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jonamok

Am I the world’s worst AHLCG player?

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Posted (edited)

I’ve had half a dozen goes plus at beating NotZ solo now, all on ‘Easy’ mode (Easy, lol). Some were true solo, trying Roland or Skids, using just a single core, others using two investigators (e.g. Daisy, Skids) and even with player cards from TDL and Miskatonic Museum. In each attempt I have finished Gathering with Lita in hand, and 6-8 XP to spend.

But it all goes to pieces in Midnight Masks. My card draws are fine, the chaos bag isn’t being cruel either - it’s the Encounter Deck. Just constantly hitting me with doom and ghouls and cultists etc. The best run I had was a solo Roland who just scraped 3 cultists in MM. He promptly got destroyed in Devourer though at the point the remaining cultists appear.

In literally every other run (on EASY remember) I have doomed out of MM with (I **** you not) 1 or even 0 cultists removed. So I bin the campaign run right there each time, as devourer would be beyond depressing.

I’ve even used supposedly successful decks off arkhamdb. MM just frustrates me pretty much every time. 

I know the rules, I just can’t fathom how to do MM, even on Easy, with even a modicum of reproducible success. I appreciate my tactics won’t be optimal, but Easy should be waaaaay less punishing for the tactically naive than this is.

Tbh if I hadn’t already invested a lot in sourcing the largely out-of-print Dunwich cycle, I’d shelve the game for a good while, as it feels like a waste of my time.

So instead I’ve just parked NotZ and will try a Zoey solo for my first run at the Dunwich box set.

I hope to god that Easy here actually means, y’know, Easy. Else this lot will all be up on eBay by the weekend. Lol.

Edited by jonamok

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I find that some folks have better success at certain Arkham Files games than others. Personally I do pretty good with the Arkham Horror card game and Eldritch Horror but the Arkham Horror third edition board game I just can't beat. I have yet to pick up and play Elder Sign. 

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Posted (edited)

I think doing "poorly" in the core scenarios doesn't really say anything about your ability to play the game. I still think after playing everything up to this point that the core scenarios are pretty brutal, and really likes to pull nasty gotcha moments.

Play Dunwich and I would try to do two-handed, as I've found that doing solo it's so easy to go from a game that's going fine, to one that's doomed. 

Edit: I forgot to mention that while you generally can progress in the core even if you bomb scenarios, the consequences are often so harsh that it can practically guarantee failure later. 

 

Edited by Ildirin

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getting all of the cultists investigated with only a core set is really not an attainable goal.   I would say you could be happy with 3 or very happy with 4.  Which, I understand, is a bit higher than you're currently getting typically.   

But beating the campaign is what counts, and you did that, so congratulations!   It's very hard to say what you should and should not be doing without seeing you play a couple of turns.   For me the most difficult part of the game was figuring out when to collect resources and play assets, and when you need to look for clues.   Typically I like to try to set up a little before I venture out.   having more equipment will save time in the long run,  but of course you can't take *too* much time either!   It's a delicate balance.   If you keep Your House (which I recommend doing very highly)  you can get a lot of efficiency by staying there and getting some extra cards and resources.  

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Posted (edited)

Midnight Masks is incredibly hard to beat if you are alone. There is just way too much to do and only one person to do it. It needs multiple investigators. And no offense to FFG, but I think there are stronger decks than their starter suggestions, even with the core cards. 
I have no idea of this is helpful, but it took us a while to realize that economy of actions was more important than overcoming every obstacle or defeating every enemy. For example, sometimes evading can save you  actions to use towards your goal. Sometimes, an AoO is worth what you did that caused it. Sometimes, you can combine things. 
Of the core investigators, in my opinion, I think Agnes may be the strongest.  She is particularly good at some of this economy. She can take an attack of opportunity if it gives horror and deal a damage right away to that enemy without lifting a finger. Or if she takes a horror from a card effect, she can deal a damage to an enemy at her location without an action.  I have defeated enemies at my location with her this way during the Mythos phase, which is very satisfying. Plus her access to Survivor cards  has some good clue finding cards which play into her low intellect and cards for overcoming bad chaos bag draws and good cards for soak and canceling damage/horror.  If you have Dunwich, then you have Peter Sylvester and he and Agnes are a power couple! He can take all the horror that she can’t give damage with, to keep her free to take the horror that can give damage. She isn’t a bad evader either and he makes her better there too. 
Don’t give up! To use a recently coined phrase; “We are all in this together!”😉

Edited by Mimi61

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first of all, "easy" in AH does not really mean easy and I found that dunwich is easier than notz.

playing with two investigators the max we got is 4 cultists

to get a cultist you need at least 3 actions, 2 investigations and 1 parley, meaning 18 actions to get them all.

