The Lost Realm

Hey everybody,

I’m not sure if I’m actually going to reinstate the whole Tuesday-game-day thing in 2021, but hopefully I can write more about my games here as the year goes on! We’re now in Lockdown #3 here in the UK, where staying home is pretty much the new way of life for us, so what’s better than playing loads of games, right?! Today, I thought I’d have a bit of a ramble about my latest endeavour, playing through more of the Lord of the Rings scenarios that I’ve never explored. Given that the game ended last year (well, went on hiatus), I’m probably a bit late to this party! But it’s among my all-time favourite games, and I want to devote more time to it.

Lord of the Rings LCG

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might have noticed a slip here – I’ve long thought of Lord of the Rings LCG as “my favourite game”, even when it was curb-stomping me, and even when I wasn’t playing it regularly. Now, however, I’m much more into Arkham Horror LCG as being a better overall game experience, though I come back to Middle Earth for the nostalgia trip!

Anyway.

Over Christmas, I decided to make the effort to play at least one full cycle from one of the five or six later ones that I’d never taken the time to explore, and settled eventually on the Angmar Awakened cycle. This one begins with The Lost Realm deluxe expansion, which brings the game into the north of Middle Earth, and explores the area to the north of the Shire, in the Lost Realm of Arnor. Hence the name!

There is a very strong Dúnedain theme developed across the player cards of the cycle, where the main focus is around engaging enemies. It was recently pointed out to me that this theme was telegraphed from way back in the core set with Son of Arnor, which I find pretty neat.

As the cycle moved on, and certainly as further cards came out in subsequent cycles, we’ve seen the Dúnedain theme become quite strong, rewarding players for engaging multiple enemies (although, I have to say, there are few defensive cards associated with the trait than I’d like!) It’s almost a high risk strategy, which sort of brings me to the next new thing in this cycle, Valour. A lot of cards have two effects, labelled Action and Valour Action. The Valour Action can only be triggered if your threat is above 40, but usually gives a much bigger effect – such cards have effects like ‘ready a character you control’ for the normal Action, and ‘ready all characters’ for the Valour Action.

But let’s talk about the quests in this box!

There are three, of course, and they’re all pretty middling difficulty, if I’m honest. I think this is due to the new Side Quest mechanic introduced in this cycle – cards that are shuffled into either your player deck, if it’s a player side quest, or into the encounter deck, and which act as an alternative to the main quest going on. Obviously, they depend upon being drawn to have an effect (although the second scenario, The Weather Hills, does instruct you to set one up in stage 2B), and having one (or more!) in play can make things extremely difficult!

Side quests are almost like extra active locations, in a sense – progress is placed there instead of the ‘main’ quest, and completing the quest does not advance the quest deck. Player quests can have some powerful effects, whereas encounter side quests can bolster enemies in play, so need to be removed!

The first scenario is Intruders in Chetwood, and serves to set the story up. The heroes are helping the Dúnedan Rangers in clearing out some Orcs that are marauding through Bree. In many ways, it’s similar to scenarios of the past – we have the objective-ally Iârion whom we need to keep alive, in a scenario full of enemies and nasty effects, some of which can trap him.

The Weather Hills is a bit more brutal, as we pursue the Orcs into, well, the Weather Hills. However, it seems that there is foul sorcery afoot! There is an objective card in play that collects tokens when enemies are defeated and, when flipped over, acts as something of a timer for the quest.

We pursue the Orcs into the old border fort of Amon Forn, where we discover the remnants of some depraved ritual having been carried out. Rescuing at least some of the prisoners from Bree, we take them to Fornost and have a chat with Aragorn, no less! But then – the sun goes down, and all hell breaks loose when Thaurdir, the spokesman for the prisoners, turns out to have been an undead wight!!

Deadman’s Dike tasks us with defeating the undead hordes roused by Thaurdir, though it is very much a ‘just survive’ type of quest. Thaurdir cannot be defeated, but if he doesn’t have damage on him equal to his hit points when the final progress token is placed on the quest, we haven’t yet won!

The story ends as Thaurdir escapes with Iârion captive, and we swear to his younger brother Amarthiúl that we will help to rescue him.

It was a bit odd for me to be playing a deck that included Amarthiúl from the start, although his hero card wasn’t released until the penultimate pack in the cycle! I’ve been playing two-handed solo, which is a completely new experience for me, and was actually a whole lot of fun – not least because I was finally able to experience both the Ranged and Sentinel keywords, so that was good! Whether it was helped by the fact I’ve been playing Arkham Horror in this manner for a while now, I found this way of playing really quite straightforward, and didn’t really get that confused by everything that was going on. The one concession I made, though, was to not pass the first player token.

