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Subject: Why is this not as popular and ? rss

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Simon Worger
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Hi,

Why is this lcg not as popular as the others ? I know it older but I quite like it and I'm not even that into deck building ! Even my non gaming gf enjoyed it surprise

I've picked up a second core set and have 4 deluxe expansions secrets of Arkham, terror in Venice, the key and the gate and seekers of knowledge. Has anyone tried the decklists that come with the expansions ?

What's the best way of organising the cards for storage ?

I wish there was more videos out there on this game especially a more detailed how to play showing a turn example with timing structure of what type and when cards can be played.

I play a fair bit of Netrunner but starting to prefer this cool it feels more one against one where as NR seems more playing two different games at once.
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Drew Dallas
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IMO it is the theme. I know there are alot of people that like Cthulhu but I don't think this gets as mass market appeal as if it had had a bigger licensed property attached to it.
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David Boeren
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I think it is a combination of theme and being an older game.

There is a portion of the nerd/gamer community that is familiar with Cthulhu, but the general population certainly is not and surprisingly (to me) even a lot of the nerd/gamer community is not familiar with it. An unfamiliar theme is usually less appealing and Cthulhu is different enough from the standard "horror" themes that it is difficult for people to relate to from just a brief exposure or explanation.

Then being an older game with a large card pool is also a problem because people don't want to join. The prevailing attitude of many gamers is that it costs too much to acquire a full card pool (you can go on and on about how this is the wrong way to look at things but believe me it falls on deaf ears) and that some things may be temporarily out of print and unobtainable.

The practical result is that if an LCG is older than a couple of years it's harder to get people to join. A lot of boardgamers balk already at a mere 1 year's worth of expansions.

It's a quality game though, and a surprising number of people who have experience with many LCGs rate it as one of the best.


Storage for any card game is personal preference, but I prefer binders for all my card games. That is, 3-ring binders with 9-pocket pages. I sort the card by faction, card type, cost, alphabetical. It makes it easy for me to browse them when designing decks. I do like online deck builders as well but the ability to see 18 cards of similar cost/type at once is to me really handy when I'm weighing different options.

The drawback of binders is that when new cards come out you may need to re-organize to make room for the new cards. I try to minimize this by doing it only every few packs instead of every pack.

The alternative is boxes. Here you can insert cards easily without having to move things down to make room, but the browsing is not nearly as good.


The faction box lists are a good place to start out and are generally pretty good decks with the card pool they have to work from (one core + faction box). You can usually improve them by drawing cards from more expansions or a second Core but they'll work well enough as-is too.

As I recall, both of the Seekers decks are Explorer based. Explorers are characters that tend to grant bonuses to each other, so you're looking to get them out quickly and build to a critical mass where your bonuses are stacked up nicely. They may be weak early in the game before that critical mass is reached, but Miskatonic is a good early-game faction in general so it shouldn't be too bad.

For Key and the Gate, the decks are much more different. One is a Yithian based deck which operates off of triggering effects from discard. You can win by milling your opponent or through Tesla. The other is one that I wrote which is based on driving skill down and using Hungry Star Vampires to eat your opponent's characters.

You're right that there are not many videos out there. Although they are mostly about resourcing, there is a bit of turn-by turn in these articles that might be helpful:
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4844
http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4857
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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I think the "older game" issues are much more significant than "theme." When a game can joke that its Cthulhu-based expansion is obligatory, you can hardly count out Yog-Sothothery as a marginal taste among hobby gamers.

Although there are some new entrants to the field in just the last few months -- and I'd sure like to try them -- I think that of the ones that have proven themselves, the CoC LCG is easily the best Cthulhu-themed game around that is
d10-1 competitive (not co-op) and
d10-2 "serious" (not overtly comical).

I understand and sympathize with the intimidation fostered by the large existing array of expansions. But having taken the plunge myself, I feel like a game of this type with fewer options would be less satisfying. The designers have done a pretty impressive job of avoiding power creep, and the number of obsoleted cards is surprisingly tiny.
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Rayne Smith
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dboeren wrote:
Then being an older game with a large card pool is also a problem because people don't want to join. The prevailing attitude of many gamers is that it costs too much to acquire a full card pool (you can go on and on about how this is the wrong way to look at things but believe me it falls on deaf ears) and that some things may be temporarily out of print and unobtainable.


