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Subject: The Syndicate Faction is Underwhelmed rss

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John Choong
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Dear all,

I am not sure it is just me or does anyone find that the Syndicate Faction is relatively weak as compared to other factions.

Is there any good combination that can be made with them? Often those players that uses Monster (i.e. Cthulhu, Shub, Yog, and Hastur) and/or THe Agency combination can easily beat players that uses The Syndicate? Or maybe I don't really know how to play with it yet. Hope some of you can share your winning build with The Syndicate. Thanks.

 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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I really like Syndicate thematically, and one of my upcoming ambitions is to build a good mono-faction Syndicate deck.

Past Syndicate combo decks that have worked well for me included Mothersuckers (Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath w/ Syndicate swindlers) and The Yellow Mob (Hastur and Syndicate hand-in-glove). My recent Magick Act (sorcerers and entertainers from Silver Twilight and Syndicate, with maximum Rituals) turned out be better than I expected it to be, consistently defeating an entirely adequate Miskatonic-Yog deck.


 
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David Boeren
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brighknight_216 wrote:
I am not sure it is just me or does anyone find that the Syndicate Faction is relatively weak as compared to other factions.

Is there any good combination that can be made with them? Often those players that uses Monster (i.e. Cthulhu, Shub, Yog, and Hastur) and/or The Agency combination can easily beat players that uses The Syndicate? Or maybe I don't really know how to play with it yet. Hope some of you can share your winning build with The Syndicate. Thanks.


I would not say weak, but they do play differently. If you're trying to butt heads directly against a lot of other factions then you'll probably lose but that's only because you're doing it wrong.

Syndicate is made up of crooks and con men, and you've got to play in that vein. You don't fight fair, fair is for suckers.

Broadly speaking, you want to set up situations where your opponent can't leverage his characters properly at the stories. Some of the main Syndicate tools for this include exhaustion, uncommitting, and skill reduction. Token shenanigans can help too but these often fall into more of a problem mitigation category.

So, you ought to be going to stories unopposed when your opponent's whole cast is exhausted. You can keep him from making progress by uncommitting his characters or reducing his skill to zero so he doesn't earn tokens.

So what does it take to be a good Syndicate player? Timing and good evaluation skills help a lot.

We already said that you can't necessarily go toe to toe with guys like Agency or Shub or Cthulhu. But, you've only got so many trick up your sleeve, right? So you have to look for your opening. Watch carefully how many guys he has ready and where he's going. Sometime there will be situations where he doesn't have enough guys to cover everywhere. That's often a good time to strike, exhausting his last defender and raking in a lot of success tokens. Feel the back and forth of character commitment and learn to manipulate it. Evaluation is about figuring out what's worth what. Don't waste resources on stories you won't win. Don't waste resources defending stories you're confident you can. Be willing to trade someone going crazy or getting killed if it tips a story from one category to the other.

Get the most use out of your tricks. Uncommitting a guy to win an extra token because it puts your skill on top is OK. Uncommitting a guy to suddenly win the Combat struggle, kill his OTHER guy, and then win TWO extra tokens for winning skill and now being unopposed is better. That's the proper use of your trick and what you should be shooting for.

Be sure to bring some guys with Investigation. No Investigation means it takes you 3 turns to win a story. With Investigation, you can do it in two. You aren't going to break their security wide open every turn, so it really helps to cut down the number of times you need to sneak in.

Also, Syndicate actually does have some pretty decent combat guys (2 combat icons) if you look around so they aren't total chumps in a fight.


Two of the main deck archetypes right now for Syndicate are exhaustion based decks and skill reduction decks.

In episode 002 of the Elder Things podcast we talked about a mono-Syndicate skill reduction deck, you might want to give it a listen, there's a deck list there too. You can get it from cardgamedb.com or our blog at http://elderthingspodcast.blogspot.com/

Eventually we'll get around to covering more of an exhaustion/avoidance style deck but there are a lot of factions and archetypes to do so it'll be a while before we get back to a second deck for any particular faction. Basically though it would center around exhaustion, uncommit, and other cards that prevent enemy characters from going to stories. If you mixed factions you could include things like "unable to commit", bounce to hand, take control, etc... Anything that keeps his guys from being able to actually contest you at a story. Terror or high Combat can work as deterrents too.

I'm about to leave on lunch break but I'll post some deck ideas later on, hopefully by then we'll have some more good discussion going on from several more people too
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Chick Lewis
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Back in the 'black bordered collectible card game' days I used a nearly mono-syndicate exhaustion deck to defeat the promotional tournament Yithian deck ! And it was the English version deck, not the weenied-down spanish or italian or french or german Yithian deck.

I have yet to enjoy a game as much as I did that one.
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Chris Long
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I still miss On the Lam. Best card ever.

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Carthoris Pyramidos
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On the Lam
Wow; that should cost 2 at least!
 
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David Boeren
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In the white-border LCG days, it probably would:


But Syndicate getting a version of it again would be pretty nice and fit in well with their story control theme. Perhaps when their box comes around there will be something like that. I expect they will probably be one of the next faction boxes after Yog if they are:

1. Alternating Human/Mythos
and
2. Focusing on the less popular tournament factions first
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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dboeren wrote:
I expect they will probably be one of the next faction boxes after Yog

That's my expectation and my hope.
 
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David Boeren
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The Syndicate Skill deck list and some discussion is located here:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/884058/elder-things-podc...
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mart ...
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just my two cents...

i've had my a$$ handed to me a number of times by folks playing syndicate decks. Mr. David Pan is an absolute BEAST to deal with. And in my experience, even if you do manage to win a struggle here and there, you can be damned sure you're not winning any skill battles.
 