The scenarios were really good, I have to say. I played the first one years ago, but don’t remember doing too well. However, aside from a miserable failure with the first Harad quest back in 2018, this box marks the first time in a long time that I have played “new” quests in this game! So that was pretty exciting to realise! There is a lot of theme in the scenarios, I think, and they don’t seem entirely impossible when playing with two decks, so that is nice! I was playing Standard mode, and still managed to make it through each one, at any rate – though I have read online that this was the first cycle that really tried to address the issue of scaling the game for 1-4 players, rather than assuming an optimum two.

At any rate, this was definitely an enjoyable experience for me, and I think it’s gone a long way to rekindling my love for the game, after the sound thrashing of the Ring-Maker cycle before it putting me off for years! As far as the Angmar Awakened cycle itself goes, I was a play-tester for that, so have played each one back in the day – albeit with cut-out bits of paper with text and no art! Not that I remember a great deal about it (it was 5 or 6 years ago, now), but I’m looking forward to going through the cycle in pursuit of Iârion, so stay tuned for more updates!

Horror in your Dreams!

Hey everyone,
It’s game day here at spalanz.com, and for today’s festive offering, I’m attempting to revive my custom of playing Eldritch Horror! There are still a couple of expansions that haven’t yet made it onto the blog, so today I’m going to investigate The Dreamlands, a big box expansion that first came out back in 2017.

Eldritch Horror: The Dreamlands

As with both of the previous big box expansions, Mountains of Madness and Under the Pyramids, The Dreamlands comes with a new side board for the main game, featuring locations from HP Lovecraft’s Dream-Cycle stories such as Ulthar and Dylath-Leen. Travel between these boards is, however, much easier than previously seen, as an investigator can either spend 1 clue or test Will -1 while performing a Rest action, and immediately move to the Enchanted Wood location. During set-up, three gates are drawn from the gate stack, ensuring each is for a location not on the Dreamlands board – these locations then receive Dream Portals which also link the boards together. It’s all quite thematic, and depending on where the locations of the Dream Portals are, can make things fairly straightforward to travel back and forth.

Eldritch Horror: The Dreamlands

The expansion is very much in the vein of more of the same, as we follow the now-established formula for these things, with two new Ancient Ones, about eight new investigators all from the Arkham Files universe, more cards for the base game locations as well as item decks, and then cards for the new board, and in this case an Expedition-style deck called the Dreamquest deck, which functions in the same way as previous iterations by giving you more complex encounters to follow. There are, of course, Prelude cards that allow you to determine how you’re going to use the new content if you like to structure things that way, and there is a small deck of Adventure cards that work with the Dreamlands board if you aren’t using a Dreamlands Ancient One.

Eldritch Horror: The Dreamlands

For my first game, I went up against Atlach-Nacha, created by Clark Ashton Smith as the spider god who spins a web between Hyperborea and the Dreamlands. I seem to recall always being fairly creeped-out when playing against this Ancient One in Arkham Horror, though that’s likely due to my arachnophobia. Here, Atlach-Nacha feels like a fairly straightforward Ancient One to overcome – it is more than likely down to the Mysteries that I drew, of course, but I didn’t feel like there was a great struggle as I went around the boards. True, only one of the three mysteries that I drew required me to have Research Encounters, so whereas normally I can be a little bit frustrated with the lack of clues spawning and so forth, here it didn’t really come to pass. I was also very lucky with Luke Robinson gaining the friendship of the cat unique asset which grants you five clues, as this happened just when I needed it!

Atlach-Nacha

The second Ancient One included in the box is Hypnos, who I’m fairly sure has been upgraded from simply a Herald (or was he a Guardian?) in Arkham Horror. Hypnos always works with the Dreamlands board, and has some fairly interesting mechanics for advancing his mysteries. He also has three separate decks of special encounters, which is really neat!

However, I feel like neither of these Ancient Ones is particularly nasty.

I don’t mean this to sound in any way disdainful when I say that this expansion gives us more variety without really breaking any of the rules of the base game, because it really isn’t a bad thing. Eldritch Horror has, in many ways, provided nothing but more of the same in each expansion. The Focus mechanic is back from Mountains of Madness, and that is pretty much the only change from the base game. Everything else is self-explanatory once you start playing, and while we get some tweaks on existing concepts (more Conditions that are actually boons, for example), there’s very little to confuse the uninitiated.

The eight investigators included are all familiar faces with new artwork, some of them are quite welcome having been staples from the core set of Arkham Horror, but only now making their appearance here.

There isn’t really a great deal more that can be said, if I’m honest – the expansion provides much of what we’re used to seeing from Eldritch Horror at this point, and continues the trend as we would expect it. The side board is interesting, with some thematic stuff going on to enjoy, and overall any fan of the base game will appreciate this for its strong ties in to the theme of the source material. I don’t think I’d say it is my favourite of the Eldritch Horror expansions, but it does its job well, and that’s all that we can ask!

