Finally completed my first playthrough of the 10x10 challenge for this game....and it was an EPIC WIN!
I play most of my games as follows:
- Injury & Madness cards (from Dunwich)
- All Mythos/Arkham Encounter/Other World cards, discarding the ones that don't fit (i.e. if I'm not playing with the Dunwich board but draw a Dunwich card, I just discard it and move to the next one). My current expansions include Innsmouth, Dunwich, Lurker, and the revised CotDP.
- Relationship cards
- Personal Stories
- Randomly drawn characters and GOO
For this game I played with the Innsmouth board. I did not use the Lurker Herald, or the CotDP herald/marker. I had a team of 4: Wilson Richards the Handyman, Jacqueline Fine the Psychic, Minh Thi Panh the Secretary, and Akachi Onyele the Shaman. The GOO was Bokrug, and boy was he a doozy!
The game started off in a pretty pedestrian way. Wilson headed to the Newspaper to try and make some money, in order to complete his personal story. Jacqueline went shopping, Akachi headed to the Science Building after hearing there were some odd goings-on there, and Minh headed to Ma's Boarding House, hoping to find some help. She instead found a Flamethrower that somebody just left lying around! The first Mythos phase resulted in a Monster Surge (seriously??!!!).
After that, Akachi headed to the Woods, following the trail of clues that she picked up at the Science Building. There, she had a gang member try to rob her, but she turned the table on him and robbed him instead! Wilson got a retainer to do some work for the Newspaper, which was exactly what he was hoping for. He needed $15, and he needed it now! Jacqueline headed to Independence Square, where she deciphered some symbols, and Minh went to the Witch House in search of clues, and instead came away with nightmares, causing her to lose some of her sanity, and become delayed. The group heard that a new gate opened in the Esoteric Order of Dagon, but didn't pay it much attention. That was a long ways off, and they felt it probably wasn't all that important.
Wilson hung around the newspaper, and didn't really find anything interesting. Jacqueline lost her cross to the sheriff, but got some clues out of it. Minh recovered from her nightmare, then had the Rat Thing come at her. Unfortunately the Rat Thing didn't notice the flamethrower behind her back, and she was able to fend him off. Mmmm...roasted rat.... Akachi hung around the Woods, hoping to find a gate or more clues, and instead found the SAME GANG MEMBER. He didn't learn from his first attempt, and again found himself being the robbee rather than the robber. Stop messing with the shaman, fool! This time a new gate opened up in the Graveyard (which seemed quite believable to the group), and mummies were set loose in the streets.
Jacqueline then moved to the Black Cave, where she was saved by Tom "Mountain" Murphy. Minh went to the Silver Twilight Lodge, and was granted membership. Akachi stayed in the Woods AGAIN, and this time saw someone place an item into a tree. She was too scared to go after it though, and just left it. Wilson heard at the newspaper that there was a Proto-Shogoth in the streets outside. So he decided to tangle with it, and he won! Unfortunately this was followed by rioting in the streets, due to a "disrespectful scavenging of a society's remains". Fortunately Wilson was not subdued by the hippies. However, the group heard that a new gate had been seen opening at the Black Cave.
Minh went to the General Store in hopes of finding something useful, and found an upset customer who just gave her a tome that they said was "faulty". Minh was happy to have it, because she was on a quest to read and learn as much as she could about the goings-on around Arkham. Akachi went back to the Science Building, hoping to find another trail of evidence. There she assisted a professor with their research, and gained the knowledge of a new spell. Wilson, after getting a taste for monster goo, moved to the Merchant District. After a drink of whiskey, and again avoiding the rioting hippies, he slew himself an Elder Thing. Then he wished he had more whiskey to celebrate. Jacqueline continued her journey in the Abyss without much fanfare. No new gates opened up this time, but the group felt the GOO coming closer, with 2 (TWO!) tokens added to his track! This also caused Wilson to fail his personal story, which caused him to want yet more whiskey. Poor guy...
Akachi traveled to the Witch House hoping to see a gate open for herself. While waiting she attends a feast, then realizes just exactly what she'd been eating, and loses a good deal of her sanity. Wilson heads to the Unvisited Isle, this time to kill a Maniac AND a Cultist. This guy loves killing him some bad guys! There he found a gate leading to the City of the Great Race. Jacqueline stood up in the Abyss, and her day remained just about that exciting for the remainder of it. Minh headed to the Unnameable, where she heard she could gather some clues. She found the clues, and also a house filled with wails of the dead or dying, and she lost some of her sanity. Secretaries aren't cut out for this... And then the Southside Strangler struck, fortunately not hurting anybody.
Wilson continue his journey through the Other World, as did Jacqueline. Minh travled to Independence Square, where she encountered a Mi-Goh. It was a rough fight, taking a lot of her energy (she used up four clues to beat him!), and was summarily pulled in to the Great Hall of Celeano. Akachi finally found herself a gate at the Graveyard, and avoided a Lloigor. She found herself in the Dreamlands, where she came face to face with a Dark Young. She used a bit of her energy and evaded it though. Then Arkham was hit with another surge of monsters.
