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Strategies for Ithaqua


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#1 peterstepon

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 12:19 AM

I had a pretty good weekend.  I was able to beat the Azaroth campaign, and was able to beat the Call of Cthulhu campaign (that puffed my chest with pride).  I know that every monster can be beaten if you have the right people giving you the right advice. 

Who has won Ithaqua and what are the best winning strategies?



#2 DrMobius

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:32 PM

Argg… frustrating as all get out.

I figure if I have about 15 or so supplies, then with luck I should be able to collect the 12 elder signs needed before running out.  That's been working fairly reliably for me.  Unfortunately, it seems that every time I get to the 9 elder sign checkpoint, I lose all of my remaining supplies.  I mean, really, 8 supplies in one shot?  That really sucks since I was doing so well up until that one point and then basically there's no way to win after that.

I've been trying to go it alone with Marie, but they've upped her trophy cost to buy a glyph of your choice to 4 instead of 3, so it's a bit harder.

One of the biggest complaints my friends have given for this and for the tabletop game is that you can't trade items among investigators like you can in Arkham Horror.  Thematically, that doesn't really make sense.

Oh well… need to keep trying.

-Nick



#3 titmouse

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:09 PM

My wife and I have been playing this game together and her strategy (it would be untrue to call it our strategy) is as follows. First some general advice: Unlike Azathoth and Yig, Ithaqua's doom track fills at a slower pace and like Tsathoggua the threat from Ithaqua is all the areas filling up with locks, monsters and midnight effects. Because of this Tsathoggua is actually good practice for Ithaqua - it helps you realize that the pace you are used to in beating Azathoth and Yig is too fast to reliably beat them - you need to methodically build up inventory and manage the board.

In the museum:

1) Collect around 25 supplies before heading to Alaska.

2) Try to keep the doom track around 7 or lower before heading to Alaska and the doom track should not be an issue for you once there.

3) Your primary objective in the museum should be to build up a big cache of items for each character while maintaining near full stamina and sanity. This means you should be willing to spend turns at the entrance at the lost and found (spinning the wheel) and avoid midnight effects like the curator (which steals trophies) as best as possible. Otherwise you can really let the museum burn down (fill up with monsters and locks) as long as you have enough trophies to buy your supplies.

In Alaska:

4) Ithaqua's doom effects become more varied, e.g. -1 stamina, -1 sanity, or -1 random item from each member of your team.

5) In Alaska the goal is to maintain a solid stock of items for each character while you accumulate the 12 elder signs as quickly as possible - because once you gather the last one you have to fight Ithaqua and if you have one poorly stocked character you won't be able to save Ashley, and may not be able to beat Ithaqua. Keep in mind as you go collect your final Elder sign that if you are trying to save Ashley the investigator that gathers the final Elder sign will not get a turn in the final battle (unless you fail to save Ashley), so make sure your other three characters are prepared.

6) Especially early on, just don't tempt fate and enter an icy storm. If there aren't areas worth exploring that aren't stormy, just spin the wheel at the camp. If there is an area you need to take care of, just wait until the storm moves off the area - the random effects can be very bad, and you don't want to get unlucky.

7) As you get closer to Ithaqua you will not be able to manage the board - things will spiral out of control. You cannot keep the midnight effects, locks and monster effects under control while maintaining the items necessary to beat Ithaqua reliably. You should focus on gathering Elder signs and just try to keep things from getting TOO bad. In our most recent game we got the last elder sign while the board was very quickly being overrun by wolves - but we still managed to save Ashley!

8) Occasionally you will enter the last area and lose all your supplies. Good luck with that. It's beatable - but rough. Your best bet is to keep your investigators healthy and well stocked. It seems to happen less often if you are quickly gathering elder signs (but it may be totally random for all I can tell).

One more word of general advice. If you are not devoted to using a random investigator team might I suggest: The Doctor and The Psychiatrist since that will save you trophies and turns otherwise spent at base camp or the museum entrance. The Ithaqua game is going to be a long slog, so you will need to heal and restore stamina. Add in two more investigators of your choice (we like Culver with his Strange Luck ability personally and the gangster for his potential ability to help in the final battle).



#4 reborn

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:50 AM

Following titmouse advices, I've won finallly yesterday with Kate, Rita and Jacqueline. I begun with Joe Diamond too, a perfect fit for the team but I lost it in the middle of the game. Although  I lost it, I realised that 3 (and these girls specially) is the perfect number for this team winning Ithaqua's trials.

