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Subject: Arkham in Japan Vol. 2 Game 3: Call Rejection rss

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Angry Augury
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Here is a link to the previous reports:

Game 1: Back From the Dead
Game 2: A True Hero

And a link to the most recent game from Volume 1 (including links to the other sessions):

Volume 1 Game 26: Dust to Dust.

Today was an auspicious day. The new group (and old group survivor, Dandelion) returned mere days later after our first game together with Battlestar Galactica to try our first session of Arkham Horror. Aside from Dandelion, who only played in the final game of volume 1, none of the other players had ever played AH. One, however, had experience with Eldritch Horror so at least he was familiar with the basics of this type of adventure.

Our set-up was AH + DH + CotDP + Small Cards and Encounters from all expansions.

Rules:
-Players controlling 2 Investigators draw three randomly and choose two to play; Players controlling 1 Investigator draw two and choose one.
-Ancient One is drawn randomly.
-Devoured Investigators are removed from the game PERMANENTLY. (Exception: An Investigator Devoured during final combat with the AO will be "rescued" if the AO is defeated.)
-Defeated Ancient Ones are banished PERMANENTLY.
-Encounters are read by a different player than who is having the Encounter. Reading stops at the point of any decision or skill check so outcomes are not known until the player either makes a decision or passes/fails the check.
-If a named Ally to be gained from an encounter is not in the Ally deck, that Ally card can be taken from the box while a random Ally from the deck is discarded to maintain the number in the deck.
-If using a Herald, both a Guardian and Institution will be chosen at random. If no Herald, then only one random Guardian or Institution may be chosen.


-All other game rules must be followed exactly as described via rulebook/FAQ/determined via consensus or discussion on BGG.


Investigators:

Lily Chen {1} (me)
Joe Diamond {1} (Leanne)
Norman Withers {1} (Neil)
Carolyn Fern {1} (Dandelion)
Patrice Hathaway {2} (Max)


Ancient One:

Cthulhu
Volume 2 History: None. As luck would have it, I randomly drew the poster boy for the game and the one GOO that all the players recognized instantly. I haven't had the pleasure (?) of facing Cthulhu since he was banished in the first campaign over four years ago.

Herald

Ghroth
This is my first time with this Herald and he looked like he could really cause a lot of trouble. The extra two Doom Tokens at the start of the game was particularly concerning. It was terrifying but exciting at the same time.

Guardian

Hypnos
Thank the maker. The only Guardian that has any use. I was dreading Bast rearing her kitty head but fortunately we got Hypnos AND I remembered that he gives Other World bonuses this time. Hooray!

Institution

The Bureau of Investigation
I can't recall if we had a chance to use them in Vol 1 but I don't remember them at all. Plus their agent ability seemed useless as there are FAR better uses for Clues in the game. The second chance to grab an ally, however, looked promising as allies rarely show their face in our games.

---

Once again, I spent the days, hours and minutes leading up to this game basically preaching to the new players about the Church of Patrice and how she's the only reason we got as far as we did in the first campaign. I also told them that if anyone were to draw Patrice and get her killed they would never be invited to play again. I was joking. Possibly.

We had a bit of a late start because everyone was coming over directly after work and some needed to grab an early dinner first. Plus once everyone was fully satiated with their McDinners, I had to start explaining the rules. Much like our BSG game on the weekend, I was a bit shocked at how quickly and efficiently I covered enough of the basics to get us up and running in a short time. I suppose experience is finally paying off.

We drew our characters and Max pulled Patrice as one of his two choices. He said he had no choice but to select her, especially after seeing her abilities. I think his experience with Eldritch Horror informed his decision about as much as my incessant rambling about THE POWER OF PATRICE. It was interesting seeing Joe Diamond and Carolyn Fern back as I feel like it's been ages since I've seen a lot of those base game Investigators. Norman was also a welcome sight as I recall him being quite useful as a Gate Sealer. Lily, my Investigator, I didn't remember much about her other than being able to change her maximum Stamina and Sanity, which was useful considering Cthulhu was our GOO.

The game kicked off with a Gate opening at the Witch House and two tough monsters rolling out. Norman wasn't equipped to tear through them nor could he sneak past them so he had to bide his time. Lily and Joe seemed like the likely choices for fighters but they, too, were not quite ready to take out what was guarding the way (at least not without the risk of being pulled into the Gate itself). Carolyn seemed a bit lost but decided she was going to go to the Bank for a loan and use one of her items that required her to be there. Patrice did the Patrice thing and started looking for Clues. Lily had meetings with Joe and Norman to trade some items to help them be a bit better in what they were designed to do. Lily made out with a great +6 magical sword to accompany her +4 Martial Arts style for Resistant/Immune monsters.

