It hadn't started out particularly well, given the average starting possessions for my foursome. Additionally, these Investigators start with few, if any, Clue tokens making the first few rounds particularly difficult. The only saving grace was that, including the Mythos 0 card, only two gates opened in Arkham (my Variant ignores all Gates opening in either Dunwich or Innsmouth thru Turn 4). With a less than stellar beginning, Harvey Walters, Rita Young, George Barnaby, and Wilson Richards set off to save Arkham and its environs.
Turns 1-4: All of the Investigators raced through the city trying to improve their lot by finding Clues and avoid opening any unnecessary Gates. Wilson and Harvey had a chance to meet by the Unvisited Isle before Wilson sped away on his motorcycle, sticking around long enough to exchange a few items. While the Arkham Encounters didn't yield any great benefits, a Mythos card allowed Wilson who had suffered a loss of 2 Stamina at the Unnameable, to get free medical assistance. When he left the hospital, however, he intended on meeting-up with Rita, who could provide him the much needed cash to pass his Personal Story. While Wilson befriended David Packard (Ally), a Gate in the Woods would mean the meeting with Rita would have to wait.
Turns 5-8: A Gate at Marsh Refinery meant that a trip to Innsmouth would be forthcoming and the various Rift Tracks also pointed to a seaside excursion for one of the team. Rita raced to Kingsport after sealing a Gate at Independence Square. Harvey had traversed the Unknown Kadath and sealed the Gate at the Witch House. As Clue tokens began to pile-up in Dunwich, Wilson raced to the small town to aid his colleagues. Given his return to Arkham and an inability to seal the gate, he thought it best to eschew an Arkham Encounter card while visiting Wizard's Hill and instead garner $1 for his services. The sentient board could feel his presence...the very next Mythos card placed our hapless Handyman in The Underworld. Upon exiting, however, he chose to fight a Mi-Go which rewarded him with an Elder Sign!
Turns 9-12: I certainly didn't plan on George spending the last half of the game in Innsmouth...but sometimes you have plans and sometimes the board has other plans. Returning from LiTaS, George entered a Gate at Devil's Reef, and after two unremarkable Other World encounters in the Plateau of Leng, he emerged and sealed the Gate. By this time, we had three seals on the board with all three other Investigators making their way to Gates. While the team experienced the bliss of the Happy Days Environment for most of the game...and no chance of the Terror Level rising (for those of you who know this GOO, we could defeat Cultists with impunity!)...things changed abruptly. A Mystic Environment brought about Act I and Y's Doom Track was on its way to double digits...we let it pass.
Some fascinating movement occurred during this set of turns. Wilson raced past an Elder Thing and a Gug arriving in Arkham, and sharing the Northside Streets with a Proto-Shoggoth and a Riot token, brought to us by Harvey who couldn't slip past the Cultist sand instead killed it! No sooner was Wilson in Arkham that a Gate opened at Gardner's Place, devouring four Clue tokens. Back on his back, with David Packard clinging to him, they raced past the Gug and defeated a Fire Vampire before entering The Underworld...again!
Rita had moved from Kingsport to Innsmouth and nearly faced arrest on two occasions (thanks to George...how can you not absolutely LOVE George when you play Innsmouth). She entered the Gate at Marsh Refinery having slipped past a Witch and a Maniac..."I'll deal with them later" she thought as she entered Another Dimension. During her Other World encounter she closed a Rift that had opened thanks to a Mythos card, with a 3-Clue token payment. Pleading for help, she did the unthinkable...she took a Blood Pact with the Lurker. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do. Her seal took them to the fourth seal.
After Harvey killed the Cultist, he remained in the streets awaiting the next turn when he would kill the Vampire and slip past the High Priest awaiting him at the Gate. Instead, the Mythos card moved them to his location...Great! So, while Rita and Wilson raced into their respective Gates, Harvey was a bit delayed. Additionally, this Mythos card, while it didn't open a Gate (thanks to Devil's Reef being sealed), was an Urban Environment which ushers-in Act II, stealing a seal from the team, setting us back to three.
Turns 13-16: In a frenzy of activity, George managed to to move to Y'ha-nthlei to pick-up some Clue tokens. He returned to Devil's Reef and his next encounter took him back to Y'ha-nthlei. Later, after a brief trip to Devil's Reef, he returned to Falcon Point and failed to make a Speed check and tentacles dragged him back to...Devil's Reef and at the end of the Turn, a Byakhee made its way from Arkham's Sky to join him...the next Movement Phase he choked it with his bare hands!
Finally, after a hard-fought game, Harvey exists a Gate from the Abyss at the Unvisited Isle. While he's ready to use his five Clue tokens, he realizes that when he closes the Gate, it was the last one on the board. Y's Doom Track ended at 11...a very, very close game!
Harvey Walters (Passed Personal Story)
Item: Golden Sword of Y'Ha-Talla
Gate Trophy: The Abyss (the Unknown Kadath Gate spent on 2 Clue tokens)
Monster Trophies: Cultist and Vampire
Rita Young (Passed Personal Story)
Items: Ancient Spear and .38 Pistol
Gate Trophies: The Abyss and Another Dimension
Monster Trophies: Child of the Goat, Deep One, Witch, Maniac, Cultist, Proto-Shoggoth, Formless Spawn, and Goat Spawn
George Barnaby (Did not Pass Personal Story)
Items: Powder of Ibn-Ghazi and Book of Dyzan
Ally: Erich Weiss (during his many trips to Devil's Reef)
Gate Trophy: Plateau of Leng
Monster Trophy: Byakhee
Wilson Richards (Passed Personal Story)
Items: Motorcycle and Shotgun
Ally: David Packard
Gate Trophies: Unknown Kadath/The Underworld and The Underworld x 2
Monster Trophy: Fire Vampire
Score: 24 / Time: 2 hours