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Call of Cthulhu LCG: Asylum Packs

Posted by Denny Koch on May 3, 2010

Jump to “List of Asylum Packs”

Once upon a time, Call of Cthulhu – The Card Game was a Collectible Card Game (CCG). This means, people had to buy “booster packs” and collect cards in order to build the “ultimate deck” which would defeat other players’ decks. Since CCGs are a quite expensive hobby (you have to buy the booster packs “blindly” without knowing what’s inside in search for the rarest and most powerful cards), we were never interested in dipping into this world. We are ASL players, after all, so one expensive game is more than enough ;).

A Living Card Game: The best of two worlds

Asylum Pack "Murmurs of Evil"

In 2008, Fantasy Flight Games changed their politics regarding the Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card game and it became a “Living Card Game” instead. A Living Card game still allows for deck building and challenging other players’ decks, but you don’t buy booster packs “blindly” any more. Instead of that, you buy regular expansions called “Asylum Packs” with fixed contents which are public knowledge.

Each Asylum Pack adds some cards to each faction and neutral cards and most of them deal with a specific aspect of the game (for example terror struggle, investigation, characters, skills, arcane…). If you want more cards for your deck, you check out which Asylum Pack offers the best contents for you and your specific playing style and strategy.

Ultimately, you will buy all expansion packs nevertheless, just to be more flexible and to “own them all” because the collectible system is quite addictive, but at least you don’t have to spend $100 in search for one rare card while getting 85x the same cheap card in return.

In a Living Card Game, you always know what you get for your money, but you can still profit from the basic concept of deck building by choosing “your” favorite cards. The only difference to a Collectible Card Game is that no cards are “rare” cards anymore, all players have access to the same cards and expansion packs and all cards have fixed prices. So it all comes down to your deckbuilding strategies, your gameplay, your choices of which characters, items, or events you take into the battle.

If you collected the old Call of Cthulhu CCG, you don’t have to start all over again, though. All old CCG cards, boosters, and the first 4 Asylum Packs which are from the CCG era are fully combatible with the new LCG. Unfortunately, they have a different backside print and can be easily recognized by the opponent if you don’t use card sleeves. In addition, they aren’t used in tournament decks anymore. If you don’t mind, you can integrate them into your new collection.

Core Set and Asylum Packs

Fantasy Flight Games released a “Core Set” in 2008 which contained a fixed set of 165 cards – 20 cards for each of the 7 factions plus 15 neutral cards, plus a playing board, a full-colored rulebook and six very cool Cthulhu Miniatures which are used for resource management purposes. Players can get a first impression of the game by playing the Core Set, by combining the factions and by learning about their strengths and weaknesses. If they like the game and decide that they want to delve deeper into the hobby, they decide which factions or strategies they want to utilize in the future and start deck building by supplementing the core game with Asylum Packs.

Cthulhu is watching you!

New Asylum Packs are released regularly (roughly one per month). They belong to “Story cycles” which add more flavor to the game, add prominent characters and events from the Lovecraft universe and allow for deep customization. Since their contents are fixed, players know what they get in advance and can decide whether a specific Asylum Pack would be a good addition for their decks.

The first 14 Asylum Packs consists of 10 unique cards in single copy and 10 unique cards in triplicate copies (for a total of 40 cards). Since players tend to build decks containing multiple copies of a single card (the game allows for a maximum of three copies per card), they bought each AP three times. This is  somewhat contraproductive to the “lower costs compared to a CCG” concept of a Living Card Game, so Fantasy Flight Games changed the contents of  Asylum Packs to 20 unique cards in triplicate copy (for a total of 60 cards), starting with the Yuggoth Contract circle (AP19).

Some Asylum Packs are out of print by now and very hard to find. Chances are good that they will be reprinted some day, but until then, you have to keep your eyes open if you want to add them to your collection. The other Asylum Packs are not too expensive (6-10 Dollars, depending on the shop) and can be bought in various game shops and from amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, or amazon.de.

List of Asylum Packs (AP) and Deluxe Expansions

  • Core Set
  • AP5: Mountains of Madness (currently out of print, extremely hard to find), focus on the keyword “Polar”
  • AP6: Ancient Horrors (currently out of print, extremley hard to find), focus on characters

Subcollection: Summons of the Deep:

  • AP7: Spawn of the Sleeper (currently out of print, extremely hard to find), focus on Terror struggle
  • AP8: The Horror beneath the surface (currently out of print, hard to find), focus on Investigation struggle
  • AP9: The Antediluvian Dream, focus on Combat struggle
  • AP10: The Terror of the Tides, focus on Arcane struggle
  • AP11: The Thing from the Shore, focus on character skill
  • AP12: The Path to Y’ha-nthlei, focus on strange transformations

Subcollection: Dreamlands:

  • AP13: Twilight Horror, introduces dynamic day/night mechanicm, clan mechanics (Zoog, Gug), Dreamer subtype
  • AP14: In Memory of Day
  • AP15: In the Dread of Night, focus on darkness / night
  • AP:16 The Search for the Silver Key, focus on Dreamlands Environment
  • AP17: Sleep of the Dead
  • AP18: Journey to Unknown Kadath

Subcollection: The Yuggoth Contract:

  • AP19: Whispers in the Dark
  • AP20: Murmurs of Evil
  • AP21: The Spoken Covenant
  • AP22: The Wailer below Asylum
  • AP23: Screams from Within
  • AP24: The Cacophony

Subcollection: Rituals of the Order Cycle

  • AP25: The Twilight Beckons
  • AP26: Perilous Trials
  • AP27: Initiations of the Favored
  • AP28: Aspirations of Ascension
  • AP29: The Gleaming Spiral

De Luxe Expansions:

  • Secrets of Arkham, new tribal synergy deck options, day and night mechanics, utility neutral cards, additional story cards
  • The Order of the Silver Twilight, adds a new human faction: the Order of the Silver Twilight

Excel Sheets, called “Spoiler Lists” are available for all Asylum Packs. Check out the CoC File Section on Boardgamegeek!

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