At the end of the first turn, we got a Gate in Dunwich. It, too, had some bad looking monsters come out. The Mythos was also an Environment, meaning we had to roll for Ghroth. Luckily my 4 got us safely through.

In the following turn, Norman was able to sneak past the monsters at the Witch House Gate and enter his first Other World: The Underworld. Carolyn took her cash and went shopping. Lily went up to meet with Carolyn to join in the shopping and to hide Carolyn's assets from the debtors that she intended to default on (we can be jerks like that). Joe visited the Science Building and decided to help some students working on some device that affected dimensional portals. Even using a Clue, Joe failed and decided not to pursue it, resulting in the machine exploding and sending him straight to the Hospital. Of course his player never knew about what could happen if the check was passed. So I was able to explain the rules about getting knocked-out and Injury and Madness. Joe decided to just lose the items rather than take an Injury card. Norman's encounter in the Underworld gave him a free Unique Item which happened to be an Elder Sign. Now he truly was set up to be a Gate-closing machine.

Another Gate popped in Dunwich, this time at Devil's Hopyard directly across the board from the first Gate on Wizard's Hill. A couple relatively easy monsters came out of that (a Zombie and Skeleton, I believe), so Lily decided she'd head up that way after a brief jaunt back South.

Afterwards, Joe spent cash to heal up while Carolyn kept shopping and pulling some useful items in future turns, a Gate Box and the King In Yellow were particularly good but not sure in what order they were obtained. Patrice got more Clues and continued her adventures at the greatest support character of all time. Norman used the Find Gate Spell to come back to the Witch House and get us our first Seal and used his ability to take out some of the worst monsters on the board. Then we drew the Mythos card "Strange Sightings!" and the Monster Surge in Dunwich was nightmarish. This got one token on the Dunwich Horror track and us feeling like there was no way to reach those Gates.

As two Zombies and a Skeleton moved off of Devil's Hopyard, Lily ran up there and wiped them all out in our first bit of combat. Joe then took out the monsters from the original Gate and freed a path for Norman to move on. The Mythos for that turn was another "Strange Sightings!" I couldn't believe it though I shouldn't have been surprised as cards always seem to find their duplicate in every deck and travel hand-in-hand through shuffling. Dunwich was now bursting at the seams with monsters--but better Dunwich than Arkham. A Mummy stalked Lily putting her in a bad spot and, through luck, the Dunwich Horror track only went up one more spot.

The following turn, the Mummy beat the tar out of Lily, sending her to the Hospital where she took the Injury "Respiratory Ailment". Joe, feeling brave, made his way up to Dunwich to try to stop the Horror from spawning but not before passing off a Mi Go Brain Case he had picked up. Norman would use that to his advantage on the following turn by swapping places with the Dark Young on Wizard's Hill so he could sneak past the Lloiger and enter another Gate. Joe managed to do some damage to the weaker monsters in Dunwich but was soon surrounded. On the following turn, he was able to sneak past two groups of baddies to get to the 4 Clues that had been amassing at Gardner's Place.

As Patrice continued to gain Clues, as is her job for all eternity, Lily found herself with very little to do in Arkham. She had no money, but ended up getting to swap out her Skill of Martial Arts and earned one that helped with Evasion. Carolyn, too, started to wander around gaining Clues which would have caused her to fail her Personal Story had Dandelion remembered. However, that oversight would not have had an impact on the outcome of the game so just have to remember it in the future. On the same note, Lily also failed her Personal Story but I completely overlooked that as well. Even if I did, I would have just readjusted my sliders to compensate so no harm, no foul I think.

Carolyn used Call Friend to get Joe back into Arkham safely since he was trapped in Gardner's Place. Norman used Find Gate to get back to Dunwich and finally grab our second Seal. Unfortunately at that point, Norman's player had to leave so we decided to communally control him with the intention of sealing Gates. We again used the Mi Go Brain Case to swap Norman across to the gate at the Devil's Hopyard. It was then at the Mythos phase with another Gate opening that I realized there were five Gates on the board. One more and Cthulhu would have an early wake up call. Even worse, the Dunwich Horror had been summoned by this point and Dunwich monsters were starting to make a conga line into the Vortexes. The Terror Track was rising much higher than in a typical session.

We decided that we had to get more people in Gates quickly. Joe had a successful encounter with the Ancient Whispers marker (which we forgot to move on a number of occasions). Joe became Psychic and this helped with swapping Skills around with Patrice and Lily to help in various moments. Lily got trapped by monsters in the street, getting her own Ancient Whispers encounter which, as usual, I failed. Then noticing an oversight of not moving a Byakhee down to Lily the turn before, I moved it to her location this turn declaring she'd have to deal with it on the next movement phase.