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John Choong
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From the thread I can see that many are using Mr. David Pan when building their syndicate deck and I do see his usefulness.

I'm just curious. If considering that Mr. David Pan is not used, how will you build your deck.? What other cards will you use to substitute him? Would the non-use of Mr. David Pan significantly lower your chances of winning the game?
 
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David Boeren
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Yep, David Pan is the cornerstone of the modern Syndicate Skill deck, add in Parallel Universe and a few skill-reducing characters and then build around that core.

Peter Clover is strong in pretty much any Syndicate deck too.

Generally you want to keep costs fairly low, I don't usually put in anything that costs more than 3 and so many of their characters are Criminals that Johnny V's Dame is an easy include to make them even cheaper. With this sort of setup you can usually stop resourcing at 2-2-2 or even hang out at 2-2-1 for a while if you want to.
 
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David Boeren
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brighknight_216 wrote:
From the thread I can see that many are using Mr. David Pan when building their syndicate deck and I do see his usefulness.

I'm just curious. If considering that Mr. David Pan is not used, how will you build your deck.? What other cards will you use to substitute him? Would the non-use of Mr. David Pan significantly lower your chances of winning the game?


Well, if you're not using him then you'll need a different tactic than a purely Skill-manipulation based deck, I don't think Parallel Universe is enough on its own for that. Another alternative is to include large amounts of exhaustion, remove-from-story, unable-to-commit, and other such effects to keep the opponent's characters tied up and unable to compete effectively at stories.

Cards that can do double-duty are great too such as Hard Case, a character which also exhausts someone when played.

Or you can go for some sort of mixed approach instead of specializing in one thing. If you dig around, there's a decent amount of combat in Syndicate as well as Dutch Courage to give everyone Toughness+1. You might be able to make a decent deck of Combat characters and count on the toughness to out-last other combat heavy decks. Of course you'll probably want some exhaustion or other tricks mixed in too.

It's really more important that you have a plan for your deck and a good understanding of why each card is there than exactly what your deck list is. Any well thought out deck can work well for typical casual play if you're a good player and know your deck pretty well.
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John Choong
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Carthoris wrote:
I really like Syndicate thematically, and one of my upcoming ambitions is to build a good mono-faction Syndicate deck.

Past Syndicate combo decks that have worked well for me included Mothersuckers (Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath w/ Syndicate swindlers) and The Yellow Mob (Hastur and Syndicate hand-in-glove). My recent Magick Act (sorcerers and entertainers from Silver Twilight and Syndicate, with maximum Rituals) turned out be better than I expected it to be, consistently defeating an entirely adequate Miskatonic-Yog deck.




Hiya Cathorsis,

I am relooking on how to build a syndicate deck combine with other factions. I read about you mention Mothersuckers, The Yellow Mob, and the Magick Act but as I search through the Internet I could not find the deck list. Are there any deck list for the above three decks? Would appreciate if you can provide the link. Thanks.
 
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Carthoris Pyramidos
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Hey, John. That post was from over two years ago, before the release of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game – Denizens of the Underworld, so the decks I mentioned were not only products of my less experienced efforts, but also drew on a less substantial Syndicate card pool. The Syndicate deck I'm playing with right now is Octopus Ink, in which Cthulhu cultists get killer tattoos:

Total Cards: (50)

Character: (30)
1x Aziz Chatuluka (The Shifting Sands)
1x Dreamlands Fanatic (In the Dread of Night)
1x Fiona Day (The Sleeper Below)
3x Tattooed Thug (The Cacophony)
2x Silver Twilight Temptress (The Horror Beneath the Surface)
1x Richard Upton Pickman (Core Set)
1x Keeper of the Golden Path (Core Set)
1x Lord of the Silver Twilight (Core Set)
3x Obsessive Zealot (The Sleeper Below)
2x Gustaf Johansen (The Sleeper Below)
3x Initiate of Dagon (The Sleeper Below)
1x Henry Anthony Wilcox (The Sleeper Below)
3x Border Runners (The Breathing Jungle)
1x Dr. Marinus Bicknell Willett (Core Set)
1x Peter Clover (Seekers of Knowledge)
1x Thomas Fleming (Ebla Restored)
3x Cthulhu (The Sleeper Below)
1x Tattoo Artist (Murmurs of Evil)

Support: (8)
1x 7 Thomas Street (The Sleeper Below)
1x Summon the Sleeper (The Sleeper Below)
2x Tattoo Parlor (Murmurs of Evil)
1x Unaussprelichen Kulten (The Sleeper Below)
3x Living Ink (Curse of the Jade Emperor)

Event: (12)
3x Foul Induction (The Sleeper Below)
2x Underneath the Surface (The Twilight Beckons)
3x On the Lam (Denizens of the Underworld)
3x Turf War (Denizens of the Underworld)
1x While He Sleeps (The Gleaming Spiral)
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David Boeren
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As Carthoris pointed out, the release of the Syndicate box (Denizens) has caused significant changes in the faction, as all the boxes do. If you're looking for casual level decks then it may not matter as much, but in general newer decks designed after the box will probably be a better source to look at.

Since you're specifically interested in Syndicate paired with other factions, here's my deck from Gencon which was a Syndicate/Silver Twilight design:
http://www.cardgamedb.com/forums/index.php?/topic/17615-top-...
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If you're interested in Hastur/Syndicate combinations, here's a link to a deck that has won 2 store championships (2014 and 2015) using those factions:

Identity Theft
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David Boeren
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Just to add, I don't think anyone thinks Syndicate is weak anymore. They got a lot of really good stuff in their box and have been a popular faction ever since.
 
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