I can't recommend enough titmouse advices, thanks a lot!!!!

Reborn

 



#5 Dasher

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 04:52 PM

I'm sorry.

I am a HUGE fan of Fantasy Flight Games; I own dozens, including every painted miniature they make for Arkham Horror and multiples for Star Wars X-Wing.

And I have loved both the board game and the iPad app versions of Elder Sign….

However…

It saddens me to say that what began as a GREAT game app has really gone downhill.

The latest purchasable adventure, "Trail of Ithaqua" is classified as "Very Hard"; in fact, it is, by any reasonable criteria, impossible.

The adventure is so poorly designed and balanced that, in order to win it, the player must be so incredibly lucky that there is absolutely no skill involved; once the game starts generating monsters that generate monster that generate monsters - and it does, every game - there is simply no point in continuing to endure the ppointless grind of dying,starving, fighting multiple locked glyphs and absurdly aggressive Midnight events, not mention losing all supplies to arnitrate silliness that deletes them for no other reason than to add difficulty to an already insurmountable scenario.

Allowing a team to be comprised of more than four investigators, as with the board game, MIGHT have helped, but it's doubtful.

if the designer's intention was to re-create a Lovecraftian atmosphere of utter hopelessness, well then, bravo!

But if you prefer to spend your money on a challenging game whe you actually have a chance of winning one time in fifty (to date I have played sixty-three games with every variation of teams I could think of, and lost every one), then do not bother with this expansion.

Worse than a waste of money, it is a complete waste of time.

Like I said above; I'm sorry to have to say this, but designers need to learn the difference between "challenging" and "frustrating and annoying".

Don Hawthorne



#6 bloody malth

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Posted 28 October 2012 - 05:47 PM

Titmouse's advice is really solid.

Like Cthulhu, you should spend the first half of the game gathering items (and supplies). Before you leave the museum, you should be confident that each investigator has enough items that they could clear any room on the board. Once you are in Alaska, change your strategy and aggressively go after Elder Signs. Here Ithaqua differs radically from Cthulhu; there are no big payoff items to help you out in the second half and you will watch your supplies and items dwindle at a rapid pace. I've beat it starting with as low as 12 supplies going into Alaska, but that cut it razor close and you usually need more. You can lose half that many at once with bad luck.

I use some different investigators than Titmouse: Jenny Barnes and Joe Diamond are my go to characters and I usually round it out with an investigator who gets you extra items (like Monterey Jack) and someone who manipulates glyphs or tasks (Wilson Richards from the Cthulhu DLC, Amanda Sharpe and Mandy Thompson are all good choices). Since I use Jenny, clearing out the locked glyphs is more critical to my style of play than Titmouse's, but being able to use a red and a yellow glyph every turn is worth it.

The Wolves are annoying and they multiply at midnight; get rid of them early if you can, but more importantly, go after the tasks with the most Elder signs. With excruciating Frost effects (you may get lucky and have nothing happen, but usually these really suck), dwindling supplies, and random events at checkpoints (sometimes helpful, but usually bad), you are on a time limit very similar to the Azathoth campaign. I don't like to heal or restore stamina at the base camp (though it is a good strategy while at the museum), since you are tempting an exponentially increasing disaster if you get behind.

You only need skull glyphs to beat Ithaqua (or at least that is how the tasks were set up each time I got to it), but you need a lot. If you find any items that turn glyphs into skull glyphs, you may want to keep them. You may want to use Michael McGlen as an investigator for this reason alone. The three investigators who did not find the last Elder Sign battle Ithaqua in sequence and each of them has to win or Dr. Lott is killed, so all of your characters should be ready to immediately fight before you grab that last sign. I haven't seen the ending where Dr. Lott is killed yet, so far I either beat Ithaqua completely or I fail and die earlier in the game.

The character you unlock has a cool power, but enough drawbacks that I only use her when playing Yig or Tsathoggua.



#7 reborn

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 09:24 AM

I used Wendy vs. Azatoth with a team that consisted of her, Jenny, Monterrey Jack and Lola Hayes… the only that is not convincing me is Lola but Wendy with the others is smashing.

I won Yig using only Wendy. You have to micromanage her stats but is extremely useful.

