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Subject: Arkham in Japan Game 27: Better to Burn Out Than to Fade Away 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 and Kingsport Horror Ancient Ones

Game 13: Return to Dunwich
Game 15: If Man is Five
Game 16: WRONG!
Game 17: The Violinist in the Woods
Game 18: City in the Mist
Game 19: Bibliophobia
Game 20: The King and Eihort
Game 21: Eihort Huckabees
Game 22: Catch-22 or wRex-n-Effect(ive)
Game 23: An Eye for an Eihort
Game 24: The A-Team vs Yibb-Tstll

Season Three - Innsmouth Horror Ancient Ones

Game 25: No Quarter
Game 26: Dust to Dust


Our set-up was AH + IH + BGotW + DotD + MH

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.
-If using a Herald, both a Guardian and Institution will be chosen at random. If no Herald, then only one random Guardian or Institution may be chosen. *NOTE* We ignored this rule for this session. Instead we selected the Guardian and also drew a random Institution.


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

Investigators:
Finn Edwards {2} (me)
Norman Withers {5} (me)
Daisy Walker {2} (MerkabaZA)
Luke Robinson {4} (MerkabaZA)
+
Lola Hayes {2} (me)
Vincent Lee {4} (me)


Ancient One:

Cthugha
History: None. Did not like the sound of taking damage for moving long distances. Three spaces is definitely not enough to get things done the way they're needed.

Herald

Black Goat of the Woods
Since it was our first game with the Black Goat expansion, we only found it fitting to add the proper Herald. After reading the effect, I quickly regretted that decision.

Guardian

Hypnos
There is no Guardian but Hypnos. In Hypnos we trust.

Institution

Miskatonic University
I don't recall if we ever had this Institution, but I could see the utility it offered, if we could spare the high cost to use it.

---

Closing in on FOUR years since the last session in Volume 1's campaign, my good friend
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returned to visit and give one last go at our old campaign. It was bittersweet as he is planning on leaving the country so this could very well be not only our final game together, but our final face-to-face meeting as well.

Because of this, we went balls to the wall adding in as much as we could that we had not used before. That included using the Starting Rumor variant from the Arkham Horror novel of the same name, Dance of the Damned. It would not be an easy Rumor to complete, but gaining a Blessing for everyone did seem rather sweet. The alternative, of course, would be all members getting Cursed. Not exactly what we wanted.

The first, and most massive disappointment, was not drawing Patrice as one of our choices. 13 characters remain and we drew 6, yet no Patrice. That definitely did not bode well. We hoped that Norman and Luke would make a good combination with the Find Gate Spell and Gate Box, respectively.

Finn and Luke were linked with a Relationship, "Take Me Instead", while Daisy and Norman were "Friendly Rivals". Fitting, I thought, considering their skill sets. As far as personal stories went, both Norman and Luke needed to do about the same thing to pass: collect three Gate Trophies. Daisy's personal story seemed easiest to pass and Finn's was not too difficult, aside from hoping a cultist emerged from the GIANT POPCORN BUCKET OF MONSTERS. With this in mind, the game started with Norman finding and passing a magical weapon over to Finn so he could start hunting down monsters. In exchange, he gave his Motorcycle to Norman so the old man could zip around the city at a speed of 3 to avoid damage from the heat while still keeping a strong sneak.

In the beginning, we followed our usual strategy of trying to pull an Elder Sign from the Curiositie Shoppe with our wealthiest character. In this case, it was Finn but he had no luck. Daisy and Norman hung out around the University as Hypnos was sprinkling that area with Clues and Luke struggled to come out of the Dreamlands.

The addition of a Hex monster along with a normal monster draw, along with the movement penalty, was making it extraordinarily difficult to move around the board. A number of times, our routes were cut off or just too impractical to go through without suffering some major consequences. Where we could, we had Norman and Daisy collecting Clues for sealing Gates, if possible. We needed seals since Luke had no way of sealing his first Gate once he finally got out of the Dreamlands and he failed his check to close the gate, too, so he was stuck on the space with monsters.

