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Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion» Forums » Sessions

Subject: TVB - 2P - Too cerebral, we all die. rss

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Richard Pardoe
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Only Dave managed to make it to games, so we put 18TN onto the siding and brought out a game that Dave had just received in trade: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion. This is a "bigger" expansion than the Curse of the Dark Pharaoh expansion that we played the last few times. Pharaoh adds cards to be used in the game. Dunwich Horror adds a new board (the town of Dunwich) with more locations as well as 2 more "other worlds" to explore. Dunwich Horror also adds more investigators and more Ancient Ones to battle. Finally, there is also the Dunwich Horror itself - a powerful monster - not as powerful as the Ancient Ones, but certainly something else to be avoided in the game. The Dunwich Horror awakens if 3 monsters in Dunwich move into the unstable vortices present in Dunwich.

As is our custom, we drew randomly for the Ancient One getting Azathoth. At least there would be not battle against the Ancient One for should Azathoth ever awaken, it's game over. That means we should focus on closing gates and preventing Azathoth from awakening.

With all the new characters, we decided to deal 2 characters to each of us and chose one to play. Dave drew Carolyn Fenn and Marie Lambeau and decided to go with Marie as a new character. Rich drew Gloria Goldberg (same as last time) and Harvey Walters and decided to go with Harvey for a change from last time. Looking at both characters, both were pretty weak physically, but strong mentally so would need to rely on spells instead of brawn to defeat the monsters.

Out set-up did not bode well. Harvey is entitled to 2 unique items but instead of drawing that drew instead "missions" which is another item the Dunwich Horror expansion adds. If a character can complete the mission, they will be rewarded quite well. One of Harvey's missions was to "travel the lay lines". If Harvey could visit 5 locations in order and discard a gate trophy at each, all the open gates on the board would be closed. The trouble with Harvey's set up is that missions do nothing to defeat monsters or the Ancient One now, so Harvey started out fairly weak. Marie was a bit stronger, so we hoped for the best as we drew the first mythos card....

BRUTAL ACCIDENT - one of the investigators must lose 3 stamina. This would have rendered Harvey unconscious and in the hospital for Harvey had only 3, so Marie takes the hit reducing from 4 Stamina to 1. So much for a stronger partner. Marie could cast a healing spell to recover 2 of the stamina but at the cost of sanity. Our first gate was at Wizard's Hall with a Ghost appearing. At least the ghost doesn't move - so it wouldn't be a threat to awaken the Dunwich Horror.

Marie went to the Graveyard to gather clues and stumbles across a dead Formless One which she keeps as a trophy. Harvey went to the woods also for clue, but stumbles across the Sheldon Gang. Despite spending clue trophies for rerolls, he can't sneak around them and is beaten to a bloody pulp (loses 2 of 3 stamina) by the gang.

Our next gate opened at the Witches House accompanied by a Gug. But in addition, strange and mysterious artifacts are being sold in the Uptown Streets as part of an estate sale. Harvey stops by to see what might be bought - but uncovers nothing interesting (or affordable) the first time. (He did see the "join the winning team" mission - but with a lack of allies to sacrifice, would be hard pressed to complete this mission also.) Marie gets more clue tokens in the Black Cave, nearly getting lost in the twisty passages, but passes a skill check to avoid being lost.

The next gate opens again in Dunwich but brings with it the Hunting Horror! In addition, riots start to break out in the streets. The only way we could calm the riots would be to go to the streets and discard Stamina. Marie decides to give this a try...but soon realizes the futility of it all. She can discard 3 stamina, but the riots gain 2 per turn. Marie would need to be perfect in her healing spells, but at a great cost of sanity to eliminate the 6 net stamina needed to quell the riots. We decide to forego the attempt. The impact (later in the game) would be the need to spend 2 movement to traverse the streets.

Our next gate is again at the Witches House, so triggers a monster surge Harvey stays in the streets and manages to buy an Elder Sign (but must turn down the Gate Box due to lack of funds.) Marie heads to Dunwich to enter one of the gates there, but as she steps off the train in Dunwich is promptly arrested and sent to jail back in Arkham. When the monsters move in the next Mythos phase, the Hunting Horror descends onto Harvey's space. Harvey has only a 3 fight and with the Hunting Horror being a -3 creature, Harvey can't fight the creature at all. In addition, at a 3 fight, Harvey has no will, so would fail the horror check losing sanity in any attempt at a fight. The only chance is to evade and try to move away from the Hunting Horror. Harvey manages to get lucky and evade the Hunting Horror.

Harvey next enters the Science Building and encounters a machine with a white lever and a black lever. Pulling the white lever - all the monsters now advance one space according to the white arrows on the board. This now places the Hunting Horror right on the streets in Front of Harvey - locking him in position. (To keep his sneak high to evade the Hunting Horror would reduce his movement such that he couldn't move away from the Hunting Horror. Another Catch-22 for Harvey). Meanwhile, Marie has charmed her way out of the jail cell and is ready to resume her fight. She tries to move towards the nearest gate, but must stop on the streets due to the increased movement required as a result of the earlier riots.

The Hunting Horror now moves into the Science Building. Harvey is in trouble...he can't fight nor can he evade. But he makes a ruckus which attracts the attention of the Science Building janitor who senses Harvey doesn’t belong and escorts him to the streets of Arkham. Harvey breathes a sigh of relief as the location encounter moved him away from the Hunting Horror.

The next gate (#7) appears at Independence square...the monsters move. An Elder Thing enters Marie's space on the streets. The Hunting Horror once more hunts down Harvey. Marie knocks down the Elder Thing while Harvey once again evades the Hunting Horror and enters the Admin building to buy a skill (getting Fight!) But as the monsters move once more, a Formless Spawn (living this time) descends upon Marie in the Rivertown Streets. Harvey once more evades the Hunting Horror; while Marie evades the Formless Spawn to enter Another Time.

