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Varian: Dunwich Solo


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#1 ced1106

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Posted 26 November 2008 - 01:51 PM

Introduction: Okay, I finally got around to playing a game. Essentially, you play a single investigator, and only on the Dunwich Horror board. Works well enough, and plays under an hour.

Components:

  • The Mythos deck only contains the Dunwich Horror Mythos cards. To make the game harder, remove cards with gates to Arkham locations.
  • Remove the Tasks and Missions from the Items decks.
  • Use all the Gate tokens.
  • Otherwise, play with whatever you like.

Home:

  • Your Home is Bishop Brooks Bridge.

Drawing a Mythos card:

  • If the Gate location is not in Dunwich, no gate opens.
  • If the Clue location is not in Dunwich, no clue appears at that location.
  • If the Activity / Headline / Rumor is not in Dunwich, it does not happen.

Other Worlds:

  • Rather than trying to look up the colors of the Other Worlds on the other board, just roll a die and randomly use either the Lost Carcosa or Another Time colors.

Session Report: I tried an easy milkrun of Carolyn Fern (gains 1 Sanity every Upkeep) vs. Azathoth. My initial equipment had no Magical offense. Great.  And the first Mythos card, Brutal Accident (one investigator loses 3 Stamina) had me at *one* Stamina at the beginning of the game. Wonderful! A gate opened up at Whately Farm with a Serpent Man (Elusive -2). Carolyn's Speed and Stealth add up to a whopping 3, meaning that she wouldn't be able to find the Serpent Man if she was at its location. Guess which monster became the first to enter the vortex.

Concentrating on picking up Clues, two and even three gates out of the four gate locations were open, spilling out an uncomfortable number of monsters into the streets. Luckily, none were immune to physical weapons, and a Caroyln's 4 Fight, Carbine Rifle (+5 Combat for one round only), and Brass Knuckles (+1 Combat) made short work of the smaller monsters. But, thanks to an Environment, one of the monsters was able to move fast. A Cultist became the second to enter the Vortex.

Carolyn sealed Wizard's Hill, the most frequently opening Dunwich gate, and later closed another gate, primarily because a Maniac had emerged from it and I didn't want it to wake up the Horror. Carolyn went to Gardner's Place, dispatching an Elder Thing and entered the gate with four Clue tokens. Some idiot kids destroyed a strange statue (the "Strange Statue Destroyed" Mythos headline, which adds two monsters to the Village Common streets), spilling out a Leng Spider and Goat of the Young to join a wandering Gug in the Village Commons. But, luckily, the Dunwich villagers drove them out (the "Dunwich Villagers Drive Out Undesirables!" Mythos cards, which returns all monsters in the Village Commons to the cup), clearing Dunwich of monsters. Also, an Other World encounter gave Carolyn her fifth Clue token. Carolyn sealed the second and last open gate.

Comments: This variant took under an hour, and seemed to cover all parts of an Arkham fix. Even though there aren't enough gate locations on the board for the doom track to fill up, there aren't too many locations to really help your investigator, either. My main concern was the Dunwich Horror: Once it comes out, the board now has ways of adding doom tokens even without gates opening. If you want to use even fewer components, just end the game as a loss when the Dunwich Horror comes out..



#2 Tibs

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:28 AM

I wrote a variation on this a long time ago around when Dunwich first came out. You've solved some problems, but there are still some others.

 

There are only 5 unstable locations and no more monster limit (or outskirts or sky or LiTaS, although those two are very easy to account for). You'd have to rework the open-gate limit and seal-to-win limit.

Also, there is no terror limit, there are no convenience stores, and Shudde M'ell's ability is greatly reduced. There is technically no outskirts, but what do you do with flying monsters that move? Outskirts has no other bearing because there is (ordinarily) no monster limit.

It may also be a good idea to use every investigator card, whether it is a Dunwich card or not. Also keep in mind that Dunwich has only 5 ally cards, and without the Boarding House, it'll be nearly impossible to get Arkham allies. Where do you go if you are knocked unconscious or driven insane?



#3 Mariana the Ex-Nun Cultist

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 02:14 AM

Hello everyone,

So this is the new forum then, eh?

Your Dunwich game looks very nice, Ced. I particularly like the way that the Dunwich Horro becomes central to this set up.

I wonder if it would be possible to do something similar with Kingsport?

Here are two possibilities from the top of my head, although I haven't tested either. Please feel to rip these to pieces :) I'm sure I'll notice lots of obvious holes when i read over this message, but I have to run just now.

 

- Mariana the ex-nun cultist

 

(I) rifts but no gates

Rifts & the GOO:

Add rift tokens as normal.  If no rift token may be placed because both locations are filled then add a Doom Token to the track instead. 

Keep any rift tokens removed from the track.

Monsters & Gates:

Ignore the gate portion of the mythos card.

Each mythos turn draw a gate token from the pile. If the dimension symbol on the gate would move according ot the mythos card, then place a monster on the location of the rift token added to the track.  If a monster cannot appear because no rift token was added then add a further doom token to the track (in addition to that alreday added for the non-addition of the rift token)

Doom Track:

Doom tokens are added whenever rift tokens cannot be added because both slots are filled, and when monsters cannot be added (as above). Additionally add doom tokens whenever a mythos card instructs e.g. the double doom cards.

Monster surges on mythos cards:

If a mythos card specifies a monster surge, then draw two rift tokens per player and add a monster to the locatrion shown on each. Return these rift tokens to the pile.