Eldritch Horror: The Dreamlands

Christmas Eve catch-up!

Hey everybody,

The festive season is well and truly upon us, although it’s a stranger one this year because of all the restrictions that are in place. I’ve got five days off work now, so I’m hoping for a bit of a break from things – mainly because there’s so little that we can do!

Of course, being a huge nerd, I feel almost like I’ve been preparing for lockdown my entire life! I’ve got an almost 15 month old baby to keep me occupied during the day, of course, and during naps and the evenings, I’ve got plenty of hobby-backlog to work through!

In an effort to get more models finished before January, today I put the finishing touches to my Necron Overlord from the Indomitus box. It’s a very nice model, even though all the Necrons from that set have got sculpted damage on them, which I’m not a fan of, but I think I’m slowly getting over that now!

I’ve been working most recently on my Delaque gangers, who are finally coming close to being finished! I’m very excited for that of course, though I do think that I’ve taken my time with them, when you think it’s been around 2 years since I first started to build them! I think they’re looking really great, anyway, and as I’m planning another game of Necromunda against myself in the near future, it’ll be nice to have that much more painted up!

Speaking of games, I’ve started to play The Lost Realm for Lord of the Rings, as well, playing the first scenario, Intruders in Chetwood, earlier this week. That was a great game, albeit really quite involved! I’m sure that I played a couple of things incorrectly, as there were a great deal of moving parts to that quest, but I really enjoyed myself – while it definitely provided a challenge, it never felt completely impossible, which was nice to see. So often in the past with this game I’ll have lost due to location lock, where the threat in the staging area is just too high for me to cope with. The encounter deck seemed to be a decent blend of cards, though, which I think is key here. Too many enemies or locations can lead to the game just beating you down hard. I was also playing with Shadow effects, as I feel I’ve been missing out on this aspect for my playing career so far! It probably helped me more than I realised, having that ability to cycle through the encounter deck and effectively discard some locations and enemies without having to deal with them, so I definitely appreciated that!

I think my decks need looking at fairly urgently, though – a lot of the time I felt as though I had too much of a mix of questers, and fighters, meaning that I probably wasn’t dealing with enemies effectively. Of course, I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to this aspect of play, but I do feel like the decks need to have their balance addressed, so that they fall down either as ‘the questing deck’ or ‘the fighting deck’. That’s not to say that they will fulfil that role exclusively, but just have a greater emphasis, rather than trying to do both equally.

I can probably make better use of Sentinel cards, also!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get more games played over the next few days – I’m hoping to get some Arkham Horror played, as well as more Lord of the Rings!

Hope you all have a wonderful festive weekend, whatever you end up doing!

Warhammer: Invasion

Hey everybody!
It’s time for a celebration here at spalanz.com, as this post marks my 1000th post on my blog! Whoever would have thought? It’s also my birthday, so it’s a double celebration, and I thought that I’d mark it in style. Today, I thought I’d talk about one of my all-time favourite games. It’s one that I have mentioned rather a lot over the years, but have never gotten round to actually featuring on the blog until now. It’s time to delve into the Old World, with Warhammer: Invasion, from Fantasy Flight Games!

Warhammer: Invasion

This was one of FFG’s original line-up of living card games, and as such features the older distribution model of having one full cycle of card packs (called ‘battle packs’ here) where they didn’t print an entire playset of each card; rather, the first cycle has 40-card packs where 10 cards have the full set of three copies, and 10 cards are one-of. The game was designed by Eric Lang, who has worked a lot with FFG over the years (and, due to his design of this game, has earned the glorious reputation of being my favourite game designer!) and was published between 2009 and 2013. This is really why I have never gotten round to featuring it on my blog, as I didn’t start writing it until the year after it had received its final expansion.

It is a competitive game for two players, where each player takes control of one of the six great factions of the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy: The Empire, Dwarves, High Elves, Chaos, Orcs or Dark Elves. This is before Age of Sigmar shook things up, remember, so we’ve got the delightful Holy Roman Empire-inspired battlegrounds replete with legends such as Karl Franz and Sigvald the Magnificent.

I’ve played this game a lot, and while I have played as every faction, I have the most experience as playing Chaos, and so all of the photos I’ve taken to show this great game are from the Ruinous Powers’ perspective.

Warhammer: Invasion

Each player has a Capital board, which has three zones: a Kingdom zone, a Battlefield zone, and a Quest zone. These zones determine how you play the game. Each has a number of axe symbols there: you gain resources equal to the number of axes in your Kingdom zone; you can attack your opponent for a number of damage equal to those in your Battlefield zone, and you draw cards equal to the number of axes in your Quest zone.

