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Prepping for the Apocalypse - Running Avi's Fan League

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Segment 1 Complete


After a bit of a break from Arkham (so much Minecraft to catch up on), we returned to the scenarios this weekend. 3 games down and we're done with the first segment. Session reports:


The Day of Deadly Delays (Scenario 5: Attempt 2)


Our second attempt against the Darkness started out pretty positive in the equipment draws. We started with the same team and equipment as the previous attempt. Wendy started with a Press Pass and the Mi-go Brain Case carried over from last game. Jacqueline started with a Gladius of Carcosa carried over and drew a Military Motorcycle and Intervene - a spell to give +3 to Zoey when she needed it. Zoey didn't start with any carry overs, but drew Pallid Mask and a Seeker of the Yellow Sign. Mary had the other Gladius carried over from last game and also drew an Alchemical Process we never took advantage of. Our final team member was William, carrying over a Gate Box and drawing a couple revolvers and a Cryptozoology collection. 


On top of our carry-over items, a Press Pass, Pallid Mask and a motorcycle were all pretty solid additions to help out. Unfortunately, Wendy, our starting player, drew two madnesses to start. The first, Obsessed, left her unable to trade away the press pass or the Mi-go Brain Case. The second, Amnesia, left her unable to gain more than 4 clue tokens. So not only was she unable to dump the good items onto someone else, she also couldn't even use the press pass to be a useful team member while she was alive. We probably should have known with that start that it was going to be an uphill battle, but we carried on. 


Turn 1 had Wendy swapping places with Mary to get the Gladius to Zoey ASAP, and Jacqueline dropping the other Gladius off before heading off to Independence Square, where a gate to Another Time abruptly opened and drew her through. The next turn saw Wendy unexpectedly drawn through a gate to the Dreamlands and Jacqueline delayed. William was busy trying to trash his trophies on blessings before he had to fight them (last player), and Zoey spent some time shopping while Mary started trying to gather some clues. 


Wendy and Jacqueline, neither able to seal, were delayed another turn in the Outer World while Zoey got to work doing what she was born to do in this scenario - destroy monsters. Wendy and Jacqueline finally got back (Wendy with a new mania) and closed to get a few nasties off the board while Mary completed a set of clues to seal. 


By our seventh turn, we were at 8 doom and nothing to show except for Zoey being deputized. No seals were on the board yet, though Mary had enough clues and Jacqueline was in position to grab the other two she needed. Definitely way further behind than we could afford to be, but we carrying on, Mary jumped into R'lyeh prepared to seal, and Jacqueline went to the Science Building to complete her 5. Mary was abruptly lost in time and space in her first Outer World encounter. The next turn Wendy Mi-go'd away a monster from Witch House to let Jacqueline run through, but both of them drew monsters and were knocked Unconscious their first turns in City of the Great Race. William, with the help of the Patrol Wagon, gathered 5 clues and jumped into Witch House to try and do what the others had failed at. Unfortunately, where they simply went unconscious, he ended up continuously delayed.


Wendy was finally consumed by madness at turn 10. Jacqueline and Mary both went for gates again and Norman joined the fight with Eltdown Shards as a random draw. He started going for some clue tokens and got ready to use the shards to try and buy more time, but it was far too late. Mary returned early, but took three attempts to finally get the seal around the same time William finally managed to find his way out of the City of the Great Race and also seal. Our first two seals on the board came at turn 13 with 11 doom on the board. Jacqueline was through and had two tries at adding a third seal, but then a monster found its way out of the gate and ate her before she could seal the deal.


We scrambled for more clues, but it was obvious what was going to happen, and the Darkness finally put us out of our misery at the 14th turn. We decided to go back to Minecraft for a while to help numb the pain.


