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Subject: Arkham in Japan Game 16: WRONG! rss

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Angry Augury
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Here is a link to the previous session reports for anyone interested in following my group's progress:

Season One - Base Game Ancient Ones

Game 3: The Ladies of Arkham VS Nyarlathotep!
Game 5: The First Casualties...
Game 7: Vengeance
Game 8: Over Before We Knew It
Game 9: Answering the Call
Game 10: The Curtain Rises...
Game 11: ...The Next Act Begins...
Game 12: ...The Finale

Season Two - Dunwich Horror Ancient Ones

Game 13: Return to Dunwich
Game 15: If Man is Five

On the same night as Game 15 the three of us made yet another attempt at Arkham but this time we decided to run just one Investigator each. Set-up was AH + DH + KiY cards w/o Acts.

Rules:
-Players controlling 2 Investigators draw three randomly and choose two to play; Players controlling 1 Investigator draw two and choose one.
-Ancient One is drawn randomly.
-Devoured Investigators are removed from the game PERMANENTLY. (Exception: An Investigator Devoured during final combat with the AO will be "rescued" if the AO is defeated.)
-Defeated Ancient Ones are banished PERMANENTLY.
-Encounters are read by a different player than who is having the Encounter. Reading stops at the point of any decision or skill check so outcomes are not known until the player either makes a decision or passes/fails the check.
-If a named Ally to be gained from an encounter is not in the Ally deck, that Ally card can be taken from the box while a random Ally from the deck is discarded to maintain the number in the deck.

-All other game rules must be followed exactly as described via rulebook/FAQ/determined via consensus or discussion on BGG.

Investigators:

Roland Banks {2} (me)
Silas Marsh {1} (friend)
Finn Edwards {1} (new guy)

Ancient One:

Glaaki
History: First time for Glaaki. It was either him or a repeat against Tsathoggua but fate decided to give us a bit of variety.

First I need to put a disclaimer up front about this game: It was a mess.

I don't know if it was due to exhaustion or what but we made a TON of mistakes going through and we didn't even catch the absolutely biggest one until it was all over. With how terrible we ran this session, I'm sure there are even more that we haven't noticed yet. By all means if you read something in this post that doesn't sound right, point it out.

Back to the story, it was our first time against Glaaki and we had a trio of IH Investigators on the case. The first appearance of Silas and Finn, in fact, so it would be interesting to see what would happen. After our thrashing at the hands of Tsathoggua, our spirits were low going into this game and we didn't expect a win which was one reason why my friend chose Silas over Trish. He figured it was better to get him killed rather than her. Nice guy.

We set up the game and our Investigators then draw our first Mythos card. Gate opens, monster comes out and the effect of the card is... one Ally is returned to the box.

...

Seriously?!

That's the only way to activate Glaaki's special power and it happens before we even take one step in Arkham! Unbelievable. So Glaaki's first servant comes out and his effect is to make all of us lose one Skill. Splendid. We're off to a roaring start.

MISTAKE #1: Even though we read Glaaki's card a moment before and yet again when his servant came out, we still played the Mythos Card out in full rather than just use it for the location. In fact, this was the mistake that wasn't caught all game so, yes, every time a servant came out we hit ourselves with another Mythos card. Idiots are we; the idiots three.

So with two (unwarranted) Doom Tokens on the track, we started our first turn. Though we didn't pull out the tokens from IH we still considered the River Docks and Unvisited Isle to be Aquatic Locations so Silas went there for his first Encounter as those are the only two spaces in the game that give him a boost. His Encounter was, appropriately, "a gate and a monster appear!" He's sucked into an Other World and the third Doom Token goes on the track. At the end of the turn, the Mythos Phase added a new Gate so turn one ended with 4 out of 12 Doom Tokens on the track.

Ok, so it should have been three but that's still pretty darn bad, too. You can imagine how we felt with four. Glaaki was 1/3 of the way to waking and turn two was only just beginning. That was when my friend, yet again, declared we had to go for a combat victory. Sure, at that point it seemed prudent to start preparing to face Glaaki head on but I wasn't happy. It was too early and this friend wants to go into final combat too much.

On turn two, Roland and Finn go looking for weapons at the Curiositie Shoppe. My draw finds an Elder Sign. I want to take it badly to try to fight back but the team thinks it's hopeless. On turn two this is not what I want to hear, though I could see their point. So I drop it in favor of something that could help in the fight. Finn's turn shopping presents him with... a second Elder Sign. We could have had two right there. That would have been two Seals and two Doom Tokens removed, but no... I was not happy, especially since part of my argument for maintaining the sealing-route was accurately predicting that Finn would also draw an Elder Sign.

