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Subject: Carry On Screamin' rss

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Arkham Horror Session Report

Base Game ( No Expansions )

I’ve just ordered the Dunwich Horror expansion for Arkham Horror. I’ve been told (and have read) that it is the "must-have" expansion. I play mainly solitaire with 2 or 3 investigators and have found completing the base game has lost some of its challenge, so I’ve finally pulled the trigger on getting an expansion.

But the base game does still hold one challenge that has remained allusive and which I am still determined to achieve. And that’s beating the game with just one investigator. To date I’ve attempted this about four times and each time I lose with the terror track hitting 10 off the back of monster surges and it has been nearly always with 5 gates sealed. I am determined to give this another go, and for some reason it turned into one of the longest and most enjoyable solo games of AH I’ve ever had...

I chose Azathoth because this gives me more time and chances are I’m not going to survive if the Ancient One awakes anyway. I want to go for those 6 sealed gates with this win. In one of my previous games I was really lucky and sought the "all gates closed" victory condition, but failed once more. Now I know the game and I’m going to go for sealing gates at places like the Woods, the Black Cave, and Independence Square first (since in past games they have been the most trouble). I’ve not done a count on locations in the Mythos deck, and I refuse to do so. I don’t want to take that element of doubt away from the game, so I’m basing my strategy purely on past experience.

I decided to choose the investigator randomly. I don’t know why, but I find making that decision so difficult, before I even start playing. Picking randomly takes that tough decision away from me and I can crack straight into the game with whatever investigator the game decides I should play. It’s one more game challenge I think. I get Monterey Jack, the Archaeologist. That’s OK. Stamina is good. I normally like a bit more sanity than 3, but I’m going to steer away from using spells and fight like a trooper.

Now, I’m writing this retrospectively the next day, but I will try to highlight the game which followed, because the horrors it threw at me remain so vivid...

I started well. During set-up I pulled a +1 Fight skill, and with a max 5 Fight already, plus a couple of weapons, beating up those monsters wasn’t going to be difficult. But boy they spooked the heck out of me. Quite early on I got stuck in a location with a Ghost sitting outside in the street. My sanity was already low, and there was no way I could sneak past or survive a Will check with my sanity intact. I was headed for the Asylum. From there it was real nail-biting-stuff. I had managed to get to the point of 5 sealed gates. Terror track was somewhere around 4, and I had most hot locations covered with sealed gates, so the Doom Track was pretty steady around 7. I’d managed to get one Elder Sign out of the unique item deck - Monterey is real good at pulling unique items. But now there were very few clues anywhere and stationary monsters blocking some key locations. Each turn I was running around like a mad thing trying to collect single clues. The Science Building got a gate so I couldn’t go clue hunting there. And I was in and out of Lost In Time And Space so many times. I was getting up to 5 clues, heading off to Another World, and then getting so spooked that my sanity was in tatters. I kept losing half my clues! Finally I had a lucky break. Trying to sneak into a gate (past scary monsters) landed me in hospital (that wasn’t the lucky part) but an encounter there restored both my sanity and my stamina to full strength. OK, now I’m more prepared. I’m tooled up, I’m clued up, I’m lucky with my gates, this first win is only a few turns away !!

But this is Arkham Horror, and it had other ideas....

The next mythos card is "Good Work Undone". Noooooooo!!!!! This is just awful!!!! How can I stand to lose all 5 sealed gates and start over??!! The next mythos card raises the Terror Level to 10, and the next is a monster surge. Now there is no monster limit and the board is cluttered with foes. I’m probably about to lose all my sealed gates, and I’ve just failed to sneak past a Gug who had me cornered at the Unnamable (please, let me by, I can’t take any more rats and collapsing ceilings and biting things at the Unnamable!!), and landed me back in the hospital. I can’t take it any longer... the horrors are too much for me.. it’s now 11:45pm and without realising I’ve been playing for 3 hours - I run screaming to my bed..

Next time...next time...


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Dan
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ricky2002 wrote:

I chose Azathoth because this gives me more time and chances are I’m not going to survive if the Chosen One awakes anyway. I want to go for those 6 sealed gates with this win.