you probably will have to move at least 1 time per turn and maybe have to damege those you can't parley so add 2 more actions per cultists and you will need 30 actions.

you have 14 turns before midnight so you have 42 action at your disposal.

if you draw a lot of auto fail tokens like me, you'll need more than 30 actions but those 12 more will probably be wasted on encounters and that means a lot moreif things don't go smooth.

like someone said you need a lot of auto win cards

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Posted (edited)

Whether it was a good model or not, I also feel like NotZ was created as an intro into the game. The campaign as a whole wanted to show you what the game was capable of and the scale of difficulty. Most players will be able to bumble through a scenario on easy. Vets who come back to a scenario over and over (with a larger player card pool) and build their deck to combat the specific encounters in that scenario are going to find it way easier.

Scenario 1 gives you the average difficulty intro to show you how to play, scenario 2 shows you that the optimal 'win' is not always what you're aiming for (the story continues, and the scenario pushes you to do as well as you can. In other words, you do not simply lose or win, you progress.), and the 3rd scenario shows you the sort of impact your previous actions can have and that there are multiple ways to win a campaign.

The other thing the core campaign does is provide you with the encounter sets that are used to construct core recurring themes that will appear in future campaigns. When you leave NotZ, you are not done seeing crypt chill and ancient evils. It is the only set FFG can pull encounters from to build into other expansions because the core is required to play the game. Everyone who has Dunwich will have at least one core, everyone who has The Circle Undone will have at least one core.

It does, however, have some of the hardest scenarios to win optimally with scenarios 2 and 3.

Edited by Soakman

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I've never "won" any campaign; but I've had huge amounts of enjoyment bumbling and grinding my way through to the end, just in time to witness the end of the world. You don't need to beat every scenario. You still continue the campaign, filling up with trauma and collecting weaknesses as you go. Or sometimes, as per the rules, you need to create a new character deck due to your starting character suffering an untimely death or going utterly insane. 

I'm not really sure the point of AH is about winning or losing. It's about the experience. 

Just keep playing.

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Thanks, that’s a good reminder of what matters.


I do like to ‘do well’ though, and the fact that it’s possible to get all six cultists in MM makes me think I’m failing when I can only get 1 or less. And doing that repeatedly on the easiest difficulty is frustrating.

Still love the game, of course.

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In my mind, you're doing very well. Of all campaigns out there i think it is the hardest, most swingy and most punishing. That's why i barely ever play it (And i own basically all the cards with 2 coresets).

I bet if you ever decide to buy into any of the deluxe expansions, it will be a cakewalk for you on easy difficulty 😄

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Good luck. I'm pretty confident that you'll find the experience of the Dunwich campaign is a lot different (in a good way) to the Night of the Zealot. The settings and the story content is much more engaging. Saying that, getting a mildly successful outcome at the end of the campaign is still tough...in fact there are some very tricky parts to the campaign that can be frustrating if things don't break well for you.  Just set out to enjoy the experience of the journey rather than reaching a specific goal and I'm sure you'll have a lot of fun.

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Trust me, I have "failed forward" many times with this game.  Some scenarios are just more difficult than others.  Some are more difficult for solo play or particular investigators too.  The fun, in my opinion, is in telling the story and discovering where my success or failure affected that story.  I have breezed through some scenarios only to get wrecked by the next one.  Understand that even the most veteran of players still struggle on scenarios and get defeated by campaigns.

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Dunwich was definitely easier than scenario 2 and 3 of NotZ.  Though to be fair scenario 2 of NotZ is a "do as well as you can then resign" scenario.  They have those sprinkled throughout the game.  You were doing fine if you got 3 or 4 cultists.  That's all most people do when doing well.  You gotta get lucky and play really well to get all of them.  As pointed out it really taxes the amount of available actions.  I have only ever gotten the "you win" resolution on NotZ scenario 3 once.  Campaign finales are usually quite hard. 

Just remember that as long as the resolution doesn't say "the investigators lose" the campaign is still going.  You don't need to ace every scenario to do well (your xp total usually is a good indicator).  You are just picking what track you are following in the story with your resolution.  Sometimes (but not always) the defeated and resigned track is relatively harmless compared to the other resolutions.  The resign resolution rarely if ever results in a "you lose" resolution (I certainly can't recall any examples).  Defeated resolutions and the agenda deck running out is usually where real "you lose" resolutions are most commonly found.  Usually you can tell that if a given scenario doesn't resolve positively it can narratively mean the end of the story.  For example if someone is opening a gate to another world and you fail to enter it to go to the final confrontation then it probably means that is a "you lose" resolution.

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