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Lee418

Life after Azathoth

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Up until now I've played most (but not all) of my AH games with Azathoth as the AO. Why? Because I'm still learning the game. Azathoth has a generous doom track and does not add a lot of additional complexity.

 

But now I feel like I want to branch out a little more and broaden my AO experience. But I don't want to set myself up for failure by picking AO's that look easy, but in reality aren't. For example I recently tried a game with Hastur. I figured the long doom track would help and the 8 clue tokens needed to seal gates would not be too big a deal. Was I wrong or what? :rolleyes:

 

So what I'm basically asking for is a rating of AO's from easiest to hardest. (I'm not talking about final battle difficulty after the AO awakens.) Which AO's would be a good next step after Azathoth?

 

*NOTE: I only have the AO's from AH, IH, and KH.

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Hello! I had a similar question some time ago, so I checked the official games statistics here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AliZyklaTCWzcGFQTWdvZW5jc1JwcHEzUEVZV1htUVE#gid=7

Looks like Ithaqua, Nyarlathotep and Yig should be your next targets.

But that may differ with the number of investigators and/or explansions you use.

Anyway, check the stats, they will give you a general idea!

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Checking the stats could be a good idea, well spotted Ceridan :) But as you said, the stats are inferred by a lot of things (number of investigators, expansions, and stuff).

 

In my experience, good AO's to train (if you play with the core board only, or AH+KH) are:

- Cthulhu: despite he could seem tough, actually he's not, if you play investigators starting with 5/5 or 6/4 Sanity/Stamina. The doom track is very long, allowing you a lot of time to fix everything

- Nyarlathotep: short doom track but very easy final battle, plus it adds the excitement derived from having Mask monsters in play

 

Yig is easy, but not that easy (actually, the only core AH game I lost in my life was against Yig). He's very qick to awaken, plus you need to prevent (read: get Blessings) his Start of Battle ability ore FB will end very soon and very bad.

Edited by Julia
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It's funny, but alot of the AOs I thought were scary weren't. For instance, I recently played against Ghatanothoa, which is an AO from Innsmouth. Now, by all accounts, he should be very tricky--a 1-in-8 chance to get an Investigator Devoured just for picking up two or more Clue tokens. But, as with most things in AH ,it came down to hard, fast luck, which got me through the game with the nasty-eyed beastie in 6 ROUNDS. Fastest game ever simply because I got very, very, VERY lucky.

 

So no matter how hard or easy the AO may look, in the end, a great deal of it comes down to sheer dumb luck.

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Additionally, it was ruled that you don't have to pick up two or more clues at a location, for instance. So it's very rare you actually flip visage tokens during any Ghat game (it could happen as result of encounters or other things you don't really have control over, but still, being allowed of not picking up the clues is *huge*)

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In my experience, good AO's to train (if you play with the core board only, or AH+KH) are:

- Cthulhu: despite he could seem tough, actually he's not, if you play investigators starting with 5/5 or 6/4 Sanity/Stamina. The doom track is very long, allowing you a lot of time to fix everything

- Nyarlathotep: short doom track but very easy final battle, plus it adds the excitement derived from having Mask monsters in play

 

Yig is easy, but not that easy (actually, the only core AH game I lost in my life was against Yig). He's very qick to awaken, plus you need to prevent (read: get Blessings) his Start of Battle ability ore FB will end very soon and very bad.

 

So far I've been reluctant to try Cthulhu. I guess I got a little spooked by the comment on page 5 of the AH rule book. "Cthulhu makes for a particularly challenging game." After reading that I thought I would leave old squid head till later. But I'll give him a try next time and see how it goes.

 

Thanks for the tip about high stat investigators versus Cthulhu. Does this mean there might actually be a use for Vincent Lee? Or am I being over optimistic? :lol:

 

Silly question time: On Nyarlathotep's AO sheet why does it say, "Multiple Mask monsters can be in play at once." Is there something I'm missing here? Multiples of any monster can be in play at once, so why the need for a reminder. It seems to be stating the obvious. 

