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Serazu

A few questions from a beginner

99 posts in this topic

First of all, hello to all of you - first time poster here.

Recently I purchased this incredible board game and, playing solo till now, I 've come across three instances concerning the final battle that buffle me:

1. The faq mention that investigators get a full upkeep phase during the final combat. Does it also mean that a blessed / cursed investigator rolls a die each time during upkeep in case a "1" comes up to discard the corresponding condition? I guess so.

2. If the answer to the above is positive, then I take it that an investigator who didn't pay his monetary debt also has to roll a die during upkeep in case 1 - 3 comes up and he has to discard a dollar. If there are no dollars left, then he faces the normal consequences. Correct?

3. Is the Ancient One's combat rating applicable only to the investigator's combat checks or to their "defense" rolls, as well? i.e., facing Shub-Niggurath does the -5 applies only to the investigator's combat check or to his sneak check as well? Since the rules mention only combat checks, I take it that the "defense" roll is made without penalties, but am I correct?

4. Is Mandy Thompson's ability applicable when combating an Ancient One? Her card mentions "turns" whereas the rules break down the final battle into "rounds". On the other hand, there is a mention to investigators' abilities when facing the Ancient Ones, so what will it be? I 've considered it applicable till now, but am I getting this correctly?

My thanks in advance and my apologies if those issues have been brought up before.

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Hi Serazu,

and welcome to the Carnival!

1. Yes, you're right. You roll for Blessings and Curses every Upkeep of the final battle

2. from the core rules, pag. 22: "Additionally, once the final battle begins, investigators should no longer collect money or roll for Retainers or Bank Loans"

3. The attack modifier refers to the combat check investigators do to hurt the AO; modifiers to be applied to skill checks when the AO attacks are specified when the AO attack is described

4. Yes, Mandy's ability works evn during final battle

 

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Julia said:

2. from the core rules, pag. 22: "Additionally, once the final battle begins, investigators should no longer collect money or roll for Retainers or Bank Loans"

 

So the moral of the story is: When you can't pay your mortgage you'd better start praying to Cthulu.

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I think the "no money" rule is intended to reflect that a round of final combat represents a much smaller span of time than a pre-combat game round. Not until Kingsport Horror was money even relevant in final combat.

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Taking further advantage of your time, there are a few more questions to ask. I suspect the answers, but it's always better to be sure...

1. Whenever "Arkham" is mentioned in a card text, I suppose it refers to the larger portion of the board, the one with the 9 neighborhoods in it AND NOT to the "Outskirts", "Sky" and, naturally, the "Lost in time and space" sections. For instance, whenever a card mentions interaction with monsters in Arkham, monsters in the outskirts and the sky are excluded. Correct?

2. Cards that mention interaction with monsters in the streets of Arkham, refer to monsters in the street areas (the rectangular boxes on the board) and not to locations. Correct?

3. Whenever I am in another world and an encounter forces me to return to Arkham without any further details, I return to the original point of entry to the other world. Correct?

4. In the above example, I still get the "explored" marker. Correct?

5. In the above example, if I return to another open gate to another world, courtesy of the Gate Box unique item, I still get the "explored" marker. Correct?

6. The "faq" analyze in further detail the way the flying monsters move. Let's see if I understood things correctly, by using some examples:

If a Nightgaunt appears in the Woods and the Mythos card I drew has a slash in it, thus forcing the monster to move:

a. If there is an investigator in the Woods, the monster stays where it is.

b. If there are no investigators in the Woods, but there is one to the Uptown street area, the monster moves there.

c. If there are no investigators in the Woods or the Uptown street area, but there are investigators to neighboring street areas, such as Southside streets, it makes no difference. The only connected street area to the Woods was the Uptown and, since there are no investigators there, the monster moves to the sky.

d. If there are no investigators in the Woods or the Uptown street area, but there are investigators in other Uptown locations, it makes no difference. The monster still moves to the sky.

e. When the monsters is in the sky and a Mythos card drawn has the "/" dimension symbol on it, the monster is eligible to move and may move to any street area (but no location) on the board, as long as it contains an investigator. If there are no investigators in street areas, the monster stays in the sky.

f. If there are investigators in street areas, but the card drawn has not the corresponding dimension symbol for the monster in the sky to move (i.e. the "/" in our example), the monster stays in the sky.

