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Subject: Last second loss against Azathoth rss

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Jason Horner
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I played my first game the other day. I had a chance to win earlier in the game but missed a critical roll at an important time.

But I kept at it and finally completed the task for the third mystery (had to close a gate that matched the current Omen symbol), but then during the mythos phase, the mythos deck was empty, I lost at the last second because I couldn't draw a card, because the mystery is not considered solved until the END of the mythos phase, right? In actuality, I had effectively lost the game as soon as I drew the last mythos card the turn before and did not have the third mystery solved -- but I didn't know that at the time.

Has anyone else run into this situation? I've played Elder Sign and Arkham Horror, and I am well versed in how the Lovecraftian games are meant to be stacked against the players ("if you're not sure, interpret the rule in the way that way that most harms the players"). But this seems exceptionally cruel in a series that tends to have win conditions that occur instantly after the goal is met. I still think it's a fun game, and I'm not whining (hey, if Azathoth eats me, he eats me), but to lose like that, I just felt cheated.

I thought about the rule that did me in. My guess is that Mysteries are not considered solved until the end of the Mythos phase mainly so that you can't begin work on a second mystery in the same turn you solve one. If that's true, wouldn't it be just as good to say that mysteries are solved as soon as the requirements are met, but the next mystery is not revealed until the end of the mythos phase? That would still keep things about the same, while allowing a dramatic last turn win?

What do you guys and gals think?
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Richard
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If you cannot draw a Mythos card due to the deck being empty, the Mythos Phase ends and you lose.

When the Mythis Phase ends, if you have completed three Mysteries, you win.

If two triggers cause conflicting win or lose conditions, you win.
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Jason Horner
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Holy crap, I can't believe I missed that.
 
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Kelly N.
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Curious. Where is it stated that the solved mystery only counts as solved at the end of the Mythos Phase?

All I've read says that once the 3rd mystery is solved, the investigators IMMEDIATELY win the game. I would think that the word "immediately" was included to indicate that no further phases need completing.
 
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Arturo Cavari
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I've lost that way too! That means we won!!!
 
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Jason Horner
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Well, I certainly feel silly for posting that now.
 
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Yuriy Matuhno
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sabbat00 wrote:
Curious. Where is it stated that the solved mystery only counts as solved at the end of the Mythos Phase?

All I've read says that once the 3rd mystery is solved, the investigators IMMEDIATELY win the game. I would think that the word "immediately" was included to indicate that no further phases need completing.
...and mystery is solved during the mythos phase?..
 
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Jason Horner
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The "At the end of the Mythos phase .... solve this mystery" statement is on the bottom all of the mystery cards.

My final mystery was:
"At the end of the Mythos Phase, if there are Eldritch tokens on this card equal to half [the number of players], solve this Mystery."

You do win immediately as soon as you *solve* the third mystery, but the mystery is not considered solved until the mythos phase ends.

The critical point though, as the previous poster said, is that the mythos phase *does* end if you cannot draw the last card, and that is what makes the last second win possible.
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Richard
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sabbat00 wrote:
Curious. Where is it stated that the solved mystery only counts as solved at the end of the Mythos Phase?

All I've read says that once the 3rd mystery is solved, the investigators IMMEDIATELY win the game. I would think that the word "immediately" was included to indicate that no further phases need completing.

The rules state you immediately win when you solve the third Mystery. I believe every Mystery card itself, in its solving conditions will state something like "At the end of the Mythos Phase, if ...., solve this Mystery."
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Jason Horner
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thegrinder wrote:
I've lost that way too! That means we won!!!

I still can't quite believe it. My first game of Eldritch Horror and to have it end in such a dramatic fashion. Wow!!

Here I thought Azathoth ate my multiverse and it turns out that I stole a win away at the last second.
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Kelly N.
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Oh, I see. It states it on the Mystery Card itself.

So, with that cleared up in my mind....Richard is correct. It is stated in the reference book, page 12

The game immediately ends when an effect specifies that “Investigators
win the game,” or “Investigators lose the game.”

* In the rare circumstance that both of these effects happen at the
same time, investigators win the game.

* Investigators win the game by solving Mysteries.

* If all players have been eliminated, investigators lose the game.

* If a Mythos card cannot be drawn during the Mythos Phase, the
Mythos Phase ends and investigators lose the game.

* If the Doom token reaches the “0” space of the Doom track, the
Ancient One awakens. The Ancient One sheet is flipped and
indicates how investigators can lose the game.
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Arutha ConDoin
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That was a very good question with a surprising answer. I haven't had this situation yet but I would have thought that it was a loss since there was no mythos card left. Seems I've been wrong about that.
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Graham Charlton
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Arutha ConDoin wrote:
That was a very good question with a surprising answer. I haven't had this situation yet but I would have thought that it was a loss since there was no mythos card left. Seems I've been wrong about that.

The thing to consider is that if if were played that way then it would be pointless to play the final turn of the game.

The main implication of Mystery cards being resolved at the end of the turn is that the AO can wake up in that annoying gap between doing what is required by the Mystery and it clearing at the end of the turn.
 
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Jason Horner
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That's a good point.