There are a number of different card types in the game: mainly Units, such as fighters and wizards, but also Support cards, Tactics cards, and Quest cards. Support cards are a bit like locations or objects that you can deploy to increase your influence in the game. Tactics cards are basically Event cards, with a one-time effect. Quest cards are only ever played into the Quest zone, and represent a longer-term investment in your strategy – they have effects that will trigger if a unit is played onto the quest, and you can gain bonuses thereafter.

Warhammer: Invasion

The object of the game is simple: you must burn two of your opponent’s zones by dealing at least 8 damage to that zone.

So, on your turn you get three resources because your Capital board has got three axes in your Kingdom zone from the off. You can use those resources to play cards into your Kingdom zone to increase the axes you have there, which will net you more resources next turn, or you can play cards into your Quest zone to draw more cards on your next turn.

Resources are a bit funny in this game, in that there are two costs for playing a card: the actual printed cost (in the top left corner) and its Loyalty cost, displayed in symbols down the left hand side of the card. Each Capital board provides one loyalty symbol, and other cards, once played, will provide a similar cost. If you only have two symbols among cards under your control and the Capital board, and the card you want to play has three loyalty symbols on it, then the difference increases the cost of that card. It’s a good way to balance cards where players might want to combine races (though that isn’t such an easy thing to do anyway, so I’m not sure you’d want to do this very often).

The Kingdom zone gives you buying power, as we’ve seen, and the Quest zone increases your card draw as well as giving you useful options through Quest cards, which can grant useful effects when units are placed there on the quest. The Battlefield zone is, normally, the only way to actually fight your opponent and deal damage to them. During the Battlefield phase, the active player can declare attackers against his opponent’s zone, totting up the combined axes between all of the cards declared as such. The defending player then declares which if his units, if any, will defend from that zone, and the damage is assigned simultaneously. Once this has been done, it is actually applied so the attacker and defender can both lose units at this point. Any excess damage dealt by the attacker is placed onto the defender’s Capital board, and as mentioned earlier, 8 points of damage is enough to burn that zone. (Importantly, if the defender has the possibility to over-assign damage in their defense, that damage is not dealt back to the attacker’s Capital.)

Warhammer: Invasion

So in the above example, I’ve got six axes in my Kingdom zone, so I’ll be getting six resources per turn, and I get to draw three cards per turn, also. The Battlefield zone is quite impressive, having a Bloodthirster out that deals a massive 5 damage, as well as forces the discard of a unit from my opponent’s Battlefield zone before I attack. The Bloodletter also doubles all damage being dealt to units, which could potentially allow me to one-shot a zone in my attack phase. Nasty!

It’s a very straightforward game when explained like this, but there is a depth that comes from different card effects as well as the strategy of where you’re going to attack. For example, a player might be tempted to place a lot of his heavy-hitting units in his Battlefield in the expectation of using them to deal a lot of damage, but if his opponent attacks his Quest or Kingdom zone, there may be much weaker units there that cannot absorb the amount of damage coming through. Similarly, it sometimes doesn’t pay to double-down on attacking your opponent’s Quest or Battlefield zone if they’re building up a vast amount of resources in their Kingdom zone, which allows them to easily bring out something like a Bloodthirster!

There are a number of moving parts to a game like this, of course, with keywords that allow for some evil shenanigans on both sides. Toughness appears on some cards and acts as damage-negation, while Counterstrike allows a defender to immediately deal its damage to the attacker, reducing the overall damage being dealt. I said earlier that each zone will burn if it is dealt 8 points of damage; one way you can protect it is by playing cards face-down into that zone as Developments. Developments add 1 hit point to the zone that they’re in, and a player may only play one Development per turn. One aspect of the game that is particularly associated with Chaos is Corruption, which turns a card 90-degrees and removes its ability to act as an attacker or defender. You only get to restore one Corrupt card per turn, so if your opponent has Corrupted a number of your cards, then you’ll be facing an uphill struggle, from the off!

Warhammer: Invasion

With a generous life-cycle, Warhammer: Invasion had a lot of expansions. In addition to the initial Assault on Ulthuan box that brought High Elves and Dark Elves into the game (the core set only included four full factions, with just a couple of cards for the Elven races), March of the Damned brought us Lizardmen and Vampire Counts. The artwork on March of the Damned, as I have mentioned many times before, is what initially drew me to this game!

There were six full cycles each of six Battle Packs for the game:
The Corruption Cycle
The Enemy Cycle
The Morrslieb Cycle
The Capital Cycle
The Bloodquest Cycle
The Eternal War Cycle
Each of these worked on developing a specific aspect of the game, such as the Bloodquest cycle giving greater emphasis to Quests in the game. The Morrslieb cycle gave greater interaction with Developments, while introducing the Wood Elves to the game as a neutral faction, similar to how the Skaven had been introduced in the Corruption cycle. Hidden Kingdoms was the final deluxe expansion that then brought the four neutral factions to the fore, making each one a fully playable faction by giving small-scale Capital cards to allow you to play, for instance, all-Lizardmen:

Warhammer: Invasion

Perhaps one of the most important expansions was the Legends deluxe box, which brought a new card type to the game: Legends (surprising, that!)

