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Call of Cthulhu – LCG

I’ve not played CCG’s for a long time, perhaps over a decade.  I can remember in the 90’s playing the original Cthulhu CCG, Netrunner and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

For me I used to find with the time required for Wargaming or RPG games, the CCG’s allowed that quick pop to somewhere, play a game or two and pop home without the need to re-pack a hundred miniatures or a large bag of books.

So at the club we’ve been discussing resurrecting a card game night and the first of these happened last Tuesday.  This post isn’t a detailed post of the game and how it works (I’ll do that in the near future) but just my thoughts and a lot of research to find out what else is available.

I have had the Call of Cthulhu Living Card Game by Fantasy Flight Games for a few years.  I originally bought it to play in house with my better half, but she’s never shown any real interest, but we agreed to give it a go and we did just that.

I should really start to take pictures when I participate in games as pictures do say a thousand words, however it’s not the vital for this quick post (well I hope not!).

There were three of us, Gavin (from TOR Gaming), The Goat (from the club) and myself.  Gavin didn’t want to take part (as it is a 2 player game) and acted as rules referee.

We placed the Story Board out on the table and then sorted out which Factions to play.  We stuck with the factions that were contained within the three pre-packed packs (to make things easier to start) and then added then Neutral Cards.

There are 7 factions to choose from, and you build your decks (of 50 cards we later found out) using any 2 of these.

  • The Agency
  • Miskatonic University
  • The Syndicate
  • Cthulhu
  • Hastur
  • Yog-Sothoth
  • Shub-Niggurarth

I chose Cthulhu and Shub-Nigguruth and Goat chose Miskatonic and Agency.  The decks were shuffled and we each placed 3 spare cards face down (not from our decks) next to us and these acted as our Domains.  Domains are used to provide the resources required to play a card.  We then placed the story cards down and turned over 3 of these and placed one onto each of the empty Story slots ready for us to play.

Here’s some blurb taken from the rules-booklet you get with the core game box, it de we have a basic o

The focal points of the Call of Cthulhu LCG are the story cards, which are drawn at random from a fixed common story deck and placed on the game board between the players. During the game, players take turns playing character and support cards from their hands and then using these cards to achieve success at these stories.

While characters are committed to a story, they may face op-position in four different arenas: Terror, Com­bat, Arcane, and Investigation.

Every turn, as a story resolves, the active player may receive success
tokens on his side of a story card. When a player has accumulated

five success tokens on his side of a story card, he wins that story. A player that wins three stories immediately wins the game!

Goat took the first turn and we slowly started to play, very slowly.

It didn’t take long for us to get the basic rules of the game sorted.  You both take it in turns, add one card as a resource under Domain (if you wish) as you use the Domains to pay for cards to be played.  Early stages of the game saw Goat winning two stories of which we then discovered he had played an invalid character card.  You may only play faction cards if your Domain has resources associated with that faction.  We allowed him to continue as this was just a game to learn the rules and the outcome didn’t matter.

Many turns later and Goat was easily winning.  I had a series of cards that basically required huge resources to play, one of which was a Deep One card that the action text allowed it to give one wound to each of my opponents characters upon being added to a story.  This card killed off many of Goats characters.  He had the ability to deal with it but didn’t for some reason and I suspect this card won the game for me.

I also held Cthulhu himself and played him, he though sadly has an action that requires each player to sacrifice a character card, that of course meant me as well, which in the end cost some cards that were very expensive to play.  I played Cthulhu too early though, he’s the card you play to grab that final story.

So the game continued for a little while and I ended up being handed a win as the Goat could have easily picked up the final story.


When the game ended we all concluded that it had promise.  I also have the The Order Of The Silver Twilight Expansion which adds the Order of the Silver Twilight as the 8th faction, plus unlike the Core Game Set, you get multiple copies of each card so when you start to build your own deck you can add more than one of each card into your deck.

Once I returned home I did a quick check to see that the game is still very active and there are a large number of additional themed card packs available as well as a active forum.

After a bit of research at both Fantasy Flight Games I learned that there are:

3 Deluxe Expansions – These are single boxed and contain all needed (rather than split into separate packs as the other expansions are)

  • Secrets of Arkham – This expansion features a new 10-card story deck which provides an alternative to the story deck provided by the Core Game Set.
  • The Order Of The Silver Twilight Expansion – This expansion contains 55 new cards, 40 of which are from this new faction. There are also two cards for each of the other factions – The Agency, Cthulhu, Hastur, Miskatonic University, Shub-Niggurath, The Syndicate, and Yog-Sothoth – as well as a neutral card. There are three copies of each card in this expansion.
  • Seekers of Knowledge Expansion – This expansion contains 165 cards (55 cards with 3 copies of each) and is primarily focused on the Misktatonic faction but does contain new cards for each of the other Expansions.

Expansions – Which each expansion containing 6 packs which introduce 20 new cards with 3 copies of each.

Miscellaneous

  • Call of Cthulhu Card Game: Bag of Cthulhu – A bag containing 24 smaller and 6 larger Cthulhu Statues (plastic) that the smaller ones can be used as Wound/Success markers.  The larger ones come with the core game set and are used to indicate a domain has been used.
  • Cthulhu Domain Statue – 6 larger Cthulhu statues that can be used (rather than spare cards) as domains.

I’ve linked all the above to Amazon (where possible – which took ages!), but do note that the Core rules and Deluxe Expansions are good value, but the Expansion packs work out to be anything from £5 upto £50! (at time of writing) that means you should investigate which ones you require unless you happen to have around lots of cash to spare, or are insane.

As with all CCG’s I recommend you spend your time learning how each card fits with the others.  I did find that during one of the final turns in the game I managed to play one card to sacrifice another to then draw another more powerful card for free…

That’s it for this post.  We are due another game soon, and I’ll make more notes on that so I can post a decent blog about how the game turned up. I plan to purchase a few expansions, a set of card sleeves and deck protectors so that I can play many times without the need to re-purchase anything.

Until then Huzzah!