This highlighted another problem: the inability to spend Clues for skill checks without running the risk of failing the Dance of the Damned Rumor. We went all in with options this time and we were feeling the hurt.

Another dilemma had crept up with Luke's failed closing roll: he had no way to defeat or evade the two monsters on the Gate waiting for him. Finn decided to play hero and rushed to Luke's spot. He could get there AND had a high likelihood of killing the creatures, but he would get sucked into the open Gate before Luke got his second chance of closing it. So upon arriving, Finn took the Gate Box from Luke to ensure he could find an exit from the Other World. All went according to plan and Finn dispatched the two monsters, earning five Toughness in trophies, before being drawn into another world. Immediately after that, Luke was able to finally close the Gate but, lacking Clues, could not seal it.

Daisy continued gathering Clues and, with the help of Hypnos, she managed to get enough to complete her Personal Story. Finn spent a couple turns struggling to get through the Other World but when it was time to return, we had to think about which exit he would use. We noticed that there was a Goat Spawn on top of a Gate in Innsmouth. Seeing that the Goat Spawn counts as a Cultist, Finn exited there. He managed to close the Gate and killed the Goat Spawn, allowing him to complete his Personal Story as well. Unfortunately, he didn't have enough Clues so his Gate also remained unsealed.

By this point, both the Doom Track and Deep Ones Rising Track were filling up steadily. This was perhaps the first time the Deep Ones Rising Track looked like it could be a threat. Finn had to get back to Arkham to start an Expedition so other Investigators could easily travel to Innsmouth. He found the shortcut back by being driven Insane by a monster.

As Daisy continued collecting Clues, she had the unfortunate experience of having a Gate open on top of her, sending her into R'yleh. She wasn't equipped to travel the Other Worlds but she had no choice now. She didn't have that difficult of a time getting through her encounters, but, just like Luke, she failed at closing her Gate. Luckily, an Encounter by Norman allowed us the chance to change any Gate, and we decided to swap out her R'yleh Gate token (as it was -3 to close) with a random one. Sadly, we drew Carcossa (-2) so not that much better. On the following turn, however, she was able to not only close it, but spend some of the Clues she had built up to give us our first seal.

By this point, monsters were starting to get out of control and it was nearly impossible for the Investigators to move about freely. Luke was even knocked out as he tried to navigate the sweltering streets of Arkham which then left him trapped in St. Mary's Hospital as he could not get past the Warlock waiting outside. To exasperate things, the Deep Ones Rising Track was more than half full and, thanks to The Black Goat of the Woods all but guaranteeing a Doom Token on every turn, Cthugha was already past the halfway point. That meant that it was Martial Law in Innsmouth, something that I know is bad but don't remember exactly why.

That would become an immediate problem as Finn decided he had to get to Innsmouth to start working with the Feds to raid that horrid little town. As he went back there through the expedition he had established, Norman knew it was up to him to start closing Gates. He had amassed a number of Clues and was in possession of "Storm of Spirits", a spell that boosted his confidence as well as his strength. So, after one failed attempt to get the Spell working, Norman went into "Action Grandpa" mode and charged his way to the nearest Gate, killing the monsters guarding it.

Norman was frail, but we had no choice but to send him in there. On his second turn in the Other World, he came back with Find Gate and was ready to close and seal. Meanwhile, Daisy got a loan and tried to get an Elder Sign but would have no luck at all.

While in Innsmouth, Finn tried to get into a safe position to start alerting the Feds, but he was Arrested before he could do anything! While Norman closed and got us a second Seal, Finn found himself dragged from his Jail cell, taken to an abandoned house somewhere and thrown into a dark hole in the basement to find something so horrible, so unspeakable, that he could not even utter a cry before being Devoured.