Am I correct to the above?

7. When a monster moves to a location with an investigator in it nothing happens at this time. When, in the next turn, the investigator moves has to either fight the monster or evade it. Correct?

8. What happens to an investigator fighting an A.O. who doesn't remove Stamina or Sanity tokens (i.e. Shub-Niggurath) and he runs out of stamina or sanity? For instance, the investigator entered combat with 2 sanity left and decides to use "Dread Curse..." which consumes 2 sanity tokens. The rules mention that whenever an investigator is reduced to 0 stamina / sanity in the final combat he 's devoured, but they also mention that this loss has to come from an A.O's attack. In the above example, the sanity was lost by casting a spell. Logic dictates that the investigator is either driven insane (my example) or knocked unconscious (in another possible example), but not devoured. In any case, he no longer participates in combat. He 's off and, if he was the last investigator standing, the A.O. wins. Am I correct?

9. Continuing the above example, what happens if the investigator faces an A.O. who does remove sanity tokens (i.e. Hastur) and loses his last sanity tokens to a spell? Technically, there is a loophole to the rules, since his sanity was not reduced to 0 by Hastur as the rules dictate and he may go on indefinitely till he defeats the A.O. Logically speaking again, he should be treated as devoured, since the battle with Hastur demands that you don't run out of sanity, but the way the rules are worded leave out cases such as the one I just mentioned.

That's all! Thank you for your time!

 

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1. I don't think so. Outskirts and the Sky are part of Arkham. Whenever you close a gate, you remove matching dimensional symbol monsters even from Outskirts and Sky, and Mythos cards forcing you to do things with Cthonians on the board or whatelse, they also refer to these places. Thus a card like "Strange tremor cease!" makes you remove Cthonians and Dholes also from the Outskirts

2. Yes, street areas are only the rectangular boxes on the board

3 & 4. Yes, you return to the gate you entered before and receive an explorer marker, unless stated differently

5. Correct

6. Yeah, correct. I don't know if you have the Innsmouth expansion, but in case, Devil reef is a location considered adjacent to the Sky

7. Yes, correct

8 & 9. I think he's devoured, but I'm absolutely not sure about this. It never happened to me, so I can't help you with this question, sorry

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Julia said:

1. I don't think so. Outskirts and the Sky are part of Arkham. Whenever you close a gate, you remove matching dimensional symbol monsters even from Outskirts and Sky, and Mythos cards forcing you to do things with Cthonians on the board or whatelse, they also refer to these places. Thus a card like "Strange tremor cease!" makes you remove Cthonians and Dholes also from the Outskirts

So, when a text like "all monsters in Arkham are returned to the cup" without any specific mention to the Outskirts or the Sky comes up, it includes: 1. Monsters in the city, 2. Monsters in the Outskirts and 3. Monsters in the Sky. Correct?

As always, thanks for the fast reply!

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Serazu said:

 

So, when a text like "all monsters in Arkham are returned to the cup" without any specific mention to the Outskirts or the Sky comes up, it includes: 1. Monsters in the city, 2. Monsters in the Outskirts and 3. Monsters in the Sky. Correct?

As always, thanks for the fast reply!

 

 

Generally speaking, it's usually written "all monsters in the locations / streets of xyz neighborhood are returned to the cup". The only cards similar to the one you mentioned are "Manhunt in Arkham!", but it's clearly referred to locations (thus no streets, no Sky, no Outskirts) and Feds raid Arkham! (same stuff, but affects only streets). I cannot remember any card allowing you to remove all monsters from the board at once (but maybe my memory is bad). But in case you have a card like this one here, yep, I'd search for those monsters in locations, street areas, Sky and Outskirts and return them to the cup

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Wow! The more I play, the more issues seem to appear, just when I 'm beginning to grasp things.

Today's questions:

1. Is the investigators' special abilities constant or 1/turn only? Mandy's ability is usable 1/turn, since it's mentioned in her card, but what about other investigators' abilities with no such mention? Is Harvey Walters's ability usable only 1/turn for instance or does it come in effect each time I 'd lose Sanity? Judging by the mention in Mandy's card, I 'd say that the professor's ability is usable every time he 'd be eligible to lose sanity no matter how often, but am I correct?