Warhammer: Invasion

These cards are played into the centre of your Capital, and grant additional axes to each of your zones. Legends can be attacked instead of attacking a particular zone, and some of the more powerful ones might need to be dealt with before they can run away with the game for your opponent, so it can sometimes be worthwhile doing this! The deluxe expansion brought ways to interact with these Legends, however, and subsequent expansions even brought out new Legends, making them as close to a fully-supported type as possible. Hidden Kingdoms, in fact, brought us neutral Legend cards for each of the four factions.

Finally, the Cataclysm expansion gave us the option for multiplayer games.

Warhammer: Invasion

Cataclysm changed up the gameplay quite a bit, by adding these Fulcrum cards – sites of incredible magical power that can be channeled by a player during his turn to gain the effect on them. Cataclysm brings 3-4 players into the mix, and there are always 1 less Fulcrum cards than the number of players in play. In a four player game, three Fulcrums are in play – a player can declare an attack against a Fulcrum card from the common play area, and gain control of it, putting it into his Battlefield zone. During the end phase of the round, a player gains Dominance equal to the number of Fulcrums under his control: if a player has 8 Dominance at the end of the round, he will win.

Warhammer: Invasion

Cataclysm also changed the rules so that all three zones of a player’s Capital board must be burning for them to be eliminated. As such, the player cards included with the expansion all held a greater significance for burning zones, although these could obviously also be used in regular games, though given the fact fewer zones need to be burning, they would have a correspondingly lower impact.


Warhammer: Invasion is just a magnificent game. Before I discovered Magic the Gathering, it was my most-played competitive card game by a long shot. Something changed for me back in 2015, though, and the fact that Magic can be played purely with a deck of cards, and no need for all the tokens and Capital boards, it sort of struck a chord for me, and Warhammer: Invasion slipped down the ranks. However, I think with the End Times and then Age of Sigmar obliterating the Old World, there is something incredibly comforting about this game – I don’t mean that from the point of view of someone who rages against AoS, of course! I just love the low fantasy setting of the Old World, and I find it akin to coming home whenever I think about playing this game.

I mentioned the depth of gameplay that Warhammer: Invasion holds earlier, and I think there is something to be said about having a game where you begin with a deck of 100 cards! Games can be brutal, for sure, but they can also be quite long, as each side builds up their forces in the manner of true warfare. Sorties are sent to test the enemy, in case of any Tactics cards that might be played, before committing to an all-out assault in the typical carnage of Warhammer!

I haven’t played it for four years, though, which I suppose speaks a lot about my gaming habits in this day and age! Solo and cooperative games are a much better bet for me now, of course, but I’m hopeful that, when the world has returned to normal and we can see friends once more, I can convince my long-time gaming buddy Tony to break out his High Elf deck and once more demolish my attempts to Corrupt the world!

Searching for Carcosa… and finding it!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a whirlwind of a ride, but I’ve made it through to the end of the Path to Carcosa campaign! What a glorious campaign it was, too. I’m going to talk about the final two packs first – with spoilers, no doubt – and then give you all some of my thoughts on the whole thing. But let’s start with Black Stars Rise.

This one has got to be the most complicated setup that I have seen from any of the scenarios to date! It’s unique in that it doesn’t have an Act deck, but instead uses parallel Agenda decks. When we place doom during the mythos phase, we get to choose on which Agenda it is placed – however, doom in play does count towards both Agendas, so it is possible (and indeed happened to me!) for both of them to advance at the same time! The crux of the matter is that we’re trying to prevent the cultists of Hastur from enacting the ritual to bring him back into reality. We’ve come to Mont Saint-Michel to prevent this ritual, and I do feel like the designers are messing with me when it looked quite clearly like there was a good and a bad Agenda, but these obviously proved to both be terrible events! Why did I think one might be better?!

I really enjoyed how this scenario seems to be holding out on us. There is just so much that we don’t know, or at least that I don’t know – we’re almost just hoping for the best each time. And the fact that the setup is so randomised, subsequent play-throughs of this scenario will still be the same, I don’t think it’s likely I’ll have any benefit of experience that is sometimes seen when you play through a scenario again.

The way becomes clear when we investigate the Abbey Church, and a whole other suite of location cards opens up – that was quite a revelation, really! Investigating through the church, however, leads us on to the path we have been pursuing since we woke up in the theatre – for me, I plunged into the water in pursuit of Lost Carcosa!