I agree with Dasher that Ithaqua is extremely hard but it's not impossible to win. I agree that maybe it have to be more balanced. Dasher, try titmouse advices, they helped me a lot.

Saludos!!!

reborn



#8 zugabdu

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

I finally beat Cthulu after a large number of tries fairly easily once I switched to only using one investigator - I have found that the advantages of having only one investigator (being able to use all items and trophies you receive on the very next turn, hyperspecializing by getting to use one character's advantage constantly, not having items spread out among four people who can't share them, and having events that cause everyone to lose trophies/items only affect you once rather than four times) offset the disadvantages (not being able to assist, losing the ability to use more than one specialty, having to heal more often).

I've tried doing this with Ithaqua, but that event keeps happening at the end that gets rid of all my supplies.  Is the frequency of that event tied to the number of investigators you're using?  It always seems to happen when I only have one investigator, and it never happens when I have four?  By the way - that's a really obnoxious event - it serves no purpose other than to aggravate and frustrate.



#9 Arakis99

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

 My strategy is to play against the other Ancient Ones.   As mentioned above, this one is a waste of money and time.   What is more difficult than than the final battle with Cthulhu?  A mountain pass.   



#10 Arakis99

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 06:02 AM

 I beat this adventure by following most of the excellent advice upthread and by using a duo of Jenny and the guy who turns terror into skulls.  The latter investigator is the key.  He has 7 stamina, which makes all the difference if/when you get the out of supply event.

It seems that in addition to playing flawlessly with the right team, almost everything has to go your way.  You have to maintain a good inventory of items for all investigators!  My 2c… If things start to go badly early on, cut your losses and start over.

Imo, this expansion is more frustrating than it is worth. Ymmv

 



#11 Gillman

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 07:05 PM

JUST beat Ithaqua, and wanted to come here and share- who else could appreciate it?

I pretty much used everyone's advice.  It was way hard, but I did I it in the first shot when I soloed with Marie.

 

My tips?  Open the other world portals as often as possible.  Good, easy rewards that sometimes remove doom.  Be picky about your adventure choice- some payoffs aren't worth the risk.

Final battles- I had 3 yellow and 3 red glyphs plus a fair amount of glyph locks handy.

 

one odd glitch- I lost my dark pharaoh investigator reward after beating Ithaqua.  Oh well- that campaign is manageable at least!

 

Very happy with this game!



#12 Lugofather

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 11:59 PM

At the first place, for me the proper difficulty setting for the campaigns are the follows:

 

Yig - Easy (instead of Normal)

Tsathoggua - Normal (instead of Hard)

Azathoth - Hard

Hastur - Hard (Instead of Normal, the game start all the time with locked glyphs! and Midnight effect for me)

Cthulhu - Very Hard

Ithaqua - Near Impossible (instead of Very Hard...)

Dark Pharaoh - Very Hard

Cthulhu campaign is long and a find it really great, but still seems a bit easy for my taste - also, this is the campaign I made the most points - 5995

The new Hastur scenario made me sweat - the locked glyphs are really though to get through in the beginning.

Too be honest, I completed the Dark Pharaoh with four invesigators both my first two times (and funnily, lost at the 3rd one), so I almost lost my interest of it but the new adventures/allies system still attract me to play it one more time. I like the artwork too.

 

But my all time favourite is Ithaqua and because of the difficulty! This is real Lovecraftian suffering, tears and sweet - finally.

From 20-25 game I only finished it 2 times successfully beaten Ithaqua, but this insane difficulty lures me back time to time to this campaign.

For all those folks who can't handle him at all a few advices per topic:

- If you not playing with random investigators then take those guys with a lot of stamina (5 or more) . Michael looks like an ideal member with his Tommy Gun and peril making ability.

 - Never set out to Alaska below 18-20 supplies

- Try to keep your investigators in good shape before the expedition and try to gain as much item as possible before setting out.

- Small but effective trick: start the expedition JUST before midnight  (9pm) an you will start the Alaskian adventures at 12pm but without resolving the Mythos effect! I'm not sure that it's a bug or not, but helps a bit.

- In Alaska, if Wolfs turn up in the beginning, hunt them down as soon as possible as they multiplying very fast at the Mythos phase

- If you are collected 10-11 Elder Signs then you may only bothered by equipping your invstigators as much as possible and find a last adventure to collect last ES's. You need strict planning, before meeting the GOO, and investigators with lot of stamina.

