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Subject: Annotated Arkham rss

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Merric Blackman
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Gloria Goldberg vs Abhoth
This was my first game using both Dunwich Horror and Curse of the Dark Pharaoh together. I used no variant rules for this game, content to see exactly how difficult it could be.

My investigator was Gloria Goldberg, the Author. Gloria has the special ability of being able to choose between two different Other World encounters, which is very nice indeed. She began with a Tommy Gun (yay!) and the +1 Lore skill.

Sunny and Clear
The first extra clue appeared in Hibb's Roadhouse, which was only two steps away from Gloria's starting location (Velma's Diner). So, she went and picked it up. The encounter allowed a Luck check to win money, which she made... suddenly Gloria was rich with $12!

At this point, she had Speed 4/Stealth 0 (when moving around Arkham, you need a very good Speed score, Stealth tends not to matter much). Will 3/Fight 1, and Lore 3/Luck 4.

Church Boycotts Exhibit
Another clue appeared at Hibb's Roadhouse, allowing Gloria to pick it up without moving. Very nice... she now had 5, and the option of sealing her first gate. She then moved to the Curiosity Shop, where browsing the shelves gave her the choice of three weapons - the Sword of Glory ($8, 2h, +6 magic) was her option. At this point, Gloria had a +6 attack for both magic and physical - enough for most needs.

Disturbing the Dead (Monster Surge!)
Ah, the first Rumour! DtD requires two gate trophies to complete, and can really end the game quickly. It's one I normally try to complete. The problem was that there were currently only two gates on the table, and courtesy of the Monster Surge and Abhoth's special ability, both were guarded. With no new clues appearing, Gloria moved to the Rivertown Streets and defeated the Formless Spawn that had moved there; unfortunately requiring 1 clue to finish the deed.

Old Debts come Due! (Monster surge! Terror +1)
Another monster surge? Huh? That's two Children of Abhoth on the table, and DtD had caused the first Terror increase. Only one thing for it - let's get rid of some monsters. Both CoA are in the same street, so Gloria moved to them and slew one. The second was too tough, and so she sneaked past it; she'd moved down her speed in preparation, and CoA are easy to avoid.

Gangs Clean Up Easttown!
Unfortunately, Easttown wasn't where all the monsters were! Gloria evaded the CoA, and moved to the Witch House, where there was a Dark Young guarding the gate. Nightmarish removed one Sanity, then a horrible, horrible Combat roll meant that Gloria lost a further 3 Stamina. Ow! She did manage to kill it in the second round, but I was left contemplating the tatters of her stamina and sanity.

Going into the Dreamlands gave me two encounters to choose from - funnily enough, both keyed specifically to the Dreamlands. I chose the Stone Face Reveals Secrets, made the Lore check (using the Revelation of Script spell that Gloria began the game with) and gained 4 clues! Now, that was useful!

Whateleys accused of Witchcraft! (Monster Surge)
The next OW encounter allowed me to have an encounter at an Arkham location - and any bad effects could be ignored if I rolled a Luck check (just a dream!) So, off to the Curiosity shop with my $4 and see if I could find anything useful. Three items that all cost $5. Oh well.

Darke's Carnival Arrives!
The gates were definitely opening in Arkham by this stage. I could, however, get rid of one of them. Gloria returned to Arkham, made her Lore check, and closed the gate. 5 clues later, it was sealed. One down, five to go. I just hoped it wouldn't be the subject of a gate burst!

Blue Plate Special
Off to the Southside Streets, where a Maniac guarded the way to the Historical Society and the gate there. Maniacs are easy early in the game before the Terror Level reaches 6, especially when you were as armed as Gloria was. I added it to her monster trophy collection.

Sheldon Gang turn to Police for Aid! (Terror +1)
Enough monsters had now gathered in the Outskirts for the extra one to cause a terror increase. I'd been rolling very well for Disturbing the Dead, but the number of gates was worrying me. Not enough clues to seal one, but closing the Historical Society gate would buy me some time. Into the HS, and off to Another Time.

Another Time is one of the best other worlds to be in - a lot of rather good encounters. With Gloria, even better. The first encounter gave her some valuable items to sell back in Arkham, so an extra $3.

Not that money is the best thing to have in this game, especially after the first few turns, but it's better than having nothing.

Picnickers Panic!
More gates, more monsters. Arkham was not looking good. The choice of encounters was between something bad and gaining a Tome of my choice from the Unique deck and one Sanity... which do you think I took?

It seemed that Gloria had found the Library of Alexandria. Very nice. The tome she took was the Cabala of Saboth - no sanity loss, just an extra skill. It's probably the best tome in the game, except for the Old Journal (a common item).

Another Time, Another Place!
Even more monsters. Terror level would be increasing soon.

Gloria returned from Another Time, and closed the gate with ease. Two gate trophies, but stopping the rumour required getting past entirely too many monsters. Hmm.

(The Terrible Experiment) (Monster Surge, Terror +1, Dunwich H +1)
My least favourite rumour in the entire game didn't come out, as there was already a rumour in play. What a relief! Unfortunately, the Monster Surge increased the terror level, and a monster made its way into a Dunwich Vortex, placing the first of the Dunwich Horror tokens. The Horror isn't actually that scary unless you face it.

