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Magnito

Best and Worst from Each Cycle

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A post in another thread had me wondering if my opinions match the masses. I'm curious what scenarios from each cycle you love, and which ones you dread. I'll go first 

 

Night if the Zealot

Best: Midnight Masks

It's still fun. Chasing down the cultists, the unique way to dispose of them all. Even better in return when you have even less clue where or who you need to get to. 

Worst: The Gathering

Just boring. The other two are just better. But it's the intro scenario, so I get why. 

 

The Dunwich Legacy

Best: Essex County Express 

Love this one. Running through the train, cars disappearing. So great

Honourable Mention: Blood on the Alter

Worst: Undimentioned and Unseen

I know some people like this, but it never grew on my. I never have fun on this one. 

Dishonourable Mention: Where Doom Awaits 

 

The Path to Carcosa

Best: The Palid Mask

Love exploring the catacomb. Love that the map is never the same twice. 

Honourable Mention: The Last King

Worst: The Unspeakable Oath

Don't really have a reason. Always feels rushed. Also don't like the permadeath if you fail. 

Dishonourable Mention: Black Stars Rise

 

The Forgotten Age

Best: Threads of Fate

Just so excellently designed. Love the multiple Acts. Love the variety of options. So good. 

Honourable Mention: The Depths of Yoth

Worst: The Boundary Beyond 

I hate this one. Least favourite of the whole game. Everything is needlessly punishing. 

Dishonourable Mention: Heart of the Elders

 

The Circle Undone

Best: The Witching Hour

I think it's cool. Being forced away from your friends. Really tests your deck. First time I played, died horrible as an underprepared Carolyn. Won't make that mistake again. 

Honourable Mention: For the Greater Good

Worst: The Secret Name

Tedious. Way too long for it's own good. 

Dishonourable Mention: Disappearance at the Twilight Estate (is picking the prologue cheating? Don't care. It deserves it) 

 

Dream Eaters:

Haven't played yet. So no opinion yet. 

 

Stand Alones

Best: Murder at the Excelsior Hotel

They did well here. The new one is so much fun. Again, I like that it's always different with each play. 

Honourable Mention: Carnivale of Horrors

Worst: The Labyrinths of Lunacy

Feels less like Arkham and more like a Saw movie. 

Dishonourable Mention: The Night's Userper 

Edited by Magnito

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Man, I agree with many of your "best" picks, but disagree on almost all the worst.   here goes!

NotZ:

best:  Midnight Masks.   Ok, so not much competition here, but Midnight Masks is still a good scenario.  It's a solid scenario.   I don't play it much anymore though.

Worst:  Devourer Below.    I feel the Gathering is much better than this.  Yes, the Gathering might be a little dry,  but it's not dumb.  I always feel like this scenario punishes you for playing the game.   I hardly ever get good results when I go around like a good investigator gathering clues  and such.   By far the best strategy is to do nothing until Umordhoth shows up and then shoot it in the face.  Clue gathering is just a waste of your time and is counterproductive.   Plus,  I really hate all the Arkham Woods locations swapping the stat needed to investigate,  or the worst one is the one that gets you stuck in the Woods until you can pass a Lore check.  

Dunwich:  

best:  Essex County Express.  This is such a fun mission,  I love the theme here, and I can just visualize our characters hopping from car to car as things get pulled into the abyss behind them.  Always feels fast-paced and tense,  exciting.   

worst:  also the Essex County Express.   A early turn wizard of the order pretty much ends the game immediately.   What... the heck.

Dishonorable mention:  Miskatonic Museum.   I see what they were going for here,  I just didn't like it.   Fighting the same monster over and over again just gets boring.   I killed him,  oh, he's back.   I killed him, oh, he's back.  And there are literally no other monsters in the entire deck.  I just didn't like this one.

Carcosa:  

best: I like a lot of these scenarios.  Maybe The Last King is my favorite though.   I like the dinner party idea.   The resolution options for this scenario are fantastic.   Laden with story,  hard monsters,  lots of stuff to like here.  I like the whole parley thing for getting clues, switches it up a bit.

worst:  Final Curtain:   guh.   This is just always such a slog.   It feels like this scenario takes absolutely forever as you -wait for it-  hunt down the same monster over and over again.  At least this one there is some variety in monster options,  but you are still fighting a reincarnating boss, and it's just annoying.   

Forgotten Age:  

Best:  probably depths of yoth.   I like the dig thing.   I always thought they nailed the feel here,  the story/flavortext is very good.   Genuinely got the feeling of "you shouldn't be here."

worst:  City of Archives.    F...  this ... scenario.   I take the Memento at the beginning now every playthrough just because of how annoying this scenario is.   And while that helps,   this scenario is dumb even if you DO take the memento.   Lets make a scenario where you don't get to play your character.   We'll just take away their statline, their eldersign ability, and their character ability.  Oh,  and we'll take away all their unique items too, that will really annoy some characters who want to be using their Signature cards.  But you get to keep your signature weakness because hey, you're still you... just in a different body....  and with less stuff.   Because the aliens took your .38 Special,  but they left you with your shotgun.   It makes sense.  Finishing this scenario is a chore, and you had better do well on it because if you don't....  then you don't get to really play your character for the rest of the campaign.    Probably my least favorite scenario in all of Arkham Horror LCG.  

Circle Undone:   


Best:  For the Greater Good:   Nice scenario.    Two legitimate ways to go about it.  No complaints, just a good one.