The Mythos card ended up sending anyone with 2 or lower Sanity into the Dreamlands, so off Patrice went to begin her first (unsolicited) Other World adventure. A Gate then opened on top of Joe Diamond, sending him into Unknown Kadath delayed. On the next turn, Carolyn was able to get into Unknown Kadath as well, which was fine because not only were there two Gates to this dimension but she had a Gate Box to get out where ever she pleased.

Norman returned from the City of the Great Race and finally used his Elder Sign to score our third Seal. Patrice came out of her encounters unscathed and got us a fourth Seal. We sent Norman into yet another Gate while Lily and Patrice tried to keep Arkham under control. Patrice ended up getting Delayed thanks to the Ancient Whispers encounter while Lily got a little redemption in killing a couple more monsters.

As Joe and Carolyn both reached the second encounter in Unknown Kadath, they both needed to blow a large number of Clues (their own and Patrice's) to pass their Encounters. Both of them took a lot of damage but survived. When we didn't draw a Gate Burst on the Mythos phase, we knew we stood a chance at winning on the next turn.

Joe returned to the same Gate he entered through while Carolyn used the Gate Box to exit at the Gate for Another Time in the Unvisited Isle. In succession they closed and sealed their Gates giving us the 5th and 6th Seals and winning the game for the forces of good.


---

Thoughts:

This was a very different session as this is the first time I've had so many players who had no idea how to play the game but I think they all did a great job. I made a lot of oversights and there were a few hiccups as people were adjusting to the crazy amount of minutia in the AH rules, but I think it was very successful. Even the mistakes that we made (that I noticed) would not have had a dire effect on the remainder of the game so I don't think it was a big issue. It is just a reminder to pay closer attention next time and I'm sure all the players will be more on the ball in keeping track of all the little things pertaining to them. The first time is always the hardest.

The MVPs of the game were undoubtedly Patrice and Norman. Without Patrice being the Clue pool that she is, this would have been much harder and likely impossible. And without Norman's expert navigating of the Other Worlds, we'd have been dead long before. Still, we all survived multiple situations thanks to the massive amount of Clues that Patrice amassed. At one point in the game, we only had two Clue tokens left in the box thanks to THE POWER OF PATRICE. She was sitting on a surplus of 23 at the time and we all had a few to our names (more in the case of Carolyn, who had a book that could gain a Clue with just one Sanity loss. As she could heal her own Sanity she just wash-rinse-repeated that for the duration).

The Herald was pretty scary. We drew a LOT of Environment Mythos cards causing a lot of tense dice rolls. Luckily, we also rolled a lot of 3s and 4s keeping up safe but it did hurt us a couple times but no Doom Tokens added. The prospect of the Herald + the Dunwich Horror + Mythos being able to add 3 Doom Tokens in one shot was not a happy thought.

And speaking of the Dunwich Horror, yet again it did NOTHING. I actually think there might have been one activation of it but we forgot. Maybe. I don't recall if our last Moon activation happened before or after it appeared but the final Mythos cards had no Moons on them. Even if it did activate and even if it did add a Doom Token, the end result would have been the same. The Horror is not much of a threat. Because of this, we all agreed that for the next game we will choose the Dunwich Horror as the Herald and maybe send it on its way before moving on to Kingsport for a bit.

Of course if we choose the Herald you can be sure we'll choose the Guardian. I love you, Hypnos.

---

Final Count:

Doom Track - 9/13
Terror Track - 7
Gates Sealed - 6
Investigators Incapacitated - 1 (Lily)
Investigators Insane - 0
Investigators Devoured - 0

W(D)-L Record:

Abhoth 0-0
Atlach-Nacha 0-0
Bokrug 0-0
Chaugnar Faugn 0-0
Cthugha 0-0
Cthulhu 1-0
Eihort 0-0
Ghatanothoa 0-0
Glaaki 0-0
Hastur 0-0
Ithaqua 0-0
Nyogtha 0-0
Quachil Uttaus 0-0
Rhan-Tegoth 0-0
Shub-Niggurath 0-0
Shudde M'ell 0-0
Tsathoggua 0-0
Y'Golonac 0-0
Yibb-Tstll 0-0
Yig 0-0
Yog-Sothoth 0-0
Zhar 0-0

Games: 3-0
Six Seals Wins 3
Closed Gates Wins 0
Final Combat Wins 0

Current Streak: 3 Wins

Longest Win Streak: 3
Longest Loss Streak: 0

Obituaries:

Tommy Muldoon (Devoured by an encounter in Yuggoth / Game 2)


Banished Ancient Ones

Azathoth 1-0 Sealed Away (Game 1)
Nyarlathotep 1-0 Sealed Away (Game 2)
Cthulhu 1-0 Sealed Away (Game 3)
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