So if you've completed the task for the third mystery, but it isn't solved yet, and the AO wakes up before the mythos phase, then a non-Azathoth AO will require you solve a final mystery, since now the win condition has been changed. If it's Azathoth, then you lose, since the mythos phase didn't get completed.

It seems there should to be a better way to handle "that annoying gap". It's not like many people like that mechanic. You complete the final task you need to win, but you somehow end up losing. I can imagine scenarios where the players, after having completed the task for the final mystery, have to do some crazy stuff to try not to trigger a loss condition at the last moment. I just happened to fall into the right scenario that produces a win instead of a loss.
 
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Jorgen Peddersen
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It adds a bit of tension waiting to find out how that final Mythos card will somehow snatch victory from your grasp, but that's where a lot of the fun lies in Eldritch Horror. It's those unexpected moments when the game turns on you that make for the most thrilling experiences.

And the Mysteries wouldn't work as well if they were solved as soon as you completed their task. Having one show up as soon as it's complete means the investigators that haven't had their encounter yet can start making decisions to work on it early, or potentially even solve it in the same turn if it spawns where they are (with some AOs, you can predict where the next Mystery could show up to a degree). With the end of Mythos mechanic, you're only ever going to be solving one Mystery per turn, and can only start preparing for it at the start of the next turn.
 
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Jason Horner
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If you look at the end of my original post, I wasn't proposing that players be allowed to work on two mysteries per turn -- I understand (and agree) with the design rationale behind that. What I suggested was that the mystery be considered solved as soon as the requirements are met, but that you don't get to flip over the next unrevealed mystery until the end of the mythos phase.

If you like that bit of tension, then great. Personally, I would be annoyed to find out I had done what was needed to solve the third mystery, but lost the game because the Ancient One woke up during that "gap" between when the mystery requirements were met and it was considered "solved". I think my proposed solution above removes that possibility, while still preventing the players from progressing on more than one mystery per turn.
 
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Deathworks
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Dear Jason,

jlhorner1974 wrote:
If you like that bit of tension, then great. Personally, I would be annoyed to find out I had done what was needed to solve the third mystery, but lost the game because the Ancient One woke up during that "gap" between when the mystery requirements were met and it was considered "solved". I think my proposed solution above removes that possibility, while still preventing the players from progressing on more than one mystery per turn.

I think your variant will change game balance only slightly by weakening the awakening of the great old one and thus making the game slightly easier to win. As such, I think it is a good game variant in the sense that it does not break the game.

However, personally, I don't like it. My reasoning behind this lies in my seeing Eldritch Horror as a great game of story telling. And thus, even defeat has its value as you get a really great tale. Losing at the very last moment, just as you thought you had saved the world - that is what you could call an Epic Defeat. Just imagine your investigator(s) sinking down to their knees exhausted after closing that final gate - and as they sigh in relief, the world ends. Or imagine them having gathered that last bit of evidence about the dark mother, leaving the ritual site where they found that evidence - only to see in the sky that all their effort has come too late...

Yours,
Deathworks
 
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Jason Horner
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Oh, I can totally imagine the flavor for it, and somehow it seems appropriate given the mythos seems to get its due. As I said, I don't care for it, but I respect your position and I totally see your viewpoint -- no question it creates a significant amount of tension. I could compare it to a epic movie or video game where the hero(es) just killed the big bad guy after an epic battle -- but now the castle/dungeon/ is on fire/collapsing/falling into the abyss. It makes for a good movie or video game (even though you KNOW that 99% of the time the good guy is going to make it out, it reinforces how close s/he was to dying). Having the good guys perish in the denouement of the story just doesn't seem like good cinema (or board game) to me. Just my opinion. I can certainly see though how it would make you really savor those close victories even more though if you manage to survive that final mythos.

Even though I don't personally care for the "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" mechanic, I won't even be using the rules variants I mentioned in my own games because I like to play by the book whenever possible. I was really doing a thought experiment since I've seen more than one grumble about this aspect of the game, and I kind of share those viewpoints and wanted to explore what things would be like with a more "instant win" condition.

I see the game as hard enough that the AO doesn't need to get a final mythos to take you down after you've done what was needed to "beat" him. I think Eldritch as a fairly tough challenge as it is, as my win rate is in the neighborhood of 50% (I usually play solo with a 2-player team that is not optimized/synergistic). I'm starting to think that this game is even more sensitive to low player counts than AH (possibly) or ES (definitely). In particular, Yig seems to be quite tough to beat with 2 players, given all that you have to manage.

I guess I just liked the aspect of Arkham Horror and Elder Sign where the game itself is stacked against the investigators from the beginning, but in the rare situations where the investigators and AO meet their win conditions at the same time, the good guys win.

In any case, I appreciate your viewpoints and willingness to entertain the tangent I've gone off on here. Cheers!
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Deathworks
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Hello!

jlhorner1974 wrote:
I was really doing a thought experiment since I've seen more than one grumble about this aspect of the game, and I kind of share those viewpoints and wanted to explore what things would be like with a more "instant win" condition.

Well, as I hinted before, if that is your purpose, I think your variant does it quite well - little change to the game, easy to remember, but solving the issue it is supposed to solve.

Yours,
Deathworks


P.S.: Given that you are suggesting a variant, I think this ought to be in the variants section of the game's forums - or am I wrong?
 
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