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Stenun

30 games in 5 days

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So with my friend on paternity leave and my being off work from an injury, we managed 30 games in the last 5 days.  His son - not yet three weeks - showed only a passing interest in the game but we're hoping that'll change in time.  :-)

But over these 30 games, I've learnt some interesting things ...

  • Lily Chen is still my favourite Investigator.  No one else could walk into The Terrible Experiment while it had 7 medium-to-tough monsters on it and clear them all off in one turn.  And all with only one weapon - Enchanted Knife.
  • When you actually want an Ancient One to wake up ... it won't.  We had 6 monster surges with just 2 open gates while waiting for Y'Golonc to wake up so we could kick his arse.
  • In 3 games with Nyaralthotep, only 1 mask monster ever entered play.  This is not enough to make them worth adding to the monster cup in the first place then spend 5 minutes searching through the cup after the game to fish them all out again.  Maybe Nyaralthotep can have his text changed to something like Abhoth's?
  • Just because the Ancient One is Nyaralthotep, doesn't mean he won't eat you if you've spent no time preparing your defences.
  • Fighting and defeating Shubb-Niggurath in Yuggoth by yourself IS possible, even without any Clue Tokens - go Joe Diamond!
  • But not always.  R.I.P. Sister Mary.
  • Speaking of Sister Mary ... she entered a gate on the third turn, got knocked out, recovered, went through another gate, got driven insane, recovered, went through another gate, fought Shub-Niggurath by herself, died.  Never seen a more uselss character waste so much time ...
  • Quachil Uttaus IS beatable in the Final Fight.  But only if you spend the entire game preparing for it.
  • But then again, so is Cthulhu.  Particularly if you have the crystal which negates the entire Sanity cost of a spell, the skill that gives an automatic success on a spell check, 8 monster trophies and Call Ancient One ...
  • Trish Scarborough is excellent if you can pass her Personal Story or get her something like the Map or Motorcycle to increase her Movement Points.
  • If you can't, she's quite poor.
  • When Michael McGlen has passed his Personal Story, he may just be the best fighter in the game.  28 monster trophies.  I'm serious ...
  • Akachi is the best character to seal gates.
  • But Luke is the one most likely to survive any Other World.

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  • Chen's a badass, no doubt about it. I forbid her use when I teach the game to new players because her ability is very complicated to understand on your first game. So when I finally allowed someone to use her (who had been excited to play her in the first game), she sadly got beat down and failed her story, quickly becoming a burden on the rest of the team.
  • Been there. I've seen games where there was never a monster surge, resulting in a quick wakeup.
  • I actually like Nyar's ability the way it is. Unlike Abhoth, Nyar's Mask monsters have a chance of coming up during a "Monster Appears" encounter. You might consider trimming down the monster cup? Are you using all 10 Masks?
  • Yes, poor Nyarlathotep doesn't put up much of a fight. He has been tagged by me as the easiest AO overall for a long time. However, his Sinister Plots are pretty deadly and quite fun.
  • I don't like that encounter, so I changed it so that you face Hastur if you're in Lost Carcosa. Not like it matters; those encounters are very rare with all 6 expansions.
  • Yes she is. And her ability isn't as annoying as I thought at first glance. Usually her sliders won't change their final positions that much between rounds, so I don't bother to reset them. Remember that you can set her sliders however you want during setup: before her first upkeep, her stats can be maxed out (in case the first Mythos card makes you do a check)!
  • Quachil Uttaus IS beatable if you prepare, and have a lot of investigators, and have abilities and skills that aid in defeating QU, and you get really really lucky.
  • OK, there's a problem with your Call Ancient One tactic: you can't cast a spell that has a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you can absorb some or all of the sanity cost. So to cast CAO against Cthulhu at level 8 you'd need to have 8 available sanity: you'd most likely need a 7-sanity character, and two +1 max sanity effects (Duke and Changed). And remember: if casting the spell makes you go insane (by not absorbing it with the Crystal that is), you die and are not available for battle with Ancient One.
  • I'd agree with Dam: I'd say Gloria or Jim would be safr than Luke roaming around the Other World. But sending in Luke certainly has its benefits. In fact Luke may be the best sealer, because you can usually send him into a gate when he has 3 clues and come back with enough to seal. Can't beat Akachi's personal story though!

