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Julia

The maddened book collector (session report)

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One more game played today (it's the fourth in the last two weeks, so happy!), Finn, Mary, Wendy, Trish and Bob against Y'golonac and the Black Goat of the Wood. As usual in this series, AH, DH, KH, BGotW and MH in the mix. Y'golonac and Black Goat means a double doom accelerator, one granted by the AO (+1 doom / Tome drawn after setup), the other one given by the Herald (+1 doom / monster surge). The doom track's shortish (12), so, you need to hit fast and hard. Not so easy to do considering the party I picked up for the game: if on one hand Wendy is the superstar everyone should love (1 ES + 3 starting clues), 3 of the other 4 investigators (Finn, Mary, and Bob) start with 0 clues: not exactly the ideal situation when you need to dash through the game.

 

Setup was rather good, with several investigators blessed with weapons, and, more importantly, Trish getting a copy of King in Yellow. Opening Mythos was Gardner's place.

 

First few rounds seemed to carry good omens for the game: I managed to send Wendy in the double Abyss / R'lyeh gate that opened at Independance Square, and then I sent Trish to the Unvisited Isle, hoping in a gate encoutner, which I had. Too bad the gate was a moving gate to Another Dimension. Needless to say, the gate moved immediately after spawning. The situation in Dunwich became more dangerous as a R'lyeh gate opened at Wizard Hill. Mary resolved an encounter which allowed her to check the first three Mythos of the deck and place them back in any order. Great news. too bad these Mythos were Things of Darkness (+1 toughness to some monster, exactly the monsters that were flooding the board, plus a STL gate under Bob before he passed his PS was something I couldn't accept), Mad Bomber (opening another gate at Gardner's Place) and a third Mythos bursting on Gardner's Place (Fire on the Mill, IIRC). Two surges equals to a lot of monsters arriving and two doomers, but still, I couldn't afford Things as first Mythos, so I went in order with burst at Gardner's Place, Mad Bomber, and then Things of Darkness.

 

At this point I had the first surge triggered, two Dark Youngs ready to jump in vortex 1, two other monsters ready to jump on vortex 2, and no way to defend but sacrificing Finn. For the greater good, Finn moved to the street area in front of vortex 2, and engaged the Moon Beast. Three clues later, the Moon Beast became a "Moon Been", and the second monster (a Ghoul) was added as trophy to Finn's collection. Bob in the meantime passed his PS at the Black Cave (and killed a Lloigor thanks to his trustworthy Sledgehammer. Wait, a Lloigor has weapon immunity you say? Sure thing, I got no Combat bonus from the weapon, but the neat toughness reduction? Aye, that's legal to take). Mary moved North, Trish returned and closed the moving gate (no seals of course if the gate is in the street).

 

Mad Bomber arrived, but at this point I couldn't care the less: Bob had the money to pass it *alone* on turn one, granting each investigator 2 more clues to be added to their pool. Mary entered R'lyeh, Trish dodged a ProtoShoggoth, killed a Tcho-Tcho (getting a Military Motorcycle), Finn killed another Ghoul and then here comes the disaster, three monsters dived into vortices and summoned the Dunwich Horror. After 5 Mythos only, or so. Never had the DH arriving so early in the game. And atop of that another investigator was rewarded with a common item from an encounter and got... an Ancient Tome. No kidding, another doomer to be added, almost a knock-out combo. Only two seals on the board.

 

Time to work out a better strategy. Wendy worked his way up to the Unvisited Isle, diving into Another Time and losing all but 1 Stamina. Bob marched into Another Dimension from the Witch House. Trish got a crazy OW encounter while in Celeano, allowing her to immediately return to Arkham if no rifts were open. Lovely.

