OBJECTIVE OF CALL OF CTHULHU: The objective of Call of Cthulhu is to be the first player to win your third story card.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 Players
MATERIALS: 6 Cthulhu Markers, 36 Tokens, 1 Game Board, 165 Playing Cards, and 1 Rulebook
TYPE OF GAME: Cooperative Board Game
AUDIENCE: Ages 13 and Up
OVERVIEW OF CALL OF CTHULHU
Call of Cthulhu is a Living Card Game where players take on the roles of investigators and terrifying horrors. The players are attempting to succeed at their dangerous missions while battling with their opponents. Players must build a strong deck, make strategic choices, and succeed in their missions in order to win the game. Are you up for the challenge?
Firstly, the players will set the cards F156-F165 aside. They will choose their decks. Each player will then shuffle their own decks until they are surely random.
The game board is then placed in the middle of the playing area so that all players can reach it. The success and wound tokens are placed in the Deep area found on the board. One player will shuffle the story deck, dealing three story cards facing up to the middle of the board. The rest of the story cards are placed in their designated place on the board.
Each player will then choose three cards that they will not use in the game. These create the domain, and they are placed face down beside their deck. They then draw eight cards from their own deck, creating their first hand. Five of the cards are chosen to be opening hand while the other cards become starting resources.
The players will then take their three cards and attach one to each of their domain cards. The bottom of the card and resource should be all that is visible. The game is ready to begin.
The game is played in turns, with each player completing their turn before the other player gets to take their turn. The players determine who goes first randomly on their own. Turns are divided into five phases including the refresh phase, the draw phase, the resource phase, the operations, and the story phase. When a player completes all five of the phases, their turn ends.
The player chooses one of their insane characters by revealing it face up and exhausting it. Once a character has been revealed, they are no longer insane, but they stay exhausted until the next turn. The player ready their exhausted cards by removing any tokens that are on them. Players can only refresh and ready characters at the beginning of their turn.
At the end of the story phase, players have only one additional chance to take actions. Play then passes to the other player, who begins with the refresh phase.
During the draw phase, the player will draw two cards from his shuffled deck. If the player runs out of cards in his deck, then they are eliminated from the game immediately. The opponent wins.
The player will choose a card from his hand and place it faceup, oriented upside down, attaching it to one of their domains. The types and amount of resources that are attached to a domain are important if the domain is drained. Once a resource is attached, it cannot be used for anything else.
In this phase alone, players can play character and support cards that are in their hand. When a player plays a card from their hand, they must pay for it by draining a domain with enough resources to do so.
A domain cannot be drained unless it has enough resources attached to it to pay the cost. A domain cannot be drained again unless it has been refreshed. At least one of the resources that is attached to a domain must match the faction on the card in order for it to be played.
In this phase the player commits their characters to stories in an attempt to score tokens. The opponent will attempt to block the player from obtaining those tokens. The story phase consists of the player committing, the opponent committing, and the stories being resolved.
When the player commits, they decide which character will commit to one of the three stories. When a character is committed, it becomes exhausted and moved to the front of the story card. Any number of characters may be committed to each story as long as they have not already been exhausted.
The opponent then has a chance to commit any of their ready characters to a story that the other player committed at least one character to. This is an attempt to block the other player from accumulating tokens.
When the stories are resolved, the player selects one of the stories. The characters will go through a series of struggles and the player will determine if success has been achieved at the end of the story. The characters return to the player’s they belong to when a story has been resolved.
Resolving an Icon Struggle
In order to resolve an icon struggle, the player counts the total number of matching icons on his characters for that story. The opponent will do the same. The player with the most matching icons will win that struggle. There are the following types of icon struggles: terror struggle, combat struggle, arcane struggle, investigation struggle, and determine struggle.
If a player loses a terror struggle, then they much choose one of their characters to go insane. The character is no longer committed to the story. The player who loses a combat struggle must choose a character to be wounded. This often times destroys the character.
If an arcane struggle is won, the player can ready any character that is committed to that story. When a player wins an investigation struggle, they place a success token on the story card that is being resolved. This could lead to the player winning the story card almost instantly.
After all of the struggles are complete, the player determines if they have succeeded in the story. The players will tally their total skill. If the player’s skill is higher than his opponent’s, then he succeeds.
The game continues in this manner until a player has won three story cards.
END OF GAME
The game comes to an end when a player wins their third story card. This player is declared the winner!