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Subject: Arkham Campaign - Session 1 rss

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David Aubert
France
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Finally ! I got it ! The Innsmouth Horror expansion.

After long monthes of waiting, I’m one of the proud owners of all expansions.

But how to celebrate this ? By a Arkham Campaign of course.


Rules are fairly simple :

24 Ancient ones, 48 investigators. I just have to beat all ancient ones before running out investigators.

The ancient ones and four investigators are chosen at random. Surviving investigators stay to play against the next ancient.
At some point determined at random, the each of the six heralds will intervene. To compensate this, each guardian will be able too intervene at random too. Each of them will join a game twice to compensate that there is only three guardians.
A ‘seventh’ herald will come in due time too : it will be the duo of Innsmouth’s mom and dad. To compensate this one, I will automatically get the help of the guardian of my choice.


I play with a few house rules :

Two monsters on the first gate.

When a gate is closed or sealed, all monsters in its location return to the cup.

Bishop’s Brook Bridge and Cold Spring Glen locations are aquatic.

Gate openings and burst don’t depends of mythos cards but depend of a custom 134 cards deck ... So, no more dillution for Innsmouth and Dunwich gates.

In the same way clues appearance depends on a 98 cards deck (and a 27 cards deck for burst).


It the second time I try this. First time was a complete succes (with everything except Innsmouth) and quite easy. (I was using five investigators and the standard mythos cards).
Now with the Innmouth track, the undillution, only four investigators ... I expect a much tougher challenge.

So let’s begin with the first round :


ROUND 1 : Yig VS the Student, the Nun, the Lawer and the Gravedigger
(No herald or guardian)

All in all the drawing could be worse. Everyone has decent weapons or spells to start. The gravedigger has 6 toughness worth of monters and his personnal story is combo with the nun’s ... So let’s go !

Things began dreadfully : A rift opened in Dunwich on the second turn and with it and a cultist’s demise by the lawer, after 4 turns, Yig has already 6 Doom on it and no investigator are near to be able to seal a gate ... Why do I get the feeling that things began badly ?

Four more turns and the eighth gate opened. Nonetheless, the Gravedigger and the Nun managed to keep their blessing, meaning that they fight normally. Equipped with the alien device, a yothian gun and a flamethrower they manage to put a good fight, throwing between 7 to 10 dice each round. The other two do as much as they could before dying, and the seventh round of combat, the survivors needed three succes. An easy feat normally, but the battle card said that all their dice only hit on a 6. So the Gravedigger throwed his 8 dice ... 2 success. Lost for lost (Because of the card, it was useless to keep clue for the speed check) he spent his last 4 clues to get the final blow ... halas poor Yorrick failed.

Now everything is on the Num’s shoulder : She must get a 6 by rolling 9 dice ... And she did it !

At the cost of two unlucky investigator the first round is WON !


YIG is done ... Twenty-three to go with fourty-six investigators !


Horrible ... or not : I know playing with the undullied gate deck would be difficult ... but not so much. Only two outer world encounter, no gate closed or sealed ... I sucked a lot and didn’t deserve to win ... but to be fair, cards were against me. Each time I could do something, a monster or bad event prevented me to do so ... I confirm : the game is sentient ...

This round gave me the tune in which I’ll have to learn to dance if I don’t want this campaign ending pathetically.


Score : 13 (Doom : 0/10, Terror : 1, Monster trophies : 5)



ROUND 2 : Cthugha VS the Scientist, the Nun, the Musician, the Gravedigger
Herald : King in Yellow
Guardian : Hypnos


Well, apparently the game will be hot (ah, ah) but seems doable.
This time I get a starting elder sign. I hope it will help.

...

After 4 turns ... the Scientist proved to be unable to stay in another world for more than an encounter... she proved to be unable to stay in place ... she kept drawing encounter allowing her to swap place with other investigators, and if not, it’s mythos cards that move her ... or her moving gates or monsters ...
Meanwhile the gravedigger helped the team by solving the ‘cover up’ rumor (It help to start with monster counter and I didn’t make the mistake to discard them for a mere +1 focus) : So everyone is blessed and retained and ready to go.

The Scientist finally used her sign to seal the science building ... before being devoured by a Tindalos Hound ... Yeah , it’s not easy to get a succes when you roll seven dice for an evade check ... even when you are blessed ...

Speaking of luck, Hypnos favoured the Curiosity shop, where the Musician and the Gravedigger were : They choose both to have an encounter and each time the chosen encounter had the same effet : By any unique item. Ka-Ching ! Two extra elder signs in my pocket !

