Hi, this is my second game of Arkham Horror.
I like randomness, so I picked four characters against a GOO.
I was relatively pleased by my characters : Kate, the scientist, Michael the criminal, Harvey, the professo rand Gloria the writess.
Then the Anciant One was revealed : Cthulhu ! I looked at it … it looked back at him and I thought : ‘OK, I will be a very very difficult game’ since during all the game Michael would have to go with only two sanity and Harvey with only two stamina.
I find myself lucky though : with a little luck, Kate and her ‘Science !’ would prevent some gate from opening, slowing the inexorable progression of the Doom Track. At this moment, for the inexperimented player I am, it was my only hope for a success.
But the gods of inexperimented players must have saw my despair because the starting equipment of my victims was very helpful : Michael and Harvey both got an Elder Sign !
At this point I said : ‘Maybe there is more than a little hope to win after all’ and the game began.
I kept finger crossed for having the first gate open at science building (to have kate cancel it) even if I know that there is less than 1% that event occurs, and indeed the gate opened at Independant Square releasing a High Priest.
Harvey comes to the gate in no time thanks to his Ruby of R’Lyeh and feinted the Priest with Mists of Releh. The gate took him to Leng. During this time, other investigators began to collect clue : Kate at the Witch House (to prevent a gate here) and Michael at the Unnamable to gain not one but two clues. Gloria, the worst equipped of the four went to the magic shop and bought some light reading : Le culte des goules.
Unfortunately, the second gate didn’t open in the Witch House but in the Woods. All in all it wasn’t that bad : The Arkham Citizen didn’t know about their impending doom and were so happy that the terror level froze at zero.
With two clues, just in case, Michael took on the Mi-Go released by the second gate. Two clues … not just in case, because they had to be used to pass the horror check of the nasty monster … to get a Pallid Mask … But right now, Michael want to fight not to hide so he keep it for later use. Meanwhile, Gloria try to understand her book and she manage it with a very large dose of whiskey to keep her sanity up and Kate go to the Unexplored Island where she found a Wither spell.
Third mythos card … A rumor … Disturbing the Dead, that can be cancelled only if a single investigator discards two gate trophies. Otherwise during each mythos phase the terror level may increase by one. OH NO ! My stroke of luck has finally run out ! … Mmmm… Wait … Wait a minute … What's the text on ‘Happy Days Returns’ says … ‘Terror level cannot increase’. Well that’s OK then, the rumor isn’t that bad… As long as I don’t draw another environment card. The third gate open in the black cave, guarded by a zombie.
Harvey finally came back to Arkham and use his Mists again on the Priest before sealling the gate with the Sign. One done !
Now in possession of enough clues to seal a gate, Gloria goes to the Black Cave, killing the zombie and ends up in Celano where she is blessed. Michael, in the Woods goes to Another Dimension without a clue, but with a Tommy Gun and Dynamite (Some people don’t like to rely on magic and evasion you know). Kate choose to stay on the Island and meet John Legrasse who joined her. This turn saw no gate opening since the square is effectively sealed.
Harvey made a side trip to the hospital to gain his missing stamina token. Kate, slowly but inexorably began to suffer on her long stay on the Island and became cursed with only one sanity and stamina left. But she decide to stay all the same : Sooner or later a gate will try to open here … anytime soon … but not this time … The Historical society instead get a gate with a nice hound of Tindalos on it, and a Dark Young and a maniac start roaming the streets.
In the searcj of some clues, Harvey goes to the Silver Twillight and becomes member. After an eventless travel, Michael and Gloria seal both their gates. Only one remains ! If it can be closed before another open, the investigators will win !
At least the happy days goes and the Darkest Night arrives but without a gate. The Hound choose to leave the last gate unguarded to chase Michael. The Disturbing Experience began to increase the terror level in town. Harvey try to blitz the last gate but he’s delayed in the Abyss. Meanwhile, the Hound changes its strategy and choose the attack the weakest investigator, Kate, sending them to the hospital. The hope of closing the last gate is still present beacause no new one opens even if the terror level continues to increase : Apparently the Rumors wanted to catch up the turns it lost while Happy Days was in play.
Unfortunately, the lack of gate opening due to mythos cards doesn’t prevent all gate opening : While in the Unnamable, Gloria is taken by a surprise gate, that leave a Soggoth waiting for her to return. Of course, Gloria has no way to deal with such a monster. Michael, seeing that some monsters on board have a physical resistance went to the Magic Shop and bought some Powder of Ibn-Gahaz.
