There now lay revealed such a horror as would have overwhelmed us had we not been prepared.
Last Saturday (07-12-13) we played Machina Arcana. After having played Machina Arcana about 5-6 times in 2 player games this was the first time we played a 3 person game. We played a prototype of Machina Arcana so only the first scenario was available and there were just 5 explorers to choose from.
Regarding the pictures! Please keep in mind that this is just a prototype therefore the quality of the parts is not comparable to the finished product! Also the art of the maptiles will be changed completely. They will be made by Lord Zseze (http://www.lordzsezseworks.com/) for the finished game.
We started with the following explorers:
Isabel as Lorai
Ulrich as Kim
Michael as Phillip
The game took us 34 rounds in total! I will just write a short version of the session and point out some special moments! To remind you in every round there are 4 Phases:
1. Explorer Phase
2. Monster spawn
3. Horror phase
4. Monster phase
For more please read my Review (http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1083652/a-review-of-machina-...) of the game or the manual (http://machinaarcana.com/game-manual/).
After setting up the game we started by flipping the first Scenario card. We drew a map tile and placed the entry token: The adventure began! As always we could use the first round to get familiar with the drawn map tile. Lorai gained treasure by activating a chest and was the first explorer to own a weapon. In the following Monster spawn she missed the roll and a Deep One appeared. The Horror phase brought us (after we missed the roll) ethereal monsters and the Monster threat rose to 2. In the Monster phase the Deep One moved directly to Lorai and she got hit by its attack.
So on the following rounds we wound our way through the complex by exploring new map tiles and killing monsters and a lot of running away. Then we had to make a cruel decision. We had to activate another chapter and Lorai had the 3 required essence for it, but it was a suicide mission. With a bunch of monsters at her back she went into a dead end to reach the chapter space. Isabel chose a new character and entered the game in the next round with Jessie.
Shortly after they had devoured Lorai, Kim was the next target for the creatures infesting the underground complex. But with the use of an item she managed to escape. To survive she did what she had to do : She ran for her life.
For the chapter effect (thx to Lorai) we had to place an Exit token and were able to return to our base camp. Well, not all of us, Kim got killed on her way to the Exit token and was devoured by the monsters. So in her place Hank waited at camp to reinforce Jessie and Phillip upon their return.
At the camp we refreshed ourselves. We healed up to max, traded some items, got new equipment. Then we went back into the complex. As we worked our way through the next chapters we were able to kill some monsters by using barrels (exploding) and the traps which are part of the map layout.
The on the last map tile we reached - it was about round 20 by now - we had the chance to seal all monster spawns and gained a little respite through this technique (the Monster spawn is skipped if there are no unsealed monster spawns).
After Hank got his act together (he equipped an item and due a Horror effect dropped it in the same round) he was the last explorer exiting the map tile and we reached the end game.
Because I don’t want to spoil the fun I won't be describing the endgame at this point.
But in the end we succeeded and stopped the ritual in time (this was the first Machina Arcana game that we actually won). So we lived another day.
The game was long this gave us time to use very neat tactics. After having played so many rounds we are familiar with the game mechanics and could use our environment to be successful (also, some luck was involved ). It’s definitely a game which is easy to learn but hard to master.
Please feel free to ask questions above!
Michael, Isabel and Ulrich