This is probably the biggest cause for the lack of popularity on what I view as the best LCG around. I would like to expand on this a bit though. I think part of the problem is that this game came around in the early days of FFG's experience with LCGs as well. Since this was the 2nd LCG, there wasn't as much of a following for LCGs in general. That paired with the fact that it's theme wasn't very approachable, at least compared to AGoT, CoC didn't get as big of an initial following.

At this point there are a lot of cards and it would be difficult to catch up, so that scares away a lot of people too. There are also still some packs from the old distribution model floating around some stores and some people buy one early on thinking they are getting a "discount". They go home and open it to not get 3X of every card. It makes catching up even more of a hassle when you have to be careful of that as well.

As much as I love the switch to fewer, but bigger expansions, that is hurting the game as well. I know that I have one friend that I introduced the game to, he loved the game and loves the theme, but is convinced that the switch to deluxe only is a sign that it will be cancelled soon (Warhammer Invasion didn't help the situation). He doesn't want to buy into a game that will soon be a "Dead Card Game". So, he picked up AGoT instead (my least favorite ).

That's my view on the situation, though some of it is guesswork since I wasn't in the LCG scene when CoC started.
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David Boeren
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Carthoris wrote:
I think the "older game" issues are much more significant than "theme." When a game can joke that its Cthulhu-based expansion is obligatory, you can hardly count out Yog-Sothothery as a marginal taste among hobby gamers.


A lot of gamers are aware of Cthulhu as being a funny looking green guy with tentacles around his mouth. They've seen various goofy pics and plushies.

I think though that this is different from actually being familiar with the mythos and understanding the distinction between a humorous T-shirt and the concept of things so far beyond understanding that it can break your mind simply to be aware of them or the horror of an uncaring universe where mankind is totally insignificant. You really probably have to know a little more about the Cthulhu mythos to find it appealing as a theme than just knowing what the funny little green dudes name is.


Personally, I have a little trouble with the idea that a well developed card pool is such a bad thing. When I get into a new card game that I like, my first instinct is "Dang, I wish I could buy a bunch more packs of this right NOW! Too bad it's going to take so long for the card pool to flesh out..."
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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dboeren wrote:
You really probably have to know a little more about the Cthulhu mythos to find it appealing as a theme than just knowing what the funny little green dudes name is.

"Little"?

Your "Godzilla with a tentacle moustache" observation (quote from Andy Looney, who by his own admission "doesn't get" Cthulhu) is one of the reasons I prefer Lovecraft's own term "Yog-Sothothery" to the "Cthulhu Mythos" (invented by August Derleth in his effort to make a positive correlation with the Christian metaphysical worldview!). Yog-Sothoth isn't a punchline. Yog-Sothoth is the Key and the Gate to the realization that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large (HPL to Farnsworth Wright on "the essence of real externality").

Anyhow, there's hardly any supernatural or science-fictional horror without a little bit of the Lovecraftian in it since the mid-20th century, from "The Thing" to the "The Exorcist."

One of the amazing things about the huge card pool for CoC is that you can play with "theme myopia." You could build decks to play a game that was just about a stolen art racket, with some creepy occultists on the margins of it. Or one that was about traditional undead horror. Or a sort of Indiana Jones-style (i.e. H. Rider Haggard) pulp exploration-adventure. All roads may indeed lead to Carcosa, but not every play session.
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s1mon wrote:
Why is this lcg not as popular as the others ?

For me, it comes down to this:

1 I'm a big fan of the LCG format, but only (want to) own and play Android: Netrunner so far.

2 I'm a big fan of Lovecraft, owning Elder Sign, Eldritch Horror and having Mansions of Madness very high on my wishlist.

3 I watched the 2 official trailers by Fantasy Flight Games and it actually appeared quite boring to me.

I must say, that I was quite surprised by my own reaction, but it made me realise that it's naive to assume that I should automatically fall in love with each Fantasy Flight/Lovecraft game, especially because each game does its very own unique thing.