Campaign Log
Well, I opened the path below, and have gained an extra point of conviction. In addition, I’ve gained 2 experience points, so immediately spent that to upgrade Ashcan Pete’s Lantern, and swapped out the Archaic Glyphs from Daisy’s deck in favour of an Otherworldly Compass. I know it’s late in the game to be doing this, but I’m mindful of my experience in Dunwich, and want to be sure that I’m maximising that experience!

The finale of the piece, Dim Carcosa follows a similar theme to the Dunwich Legacy, where we jump through the gate and into the Other World. while some people may find it a bit repetitive, I personally like it as a call-back to the board game, and having those adventures in other realms adds to the cosmic horror that I’m here for.

This one is again a little different, as each location is double-sided with a Story card (similar to the VIPs back in The Last King), and so they all start out in play and complete with all of their clues. The stories on the back of these cards are revealed by gathering the clues from them at the right point – they don’t auto-flip as soon as they have been investigated. This is because a lot of them will allow you to deal direct damage to the Unspeakable One himself, Hastur!

There are three different variants of this particular Great Old One, and the variant you face very much depends on the way the campaign has been going up to this point. For me, I had much more conviction than doubt – and so I found myself going up against the toughest of all three! This is a wonderful mechanic, as it represents the fact that you’ve not kept that healthy scepticism – you haven’t stayed rooted in the real world. Consequently, you’re so convinced that what you’re experiencing is real, you bring into being a much more powerful Elder God. It’s really well done, and shows how the choices you make throughout the campaign really have an effect.

Something that I really enjoyed about this one, too, is how the Act/Agenda cards incorporate call-backs to the earlier scenarios, such as the party and the asylum, before requiring you to take an attribute test to see if you remember these things happening before. It’s really representative of the truly shattered state of your psyche at this point, and I got a real thrill from seeing these when they came up!

And speaking of shattered psyches, I thought this was quite funny in that, during setup, each investigator takes a sanity hit equal to half of their total sanity, and taking madness throughout the game doesn’t eliminate you – you’re basically beyond the edge of reason at this point, after all! However, there are a lot of cards in the encounter deck that get nastier if you have no sanity left. It’s really thematic for being in this particular Other World, and I really enjoyed it.

Did I win? Well, I think so! Daisy managed to do a lot of damage to Hastur through investigating locations and turning over those cards to deal 1 or 2 points of damage per investigator to him. I had a couple of very lucky draws from Ashcan Pete that allowed him to do 4 points of damage per hit, though in his toughest incarnation, a -1, 0 or +1 Chaos token counts as an auto-fail, so I had to really over-commit to make sure I pulled out the -2 or worse, which would allow me to actually get the damage on him! For the win, I then threw my Lantern at him to deal the final 2 points of damage. Felt really weird, but I guess that tattered yellow robe is really flammable!

Campaign Log
Well folks, the investigators prevented Hastur from escaping his prison, although it was at the cost of 2 physical trauma each. I had 0 victory points on the board, but did gain an additional 5 points for all of my experiences. Most importantly, however, the investigators won the campaign!

I still don’t know why the end of a campaign gives experience points, although I suppose it can be used if you want to try out a standalone scenario. I’ve seen some theories that it’s future-proofing against adding special scenarios to the end of campaigns, but who knows.


Anyway, it’s time to give my thoughts on The Path to Carcosa as a campaign. Unless it’s not immediately obvious from having read through this series of blogs over the last few days – I really enjoyed this one! I think the fact that it was completely new to me really helped here, because at several points during The Dunwich Legacy campaign, I did have that sense of having been here before, etc, and while it didn’t ruin things for me, it still felt a little like re-treading old ground. But I think that could also have been due to knowing I had lots of new stuff waiting for me to get to, so I wanted to get through it!

I first read The King in Yellow – well, I read the first four stories of that book – back in 2016. Some of the story beats I may have missed, for sure, but I was blown away by how close A Phantom of Truth came to the source material, and really enjoyed that aspect of the game. In the main, though, I think this campaign tries to be its own thing – it takes as the starting point the idea of the macabre play, which has been developed so much within the confines of the Cthulhu mythos, and really runs with it, incorporating along the way stuff from In the Court of the Dragon, and I think the onyx clasp comes from The Yellow Sign, but we don’t have such a reliance on the source material as in the last campaign. Which I think is a definite plus, because it blows the possibilities right open.

I’ve read a review of this campaign that describes it as a full flowering of the campaign possibilities of this game, having shown how the principle works during the Dunwich Legacy. I think that’s pretty on the nose, although I have no idea how future campaigns play (we’re currently in the middle of the sixth full cycle, remember!) Seeing how the story unfolds from scenario to scenario, and the changes that are made along the way, it was really informative of what could be done. Even down to the stuff with changing tokens added to the Chaos bag between scenarios, there was so much going on! I was very impressed each time.