Worst:  It's a tie between Secret Name and the Wages of Sin.   Complete tie.   These are both awful.   Secret name has you fighting... oh...  it's a respawning boss monster.   Are you sensing a theme here?   Except it's sort of two respawning boss monsters because Brown Jenkin is often just as bad.   His hand cycling thing is way more awful than it first appears.   And Nahab/BJ are HARD.    This is the third scenario of the campaign!   Our decks aren't functioning as well-oiled machines yet... we're barely getting by as is.   Then they throw these two guys at us?   An exercise in frustration.

And just when you finally put it behind you.... you have to go on to the Wages of Sin.   What a joke.   Completely dependent on which Heretics spawn and where.   Oh, you found a guy,  here go ahead and go all the way across the map, taking a penalty every turn, then get all the clues off the location and try to banish it.  Probably some more of these will spawn on top of you.  Even with a pretty decent map,  you can consider yourself to be lucky if you get two heretics down before getting the heck out.   The scenario seems like you put in so much work for so little payoff.  

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Oh, that's a cool idea. I feel like some of my opinions are a mite controversial but...eh. Massive spoilers ahead but I feel like this thread is inherently full of spoilers. I'll put my answers in spoiler tags just in case, though.

 

Night of the Zealot

Best: Well duh, it's Midnight Masks. A scenario that stands the test of time even now years into the game. It shows an early willingness to experiment with the design space, moving away from a binary win/loss resolution, with high replayability and unconventional ways to tackle the scenario. It's telling that the Return To The Night of the Zealot box didn't mess with the scenario much, merely adding a few extra cultists and alternative locations to increase replayability. It's a great way to test out new decks because it requires a lot of you, but also allows for alternative approaches. And it's fun.

Worst: Well duh, it's Devourer Below. I've lost count of the threads and comments complaining about not being able to beat this scenario. It's not well-designed at all and its problems are inherent and structural, which is why the Return To... version is not any better. It isn't a satisfying payoff for the Midnight Masks and it fails on its own merits. I haven't played Devourer Below in years and I have no intention of doing so again. The Gathering is very straightforward but that's its job - and the Return to the Gathering does a great deal to make it a proper scenario.

The Dunwich Legacy

Best: It's close, but I have to say Undimensioned and Unseen. This scenario has problems - a lot of random chance, a certain reliance on Willpower, and if you can't get the Formulae early you will have a bad time, but it has so much to offer. Huge amounts of replayability, a really evocative theme of cat-and-mouse, and lots of scope for daring plays and rewards for unusual builds and card inclusions. Taking a hit from a Brood so you can use the Powder of Ibn Ghazi on it before it readies is perfect, and the flavour of the various ways of putting tokens on the Broods is amazing. Waylay, Mind Wipe and Alter Fate all allow for some really clutch plays. It's a scenario that improves each time I play it and rewards creativity and knowledge of the game, even as the rest of Dunwich feels more and more obselete (although the first time I played it, I found it very annoying and un-fun). One thing that makes it far better is to not randomise Dunwich Village and instead always start with the Church Bells version that allows you to use an action to move the Broods around. The Return version is even better, with different challenges from each Brood.

Honourable Mention: The Essex County Express. It's a scenario that does a really good job of evoking theme through mechanics, and the theme itself is pure pulp goodness. The only issue is that it scales oddly by player count, and unlucky encounter draws can ruin the game before it really begins - but that's improved on by the Return to the Dunwich Legacy, which fixes the early part of the scenario while adding a rising threat later.

Worst: It's close, but I have to say Blood on the Altar. I do not understand how anyone finds this scenario enjoyable. It's not based on an interesting but flawed idea, like Miskatonic Museum, it's not oddly paced like Where Doom Awaits, it's just so crushingly boring. Move to a place. Pick up the clues. See if you found one of the objectives. Repeat however many times. The climax is beyond boring because the boss doesn't take attacks of opportunity - you can just sit there taking a hit in the enemy phase and investigate to win, or duck in and out, or just beat it up. Going into this scenario, I thought it would be amazing, a race against the clock hostage rescue, but it manages to make that feel so mundane that it makes The Gathering seem groundbreaking. Rather than stopping an evil ritual at the last minute and fighting a climactic battle, it turns out that all the hostages are in a pile in someone's basement, slowly being munched on by the slowest monster in existence. This scenario is what stops me coming back to Dunwich.

The Path to Carcosa

Best: There's so many good options! I think it has to be Black Stars Rise, purely for personal preference since I love the unconventional setting so much. You can make risky choices or play it safe, work out what you're meant to be doing by diligent investigation or power through confident in your choices, and all the while things get worse and worse. Many great memories from this scenario.

Honourable Mentions: All of The Pallid Mask, The Unspeakable Oath, The Last King and Dim Carcosa. All of them have created moments my group has talked about for months or years after the fact, and all of them are absolutely loaded with incredible theme evoked through great writing and mechanics. Arkham at its finest.

Worst: Yeah so it has to be Echoes of the Past. Like Miskatonic Museum before it, there's an interesting mechanical idea here in that you only need to worry about doom from enemies, but that idea is fundamentally flawed, at least in the implementation here. The scaling by player count is really bad, too - in a 4-player game, it can be very hard to establish control over the doom in play before it spirals out of control. And once you have control over the scenario, you can keep playing indefinitely until you win. Really boring, slow and unenjoyable. I was expecting Return to Echoes of the Past to fix some of the issues with it - but instead it makes the scenario strictly worse.