But now our 8th gate opens in the Woods....and the game is over.

We have closed no gates and collected only 1 monster trophy in battle. (Marie did collect another one as a result of an encounter.) Looking back, we just had no physical firepower with which to battle monsters. The Hunting Horror did quite a job on Harvey. In addition, starting with 2 missions (instead of 2 "useful" unique items) also hampered the team. I felt like we were a pair of toothless t-rexes in this game...great big heads, but itty-bitty arms...

But it was a fun ride. I have my own trade copy of Dunwich headed my way also and I am glad I do. It certainly increases the difficulty of the game with more deadly encounters. Any fan of the base game will want to add Dunwich to the game for the diversity and additional layers it adds. Next time - we will make sure to get some physical prowess to balance out our investigators and hopefully have a better time defeating the Ancient One.

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Jeb Adams
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Nice report.

I think you could benefit from the House Rule that each player would assume two characters. The 4-character game is more stable, in my opinion--with only two players you can get bogged down very quickly and suffer ignominious defeat. What if two Hounds of the Tindalos got out? You'd be pressed to handle them no matter how tough you are, especially with only two characters.
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Brü Meister
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Great report!
I usually play with 3 people and find myself routinely getting beat.
Your gaming session report illustrates why this game is so hard to beat - if you get hard monsters, impossible missions, rumors etc. - it is freaking tough to win.
I would like to see detailed game reports of people who claim this game is too easy - everything must fall into place for them.
Anyway - as Jeb said - the game does get more managable with 4 or more people playing.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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We have won with 2 characters in the past. For me at least, it is not about winning or losing, but about the experience of playing this game. But if we continue to suffer through the expansions when we field only 2 characters, I might discuss with Dave adding a 3rd or 4th investigator to help act as "monster bait".

And that perhaps is why we don't play with multiple characters. All to easy to sacrifice one for the benefit of another. When you have only one character - I find I try just a bit harder to do what I can to help them survive.

But looking back on this game, I have wondered if I should have let Harvey been "brutally injured" but then take an injury card instead of being unconscious in the hospital. Cruel yes, but might have been the better decision in this game (depending on the effects of the injury).
 
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Jeb Adams
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RPardoe wrote:
We have won with 2 characters in the past. For me at least, it is not about winning or losing, but about the experience of playing this game. But if we continue to suffer through the expansions when we field only 2 characters, I might discuss with Dave adding a 3rd or 4th investigator to help act as "monster bait".

And that perhaps is why we don't play with multiple characters. All to easy to sacrifice one for the benefit of another. When you have only one character - I find I try just a bit harder to do what I can to help them survive.
That seems a bit limiting. Even at 4 players, the game is still very difficult, and no one was looking to sacrifice anyone. I played 2x2 with my brother-in-law (Nun, Scientist, Archaeologist, and Salesman) against perhaps the easiest GOO (Yig). We ended up winning in the final battle, with only one character left (from 4, well three-and-a-half, the Scientist was pretty thumped), and largely because he was Blessed going in and rolled ELEVEN DICE on the attack. I would try a quick Yig or Ithaqua game in this mode before dismissing it.
 
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Richard Pardoe
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Don't expect a radically easier game with more characters, but as I noted above, if we continue to have difficulties with 2 investigators, we can utilize more investigators as an option.


Edit - It's probably next close to this SR in the index - but we did play with 2 Investigators per person. That SR is here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/159003
 
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David Aubert
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brumeister wrote:
Great report!

I would like to see detailed game reports of people who claim this game is too easy - everything must fall into place for them.


Personnaly, I find the Base Game very easy. Dunwich do its stuff ... Before when I draw Azzie as the GOO, I smiled and say, so ok I'll win this one. No I think "Please gentle game, go easy with me, huh ..." and I don't dare to think about the other because I'll lose my sanity.
 
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James Casey
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Great report - I too love hearing these session reports - it is a naturally narrative game.

I think you played one rule slightly wrong:
RPardoe wrote:

The Hunting Horror now moves into the Science Building. Harvey is in trouble...he can't fight nor can he evade. But he makes a ruckus which attracts the attention of the Science Building janitor who senses Harvey doesn’t belong and escorts him to the streets of Arkham. Harvey breathes a sigh of relief as the location encounter moved him away from the Hunting Horror.

I believe you have to fight or evade creatures in your location at the end of your move, i.e. before the Arkham encounters phase. So poor Harvey would have been mauled by the Horror and only his body would have been found by the janitor... I always did wonder who drags your body to the hospital
 
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michael dorazio
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tyngsboro
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Yeah, I was going to mention the same thing. You must resolve the monster problem at the end of movement - before drawing a card during the Location Phase. Regardless, great session report.

I just finished a DH and CotDP expanded AH game. Just me with two investigators against Glaaki. Things started well. Both investigators had five or six clue tokens and were close to exiting the Other Worlds wheeeennnnn ... the terror level increased and those damn servants took away two clue tokens and a common item from both investigators. Totally, a "game over, man" moment. Closed two gates. Sealed none. Took on the AO without a weapon of any kind. Used seven clue tokens to hit three times before getting devoured. Only through the use of clue tokens did I even get to roll dice. Wicked cool. Can't wait for my next game. shake
 
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d j
Germany
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highly amusing report, thank you, i had to wipe my eyes.

Yes you were brutally (no pun intended) stung by the card draw in this match. 2 physically weak characters really had that weakness milked by the ancient ones here. First the nasty accident, then the beating in the woods, followed by the riots rumour - which as im sure you noticed turns Harvey into a lame duck as far as getting about town is concerned (he starts lame in this but riots effectively imprison him).

Better luck next time, and again, thanks.
 
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