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Tibs said:

  • OK, there's a problem with your Call Ancient One tactic: you can't cast a spell that has a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you can absorb some or all of the sanity cost. So to cast CAO against Cthulhu at level 8 you'd need to have 8 available sanity: you'd most likely need a 7-sanity character, and two +1 max sanity effects (Duke and Changed). And remember: if casting the spell makes you go insane (by not absorbing it with the Crystal that is), you die and are not available for battle with Ancient One.

 

Harvey Walters, with a complete story.

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Tibs said:

  • OK, there's a problem with your Call Ancient One tactic: you can't cast a spell that has a higher sanity cost than your current sanity, even if you can absorb some or all of the sanity cost. So to cast CAO against Cthulhu at level 8 you'd need to have 8 available sanity: you'd most likely need a 7-sanity character, and two +1 max sanity effects (Duke and Changed). And remember: if casting the spell makes you go insane (by not absorbing it with the Crystal that is), you die and are not available for battle with Ancient One.

Why not?

Crystal Of The Elder Things specifcally says, and I quote, "place 1 Sanity token from the bank on Crystal of the Elder Things to avoid paying the entire Sanity cost of a spell you are casting".  It's not even "instead" of paying the Sanity cost, it's to "avoid" the Sanity cost of a spell all together.  As it, don't even consider it - avoid it all together.

(Just for the record, we cast it at 5 at the end but we realised that if we'd gotten it sooner we could have arranged it to be cast at 8).

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The reason Luke turned out to be the best at surviving Other Worls for us is that he only ever needed to go in Celeano or The Dreamlands.  He could then come out at R'yleh, seal it, go back in to Celeano, come back out at The Abyss, close it, repeat.  We just left an easy gate open for him all game and he never once failed to complete an Other World in all the 6 or so games he came up - with multiple trips through in each game.

I'd take that over a possible choice between two R'yleh encounters any day ... :-)

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(Clicked Publich too early, this is a continuation of my last post.)

 

Not to mention that his extra Clue Token for each other world he enters is superb.  It means you don't have to spend ages hunting for a few Clues in Arkham before he goes through another gate again to make sure he survives his next trip.  He comes out, closes a gate, and off he goes again.  He might not be able to seal the gates but his clue toekns gives him a much better chance of surviving even R'lyeh - assuming he has to go there for some reason - than most.

Most characters - Gloria, Akachi, Norma and Jim included - are doing well if they visit three Other Worlds in one game.  Luke never failed to visit less than 4 and get gate trophies from all of them.

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Now that's a real pity about the Mask monsters, Stenun.  I recommend you try my method: Before starting a game with Nyralathotep, mix the Mask monsters up and sprinkle them over the top of the monsters already in the cup.  Then ALWAYS draw the first monster chit your hand touches when you reach into the cup.  You'll find the Masks monsters show up much more often then.   

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Stenun said:

Why not?

Crystal Of The Elder Things specifcally says, and I quote, "place 1 Sanity token from the bank on Crystal of the Elder Things to avoid paying the entire Sanity cost of a spell you are casting".  It's not even "instead" of paying the Sanity cost, it's to "avoid" the Sanity cost of a spell all together.  As it, don't even consider it - avoid it all together.

(Just for the record, we cast it at 5 at the end but we realised that if we'd gotten it sooner we could have arranged it to be cast at 8).

Sure, you avoid paying it, but it still has a cost. And you can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity. If the crystal allowed you to "reduce the sanity cost of a spell to 0," that would be different.

In fact, abusing Call Ancient One via a Planetary Alignment would be an extremely thematic use of the spell, now that I think of it.

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30 games in 5 days...your mate on paternity leave and yourself on sick leave....Man! My wife wants to know how your wives let you get away with this especially with a newborn babe on the scene.

If your wives actually agreed to this can you get them to call my wife please and explain to her the phenonemon that is Arkham Horror and that 30 games isn't really excessive gui%C3%B1o.gifgran_risa.gif

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The Thing In The Attic said:

30 games in 5 days...your mate on paternity leave and yourself on sick leave....Man! My wife wants to know how your wives let you get away with this especially with a newborn babe on the scene.