The Forgotten Age

Best: This is also tough - TFA scenarios can be divided into fantastic scenarios and awful scenarios with one, maybe two in the middle. But I would say Depths of Yoth. That's the scenario that has created the most memorable moments for my group, and it is the best implementation of the Exploration mechanic in the game. My only complaint is that it can be a tad easy - I've often found it easy to deal with, and the scenario sometimes sees us hanging around ready to win for several turns, waiting until Yig can spawn so that we can kill him for the victory points. I'd love to try it out in the Endless mode though, see how deep we can go.

Honourable Mentions: Threads of Fate is widely beloved and with good reason, being an excellent scenario that really feels like you're tracking down leads and being noir investigators. It's great and has huge replayability. My only complaints are that you are locked out of certain possible paths if you want to go certain paths (e.g. if you want to be Forging Your Own Path, you need to tell Alejandro and Ichtaca to get stuffed, limiting the possible range of acts) and that some of the acts are far less interesting than others, so it can be pretty inconsistent. And there's also City of Archives, which is an incredibly unusual and interesting scenario that feels utterly alien in its mechanics and theme, but it's very easy to go wrong with it - some decks have a hard time with it, and you need to learn to be very patient and careful in the first agenda, not doing much until you are able to play Item assets.

Worst: Heart of the Elders (part 1) is not just a badly designed scenario with the worst of the frustrating mechanics in TFA and all the evade-only strategies in a super-small map (plus even more), but it is also an incredibly uncreative rehash of The Untamed Wilds, and has almost no thematic importance, and, unforgiveably, may need to be replayed many times until you finally are allowed to progress to the uninteresting Part 2. This scenario has no respect for your time and should have been cut from the game entirely. I hate this scenario. The Forgotten Age is crammed with all kinds of thematic and plot elements that it can't find time to properly develop, so wasting an entire scenario on busywork is utterly baffling. This is the worst scenario I have ever played and the only redeeming feature is that you're allowed to skip it if you ace The Boundary Beyond (yes, it's such a pointless scenario that the game enables you to skip it entirely with no consequences).

Dishonourable Mention: The Untamed Wilds is also frustrating and poorly designed, and the main reason that I don't play TFA more often is the thought of having to start with this. But at least it serves a purpose...

The Circle Undone

Best: Honestly, there's very little in The Circle Undone that really stands out as exceptionally strong or exceptionally weak, so this is tough. That said, I think my favourite might be The Witching Hour, which is a very solid start and results in a lot of memorable moments as everyone is separated and you have to find solutions in your own deck, while indirectly helping out others. It reminds me of Breaking of the Fellowship or Foundations of Stone from the LOTR LCG, which are both fantastic scenarios.

Honourable Mention: The Secret Name was my first thought for best scenario - I love how it foreshadows later parts of the campaign, tells you background information and incorporates elements of the Dreams in the Witch House, I love how it makes the humble Swarm of Rats into a major threat, and I love how the scenario opens up and really feels epic in scope, as it should do. The random location pull is good and works better than it does in the Miskatonic Museum or in most Exploration scenarios. However, the third act is anticlimactic and it suffers from inconsistency due to the encounter deck - sometimes it can be a real combat nightmare with loads of rats, other times it's about threat management, all based on random chance.

Worst: There's nothing in TCU proper that I actually dislike enough to call the worst, so I'll say Disappearance at the Twilight Estate (the prologue). The first time I played the prologue, I thought it was really cool and awesome. The second time, I got frustrated at how much effort you need to put in to get specific outcomes, reducing the impact of setting up the story for the rest of the campaign. And after that, it seemed like a waste of time when we could be playing our actual investigators. Nowadays, we just skip it entirely and manufacture the results via die roll.

I haven't played The Dream-Eaters yet, saving it until I have the full campaign.

Standalone

Best: The Eternal Slumber is my favourite scenario in all of Arkham Horror. It's like a mini-campaign unto itself, starting with a tighter and more challenging variant of Midnight Masks, before becoming an Exploration scenario just like TFA only somehow far less frustrating, then culminating in an extremely well-thought-out boss fight with clever and intuitive mechanics to allow investigators to contribute even if they aren't fighters. The Cairo theme is amazing and the story elements are very strong - it also reminds me of part of an MMORPG called The Secret World, which I enjoyed a lot. And it brings in some more call-backs to the old Call of Cthulhu LCG. I adore this scenario and have some amazing memories of playing it, including at a convention event organised by the Drawn to the Flame podcast pair. The art (and the playmat I got from organised play) are also beautiful. And the rewards are nice but not overpowered.

Honourable Mention: Murder at the Excelsior Hotel is an excellent scenario, with an amazing noir theme, some extremely flavourful mechanics, and a truly absurd amount of replayability. The theme of proving your own innocence is like an Agatha Christie novel in Arkham, and it joyfully steeps itself in murder mystery and pulp tropes. It's a great scenario.

Worst: I haven't actually played Labyrinths of Lunacy, but I suspect that if I had it would be my worst. As it is, it has to be Curse of the Rougarou. It's not a bad scenario, but it's extremely same-y and very flawed, with certain approaches making parts of the scenario a breeze (testless damage makes it a bit of a joke). Additionally, the "save the Rougarou" route is really annoying and hard, but not in a good way, whereas the "kill the Rougarou" route is so easy that I used to routinely add this into campaigns to get a few extra exp before I got too bored of it. Finally, the rewards are stupid. Monstrous Transformation might be the worst-designed player card in the game, and should never have been printed.

