Ok, Wolfgar said no winter can end unless I turn off Ithaqua's big electric fan, and today I gave that a try. As usual, AH, KH, IH and MH in play, and a wonderful dream team made of Carolyn, Kate, Mark, Wilson and Charlie to face the Wind-Walker aided by Dagon and Hydra. Windy and salty like Innsmouth air early in the morning, and the setup spelled like instant victory, with Wilson starting with an Elder Sign and being Member of the Book Club with Kate. The two of them shared in this way an Eltdown Shards so that actually there was a potential -3 to the doom track, able to nullify the initial doom pumping due to Dagon's double Mythos and extend virtually the doom track to 12.
Esoteric Order of Dagon and Historical Society for the opening, and a *huge* initial strategic doubt: Charlie with his PS passed could spend 1 clue to stop the terror increase, Wilson with his PS passed could avoid terror to increase three times and Carolyn with her PS passed could have grabbed enough clues to seal by the end of turn 2. Where to start? We wanted Charlie to be the rockstar of our little party and so we started investing money in politics. "No more Proto-shoggots in Arkham" said Charlie, hiding some gelatinous obnoxious substance from sight.
So, Wilson was sent to Dagon's, the others started gathering clues like there was no tomorrow and by the end of turn 2 I had Wilson in Another Dimension, Mark ready to jump to R'lyeh and Carolyn searching for the perfect portal to spend some free time diving into. Everything smooth, uh?
Monster surge. On the R'lyeh gate, a lovely Cultist (Ithaqua's cultist are a little tougher but still crunchy when properly cooked, and Mark had a Flamethrower for some reasons), a marvellous Deep One Hybrid (darling, I promise in a short while you'll be a Dead One Hybrid) and the Servitor of The Outer Gods. Ugh. Mark bypassed the Moon Beast pasturing in the streets in front of the gate, crunched the Cultist, made the Deep Dead and failed the Evade with the Servitor. Groan. One clue for one success, no devouring, but not enough clues for the seal.
Reworking: someone fetched the Student's newspaper from Carolyn and tried converging on the Society for Mark's return. The Moon Beast forced some extra work to be done to reach that damn place. Killed the Moon Beast, a Proto-shoggoth landed on the poor investigator. Mark, returned from R'lyeh, almost died for boredom but nonetheless, thanks to the wonderful starting equipment and almost everyone Blessed due to a good omen-bearing Mythos able to have the Eltdown Shard triggering a double doom removal from the doom track, I got two seals on the board with the doom track stuck at two.
Clearly, no one was able to control Kingsport with all this mess around, so that a rift opened at the Science Building (a gate with a Mummy that was a special challenge for anyone avid for extra clues) AND after the rift moved, we had also a marvellous Lloigor in the Miskatonic University streets blocking everything.
I tried to talk the game into the "hey, I won the game at Turn 1, remember it and be a good board" talk, but I got a "yawn" as response. Uhm.
So, doom track still almost empty, but a Lloigor and two Shoggoths freezing the main board in the Merchants / Miskatonic / French Hill Streets, nobody able to pass, a rift open and look at that! A series of two Mythos bouncing on the same seal, for a DOR hitting 4.
Back to strategy.
Charlie and Kate sneaked to Kingsport trying to close the rift and gather some extra clues. A Leng Spider decided to say "hello" in Devil Reef, but then was summoned to Hydra's court to have communion and left, diving into the nearest vortex (DOR 5). Catheryn cleaned a little the streets, but got stuck with one Stamina left and it was not the case to pile up other Injuries to the existing difficult situation.
Charlie moved to Innsmouth (was an Informant) with Mark. A gate opened at the Black Cave, triggering doom but not DOR and in the coming upkeep Charlie and Mark both invested their clues to start feeding the Fed track. Then they moved to the Grocery for some lettuce and a double Research Materials. Kate jumped into the Underworld in Devil Reef and got delayed.
Next Mythos: Graveyard.
Charlie used another clue to clear the Fed and the Dor, Mark got the double Research Materials and moved to the Train Station, searching for Bill Washington and finding only an empty bag of nothing.
Carolyn sneaked under the Lloigor and entered the Science building (killing a Mummy and a Zombie). We needed that gate closed, damn it.
Southside Strangler Strikes hit the board. Screw the allies, was the general answer, and go for the last three seals.
Kate returned to Devil reef and sealed. 4 on the board. Mark motorcycled his life to the Black Cave, Charlie talked the Color at the Graveyard into an interesting reflection about the importance of retirement in Outer Space, and got a free pass for that round so that he entered the Abyss ("looks like home", he said, smoking his cigar in utmost tranquillity)
Gate burst at the Reef prevented by Kate. DOR at 3 again.
The folks in the OW moved, and a gate bounced, DOR 4, + an extra one due to Mythos. Another rift started being too unstable for my taste, but all my men were on the main board trying to clear the nastiest monsters around and keep everything under control (both Charlie and Mark had exactly 5 clues each and couldn't afford Dagon's ability being triggered).
Finally, Charlie and Mark returned to Arkham, sealing both their gates.
Summer had cometh
Victory by sealing gates in 18 Mythos (nightmare, I usually win in 11), Terror at 0, DOR at 5