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Subject: What did we miss? rss

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Chris Hobbs
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Got to play AH for the first time last night. Four of us at the table, all brand new to the game. All of us had watched some or all of Grudunza's teaching videos. I'd read the rulebook cover-to-cover, and we had Universal Head's excellent play-aid handy.

We drew Ithaqua for our Ancient One and got into the game. We stumbled along for a bit, but felt like we were playing correctly. After about 4 hours (with a short break for dinner), we had a town full of monsters and our 7th gate opened. Time to face the Ancient One.

All but one of us lost every item we could have used in combat to Ithaqua. We all adjusted our Fight to max (3, 3, 4, and 5). One of the 3's had a Tommy gun, so she was able to dish some real damage, and the rest of us occasionally helped.

And then the game was just a let down. In ten minutes we dispatched Ithaqua. Two of us were devoured on the last turn (losing 1 more die on the fight check each round is pleasantly evil), but despite the fact that I screwed up the rules and gave up some successes rather than letting them accrue, we finished him off.

It sort of felt like we had just spent four (pretty enjoyable) hours setting up for an extremely simple, almost trivial, 10 minute dicefest. There were no decisions to make during this battle. Max out our Fight and roll.

I'm really hoping we missed something major, as we really enjoyed the game up to that point. Just seemed to be very anti-climactic.
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Markus
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It's possible that you did everything correctly - some of the ancient ones are very easy in final combat, even if you don't specifically prepare for it. This is one of the reasons why some prefer to think wins via final combat as draws instead.
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Kris Van Beurden
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Many of us find defeating the GOO only means a draw and not a victory ...
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Conor Hickey
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The Final Battle does tend to be an anti-climactic dice fest to be honest. If you get the Kingsport Horror expansion you get the Epic Battle cards which do quite a bit to spice it up.

Honestly if the AO awakes in one of our games we usually just chalk it off as a loss unless we definitely have the gear to defeat it, in which case it becomes a draw
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David Ainsworth
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It is anti-climactic. I'm of the opinion that an awakened GOO is still a lost game, possibly a draw but absolutely not a win. Before we had access to the Epic Final Battle cards we'd usually just call it a day as soon as the GOO awoke, we just weren't all that interested in rolling handfuls of dice.

The Epic Final Battle system in... Kingsport Horror (I think) is actually really good, so we do fight the GOO when he awakes now. You're still rolling a lot of dice but there's more going on and the different GOOs are given a lot more combat flavour. It's probably my favourite feature from the whole expansion. Not that that helps you with the base game.
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* Play against Azathoth for your first game.

* Don't play characters with a 3 stat.

* Make sure you get the rules summary with the monster flowchart.

* I noticed a "programmed rules learning" play aid that might help.

Strategically, get Clue tokens (and Elder Signs) and seal gates. Find out which investigators are the monster killers, which are the gate sealers, and which are the spell casters. You need to play efficiently, not passively.
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Glenn D
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LancerDeuce wrote:
Got to play AH for the first time last night. Four of us at the table, all brand new to the game. All of us had watched some or all of Grudunza's teaching videos. I'd read the rulebook cover-to-cover, and we had Universal Head's excellent play-aid handy.

We drew Ithaqua for our Ancient One and got into the game. We stumbled along for a bit, but felt like we were playing correctly. After about 4 hours (with a short break for dinner), we had a town full of monsters and our 7th gate opened. Time to face the Ancient One.

All but one of us lost every item we could have used in combat to Ithaqua. We all adjusted our Fight to max (3, 3, 4, and 5). One of the 3's had a Tommy gun, so she was able to dish some real damage, and the rest of us occasionally helped.

And then the game was just a let down. In ten minutes we dispatched Ithaqua. Two of us were devoured on the last turn (losing 1 more die on the fight check each round is pleasantly evil), but despite the fact that I screwed up the rules and gave up some successes rather than letting them accrue, we finished him off.

It sort of felt like we had just spent four (pretty enjoyable) hours setting up for an extremely simple, almost trivial, 10 minute dicefest. There were no decisions to make during this battle. Max out our Fight and roll.

I'm really hoping we missed something major, as we really enjoyed the game up to that point. Just seemed to be very anti-climactic.


We have lost one out of three fights with the Ancient ones. One, we pretty much blew away. The second we literally won on the last dice throw...three of the four investigators had been eliminated, and had I not made the last dice throw, I would've been eliminated on the last turn. And the first time we played, we all were eliminated almost right away. No one had hardly any monster trophies (I think that is what it was), and after a couple of rounds, we just fell off like flies.

The two times I have played the game solo, I have won, once by sealing 6 gates, the other by closing all gates on the board.

So, for us, there has only been one fight that was sort of a "push-over"...although I have heard that complaint from several different posters on this board.

I think the final boss you drew is one of the easier ones, IMO. Maybe try one of the others and see how you fare...would like to hear how it goes on your subsequent play-throughs.
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Jason Sherlock
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As written, the final battle is pretty boring; that is why many people consider it a loss to even fight the Ancient One.

The Kingsport expansion adds Epic Final Battle cards that makes the final battle much more interesting. I highly recommend this expansion, as it also adds new investigators and new items to help flesh out the game.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Yuo may not have won, after all. :-) Did you remember to subtract Ithaqua's modifier of -3? I only ask because you say your characters maxed out fight, with 3, 3, 4, 5. At a minus three and no weapons, other than the Tommy Gun, there aren't very many investigators in the base game with a six or seven base fight; although, there could have been a couple of Fight skills in play you didn't mention, and you could have had a ton of clues.

Brian
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Chris Hobbs
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
Yuo may not have won, after all. :-) Did you remember to subtract Ithaqua's modifier of -3?


Well, we certainly did miss that I'm sure you're right that we would most likely have lost if we'd used the -3.

Not sure that would have improved the experience, but at least it would have felt more inline with the theme. I really appreciate the comments everyone has shared. Sounds like a 'known issue' and the general feeling is to count a win against the Ancient One as a draw, and/or add Kingsport to spice up the final battle.

Thanks again all!
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Darren Thornton
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Not an issue if you play it right and as most have said if the final battle arrives you are on at best a Draw I'd say. 'sides its the journey that counts not the arrival. Whenever we have got to the end battle it's gone horribly, horribly wrong (as it should goo)
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Paul S
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DARK IN HERE, ISN'T IT?
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ProfToff wrote:
'sides its the journey that counts not the arrival. Whenever we have got to the end battle it's gone horribly, horribly wrong (as it should goo)


+1 for the journey ref.
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Little Brittle
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Another item that ppl didn't mention...
The base game GOOs are pansies in the final battle (even Cthulhu).
Expansion GOOs, though, not so much.

http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Zhar - Must be killed 2x, once with Magic Immunity, once with Physical Immunity.

http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Quachil_Uttaus - His attack is simply "First player devoured". No checks. Duration of final battle is rather short

There are a few others that are just as nasty. You simply just don't want to fight a final battle against them.

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Jeff Finazzo
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You could try our house rule:

"When a Great Old One awakens all investigators must roll a single die. You are devoured on a roll of 1-6."
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Luckily your house rule didn't specify the dice type. I won with a 1d20devil
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Jeff Finazzo
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yaxomoxay wrote:
Luckily your house rule didn't specify the dice type. I won with a 1d20devil


You rule lawyer, you
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