 

I really prefer the last 3 campaign as they are challenging! 

I can't see whats the fun in beating Yig ot Tsathoggua 100 times and then get bored of this game.

 

 

 



#13 Lugofather

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:02 AM

Gillman said:

JUST beat Ithaqua, and wanted to come here and share- who else could appreciate it?

I pretty much used everyone's advice.  It was way hard, but I did I it in the first shot when I soloed with Marie.

 

My tips?  Open the other world portals as often as possible.  Good, easy rewards that sometimes remove doom.  Be picky about your adventure choice- some payoffs aren't worth the risk.

Final battles- I had 3 yellow and 3 red glyphs plus a fair amount of glyph locks handy.

 

one odd glitch- I lost my dark pharaoh investigator reward after beating Ithaqua.  Oh well- that campaign is manageable at least!

 

Very happy with this game!

 

Well done mate! Is it much rewarding feeling than beating Yig 1000's of times, isn't it? :D

 

I never tried Ithaqua in solo, but sound fun, thanks for the idea!



#14 xfoley8

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:19 AM

Lugo, I agree with most of your assessments, except for Hastur.  I've probably played him 7 or 8 times, and I have yet to lose (even getting a lot of locked dice).  I've even placed 2 or 3 wins in my top 10, all breaking 5000.  I almost always make the locked dice a priority, followed by midnights.  As long as you stay on top of your sanity (I've lost 2 or 3 characters to the '-1 sanity, now you're a lunatic' mythos effect), you should be able to take him.  I'd place Hastur just above Yig in difficulty, with a 'normal' rating (and I would give Yig an 'easy' - just avoid killing the cultists and snake guys that add doom with glyphs and you should be home free).



#15 Lugofather

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 05:44 AM

xfoley8 said:

I agree with most of your assessments, except for Hastur.  I've probably played him 7 or 8 times, and I have yet to lose (even getting a lot of locked dice).  I've even placed 2 or 3 wins in my top 10, all breaking 5000. 

 

Congrats for the nice scores - I thought it's impossible to go over 5000 with the museum-only campaigns! 

I still have yet to lose to Hastur as well, I just find the default start setting really tough. But I like it anyway :)

Thanks for all your strategy hints! :)

 

I really like to see this game (app)  grow from time to time with new IAP campaigns and free stuff.

The Dark Pharaoh release was made with such a good taste in my opinion.

 

And maybe one day… we will see ARKHAM HORROR in digital! That would be awesome!!!



#16 xfoley8

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 06:20 AM

Lugofather said:

Congrats for the nice scores - I thought it's impossible to go over 5000 with the museum-only campaigns! 

I still have yet to lose to Hastur as well, I just find the default start setting really tough. But I like it anyway :)

Thanks for all your strategy hints! :)

 

I really like to see this game (app)  grow from time to time with new IAP campaigns and free stuff.

The Dark Pharaoh release was made with such a good taste in my opinion.

 

And maybe one day… we will see ARKHAM HORROR in digital! That would be awesome!!!

I've had remarkable luck with both Hastur and Tsatthogua.  Over half of my top 10 have come from playing them, I think.  In fact, my 2nd highest was from a Tsatthogua win where I killed about 15 of the monsters that are only part of his challenge (the ones that come in groups and take 1 sanity and a terror to kill).  On the other hand, I have maybe 2 or 3 Chthulhu wins on there (my score is never as high as I expect it to be), and my one defeat of the Pharaoh did not break 5000.  My top score is over 6000, and came from an imperfect win with Ithaqua (still no Wendy!)  My 2nd highest is a full 800 points lower than that one!

The reason I'd rank Tsatthogua a little tougher than Hastur is if you get the wrong combination of midnights (some unique to Tsatth) and locked dice, you can get utterly steamrolled.  I forget exactly what the combination was, but I remember getting 5 or 6 doom on one midnight once (and losing the game at midnight of the 3rd day- 12 turns!)  When I lose to him, it's usually the absolute worst loss- I think I had a negative score on that particular game.

I agree that the app expansions and campaigns are a lot of fun.  I'm completely hooked, and will probably buy everything they put out for it- it's easily my favorite gaming app.  And, yes, AH gone digital would be awesome.  The space it takes to set that one up, and time it takes to play, prevent me from playing it anywhere near as much as I would like.  Elder Sign seems an almost perfect compromise- much easier to set up, plays much quicker, with a similar thematic feel (and a more satisfying win ratio, at least for me), and playable on my phone.  I probably play 25 ES games for every AH I get in.  Having AH on my iPad, I might never leave the house!