 

Problem was that the game kept on pumping new doom in. I paused to check a few options, and actually there weren't many: Trish had enough clues to put another seal on the board, but she was in Dunwich and the nearest open gate was at the STL. Additionally, she just got burden down by Local Guide; 2 rifts were about to open; Bob could have made it to seal another gate IF he had a way to generate two extra clues after sealing Another Dimension. And Wendy... everything was easy until she decided to roll zero successes on an Evade check against a Deep One. Injury gained and turn lost, and there was no time for such fancy timekillers.

 

So, Finn was my only hope, because he had the movement points to reach STL and he had a Call Friend; still he had no clues and only 1 San and Sta, so that casting that spell could have been problematic. Nonetheless, there was no other option available, so, he jumped into the Underworld. Bob returned on the Witch House sealing the gate, and Mary did her best and sealed R'lyeh at the cost of one extra clue due to a very much needed reroll. Finn got lucky in the Underworld: he found the Underworld specific encounter where you're offered a chance to fight off ghouls or be corrupted. Fending the wave of ghouls was a +1 San, enough to cast the spell the following round.

 

Mythos was Strange Sightings, bringing the total doom to 11. The DH tried to move, but the roll didn't trigger an extra doom. Phew.

 

In the next turn, Finn used Call Friend to summon Trish into the 2nd area of the Underworld; for the rest of the turn, I had two investigators dealing with rifts in Kingsport, and the other two clearing some of the monsters in Arkham.

 

Still, one more Mythos to go. Independence Square, sealed.

 

Finn returned to Arkham, with Trish following in case he had failed the check (at that moment STL was the only gate open); Trish's help was not needed, and the investigators won by closing gates in 11 Mythos.

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Happy with happiness from the Goat, love to the Herald with the extra doomer! Played your Black Goat institution again (third time) this evening and ended with another tight victory (my dear Wilson Lost in Time and Space). Just love it, that Black Goat trio is a keeper, I can't help it.

 

Nice story you have there, with a good group of investigators (though I still consider me a rookie).

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Great to learn tactics from your playthroughs oh Queen of AH ;)

Sounds like Finn grabbed some great luck just when needed, good gamble!

Glad you had fun, I can see you are settling the score well against the Black Goat :)

Thanks for the detailed writeup.

I need to get an AH game on the rable next week. Ive beaten Azathoth now, so which opponent do I chose next I wonder :)

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Yup, Finn was lucky, but luck is helped by getting the meaning of OWs color patterns :P

Arkham is fantastic because it has a fantastic flexibility in tactics, and getting the right way out of trouble is a fantastic exercise. If I look at today's game, the game seemed lost after a few turns (too many initial surges, sealers unable to reach gates, 8 monsters in Dunwich, a bad rumor running), but then deciding to use all of Finn's resources and use Bob's money for the rumor and not for the clues changed the tide

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Yup, Finn was lucky, but luck is helped by getting the meaning of OWs color patterns :P

Arkham is fantastic because it has a fantastic flexibility in tactics, and getting the right way out of trouble is a fantastic exercise. If I look at today's game, the game seemed lost after a few turns (too many initial surges, sealers unable to reach gates, 8 monsters in Dunwich, a bad rumor running), but then deciding to use all of Finn's resources and use Bob's money for the rumor and not for the clues changed the tide

 

If Cthulhu ever does rise, I know who I am hiding behind :D

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Yup, Finn was lucky, but luck is helped by getting the meaning of OWs color patterns :P

Arkham is fantastic because it has a fantastic flexibility in tactics, and getting the right way out of trouble is a fantastic exercise. If I look at today's game, the game seemed lost after a few turns (too many initial surges, sealers unable to reach gates, 8 monsters in Dunwich, a bad rumor running), but then deciding to use all of Finn's resources and use Bob's money for the rumor and not for the clues changed the tide

 

Indeed, Arkham is such a nice game in shifting situations and plan revisions. Since I have the game myself (april) and a few expansions (2 weeks ago) I want to study more on evading trouble than evading monsters. I read on this forum some interesting discussions on OW colors and learned myself about Arkham encounters, I consider it the way to become a better AH player (not that I really want to play it as fastforward as you do  :)  )

 