Of couse, after her defeat against the Tindalos, Kate spend a little time (one turn) on the hospital to recover stamina … Guess where a gate opening occurs … Yes ! On the unvisited Island she just leaved ! But in a way, it was preferable : The opening triggered a dimensionnal rift that took back the Tindalos Hound and increase the terror in town. No new gate open, but, good news for Gloria who just had denied a quick return to Arkham to avoided the Soggoth, this monster choose to hunt in town, leaving the gate without surveillance.
Completly healed, Kate goes to the last unopened ‘high priority’ site : the Witch House, finding an enchanted jewelery inside. Michel, him, decide to go medieval and began a monster hunt, beginning with the High Priest who at least, die. Harvey come back to Arkahm and close the gate in Historical Society. Now in possession of two gate trophies, since the victory isn’t for soon, he decide to spend them to end the rumor. AT LEAST, for the first time since the beginning of the game, Kate manage to prevent a gate opening … But the Mythos Deck take care : Since no monsters can come out from the gate … it make them come by train instead, and the Undead Express comes to Arkham releasing a Zombie and a Ghoul.
The rumor stopped, everyone is awarded by a spell : Harvey a very useful Flesh Ward (His two stamina would be able to resist a longer), Gloria a Red Sign and Kate, the Dread Curse of Azatoth. Only Michael and his ‘Find Gate’ aren’t a match. Returning to Arkham, Gloria seal the Unnamable Gate, barely, using seven clues instead of five.
But Cthulhu don’t give up ! The graveyard gate opens.
To prevent the GOO to be more troublesome, Michael and Harvey decide to close the two last gate simultaneously : With Kate on the Witch House and all other main gate sites sealed. If the gates close simultaeously, the investigators will win without letting a chance to Cthulhu to counterattack. They prepared their expedition, Harvey by searshing clues and Michael by opening a way to the Unvisited Isle gate with is Tommy Gun. Staying at the Unnamable, Gloria meet Eric Colt while a monster surge occurs.
Unfortunately, while in the Witch House, Kate find a journal and read it. Its content was so terryfying that she land in the Asylum. The ‘Double Gate Attack’ work perfectly : Michael meet no one and Harvey evades a Warlock with his Mists. Unfortunately, A family is found butchered, the terror level increase and a gate open at … yes … Witch House that Kate just left. So long for the ‘double attack’, neither Harvey nor Michael has enough clues to seal their gate, so even if they close it, there is a good probability thet they will open again soon.
But no, this time again, Lady Luck was with me. One of the monsters spawned by the monster surge was a Warlock on the Island. Since Michael has four clues, if he can defeat the Warlock and get the two extra clues, the gate will be sealed. And that happens ! Michael evade a monster before killing the warlock and seal the gate, while Harvey only close his one.
The weather became sunny and clear and … no gates : Using his Mists to pass a cultist, Harvey rushes to the last gate, While Kate to to Hibbs to take clues and the other two working at the River Dock to gain money and item in case another gate open.
But no more gate open and returning to Arkham after an easy trip, Harvey close his fourth and last gate.
Cthulu, with only six Doom counters on it and a terror level of four will not take over Arkham this time.
I know that I’ve been very lucky to have the starting Elder Sign, and that I had a insane amount of luck during the mythos phase. But all the same, it was the first time I beat the game, so I savour it.
I though that after my first victory I would add the Dark Pharao cards, but I will try another one before with the base set, to see if with less luck, I can beat the game too.
Thanks for reading.
Plaisance du Touch
Thanks for writing this
The dark pharo epansion is nice - but the other expansion is a wee bit better in my opinion. If you play alot of horror, I really recommend it.
I have all the product : Arkahm + Pharaoh + Dunwich (And i'll buy soon King in Yellow ... I hope. )
But I adding the expension 'part by part' to increase the difficulty (And I think I won't be disapointed about Dunwich difficulty).
Now after defeated Azathoth in a 7 hours duel ... (4 hours to beat it a first time, failing a 13 dice rolls to close the last gate ... 3 hours to close the following gates that apparead after this little failure), Arkham and Pharaoh are now melted.
First Duel in two days against Yog Sothoth with only Sanity Strong character and with only weapons such a bullwhip and knive ... That promise to be fun.