Having thrown away both Elder Signs, I had no choice but to accept the fact we were going into combat.

A few turns later, as we were resolving yet another monster surge, my friend pointed out...

MISTAKE #2: The Terror Track was up to three now but we haven't brought in any more Servants of Glaaki for the departed Allies!

So now we had a good five minutes of sitting around trying to figure out when and where they should have happened, realizing that because of this oversight our monster count in Arkham and the Outskirts had to be off as well as:

MISTAKE #3: We had been counting the first Servant of Glaaki against the monster limit so our calculating was wrong but for a different reason.

In the end we realized the last Outskirts overflow shouldn't have happened and we realized that the Servants shouldn't count against the limit. Jeez.

Anyhow, we had two more Servants to bring out and that meant two more Mythos draws in a row... which we, again, mistakenly resolved fully.

The details of the game really aren't that interesting as we were just preparing for the fight with the Ancient One. However, there was something peculiar that happened but it was in Dunwich. For the entire game, the Dunwich board was taking care of itself. Basically every time it would fill up with monsters, something would happen (Gate closure, Mythos card, etc.) that would completely clear all monsters off the board. As usual, we never had to set foot in Dunwich but this time it wasn't because we just left the residents to die, it was because they seemed to be doing fine without us. I think the board cleared itself three times. Not a single monster hit a Vortex.

At the end of the game, Roland and Silas planned to use their Gate Trophies to get Blessings for everyone to take to the fight. Roland got held up and then knocked out fighting one of the Servants. Then a Mythos card cleared the streets, sending the monsters in the area back to the cup which got rid of the Servant. That, of course, was MISTAKE #4. We just figured that the monster would still be removed, just not sent to the cup but back to Glaaki's card. Nope. Wrong. What else is new?

Just after getting the third Blessing, the seventh Gate opened and Glaaki came forth into the world. We all had Blessings but even with all our shopping, we still didn't have enough effective weapons to spread around. We balanced out our Magical Weapons to give everyone a good first round while the Blessings held and we could make the most of our Clue tokens. After that, it was down to Roland and Silas. Then, on schedule, Silas lost his Blessing so the good weapons went to Roland. The next turn, Finn also lost his Blessing, but he was very little help to the fight anyhow.

Finally, when Glaaki had 8 hits left, I made my final attack with Roland. I threw nine dice and got eight successes. A very nice roll to end a very horrible game.

To sum things up, I'm completely disappointed with this session. Not just because we couldn't take a step without screwing up like amateurs, but the fact that the team resolved to fight rather than seal so early in the game. I honestly think we still would have won if we went for seals AND I think, from the way things turned out, that our chances of winning via Seals would have been very high. Even higher if we didn't make the game harder by playing it wrong. I think I'll be ordering Kingsport Horror very soon to make sure we have the Epic Battle cards. If my team decides to head into battle without making the effort to seal properly, I want the fight to punish us so badly they never want to fight again.

Though killing Tsathoggua via combat would be quite an accomplishment...

Final Count:

Doom Track - 12
Terror Track - 3
Gates Sealed - 0
Investigators Incapacitated - 1 (Roland)
Investigators Insane - 2 (Finn 2, Silas 1)
Investigators Devoured - 0

W(D)-L Record:

Abhoth 1(1)-0
Glaaki 1(1)-0
Shudde M'ell 1(1)-0
Tsathoggua 0-1

Games: 12-4
Six Seals Wins 5
Closed Gates Wins 2
Final Combat Wins 5

Current Streak: 1 Win

Obituaries:

Ashcan Pete (Devoured by Cthulhu / Game 5)
Dexter Drake (Devoured by Cthulhu / Game 5)
Gloria Goldberg (Devoured by Cthulhu / Game 5)
Jim Culver (Devoured by Cthulhu / Game 5)
Bob Jenkins (Devoured by Yog-Sothoth / Game 6)
Darrell Simmons (Devoured by Yog-Sothoth / Game 6)
Diana Stanley (Devoured by Yog-Sothoth / Game 6)
Leo Anderson (Devoured by Yog-Sothoth / Game 6)
Wilson Richards (Died from Injuries / Game 7)
Jenny Barnes (Devoured by Tsathoggua / Game 15)
Joe Diamond (Devoured by Tsathoggua / Game 15)
Michael McGlen (Devoured by Tsathoggua / Game 15)
Tommy Muldoon (Devoured by Tsathoggua / Game 15)
Akachi Onyele (Devoured by Tsathoggua / Game 15)


Banished Ancient Ones:

Azathoth 1-0
Cthulhu 2(1)-1
Hastur 1-0
Ithaqua 1-0
Nyarlathotep 1-0
Shub-Niggurath 1-1
Yig 1-0
Yog-Sothoth 1(1)-1
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Tiago Perretto
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n107 wrote:
I think I'll be ordering Kingsport Horror very soon to make sure we have the Epic Battle cards. If my team decides to head into battle without making the effort to seal properly, I want the fight to punish us so badly they never want to fight again.