The new Story cards in particular were very impressive, and add that extra point of narrative to what is already a very story-driven game. I don’t think I ever really felt like the game was forcing me to play a specific way, or trying to lead me to a specific conclusion. The doubt/conviction mechanic, something that I’ve read quite negative opinions for, does seem to lead to very different set-ups as we go. Playing one scenario often depends on how you did in the last one, and less on whether a specific thing happened. I think it helps that the narrative often has the scenarios spaced out with days or weeks between them, but here it felt so much more like a choose your own adventure, rather than being guided through a pre-set game as was the case to some degree with Dunwich.

I’ve talked about this before, but throughout the campaign, I was really not sure about any of the choices I was making, from the start I felt really torn over whether there was a “right” or “wrong” choice to make. It was difficult at times, and I had that sense of paranoia, maybe I’m doing things wrong, you know? I think it was during or after the third scenario where I decided to just go for it, and see how things went. I think I tried to play it in character, and go with that feel of believing the events around me, with the sense of trying to investigate the mythos, as opposed to trying to stay cynical and doubtful of things.

It’s a mark of the design of this campaign, though, that these choices are taking me down such divergent paths that I know I could play this again and have a really different experience. That said, I feel so exhausted by the whole experience that I’m not sure I’ll be playing it again anytime soon…!

Searching for Carcosa… in Paris

Hey everybody,
I’m trying to find the Path to Carcosa with furious abandon, and my search has now crossed the Atlantic and taken me to Paris! Following on from a pair of scenarios that explore classic locations from the Arkham Horror board game, we’re in uncharted territory next, as we move closer to the theme of The King in Yellow for the next scenario, A Phantom of Truth!

I said last time that Echoes of the Past was possibly my favourite scenario to date, but we have a strong contender here for that title, because of the sheer theme that comes through from chasing the Organist across Paris. Very strongly linked to In the Court of the Dragon from RW Chambers’ stories, it also has the interesting theme whereby doom in play subtracts from doom on the agenda. I haven’t come across that before, but of course I’m getting to see hundreds of different ways in which the designers have been playing with the now-traditional make-up of the game.

We also see the doubt and conviction theme come strongly to the fore, with game choices hinging on how much of each we have logged. However, I have to commend the designers again for the introductory blurb in the rules insert, which follows a dream sequence that determines our setup. It’s quite fun, in its way, and somehow fits perfectly with the source material. The amount of work that goes into these sorts of games must be phenomenal, though, when you think that each and every choice needs to have a logical path and conclusion!

Campaign Log
Not a lot to say about this one, really! I found Nigel’s home, and managed to chase down The Stranger once again. With 5 experience points in the bank, though, I’m plunging straight into the next scenario…

Up next is The Pallid Mask, where we find ourselves in the Catacombs of Paris. This one had a lot of hype from players on the Facebook group, but when it came down to it, I don’t think I was as impressed as perhaps I could have been! The game again plays slightly differently, as we start our search for The Man in the Pallid Mask but we aren’t sure where he’s going to end up. Locations here are linked orthogonally, and when you reveal a location from a specially-constructed deck, it tells you where to place the next location(s) in the sequence. So what starts with a fairly basic setup (above) will end up with a much more developed Catacomb!

I said that it wasn’t as good as I’d been led to believe, but I still enjoyed it, of course! There is a definite sense of stumbling around in the dark here, and I thought it was very well-done in how everything links together. I had a similar feeling to The Unspeakable Oath, where we need to explore specific locations to advance the story along, and I ended up needing to retrace my steps or, in this case, I had already fortuitously explored certain areas that allowed me to continue on quickly!

The feeling of whether this is all in your head definitely comes out in the middle two scenarios from the cycle, almost as if we’ve been imagining the malevolent Organist causing problems for us (as in the story), or maybe the Man in the Pallid Mask is just a figment of our imagination. Doubt and conviction are almost key here, and it seems interesting to me where my earlier choices were giving me doubt, I now find myself with more conviction than ever – almost like I’ve convinced myself that this is all real. Is this just a fever dream? I hope I don’t get to the final pack in the cycle, only for it to have all been a dream…

Campaign Log
So, this one was interesting. I opened a secret passageway, but more importantly, I know the site of the gate! Two more notches against chasing The Stranger, so I’ve got five points there now. What’s this for? No idea. I suppose there’s going to be some final showdown coming… Daisy managed to translate the glyphs that she picked up a while ago, so that’s handy, and we have 5 more experience points.

It’s time to upgrade those decks once again!

Daisy has now gained a Permanent card in the shape of Studious, which increases her opening hand size by 1. She’s also got her own Grisly Totem, as I think it was quite useful for Pete earlier. Speaking of everybody’s favourite drifter, he’s upgraded his Rabbit’s Foot (a sentence I never thought I’d see myself typing), and has switched out a couple of cards that had previously been a bit dead for two copies of Moonstone, an attribute buff card that can only be played by discarding it – you could say it’s a card that was made for Pete’s deck, as he needs to discard to ready Duke.