A question: how urgent do you consider Rumors? I see that there are differences in how easy they are to deal with, but I consider them most urgent problems to deal with ... it seems my companion investigators thought otherwise :)  

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Rumors are absolutely not urgent unless they are catastrofic if failed OR they provide incredibly good rewards. For example, I wanted to pass Mad Bomber in my latest game because it granted me 2 clues / player. I was short on time, so, getting 2 clues each was huge (the equivalent of a minimum of 10 movement steps)

 

But otherwise... you know, you may have only one rumor active at a given time, so, if you pass the active one, another one may hit. If you keep the active one running a little bit longer, it works as a shield against other rumors. There are some rumors that you really don't want to see hitting the table (usually Kingsport or Innsmouth rumors) so that if you have something easier, then you may want to keep it running and protecting you

 

(great question, btw, 90% of the players I've met consider rumors to be something to pass as soon as possible and they clearly miss the right strategy)

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Rumors are absolutely not urgent unless they are catastrofic if failed OR they provide incredibly good rewards. For example, I wanted to pass Mad Bomber in my latest game because it granted me 2 clues / player. I was short on time, so, getting 2 clues each was huge (the equivalent of a minimum of 10 movement steps)

 

But otherwise... you know, you may have only one rumor active at a given time, so, if you pass the active one, another one may hit. If you keep the active one running a little bit longer, it works as a shield against other rumors. There are some rumors that you really don't want to see hitting the table (usually Kingsport or Innsmouth rumors) so that if you have something easier, then you may want to keep it running and protecting you

 

(great question, btw, 90% of the players I've met consider rumors to be something to pass as soon as possible and they clearly miss the right strategy)

 

thank you for answering, I suppose my sense of urgency comes from games from the past years, where rumors took quite some time in organizing the gathering of the needed items (as I might recall badly). Yesterday we had a rumor (Disturbing the Dead) where you have to roll a die to see if the terror track advances. So the Rumor might not even trigger. When you even have the items (2 gate trophies) you can wait untill the track reaches a certain level. But you might also lose your items of course  :)  

 

you are right about the protection, I can see that, but I haven't had more than 2 Rumors in 1 game, so I suppose worse will come  :P

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See, Disturbing the Dead is actually a rumor worth keeping (unless you're playing with Dagon or Hastur or any other nastiness nourishing on terror increases). You have a 33% of Terror increase, which means on average is a +1 Terror every 3 turns. A game should last between 10 and 15 Mythos. Thus, it could mean a +3 or a +5 terror. Why should I waste 2 trophies (which means 4 clues, or 2 blessings or 1 single hopefully powerful Ally) to cash spells?

 

As for protection: yeah, it doesn't trigger that often, but I managed to dodge a couple of times Cover-up! in this way, and was pretty happy about it :D

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See, Disturbing the Dead is actually a rumor worth keeping (unless you're playing with Dagon or Hastur or any other nastiness nourishing on terror increases). You have a 33% of Terror increase, which means on average is a +1 Terror every 3 turns. A game should last between 10 and 15 Mythos. Thus, it could mean a +3 or a +5 terror. Why should I waste 2 trophies (which means 4 clues, or 2 blessings or 1 single hopefully powerful Ally) to cash spells?

 

As for protection: yeah, it doesn't trigger that often, but I managed to dodge a couple of times Cover-up! in this way, and was pretty happy about it :D

 

Agreed  :)  my last argument was that we didn't make progress on sealing Unvisited Isle and The Woods and we doomed ourselves with gate bursts (because of the Herald) and the monster flood went on and this possible Rumor effect was becoming a bigger threat as the doom track for awakening the AO. Yes, I'm a defensieve player and I dind't like it even while Diana flourished on it  :)

 

I'll start with the wiki list of Rumors and see if I can find more diversity in them, more study for me! Luckily I don't own Kingsport Horror yet  :P 3 monsters per player seems awful to deal with, I suppose the best a group can do is controlling it.

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