 

I think I will definitely leave Yig until later though. :o

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Vincent is certainly a good! You get him, you have him giving away his amazing 9 starting bucks, and you have him devoured as soon as possible. I wish you had Dunwich so that you could retire him by turn 3. Otherwise, your fireplace is also a good place for Vincent to stay :devil:

 

(sorry buddy, it's amazing how useless can Vincent be... even if he's a little better with his PS passed, he's still a pain.. low Speed, low Fight, useless special ability, and an aura of bad luck always surrounding him... played Cthulhu + Dagon + Hydra last night... got an Elder Sign, finished stomped by a Dark Young. Next try, he went insane only to draw Amnesia. Even if with four clues + Research Materials he sealed the Unvisited Isle, the subsequent Mythos was a burst..)

 

Nyarly: nope, there is nothing that you're missing. I guess point is that Masks should be ways for Nyarly to show his face to the world, so, in fact, each Mask is the same God, so thematically... don't know really. Anyhoo, if you play Nyarly, remember to add all Masks to the cup, not only those coming with the core game :)

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The hardest part, for me, with Cthulhu is remembering the stat reductions at all. Sometimes I do forget and heal too much and by the time I remember, it's left me in a bind. XD

 

As for Nyarl, thematically speaking, Julia is right--he can have in lore, as many Masks as he wants running around at the same time. In fact, he could have all thousand in one place if he so chose. Thankfully, that place isn't Arkham! :P

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I put Doom Tokens next to everyone's San/Stamina dice (I use dice instead of brain/heart tokens) to remember C's horrific ability.

 

And why does everyone hate Vincent so much?

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Another good solution to remember stat reduction could be this one: at the beginning of the game, you put all your Stamina and Sanity tokens on the sheet. Ever time you lose Sta or San, instead of returning the token to the bank, you move the token off the sheet, but still near it. When you recover, you take the token(s) that now are off the sheet and put them back on it.

 

Or you can use some spare tokens, as Tox suggested, to indicate the missing points.

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My vote is with Cthulhu, for the reasons Julia mentioned. He gets much harder when you add Dagon, but that is in your blood smeared future...until then, he is so drowsy that you can often seal him away with no issues.

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I gave Cthulhu a shot. Core board only with Joe Diamond, Kate Winthrop, Bob Jenkins, and ............. Vincent Lee. <_<

 

After 16 turns I won with 6 sealed gates and only 7 tokens on the doom track. And for extra kudos Vincent Lee actually sealed the last gate. His second seal of the game! Maybe there's hope for the guy yet. Although it took him 3 attempts to get that final seal in place.

 

Next up Nyarlathotep. :ph34r:

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Well done Lee!! Glad you managed to have squid spaghetti for dinner :)

 

By chance, do you record your games on Tibs' sheet? An active contribution to the statistics is always very welcome :)

 

As for other possible games... remember the most difficult AO from the core set are Yog and Shub, with Yig immediately following. Hastur is a total boredom once you learn how to control the board, but still, it's not difficult and it's quite a cakewalk in Final Battle, if you manage to control the Terror Level.

 

My suggestion is: try first all AOs from the core game, and then move to the expansions' :)

 

G'd luck with Nyarly!

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Vincent is certainly a good! You get him, you have him giving away his amazing 9 starting bucks, and you have him devoured as soon as possible. I wish you had Dunwich so that you could retire him by turn 3. Otherwise, your fireplace is also a good place for Vincent to stay :devil:

 

::Laughter::

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Which makes sense--in the story, Cthulhu was awoken by accident--and sealed away by a guy with a lot of guts driving a boat into him. No epic battle or spells, just a man, a boat and a lot of ba--cahones.

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Another good solution to remember stat reduction could be this one: at the beginning of the game, you put all your Stamina and Sanity tokens on the sheet. Ever time you lose Sta or San, instead of returning the token to the bank, you move the token off the sheet, but still near it. When you recover, you take the token(s) that now are off the sheet and put them back on it.

 

Or you can use some spare tokens, as Tox suggested, to indicate the missing points.

Same profile picture, different people :) It was Fake Ghost Pirate who suggested it. Anyway, I too use the trick your trick. Prevents a lot of brain-melt, really.

