My campaign has drawn to a close, and the Dunwich Legacy is over. I thought I’d take some time today on game day to talk about the last two scenarios in the campaign, and also share some reflections before I move on to my next campaign with the Arkham Horror LCG!
Where Doom Awaits involves climbing to the top of Sentinel Hill in an effort to stop the ritual that Seth Bishop is trying to enact. The scenario manages to stage the ascent by tying location discovery to the Act deck, meaning that you can’t simply charge up the hill to see what’s going on. The encounter deck has also got a lot of nasty surprises in it, including this horrible little beastie that nearly saw Roland Banks off for good!
This scenario definitely felt like it was a straightforward one, I think the fact that the Agenda deck needs 12 doom before the first card is flipped helps somewhat to keep the pace slow, although there are a lot of cards in the encounter deck that will flip the various locations, removing the clues from them and causing all manner of chaos. Fortunately, by this time in the campaign, I’ve got a lot of cards that allow me to discover extra clues on my way, which makes clearing out locations fairly easy.
The investigators entered the gate, as we saw off the evil Seth before he could do any further damage. We also gained 6VP though in all honesty, at this point in the campaign, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do with it, so left it in the bank (along with the 3VP from the last game).
Onwards, we go!
To be fair, it felt right not to upgrade the decks between scenario VII and VIII, given that the last one ended with us being sucked through the gate to the other world! Lost in Time and Space is perhaps the most straightforward setup of any game, having just one location in play, with most of the locations in the encounter deck. Interesting twist, I’m sure you’ll agree! The Act deck allows you, as an action, to discard the top 3 cards from the encounter deck, and put into play one of the locations revealed.
The game can be quite difficult without taking those actions, although I must say that I felt the starting turns quite relaxed, as I took the time to try and get my resources together – much like I imagine the investigators would be steeling themselves against the mind-bending chaos of being lost in another dimension.
There are still horrible monsters to contend with, but this scenario definitely felt like it was the kind of exploration thing that it should be, as we attempt to find our way out of the rift and back into real space. There are two locations that will lead to The Edge of the Universe, from whence you can begin to find your way home, and if you don’t manage to get to them for a while, it can feel like your sanity is being tested with treachery cards like Collapsing Reality that force you to take horror or damage. I found myself having to take extra notice of the locations I was investigating, to ensure that I wasn’t letting one that would lead home to be discarded.
The scenario has some great interplay with the locations, and it really feels different from the others of the campaign – indeed, each scenario of this campaign has felt different in some way or form, which is wonderful – it’s not simply about killing enough monsters, or investigating enough locations – in the case of Lost in Time and Space, it’s more about simply surviving, and victory is actually gained through lasting out long enough to resign from the game.
So how did things finish up? Well, the investigators closed the tear in reality, which is always a good thing, though it did come at the cost of both physical and mental trauma (two points, each). We did, however, get a bonus of 5VP, and more importantly, the investigators won the campaign!
Some stats for you now. Over the course of the campaign, we earned 35 experience points, which was spent on eight upgrades for Akachi, and nine upgrades for Roland. That’s surprising, really, when you think that only a couple of those cards were upgraded from 0-cost to 4-cost. I think the investigators ended the campaign with 14 experience still in the bank, but I’ll get to this in a bit.
I love this campaign! Coloured for sure by my love of the original source tale, of course, the campaign basically forms a sequel where the impact of dispatching the spawn of Yog Sothoth is examined in each of the academics who went up Sentinel Hill on that fateful day. There is an interesting designers’ note in the back of the campaign notes that talks about this inspiration, and is nice to see where the idea came from.
There are some great stories to be told from playing through the campaign, as well – I mean, my own start with the campaign couldn’t have been less auspicious, as I ended up destroying the Clover Club and gaining the ire of the O’Bannions! As the campaign went on, it was great to see some call backs to the events of the very first scenarios, as well, with the outcome of Extracurricular Activity being felt in Lost in Time and Space – that was a very nice touch!
When I played through this one last time, first of all I only talked about the start of the campaign on my blog and didn’t get to the other scenarios, but I ended up with a very different tale unfolding – I feel like it went much better for me, as far as my memory serves. I certainly didn’t blow up the Clover Club, that’s for sure! Even though I have played it before, I didn’t really remember the story beats, which made for a much more exciting game. I could remember things like the hidden chamber in Blood on the Altar when I got to that point, and the ascent up Sentinel Hill was somewhat familiar, but in the main I don’t remember what I was supposed to do (or how I played it last time), so I couldn’t game the game, as it were. I think it helps that there are so many different paths that you can take – most scenarios have at least two resolutions, with some having as many as four, informing the subsequent games so that each replay will indeed feel different.
However, in terms of the deckbuilding, there did come a point where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my investigators, and so felt a little bit paralyzed by choice. I suppose not knowing what I might be facing made it so that I didn’t really have a plan, so I didn’t know where I wanted to go with it all. As such, I ended up with almost half of the total earned experience not being used. Part of this is definitely also down to not being too familiar with the card pool, but it felt a bit odd giving out 6VP at the penultimate scenario, although I suppose some groups may have fared much worse than me, and might well have needed it to stand a chance!
Something that I thought quite interesting, I barely saw any of the Story asset cards during the entire campaign. Maybe I’m just rubbish at shuffling, but Akachi Onyele had custody of the Necronomicon, as well as having Henry Armitage and Zebulon Whateley in her deck – and none of these cards saw the light of day at all. In the very last scenario, Roland drew Professor Warren Rice to help with his investigation attribute, but that was the single benefit of the whole campaign! I don’t really know what point I’m trying to make with this one, however, because these cards are important more in terms of how the story unfolds – the fact that the Necronomicon can get you resources and improve your investigation is almost arbitrary. But I suppose it would have been nice to have seen them further down the line, as if there were a rule that allowed you to start with the card in play (much like a Permanent card).
All that said, however, the campaign was just wonderful, and I am really pleased to say that I enjoyed it a great deal. Some rules still elude me to some extent, but in the main I thought the gameplay felt very fluid by the time I was mid-campaign, so it definitely helps to play a lot of the game to understand the basic rule interactions so that you can then concentrate on the story aspect. This is definitely one of those games where the story comes through so well that it can sometimes knock you over!
Fantastic stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree! Now, though – it’s time to start a new campaign, with new investigators. I’m heading to Lost Carcosa, and I need to assemble my team… much like with using Akachi for this one, I think I want to use a class that I don’t have any experience with, so I’m probably going to have a Survivor, but I’m not sure about the second one. Maybe a Rogue, maybe a Seeker. Stay tuned, though, as I plan to write up blogs for my plays with all of the Arkham Horror LCG – it’s really become a firm favourite!