If your wives actually agreed to this can you get them to call my wife please and explain to her the phenonemon that is Arkham Horror and that 30 games isn't really excessive gui%C3%B1o.gifgran_risa.gif

My first thought was that 30 games in 5 days must have reduced both of your sanity to 1.

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Tibs said:

And you can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity.

Why not?  That's just silly.  You're saying you can do it if you reduce the cost of the spell but not if you avoid the cost of the spell.  That makes no sense and severely weakens the power of not only the Crystal but also Agnes Baker.  According to your argument, Agnes couldn't cast a 2 Sanity Spell while she had just 1 Sanity remaining, regardless of how much Stamina she has.  Her text doesn't reduce the cost of the Spell - which according to you is alright - but chnages the way you pay for it.  Which apparently isn't enough to use spells you don't have the Sanity for.

But the whole point of Agnes and the Crystal - and indeed the whole point of cards which resude the Sanity cost - is to allow you to use Spells you otherwise wouldn't be able to.

I feel that, once again, a situation has been discovered that favours the Investigators so certain people on this board want to nerf it.  How many times must we do this dance?

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My friend's wife was more than happy to let us play 30 games in 5 days as all the time I was there we looked after the little spawn.  Er, baby, I mean little baby.

The only times his wife had to be disturbed was when the little one was hungry.  The rest of the time she could catch up on the sleep that the little one wasn't letting her have at night.  :-)

So as far as she was concerned, it was a good thing.

 

And as for my wife ... well, I'm not married *g*.

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Tibs said:

 

Stenun said:

 

Why not?

Crystal Of The Elder Things specifcally says, and I quote, "place 1 Sanity token from the bank on Crystal of the Elder Things to avoid paying the entire Sanity cost of a spell you are casting".  It's not even "instead" of paying the Sanity cost, it's to "avoid" the Sanity cost of a spell all together.  As it, don't even consider it - avoid it all together.

(Just for the record, we cast it at 5 at the end but we realised that if we'd gotten it sooner we could have arranged it to be cast at 8).

 

 

Sure, you avoid paying it, but it still has a cost. And you can't cast a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity. If the crystal allowed you to "reduce the sanity cost of a spell to 0," that would be different.

In fact, abusing Call Ancient One via a Planetary Alignment would be an extremely thematic use of the spell, now that I think of it.

 

 

I see absolutely nothing in the rules or FAQ that prohibits casting a spell with a higher sanity cost than your current sanity.

I also don't understand your earlier remark about "dying" if you cast a spell that reduces your sanity to zero. If your sanity goes to zero, you go insane. This does not prevent you from participating in final combat in any way. You either discard a bunch of stuff and go to 1 sanity, or draw a madness card. Even if you actually hit zero sanity and zero stamina simutaneously, and are devoured, in the same action that awakens the ancient one (not sure how that could happen anyway, but I'm sure someone can think of a way), you still get to draw a new investigator and fight the ancient one with the new investigator.

The Ancient One doesn't awaken until the spell has been cast. And the spell doesn't take effect until you've paid the cost and gone insane.

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First of all, spells have a sanity cost. The semantics alone are indicative enough. If you can't pay the cost, you can't effect the spell.

But the real issue is that Call Ancient One, unlike other spells, is variable-cost. Additionally, that variability ties directly in to the game's outcome, and so it is highly exploitable for a cheap win. The fact is that you can set X to as high as as the trophies you discard, and disregard your sanity and the -X modifier if you have a couple clues or the Ancient Language skill.

In order to prevent a 3-sanity character with 13 monster and/or gate trophies and some clues from insta-killing any Ancient One, the spell's "X" cannot be set to higher than 3. The character, in essence, does not have the mental capacity to contemplate the spell's power beyond a certain level.

In fact, the first thing you should do when casting CAO is to declare its X, also applying relevant modifiers such as Daisy's ability or Harvey's personal story, or the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. Then, you pay the spell's cost. It is at this point that you would use the Crystal of the Elder Things to absorb the entire sanity cost. Therefore, you can't exploit the spell to an easy victory, as that is extremely cheap and utterly un-thematic.