2. Ithaqua's card mentions that, at the start of battle, "Investigators must roll a die for every item they have, discarding the item on a failure". At the faq, pg. 5, it is clarified that the player rolls separately for each item.

Judging by the above, at the encounter card which reads "Roll 1 die for each point of Sanity you have. Lose 1 Sanity for each die that does not roll a success." then, at this case, the player has to roll separately for each sanity point he currently has. Right?

3. If the answer is affirmative, how should I use the professor's special ability? If we accept that it's usable whenever it comes into question, then he'd lose no sanity from that card's effect. For every separate die that didn't come a success, he 'd just use his ability to nullify the loss. Things would be different of course, if the player cast all of his dice at once, in which case the professor's ability would diminish only one loss, but, as the faq suggests, such a thing is not eligible. The player would have to cast one die (and even if failed, the professor's ability would kick in), then another, then another and so on. What happens here? Are we dealing with an encounter, which the nutty professor totally owns?

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Serazu said:

1. Is the investigators' special abilities constant or 1/turn only? Mandy's ability is usable 1/turn, since it's mentioned in her card, but what about other investigators' abilities with no such mention? Is Harvey Walters's ability usable only 1/turn for instance or does it come in effect each time I 'd lose Sanity? Judging by the mention in Mandy's card, I 'd say that the professor's ability is usable every time he 'd be eligible to lose sanity no matter how often, but am I correct?

Correct.  Abilities can be use as often as applicable, unless there is a restriction mentioned in the body of the ability text.

Serazu said:

2. Ithaqua's card mentions that, at the start of battle, "Investigators must roll a die for every item they have, discarding the item on a failure". At the faq, pg. 5, it is clarified that the player rolls separately for each item.

Judging by the above, at the encounter card which reads "Roll 1 die for each point of Sanity you have. Lose 1 Sanity for each die that does not roll a success." then, at this case, the player has to roll separately for each sanity point he currently has. Right?

Technically speaking you are correct, however you're missing the point of the FAQ question.  Here is the full FAQ question for the benefit of those who don't want to go looking for it:

Q: At the start of battle with Ithaqua, how do you roll to
see if you lose items? Do you choose each item one at a
time and roll to see if you lose it, or do you roll all the
dice at once and then choose which items you lose?

A: You roll separately for each item.

The question is not asking if each die roll is considered a seperate effect - in fact they are not, there is only one effect that involves multiple die rolls.  The question is basically asking if the player can pick and choose which items are discarded after rolling all the dice, or if he has to declare which item he's rolling for before he rolls each die to see if it's discarded.  (The answer was the latter, which is in keeping with the unofficial philosophy of "Arkham's Razor" and therefore pleases me, incidentally.)

In the case of the encounter card you mention, "rolling seperately for each santiy point" is an irrelevant distinction.  To apply the FAQ answer to this situation means you would need to explicitly denote which die is being rolled for each sanity point you have, which you CAN do if you want to, but since each and every sanity point is identical, it doesn't really matter which ones you lose as long as you lose the same total number as the dice demand.

The actual sanity loss is still one effect, just as Ithaqua's ability is one effect, that requires multiple dice to be rolled.  For Ithaqua, it matters which die is for which item because some of your items will invariably be more expendable than others, for santiy points it doesn't matter because they're all the same.

Serazu said:

3. If the answer is affirmative, how should I use the professor's special ability?

As discussed above, the sanity loss is a single effect, whether you choose to apply the FAQ ruling and assign each die to a given sanity point before rolling or whether you choose to roll them all at once (IN VIOLATION OF THE ALL MIGHTY FAQ!@!&@%#^&$!^@!%$&!%$*!$)  If X is the number of dice that the professor did NOT get successes on, then he would lose X-1 sanity because of his special ability.  The only thing the FAQ ruling would potentially change is which SPECIFIC sanity points were lost, which of course would have no mechanical effect on the game. =)

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It makes sense. And since I always prefer to stick to the intended meaning of the rules, instead of the actual wording, I agree with your thesis.