Edited by Allonym

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I don't feel like my opinions vary massively from those already given, but for what they're worth:

 

Night of the Zealot Number of playthroughs: 5 (3 solo, 2 two-player) + 1 Return To... (four-player hotseat)

Favourite: The Midnight Masks. Does wonderfully at making you feel the time pressure of completing your investigation before midnight. Good balance between investigating and fighting, most cultists have a Parley option to get them into the victory display and the order in which the cultists appear can really influence how the scenario plays out. Also, the back of the first agenda is an enemy! I totally did not see that coming the first time I played.

Least Favourite: The Devourer Below. The optimum strategy for many characters seems to be to hole up somewhere and arm yourself to the teeth, waiting for Umôrdhoth to appear, before blowing him/her/it to pieces and ignoring the Act deck completely. Any hope of blitzing it with investigation is made considerably tougher due to the locations. Generally unsatisfying, although the action on Umôrdhoth for R3 was great from a story point of view.

The Dunwich Legacy Number of playthroughs: 5 (3 solo, 2 two-player)

Favourite: The House Always Wins. The opening two scenarios of TDL are great, as is the way they change depending on which order you do them in. I love The House Always Wins in particular for how it changes, starting off feeling like a heist with the Aloof criminals and suspicious Pit Boss and ending in a mad dash as monsters crash through the casino, eating anything in their way. Doing it second also usually means going up against tight time pressure to collect as many xp as possible, while sneaking Peter Clover out typically involves , appropriately enough, some Rogue shenanigans.

Least Favourite: Blood on the Altar. How lucky you are with finding the Key and the Chamber feels like it plays too big a part in how many of the sacrifices you save. On top of that, one of the potential sacrifices barely appears in the story at all. The first time we played, Earl Sawyer was sacrificed and our reaction was, "Who was he again?". Miskatonic Museum also wasn't great, but does allow you to push your luck to see how many xp you can get from locations against the Beyond the Veil clock should you so choose.

The Path to Carcosa Number of playthroughs: 2 (1 solo, 1 two-player)

Favourite: The Pallid Mask. The way the map is built as you go along is brilliant, doing a great job of conveying the feeling of exploration and not knowing what's around the next corner (sorry, Forgotten Age), and I really like the encounter cards, such as The Shadow Behind You and Catacombs Docent/Corpse Dweller. It also has an interesting No Resolution ending, which is why it edges out The Unspeakable Oath as my favourite, but The Last King and Black Stars Rise were great too.

Least Favourite: Echoes of the Past. A really interesting idea, racing for clues against cultists that are investigating the same building as you, but unfortunately it didn't really work. Both times I've played it we strolled to an easy win without any feeling of pressure due to doom.

The Forgotten Age Number of playthroughs: 1 (two-player, 1 solo in progress)

Favourite: Threads of Fate. Having only played it once I'm not sure how much difference the choices during set-up make, but I loved having some say over what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. And then during the game itself you can prioritise what to pursue based on where you are, what the encounter deck has thrown at you and how much time is left.

Least Favourite: The Untamed Wilds. This felt incredibly tough. Possibly this was the point, to reflect the story of an underfunded expedition, but that doesn't necessarily make it fun. Arrows from the Trees sticks in my mind, for its "take some damage with no skill test and no choice" effect, that can also affect multiple investigators.

The Circle Undone Number of playthroughs: 0

Hopefully I'll have something to say about this in future!

The Dream-Eaters Number of playthroughs: 1 (solo)

FavouriteThe Search for Kadath. This felt like a real adventure and managed to convey the wondrous journey aspect of the campaign really nicely, which I personally preferred to the more traditional horror of the "B" side of the campaign. I could see the constant adjusting of the encounter deck and locations becoming tiresome if you play it a lot though.

Least FavouriteWhere the Gods Dwell. This might not be my pick if I wasn't playing solo, but it has some issues when playing alone with being able to achieve the objectives within the allotted time. I really liked Beyond the Gates of Sleep but I can see it being much less interesting on subsequent playthroughs.

Standalones Number of playthroughs: 1x Rougarou (two-player), 0x Carnevale, 2x Labyrinths (twelve-player), 1x Slumber & 1x Usurper (four-player), 0x Excelsior, 0x Blob

Favourite: The Eternal Slumber. Allonym's response above contains all the thoughts I had and more. This scenario felt like a three-part campaign in itself but, unlike Night of the Zealot, all three parts were excellent. Epic Labyrinths of Lunacy is also worth experiencing at least once if you can, just to see how the groups have to work together to solve the problems. I haven't played it as a single group scenario, nor would I want to, the only compelling thing about it is the interaction between different groups.

Least Favourite: Curse of the Rougarou. It's not bad, it's just not as good as the others, probably with the exception of non-epic Labyrinths of Lunacy as I said above. I also seem to recall the art being very dark and nondescript but this might be because it was a print-on-demand scenario with lower quality cards.

Edited by Assussanni
Added thoughts on The Dream-Eaters.

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Night of the Zealot

Favorite: Midnight Masks - I feel like this is the obvious choice and everyone seems to be in agreement on this one. The Return version only improves it, I feel, but I still sometimes use both versions as a testing ground for new decks. Years later and it's still one of my all time favorite scenarios.

Least Favorite: The Devourer Below - So I think I've played this scenario maybe... fives times now? Maybe six? (I may have done a solo run through of NotZ at one point and forgotten it.) Only one of those was the Return version. Most of the time I have tried playing through this scenario, I have tried to play it as intended, and it's always frustrating and stupid. The Return version doesn't improve the experience, and was actually one of the most annoying scenarios I've ever played, culminating in two investigators dead and the third cheesing Umordhoth in the dumbest possible way as Rita. I actually still like The Gathering as a tutorial scenario and I still occasionally use it to introduce new players to the game.