#17 Frekko

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Posted 21 June 2013 - 03:11 AM

I was able to beat ithaqua Solo with jenny. I used trophies from every adventure to buy supplies every round. I left for Alaska when I had 12 supplies. I picked only adventures that rewarded only common items, clues and spells. In Alaska I went straight for the elder signs. I was able to use her ability to great effect. SAVE THE SHOTGUN!.

#18 nerull7

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 10:43 AM

Hi all! I managed to beat Itahqua from 2nd shot so decided to write down my experience. Truth to be told I was fearing this campaign the most because of the asigned insane difficulty and people's comments. I read all the general advice and decided to go for it with 4 men team. I was doing ok the first part although I amassed a lot of random midnight doom tokens. All my checkpoints were supplies so I guess I was lucky. I remember people mentioned lot more negative effects along. Well it wasnt the case here :). I lost 2 investigators due to my sloppyness and miscalculation but managed to collect 12 elder signs nonetheless. Lost all my supplies last checkpoint but didnt have any wulves showing up (luckily again as I ll witness the horror in my second game). I even almost beat Ithaqua on a first run failing to finish the last of the 3 showdowns.

So I started another game and did the random investigators draft again and removed some very weak choices. My team comprised of Jenny, Mandy Thompson, McGlen (he turned out to be really awesome in this campaign) and Wilson Richards. Second time around things went a little smoother and I tried to collect as much items I can while having 20 or so supplies. Board started getting messy so I really couldnt do any adventures anymore so I headed to Alaska. Here I managed to mantain a steady progress but I had lots of difficulty with the storms covering locked glyph and midnight effect adventures. I tried to make minimal risk and avoid them as much as I could trying to finish adventures even with some glyphs locked. I came to the last checkpoint and instead of lost supplies 3 monsters showed up on map. That was pretty bad cause lots of my board was already locked with monsters in adventures there was no way I could finish. And storms didnt make the things any easier. I took a shot on an adventure with 2 monsters and 2-3 heavy tasks and managed to just barely pass it. So I was face to face with Ithaqua again with all 4 investigators. First part was a breeze, second one I was almost unlucky but did it as well and for the third I had McGlenn there so I knew I should win this. In the end Ithaqua got caved in and we all lived happily ever after :)

So surprisingly, Ithaqua was relatively easy for me. I had a lot more problems with Cthulhu or Tsathoggua who kept spamming those annyoing tentacles which you cannot destroy at those large quantities and where you end up deathracing Doomtrack with Elder signs.

My advice would be to gain supplies and items as quickly as possible at the museum to avoid any unnecessary doom. You dont care about monster count because once you have your supplies ready you will leave the museum. I used all my excess trophies to collect supplies faster. I kept only 3-4 trophies with each investigator depending on the health/items condition they were in. When you arrive at Alaska try to take the most rewarding adventures first if you are able. Opening new worlds also helps because they usually have excellent rewards/number of elder signs. Try to collect as many signs early on before things start to get messy and blizzards cover up your valuable/easy adventures. Try to save as much items as you can can as Ithaqua himself isnt of the forgiving sort. I noticed there were a lot of Clue items throughout this campaign so picking Joe Diamond as your team member is probably a good choice as well.

Looking forward to the new expansions and horrors :)

#19 Chaneke

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Posted Yesterday, 02:04 PM

I beat Cthulhu in my fifth attempt.

In the case of the Dark Pharaoh the first time I finished the campaign took me enormous frustration, because the device is locked after the final video. Restarting the device did not recognize the game, not the score or unlocked the researcher.

After several attempts, I managed to finish the campaign again with Sister Mary (RIP), Wilson Richards, Rita Young and Jim Culver. Wilson Richards was responsible for the final battle.

Upon entering the tomb of Pharaoh Sister Mary did not complete the tasks "where are we?" and died. Also, I got no allies, which complicated things a bit, but I still managed to finish with enough items to win in the last 2 final battles.

 
 

Ithaca is the only monster that I have not defeated.
I was about to do and won the first round and lost the second of the 3 needed, so I could not save Ashley.

 

Keep Trying.






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