YellowPebble said:

I also don't understand your earlier remark about "dying" if you cast a spell that reduces your sanity to zero. If your sanity goes to zero, you go insane. This does not prevent you from participating in final combat in any way.

Sorry, I should have been clear in my previous post. Call Ancient One specifically awakens the AO, and the upcoming FAQ clarifies that if you go insane from casting this spell, you are devoured in the same manner as though you had gone insane in final combat.

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Tibs said:

First of all, spells have a sanity cost. The semantics alone are indicative enough. If you can't pay the cost, you can't effect the spell.

But the real issue is that Call Ancient One, unlike other spells, is variable-cost. Additionally, that variability ties directly in to the game's outcome, and so it is highly exploitable for a cheap win. The fact is that you can set X to as high as as the trophies you discard, and disregard your sanity and the -X modifier if you have a couple clues or the Ancient Language skill.

In order to prevent a 3-sanity character with 13 monster and/or gate trophies and some clues from insta-killing any Ancient One, the spell's "X" cannot be set to higher than 3. The character, in essence, does not have the mental capacity to contemplate the spell's power beyond a certain level.

In fact, the first thing you should do when casting CAO is to declare its X, also applying relevant modifiers such as Daisy's ability or Harvey's personal story, or the Seven Cryptical Books of Hsan. Then, you pay the spell's cost. It is at this point that you would use the Crystal of the Elder Things to absorb the entire sanity cost. Therefore, you can't exploit the spell to an easy victory, as that is extremely cheap and utterly un-thematic.

I completely accept that you can't cast Call Ancient One with a higher X than you can cope with.  But that's because of how a spell is cast; you pay the Sanity cost then roll the dice.  If you can't pay 13 Sanity then you can't progress to the "roll the dice" step.  But Crystal Of The Elder Things specfically allows you to AVOID paying the Sanity cost of a spell.  So you put a token on the Crystal and progress straight to the "roll the dice" step, avoiding the need to pay any Sanity.

And if it enables a "cheap win"?  Well so what?  Don't use it if you don't like it.  And those do that like it can continue to use it.  Where's the harm?  Your argument at times tends to "this is how I want other people to play the game".  Why not just let people play it how they want to?

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Oh. When you put it that way...

I see that in the case of Call Ancient One, you discard your trophies first, which is what determines what X is before you even go on to cast the spell. So it looks like in this case yes, you discard the trophies, then you can cancel the WHOLE thing with the Crystal. Since I do not like the idea that a player with 1 sanity can't cast Dread Curse via the Crystal, I must concede that your interpretation makes the most sense mechanically.

However...

Stenun said:

And if it enables a "cheap win"?  Well so what?  Don't use it if you don't like it.  And those do that like it can continue to use it.  Where's the harm?  Your argument at times tends to "this is how I want other people to play the game".  Why not just let people play it how they want to?

Well... first of all, isn't the point of any argument to convince the other party to adopt your opinion? gui%C3%B1o.gif

That said, Black Goat has a lot of items that have been worded poorly or are confusing. Call Ancient One is just the most unfortunate. In a game that's centered around demigods struggling to awaken, and cultists struggling to help, it's sad to see that one spell cast can turn the tide so much, by both awakening the Ancient One and severely crippling it.

And I also realize that this is a consequence of expansion interaction. But, it did come out after an expansion that had both a free spell casting and a free sanity cost. If the spell had required X successes, rather than had modifier of -X, this wouldn't be such an issue to me. I suppose the designers could have considered the fact that the spell was open-ended in terms of power, and put a cap on how many doom tokens it could remove.

Well you convinced me of the legal validity of your tactic, and bear in mind that I certainly don't think less of you for taking advantage of the tactic in the first place, but Call Ancient One is a poor spell. Depending on whether or not I end up feeling comfortable house-ruling it, Call Ancient One might be the first component to be permanently removed from my set.

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Tibs said:

 

Well... first of all, isn't the point of any argument to convince the other party to adopt your opinion?

 

Absolutely.  :-)

But you and I often seem to have discussions revolving around a question/situation regarding a situation which could be seen to favour the Investigators and you are always arguing against it.  :-)

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