For me, this is the most "abstract" Lovecraftian game that Fantasy Flight Games has produced so far, which also feels awkward to me as the theme normally is very heavy. Then again, I have not played this game a single time and maybe I am just speaking nonsense here, but that's the main impression I have about this game - almost, like the theme is pasted and hammered on something else, but it's still beneath it and shines through.

I'm actually happy about my lack of interest on this one, as it saves me a lot of money. No worries FFG, because like I said, I still absolutely love Android: Netrunner very much.
 
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Wouter Dhondt
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More abstract than elder sign?

I have to say I love the theme on the cards. Great mythos characters and flavor. While not as submersive as arkham or eldrich, there is still a huge amount of theme there.
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Iori Yagami
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All of you are slightly right, but main reason is that it is too niche and has small number of players. Collectible card games with deckbuilding are niche in itself, Lovecraftian horror (and horror them in general) is niche too. Together, they make niche squared. The niche of the niche. And of course, it is not being promoted enough, with newer stuff getting all the spotlight. Newer stuff just gets more attention and $$$ flow everywhere. As always, business and art are incompatible. whistle

Still waiting for Sleeper Below, and that Summons (#1 Spawn of the Sleeper especially, #2 Horror beneath the Surface, too) and Dreamlands reprints. Q3 2014 will end in less than a month now, I am afraid they will push back yet again. I wonder how to poke them, is there any way consumers can contact them? Or are they just playing 'can't hear you, can't see you, you are too small' game?
 
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Iori_Yagami wrote:
I wonder how to poke them, is there any way consumers can contact them?
I'd just use their standard contact formular. It surely cannot hurt to let them know you'd like to throw some cash at them if they'd just reprint the friggin' cards already.
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Alexandros Masmanidis
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After reading jhaelen's post, i took the liberty to send a note to FFG. In a nutshell, i kindly noted that by not staying true to their own deadlines, they're not helping with the publicity and survivability of this amazing game.

We are a somewhat small, but dedicated core of CoC players. Maybe we should show our interest for the game more actively, than just lying and waiting until the stars are right or until the game is irrevocably dead.
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Iori Yagami
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Well, it is alive and a new expansion will come out very soon, and new probably are being developed, too.
But it just pains me to see how much reprints AGoT LCG gets compared to CoC. A:NR isn't even old (from end of 2012 just 2 cycles with 3rd one midway, just 2 dx boxes), and it still gets LOTS of reprints already.
With online scalpers selling older packs for as much as 80-100$ this is not normal in any sense.
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Another Core Set reprint is shipping now. Isn't that the second one in less than a year? Seems like the game is relatively healthy; either that, or FFG slipped up and went for way too few copies in the previous reprint.

Just-in-time production philosophy or not, I think reprinting more than once in a year's time indicates that the sales are probably out-performing the publisher's expectations.

That new expansion can't get to the stores too soon! And yes, I still want those Dreamlands reprints.
 
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David Boeren
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Garnett11 wrote:
After reading jhelen's post, i took the liberty to send a note to FFG. In a nutshell, I kindly noted that by not staying true to their own deadlines, they're not helping with the publicity and survivability of this amazing game.


I'm disappointed with this too. We were originally told 4-month intervals and we're clearly not hitting that. FFG owes us to either meet their stated timetable or else post a revised one so we know what to expect.

I'm glad that I picked up my Cthulhu box at Gencon and can start playing with the new cards, and I'm anxiously awaiting the next box, and the next, etc... as soon as those are available too.
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I'm glad to see some international momentum behind this issue. Some other prominent players and I were just discussing this yesterday. We were thinking of writing a letter voicing our concern over their treatment of this game, which seems to be contributing to ending it prematurely. If they did half of the promotion that they did for AGoT (which still isn't much) and ANR, this game would be much healthier at a competitive level. It doesn't help that they are so hush-hush about the demographics buying their game. I think if people saw that there are many out there that actually do buy this game, whether casual or whatever, then the ceaseless questions about this game ending would be curbed.

Edited to make slightly more humble.
 
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dboeren wrote:

I'm glad that I picked up my Cthulhu box at Gencon and can start playing with the new cards, and I'm anxiously awaiting the next box, and the next, etc... as soon as those are available too.


Crap was something new available at Gencon? I hate it when I have the chance to buy something and don't realize it is for sale...
 
