm going first. I draw my 8 and lay my 3 domains, leaving me with 5 cards in hand. Draw for turn. I've got 34 characters, over a dozen of which cost one. I've drawn almost a fifth of my deck, so it wouldn't be unreasonable for me to regularly be able to play three characters on turn 1. Let's say I get only slightly unlucky, and play Archeology Interns, Laboratory Assistant and equip the Interns with a Shotgun (both characters are functionally identical when in play, so it doesn't matter). I can't commit to stories since I went first. I pass the turn with 2 cards in hand. He draws two cards. He gets a decent defensive start. Plays Cursed Skull and One of the Thousand, leaving one domain free to activate the Skull later (tactics check: he wants to leave the skull for my turn, not just activate it right away, right? Keeps his options open, represents a variety of Events he might have, and forcing me to sacrifice later might kill a stronger character?). Pass, 4 cards in hand. I draw two cards (4). I play Diseased Sewer Rats to clear out One of the Thousand. I then play Goddamn Paul LeMond, and commit characters to each of the stories. He could use the Cursed Skull now, but I would just sacrifice my Rats and wouldn't change how many success tokens I get, so he probably saves it for later unless he has a lot of cards to play. Two of my characters have investigation icons and earn 1 extra at each of their stories, and Paul and the Rats are at the third. Since all are uncontested, I get two on each of them at the skill check. Pass, 1 card in hand. He draws two (6). Since his decks don't have access to the strong weenie hosers like Spell-bound Shoggoth, Y'ha-nthlei Statue or the aforementioned Negotium Perambulans in Tenebris (sweet card), there's not much relevant he can do. If he plays one of those I'm probably hooped, but let's assume that he doesn't have them, or simply didn't draw them. Let's give him a transient resource to give him the maximum amount to play with. He plays Hungry Dark Young, returning One of the Thousand to play, then plays a Harvesting Mi-go that he's been holding back. Nothing in his discard pile to attach, but he needs defenders. He's still got one ready to activate the Skull. I have no ready characters, so Harvesting Mi-go is free to earn two success tokens on any story and stay ready. Pass, 3 cards in hand. I draw 2 cards (3). I have four characters, he has three. I have 0 terror and 1 combat icons, he has 2 terror and 2 combat. It doesn't really matter, though, and I probably don't have to play any more cards for the rest of the game. At this point, I'm probably going to send my Shotgun Assistant to take care of the story that I've got two success tokens on (or any story that I'd really like to trigger), and send Paul, the Rats and the Archeology Interns at whichever story he put tokens on. As far as I can tell, he doesn't really have any options. He can't stop Lab Assistant, because even if he committed all three of his characters she can shoot them all and earn the last three successes needed. If he sends all three of his defenders at the other story, I can pump all three of my resources into Paul, giving him 3 combat and 3 terror. Mi-go would go insane, Paul would beat them up and One of the Thousand would die again, and I'd earn a success from Intern's investigation. This line of play would let him deny me the last success I need to win the story, at the cost of one insane character and one dead one. I get to activate whichever story ability was most appealing at the time and pass the turn. In the next turn he has to find removal for at least one of Shotgun Assistant or Paul, and kill the other the turn after that. Either of them can guarantee me a story win each turn they stay active, unless he produces a seriously large army. All that is assuming that nothing I draw in future turns is relevant, and the story I triggered didn't prevent him from getting back in the game somehow. I tried really hard to make this a story about an average or below average game. I saw 13 cards, just over a quarter of my deck. I've got 11 kill cards and, counting the shotgun, drew 2, so it would have been totally reasonable to be able to target another of his guys. I only drew one of my 11 draw cards, so I definitely could have had more resources at my disposal. I only played four characters, so an average game would have had way more of those in play. His hand was pretty average, too, though I'm not nearly as familiar with the contents of the decks he's made. (end worthless droning) That's it. I know that I can't rely on Rabbit's Foot or Old Man to save my bacon in every situation, but Rabbit's Foot is primarily in there to generate more card draw anyway (during games I actually kept forgetting that it lets me skip the combat struggle), and Old Man is just to keep my guys alive for the first two or three turns. After that he's just a body. Oh yeah, I also wanted to mention that I found this article, which made me really happy. Not only is it an entertaining read, it showed quite clearly that Ancient Ones are viable even at the highest levels of play. Dude actually had Yig and Cthulhu in play, at the same time, at the World Championships. Nice. Also, the Hastur/Cthulhu deck I've got in the first post is kind of like a gimmicky, trash version of the deck he used, suggesting that I'm not way off base. I'd still really like to hear comments on my deck ideas, though, if you've got any! Thanks.