Three more questions, if you please:

1. Concerning the Southside Strangler rumor card, if I go to Ma's Boarding and pay the clue tokens, does it count as an encounter there or do I have to draw an encounter card or pick an ally in addition to the clue expenditure? Judging by other rumor guards where I have to pay a cost to end an effect and this expenditure is usually done at a street area and we know that encounters do not happen at street areas, the expenditure at Ma's cannot be considered an encounter and I still have to either draw a card or buy an ally. Correct?

2. Concerning the Curfew Enforced mythos card, if an investigator is already in the streets when the card comes to play, does he go to the police station?

3. By "police station" the card obviously means the specific location and not the cell attached to it, since it doesn't mention it at all, contrarily with other mythos cards. Correct?

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1. I don't see anything in this Mythos card saying "instead of having an encounter at Ma's, an investigator may discard 5 clues...", so I'd go with discard the clues & then draw an encounter (I don't remember whether this was clarified somewhere else, but maybe someone else knows this better!)

2. The Mythos card refers clearly at any investigator who ends his movement in a street area, so starting from the next Movement Phase, you'll start applying the card's special text

3. The card says you're arrested, thus you should go to the jail cell

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A few more questions, concerning the final combat with Cthulhu:

1. If by the time the AO awakens my Stamina and Sanity are reduced to, let's say, 2 and 1 respectively, are these the numbers of my maximum Stamina / Sanity for the encounter? i.e. are the current Stamina / Sanity considered the maximum also when fighting the AO?

2. If they are considered maximum, then I guess Duke's first ability (the one that raises your maximum Sanity) does not help you once the AO awakens. It would help in the first phase of the game to allow maximum Sanity to be raised by 1 (thus cancelling Ctulhu's sleeping ability) and then restoring it up to that number before Cthulhu's awakening, so that the investigator entered with the maximum possible Sanity. Right?

3. Do cards such as Enchanted Jewelry, which let you avoid losing Stamina, help against Cthulhu? His card doesn't mention loss but reduction. I can see that cards such as this would help against Yig and Ithaqua who cause losses, but what about against Cthulhu? Should reduction be treated as a loss?

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1. Your maximum is your maximum. If you enter combat with 3 stamina out of a max of 5, then your max is five. When Cthulhu attacks, you may reduce this to 3 out of 4. Then 3 out of 3. Then 2 out of 2, since your current can't be higher than your maximum. Of course, on any given attack, you could always choose to lower your stamina max instead of your sanity max. In general, investigators die on Cthulhu's 7th attack.

You could be referring to the red-yellow outer world card from the Dark Pharaoh expansion where you battle Cthulhu one-on-one. In this case you can expect to die on the 9th attack (since your maximums will add up to 10 at the start instead of 8). But after the battle, you don't get those maximums back! You will be permanently crippled.

2. Duke does help. Your sanity maximum is one higher, giving you one more round to survive. Just don't use Duke's restoration ability during the battle and you'll be fine.

3. Enchanted Jewelry prevents you from losing stamina. Cthulhu does not make you lose stamina. He makes you lower your maximum stamina. The Jewelry does help against Yig and Ithaqua (if Ithaqua doesn't blow it away at the start of battle).

Eventually lowering your stamina will make your current stamina technically lower as well, but that's because it can't be higher than your maximum so this loss can't be prevented (since you would need to prevent the lowering of a maximum, which can't be done).

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Tibs said:

 

1. Your maximum is your maximum. If you enter combat with 3 stamina out of a max of 5, then your max is five. When Cthulhu attacks, you may reduce this to 3 out of 4. Then 3 out of 3. Then 2 out of 2, since your current can't be higher than your maximum. Of course, on any given attack, you could always choose to lower your stamina max instead of your sanity max. In general, investigators die on Cthulhu's 7th attack.

 

 

1. So, let's say than an investigator whose card showed a maximum Sanity of 5 entered combat with a current Sanity of 3, then the sequence would be like this:

Start of combat: Sanity 5

After 1rst Cthulhu attack: Sanity 4

After 2nd: 3

After 3rd: 2

After 4rth: 1

After 5th: 0

Right?

(For simplicity reasons I left Stamina out)

2. If Duke was there, then the investigator would start with a Sanity of 6. Right?

3. In the above example I discarded the "Dreams of Madness" effect which would reduce the investigator's Sanity of 5 to 4 at the beginning of the game, since this should be in effect only during Cthulhu's sleep (the first phase of the game) and not after Cthulhu's awakening. Was I right?

