|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 19 March 2010|
The moving object was almost of human size, and entirely devoid of clothing. It was absolutely hairless, and its tawny-looking back seemed subtly squamous in the dim, ghoulish light. Around the shoulders it was rather speckled and brownish, and the head was very curiously flat. As it looked up to hiss at me I saw that the beady little black eyes were damnably anthropoid, but I could not bear to study them long.
- H. P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop, The Curse of Yig
The Cthulhu faction, much like the being that gives the faction its name, is big, powerful and destructive... but also biding it's time and slow to wake up. The sleeper and his minions aim for the mid to long game advantage, wearing others down by continually wrecking everything and hoping to stick around long enough to make the best of the more resource-intensive cards.
At the center of this faction are the Deep Ones, the middle tier of horrors that fill the ranks between the Cultists and the Ancient Ones that support Cthulhu in his plot to regain control of the planet. Deep Ones have their 'thing' in that almost all of them have two combat icons and an arcane icon. Only a few deviate from these 'Innsmouth Icons' format: The oddly amphibious Julia Brown (The Path to Y'Ha-ntlhei, F107) who can be argued to be too freshly evolved to have the arcane icon (but has the double combat and double terror to boot) and the 'lieutenants of Cthulhu' Father Dagon (Core Set, F42) and Mother Hydra (Secrets of Arkham, F25) who are so ancient and beyond the humble sea-dwellers that they don't even have the Deep One subtype anymore, forming the final bridge to the upper echelon of this faction: The Ancient Ones themselves.
The challenge is to survive that long. Other factions have a much quicker start and for the green team it's hard to stabilize after the initial rush. The Deep Ones, setting a decent defense with their combat and the wounding ability of their Ravager of the Deep (Core Set, F46) have very little terror for a monster faction. Shadowed Reef (Core Set, F55) does help a little, but there is a void that needs filling here. The amphibians now have found reinforcements from a reptilian race that bring a new kind of Terror.
Brood of Yig (Whispers in the Dark, F4) is the first of a race of serpents that brings a new focus on terror icons to the Cthulhu faction. Not only does it join with Keeper of the Golden Path (Core Set, F43) in enabling an early Pulled Under (Core Set, F57) but the brood also showcases their 'thing' -The ability of serpents to warp terror icons and consume these to activate their abilities. Yig's brood can change these to combat icons just in case Deep Ones alone don't cut it. Their faction can fuel this ability by bringing on more terror with the zero-cost Touched by the Sleeper (Core Set, F60) making them flexible enough to deal with almost any early threat. The low-level brood is still bound to the three-action soft cap, limited by the number of available domains, although stronger serpents may not be restrained by this. The mass of tentacles on the left side of a character is now more intimidating, as it slithers into something far more insidious.
Don't be alarmed though, friends of Fish! The Esoteric Order of Dagon and their smelly half-gods of the sea aren't being replaced by these fang-faced fiends. Although Cthulhu is probing his feelers in a new direction, the gilled devils are still growing in numbers, complemented by this new iconic-in-more-ways-than-one race for more well-rounded deck building.
Special thanks to Marius Hartland, who provided this week’s Call of Cthulhu spotlight.
Based on the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his literary circle, Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game takes two players deep into the Cthulhu Mythos where investigators clash with the Ancient Ones and Elder Gods for the fate of the world. The Living Card Game™ format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Asylum Pack expansions to the core game.
This game is becoming a HIG interest in my gaming nights.