 

The Dunwich Legacy

Favorite: The House Always Wins - The more times I've played through Dunwich (I've completed the campaign three times now), the more I realize that it might be my least favorite campaign. Which is a shame, because I think it gets off to such a strong start. The first two scenarios are both incredibly fun. Of the two, The House Always Wins is definitely my favorite. Extracurricular Activities can be a little overwhelming for an early scenario if you have some bad mythos draws. Seriously why are there Yithians at Miskatonic University? But The House Always Wins has a balanced encounter deck and doesn't start throwing the nastier monsters at you until the later acts. The opening segment where you're trying to stealthily gather clues without tipping off the Pit Boss is really fun and thematically interesting. Probably the best opening scenario of any campaign until TCU came along.

Honorable Mention: Essex County Express - I've yet to try the Return version which fixes this scenario, but as of right now, this is still my second favorite. It's a really thematic and fun scenario with a potentially game breaking glitch. Provided you make it past the first turn or two without insta-dying, you're treated to one of the best scenarios of the campaign. I haven't wiped to this scenario personally, but I think if I ever did lose on turn one, I might just reset the scenario. Thankfully the Return version fixes this, so that shouldn't be a problem anymore.

Least Favorite: Undimensioned and Unseen - Thematically, yes, it's great. But every time I've played this scenario it's been one of the most frustrating experiences with this game. It actually put me off of finishing my first solo run of the campaign the first time I played it because I hated it so much. It relies way too much on luck and it's the main reason I consider Dunwich to be the worst campaign in the game right now. Hopefully the Return version is more fun, but I can't say I'm looking forward to it.

Dishonorable Mention: Miskatonic Museum - Cool idea, bad execution. It's just painfully boring. My first solo playthrough of this was actually rather enjoyable, because it culminated in a surprisingly climactic finish with the Hunting Horror respawning on top of me as I tried to investigate the last location. But every other playthrough has just put me to sleep.

 

Path to Carcosa

Favorite: The Pallid Mask - Aside from a minor accident where we set up the catacombs deck incorrectly the first time I played this, it's always been one of the most fun scenarios in an already fantastic campaign. And maybe it's just been by sheer dumb luck, but something hilarious and stupid has always happened every time I played this scenario. First time through? The Man in the Pallid Mask turned into a Corpse Dweller. Second time? The catacombs layout compounded on itself in such a bizarre fashion that Gate to Hel (seriously why was this censored) and Tomb of Shadows were directly adjacent to each other. I just wish the Exploration mechanic from TFA was as fun as the catacombs deck.

Honorable Mention: The Last King - Another one of the best early game scenarios, and feeling very reminiscent of Midnight Masks. The major thing holding this back from being my favorite scenario of the campaign is the RNG factor (and the Return version only made this worse, I feel). Nothing is more frustrating than getting one of the party guests down to a single clue only for them to transform into a monster at the last second. I usually fare pretty well in this scenario, but my run of the Return variant basically ended in us saying "**** it" and just murdering every guest at the party. It was quite fun.

Least Favorite: Echoes of the Past - Ugh. I've played this scenario twice with two opposite extremes. The first time we were overrun and were forced to Agenda 3 on the third turn and had to immediately resign. The second time we never advanced past agenda 1 and spent the entire scenario effortlessly mopping up enemies. The way this scenario is designed just feels like it will almost always be one way or the other. I've yet to play the Return version, so hopefully that improves this.

Dishonorable Mention: Curtain Call - Not much to say about this one really. It's not a bad scenario, but it's unusually punishing for the first scenario of the campaign. It's just kind of an underwhelming start to an otherwise fantastic campaign.

 

The Forgotten Age

Favorite: Threads of Fate - I won't have too much to say about TFA because I've only played it once. But I had more fun with this scenario than anything else in the campaign, by far. Our group (consisting of two players controlling Ursula, Silas, Jenny, and Mateo) had one of the weirdest dynamics and we really started having a lot of fun with it starting with this scenario. I can't say I remember everything that happened too well, other than greatly enjoying the multiple Acts and just having a lot of fun.

Honorable Mention: Depths of Yoth - Another version fun scenario that ultimately we did kind of rush through. It was a bit easier than we expected because we'd managed to keep Yig from hating us too much. Maybe if we'd been a bit greedier about gathering victory points this would be a lot scarier, but it was definitely the best implementation of the exploration mechanic.

Least Favorite: Heart of the Elders - So many options for worst scenario here! It's not that I think TFA is a terrible campaign. I like it better than Dunwich. But a lot of its scenarios feel very... samey. And Heart of the Elders is the worst offender. I never actually played scenario 5A because we were lucky enough to do really well in Boundary Beyond. But being forced to replay it over and over if you did poorly in the previous scenario (which is unfairly brutal) is just cruel. Especially when it's just Untamed Wilds but worse. 5B isn't much better because it just made me feel like I was playing Doom of Eztli again, but worse.

Dishonorable Mention: Boundary Beyond - Despite doing fairly well in this scenario the first time I played it, it was easy to see how brutal and unfair this scenario actually was. The only reason we fared so well was because our group dynamic ended up being slightly broken (and we'd taken a brief trip to Egypt after Doom of Eztli that made us all the more buffed up). Unfortunately I'm terrified that Return to TFA will only make this scenario more punishing. Gotta love how doing poorly in a brutal scenario makes an already boring follow-up even worse, huh?