If Duke was present, in the above example his optimal use would be to keep him till I have 1 Sanity left, then to discard him to restore my Sanity to 5 (not 6, since the Sanity would be increased to 6 only while Duke was in play). Right?

Last question: If during that combat, I expended a sanity point to cast a spell, this wouldn't affect my maximum sanity, just my current one, so, practically, it wouldn't make any difference (contrarily to a battle vs. Hastur or Yig where the expenditure would hurt). Right?

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Serazu said:

1. So, let's say than an investigator whose card showed a maximum Sanity of 5 entered combat with a current Sanity of 3, then the sequence would be like this:

Start of combat: Sanity 5

After 1rst Cthulhu attack: Sanity 4

After 2nd: 3

After 3rd: 2

After 4rth: 1

After 5th: 0

Right?

(For simplicity reasons I left Stamina out)

2. If Duke was there, then the investigator would start with a Sanity of 6. Right?

3. In the above example I discarded the "Dreams of Madness" effect which would reduce the investigator's Sanity of 5 to 4 at the beginning of the game, since this should be in effect only during Cthulhu's sleep (the first phase of the game) and not after Cthulhu's awakening. Was I right?

If Duke was present, in the above example his optimal use would be to keep him till I have 1 Sanity left, then to discard him to restore my Sanity to 5 (not 6, since the Sanity would be increased to 6 only while Duke was in play). Right?

Last question: If during that combat, I expended a sanity point to cast a spell, this wouldn't affect my maximum sanity, just my current one, so, practically, it wouldn't make any difference (contrarily to a battle vs. Hastur or Yig where the expenditure would hurt). Right?

1) Correct, that's how the attack works. Keep in mind that unless your current sanity is the same as your maximum sanity, when your maximum sanity is lowered it doesn't affect your current sanity.

2) Yup, with Duke your max Sanity will start out at 6.

3) Actually that's incorrect. "Stirs in his slumber" is just a term that refers to an effect that happens throughout the game. At the start of battle, your maxes are still reduced. Plus, it makes thematic sense at well, since you won't actually feel more strengthened and mentally stable when Cthulhu awakens.

4) If Duke was present, discarding him whenyou have 1 maximum sanity left will have no effect! Simply because your maximum sanity is at 1, so it can go no higher than that. Actually when you discard Duke with 1 max sanity left you die, since he provides +1 maximum sanity and dsicarding him will leave you with 0 max sanity

Last question: Correct. Against Cthulhu, using spells generally will not affect you unless, of course, you decided to commit suicide and make yourself go insane to pay the spell's sanity cost.

All this makes sense so far?

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Serazu said:

Tibs said:

 

1. Your maximum is your maximum. If you enter combat with 3 stamina out of a max of 5, then your max is five. When Cthulhu attacks, you may reduce this to 3 out of 4. Then 3 out of 3. Then 2 out of 2, since your current can't be higher than your maximum. Of course, on any given attack, you could always choose to lower your stamina max instead of your sanity max. In general, investigators die on Cthulhu's 7th attack.

 

 

1. So, let's say than an investigator whose card showed a maximum Sanity of 5 entered combat with a current Sanity of 3, then the sequence would be like this:

Start of combat: Sanity 5

After 1rst Cthulhu attack: Sanity 4

After 2nd: 3

After 3rd: 2

After 4rth: 1

After 5th: 0

Right?

(For simplicity reasons I left Stamina out)

2. If Duke was there, then the investigator would start with a Sanity of 6. Right?

3. In the above example I discarded the "Dreams of Madness" effect which would reduce the investigator's Sanity of 5 to 4 at the beginning of the game, since this should be in effect only during Cthulhu's sleep (the first phase of the game) and not after Cthulhu's awakening. Was I right?

If Duke was present, in the above example his optimal use would be to keep him till I have 1 Sanity left, then to discard him to restore my Sanity to 5 (not 6, since the Sanity would be increased to 6 only while Duke was in play). Right?

