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Subject: How to lose against Nyarlathotep... rss

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Paul S
United Kingdom
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DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?
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Definitely possible.

4 players, 2 new, the others with some experience, but none of us vets. I played as "GM" to help introduce the newbs, read the cards and keep all the upkeep/mythos rolls going. We chose Nyarl deliberately as an "easy" GOO for a 1st session.

We chose investigators randomly. Not a great crowd. The Nun turned out to be the best of the lot, and that's saying something!

End of turn 1, we draw The Stars are Right. The stars are anything but right, for our players, at this point. Every turn we'll add a doom token to the GOO if we roll 1/2 on a d6.

I am universally despised, since out of the next 7 turns, I rolled 1 or 2 on no fewer than 6 occasions. That Doom Track has scorch marks...

But surely that won't be the end of it? Our heroes can keep the number of Gates down, and get enough trophies to hit the Downtown streets and do away with the rotten rumour. No?

No.

Our heroes, it turns out, have about 4 clue tokens between them to start with. Gate tokens are going to be tough to get. One elder sign might help, a little - and might have delayed the inevitable until tragically our investigator bearing same is dragged off by a nasty OW encounter into LiTaS, so his quick Gate seal is denied. Ouch.

Much rushing about for tokens ensues. The newbs are getting the idea - maybe better to avoid one or 2 tokens, to let those with 3 or 4 get up to the magic 5.

But disaster can strike in many ways. And for the first time in 9 or so games, it does, in this way: EVERY Gate for 6 turns opens in a different place. No monster surges. Not enough monsters to get enough trophies to give our heroes the chance to go buy allies at Ma's, so we're no closer to fulfilling the "pass" criterion on the Stars are Right. And we can't of course trade clue tokens or Monster trophies, and since tSaR has been out since turn one, it's impossible to work up enough dough to pay Ma for an ally. And the single chance at an ally we get in an Arkham Encounter depends on us trading a Gate trophy - which of course we ain't yet got.

Not good.

Turn 7 or 8 and Big N hits 11 on the Doom Track. Rise and Shine.

2 of our crew have no clue tokens. Crunch, crunch. 2 left.

I'd not noticed before, that N has magical resistance. Our 2 remaining heroes have no - I repeat, NO - physical weapons. Adding 9 or so points magic ain't gonna help, when half of that is lost, and your fight rating is 3, against N's large -4 modifier.

We ran about 2 and a half combat rounds in the final battle. 2 Doom Tokens hadn't quite been removed, and to get there our heroes had dispensed with the clue tokens that N was about to steal from them to devour them. Not a pretty sight.

So: despite my earlier thoughts, and the odd post on the forums, you CAN indeed get battered by Nyarlathotep. Hard.

Looking back, I am not sure there was a way out. Maybe tooling up by the general store etc, would have been the way, once it was obvious that the Doom Track was going against the gang. But the way the cards and dice played against them, I think the Rumour had it all down pat: the Stars were, in fact, Dead Right.

On a brighter note: 2 newbies converted, 2 just-past-newbs made fans, and a good night finished in record (2.5 hour!) time which worked given work commitments the next day. I do like this game.





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Tim Hale
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No, there was a way out. When you drew the rumor after turn 1 (you DID draw it AFTER the first Mythos card, right? By rule you redraw if your first mythos card is a rumor), you should've sent 1 person in, regardless of what their clue tokens was (I probably would've chosen Mary, who had the blessing). Why? Because that rumor is harsh against a short doom-track GOO like Nyarly. You just need two gate trophies, so if one of the two or so gates that opened was at a low (or even a medium) frequency place, you should have gone in to get a trophy, then gone right in to another to get a second, while people were clue-grabbing.

This is hindsight, of course, because who expects to roll a 1 or 2 on a die 6 out of 7 times. I once had a personal record-breaking performance where I beat him in 6 Mythos draws (so, technically, 5 turns). The next time I drew him as the AOO, he kicked my butt...hard...and I had too many gates open in 7 Mythos Draws (6 turns).

Sometimes when you think you've got everything under control and laugh at the game, it laughs back by smothering you!
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Paul S
United Kingdom
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I think you're right, in retrospect. She drew a Find Gate spell at the start, so could've made the trip twice very quickly to grab the 2 trophies we needed.

We were too worried thinking about getting the 5 clue tokens to do seals, when as you say, the short track and the rumour should've persuaded us to just close gates and get that ally.

Still, it was fun, and is the first loss I've yet scored, and I learned a lot. (And no, the first Mythos card was an Env - but good reminder, it's an easy point to forget).
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