In tribute to the passing of Sir Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels and many other works, as well as one of the brightest lights in dark places I’ve have encountered so far, here are the rules to play Cripple Mr. Onion.
You will need an eight-suited deck of cards.
In this Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game game, Cthulhu and Shub-Niggurath ally in Rebirth of the Cult, churning cultists in and out of the discard pile, while the doughty investigators of Miskatonic University and the Agency attempt to penetrate the cult’s defenses.
Rebirth of the Cult was designed by Obtuse, over on Cardgamedb.com. It’s a lot of fun to play and figure out the niceties — and sometimes the things that are blatantly obvious to other players and not so much to me, as you’ll see in the course of this game against Ray’s investigators.
The Bad Publicity show did something pretty neat this week: viewers voted on cards for the hosts to build a deck around. Theophilius Bagbiter, one of the most improbably-named cards in Netrunner, became the centerpiece of a deck, which they promptly took out onto an unsuspecting OCTGN population.
The final results are astounding in and of themselves, but I most enjoyed the discussion as Jamieson and Hollis worked out how they were going to make use of Theophilius and winnowed down their options to a 45 card deck. It’s a long video, but at least give the deck-building discussion a listen:
Undaunted by the previous creaming, Tyler doubles down on the followers of the King in Yellow against Ray’s mobster-Hasturite alliance.
This is the second match-up of these two decks, as I was so taken aback by how little I accomplished in the first game, I had to try again and see if I could more with a better idea of what the deck contained. Those of you who have looked over the list posted last week have a pretty good idea of how this game will shake out.
My favorite card evaluator, Tragic of Tragic the Blathering, broke out a fresh copy of The Sleeper Below for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, to share his first impressions of the Cthulhu faction’s newest goodies. His reviews of Seekers of Knowledge and Denizens of the Underworld were huge helps to me in figuring out some of the — to me — less obvious uses for all these new cards, so I’m glad he’s come back to Call of Cthulhu. Keep ‘em coming, Tragic!
Matt Golec and Robert Dijkman Dulkes, designers of Penny Press, co-winner of Tabletop Deathmatch, as spoken of on Carnagecast, appear on Decked! this week to teach you how to play their game of newspaper barons in turn of the century New York City.
Bear in mind two things: when we recorded this, Robert and Matt were still using their demonstration set of Penny Press, as the game was still mid-printing. The final version will all super-fancy and impressive, looking more like this proof copy. Second, this demonstration video explains how to play, but it is not a full game from start to finish. Rather than play through a full game, Matt and Robert designed specific moments in time in order to illustrate how the game plays out.
I’ve been cheerleading Penny Press from the sidelines through channels like Carnage and Geek Mountain State‘s social media since it first went public that Matt and Robert had been selected to appear on Tabletop Deathmatch. Having the opportunity to make a more substantive contribution in the form of this how to play video was fantastic. I hope it puts the game in front of even more people’s eyes than before.
The latest preview of For the Greater Good features the card designed by the 2013 Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game world champion, Jeremy Zwirn, a new Investigator and Explorer named Jeremiah Kirby. Basically, after Jeremiah enters play, you can reveal the top five cards of your deck, and then take turns with the other player putting those cards in your hand and on the bottom of the deck.
The article includes commentary from Jeremy on his thought process on designing Kirby: “I’m a fan of mini-games that involve direct interaction with your opponent, and I love highly tactical cards that require you to weigh multiple factors each time you use them. Accordingly, when Jeremiah Kirby enters play, his response triggers a ‘card draw’ ability, but your opponent influences which cards you get.”
I dig it, and look forward to including Kirby in an Explorers deck. That sub-type has gotten some real love in the last couple boxes, and it’s time to test them out.
Every preview for this set I think will be the last before it releases, but this time, Fantasy Flight let us know there’s one more, featuring the new Hunter sub-type. Sounds like the Agency’s getting the kind of shot in the arm that Explorers gave Miskatonic University.
This morning, a Kickstarter campaign for a Ghostbusters board game went live, led by Cryptozoic Entertainment. No one should be surprised to hear my ears pricked up immediately. Cooperative, modular design for high replayability, Ghostbusters. What else could it take to get me through the door?
Very little, as I read through the summarized pitch on Boardgamegeek. But then I loaded the campaign page and looked at the component designs. And all I could think was, “This looks suspiciously like Zombies!!!,” which is not a good starting point for my tastes. And interestingly, apparently there are many comments on the campaign page and elsewhere that, based on the initial component images and description given to date, Ghostbusters: The Board Game sounds an awful lot like Zombicide, which is another cooperative board game about beating back the undead, albeit of a different psychokinetic vibration band.
There’s not much to go on about how the game plays right now, aside from demonstration participants in the Kickstarter video saying good things about it. Wherever my sense of mistrust is coming from — I have little personal experience with Cryptozoic’s board games besides one round of the DC Deck Building Game, which plays an awful lot like Ascension Deck Building Game — I feel reassured to see I’m not the only board game player looking askance.
On the other hand, Cryptozoic is more than halfway to their $250,000 goal in less than a day, so there are 900+ people who have decided this game could be for them. It could be for me, too, but I’m staying wary for now. I’d love a Ghostbusters board game, but I want it to also be a game that I love, not just something based on one of my favorite movies.
I was happy to see that All Games Considered returned from hiatus this week. Mark and Carol checked in, discussed the Gen Con hotel fiasco and reaffirmed their commitment to the show, in spite of the many demands of real life. They also brought up that the show’s ten year anniversary is coming up, which blows my mind.
All Games Considered is one of the very first podcasts I listened to, back when I complained about not having enough new stuff to listen to while driving and a coworker said, “Have you looked at podcasts?” In all its incarnations, All Games Considered has been in my podcatcher of the moment since then. Here’s to ten years!
As a companion to this week’s episode of Decked!, here’s the mono Hastur deck Ray designed, and which I played a variant of. At the time it was built, the available cards didn’t include the “rare” Dreamlands cards like Keeper of Dreams, so he subbed in Victoria’s Protege, among others. Please bear in mind this is one of Ray’s first two Call of Cthulhu decks he ever built, so it’s presented primarily as an example of a starting point in deck design. As you can see in the Decked! video, Ray’s designing new decks with new tricks, like Henry Knoll outsmarting everybody under the sun, monstrous or not.
In playing the deck, I was most interested to experiment with The Thing Behind You as a bouncing mechanism for characters with enters-play effects, like Victoria Glasser. I only got to do it once, but getting to retrigger an effect like that and put out a beefier character in one action is pretty appealing.
If I were to take inspiration from this deck, I think I’d want to focus more on the enter-play effects, taking advantage of Bloated Leng Spider and Victoria Glasser, as well as adding in some more take-control effects, and shifting from cards that mill the top of the opponent’s deck to reducing their options in hand more aggressively.