 

The Circle Undone

Favorite: The Witching Hour - Going into TCU, I initially was hopeful that this might become my new favorite campaign, and this outstanding first scenario was a good part of the reason why. Splitting up the group was an unexpected but fun surprise and we were lucky enough that both of our investigators weren't totally outmatched when trying to handle both monsters and clue gathering. I could definitely foresee this being a bigger problem in 4-player groups, but based on one single playthrough of this scenario, it was a great first impression that unfortunately set our expectations a little too high.

Least Favorite: Wages of Sin - I'm gonna skip the honorable mentions here, as my memory on some of the scenarios is a little foggy due to having pretty large gaps between playing them (as well as just general life issues over the last few months). But Wages of Sin was by far the worst scenario of this campaign and the main reason why my opinion on the campaign as a whole was soured slightly. It almost felt like a worse version of Undimensioned and Unseen, because it's even more luck dependent. Unless you get extremely lucky, most of the Heretics are going to spawn at the wrong locations and you'll quickly find yourself overwhelmed. We were lucky to clear out two of the four before we were forced to retreat. Probably one of the least fun moments we've ever had playing this game.

Edited by Annette Soleil

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I'll pile in!

Midnight Masks, erm, Night of the Zealot

Pretty much the same as everyone above, especially since Return turned The Gathering into a real scenario.

The Dunwich Legacy

Favorite: The House Always Wins.  For such an early scenario in the game's life, the mechanics really drive home what they can do thematically.  The lurking mobsters watching you, the Pit Boss trailing around behind you as you investigate, the moment when all **** breaks loose and the indiscriminate monsters show up.  Even the randomness of getting clues early still feels manageable.

Least Favorite: Where Doom Awaits.  While Return fixed a lot of the mechanical problems, it falls into the "Do the same thing three times" sort of scenario that I dislike.

Honorable Mention: Essex County Express.  Even with the potential for things to go badly it was another wonderfully thematic scenario.

Return to Carcosa

Favorite: The Last King.  Again, a very thematic scenario that really captures how the party devolves.  Excellent mechanical design too - while I can agree that the randomness of which guests flip can be frustrating, it creates a constant uncertainty.  The monster trap in the shortcut is also brilliant.

Least Favorite: Black Stars Rise.  It's too long for what it is, and the setup is a pain.  The lack of any early way to figure out what the right agenda is also means you basically have only a single strategy to work with.

Honorable Mention: Unspeakable Oath.  Definitely can be painful, but the theme is again great and while it's long you're changing up what you're doing each time.  I actually even like the consequences for defeat, as it dramatically changes how you have to approach the scenario.

Dishonorable Mention: Echoes of the Past.  While I love that this changes up the core mechanic, it tends to be a very binary scenario - if you don't keep the cultists under control you lose in no time, if you do then you have as long as you want.

Forgotten Age

Favorite: Threads of Fate.  Most of what's already been said applies, but I also loved the number of things you had to keep track of and try and do all at the same time.

Least Favorite: Shattered Aeons.  The double boss is just brutal, and the story follows the bad habit Forgotten Age has of hitting you with "Oh, you made a completely context-less choice four scenarios ago?  You're screwed now" events...  twice.

Dishonorable Mention: Depths of Yoth.  I know a lot of people love this, but it's a paragon of "Do the same thing over and over again" for me.

Circle Undone

Favorite: In the Clutches of Chaos.  I won't say it's a GREAT scenario - it punishes smaller groups and anyone who doesn't have extra movement.  But the way it changes up the core mechanic is a fun change, and the requirements for closing breaches present a much different set of requirements than the normal "Find clues, kill monsters".

Least Favorite: Wages of Sin.  This tries to be reminiscent of Midnight Masks, but the resolution requirements for the Heretics vary far too widely and the locations they appear at create far too much randomness.  "Do another 10 damage" vs. "Move 4 locations and collect 8 more clues and then pass a test" is just too huge a swing.

Dishonorable Mention: For the Greater Good.  While I love the key mechanic it's another burst of randomness that can add an entire turn of moving, or not.  The difficulty increases massively based on where the random keys happen to show up.

Dream-Eaters

Haven't played yet, no opinions here.

Standalones

Favorite: Murder at the Excelsior Hotel.  Wonderful theme, great variety for replays.

Least Favorite: Eternal Slumber.  While there's a lot to like in this one it's just so dang LONG.  It's like playing two or three scenarios back to back.

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I will jump in for the pure fun of it. I won’t spoil anything. (I hope). We started playing this game just over a year ago and got so sucked in that we bought everything that was out. We decided to play through everything in order of release and opened the player cards as we went. So this is based on my first play through experiences and for the most part. They have stood up through our re plays though. 

 

Night of the Zealot 

Favorite: Midnight Masks for sure and everyone has said why quite thoroughly. 
Least Favorite: Devourer Below: A very frustrating ending, to a well written middle. 

The Dunwich Legacy

Favorite: Essex County Express  The First time I played through it, I just loved it. Mind you, I barely survived, but I loved it. Still do. 

Least Favorite: Blood on the Altar: It has problems galore. I don’t even know how Return to could have fixed it, and it didn’t. 

The Path to Carcosa

There are so many good ones in this cycle it’s hard, but because I spent such a big part  of my formative years in Europe, there is one that rises to the top. I have very vivid memories of my visit to this scenarios setting. (I was pretty young and my first impression was that it was creepy, but fascinating, until after staring at a certain formation, I turned around and was completely alone. I couldn’t find my cousin anywhere, thought I was lost and kind of freaked out.) So for the win...

