“There are black zones of shadow close to our daily paths, and now and then some evil soul breaks a passage through. When that happens, the man who knows must strike before reckoning the consequences.”
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep
Denizens of the Underworld is the sixth deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game.
Roughly two-thirds of the expansion’s 165 cards (three copies each of fifty-five individual cards) focus on the thugs, hit men, con artists, crooked accountants, fall guys, and dirty tricks employed by the Syndicate, Arkham’s first name in organized crime. In fact, there’s just about nothing these Denizens of the Underworld won’t do to secure their turf and turn a profit.
Accordingly, you’ll find a host of new characters, supports, and events to strengthen decks built around the Criminal subtype and standard Syndicate mechanics, such as character exhaustion and skill reduction. You’ll also find new character destruction, domain control, and plenty of other new means that allow the Syndicate to defend their investments in the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, a new Ancient One threatens to invade our world, and each of the game’s other factions recruit new characters and develop new Tactics as they try to win stories.
Gamblers, Gangsters, and Concrete Shoes
There’s very little criminal activity in Arkham that doesn’t run through the Syndicate. Run by the kingpin, Danny O’Bannion, the criminal organization dabbles in just about everything. From arson and extortion to gambling and sorcery, the Syndicate does it all, and that means it requires the diverse talents of a whole gang of Criminals.
Denizens of the Underworld bolsters the Syndicate’s ranks with sixteen new Criminal characters and promotes synergies between members who share the subtype. In fact, the Syndicate can run its Criminals to more stories than ever because they’ve even added a talented, new Crooked Attorney (Denizens of the Underworld, 17) to their payroll. His text helps counter Night-focused decks, grants your Criminals Arcane icons, and gives them a small skill boost.
Of course, because members of the Syndicate have long focused on being able to manipulate their opponents’ skill, any little boost or penalty can make a big difference. Sometimes, it can be the difference between life and death, as is evidenced by the Attachment, Concrete and Chains (Denizens of the Underworld, 25), one of several cards in Denizens of the Underworld that provide the Syndicate with a whole new level of skill manipulation and character destruction.
Even when they aren’t eliminating their competition, you can’t expect members of the Syndicate to play fair, and there are plenty of cards in Denizens of the Underworld that reinforce this point. You’ll find ways to commit exhausted characters to stories, draw from the bottom of your deck, steal control of your opponent’s cards, and “cheat” other aspects of the game. For example, the Clover Club High Roller (Denizens of the Underworld, 10) can take a wound to add a success token to any story at which he succeeded. Normally, this trade works better for the Syndicate than for the High Roller, but if you can find a way to give him some Toughness, he can keep you supplied with a hot hand of success tokens for several turns.
New Tactics for Tough Times
Though the majority of the cards in Denizens of the Underworld serve the Syndicate’s best interests, fans of the game’s other factions will find plenty to appreciate, as well. For starters, the expansion introduces a number of new Tactic events, like Ambush (Denizens of the Underworld, 51), that can surprise your opponents and allow you to take advantage of any momentary opening in your opponent’s defenses to press for the win. The expansion also bolsters each faction with new characters and neutral cards, like Sarnath (Denizens of the Underworld, 40), that can enhance any deck.
They say that crime doesn’t pay, but don’t tell that to the Syndicate! Denizens of the Underground is an essential expansion for anyone looking to battle cultists and Ancient Ones with lead pipes, tommy guns, dynamite, and clever tactics!
The copyrightable portions of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game: Denizens of the Underworld are © 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Used under license from Chaosium, Inc. Call of Cthulhu is a registered trademark of Chaosium, Inc. Living Card Game, LCG, and the LCG logo are registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.