Jacqueline returned to Arkham, and closed and sealed the gate behind her. Unfortunately she was surrounded by Lloigor and Priest of Dagon, but she would deal with them later. Minh and Akachi moved through their respective Other Worlds, and Wilson came back to Arkham, where he killed a Cultist, and then closed his gate. A new gate appeared at the Woods (and Akachi cried out in dismay after wasting three turns there), and two Lloigor's strike, causing Jacqueline to lose 2 sanity, 2 stamina. This left her with 2 sanity and 1 stamina. Oh and the Lloigor and Priest of Dagon for the next turn...
Minh returned to Arkham and closed and sealed the gate behind her. (1/3 of the way to victory!) Akachi recovered in the Other World, and found herself in the Borderlands. She found herself in the Plateau of Leng, past the Borderlands, with no gates leading back to Arkham. Wilson headed to the Historical Society after hearing there was some ne'er-do-wells there. He had an option to use a gate trophy, but chose not to, in order to try and help Akachi reach her personal goal. If that doesn't say "teamwork", I don't know what does. It just warms the heart, I tell ya. Jacqueline tried an Astral Travel, and even spent more energy trying it again, but completely failed. She failed to stand up to the horrors of the Priest of Dagon. She woke up in the Arkham Asylum, considerably more paranoid than before. Strange lights were then seen on campus, and the Science Building, Administration Building, and Library were all closed. There was another surge of monsters throughout Arkham as well.
Akachi used her ability to Find Gates, and returned to Arkham, closing and sealing the gate behind her. (Thank goodness she's such a good gate sealer!) Wilson headed to the Unnameable for more clues, and evaded some rats there. Jacqueline also headed to the Unnameable, on her way to St. Mary's for some much-needed rest. Unfortunately while there she read a manuscript, and found herself delayed. On the plus side she gained some clues from the reading. Minh found herself in a tough fight with a Wraith (note to self: if betting on secretaries or wraiths, bet on the wraith), and wound up in St. Mary's, a bit worse for wear and 1 less maximum stamina. This time the mythos' plans were blocked, as the seal at the Black Cave held!
Wilson decided to (finally) attend to that very first gate in Innsmouth, and hopped on his motorcycle, to the train station, which took him to the bus stop in Innsmouth. He then trotted over to the Esoteric Order, where he got sucked in to an Other World, only to find himself on a rickety bridge. He ended up lost in Time & Space. Jacqueline woke up, but found herself reading the same manuscript again. She gained more clues reading again, but once again found herself delayed. Minh headed to the Unvisited Isle (so, I guess it was the Visited Isle now). There she heard the heart of the island calling, but she wasn't able to find the source. Akachi evaded a Lloigor, and went shopping at the General Store. You know, normal stuff you do after evading a Lloigor. This time a new gate opened at the Science Building, where a Flying Polyp appeared. Ew.
Jacqueline continued her streak of bad luck at the Unnameable, where she was surrounded by rats that somehow transported her to Time & Space. Them be some mean rats. Minh went to the Newspaper, hoping for some money for the psychiatric help she needed, and was rewarded with $5 for a story she had! I think it was the one about the Rat Thing and the flamethrower. Akachi went to the Witch House, where she ran in to Thomas F. Malone! He seemed like a nice enough fella, so they palled around a bit. Wilson got out of Time & Space, and went back to the Esoteric Order, which led him back to the Plateau of Leng. A Cultist was waiting for him there, but he didn't realize that Wilson "The Monster Slayer" Richards was the one coming through the gate. He didn't live long. A seal at the Graveyard held out, and prevented a new gate from opening. (This would prove to be HUGE!!!)
Minh, $5 richer, headed to the Arkham Asylum to get her sanity back. Akachi headed over to the Science Building, hearing there was FINALLY some real action there. There she was drawn in to Yuggoth, where she apparently was probed by aliens. But it was the good kind of probing, that helped her close gates! At least, it would help until it devoured her. So you know...trade-offs. Fortunately the aliens returned her to Arkham (again, this would turn out to be a huge boon!). Wilson had a chance to return to Arkham after getting further in the Other World, but chose not to, as he felt he was close to returning anyway. And then the group had their first gate burst, in Independence Square. Ruh-roh. On the plus side, the group could spend 5 clue tokens collectively to close 1 gate. They chose to do that, closing the gate in the Woods, leaving 3 gates open.
And now, the winner. Akachi closes the gate at the Science Building, completing her personal story. Wilson returns from the Plateaug of Leng to the Esoteric Order, and spends 3 clues to close that gate. This mean Jacqueline "Do Nothing at The Unnameable For Three Turns" Fine has a chance to save the day and close the last gate. She comes back to Independence Square...and.....SAVES ARKHAM!!!!!
It was a pretty amazing comeback, that had me pumping my fist in the air as I danced around the room. There were three remaining spots on the Doom Track, and after the Gate Burst I only had 2 seals. So I knew that my chances were seriously dwindling. When I saw the Gate Burst I honestly thought it was over. But then the stars aligned, and the heroes won! Hooray!!!