The look on MerkabaZA’s face was priceless. We definitely didn’t expect that to happen. I suppose we finally realized how deadly Innsmouth could be. So, after the death of Finn, Lola Hayes was on her way to Arkham to complete the task of the fallen Investigator. Even with Lola coming to town, the streets were in a bad condition. We desperately needed to get to Innsmouth but it would be nigh impossible to pass all the monsters and still have enough movement to reach the other town. In our favor, Luke traveled to the Historical Society and drank the Milk of Shub-Niggurath and drew ALL the monsters to his location, all the while driving him Insane. Appropriately enough, his madness was “Panic”. I think getting swarmed by a Goat Spawn, a Ghoul, a Dark Young, a Warlock, a Fire Vampire, a Zombie and Wizard Whateley would be more than enough to cause anyone to panic.

With the roads clear, Daisy and Lola rushed into Innsmouth. They just needed to last the night there and hope that a sixth and final Deep Ones Rising token didn’t hit the board. Yet things went from bad to worse when Lola herself was arrested, just like Finn. And, just like Finn, she didn’t have long to mull over what might come to pass as she was promptly dragged from her cell and thrown into the same pit where some unearthly beast was still digesting poor Finn.

Two turns and two Devoured Investigators. This was getting out of hand but we wouldn’t have to worry about it for much longer as Cthugha was moments away from waking up either through the certainty of Doom Tokens or the very high possibility of the final Deep Ones Rising token.
Norman’s action grandpa stint ended with his being knocked unconscious and sent to St. Mary’s to meet up with Dr. Vincent Lee, who just arrived in town. The two barely got to introduce themselves before Cthugha awoke from his long slumber. The final battle had begun.

Our brave human heroes did their best but it wasn't much. With spells like Storm of Spirits, of which we had three, and Azure Flame, having two, we managed to at least put up something that resembled a fight but, with the minus 5 to attack, it wasn’t much.

In the first couple of rounds, the heroes did not hit very much but, luckily, neither did Cthugha as we only rolled a 1 on the die each time. In the next couple of rounds, the Investigators started to pile on the hits and it wasn’t long before we had the Great Old One down to 10 from 13. Again, his attacks were always low. Yet it did not matter as soon Cthugha would take a 4 hit on all of the Investigators, bringing them to the point where three could not attack at all without killing themselves through sanity loss. Only Norman, still in Action Grandpa mode, continued on into the final round, seeing the monstrosity drop to 9 before joining his comrades in eternal torment through devouring.

---

Thoughts:

Damn that was rough! It was great to be back in Arkham but even better to be back with the man, the myth, the legend… MerkabaZA. The few times I’ve played Arkham since he moved were fun… but just not as fun as when he is in the group. And today was no exception.

We had always heard how difficult and deadly Innsmouth could be but, until now, we had never experienced the true threat it posed. We were certainly rusty at the game and, knowing that this was our last time to play together, we really overloaded the game with difficulty. The Black Goat of the Woods as Herald combined with the slowing effect of Cthugha and the ever-present threat of the Dance of the Damned really gimped us from turn one. Not only that, but not having Patrice on the team at this late stage of the campaign is practically a death knell.

Six Investigators died this time. SIX! Definitely unfortunate. We only have 7 left in the rotation and, if things go south like they did here, we might only have one game left in this campaign. The heartbreaking thing is that we may never get to play it. Or, if we do, it will likely be on Vassal from two different countries. If we ever figure out how to get it working.

Tough loss for us, but my eternal gratitude for one of the best gaming dudes I’ve ever met in my life. Thanks, Merky, for so many years of gaming goodness.


Final Count:

Doom Track - 13/13
Terror Track - 6
Gates Sealed - 2
Investigators Incapacitated - 2 (Luke, Norman)
Investigators Insane - 3 (Finn, Daisy, Luke)
Investigators Devoured - 6

W(D)-L Record:

Bokrug 0-1
Chaugnar Faugn 0-0
Cthugha 0-1
Ghatanothoa 0-0
Nyogtha 0-0
Quachil Uttaus 1-0
Rhan-Tegoth 0-0
Zhar 0-0

