Friday 24 August 2018

The Path to Carcosa - The Last King

The girls are ready to go party to save the world! One does wonder where they store all those weapons, or Minh her backpack..
Sweet Sister,
I shudder to describe what occurred at the play, suffice it to say that my particular talents were needed and I have totally lost any desire to eat octopus. There was 'something' in that theatre that was a bit like Billy Blithe - do you remember him? you'd manage to block one hand from approaching your chest and find another had mysteriously gained a death grip on your backside. The man had more arms than was decent and no self control.  Hmm may be going off topic a bit here... Daisy - she of the inexhaustible wallet - has decided we are going to crash a cast party and has splashed out (a lot) of cash on some lovely dresses so that we look the part. I have enjoyed the shopping not certain I will enjoy a party with murderous psychos.
I am also not sure Minh was entirely appreciative of her fine clothes as I am sure she will dump them as soon as is possible for a beige cardigan and sandals - though  remind me to tell you how she came running out of the theatre dressing room wearing nothing but underwear and some reuplsive smelling slime. 

 The usual, not that useful, setup  shot. tbh its missing the bystanders so is not even that accurate!

This scenario is one we, as a group, are well suited for. Our particular skill sets are nicely balanced towards each of the peeps we want to investigate so we should do well. Being tooled up with xp helps and I took two experienced Shrivellings, the Book of Shadows (allows my spells to recharge) and two Spirit Athame - Agnes tooled up is a good fighter but that tooling rarely lasts and these choices should make her more consistent..As I was adding 4 cards I dropped the Astral Travel, the two Improvised weapons (the Athame essentially replaces them) and a Hypnotic Gaze.

We did the 'Scooby Doo' and instantly split up with each person targeting one of the Bystanders. Nice plan! unfortunately stymied by some horrible encounter draws. I kept getting corrosion which wiped out a Holy Rosary and then my Heirloom and 'tough crowd' was drawn two turns in a row by the others so we managed bugger all of anything achieved after two turns. This was distressing as the Agenda rolled over and the Dumaine woman arrived - luckily once we clear one Bystander she loses a lot of potency, at least until that Bystander changes. Now Agnes particular skill set proved useful. I had also drawn a 'Young Psychopath' so 'chose' to take the engaging horror to do one in return. Then in my turn I simply ignored her and drew an attack of opportunity which allowed a further damage killing her. This allowed me to move to the courtyard and attempt to get two clues from Ishmaru. I only gained one but that was enough to allow Minh to finish her off and move over to Constance Dumaine.

Ishmaru has 'turned' but this gives a general idea of what clues were left at this point

That turn Jenny cleared Ashleigh (she had Leo de Luca out so four available actions) and with a lot of money (around 20 at this point) moved over to Jordan Perry.

Now time was not on our side and the first bystander turned. Fortunately enough it was Ishmaru and Jenny showed confidence in 'handling her' which was helpful as the Man in the Pale Mask had arrived in the lobby and I was moving to deal with him. A further Young Psychopath meant that I was actually getting a bit low on Sanity so a fortunate Clarity of Mind allowed me to lower my sanity loss from 7 to 5 prior to moving to the Pale Mask. Meanwhile Jenny evaded Ishmaru before 'turning' Jordan Perry while Minh finished of Moreau - we had now talked to everyone and just needed to get out. Moreau now turned and he was close but as Agnes easily finished off the Pale Man with her sole Shrivelling use we could just hop out and resign. Minh did the same before Jenny decided to play a Delve to Deep to try and get some extra XP. - whilst engaged with cockroaches with Sebastian a location away. She survived the resultant cards and attacks and due to resigning not triggering attacks of opportunity was able to hop out for the win.

End damage/sanity totals. 

We decided to burn the place down, what's a little arson between friends when confronted by a madhouse like that...

Player of the Game

It was actually quite close this game as we all did what we were supposed to do but for sheer style points the award goes to Jenny for letting Ishmaru come to her location, absorbing the attack then evading her, finishing off Sebastian then moving off. All in a turn and allowing the rest of the party time to safely clear the exit.

Jenny is ready for all!