Favorite: The Pallid Mask: It never disappoints. One of the best Scenarios in the whole game as far as I’m concerned. (and happily, I always find a way out!)

Least Favorite: Echoes of the Past  It’s just ponderous to play. 

The Forgotten Age

The idea of this cycle was so exciting to us and so different from Carcosa. It was a fun cycle, but some of it was disappointing. Some of it was strange and some of it was just hard. 
 

Favorite: Threads of Fate: This scenario is so well designed and very satisfying to play. I always look forward to it. 
 

Least Favorite: Heart of the Elders Part 1 
All I can say is, Really????? Never, ever again. 

 

The Circle Undone

I’m not entirely sure why this is my least favorite cycle, but it is. The scenarios aren’t bad and there are some interesting mechanics. Maybe because The Witch House is such a classic and has such a specific aura and I feel like that didn’t really make it into the Cycle, except briefly. It just feels like a tennis match between it’s two principle groups. The only scenario that came close to evoking what I was hoping for, was The Secret Name. 

Favorite: The Secret Name for giving The Witch House it’s due. Well designed, it successfully blends the events which took place there in the past, for someone to come across them later. Also for giving the rest of the cycle some necessary background information. 

Least Favorite: Before the Black Throne. Not because it is a bad scenario, but because it is getting a little ho-hum to always end up... oops, I promised no spoilers. Let’s just say it’s another variation of “been there, done that.”   

Dream Eaters 

Can’t comment yet.

Standalone 

Favorite: The Eternal Slumber. Well written, excellent mechanics, never boring and  always makes me want to spend some time in an Egyptian market bazaar. I love the exploration theme and really want to play it again right before starting Dream Eaters with my Sleeping Investigators.  Just to dovetail the story lines. Hotel at the Excelsior runs a close second though. 

Least Favorite: Probably not a fair judgement, but Labyrinths of Lunacy. We really need to try that one again with a big group. A snooze fest if you are doing it all with the same group. 
Otherwise, Curse of the Rougarou. One of the options for resolution was so easy as to be almost boring and the other so hard as to be frustrating without even being interesting enough to make the frustration acceptable. 


 

Edited by Mimi61

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8 hours ago, Mimi61 said:

The Circle Undone

I’m not entirely sure why this is my least favorite cycle, but it is. The scenarios aren’t bad and there are some interesting mechanics. Maybe because The Witch House is such a classic and has such a specific aura and I feel like that didn’t really make it into the Cycle, except briefly. It just feels like a tennis match between it’s two principle groups. The only scenario that came close to evoking what I was hoping for, was The Secret Name. 

Favorite: The Secret Name for giving The Witch House it’s due. Well designed, it successfully blends the events which took place there in the past, for someone to come across them later. Also for giving the rest of the cycle some necessary background information. 

Least Favorite: Before the Black Throne. Not because it is a bad scenario, but because it is getting a little ho-hum to always end up... oops, I promised no spoilers. Let’s just say it’s another variation of “been there, done that.”   

 


 

I actually am forced to agree with you about Before The Black Throne. Thinking back on it, I don't really like the scenario. The pacing is really weird, it feels like it's going to be an epic journey and instead it's a quick race. I love the story elements of it, but that's not really the same as the scenario being good - all the good stuff is in the campaign guide.

Edited by Allonym

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5 hours ago, Allonym said:

I actually am forced to agree with you about Before The Black Throne. Thinking back on it, I don't really like the scenario. The pacing is really weird, it feels like it's going to be an epic journey and instead it's a quick race. I love the story elements of it, but that's not really the same as the scenario being good - all the good stuff is in the campaign guide.

The pacing is odd. And you are right. Looking back, the stuff I liked best about it is in the campaign guide. 

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Best:  Everything that isn't the Forgotten Age.

Worst:  The Forgotten Age.  I really, really hope the "Return to" box finds a way to somehow balance out the campaign to make it a little less brutal.  

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Yeah TFA has the highest highs and the lowest lows in my opinion.  More than any other campaign that one really is crying out for it's Return To box.  Between Thread of Fate, City of Archives and Depths of Yoth there is alot to like about the campaign.  Threads might be my favorite scenario, but I also really love Search for Kadath, Unspeakable Oath, The Last King and The House Always Wins.    That said for every Threads in TFA there is a Heart Of The Elders.

Edited by phillos

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Okay, I finally played Dream Eaters, so I have opinions. 

The Dream Eaters

Best: The Search for Kadath

I love the high fantasy, epic voyage feel. I was in awe after playing this one. Well done, designers. 

Honorable Mention: Weaver of the Cosmos

 

Worst: The Point of No Return 

There is not much about this cycle I didn't like. Very strong altogether. But this one was my least favourite. The punishing locations grew tedious after a while.

Dishonorable Mention: Dark Side of the Moon

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Core:

It's the same for me: Midnight Masks is best, the other two aren't as good, with Devourer just being frustrating.

Dunwich: 

Favorite: Essex County Express. The first time my play group went through this, we spent a round setting up, drew all 3 Ancient Evils, and immediately died. I think it was the only time we played two scenarios in one session.

Honorable mention: Blood on the Altar. Similarly, the person playing Ashcan (this is the same play group) lost Duke permanently here. It was hilarious, and we never finished the campaign.

Least Favorite: Miskatonic Museum. Like everyone else, I don't enjoy the single-enemy mechanic of the scenario.

