I'm coming down from a lose by forfeit for tonight, and I've decided for our game we just can't play with Gate Bursts. Tonight was just the base game, facing off against Azathoth.We had put some, but not all of the Lurker on the Threshhold expansion into play: the Relationship cards, the Mythos and Otherworld cards, and Herald so we could try the Pacts and such.
This should have been a pretty quick game, win or lose. The sucker dragged. We sealed several Gates, only to just have them come undone a turn or two later. Nothing stayed sealed. One particularly mean turn had me sit on a Gate from the Witchhouse for three turns waiting to gain the Clues from the resolution of a rumor to seal it, only to have the Gate Burst that very Mythos phase. It was especially frustrating since the struggle to get out had been one of those times where suddenly the Other World is full of bannana peels and every encounter is delayed, delayed, delayed.
Sadly nobody took any Pacts, and the Reckoning deck cried itself to sleep at night from loneliness. I don't know if people just forgot it wa sthere or were too chicken. It was probably one of the aspects I was most loookign forward to as well.
The game took four and a half hours and never arrived at a satifying conclusion. Personally, I'd rather we could have just lost straight in the first three hours. It really kills me, because I like how Gate Bursts change the strategy of the game. Without them, it's just a matter of sealing the high frequency locations and then doing a victory lap. Bursts make it much more tactical what to seal and what to close; I also feel it makes simple closing more relevant. But in practice they seem to undo the progres of the investigators, and not really greatly advance the ancient one, so it doesn't feel like we are making progress in either direction so much as spinning our wheels.
Next game will be a while I'm afraid. Maybe next time we can break the losing streak.