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Yes, the Cthulhu faction box "The Sleeper Below" was for sale at Gencon. Should be in stores very soon though and I posted spoilers for all the cards on cardgamedb if you want to read what they do.
 
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Drew Dallas
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I'll see if I can get them to go ahead and post the spoilers in the database. If I had known this was out at Gencon I would have asked them about it sooner.
 
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jhaelen wrote:
I'd just use their standard contact formular. It surely cannot hurt to let them know you'd like to throw some cash at them if they'd just reprint the friggin' cards already.
After the most recent rescheduling of the out of print packs, I sent a short, polite note expressing my hope to someday give Fantasy Flight yet more money, and got a prompt, if seemingly rote reply.

I think it's worth making that kind of communication a regular habit as the production schedule updates. And now we can all breathlessly ask when the next box is coming, too. Let's make sure Fantasy Flight knows we're here and eager for new cards.
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I have owned Cthulhu, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and now Lord of the Rings. I have sold Cthulhu and Game of Thrones for that very issue. Alot of people just don't play it.Both were a lot of fun, but it was very hard to find people to play. If you have little kids the horror cards can be a bit much too. I'm on the fence with the Star wars game due to the fact of the style in which it uses the theme. It just doesn't feel right some of the time. Capitol ships fighting people. I told my self I would collect this one but finding myself torn. The objectives too can be annoying. Like the objective is an ideal. But damn I love star wars.

Lord of the rings is great cause you are playing a story which is fun and feels correct. As for the the competitive lcg netrunner is the way to go.
 
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Kyur wrote:
3 I watched the 2 official trailers by Fantasy Flight Games and it actually appeared quite boring to me.
I agree here. I actually like the game, but at it's mechanical core, it can be overly math-y. "Okay, do I have more skull icons than you? I dunno, let's count mine, 1-2-3-4... snooooooozzzzzzeeeeeee..."

Netrunner has its asymmetry (and is based on a rock-solid Richard Garfield design)
Lord of the Rings has its co-op
Game of Thrones lets people be their favorite characters from the books
Star Wars has... well.. Star Wars (and nerds can't get enough of that, apparently)
Warhammer Invasion had the gimmick of attacking an actual base, with multiple "zones" that kept it interesting

All Cthulhu really has is the theme and a lot of adding up icons.

 
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fightcitymayor wrote:
All Cthulhu really has is the theme and a lot of adding up icons.

If all you do in CoC is count icons, I will beat you. You will find your characters returned to hand, your domains pointlessly drained, your success tokens moved, your deck milled, etc., etc. Icon-counting only characterizes the game at the most basic, training-wheels level of play.

Admittedly, that's what gets emphasized in the FFG introductory videos, so that (despite their high production values) the game looks rather flat there. But they also want to make a sprawling, complex game look accessible, so I suppose they're damned if they do and damned if they don't.
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Then we don't disagree: Of course relative skill-levels come into play to determine who accomplishes the goal.

But what is the goal?
To win 3 story cards.
How is that accomplished?
By winning Icon Struggles.
How does one win an Icon Struggle?
By counting Icons.

It always comes back to Icon math. Sure, you can pretty it up with card combos, and Day/Night mechanics, and tribal zoogs, but ultimately you are just applying modifiers to your Icon counts, or restricting someone else from applying theirs efficiently. The Icon math remains the core of the game.

 
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I agree, counting icons is the first layer of the onion only.

If you talk to people who have extensive experience in many LCGs, a surprising number of them will tell you (and I have seen this in their forum posts on cardgamedb) that Cthulhu has the best mechanics, and this is true whether Cthulhu was their first/main game or whether they are new to the game after years of experience in Thrones, etc... This is not because it is about counting icons.

According to your descriptions, all Thrones and Star Wars have are their themes too.

Netrunner is very solid NOW, after FFG polished it up and removed a lot of the flaws in the old game that contributed to its death. But by far the biggest advantage of Netrunner was the evangelists who promoted it heavily before the reboot and got the hype train moving. This got the boardgame crowd (who normally will not look at LCGs) to give it a try and you have seen the results. I'm happy for its success and it is a good game, but I do wish that more of the Netrunner players would reach the next logical step that if one LCG is awesome even though it's very different from the boardgame model then maybe others are too...
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