 

One suggestion: after playing all the base-game AOs (and winning), try the updated versions of Yig, Cthulhu and Hastur from Arkham Nights. That way you will get a taste of what's coming from the other expansions, if you plan to buy them :)

Edited by Tox

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Cool! Well done, you might like to try out the Arkham Nights Cthulhu sometime, a little upgrade but much the same tactics are required. I take it you are randomly selecting investigators? If so I would suggest abandoning that , it can be really hard stuck with Vincent, Pete, Carolyn, Harvey and/or Jenny and finding you can only limp around town as Yigs Doom track goes up like a rocket...

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Nyarly: nope, there is nothing that you're missing. I guess point is that Masks should be ways for Nyarly to show his face to the world, so, in fact, each Mask is the same God, so thematically... don't know really. Anyhoo, if you play Nyarly, remember to add all Masks to the cup, not only those coming with the core game :)

 

Quick question: If all the Mask monsters are essentially manifestations of Nyarlathotep, does the John Legrasse ally card still allow an investigator to claim them as trophies?  

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Another good solution to remember stat reduction could be this one: at the beginning of the game, you put all your Stamina and Sanity tokens on the sheet. Ever time you lose Sta or San, instead of returning the token to the bank, you move the token off the sheet, but still near it. When you recover, you take the token(s) that now are off the sheet and put them back on it.

 

Actually it wasn't much of a problem remembering Cthulhu's stat reduction. Or for that matter the effect he has on Cultists.

Where I sometimes slip up is remembering Rumour card effects or rolling for Retainers, Blessings, and Curses.

Edited by Lee418

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Cool! Well done, you might like to try out the Arkham Nights Cthulhu sometime, a little upgrade but much the same tactics are required. I take it you are randomly selecting investigators? If so I would suggest abandoning that , it can be really hard stuck with Vincent, Pete, Carolyn, Harvey and/or Jenny and finding you can only limp around town as Yigs Doom track goes up like a rocket...

 

I will have a look at Arkham Nights after I've got a little more experience with the base game AO's.

 

As for selecting investigators.... At one point I kept playing with the same small group and kind of got into a 'comfort zone' with them that was limiting my understanding of Arkham. Stability is good at first when you're learning the ropes, but it becomes a limitation after a while. So I tried picking completely random teams, but that ended in disaster more often than not. One game against Hastur was an absolute debacle and I haven't picked Sister Mary since. <_<

Recently I've been hand picking two favourite investigators and then randomly selecting two more from the group that I wouldn't normally pick. If I didn't do that they would probably never leave the box.

 

For the next game against Nyarlathotep I've picked Michael McGlen and Darrell Simmons. The 'random dudds' are Carolyn Fern and Harvey Walters. I've never played Harvey before. He looks like he will be a good spell caster, but  with max 3 Speed one of his fixed possessions should be a zimmer frame. :lol:   

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Nyarly: nope, there is nothing that you're missing. I guess point is that Masks should be ways for Nyarly to show his face to the world, so, in fact, each Mask is the same God, so thematically... don't know really. Anyhoo, if you play Nyarly, remember to add all Masks to the cup, not only those coming with the core game :)

 

Quick question: If all the Mask monsters are essentially manifestations of Nyarlathotep, does the John Legrasse ally card still allow an investigator to claim them as trophies?  

 

Yes. Point is that Masks were designed without the idea of "Spawn" monsters in play, hence they are simply Endless monsters. John Legrasse, Petrifying solution or Encounters instructing you to gain a monster trophy even if Endless affect 100% Mask monsters (there are some custom Heralds able to fix this - some of them are pretty neat - but for now go with the normal rules!)

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Nyarlathotep done! :D

 

6 seals in 14 turns, with 8 tokens on the doom track. Game score: 25 points.

 

Next up Hastur or  maybe Ithaqua.

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Not bad at all! Well done! Who did you play with? Did any Mask enter play?

 

Michael McGlen, Darrell Simmons, Carolyn Fern, and Harvey Walters.

 

Three Mask monsters appeared: The Bloated Woman, The Black Man, and The Dark Pharoah. Michael McGlen defeated the first two, while the third was sent home due to a gate closure.

 

The Black Man had me confused for a moment though. On the back of his counter it says, "Before making a Horror check, pass a Luck (-1) check or be devoured." But he doesn't have a horror rating. :huh:

Michael passed the Luck check, so I awarded him 2 Clue tokens and put The Black Man back in the cup. Did I do that right, or did I mess up?

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