Disclaimer: I play 1st edition cards with 2nd edition rules discussed hereCampaign #1
My first attempt at ridding New Haven of the evil Necromancers didn't last long. Hordes of zombies filled my town with corpses very rapidly. The rulebook says: "The Necromancers frequently return Corpses from Town to the Corpse stack for you. Don’t get too excited though. Instead you get Zombies, who will quickly produce still more Corpses
". In this session the last sentence proved very true, but the first one never triggered.
I played with the 1st edition scenario and hero cards. Expecting multiple monsters and zombies in town at the same time, I decided to invest in Fireballs hoping to activate the exploding effect. Unfortunately I couldn't reliably spend the extra Magic to do so, and the single damage the Fireball does wasn't enough to defeat the Monsters and earn me Heroism. I did add a couple of Lightning Daggers to deal extra damage and did manage to kill a couple of monsters. But this was too little too late. Corpses were pilling up and Monsters were not taking them back. I couldn't keep up with a single Elixir of Life. It wasn't long before I revealed 5 corpses in town.Campaign #2
For this second attempt, I played with the hero cards listed in the 2nd edition rulebook. I made early investments in Wild Charge, Bamboozle and Elixir of Life trying to manage my town while dealing big blows to the Monsters.
Soon enough the Zombies made their (re)appearance, and once again I started feeling helpless as the Zombies killed my villagers one by one.
But then something happened: Monsters started removing Corpses. For sure, they also added more Zombies, but these new Zombies started being less of a problem. My town deck had shrunk to just 6-7 cards (2-3 villagers + 4-5 corpses). With all the Guards already dead and in the Visitor deck, they would find no target in town and would hunt to only find corpses.
For a while I survived on a very thin town deck. This was made possible by a weird equilibrium: Monsters would sometime kill Villagers and add Corpses, Monsters and Elixir of Life would remove the Corpses, Bamboozle would remove the occasional Infiltrator and I would carefully invite Villagers making sure I didn't grow the town deck too much to avoid succesful Hunts. In other words, the Monsters prevented themselves from wipping out the town!
More than once I revealed 4 Corpses in my town and a single Villager. But that lone soul was enough to keep me alive. During that equilibrium phase I didn't need to attack Zombies. They roamed (almost) harmlessly. I even left a Self-Stitched Fiend rampage 4 times without any severe consequences. My goal became to preserve that thin town deck balance while waiting for the second Shadowrift. I added Blessed Smite and Revitalize to remove wounds and cycle through my deck more rapidly.
When the second Shadowrift appeared, I was fully ready for it and sealed it in no time... and with a big sigh of relief!