GG for you not only because your amazing job at reporting all these games, but specially because of this sentence.

We use the Epic Combat cards not everytime, but everytime we feel strong for the final combat.

But I stop considering final combat wins as wins. It is a draw. Maybe an epic draw, but still a draw.

As we see it, when the AO awakens, the players have one final chance of not losing the game. But the damage was done, the cultist escaped, the monsters destroyed and terrorized, and the AO is amost here to clap the good job before eating all of them and us.

Regards,
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Bern Harkins
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"The details of the game really aren't that interesting as we were just preparing for the fight with the Ancient One."

And THAT, to me, is the main reason not to prep for the final fight; it makes for boring, and often very long games.

Don't beat yourself up too much for the mistakes; it happens. Just shrug it off and do it right the next time.
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Adam Mitchell
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Glaaki is my favorite AO, not to mention my arch-nemesis, so I'm sorry to hear that this game with him was so messed up. Given all of the mistakes, do you think maybe it would be better to not count this game and leave Glaaki in your AO rotation?
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Angry Augury
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tiagoVIP wrote:


As we see it, when the AO awakens, the players have one final chance of not losing the game. But the damage was done, the cultist escaped, the monsters destroyed and terrorized, and the AO is amost here to clap the good job before eating all of them and us.

Regards,


I like how you phrased it as "not losing the game", which is technically different from winning.

I tried explaining the situation to my group that the goal is to stop the AO from getting to our world, not letting things get so bad that it arrives and causes mayhem and we have no choice but to kill it.

After my friend declared we're going for a combat win I told him that I was going to put future games on hold until I got the Epic Battle cards because combat seems to be becoming the standard rather than the exception.

My friend is a very, how should I say, "scientific" thinker. He looks at situations in a very quantitative, by-the-numbers light. He doesn't think winning via seals is a more respectable victory because he says the whole game is a series of random factors that you have no control over and can't really form a strategy. You have to just mitigate the damage turn by turn and hope you're lucky enough that the wrong combination of cards don't show up. To him, that's not "skill" it's only luck.

From his point of view, winning via combat takes more skill because you can actively prepare for it. I think he sees it as a math problem. If you do x to cause y damage minus the AO's variables z, you can win. So x + y - z = WIN!

Though I'm not completely down on final combat, I don't want that to be our main goal. If all else fails, then I'll go for the fight but I want to resist that from happening as long as possible.


Radulla wrote:
"The details of the game really aren't that interesting as we were just preparing for the fight with the Ancient One."

And THAT, to me, is the main reason not to prep for the final fight; it makes for boring, and often very long games.

Don't beat yourself up too much for the mistakes; it happens. Just shrug it off and do it right the next time.


Yes indeed, it wasn't very interesting, though it was a relatively short game thanks to our brutal mistakes rushing the Doom Track. It still dragged for a bit with monster surges and in that time we could have been making progress sealing had we tried.

The mistakes, though, were just annoying.

Solan wrote:
Glaaki is my favorite AO, not to mention my arch-nemesis, so I'm sorry to hear that this game with him was so messed up. Given all of the mistakes, do you think maybe it would be better to not count this game and leave Glaaki in your AO rotation?


I've been thinking about this since the end of the game. I may add him back into the rotation down the line perhaps. I'll have to put more thought into it before I decide but it's certainly a possibility.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Solan wrote:
Glaaki is my favorite AO, not to mention my arch-nemesis, so I'm sorry to hear that this game with him was so messed up. Given all of the mistakes, do you think maybe it would be better to not count this game and leave Glaaki in your AO rotation?


Glaaki isn't my arch nemesis, but I have had games in which I lost two Elder Signs, a couple of magical weapons (discard one Unique Item), a Tommy Gun and Rifle (discard one Common Item), twelve clues (that Servant came out twice) and all the skills. That game didn't see a powerful spell caster, so that one didn't do any significant damage.

Losing eight items and twelve clues pretty much spelled the world's doom. Sorry.

I keep track of won/lost records and have a few T(ainted)s out there myself. I lost to Abhoth the first fifteen times I played him before winning one, and a few games later forgot to take the cultists out of the bag. Well, the gate I sealed for the win had been guarded by a cultist, which I didn't realize until the game was broken down. Definitely tainted.

Brian
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