Carcosa:

Favorite: Unspeakable Oath. The pure pulp horror of escaping the asylum, inciting the riot, and fighting off the staff is so cool to me; I always enjoy this scenario.

Honorable mention: the Pallid Mask, for the same reasons others have mentioned.

Worst: The Last King. Too often we find ourselves on the cusp of clearing a bystander of clues when they suddenly flip, screwing us out of a reward for our effort. Also, the seeker can't even do their job and just has to find some tests they can pass somewhere. Ugh.

The Forgotten Age

By a wide margin my favorite campaign. I'm hoping that Innsmouth wil have a similar adventure/pulp feel, and I'm excited that it's based on a work I know well. Also, the Return for this one improves on a lot of the pain points I endured.

Best: Gosh, I really don't know. I agree with most that Depths of Yoth is a terrific scenario that's really suffused with lore, but I'm tempted to say Turn Back Time because secret scenarios are the absolute coolest.

Honorable mention: City of Archives. I understand why you hate it, I really do. But it forces you to consider your deck from a totally different angle, which is such a good example of scenario design, even if you don't like how it's implemented. I even like how the scenario itself is totally out of place in the campaign: it's alien in a meta level. Also it's based on a work I know well, which goes pretty far.

Worst: Boundary Beyond. I don't find any scenario in TFA particularly frustrating, but this one, with its awful location connections and pointless agenda/act difference, particularly annoys me.

Circle Undone

Best: For the Greater Good. A challenging scenario that requires your group to adapt to the situation and change your strategy add things unfold. I love the keys and im glad they're coming back in Innsmouth; they add an objective that you have to protect and manage in a unique way. I also like how different the scenario feels depending on your previous actions.

Honorable mention: The Secret Name. The Dreams In the Witch House is one of my favorite stories, and I love getting to play through it. Also, Brown Jenkin is legitimately awful.

Worst: There's a lot of candidates for this one, but I agree with the consensus that Wages of Sin is ridiculous and awful. It is extremely difficult to even have a chance at getting more than one heretic; all the forced effects on unfinished business could have been milder, or there could have been fewer things that triggered/flipped them in the scenario.

Dream Eaters

Best: Kadath, hands down. This campaign has really incredible scenario design, and is probably the best-made campaign so far. The Kadath scenario successfully gives the players the sense of traveling throughout the dreamlands, tracking down leads and being hunted by mysterious assailants while doing so. Phenomenal.

Honorable mention: A Thousand Shapes of Horror. I love the creepy beginning, then the monster, then the mini-depths-of-yoth ending; it builds really well.

Worst: The only scenario I've not played is Weaver of the Cosmos, and I've genuinely enjoyed all of them. I think the hospital one, the one that begins the B campaign, is my least favorite, but it's just the least fun one to me, despite being a whole plot reference to the Nightmare Hospital episode of Steven Universe. I just find the other scenarios more interesting.

Standalone

Best: the Blob. I love the ridiculous B-movie pulp of it, and it plays closer to a WoW encounter than any other scenario, so it's a blast. The rewards are also crazy good, which is fun.

Honorable mention: Excelsior Hotel. Similar pulp vibe but more murder mystery, and ridiculously repeatable. Very fun.

Worst: Despite how dated the original two have become, I still like them better than Saw: the Scenario. That being said, I also hate the Saw movies, so that might have something to do with it. Also, playing it with multiple groups is probably a lot more fun.

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6 hours ago, SGPrometheus said:

Honorable mention: City of Archives. I understand why you hate it, I really do. But it forces you to consider your deck from a totally different angle, which is such a good example of scenario design, even if you don't like how it's implemented. I even like how the scenario itself is totally out of place in the campaign: it's alien in a meta level. Also it's based on a work I know well, which goes pretty far.

While I love the IDEA of City of Archives, "forces you to consider your deck from a totally different angle".  This is the biggest sin of TFA - you're blindsided for decisions you made without any sense of context or consequence *cough*SUPPLIES!*cough*.  There's always a gap between the first blind playthough and later ones, but TFA takes it to the extreme in a way that can sour players on it their first time through.  If I wanted a game where I had to play a scenario two or three times and build a custom deck just for it then I'd go back to LOTR.

6 hours ago, SGPrometheus said:

Worst: Despite how dated the original two have become, I still like them better than Saw: the Scenario. That being said, I also hate the Saw movies, so that might have something to do with it. Also, playing it with multiple groups is probably a lot more fun.

Labyrinths is less an Arkham scenario than an escape room in a box.  I've found replays of it to be very unsatisfying - the challenge isn't in the cards or the mechanics, but in the limited information and the interactions.  Once you know what information is important, where to find it, and who to give it to...  it's not great.  That's a long way of saying it is ABSOLUTELY better with multiple groups.  I'd go so far as to say they're really a requirement.

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1 hour ago, Buhallin said:

Labyrinths is less an Arkham scenario than an escape room in a box.  I've found replays of it to be very unsatisfying - the challenge isn't in the cards or the mechanics, but in the limited information and the interactions.  Once you know what information is important, where to find it, and who to give it to...  it's not great.  

Absolutely this. I usually don't have a group big enough to play this, and I first experienced it at Arkham Nights 2018. The problem is that everyone else at the table had played it before. So when we would get up to consult, I found certain information thrust at me and things explained away as "You guys should go to X and do Y, we'll need that later". While it was an interesting exercise, the heart of the scenario was pretty much gutted once the exploration elements and puzzle aspect were removed.

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