GOO awakens:

The GOO awakens in any rift track fills up. The GOO will also awaken if the Doom Track fills up.

Victory:

If the investigator accumulates rift tokens =  length of doom track (or all rift tokens) then the GOO is defeated.

======

Or,

(II) Use gates

Rift Track & Gates:

Ignore the gate portion of the mythos card.

Place rifts as normal.

If a rift is added to the track place a gate at the relevant location. 

If a gate is already in place then a monster emeergse from the gate

If a rift token cannot because both slots are filled, then  increase the terror level by one.

Closing  Gates:

Whenever a gate is closed return the rift token to the pile

Sealing Gates:

Clues & elder signs may be used to partially seal the  GOOs fromKingsport. If enough are placed, and placed strategically the GOO can be pemanently(?) sealed.

Seals are not placed on locations. they are placed on the rift track location from which the rift token was removed.

Rift tokens may still be placed on slots containing seals. But if a rift track is ever entirely filled withy seals then the GOO is defeated.

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#4 Maxime

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 05:05 PM

Jim Culver's solo adventure in Dunwich;
or, When the Dead rise and outnumber the Living


(Hmmm.. this is my first try at describing a game, and I'm still not very experienced with AH, so I hope I didn't make too many mistakes about this... Please tell me if anything seems wrong, that would be highly appreciated!)

So I used your basic setup, starting with randomly drawing from the DH cards Jim Culver as my Investigator, and Glaaki as the Ancient One. I wanted to get as many DH cards as possible, since it was my first play with the expansion, so I drew my starting possessions from the DH cards, and added the basic AH cards afterwards. I got Vision Quest and Cloud Memory as spells, Brass Knuckles as a common item, and the Grapple skill. Overall, not a bad draw I suppose.

I randomly picked 6 AH Allies to add to the 5 DH ones. I added only the cultists to the DH monster tokens (hoping to give Glaaki more influence over the game), and mixed the DH and AH Other World Encounters and Gate Tokens together. I used all DH Mythos cards hoping for an easy game.

Jim's special ability seemed to be a perfect match against Glaaki's undead army, so I was pretty confident, but at the same time, not knowing most of the Encounters, Monsters, etc. meant that I would be taking a lot of risks in this game.

The game was pretty uneventful in the end however, as in all of my turns only one Gate opened in Dunwich. I managed to build a good amount of Clue tokens right from the start, using Vision Quest in the Backwoods Country, then with an encounter in Wizard's Hill. The Mythos card I drew afterwards opened the Gate directly in my location, drawing me in. Even with the turn spent delayed, I managed to clear the Gate before any other ones opened (I drew another Mythos card with the same Gate location however, all others were on the Arkham board). So even with a few monsters in play, slowly moving towards me, I eventually got out, closed & sealed the Gate and ended the game immediately without fighting a single monster. It all went down in a few turns, but it still took me some time because I was going back to the DH and AH rulebooks from time to time.

The whole solo approach was pretty exciting, but the fact that only one Gate opened made it way too easy. Instead of removing all Mythos cards with Arkham locations, maybe a selection of a few Mythos cards with Arkham Gates, according to the abilities which mix the best with Dunwich, would be effective. Otherwise, winning conditions should change, maybe at least 2 or 3 Gates closed before considering victory possible.

Another problem which occured here was the absence of the Terror Track, which meant that Glaaki's special ability and also his attack, if he was to awaken, would be useless. I decided that I would discard an Ally whenever an event raised the Terror level even if there was no counter, and that I would actually use that counter if Glaaki was to awaken.

The whole undead setting was pretty inspiring however, and it leads me to believe that a good formula for solo games would be individual scenarios, using the same formula as the League Scenarios for example, and offering a good challenge for each investigator. In my game, for example, a Monster Cup full of undead monsters and a few tweaks to Jim's starting equipment, in order to make him a true undead slayer, could've turned the game into a Resident Evil-like zombie fest. Winning conditions could then be raised to an higher number of Gates to be closed before ending the game, and/or full eradication of the monsters on the board. Other Investigators could be assigned nemesis according to their weaknesses, for example a game with enemies having Physical Resistance / Immunity yet little to no Magical Weapons or attacks, forcing the player to find other ways to defeat the monsters or simply avoid them completely. One of the Investigators, the strongest fighter I guess, could even have the objective of taking down the Dunwich Horror.

Yeah, I know, easier said than done... Right now I still have a lot to discover about this game, and I want to get the other expansions first, but it may eventually be something I'd like to try creating. It could be great to use a scoring system, and have everyone participate in the challenges in the same way that the League works.



#5 ced1106

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Posted 02 December 2008 - 05:39 PM

Thanks for the playtesting.

Since some Ancient Ones won't work, and, to reduce setup and cleanup time, they can optionally be removed entirely. The Dunwich Horror itself is a looming enough threat. Some sort of ending like, "If the Dunwich Horror monster enters play, the game ends in a loss the next time it moves". Thus, the Horror becomes a "final battle" of sorts, and the DH tokens function like doom tokens.

@Maxine: Only one gate? Man. I had three open at once and had to seal two before I got the game under control! The horror had two tokens on it! Sure, closing or sealing at least two gates sounds like a good victory condition.

Lemme clean up the variant and post on BGG. The BGG link in a few...



#6 ced1106

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Posted 05 December 2008 - 09:40 AM

Okay, here's a cleaned-up version, on the BGG boards. Includes a better suggestion for the Other Worlds deck:

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/360483






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