Monster of the Game

The Young Psychopaths were the most irritating but for simply stylish design points this award will go to Ishimaru Haruko. I love the change text for the bystanders and they are all horrible monsters to fight and though Jenny handled her without fighting it is still a great card (as are the other bystanders)


End Result

We had around twenty two clues at the end so split it 4/4/3 with 1 extra XP from the Delve so 5/5/4 with Jenny having the 4 (but also Charon's Obal to not mattering so much). We should be well set for the next mission which is the Asylum ( another great scenario) allowing I have remembered correctly..

Saturday 18 August 2018

The Path to Carcosa - Curtain Call

Dear Sister,
Had a rich girl in the bar today. Looked out of place amongst the fry ups in all her finery but she was game and tipped well. She was having a laugh with me, well all the staff really and persuaded to join me at a performance of that new play being shown. You always say I should put myself out there more so perhaps this is that. She has a sister too from the sounds of it but she went sad when asked about it.
Who knows what goes on in the head of the rich - the play though sounds pretentious crap and exactly  the sort of things the la di da's do... It will be opera next bluuurgh. She is paying though so I thought why not. Originally it looked like I was being asked as 'bait' for a good looking man but , to be frank, she is quite a looker herself and I felt quite dowdy next to her. Perils of a greasy apron I think. We are also being joined by another woman from the bar - you would remember her from your last stay. She was the little Asian woman you were convinced owned ten cats and talked to herself. She seems a little obsessed by this play..

Gratuitous startup shot

So back to a new campaign! Are group is a little weaker than before with no dedicated killer and though we have a Seeker Rex is so 'strong' everyone else suffers in comparison.

Dropping straight in to the lovely designed scenario 'Curtain Call' things started slowly. I spent most of the first turns squishing rats (one swarm from the encounter and two from the trap room, if I remember correctly). Minh started gathering clues and Jenny marched off in the other direction. It suddenly struck me that the group was showing remarkable similarities to another threesome.

I suppose that makes Agnes Dew Barrymore...

Anyway after a stroke of luck from the encounter deck we managed to flip the act just before the agenda and the Man in a Pale Mask turned up to be miserable in the Dressing Room. Minh was having none of it so charged over to tell him to get over himself which she did so efficiently he sodded off to sulk in the Lobby while the Theatre was suddenly faced with a disgusting mould invasion.

Minh has just dealt with the Man in the Pale Mask and the Emissary is about to appear.

In the meantime the valiant Agnes moved to the theatre tempting a clue heavy Servant of the King to jump off and come in search off. It did not go well for him as she had dealt with the rats with her shoes. For him she shrivelled his head. The Royal Emissary now showed up adding extra amusement for all. Jenny carried on clearing locations of clues while Agnes tried to implement project instant kill. I moved from the lobby to the theatre (taking one damage from an encounter card which allowed me to add a damage to the Emissary. I then waited for the end of turn attack and played 'Hypnotic Gaze' if I drew a special token then the Emissary would kill himself!.

The Emissary arrives.  On top of Minh

Unfortunately I did not so had to settle for an extra 'Agnes' damage from the extra horror for all at the end of the enemy phase. Next turn he was handily zapped and I moved back to the lobby taking 1 damage and horror from the ooze which allowed me to drop another damage on the Pale Mask. Jenny then ran in and shot him with a .45 pistol.

Look into my eyes? wont work with most men who will be wondering how she fitted in that dress. Distracted other ways perhaps.

We could have just resigned here but thought we would push things slightly. Jenny still had two turns and two 'Delve to Deep' in hand which she played to increase our xp by two. I would like to see it went swimmingly but the result popped the agenda again which resurrected the Royal Emissary (potentially costing us 2 xp) and led to poor Agnes having five physical damage and five mental and some random Whispers. Woops. No worries though as the Emissary is not that much of a fighter and Jenny blew it away.

As can be seen Agnes was pushing it in damage terms

Result! I love this scenario which is thematic and well written and fun to play through. We ended up with ten experience! and if it wasn't for a useful encounter card would have probably had a harder time with the Emissary. Roll on the next scenario..

Player of the Game

For once not an actual player but an encounter card. It was early in the scenario and Minh had a mere 3 clues. Jenny had 3. All three of us were in different locations. We needed 9 to roll the act and the agenda would pop at the end of the next turn. Two of the encounter decks were a 'Servant of the King; in Jenny's location and a Fanatic in mine (which handily moved a clue onto him).  Then came the magnificent 'The King's Edict' It moved a clue onto the Servant of the King and another clue onto the Fanatic. Though this pumped fight this meant less books more attack and the next turn I easily zapped the 5 strength fanatic to gain two clues and then luckily got the third. This allowed us to pop the act immediately and thus allowed Minh to deal with the Man in the Pale Mask before the agenda flipped. Sweet

Now half way through the game we also discovered that Craig was apparently a shape shifting demon. This was how he appeared in for a good five minutes.

