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Scrambled gates for breakfast (session report)

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Michael, Kate, Jacqueline, William and Roland facing Daoloth and the Black Goat of the Woods. One more time the villains have both an enhancement on monster surges: the Herald, granting a +1 doom; and the AO, forcing all gates in play to be removed and replaced by new gates. Against them, a party experienced at stalling: Jacq can slow down nefarious Mythos messing up with your strategy, Kate blocks monsters and gates from appearing, Roland is an automated cash dispenser and clue generator. Who will win? The unstoppable force, or the unmovable mass?


As usual: AH, DH, KH, BGotW and MH in play.


First Mythos opening spells Independence Square, with a Goat Spawn and a Priest of Dagon coming to say hello. Michael opens and clear the Goat Spawn, starting a bizarre way on the dark side that will see him at mid game having 14 corruption cards (max in my Arkham carreer so far), and Kate (with an ES) rents his Tommy Gun to invite the Priest of Dagon to the next meeting of the Dead Priest Society. Jacq shops for the Gruesome Talisman, William moves to the STL where he's badly beaten since he has no ally to sacrifice to the lodge, and finally Roland moves to the Unnamable, for a double clue and a gate. Not a problem: 4 clues are enough since William can toss him Research Materials on his way back to Arkham.


Next Mythos opens the Graveyard, and the second round goes pretty smooth, with Kate burning some intermediate stations and returning soonish to Arkham, and the other guys working their way towards the 5 so needed clues.


Mythos 3, Cold Spring Glen, and a load of fast monsters released. Kate uses her ES on Independence Square to seal the endless Yuggoth gate, Michael wants to move to Dunwich to take the situation there under control, but he's sidetracked to Kingsport due to an almost open rift. He meets a charming lady named Gladys and he ends up being delayed due to an extreme flower watering session. Roland's about to return to Arkham, when


Mythos 4 strikes. Strange Sightings. Jacq cancels the card so that no doom's added, no gates are swapped, and a new card is resolved. Graveyard. So, regardless of cancelling Strange Sightings, we still have a monster surge, condamining Roland to be sent LiTaS since no matching gate is redrawn. Additionally, this ain't an ordinary Mythos; it's "To conquer death", a rumor. Not a nasty one, but an incredibly annoying one.


William, thanks to Mental Fortitude, works a bit on the rumor, keeping it up so that it's not failed too soon and we can use it as shield against other rumors. Michael helps a bit, auto-destroying Goat Spawns thanks to his Strong Body ability, and piling up quickly both trophies and corruptions. Another surge hits the board, but fortunately there's no one in the OWs so that the harm isn't too big.


Roland returns to Dunwich, and Kate goes there as well, both strong of their clues, headed to seal Kadath at Cold Spring Glen and Dreamlands at Wizard's Hill. The situation in Kingsport keeps worsening, so, Michael keeps going to Kingsport to clear a bit the rift progress tracks and then back to Arkham to clear the streets from monsters.


Cover-up arrives, Jacq can't cancel it, and we're forced to swallow a +2 doom. Adding mockery to the damage: we've got enough monster trophies to easily pass it (everyone gets a Blessing and a Retainer), but clearly To Conquer Death is still shielding us form further rumors, so, for once, a good strategy proved being detrimental. So, just +2 doom.


William and Kate manage to seal respectively Cold Spring Glen and the Graveyard, but the doom clock spells failure, only 3 seals on the board, and 9 doomers on the doom track. Mythos is Traverler lost in Fog, the Black Cave opens and Jacq is moved to the Strange High House in the Mist. She decides to stay there for the rest of the game to farm for great encounters.


Roland returns from the Dreamlands to put the 4th seal on the board. In the next round, he moves past the Formless Spawn storming the streets of Dunwich and reaches Devil's Hopeyard, for 2 clues from the location, and 1 additional clue from cashing the gate. Considering he had 2 leftovers clues, he's good to go again. Kate at Gardner's Place gains 2 clues, going to a total of three.


Doom reaches 10, but the Mythos allows us to draw common items from the common item deck, and buy one each for 1 extra buck. Michael gets the Hand camera (discart to +1 clue when getting clues, and another investigator gains 1 clue), a few others get whisky (really needed).


Kate loses her last point of San against the Formless Spawn (a tactical choice done to have her reach faster the Arkham board and restore her San to max). Roland exploits an assist served by William (he just cleared the way to the Unnamable gate for R) and dives into Yuggoth. At this point, desperate Michael makes a 5-clue move in one single round: goes to the Science Building, grabs the 2 clues that are present there, discards Hand Camera to bring the total to 3 (and award one more clue to Jacq), and then cashes monster trophies for 2 extra clues. This spell seals, and when the next Mythos opens at Science Building (Lost Carcosa), we share high-five because it just happened. Then we realize doom hits 11 in this way, so, ****'s really hitting the fan.


Kate from the Asylum goes to the Unvisited Isle, where a Deep One Hybryd is waiting for her. The Hybryd is turned into food for fish, and she enters (yet another) Lost Carcosa; Jacqueline draws another encounter at the Strang High House in the Mist, and we got it! Gain the William Bain ally card, which means -1 doom. 10 doomers on the doom track, with Michael and Kate both in the first area of Carcosa AND Roland just sent back to Arkham.


Next Mythos phase is Hibb's, so, doom back to 11. Roland seals the Unnamable, Michael draws an encounter forcing him to pass a check OR to lose all the clues and go LiTaS. With one doom on the doom track left, LiTaS spells devouring, and lost clues and attacks, so, he blows a couple of tokens on the check and passes it. Kate gets a specific Carcosa encounter, offering her a mask. She doesn't want the mask, and the monster cannot appear, so, she lives in still water for a while more.


And here we go, last Mythos card: a doomer means final battle, otherwise it's a chance to put the 6th seal on the board.


The card's a monster surge, and we all go home.


Final battle: used the KW clue-per-seal rule just to spice it up a little bit. First attack, first investigator devoured: goodbye William. Roland manage to survive the next turn, then it's time for Michael to kiss the world goodbye. Doom slowly goes down, but we're rolling just horrible, Jacq goes with 10 dice and scores 1 success in an "almost flipping the table moment"; when it's her turn, the Unnamable seal saves her bum, and she stays in for a while more. Roland's devoured next, and then it's Kate's turn, but there is no gate opening on the card, so the AO regenerates one doom. Jacq attacks, and is saved by a Mythos opening on one of the two last seals remaining on the board; Kate then dies and we're back to Jacq, one single combat roll of 10 dice to score 4 successes. I roll, and it's a 1 success only, meaning death. Unless you have Foresee among your spells, and Jacq had it. Spell cast (*), and combat roll rerolled: 5 successes out of 10 dice, and Arkahm's safe again!


(*) = this proves once more that most of Arkham spells are not of constant utility, but when you are actually drowning, they could change the game.


Victory by Final Battle after 15 Mythos.

Edited by Julia

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Many spells are very situational, but can have you win games otherwise lost. Some other spells are terrific in combat (double Shrivelling for example, for a +12 to the combat check) but costy. And some spells are just meh, but there aren't many (and in any case, apart from Calling the AO and Summon monster, I don't remember a spell I didn't use at least once). It possibly takes a while to get all the nuances and their potential impact on the game, so, be patient here :)

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