It was easier at this point to go into another gate than to try to reach somewhere else in Arkham, so into the Woods and the City of the Great Race went Gloria.

There she had another positive encounter - finding the Mists of Releh spell. That's a great spell to have when trying to move quickly around the streets!

A Dark Wind Covers Arkham (Monster Surge, Terror +2)
Finally, another bad roll on Disturbing the Dead. The terror level was now climbing quickly, due to the large number of gates on the table. Two Children of Abhoth were wandering the streets, but the third kept being placed in the Outskirts and being returned to the sheet.

Gloria had yet another positive encounter - that ability of hers is really something - and gained a Gate Box. Ooh. The Gate Box allowed her to return to *any* open gate on the table. Very, very nice.

Things of Darkness (Terror +1, Dunwich Horror +1)
Two Dunwich Horror tokens. It was getting close! The only open gate in Dunwich was the Devil's Hopyard, and Gloria could actually travel to it courtesy of the Gate Box, so she did, and closed it.

Horrifying Sight
Ow. Only one investigator, so Gloria was the one to lose 3 Sanity, reducing her to 1. Not good at all. And the gate on the Wizard's Hill had opened up.

There were two clues on Gardner's Place, so with Abhoth's rising being very close, this was the best place to go. Unfortunately for Gloria, she got attacked by a mutated monster... a Tchotcho. It took all four clues she'd gathered to kill it. She received another Tommy Gun in return, but it really wasn't worth it.

Merchants March on Crime!
More clues needed, quickly! Evading a monster in the streets, Gloria made her way to the Whateley Farm place to gain one clue token. Wow. One clue. I'd have liked more. The encounter showed Gloria some of the Wizard's plans, allowing her to remove one Dunwich Horror token. Not great, but enough.

Angry Red Skies (Monster Surge)
Another clue appeared at Gardner's Place, so Gloria moved back there. There she was attacked by a mutated rabbit (Vorpal Bunny?) that gave her two options: lose Sanity, or lose Stamina. She had 1 in both. What a choice. She lost the Stamina, and woke up in Hospital. Rather than lose items, I chose to take an Injury card.

It proved to be the Broken Hand card, the worst possible injury: it only allows its possessor to use one hand in combat. Gloria was armed with the 2-handed Tommy Gun and the 2-handed Sword of Glory.

Strange Lights on Campus
Fortunately, at that point Abhoth woke up. Gloria had 3 fight, a -4 fight penalty, and 1 clue, and two unusable weapons. In other words: an impossible final fight!

So, Abhoth woke up, devoured Gloria, and quite possibly Arkham, before wandering off to gnaw on a continent or two.

I possibly could have won the game without the injury, but it would have been tough going. A Find the Gate spell would have been really, really nice... but they're very hard to find with the spell deck being diluted by two sets of new cards.

Oh well, I'll have another game soon, and hopefully it will go better. It probably won't be that long before I start using variant rules to make the solo game easier to win by closing/sealing gates, but I wanted to see how it all worked together first.

An entertaining game, if ultimately unsuccessful.
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Rain D'Angelo
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Injuries/Madnesses are always the absolute worst one you could draw.

Like "Paranoia" when you're trying to stop the Stars are Right, and you're the only person with an ally card.

And, of course, your poor luck with the broken hand. Abhoth is nasty!

The turn the Terrible Experiment was drawn, did you raise the terror level for the vortex monster as well as the outskirts filling?

And last of all... Spawn Monsters don't count against the Monster Limit. Your third Child of Abhoth shouldn't have been going to the Outskirts.

(I made that mistake, first time I played against Abhoth.)

But great sessions report! I really need to start taking notes on some of my solo-sessions in this game.
 
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Jay Quirk
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Another great report. One thing I noticed in all your reports is that you often fight the monster in the same location as a gate before entering the gate. Did this get changed in the Dunwich expansion or an errata? In the standard rules, you don't need to fight any monsters when you enter a location with a gate- you are whisked away to the other dimension first.

Or perhaps I'm reading it wrong?
 
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Merric Blackman
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G'day, Jay!

AFAIK, that's how it has always worked.

You fight monsters in the Movement phase, you get drawn through the gate in the Arkham Encounter phase.

Here's a couple of exceptions:
* When an encounter moves you somewhere (e.g. from the Historical Society) you fight first and then have the encounter. (See FAQ page 3)

* When an encounter causes a monster to appear, you must fight (or evade) the monster then and there.

* When an encounter causes a gate *and* a monster to appear, you are drawn through the gate before the monster attacks (see FAQ page 3).

Cheers,
Merric
 
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Merric Blackman
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G'day, Rainfall!

You're quite right - I've managed to ignore the rule that raises the Terror level for vortex monsters, and that Spawn monsters don't count against the monster limit.

Thanks muchly for the clarifications!

Cheers,
Merric
 
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Jay Quirk
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Hey Merric,
And that's why I need to ask these things, because I've been playing it wrong all this time. Thanks for the clarification. I sense a slightly higher investigator mortality rate in my future.
 
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