The Stars Are Right (Scenario 5: Attempt 3)


The next attempt the following morning finally gave us a decent opportunity to win. Same team and carry-overs, with the same order, this time Wendy started with a Lantern and Camoflauge skill (as if she wasn't sneaky enough), on top of the carried over brain case. Jacqueline had the Gladius carried over and Alchemical process, which we again never had a chance to use.  Zoey pulled a Sword of Glory, which we quickly made obsolete with two Gladiuses. Mary, on top of the Gladius carried over, got Disguise, and Summon Shantak, both of which proved to be helpful for extra evading. William carried over the Gate Box again, and also a drew a Student Newspaper and a Motorcycle. He also drew an Elder Sign that was immediately discarded, but all considered, the starting equipment was still strong enough for a decent attempt as long as we managed to not end up with a Wendy that was unable to trade items the entire game.


Wendy's first turn did draw a madness, but not one that hampered her trading ability - Delusions made her a bit less useful in the streets, but we weren't counting on her hanging around outside anyway. Instead of spending for blessings like last time, we decided to have William jump through as fast as possible - the student newspaper and a visit to the graveyard left him with 5ish clue tokens (3 of which were trophies that might fight back in a few turns). His encounter was to draw an extra monster trophy, giving him essentially 6 clues to jump through with.


By turn two we had two people through gates again, but this time at least William could seal. Jacqueline had 5 clues and was through a third gate on turn 3. She had a bad encounter that forced her to spend clues before she got back, and William was delayed twice in the Abyss, leaving him there long enough to have to let one of his clue tokens run away from him rather than fight it, but the extra trophy from the Graveyard left him with enough to still put the first seal on the board at turn 6. During the 5th turn, our first of 3 Rumor cards showed up - "The Stars are Right". Luckily Jacqueline had met up with Anna Klaslow and discarded her immediately without having to resolve any extra mythos cards. Nothing incredibly useful showed up from all the common items the rumor left, but we got a pair of brass knuckles to hand over to Zoey as an extra bonus.  


With all the delays and Jacqueline unexpectedly unable to seal, we risked pushing Zoey through at the same time Wendy jumped through, even though she was our only person able to do anything about the monsters on the board. They both got back and sealed on turn 7 (making 3 seals), and William made a deal with the Dark Man of Wizard's Hill that turn, getting him ready to seal again. Jacqueline made another run at a gate, this time in the Woods, on turn 8 and immediately returned to Arkham with a somewhat lucky encounter. During her visit to Yuggoth, she encountered alien creatures that planted spores under her skin to change her. We never had to resolve it, but if 5 gates opened after that point, she would have been devoured. 


She sealed the turn she returned, with the help of the power of the spores. Unfortunately, at the same time, the second Rumor we saw popped, up and she was forced to spend her extra clues to cancel it (a double doomer - Endlessly Breeding). The replacement was a monster surge in the Woods, making her life much more complicated. Summon Shantak borrowed from Mary helped a lot though and that ended up not being an issue. By the tenth turn, we had Mary through the only remaining gate in Innsmouth (thanks to the Brain Case) with enough to seal, four seals on the board, and 9 doom. The last mythos ended up being another double doomer rumor (Virulent Disease), leaving the opening for Mary to give us the close win on turn 11. 


Sight of Darkness (Scenario 6: Attempt 1)


Fresh off the victory of our win against the Darkness, we decided to reset and go against scenario 6. This one proved to be much like the second attempt against the Darkness - delays in the Outer World costing us precious time and resources against Yig's super short doom track. Choosing a lineup was a bit tougher here. We gave it some thought, but we just don't have enough experience with some of the characters (we have never played Skids or Charlie). We settled on Marie, Finn, Jenny, Tony and Roland. We decided Jenny could afford to help Finn pay off the Bank Loan and were hoping his large set of random draws might yield something useful. He ended up with the Pallid Mask, an axe, and a calvary saber. Marie started with Azure Flame, Tony with the King James Bible, and most importantly, Jenny started with an Elder Sign.