So ... the king in yellow decide to act by passing to the next one ... terror increased ... by 2 since a monster sacrifice itself in Innsmouth ... I choose to get two blight cards : One of them increased the cost of sealing a gate by one, and the second ... increased the terror again. So this time I went for a doom token ... Next turn the next mythos increased terror again ... Dammit, this Herald really love its job !

And then ... the game began kind of ... boring ...

Three quarters of my investigators were blessed and then, on one was able to make a single roll ... I don’t speak about one dice, no, I speak about rolling six bloody F-wording dice with the bloody F-wording blessing.
But what really killed the game for me was the musician. His personnal story was failed and now every time he’s knocked out, the terror increase by 1. And stupidly I made him attack a Maniac ... It was my fault, I know ... he wasn’t blessed and he was rolling only 21 friggin’ dice ... And so yeepee another yellow sign that I shouldn’t have ... yeepee everything costs 3$ more ...

I was thinking about automatically defeat the GOO for cheating too much with the probability and burn both the Cthugha and King in yellow cards (sort of karmic fate) ... But I choose a less extrem option and went to bed thinking about an houserule : When rolling at least 7 dice, get a -7 malus and spent a clue to get an automatic success ...


*** After some sleep ***

So where is the situation : The investigator that should have sealed the sixth gate has lost all his clue before increasing the terror in town. A rumor is eating one unique item per turn, a kind mythos card gently remove all clue from board and the only investigator able to make a seal is trapped at devil’s reef ... oh and the doom track is at 11 out of 13.

My last hope : five gate open and five seal in play and the scientist : If I can get enough monster surge and opening in a sealed location for the Num to come back from Devil’s Reef, go to the gate in the Marsh Refinery and seal it before Cthugha awake ...

Reducing himself to 1 stamina, the gravedigger went in one turn to Falcon’s point and bring back the nun.
The scientist establish camp in independance square to prevent opening here.

Mythos open a gate at Woods ... Great ! Doom track at twelve.

The Nun enter the Refinery’s gate AND GET DELAYED while ... A monster surge occurs !

Second try : She got an useless tome while a gate tried to open at a sealed location. Innsmouth track at 3/6.

Second aera ... PASSED ! If the mythos is kind ... Another sealed location ... Innsmouth at 4/6 but the end is near !

Test to seal the location ... four dice : 1,1,3 and ... 4
But the nun is blessed, so this roll give me victory instead of putting the game back in its boxes ...

Score : 16 (Doom : 12/13, Gate sealed : 6, Terror : 5, Innsmouth track : 4, Act 1, Monster trophies : 7, Gate trophies : 6, Elder Sign used : 3)

I played a lot of games, this one came second in the ‘most boring game of AH i’ve ever played’.
The Herald transformed an unlikely incident into a boring nightmare ... I get a failure with 21 f***ing dice rolled and that ruined all the game ...

I don’t mind winning or losing,... It’s more about the journey than the victory, but I DO want to play, NOT putting token into play while being denied even basic action to advance the game.

I really think about the house rule to get automatic succes for action you can’t fail. But the game failure was because of the ‘King in Yellow’ and he wouldn’t come back until the end of the campaign ... I don’t like Guardian and Herald in general and don’t use them very often, and after this game I understand better why.


But enough whinning and let’s celebrate : KiY is returned to the box and Cthogha is extinguished without a death ! Only 22 GOO remaining and 46 Investigators.



ROUND 3 : Shudde m’ell VS the Scientist, the Nun, the Musician, the Gravedigger
(No Herald or guardian)

This promise to be a earth-shaking game ...

The Gravedigger decided to go martial, starting with a .45, Tommy gun and Elder Sign.

The beginning of the game was a downer : Two monsters and a gate released at the order of Dagon, and a Ghost and a Dark Yound decided to establish themself in Downtown.
But with her motorcycle, the scientist rapidly take care of the Innmouth monsters and clue reaping was OK. The musician even get a parchment of elder sign. So after a while everyone left to go to other world and each investigator sealed a gate.
After this, the Bank and the Library were lost, but no new gate opened ... So if the last remaining three gate could be just closed, victory will be our.
So everyone take a new round in the other worlds except the Musician who were controlling the Arkham monsters population.

The Nun had a head-start and came back first with enough clue to seal the Unvisited Isle just in case.
Both in the Abyss, the Gravedigger and the Scientist felt in the same trap. The first has to make a Fight(+0) and the second a Fight(-2). A failure make the Investigator lost in time and space ... But they manage the rolls without any clue !

