It’s game day once more, and time to continue on with my investigations into The Innsmouth Conspiracy. It’s been a couple of weeks since I last played this game, where I had just begun to realise what might be happening in the blighted coastal town…
5. Horror in High Gear
The fifth scenario sees us racing to the lighthouse at Falcon Point, after the revelations from the last scenario. This one is very interesting to me, it’s not very Lovecraftian, as it is basically a car chase in card game form, and it owes a lot to The Essex County Express from The Dunwich Legacy. The locations are all points along the Old Innsmouth Road, and when you reveal a location, it will have the “Road x” keyword, which tells you to put the next location from the deck in line. However, if you have to place more than 1 card, you also draw from a “long way round” deck, which slows your progress significantly.
Your investigators are in a vehicle, and as a reaction can get in or out, but are either classed as being in or being out of that car. Now, I couldn’t find an answer to this point when I was playing, but I decided that entering a location in the vehicle did not mean that I revealed that location – there were a couple of locations where you could spend clues to scout ahead, and peek at the next location in line, so playing the way I did meant that I could check for any “long way round” cards and avoid them.
This one was very much about location management, and we had a pretty decent headstart that made almost a mockery of the fact that several Hunter enemies were gathering at the furthest location from us. A couple of villains did pop up during the game, though mainly it was a case of investigating the locations so as to get the clues to spend that allowed us to safely exit that location. As such, Zoey didn’t have a great deal to do during her turns. I was also quite lucky in that Stella had a good combo from Lantern and Granny Orne, allowing her to buff her investigation attribute as well as lowering the shroud value of locations she’s at. That was a big help, anyway!
So I managed to evade pursuit before sunrise, and somehow was able to get 5VPs into the bargain! I think it’s definitely time to get the decks sorted out, and trade up on some cards.
6. A Light in the Fog
The next scenario is much more of a classic, creepy investigation. We’re at the Falcon Point lighthouse, in an attempt to get some answers. Everything starts off fairly standard, though I thought it could be quite brutal that doom hangs over from one Agenda to the next, meaning you’re on a fairly tight timer to get this done! Once Oceiros Marsh is defeated, the investigators have the key to explore further in the depths beneath the lighthouse, and things get very interesting as we have another of these scenarios where you’re exploring locations but it does feel very much like we’re in there – each row of locations is only connected horizontally, so you have to keep coming back to the central shaft to go further down. Very atmospheric.
Now, I’m not going to lie, I think I played this one very wrongly indeed! See, I didn’t seem to be getting very far in terms of investigation – I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be looking for, etc. So I was aiming to resign when – bam! The lighthouse was basically washed away, and the caverns I was exploring began to flood. Wondering if maybe the Agenda would still present me with some way to fail forward, I carried on blithely playing, only to reach Resolution 3, in which The Investigators are Killed. Yikes!
Now, normally I’m of the mind that I would never look at the reverse of cards that I had not revealed during the course of a game, mindful of replayability etc. But I did turn over a couple of locations and found that there is another location that can still allow for you to resign, and so reach a more favourable conclusion, so I think I might need to re-set and try again. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all!
But that said, this is what the game is all about, isn’t it? Arkham Horror LCG is not meant to be easy, you’re meant to just about make it through. While I am considering re-playing this scenario, I’m also thinking that I might just accept that this is how it ends for Stella and Zoey’s journey, drowning beneath Falcon Point lighthouse, and basically re-start the campaign at a later date. It has been a very protracted campaign this time, after all, which makes me wonder if my heart really has been in it with these investigators. I’m going to give it some thought, and see maybe at the weekend if I can come to a decision.
If this is how it ends, then I think it has been a pretty good campaign, overall. Returning to Innsmouth does feel a little bit more forced, somehow, than the Dunwich Legacy campaign, which seemed to follow on naturally. I have the impression that The Innsmouth Conspiracy is a prequel to the Lovecraft story, and so goes some way to prepare us for the eventual raid by the feds, but it did somehow just feel a little bit forced, to me. Nevertheless, the actual story of the campaign, at least so far as I got in there, does move along quite well. We have a bit of back-and-forth across the timeline, as we move between the past and the present. The scenarios each play quite differently, and so there is a lot of variety to be had throughout.
Definitely an interesting campaign…