17 June 2015 | Call of Cthulhu LCG

The Archmage's Attaché

A Preview of The Thousand Young by Guest Writer Tom Capor


"All conjectures about him were spiced with references to the bygone magic of Old Whateley, and how the hills once shook when he shrieked the dreadful name of Yog-Sothoth in the midst of a circle of stones with a great book open in his arms before him."
     –H.P. Lovecraft, The Dunwich Horror

As we've seen in our earlier previews of the ninth deluxe expansion for Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, The Thousand Young, its 165 new cards (three copies each of fifty-five different cards) greatly expand the hosts and powers of Shub-Niggurath, the Black Goat of the Woods and Mother of a Thousand Young. However, we've also seen how it houses arcane secrets of every kind within the new Locations it introduces, and these secrets give power and support to each of the game's other factions. Today, we continue our exploration of what The Thousand Young offers to players with a look at its Champion Card, The Archmage's Attaché (The Thousand Young, 37).

2013 North American Champion Tom Capor on The Archmage's Attaché

No player has had a greater impact upon the shape of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game than four-time World Champion Tom Capor. For years, his name has been synonymous with top-level play, including an unbroken string of victories at Gen Con Indy that date back to 2009 when the convention was the site of the game's World Championships.

However, it's not just his name and his results that have become synonymous with the game; because the game's World Champions earn the right to work with the developers to design their own cards, Tom has added to the game's card pool, as well. The Mage Known as Magnus (That Which Consumes, 111), Hall of Champions (Written and Bound, 20), and The Mage's Machinations (Terror in Venice, 30) are all his design, as is The Archmage's Attaché, which appears in The Thousand Young and which he earned the right to design by winning the 2013 North American Championship, once again at Gen Con Indy, the home to so many of his biggest victories.

"Today, I have the distinct pleasure and honor to show off The Archmage’s Attaché!

"If there was one thing that Lovecraft's stories and I have in common, it would be our attachment to strange objects. For almost the entirety of my tabletop gaming career, I’ve been lugging around a briefcase. In the older times, we didn’t have all these fancy ways to carry around decks and other gaming bits that we do now, so while most were transporting their cards in their assorted boxes, binders, and book bags, my solution to the problem was the briefcase.

"However, as I continued to attend events and tournaments, the briefcase became more than just an efficient way to carry my things. It became an ice breaker, and it became my symbol. It showed that I was serious, but didn’t take myself too seriously. I mean, come on, who brings a briefcase to a card game?

"Personality quirks aside, when I earned this opportunity to birth a card into Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, and after I had already briefly hinted at the briefcase’s presence in The Mage’s Machinations, it became clear to me that the briefcase should be the feature of my attachment card. When played, The Archmage's Attaché attaches to a deck and then 'opens' as an action, revealing the top card of that deck, and allowing you to play it as your next action, ignoring resource matching.

"In the spirit of flavor, The Archmage’s Attaché carries a lot of potential, adds a lot of choices, and allows you to pack more opportunities to react to the current game state. On one side, you have your own deck. You know what it is trying to do and the Attaché will help you get there faster. On the other, if you can correctly piece together your opponents' strategies, the Attaché might allow you to utilize or disrupt their options, as well. Herein lie the two major ways to play The Archmage's Attaché.

Your Stuff Versus My Stuff

"It’s all good stuff, but in order to determine whether you'll get more value out of the Attaché by attaching it to your deck or your opponent's, you'll need to take into account cost curves, card types, synergies, and various other factors. The choice will force gamers to really stretch their analytical muscles… and I like that.

"The safer choice is always attaching the Attaché to your own deck. After all, you know what to expect out of your deck. In this case, the Attaché acts as a faux draw engine, and it comes at a relatively cheap price.

In this example, we've attached The Archmage's Attaché to our deck. Exhausting it during our operations phase reveals Garden District (The Thousand Young, 49), which we can now play as our next action if we choose. Because cards played by The Archmage's Attaché ignore resource matching, we not only gain the "false draw" it offers, but an extra economic efficiency since we can pay for it with our open domain that contains just one Miskatonic Resource, rather than needing to spend the Silver Twilight resource that exists only in our open domain with three resources.

"Of course, there's also the risky choice: attaching the Attaché to your opponent’s deck. Due to the nature of most decks, you’ll have a use for most of your opponent’s cards. After all, most of them will be attempting to do the same thing as you, in a different shape. They'll have characters, events to surprise you, and supports to reinforce their positions. However, many decks may also include a hodgepodge of cards that are completely uselessness to you, especially niche decks that don’t conform to typical standards. Still, while there's a chance that you'll reveal The Seventy Steps (In Memory of Day, 30) after your opponent has already won a story or a copy of a unique character your opponent already controls, there's also a chance that The Archmage’s Attaché will present you with the unique opportunity to let you utilize your opponent's most critical cards against him, using them to advance your strategy, or simply using them to keep your opponent from advancing his. Good times either way.

In this example, we take the riskier play with The Archmage's Attaché, attaching it to our opponent's deck. Now, when we exhaust the Attaché, it reveals our opponent's Nyarlathotep (The Thousand Young, 36), which we cannot afford to play, meaning our use of the Attaché was "dead" for this round. However, had we been able to play Nyarlathotep, we could have potentially denied our opponent the use of one of his most powerful unique characters, likely disrupting more than one element of his overall strategy.

"Your deck, or your opponent's. Which will you choose?

My Thanks

"I’d like to thank FFG for this amazing opportunity and Damon Stone for his patience, wisdom, and his help in bringing The Archmage’s Attaché to life. Of course, I also wish to thank the Cthulhu community for your continued support and hope that all can enjoy this little gem of an attachment card."

Thanks, Tom!

Throughout the years, Tom has proven his mastery of the eldritch secrets of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game, so it stands to reason that The Archmage's Attaché will be packed full of all manner of tricks, and it's likely to hold more than just your cards or your opponent's. With all the possibilities it contains, The Archmage's Attaché may very well open a gateway to an alternate reality, or it may hold the secret to crossing the boundaries of time and space.

A Thousand Terrible Secrets

The Archmage's Attaché is just one of the many new cards coming in The Thousand Young, and all of them introduce new abilities and deck-building possibilities. In fact, The Thousand Young is something like a briefcase full of cards, itself, containing tools and answers for nearly every strategy. How will you make use of them? You'll soon have the chance to decide. The Thousand Young is scheduled to arrive at retailers later next week!

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