An interesting session.. first time I've played since WBC 2005. I greatly enjoyed it, but I noticed two players dropping out to play Carcassone, which is almost like an insult! I suspect you really have to be a fan of the milieu to "get" this game, as HPL has his detractors as well as his fans. I'm glad I bought it, but the inherent complexity of the game has kept me from playing it as much as I would like.
If you have the RIGHT crowd of 4-5 players this game rocks. Period.
DETAILS and PICTURES here:
Summary: We had tried to cap the players off at 5 but that went up to 6 and back down to 4 after two players defected. The game took 3 hours but there were at least 2 newbies playing which slowed us down somewhat.
The dark Pharaoh expansion was used and it generally added to the color and excitement of the game. Some of the environment cards were particularly nasty.
We found ourselves blundering around Arkham trying to seal up gates and just not doing it fast enough. We got 3 gates sealed (one through a heroic sacrifice by an "ahem" heroic unnamed player), but it wasn't fast enough to prevent the Old One, Cthulhu himself, from entering this plane and wreaking havoc. As it was late, we decided humanity was done for.
A great time was had by all.
In your review, you mentioned the difficulty of getting 4+ people to play Arkham. What we often do here is go with just two players, controlling two characters apiece.
This seems to work out pretty well--when one of your characters gets 'stuck' the other usually has plenty to do. Frequently, I'll use my stronger character to clear a path for my weaker gate-closer. And having two under your control seems to make equipment trades more intuitive.
A three-payer game (with one char each) can also be a very challenging to win, especially if the GOO makes an appearance.