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Julia

Returning to Arkham

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13 months passed from my latest game with AH. At some point of this year, I thought that "latest" should have spelled "last", no time, and most importantly, it seemed to me that the game was belonging to an era of my life now past. Too much testing, too many chores and real life duties, too few energies to go for another round against Cthulhu and the Black Goat. It'd have been ok, after all, after playing 346 times with a game saying "enough" is acceptable.

 

Still, against Cthulhu and BG I had two defeats in a row. Never happened before, and I didn't want to end my Arkham career in this way.

 

So, the table was set up again (also thanks to my good friend Alex who keeps mailing me about his Arkham games), the decks shuffled and aligned in the very same ritual way, then clues were seeded on the board, counterclockwise and counting 1 to 11 with a small pause to place aquatic location markers. Then repeat for Dunwich and Kingsport. A sort of exorcism to keep bad stuff away, the ritual of every sunday in the period 2007-2013. The spell was cast, and it was like returning to the old days.

 

Lily, Diana, Vincent, Luke and Tony ready to go. Lily obviously opening in case a way to clues had to be cleaned. First gate is Leng + Dreamlands at Wizard Hill. Investigators move on the board, getting clues, getting ready. Lily gains 2 clues at the Unnamable, Vincent with Mythos Lore gains Psychic at the STL and it's a high-five moment, this means everyone's able to seal with 4 clues. Add that to Diana's encounter in the inner Sanctum allowing her to take as trophy a Dark Young pasturing at Wizard Hill and you see how good a start this was. A gate opens at the Witch House, Tony would love to go, but can't because with Cthulhu in, his starting San is 2 and he's not able, weaponless, to attempt assaulting the Deep One there. He moves to toss Lily the Handcuffs, and she goes there, handcuffing the Child of the Goat and kicking the Deep One back in the depths. Her journey to R'lyeh was about to start, with the Child of the Goat homaging her of a marvellous corruption: stars on black, +2 clue, -2 San. Oh, yeah.

 

Diana goes to the Graveyard to get the last 2 clues, and encounter a gate to the City of the Great Race; and Tony get one more clue to follow her fate. Three investigators in, all able to seal thanks to Psychic + Mythos Lore. What's best in life? Playing with a sentient board, of course.

 

Lily made her way up to the second area of R'lyeh, surviving all the encounters, only to be sent LiTaS by a Mythos card triggering her last San point loss. Sweet. And the Madness she got? Hearing Loss, every time you lose San, you lose a clue. Diana got two delays in a row on the Great Race's first area. Hopeless Vincent gather the needed clue, but his awful speed and his eternal aura of bad luck made his evolutions rather improbable. Tony ended up in Another Time being delayed as well. At 5 gates open on the board and no seals, with the doom track skyrocketting in such a short time, pagan drums were echoing through the whole Lovecraft county and Dark Youngs started their haka.

 

Three defeats in a row? No, thanks, let's try something different.

 

Luke closed Wizard Hill without sealing. Risky, but he didn't have the clues and I had to keep the gate limit down in some way. Lily crawled her way back from LiTaS to Arkham, and was ble to kill both a Ghoul and another Deep One at the Unnamable entering the Underworld. Vincent with a clean road in front of him (but only 4 clues) decided to dive into R'lyeh waters before it was too late.

 

Some turns later, 3 seals were on the board, with the doom track at 8. All my previous games with Cthulhu and BGotW were characterised by an incredibly low number of gates open and an incredibly high number of surges; this time it was the other way around, no surges, no gates bouncing on seals, every round at least one new gate (twice I had gates spawned by encounters), bam, bam, bam, the drums' echo grew lounder and louder.

 

Vincent tried his way out of R'lyeh but was afraid of heights and got delayed (again); Tony jumped into a portal at the Science Building, but ended up being LiTaS by having no dice and no clues to pass a Sneak check and losing 2 San (why sending him with no clues? Because a lucky encounter at the Train Station granted him a choice of one among three unique items, and he picked the Elder sign). In the meantime Luke scored the 4th seal on the board. Doom at 10, not too bad, but also not too good.

 

The next Mythos was a disaster: The Stars are Right hit, but none of us had the ally to sacrifice (need to recruit one) and that card triggered a delirium of monsters moving in Dunwich. Tony was still LiTaS with the Elder Sign, Luke jumped with 1 Sta left into Another Time, Vincent failed for the 2nd time the check for closing R'lyeh. One monster surge there and the game would have ended.

 

Next Mythos, not one, not two, but three monsters dived into Dunwich vortices for a single action +3 Terror with the Dunwich Horror arriving as an added bonus. Doom hit 11. Darn it, what's worst than having a gigantic machine in Dunwich able to trigger further doom? Simple, not having anyone able to reach Ma's to get that frigging ally needed to pass the rumor. Lily tried to kill one of the two monsters blocking Ma's, but she wasn't able to kung-fu to death the Dark Young (the other one was a Star Spawn) for two rounds in a row. Diana was able to use Dreaded Curse of Azathoth to destroy a Formless Spawn and then burned all her 5 clues to kill the companion Goat Spawn. Still too difficult to reach Ma's, tho. Luke moved to the second area of Another Time, and Tony returned from LiTaS to the Library, ready to toss Luke his ES in case the Dreamer made out alive from Another Time.

 

Next Mythos bounced on a seal (finally, at least once per game!), but the Dunwich Horror moved, bringing the doom to 12. Time to roll for the Stars are Right: eyes closed, trembling hand, the die falls on a seal at Independance Square on a 1, and then rolls one more time and lands on a 4. Phew.

 

Everybody moves to the streets to avoid encounters but Tony who moves over the gate at the Science Building, giving the ES to Luke. Luke seals.

 

Victory by sealing gates in 11 Mythos; final doom at 11.

Edited by Julia

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I even get a mention, yay famous. Julia we only talk about AH because you got me curious about it in the first pkace, all your fault ;)

On a serious note, none of us should ever give up on any good game we own, there should always be time to fit in another game even if only once a year.

If a game is bad, sell it or bin it. If a game is good, play it until you die :)

I enjoyed reading this playthrough to get ideas myself on how to tackle Arkham.

If you want to learn Arkham then a playthrough from Julia and her Hubby is the way to do it, masters!

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True, I like the idea of play it until you die :D Possibly tomorrow I'll have time for another round?

 

Dunno, I just spent the evening sleeving... Arkham Horror (long story short, it's the second copy of the core set, but the first one in English. It's a tad bit of a circle that's finally been closed)

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True, I like the idea of play it until you die :D Possibly tomorrow I'll have time for another round?

 

Dunno, I just spent the evening sleeving... Arkham Horror (long story short, it's the second copy of the core set, but the first one in English. It's a tad bit of a circle that's finally been closed)

 

More sleeving yes :)

I may open a shrinkwrapped expansion of something and do some sleeving tomorrow, its quite relaxing oddly

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