I played two rounds of Eldritch Horror yesterday. Both were four-investigator games, played on my own, using both expansions and fully randomized setup (so no staging of the Mythos deck, all Mythos cards included, random Prelude, random investigators, random Ancient Ones). Both proved to be among my most memorable playthroughs, but for rather different reasons!
(Details of Ancient Ones' mysteries, Preludes, and some Mythos and Tokyo cards included below, so minor spoiler warning.)
The first game was against Shub. Shubby and I have a rather one-sided history - I've fought her around three times, and have a 100% success rate so far, albeit usually having to kill her after she wakes up. Still, I'd also won my last two games (against Azathoth and Yog-Sothoth), and more comfortably than normal, so I was feeling unusually confident at the start of the game.
We got off to an exciting start, with the Rumours from the North prelude (get The Wind-Walker rumour in play with an extra couple of tokens on from the start). We continued well, with each of the first three turns seeing one of my investigators get a Dark Pact! However, I was making fast progress and with the end of the fourth turn and Phase 1, I'd completed the first mystery (clues from research encounters). On the other hand, during that turn I'd had the chance to move a monster to a space of my choice, so had decided to place the Dhole somewhere nice and out the way - in the Amazon.
Naturally, the second mystery spawned Nug in the Amazon.
Nonetheless, everything was surprisingly well in hand. Gate closing was going well, and a few lucky effects meant that Doom was actually higher than it's starting level. Once the Dhole moved out of the Amzaon due to a reckoning, Mark Harrigan jumped in and despite failing miserably to kill the single Ghoul there, flung his Kerosene over Nug and burnt it to a crisp. Two mysteries down, and we're about 7 turns in, and Doom still above the starting point of 13!
The third mystery spawned Shub's other epic monster in Space 19 - only one away from two of my investigators, camping out in Tokyo. They took an extra turn there as Mark tried to start healing and preparing for the final battle - only to find an event which did two damage to everything on a space (eliminating the two other monsters that spawned with it) and another one which did three damage to a chosen monster. It was down to one health! Ignoring Mark, I re-calibrated Lola to strength and sent her in to take the kill-shot, which she made easily. The game was won, with only 9 turns, and Doom never having gone below the starting value! By far my easiest ever game.
(That said, my score still only worked out as -2. Despite the massive remaining amount of Doom, I had two Rumours in play, three Dark Pacts - none of which fired all game - and a ton of other stuff on the board at the end.)
Interestingly, my previous game had at that point been my easiest ever game, with Yog-Sothoth only getting Doom to about 8 before defeat. In both cases I noted I had seen no Hard Mythos cards all game, simply by chance. The level of these cards really matters...
Still, feeling a little underwhelmed at the ease, I went for another round. Cthulhu was next up. In direct contrast to Shub, I've fought Cthulhu a few times, and had a 0% success rate. This was going to be interesting.
My randomly assigned Investigators weren't a great team for the job: Leo, Finn, Patrice and George. No real fighters, barely a mage. Worse, my opening mystery was The Deep Ones Attack!, involving successfully killing a Deep One in an ambush. With only one investigator of the four even rolling enough dice to even have that as a possibility, and no weapons available in the reserve, I was in for a tough ride. And, as I soon found out, the Hard Mythos cards had made a reappearance.
In the end, I finally completed the first mystery at the end of Round 8 - the last turn of Phase 2. Doom was OK, but my characters were flagging and only Finn had managed to acquire much...before he'd been killed, to be replaced by Akachi. At least George had managed to pick up his stuff.
With a maximum of 8 turns remaining in the game, I revealed the second mystery - R'lyeh Risen. I almost gave up there - I've had this card before and it's a nightmare to complete. I didn't even have an investigator able to get there that turn.
Nonetheless, I persevered. Turn 9 involved quickly converging in towards R'lyeh. Turn 10, I managed to move everyone but Patrice onto Space 3 and had three shots at the Encounter deck. Stunningly I succeeded two of them, and the mystery was solved!
A third mystery appeared with six turns remaining. The Queen of the Sea, spawning the Hydra on Space 8, and immune to damage unless the active investigator wielded the artifact Ya'Talla. Meanwhile, the Expedition was over in the Himalayas, guarded by a Gnoph-Keh. At least...Patrice was nearby?
Patrice headed towards the mountains as George and Leo went for Central America to prepare, and Akachi disappeared on a desperate bid to keep the spawning gates in check. But Patrice, having managed to get into the mountains and stunningly defeat the monster, failed to find an artifact on her Expedition...and swiftly died in the following Mythos.
By which point we're starting Turn 14, with Doom precariously low but not yet gone, as the randomly selected Norman arrived on the scene. Again, I almost gave up, but I realized that the Expedition had moved to Rome - just within Norman's reach. Norman rushed over and in his excursion into the crypt, discovered the Sword! With a Delivery Service available in the assets, he could send it to Leo, who could dispatch the Hydra on Turn 15. I had a glimmer of victory.
Of course, during Turn 14's Mythos, Doom ran out. Stupid Zombie Hordes.
Determined to play it out, I went ahead with the plan regardless - as much to see if I would have won if the zombies hadn't triggered Doom as from any hope of actually winning. Except a gate opened that was going to be hit by the Omen on the 15th card! And although Norman was nearby and gave it his best shot, it couldn't be closed - Cthulhu would have woken regardless. You're forgiven, Zombie Horde!
But Leo rolled spectacularly, and in one swift blow defeated the Hydra. Turn 15 ticked Mythos ticked through - a fairly harmless Green card, meaning no Cthulhu sanity loss - and I was in the final turn of the game, with Cthulhu on the board.
And I could get to him.
I wanted to send George. I could have Leo move in, give George all the stuff, then get George to move to Cthulhu and hit him with all his might. But while I had a ridiculous stack of re-rolls (7 clues, somehow!), I realized all the rerolls in the world weren't any good if you needed to get 7 successes on 4 dice! Nope, Leo had to go - which I could just do, but having George buy a ship ticket, move to Leo, then Leo trade and move into Cthulhu's space. Leo had seven attack dice - just enough, if I could get a success on each.
Leo had two sanity, and he was going to lose one from the move. You see why I wanted to send George?
Still, it was my only shot. I had one other trick - Akachi had ended up (somewhat accidently) near Tokyo. I could try to get a couple of extra hits in. She went first, and was fortunate to find the Dragon Lords...who dealt two damage to Cthulhu. Only five remaining.
With the final encounter of the game, Leo fought Cthulhu head on.
First, the sanity check. Leo had the Tome of Horrors, reducing the potential sanity damage to a mere four. He rolled two successes...and downed his bottle of whiskey, his drunkenness rendering him immune to Cthulhu's horror. Now he just needed five successes - and he had 7 dice with no fewer than 9 re-rolls to get them on.
The initial volley of seven found four of them. It was almost an anticlimax when the very first re-roll got the fifth!
Cthulhu was defeated in the very final moments and the world was saved. Of the nine yellow Mythos cards, five of them had been Hard, and only two Easy. An overall score of 6 felt surprisingly good!
All-in-all, a well-spent Sunday. Now just the expansion Ancient Ones to beat!
- Last edited Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:24 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:20 pm
Great stuff ! Fine report, thanks !