And, before the scientist and the gravedigger came back a gate opened ... on a sealed location ! Victory is near.

And then the gravedigger came back on Devil’s reef. The scientist cast a ‘Find gate’ to come back in Wizard’s hill and both sealed their gate !

Victory ! Shuddy bite the dust ... 21 GOO to go with 46 Investigators ...

Score : 19 (Doom : 5/12, Gate sealed : 5, Terror : 3, Innsmouth track : 2, Dunwich track : 1, Monster trophies : 4, Gate trophies : 6, Elder Sign used : 1)


Well, it wasn’t a game ... it was a corrida ... poor Shuddy ...

After three game, I get all the three different type of win ... not bad. But there is something bothering me : In three game, even if Innsmouth see a lot of activity, I only got ONE encounter in this board (At devil’s reef and I get it only because my investigator cannot go away). I begin to ask myself why did they put encounter cards in this expansion.



ROUND 4 : Yog-Sothoth VS the Scientist, the Nun, the Musician, the Gravedigger
Herald : Ghroth
(No guardian)

Ouch, that will not be as easy than the previous round.
Yet luck is with me ... sort of : I didn’t get an elder sign but the Gravedigger got the Seeker of Yellow Sign and the ‘Walking the Ley Line’ mission. So I make the following plan : If investigators can close two gates and the scientist can close four gates and do the mission, the victory should be easily achieved ... emphasis on ‘should’. I hope the game’s sentience won’t understand what I’m trying to do until it is too late ...
Let’s cross the fingers and hope that Ghroth won’t accelerate the game too much.

The beginning was not so bad : The scientist gained the ‘For greater good’ mission and the first gate was matching this mission.
The nun gave everything she had to the gravedigger and lost her blessing, becoming utterly useless in a game where no one can be useless, so she retired and she was replaced by the Reporter ... the starting curse isn’t so great but the starting equipment : flamethrower, dhole chant and Milk of Shub-Niggurath gave me some very interesting idea ...

After getting a +1 Lore, the ‘walking’ mission came back to the gravedigger.

The reported manage to get 6 clues right after his arrival, before having to sacrifice himself : Monsters in Innsmouth were really close to vortex, so he tried to use his dhole chant (but failed) before using the Milk of Shub-Niggurrath to call all monster on the unnamable, becoming paranoiac in the process (finally it wasn’t a bad thing the Dhole chants didn’t gave him an ally.)
After this, completing his personnal sotry was kinda ... ridiculus : he easyly get enough clue but each time he went to the Nespaper to complete it, he was throwed out, but the third try (!) was the good one.

Meanwhile, the gravedigger did a good job in gate collecting while monster surge replaced gate opening and Ghroth stay idly because no mystic event was drawn ...

It is far from over, but the surge compensate for the extra doom tokens at the beginning of the game.

But the game is sentient and put the ‘cover up’ rumor into play, adding two doom token and delaying the gravedigger who was the only one able to deal with it. The following mass blessing didn’t compensate for the delay and after another gate opening, the next doom token will be the last and the mission is only three quater full.

The scientist is in Kingsport trying to get the event that remove doom token, but I didn’t have much hope ...

And I was wrong : The reporter went to Kingsport too and manage to remove one doom token ! And the ‘Intermission’ mythos were drawn ... but it ended it ... the gravedigger was unable to came back in time before the last doom token was added two turns later. He and the musician tried to fight (they got a lot of money and magnum and elephant gun) but in the end Yoggy, which is more than an average goo, send them into oblivion while his doom track remained untouched ...

Thanks to its herald, Yog-Sothoth won ! Only 41 investigators left to defeat it.

It’s sad because without Ghroth and its extra doom tokens I would have won (I needed just to do the last part of the mission). Even if I didn’t get elder sign, I think I got a very good starting party ... which maybe won’t be the case anytime soon.

Will the third GOO will be my downfall ? Right now my answer is : ‘More than probable’ ... but at least, in the unlikely case I faced Atlach-Nacha, The ‘Walking’ mission will be a very good way to get rid of it.


So that is all for now, in the next report, I will talk about :

ROUND 5 : Yog-Sothoth VS the Dreamer, the Bounty Hunter, the Salesman, the Archaelogist
Herald : Ghroth
(No guardian)

I didn’t began this game, but I had a bad feeling about it ...

Wish me luck (and lore ... and fight ... and a little sneak)
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Henrik Hermansen
Denmark
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Very nice read
 
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