The opening mythos was not too bad - Act I  started, so our only starting gate was in the Woods. Marie started with a plan to move to the Magick Shoppe to help pass her personal story. Tony joined her there to provide the extra capital and hand off the Bible.  Finn found a free item at the Curiousitie Shoppe, and after attempting to repair it he managed to draw... food. I'm not sure what it was before, but making food out of it seems incredibly resourceful I guess?  


We delayed until turn 3 to get somebody through a gate, mainly because nobody had enough clues, but once Tony gathered two more, he jumped through to City of the Great Race in Witch House, promptly going insane there and gaining, of course, Xenophobia, making any future attempts at sealing incredibly dangerous with his measly 3 sanity.


So naturally we sent Tony through a gate as soon as he was back from Lost in Time and Space, as well as sending Marie and Roland through gates. Finn, with the help of the Pallid Mask and two sticks of dynamite, pinned down and killed the Serpent People running around trying to poison everyone, then jumped through a moving gate to force it closed. It took until the 7th turn before Marie finally managed to get our first seal on the board.


During turn 6 Virulent Disease returned again - a double doomer rumor. People started working their way to St. Mary's. Finn was lucky enough to get an encounter that drew Eltdown Shards. A few more gates opened quickly and there was little we could do to slow it down - by turn 9 the doom track was at 8 with a single seal on the board and Marie's Witch Blood ability was already used twice. We probably should have called it quits there, but we had two people ready to seal, with an Elder sign and Eltdown shards ready to remove from the doom track. I was still somewhat hopeful for a victory. 


We got Jenny and Roland through gates that turn and Finn finally got Eltdown Shards to work, so by turn 11 we had 3 seals on the board and were at 8 doom, but it was like being in quicksand by that point. Jenny pulled an incredibly unlucky madness that counted as a duplicate for an earlier injury, devouring her (thanks Miskatonic Horror). She was replaced by Skids. Marie on that same turn jumped through and returned from the outer world, gaining our fourth seal. We got Tony one more clue token and risked yet another trip to an Outer World, hoping for a fifth seal (no hope for number six in sight though). 


Meanwhile, Finn tried praying really hard at the church - Innsmouth had gone to crap with three gates opening there in a row, and there didn't seem to be much else to do other than pray that the inevitable didn't happen. His prayers were heard both by new gods and old unfortunately, and he added the final doom token to the doom track before anything else could open. I think there's an important lesson to be learned here regarding the value of prayer, but in any case, Yig made quick work of our team. Only Tony managed to hold on for more than a turn, and that was just kind of sad to watch as he rolled two dice every turn until the curses finally got him.


It's definitely obvious we shouldn't be playing with lurker gates, especially for this scenario (Woods gate moved - but never was drawn again, so by dumb luck never would have surged anyway), so we'll probably just switch back to normal ones for the rest of the league. Not sure what we'll try for starting lineup next, but pretty sure we need to reconsider a few of our starting characters. One thing's for sure - Finn's not allowed to hang out in church praying next time.  :D

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One question that might change up how we play next time - once Finn defaults on a loan, is he intended to be free to trade items again, even with the money laundering rules in place? I don't think we played this right - for some reason we were thinking a defaulted loan permanently left him unable to trade - so we paid the loan right away. It seemed pretty crippling to have someone with so much speed unable to help ship items around, but if it's only a temporary setback we'll probably just keep the cash next time.


And another clarification that might be relevant as we continue through the segment - is Charlie Kane's carry over ally in place of his random draw or in addition to it? I figure that ally carry over works like item carry over in the previous segment, but if it's a second ally, he might be a more enticing character to play.

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Second question: no he only gets one ally.  However, I'm considering changing it, because the idea behind the design was that you could pick an original Curse of the Dark Pharoah ally (much stronger than the revised cotdp allies).  I'd say if you want to run a compromise version, you can let him draw 2 random allies instead of one in exchange for one of your carry overs.

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Ah, that explains it - I'd heard the allies were stronger in the original - didn't realize they were that much stronger though. Took a look at them and now it makes more sense - carrying over some of those would definitely be a stronger benefit than I realized.

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