|High Seas Excitement Under the Shadow of the Monolith
A Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game spotlight by guest writer Marius Hartland
|Call of Cthulhu LCG | Published 06 January 2012|
Never a competent navigator, I could only guess vaguely by the sun and stars that I was somewhat south of the equator. Of the longitude I knew nothing, and no island or coastline was in sight. The weather kept fair, and for uncounted days I drifted aimlessly beneath the scorching sun; waiting either for some passing ship, or to be cast on the shores of some habitable land. But neither ship nor land appeared, and I began to despair in my solitude upon the heaving vastness of unbroken blue.
–H.P. Lovecraft, Dagon
If we look at the overlapping synergies between the different factions of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, we find one of the lesser-frequently utilized pairings focuses on skill. The students, faculty, and investigators of Miskatonic University generally feature high skill and have plenty of ways to gain even higher skill. Supplemented by Randolph Carter (Search for the Silver Key, 63), they can gain great benefit from their myriad talents. On the other side of our pairing is the Syndicate, which uses cards like Clover Club Torch Singer (Core Set, 66) to lower the skill of other characters.
Because of their shortcomings in terror and combat icons, both these factions need to use speed and cunning to survive their investigations. Once the monsters start pouring out of every gate, these humans generally have little chance to match icons with the unfathomable beasts and Ancient Ones, and insanity and destruction soon follow, making the effort of scoring those final success tokens a grueling experience. However, there are ways to turn this tide of terror and violence…
The criminals and scientists are capable of devising clever tactics that can provide them key momentary advantages. Gang Warfare (Perilous Trials, 38) is capable of keeping out other characters in large numbers, creating a small window of opportunity to outrace the alien forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. In Shadow of the Monolith, you can find another tactic to make the most of this alliance of crime and science.
Naval Tactics (Shadow of the Monolith, 126) lets you invalidate a lot of icons, which may come as a nasty surprise for any opposition expecting an easy ride. And even if your skill would fall short, Naval Tactics only takes away printed icons. Both your factions have cards like Alhazred Lamp (Core Set, 75) that add extra icons, allowing you to gain the upper hand in the icon struggles.
It's even easier to use Naval Tactics on defense. A lone character like Border Runners (The Breathing Jungle, 65), with limited combat and no terror icons, can breeze through struggles when no icons are involved. With no fear for mental and bodily harm, such a high-skill character can hold the fort long enough for you to focus on accumulating tokens on your turn. Used this way, Naval Tactics is a tremendous addition to Perpetual Silence (Whispers in the Dark, 9) that increases the frequency this tactic can be used.
Even though Miskatonic University and the Syndicate are on different pages as regards morals, they can sometimes be quite effective while working together. Now that all our hope for survival falls under the ominous Shadow of the Monolith, the time has come to put these philosophical differences aside… or all will be lost!
Will the forces of humanity manage to rally against the Ancient Ones and their eldritch spawn? Find out soon. Shadow of the Monolith is on its way!
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.
I'm very glad to see a card mentioning Dreamlands, perhaps this is a sign that they'll be reprinting that set in 60-card format soon.
I want Dreamlands Cycle x3
This looks really interesting. I had not thought of a Miskatonic and Syndicate pairing before, but it looks like it could be versatile.