The Cats of Ulthar are coming to your aid in the Dream-Eaters Cycle. Investigators of Arkham – I hope you’re cat people.
Fantasy Flight Games is tapping into the dark heart of the internet with the new Dream-Eaters Cycle: Cats. Okay, maybe not the actual dark heart of the internet, but still – Cats are coming to Arkham Horror: The Card Game in the next cycle and I’m totally fine with our furry overlords moving in. And unlike Barkham Horror: The Card Game which was a cruel, cruel April Fools Joke this one is actually totally legit!
Now, I’m 100% biased because I have a cat. But the history of Cats and Lovecraft actually goes WAAAAAY back. Don’t believe me? You must not of heard of a short story by H.P. Lovecraft himself – The Cats of Ulthar. You can actually read the entire short story at that link, but it’s actually part of a larger series that Lovecraft Fans refer to as the Dream Cycle. And, if you haven’t deduced it, that’s been a big influence on the new Dream-Eaters Cycle that is coming out September 27th in the US.
So what’s the deal with Cats? Well, in the Lovecraft Mythos they are slightly magic. If you read the Cats of Ulthar, it’s implied they are also slightly murderous. They have the ability to speak in the Dreamlands and in the story Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, the cats even come to the rescue of Randolph Carter. Yes, that Randolph Carter. Now, we’re skipping out on the details to make the point that cats have been a running theme in Lovecraft’s work and the Lovecraft Mythos as a whole.
Cats, as it turns out, have also made their way into the Arkham Horror Files Universe that FFG has put together. If you’ve gotten a hold of the novella To Fight The Black Wind then you’re probably already aware that cats were an important part of that story, too. This is why it’s so neat to finally see them in Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
The Cats Are Watching
What does this all mean in game and how are these cats going to interact? That is a great question. The Cats are joining us courtesy of the Survivor class. However, to get them to help you, the investigator has to get in good with Miss Doyle, the Cat General of Ulthar:
Once you’ve got her into play, she allows you to add the one of the other three cats into play and the other two into your deck. However, if she ever leaves play, the other three cats will also leave the game, too. And if you somehow manage to bring Miss Doyle back, well those other cats will come back as well.
Hope is our first cat under the magnifying glass. If you need to evade, Hope is your best friend! As an action, if Hope is Ready, you can exhaust or discard him. That will allow you to perform an evade check with a base agility of 5! That’s pretty good to start but if you opted to discard Hope, then you auto pass the check. And even if you do discard Hope, you’ve got the option to bring back one of the other two cats back into play from your discard pile!
Zeal is next up. She’s a fighter and functions similar to Hope, only for Fight checks. And, you guessed it, if she is discarded, then one of other two cats can move from your discard pile back into play!
And finally we have Augur. She also functions similar to the other two, but for Lore checks. She’s got the same discard/recursion mechanic as the other two also. I think you can see where this is going folks! It’s a trio of cats that will aid you when you most need them – as long as Miss Doyle is around. Oh and one other thing, these cats are Ally creatures but they don’t take up a slot and they don’t even take up an action to play cause they are Fast, also!
When you go exploring the Dream-lands, look for the cats to aid you…
“There is a hidden realm outside the world of the waking: a realm of wonder, imagination, and nightmares. After occult author Virgil Gray writes about his adventures in these “Dreamlands,” you decide to set forth and learn the truth for yourself. What is real, and what is fiction? And what secrets await in the dark, forbidden places beyond the gates of sleep?
The Dream-Eaters is the fifth deluxe expansion for Arkham Horror: The Card Game. In this expansion, 1–4 players take on the roles of either a group of investigators venturing into the Dreamlands or their companions who have been left in the waking world. This expansion contains the first two scenarios of The Dream-Eaters cycle; one scenario for each of these two groups. This expansion also contains new investigator and player cards that increase the customization options for the game.”
In the city of Ulthar, no man may kill a cat.