Games: 18-9
Six Seals Wins 7
Closed Gates Wins 5
Final Combat Wins 6

Current Streak: 1 Loss

Longest Win Streak: 8
Longest Loss Streak: 3

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)
Agnes Baker (Devoured by Eihort / Game 20)
Carolyn Fern (Devoured by Eihort / Game 20)
Mark Harrigan (Devoured by Eihort / Game 20)
Rita Young (Devoured by Eihort / Game 20)
Ursula Downs (Devoured by Eihort / Game 20)
Tony Morgan (Devoured by Eihort / Game 21)
Kate Winthrop(Devoured by Eihort / Game 21)
Skids O'Toole (Devoured by Eihort / Game 21)
Hank Samson (Devoured by Eihort / Game 21)
Roland Banks (Devoured by Eihort / Game 21)
Amanda Sharpe (Died from Injuries / Game 22)
Minh Thi Phan (Devoured by Yibb-Tstll/ Game 22)
Rex Murphy (Devoured by Yibb-Tstll/ Game 22)
Harvey Walters (Devoured by Yibb-Tstll/ Game 22)
Zoey Samaras (Devoured by Yibb-Tstll/ Game 22)
Jacqueline Fine (Devoured by Yibb-Tstll/ Game 22)
Monterey Jack (Devoured by Yibb-Tstll/ Game 22)
Silas Marsh (Devoured by Bokrug/ Game 25)
Mandy Thompson (Devoured by Bokrug/ Game 25)
Sister Mary (Devoured by Bokrug/ Game 25)
Charlie Kane (Devoured by Bokrug/ Game 25)
Finn Edwards (Sacrificed in Innsmouth Jail/ Game 27)
Lola Hayes (Sacrificed in Innsmouth Jail/ Game 27)
Vincent Lee (Devoured by Cthugha/ Game 27)
Norman Withers (Devoured by Cthugha/ Game 27)
Daisy Walker (Devoured by Cthugha/ Game 27)
Luke Robinson (Devoured by Cthugha/ Game 27)

Banished Ancient Ones:

Abhoth 1(1)-0
Atlach-Nacha 1-0
Azathoth 1-0
Cthulhu 2(1)-1
Eihort 1-2
Glaaki 1(1)-0
Hastur 1-0
Ithaqua 1-0
Nyarlathotep 1-0
Shub-Niggurath 1-1
Shudde M'ell 1(1)-0
Tsathoggua 1-1
Y'Golonac 1(1)-0
Yibb-Tstll 1-1
Yig 1-0
Yog-Sothoth 1(1)-1




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Tiago Perretto
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Very nice report!

Cthugha also had a feast on my investigators recently.
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Angry Augury
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tiagoVIP wrote:
Very nice report!

Cthugha also had a feast on my investigators recently.


Yeah, I read that report. I guess this is a bad time of year to face Cthugha.
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I think after several years away from our last game of Arkham Horror, this session reminded me just why I love this game so much. There were several points in the game where I felt we could very well manage to beat the odds and aty no point did I feel as though we were beaten. Surely the sign of a well balanced game!

And these past few years of gaming have been phenomenal to say the least. Thanks for introducing me to the woinderful world of gaming. It's a passion that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and introduce to my friends and family from here on out.

Let's raise a bubbly glass of Dr Pepper to our next excursion out onto the dangerous streets of Arkham!
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Angry Augury
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MerkabaZA wrote:
I think after several years away from our last game of Arkham Horror, this session reminded me just why I love this game so much. There were several points in the game where I felt we could very well manage to beat the odds and aty no point did I feel as though we were beaten. Surely the sign of a well balanced game!

And these past few years of gaming have been phenomenal to say the least. Thanks for introducing me to the woinderful world of gaming. It's a passion that I will carry with me for the rest of my life and introduce to my friends and family from here on out.

Let's raise a bubbly glass of Dr Pepper to our next excursion out onto the dangerous streets of Arkham!


As bleak as the game was, I agree that there was that constant thread of hope that looked like we could possibly turn things around. We may have been a bit inefficient at times but I think we were making good decisions through and through (based on the situation, at least). Sadly we weren't equipped to handle what we found at end of those paths. Particularly with Finn and Lola (we hardly knew ye).

I'll certainly raise a glass of Dr. Pepper to welcome you back to the gaming table the next opportunity you get.

Good luck and Godspeed, sir!
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