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The challenges faced by a insanely corrupt executive branch

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I've finally gotten into CoC in a slightly bigger way than before (i.e., I have two pals to play with), and decided to go directly for the kind of deck that’s probably quite a bit above my head, with a heavy reliance on more complicated mechanics.

With the tendrils of Hastur deeply embedded in the Arkham authorities, insane socialites and their pet byakhees lead the charge and protect the troops from insanity by spreading a fair bit of it themselves, gun-tootin’ lawmen come next and lay down respectable hurt, and all other challenges are supposed to be handled by a control deck-flavoured combination of Agency direct wounding and Hastur insanity and character control cards.

In general, the principle seems sound, if a bit vulnerable to roving gangs of fleet-footed Academics.

However, there are three categories of adversaries who slime all over my nice if slightly deranged governmental dinner parties, rip up my copies of the King in Yellow and stuff it up parts of my byakhees no hand or tentacle should ever penetrate, and generally run roughshod over my whole strategy.

Ancient Ones with invulnerability are generally messy, loud and bad-mannered. There is no insaning on these guys. 7 wounds in one fell swoop doesn’t even do enough damage to Cthulhu’s brow to stop him from raising it pointedly in amusement. And there is no controlling that which can eternally not go insane and therefore avoid vulnerability to character theft the Hastur way. Luckily, they are unique and far in between. But when they do rise/descend/teleport in, I check out. Perhaps we’re just supposed to suffer the torment if we let one of these out on the table? FFG, we can have Counterspell in the next expansion?

With all due respect to ancient god-horrors, the Irish are far worse. The O'Bannion Inner Circle at the head of a group of thugs with sneaky (and sometimes insane-proof, thanks to that durned Pit Boss) attitude has proven to be an almost insurmountable challenge. With his ability to simply disregard ALL icons of lesser skilled characters (+ willpower, + toughness, for only 4 resources!), and skill values which easily and quite literally reach the stars, not even my King in Yellow Folio tome-equipped 4-terror icon struggle gamebreakers and makers can offer any resistance. The best I can hope for is to pull a Short Fuse out of any nearby arse. But in a universe this occult, there are just SO many ways to make death less than permanent. So when O’Bannion flashes me that sleazy grin, I am reminded once again that no demented, primordial, occult magic can compete with the greed of the modern Celts.

Not quite as spectacular in comparison to organized crime and primeval horror from beyond the stars, but willpower-endowed combat thugs can also prove problematic, unless I King in Yellow Folio them to remove all chances for gunplay. I can thin out their brutish herds, but probably not enough to even out the odds on a neither good nor bad day.

It seems that in general, a major weakness of my control ambitions is that Hastur requires a fair amount of insanity on the part of the opponent to work his magic.

So, what can a disorganized troupe of disgruntled cops, armed civil servants and gung-ho ecclesiastics, backed by their decadent and droolingy mad, wine-sipping sponsors and their pet watchdog horrors (who, incidentally, reside solidly at the bottom rung of the pecking order and regularly have their lunchboxes stolen by just about any other denizen of the Mythos), do to bring some order back to Arkham (before they plunge it further into chaos)?

Edited by Ayjona

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The single best defense against all of these is blanking effects. It nicely gets rid of pesky keywords like Invulnerable and Willpower and by blanking textboxes it also prevents cards from using their abilities or effects.


The next best thing is to remove them from play. This can be done, e.g. by Silver Twilight bouncing effects, Syndicate's Immurement, Yog's Rite of the Silver Gate, or the neutral Mage's Machinations.

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I'll copy my reply from the same thread over at cardgamedb:


Driving your opponent insane is not reliable enough to be your main strategy.  This leaves you a couple of options:

1.  Swap some of the insanity stuff for take-control stuff
2.  Use Lunatics and drive yourself insane for various benefits
3.  Use cards that remove the Terror or Willpower which are preventing your opponent from going insane
For instance, the other night I was playing a Cultist themed deck with Harbinger of Insanity that let me take control of all sorts of enemies whether they had Terror/Willpower or not.  Stygian Eye of course is a staple card too.
If you want to remove protection, look at cards like The Marked, The Enchanted Wood, Hastur: Lord of Carcosa, and Sweet Dreams. Teaming up with Agency, try The Rays of Dawn.  You can bring characters with 2+ Terrors, Lunatics that drive enemies insane, and Day will give your Agency guys several benefits as well.
Edited by dboeren

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