Last question: If during that combat, I expended a sanity point to cast a spell, this wouldn't affect my maximum sanity, just my current one, so, practically, it wouldn't make any difference (contrarily to a battle vs. Hastur or Yig where the expenditure would hurt). Right?

1. yes.
2. he would start with maximum sanity 6, current would still be 3.
3. no, his slumber ability stays active. it's rather his imminent presence causing the effect.

if duke was present you should not discard him for the heal, as this will make you have another step lower maximum sanity, which is equal to one attack from cthulhu. having 6 maximum stamina going down to 1 obviously takes longer time than if you have only 5 (as with the +1 sanity from duke).

casting a spell would not hurt you no, and eventually your maximum sanity will catch up with your current sanity.
an investigator with 1 of 5 stamina and 1 of 5 sanity lasts just as long as one with 5 of 5 stamina and 5 of 5 sanity.

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Taurmindo said:

if duke was present you should not discard him for the heal, as this will make you have another step lower maximum sanity, which is equal to one attack from cthulhu. having 6 maximum stamina going down to 1 obviously takes longer time than if you have only 5 (as with the +1 sanity from duke).

What I meant was: I start with Duke, thus keeping my Sanity at 6 instead of 5 (well, at 5 instead of 4, since you said that "Dreams" stay active even when C awakens). My Sanity will eventually go down, quite possibly at 1. Then, when it hits 1, I discard Duke to make it 4 again. I believe I can do that, cannot I?

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Sorry, I couldn't edit the above post, hence the new one...

Never mind to the above, I hadn't read mi-go hunter's reply by the time I posted it.

Thanks again guys to all of you. You have been very helpful to enlighten a clueless.

 

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Wow, the more I play, the more confusing issues come up. This concerns Terror Level and the AO's awakening.

1. The core rules (pg. 20) state that the AO "awakens if the terror level has reached 10 and there are monsters in play equal to twice the normal monster limit". I guess monsters in the Outskirts are considered "in play", since they affect game progression in their way, i.e. when the Outskirts become loaded with them, the TL increases and so on. Besides, the example given right after the above statement ("for example, 16 monsters in a five-player game" obviously includes monsters in the Outskirts, since, in a five-player game, the monster limit equals 8. The rest obviously are monsters in the Outskirts. So, the "in play" reference takes monsters in the Outskirts into account as well. Correct?

2. If the above is correct, then what happens when the 10th point in the terror level chart is reached after too many monsters populate the outskirts? Let me give you an example: in an one-player game the monster limit is 4. Let's say that there are 4 monsters already and there are 7 more in the outskirts. The terror level chart is currently at 9 and there are 6 open gates on the board. The mythos card drawn shows an already open gate. A monster surge follows. Since there are 4 monsters in the Arkham City and the Sky already, the 6 new monsters all go to the outskirts. There are now 13 monsters in the outskirts. According to the rules, these things should happen in order:

1. All monsters in the outskirts are returned to the cup.

2. The terror level is increased by 1.

In the above case, TL reaches 10, an Ally returns to the box (as long as there is any left) and Arkham is overrun. But, does the AO awaken? If we follow the rules step by step, then firstly we return all monsters to the cup and then we raise TL. According to this, when TL reached 10 there are only 4 monsters in game, since the ones in the outskirts have already returned to the cup, causing the terror increase. Thus, the AO doesn't awaken. If during later rounds the Arkham city and the sky hold at least 8 monsters (but not the outskirts, since, from now on, all monsters go in the city and the sky), then, sure, the AO will awaken, but it's the specific time when the TL hits 10 I 'm interested in. By that time, and following the sequence of events as stated, then it's not awakening time yet. Am I grasping this correctly or is there anything else amiss?

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Serazu, you touched a complex point.

There was a long long discussion some time ago regarding this point, and, IIRC, it was (probably) said that when the terror hits 10, you have to add a doomer to the Doom track and double the monster limit. For this purpose, you should consider all monsters on the board but not those in the Outskirts. So basically, if the Terror reaches 10 for Outskirts popping out, you won't have any monster there, but in case it reaches 10 for other reasons (Mythos card, investigators devoured in a Glaaki game, whatlese) AND you have monsters in the Outskirts, they remain in the Outskirts and do not count for the doubled monster limit (which is very logical, after all whenever calculating the monster limit, you never count them)

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