And before anyone says anything Craig is bottom left...

Monster of the the Game

Has to be the Royal Emissary which has opera singer  undertones. Moves about has massive and hunter and does reasonable damage with an auto horror to all within one location range. Also has great art.  Shame it met a gun toting Jenny and  Agnes 'make me mentally distressed and you will feel it'  facing it..twice.   The Poltergeist met Minh a couple of times but she discussed thermal theory and how it could not really exist with it until chastened it ran away..

Magnificent job by FFG's art department and the artist 'MoonSkinned'

Wednesday 8 August 2018

The Dunwich Legacy - Lost in Time and Space

Dear Diary
Just scribbling a note as I find myself in hell! Literally with spawn of satan all over the place like a field of cows. Except the cows are purest evil and will kill you on sight.
Luckily I remembered to pack my super sharp knife set that will allow me to get up close and personal in a way that Satan himself will hear of. I do wonder how my diary will get back should a minion of evil get a lucky strike in. 
Bible Reading of the Day: Revelation Book 14 Chapter 10
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
I must be a Holy Angel. I don't think I am the Lamb. That is probably Rex

So finally the epic last campaign scenario. The group is as elite and well prepared as can be (considering how smoothly the campaign has actually gone) so if anyone can succeed we should be able to.  My last experience purchase this campaign was restricted as I like most of what the deck does so finally gained Zoey some Charisma ( guard dog and another would be a lovel combo) along with moving up the other Vicious Blow to the experienced level.

Onto the scenario it is difficult to write up a decent report on this scenario because the structure changes all the time. It is another of, what I would call, the 'deck threat' decks with minimal nasties to fight. So success or failure is heavily predicated on clue finding ability and luck in getting the locations you need in play early enough to allow access to where you need to go.

I was unfortunately useless all scenario. Whenever I bought a knife out (my first was a 'reliable' machete) an encounter card would make me discard it. This happened twice and for the first time this campaign Zoey went through the entire scenario without a proper weapon. Fortunately this was not a major disadvantage as Rex was quietly confident throwing acid at things (taking out both a conglomeration of sphere and an Interstellar traveller) and Yorick had his own reliable machete out.  When combined with Rex hoovering up clues at a rapid rate of knots we quite quickly progressed to the 3rd act keeping careful watch on doom carrying locations so we could discard them before they got dangerous.

Weird space, not the best place for a day trip

If anything the hardest part was getting out. The big nasty was starting to drift towards us (nicely hinted at in the agenda text) and both Rex and Yorick could leave easily. The problem was Dear old Zoey. I had my own plan which involved Yorick hitting another Interstellar Traveller for 3 allowing me to taunt it off him then kill him with my lately attached cross then playing the Guardian evidence card to gain a clue followed by scuttling to a 1 shroud location for a couple of attempts at a clue but Rex was confident he could help Zoey over the 2 shroud of the exit location so I moved there instead. I was pumped by 3 the first try, 2 the second and 2 the third and managed to get one clue. Rex still had multiple tricks up his sleeve and managed to play the search card allowing me to get Working a hunch (fast) which gained the last clue. A stressful last encounter phase was all that stood  between us and victory and all we really wanted to avoid was a card which generated a location and moved us there. Thankfully that did not occur and we had (again) saved the earth from the perils of otherworldly evil. To almost quote Rocket from Guardians,

We're really gonna be able to jack up our price if we're two-time earth savers."

Player of the Campaign - Difficult choice but its between Rex and Yorick and Rex gets it mainly because his clue gathering potential is enormous and combined with his unexpected ability to launch topical acid attacks makes him a dual threat and that can really help when the shit hits the fan. 

When this occurs Rex is needed!

Yorick had a few glorious scenarios where he literally saved the day but Rex was consistently useful.

Rex - 'useful'

Monster of the Campaign - I don’t regret not having to face the big nasty in the last scenario so that means something else will get it and for sheer innovative abilities the Hunting Horror from the Miskatonic Museum will get the nod. I love the way its growth is organic and you get the feeling of you striking it enough that it runs but then it returns stronger and angrier.