  2. Thanks for the responses! It's certainly a problem with the decks we have available right now. Like I said, we're both really new, so our grasp of deck building isn't very developed yet. This is why I'm trying to construct the other two decks in my post, so that we have decks that can compete that aren't all the same strategy. The decks he's been building, I've realized, are waaaay too slow, way too many 4 and 5 cost characters with not enough early defense to support them. Even though Miskatonic has been winning a lot of stories uncontested, the problems he's been having aren't tactical, I think. It's just that, especially when I go first, I've been able to pump out a few cheap guys, then clear his side of the board using Rats, Small Price to Pay and various shotguns. Also, due to cards like Rabbit's Foot and Forbidden Knowledge, I'm out drawing him by a lot, and I'm able to regularly sacrifice a character or two to continue to gather successes without falling behind on resources. Finally, his decks stumble when I hit him with cards like Rabbit's Foot, Terrible Old Man and Goddamn Paul LeMond (as he has come to be known) which blank any defenses he does manage to keep on the table. In conclusion, his decks are bad (awful, actually), and so I want to help him build a new stable. I'm worried that our enjoyment of the game will die out of we can't find a way to make slower, interactive decks viable again, so I need advice on the two attempts that I've made, above. We don't need Cthulhu in play to have fun, but a good amount of splashy plays among the cheap, efficient stuff would be nice.
  3. My friend has bought heavily into CoC recently, picking up 3 of pretty much everything over the last few months. He's got several decks at any given moment, and we've been having a pretty good time slinging cardboard every couple weeks or so (he also apparently plays with a group at the LGS on Thursdays, though I don't know what level of competition they bring). Anyway, I decided that I wanted to try my hand at building my own deck, so happily gave me access to his collection. I wanted to make it a quick build so that we could get back to playing, and I've had the feeling that combat is a lot less important than he believes, so I just grabbed all the cheap creatures I could find with investigation symbols and ended up with something like this: Archaeology Interns (IT) x2 Dr. Carson (TSotS) x3 Focused Art Student (WitD) x3 Government Exorcist (TSotS) x3 Laboratory Assistant (Core) x2 Mad Genius (Core) x2 Paul LeMond (Core) x3 Professor of Folklore (ER) x3 Research Assistant (***) x3 The Terrible Old Man (KD) x3 Undercover Security (Core) x2 Watchful Naturalist (LR) x2 Diseased Sewer Rats (SoA) x3 Forbidden Knowledge (TWC) x2 Rabbit's Foot (TSotS) x3 Scientific Text (SoA) x2 Shotgun (Core) x2 Binding (Core) x1 Shotgun Blast (Core) x3 Small Price to Pay (Core) x3 I'm sure that this is at least a few cards off of what I built, but it's mostly the same (I definitely remember the singleton Binding, just to make him worry about combat when I've got a free resource). Just a bunch of expendable dudes, backed up by the best removal and card draw in the game (omg Rabbit's Foot) to keep things flowing. Every card in the deck costs 2 or less, allowing me to stop burning cards on resources past turn 3. I've been thinking about adding a couple of copies of Chess Prodigy, Dr. Laban Shrewsbury and/or Whitton Greene, though, as they seem powerful enough to be worthwhile. I know that this list is probably really loose, but even so his decks were not at all prepared to defend against 2 - 3 fresh characters every turn from turn 1 onward. I'm actually kind of concerned about this deck, because when I left his place last weekend he seemed really bummed that every other deck he has is such an underdog to this one. I'd like advice on this list if you've got any, but what I really need is to be able to show him that ponderous attrition decks are still viable. I really don't want our game sessions to be just a scramble for fast success tokens, and I especially don't want his 3+ cost cards to rot in his box. Looking through the other factions, I hit upon Things from the Ground, and I figured that it would be a great foil to the nerd cop weenies, and would also really reward playing beefy monsters. My first thought was to go Yog/Hastur, to take advantage of the insane state and further negate the advantage my opponent gainst from Things. I struggled with it for a bit, made up a super sketchy skeleton on cardgamedb, then checked the restricted list (Nyarlathotep nooo… is Things from the Ground the reason why he's restricted? I could see it), and the rules (oh… responses don't trigger when they come into play insane… bummer), which ruined all my plans. There were too many non-character cards from Hastur that I wanted to play anyway, so I switched to Shub for the strong selection of brawlers, and the resource acceleration in case I didn't draw Things. Black Dog (***) x3 Corrupted Midwife (ER) x2 Degenerate Ghoul (Core) x3 Forest Sister (Core) x3 Grasping Chthonian (IotF) x2 Harvesting Mi-Go (TTB) x3 Hungry Dark Young (Core) x3 One of the Thousand (PT) x3 Priestess of Bubastis (Core) x3 Slavering Gug (Core) x2 The Mother's Hand (SoA) x3 Trampling Dark Young (IotF) x3 Wooden Homunculus (SotM) x3 Y'Golonac (Core) x3 Ya-te-veo (TUP) x3 Blood Magician (CoC) x3 Faceless Abductor (TOotST) x3 Guardian Elder Thing (Core) x1 Intruder from Beyond (TTB) x2 Many-angled Thing (TGS) x3 Spell-bound Shoggoth (Core) x3 The Mage Known as Magnus (TWC) x3 The Three Bells (TUP) x3 Things in the Ground (SoA) x3 Feed Her Young (WaB) x3 Shocking Transformation (Core) x2 This pile is about 70 cards tall, so I mainly need help to make sure I don't cut a bunch of great cards and keep a bunch of trash. How many non-character cards would a Things deck typically be comfortable running, and how reliant on a single card can a deck be without becoming too inconsistent? While trying to come up with the Hastur variant, I hit on a lot of great control cards from that faction, as well as from Cthulhu. I threw together this list as well, to try out a more conventional stalling strategy: The Mage Known as Magnus (TWC) x3 Alyssa Graham (ER) x1 Aspiring Artist (AH) x3 Bloated Leng Spider (IotF) x3 Crazed Arsonist (WitD) x2 Dangerous Inmate (SfW) x2 Deranged Diva (***) x3 The Terror of the Tides (TTotT) x3 Thing from the Stars (Core) x3 Julia Brown (TPtY) x2 Messenger from Beyond (Core) x3 Old Man of the Woods (TOotST) x2 Somnambulant Dreamer (TWC) x3 The Marked (TbtA) x1 Victoria Glasser (Core) x3 Wandering Inmate (THBtS) x3 Arkham Asylum (Core) x3 The Enchanted Wood (IMoD) x2 The Cavern of Flame (ItDoN) x3 Infernal Obsession (TAD) x3 Khopesh of the Abyss (TSS) x3 Scalpel (TGS) x2 Stygian Eye (IT) x3 Y'ha-nthlei Statue (AoA) x2 Dragged into the Deep (***) x2 Feeding Frenzy (TC) x3 Sacrificial Offerings (Core) x3 This deck's also still about 70 cards, so I need to trim it down. It's mainly focused on abusing the various lunatic cards with Arkham Asylum to trigger them multiple times per turn (I originally started looking at Cthulhu thanks to Somnambulant Dreamer). Past that, I'm just trying to keep my opponent's characters insane as much as possible, and due to that strategy I've got a bunch of sketchy do-nothing cards like The Enchanted Wood and Scalpel to get around their mental defenses. Are cards like this typically worthwhile? If not, what does Hastur do about opposing terror symbols (or is insanity as a strategy just not very viable at all)? I shouldn't say do-nothing, I guess, since Scalpel will always help in a fight and The Enchanted Wood helps to keep The Cavern of Flame powered up (which, I strongly believe, is ballin'. Let me know if I'm wrong). Past that, there's just a bunch of generically good control cards, like Stygian Eye, Infernal Obsession and Khopesh of the Abyss. The Khopesh seems to want to be in a Shub deck to take advantage of all of Shub's cheap toughness creatures (could Forest Sister negate the wound from a Khopesh she's wielding?), but I think it's still solid here. It'll at least let me take advantage of my own insane characters, letting me sacrifice one of them for extra value (right? you can attach Khopesh to an insane guy?). Each of these ideas pack cards specifically to deal with weenie rushes (most notably Spell-bound Shoggoth and the unpronounceable Y'ha-nthlei Statue), so if I draw those I should be good. If I don't, though, how do the decks look? Am I on the right track? It seems to me now that any card that costs more than three is practically unplayable in this game, unless it gives you an insurmountable advantage like Bloated Leng Spider. I really hope someone tells me I'm wrong, though, because it would be frustrating to never get to play with half of the cards in the game, especially the uber-exciting 6 cost Ancient Ones. Having Cthulhu or Yog-Sothoth in play is something I look forward to in every match, but can you really afford to dump six cards into a single domain? Does the game even last that long most times? Anyway, thanks for reading all that! I know that was a lot of questions for one post. Hopefully someone out there is willing to take the time to answer them all. Even if you just want to give me a few words on one of the three lists it would be really appreciated!