I admire your tenacity. I have never attempted a win with 1 investigator. However, I think you are wrong in thinking that you probably won't survive if the Chosen One awakens. In fact, I think that's probably the easier way to win with 1 investigator, rather than going for 6 seals.

With 1 investigator you would only need one combat success for each spot on his Doom Track. With only a couple of upgrades you should find that pretty easy to do in the 2 or 3 rounds that most GOOs give you.
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Rianane wrote:
ricky2002 wrote:

I chose Azathoth because this gives me more time and chances are I’m not going to survive if the Chosen One awakes anyway. I want to go for those 6 sealed gates with this win.


I admire your tenacity. I have never attempted a win with 1 investigator. However, I think you are wrong in thinking that you probably won't survive if the Chosen One awakens. In fact, I think that's probably the easier way to win with 1 investigator, rather than going for 6 seals.

With 1 investigator you would only need one combat success for each spot on his Doom Track. With only a couple of upgrades you should find that pretty easy to do in the 2 or 3 rounds that most GOOs give you.


Ha, if only it wasn't Azathoth.. maybe I'll try a different One next time... because you may well be right ! But you know, getting those 6 gates is biting at me... !
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Dan
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I think it's more of a challenge going for the seal as you do. I think you would want to choose your investigator carefully though. Your biggest challenge with few investigators is the speed with which the gates open relative to the number of actions you can take. Every move would have to be economical.

The largest time sink in the game is the clue gathering. I think you would want a character that had an advantage collecting clues. I don't think the base game has any like that, so the second biggest time sink is (probably) healing sanity, so I think maybe Carolyn Fern?

Anyway, sounds like fun, I think I will try it.
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Rianane wrote:
I think it's more of a challenge going for the seal as you do. I think you would want to choose your investigator carefully though. Your biggest challenge with few investigators is the speed with which the gates open relative to the number of actions you can take. Every move would have to be economical.

The largest time sink in the game is the clue gathering. I think you would want a character that had an advantage collecting clues. I don't think the base game has any like that, so the second biggest time sink is (probably) healing sanity, so I think maybe Carolyn Fern?

Anyway, sounds like fun, I think I will try it.


You are so right. Chasing clues was the nightmare. And the frustration was losing half of them ! I've tried Carolyn. Her problem was speed/sneak with monsters in Arkham. For some reason, once I get to 5 sealed gates, the sixth just proves allusive. I think the game has somehow balanced it out at a real nail-biter of a challenge ! The thing that helped me out with Monterey was a Ruby of R'lyeh. Maybe Mandy with her high sneak and will will help her get about collecting clues without running into much difficulty...? Great to hear how you get on if you try ! Rick
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Dan
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Obviously, neither of us is mentioning that the random equipment draw at the start is the probably the largest factor. Draw a Healing Stone and you no longer want Carolyn, you want someone like Gloria. Draw a Find Gate spell and you want high sanity over stamina because casting that spell saves you two turns per gate, and Gloria becomes less useful than someone like Bob Jenkins.

So I think it's a matter of trying until you get that lucky combination of Investigator ability and item draw that compliment each other.

(note: apparently I have nothing better to do today than sit around theorizing about Arkham Horror.)
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I like the sub-optimal start as it keeps the 1 Investigator challenge a little bit tougher.

OK, I was helped out when Monterey drew the Ruby at the start, as it meant I could keep his speed mostly down at 1 (although I did pay the price more than once during the Encounter phase!)

I've not yet "mulliganed" my opening Investigator/starting item draws, and it remains a nice little solo challenge which I hope others can enjoy straight out of the base game.....

Enjoy! Rick.
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Someone elsewhere said that Hastur is easiest with one investigator -- focus on items and monster killing and keeping the terror level at zero and then just let him awaken on too many gates.

... and if you really want to max your chances, either take a high luck player or Carolyn.

Overpowered: Carolyn plus Healing stone allows you to regenerate 2 sanity each round (not that it's easy to get the healing stone when you have only one investigator -- it seems that the fewer the investigators you have, the more the luck of the items/skills/spell cards will affect the game).
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Andrew Maxwell
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I like that you are trying for the six seals. The easy way is to go Joe vs Yig, and just load up for the final battle- you can kill him in one round with a decent roll.
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