Scenario of the Campaign - This is again hard to call. Essex County is a bugger of a scenario to beat as is 'Undimensioned and Unseen' but my favourites are the starting two and the balance between them. Each being a joy to play and so thematic.

Next up: This group is moving to Carcossa. We are making things more difficult for ourselves as we are avoiding the Guardian/Seeker/other group structure that has served us well and currently look to be taking Seeker/Mystic/Rogue. I am looking forward to it.

Zoey is the second. I was going to write 'number two' then I realised what 'that' would read like..

Thursday 2 August 2018

The Dunwich Legacy - Where Doom Awaits

The dreaded penultimate scenario. Considering I have never got passed this one I do sometimes wonder that if I do play the next (Lost in Time and Space) whether opening it will reveal just cardboard and a note saying 'not possible to get here so you really should not have opened the pack.Soz..'.   Hopefully the elite team crammed full of experience overflowed investigators can break the duck.

I took a greedier path with my upgrades adding two 'Moment of Respite' and losing two 'Heroic Rescue'. Some manner of saving my weak sanity is required so this seems a valid way forward.

Dear Diary,

Well it is rare that evidence of Satan's work is so prevelant but considering I have just had to send back to hell giant monsters I feel it shows both God's favour and Satan's presence. Now we try to stop weak satanists from opening the world to hell. Rex hopes he can persuade them of the wrong they do and William apparently wants to convince with a cunningly designed soliloqy. I suspect neither will work but six inches of sharp steel in the stomach will rapidly make them re-appraise their evil intentions...
Bible Reading of the day: Isiah Book 13 Chapter 11
And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

As always a 'not useful' setup shot

Campaign progress is 'really' important in this scenario and though you have lots of time on the Agenda there is lots to do and a really clever set of hidden locations. After the usual setup turn (I played a Guard dog and Survival Knife) we had Rex easily open up a path enabling us to attack the required act clues next turn. Then the problems mounted. Firstly an irritating avian thrall arrived. Irritating because we were not really set up to take it on. Zoey had a go but after a less than stellar chaos bag draw only managed one damage in that turn. Then Altered Beast turned up and healed it. Next turn I dropped the Key of Ys soaked up the opportunity attack and still managed only one damage. Yorick was having none of it at this point and engaged it so he could hit it with a machete. This also went badly with the end result being still 1 damage and an attack in the enemy phase. Yorick did what we all would and shoved the elderly Henry Armitage in the way of that damage instead #hownottotreattheelderly. Rex meantime was hoovering up clues and wondering what his fellow party members were doing. Thankfully Yorick took it out turn three just as Rex opened up the middle hill location.

Zoey easily smacked down a lupine thrall and Yorick also dealt with a Wizard but things were actually looking dodgy. The problem (for me) was that I had drawn Beyond the Veil and with a Key of Ys with 2 sanity already on it and a rapidly disintergrating deck it looked like I would be dead sooner rather than later.

Sidebar was not needed but Beyond the Viel was an ever present danger

This though is where Rex came into his own and we rapidly opened up Sentinel Peak all the while admiring the clever 'on reveal' penalties and the fact many locations can be flipped to unrevealed so could fire again. 

Due to our earlier treatment of Silas Bishop we actually had an easy middle act and instead of having an enormous 5 15 5 with retaliate punishing us we could just sweep the clues for a gentle complete. It was actually a great example of how the campaign structure can really enhance the game...We were also really helped by not having to face a conglomeration of spheres so good news all round.

End Result - the Earth was saved and four experience was gained (2 from the peak, 1 from the Wizard and 1 from Buried to Deep)

The end and victory!

Play of the Game

We are on Sentinel Peak. I have 12 cards left and a Key of Ys with two sanity. We need speed and Rex declares he is going to show us how it is done. He pathfinders in and investigates pumping to a 12 (to 6 , the location had obscuring fog on it) and says ' watch this as I am going to get a shitload of clues'. We wait with baited breath for an impressive display of intellectual might and he draws...'auto fail'. So basically tripped up and sat one of his dictionaries. This then is the play of the game. To give the drunk reporter some credit he still still hoovered the clues with his remaining two actions and it was his clue gathering prowess that made this a simple run through.

Monster of the Game

It should be Seth Bishop. But the Avian Thrall can have it for delaying two investigators for three full turns. Git.