The Thousand Young
The Ninth Deluxe Expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game
“Ever Their praises, and abundance to the Black Goat of the Woods. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! The Goat with a Thousand Young!”
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness
Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Thousand Young, the ninth deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game!
Deep in the bowels of the fetid swamps and shadowed woods of Louisiana, evil lurks. Dark Priests of hidden religions make blood sacrifices in the name of the All Mother, The Black Goat of the Woods, the mighty and terrible Shub-Niggurath. Soon this darkness will cover all of the city of New Orleans, for her thousand young are spreading and ready for flesh…
With its 165 cards (three copies each of 55 different cards), The Thousand Young adds new depth and resilience to the Shub-Niggurath faction. Nearly two-thirds of the expansion’s cards bolster the All Mother’s ranks with Ghouls, Dark Young, Monsters, Mi-Go, and Cultists. You’ll also find ghastly new Locations, foul Curses, and a new version of the Villainous Dark Mother, herself.
Still, the Black Goat of the Woods is not the region’s only corrupting influence. In the heart of the Big Easy, Nyarlathotep’s many Avatars play a deep and complicated game, manipulating human agencies and monstrous cultists, alike. These Avatars infiltrate every one of the game’s eight factions, even as the factions all gain mysterious new Locations that afford players new interactions with the top cards of their decks.
Spawning a Thousand Young
"Of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts."
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror
One of the most terrifying and mysterious of the Great Old Ones, Shub-Niggurath is known primarily as the All Mother whose worship was banned in nearly every nation and throughout all eras of human history. Still, her influence continues to shape the world, unabated. Her worshippers include the foul, towering Dark Young; the strange, fungoid, aliens known as Mi-Go; and human Cultists who give themselves to her, aspiring to be transformed by her powers or to help her populate the world with her monstrous spawn.
All of these appear in The Thousand Young, as do a plethora of Servitors, Undead, and Chthonians. In total, the ranks of Shub-Niggurath are expanded by no fewer than sixty-nine characters (three copies each of twenty-three different characters).
Chief among them, of course, is the All Mother herself, Shub-Niggurath (The Thousand Young, 23). In The Thousand Young, Shub-Niggurath appears as an eight-cost Ancient One, complete with her standard Villainous and Invulnerable keywords, as well as a powerful Response that allows you to spawn a whole unholy horde of minions when you play her. Finally, she also benefits from the expansion's new Resilient keyword.
Appearing on more than a dozen different cards in The Thousand Young, the Resilient keyword ensures that your cards will see play, maybe even multiple times. Whenever a card with the Resilient keyword would leave play, its controller may instead return to the top of its owner's deck. Because this is a passive effect, it cannot be cancelled, and that means that you can keep your Resilient characters, like Shub-Niggurath, from being shuffled into your deck or even from being hit by the growing number of "remove from the game" effects, to which The Thousand Young adds another handful.
Moreover, because Shub-Niggurath and Resilient cards allow you a new range of interactions with the top of your deck, they add to the power of such cards as Frenzied Ghoul (The Thousand Young, 7) and Dark Sargassum (The Thousand Young, 22), both of which you can bolster by revealing Shub-Niggurath or some other powerful Resilient character from the top of your deck.
In Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, the Shub-Niggurath faction has long excelled at overrunning its opponents with its monstrous hordes, and The Thousand Young only serves to ensure that this strategy will remain viable for the foreseeable future, reinforcing it with the new version of Shub-Niggurath, her myriad new followers, and the Resilient keyword.
Dark God of a Thousand Forms
"It was then that Nyarlathotep came out of Egypt. Who he was, none could tell, but he was of the old native blood and looked like a Pharaoh."
–H.P. Lovecraft, Nyarlathotep
The unfathomable evils of Shub-Niggurath and her followers aren't the only malign influences that The Thousand Young introduces to the sweltering nights of darkest Louisiana. Each of the game's factions also gains a new Avatar of Nyarlathotep, even as the Black Man appears himself within the expansion in the form of The Crawling Chaos (The Thousand Young, 36).
Like Shub-Niggurath, this version of Nyarlathotep is both Villainous and Resilient, and his Resilient keyword allows you to create any number of combinations with his Avatars, each of which is also Resilient. First, when you play Nyarlathotep, you can return one of his Avatars to your hand to lower his cost by three. Then, whenever you succeed at a story to which Nyarlathotep is committed, you can sacrifice him to put one of his Avatars into play, already committed to an unresolved story. Played well, you may be able to use Nyarlathotep's disguises to win uncontested success tokens at a story to which no one was committed before you began resolving struggles, and if Nyarlathotep's new disguise happens to be that of Harley Warren (The Thousand Young, 44), you might just be able to win a story and place one success token at each of the game's other stories.
Of course, it's not just Nyarlathotep's ability to shift from one guise to another that's remarkable. Because he bears the Resilient keyword, his sacrifice need never be truly permanent. You could, instead, merely return him to the top of the deck, in order to play him again on your next turn. And then you could swap him out for some other Avatar. After all, Nyarlathotep is the Outer God of a Thousand Faces, a figure wholly inscrutable by human logic, and he has a long history of appearing where he wants, when he wants, in a guise that is both familiar and frightening to those who behold him.
A Thousand Different Directions
"Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold."
–H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror
While the All Mother's progeny ensure that The Thousand Young offers the Resilient keyword a potent introduction into Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, the expansion doesn't focus as much on any single subtype within the faction. Where the Seekers of Knowledge deluxe expansion allowed fans of Miskatonic University to send Explorers across the globe, and where Denizens of the Underworld added a great measure of depth and focus to the Criminal subtype, The Thousand Young instead offers a wide array of subtypes and abilities, some of which allow you to bring characters into play in surprising fashion, some of which allow you to trigger effects when characters enter play, and some of which continue to support the faction's strengths in support destruction.
Instead of shedding a new light on some clear deck-building path, The Thousand Young leads you into the darkest bayous of Louisiana, where the trees and murky waters conceal all manner of evils, and the expansion offers you a tremendous measure of power to serve Shub-Niggurath in the fashion of your choice. Will you focus on devouring your opponents with Ghouls at Night? Will you muscle your way through stories with your unending hordes of Dark Young? Will you ally yourself with Nyarlathotep and use his Avatars to your benefit? Or will your Cultists usher Shub-Niggurath, herself, into the world?
The choice is yours. The Thousand Young is due to arrive at retailers everywhere late in the second quarter of 2015!