Okay, let’s not beat about the proverbial bush any more – come back tomorrow for game day, where the campaign draws to a close, and I’ll share some of my thoughts on the overall experience!

Searching for Carcosa… in Arkham

Hey everybody,
Hot on the heels of starting the Path to Carcosa campaign, I’m already on to the next scenarios, starting with what is now quite possibly my favourite that I’ve played so far! I know I enjoyed Undimensioned and Unseen, but I think for the flavour and the feel, Echoes of the Past has really got me…

See, we’re exploring the Historical Society, a classic location from the Arkham Horror board game, and we’re going up against regular, humanoid cultists – what could be more Lovecraftian than that?!

Please be aware, I’m going to be talking about some spoilers here for the story…

Following that really weird cast party, we’re trying to find clues as to what is going on with The Kjng in Yellow. Sebastian’s information has taken us to the Historical Society, as there should be some clues to glean. Set up is therefore of a three-floor building, with each floor having two rooms opening off a central hallway.

A really interesting idea, I thought, was having the Agenda not gain doom tokens each round, but rather in-game effects that can move doom from the Cultist enemies in play. Cultists can steal clues from locations, and certain effects will turn the clues into doom – representing the fact that we’re not the only ones hunting the archives!

The main objective is to find the Hidden Library location, where we will learn that only the stage hand survives from the production of the play during its last tour in Arkham, and he is now in the asylum. Guess where we’re going in the next scenario, then!

It’s really well-done, and I particularly liked the fact that the encounter deck uses cards from The Midnight Masks, from the original core set campaign! For some reason, it made me very nostalgic for those first plays with the game, and I sensed a dual meaning to the scenario’s title. Very nicely done, that!

All in all, I think Echoes of the Past is one of those modest and understated scenarios that won’t be finding its way into top ten lists for many players, but I just thought the execution was so graceful and nicely done that it really is up there for me! The fact it takes place in a location from the board game is just perfect, really!

Campaign Log
The investigators have discovered that a stage hand from the original Arkham production of The King in Yellow, Daniel Chesterfield, was committed to Arkham Asylum shortly after the run. Daisy has also taken the onyx clasp, which has given us one point of conviction to help out balance out the doubt from the first scenario of the campaign.

At this point, I’ve also got 7 experience points to spend, so it’s time to upgrade some cards! Pete has upgraded some cards, and has added the Five of Pentacles and Brute Force to his deck. I do like those tarot cards! Likewise for Daisy, I’ve got the Death XIII tarot card in her deck, and a copy of Encyclopaedia, as well as upgrading a few of her cards, as well.

Onwards!

Scenario four in the campaign, The Unspeakable Oath, takes us to another classic location from the Arkham Horror board game: Arkham asylum! As before, please note that I’m gonna be discussing story spoilers here…

This one was absolutely gruelling. We start off going to the asylum, but we’re kinda locked in, and need to try to find the stage hand from the last time The King in Yellow was produced in Arkham, ten years ago. For the first few rounds, this is managed as per the standard method, investigate, gather clues, and advance the Act deck. However, once we find Daniel, things go a bit weird, and we need to do some crazy stuff in an attempt to escape!

We are required to fulfil four actions to advance the Act deck, while the Agenda is ticking away and we’re adding potentially murderous monsters into the encounter deck. The way the scenario ramps up is quite masterful, and added to this, the actions required to advance the Act deck need specific locations to be explored – all of which are far-flung from each other – it’s really quite phenomenal.

Something for which this scenario has been praised for, and rightly so, is the dual nature of the proceedings. Are we really here to interview a patient? If so, why are we having to make our escape? It really feels like we’ve actually been committed here, and the scenarios up to this point have caused a mania that has required treatment. As this scenario progresses, we’re told that the doctors and staff are almost like gaolers – but is that just all in our mind?

I was really impressed with the way the scenario almost induces panic in this way, too. There’s something a bit disturbing about being in the asylum, of course, and the scenario definitely plays on that with having us investigate ‘prisoner confinement’ cells accessed from the basement, for example. We don’t need the formless monsters of the deep hunting us in order to get across that kind of revulsion and fear!

It’s a very difficult scenario, for sure, and I’m not entirely sure that I played it 100% correctly. There is just so much going on! I might actually come back to it soon as a stand-alone thing, just in case, but as has been a theme for the campaign so far, I’m not sure I’ve got the right investigators for this job! I’m still not completely convinced that I’m playing the Survivor class effectively, but even so, I suppose they’ve made it this far!

Campaign Log
The investigators have escaped the asylum – what a sigh of relief! I think it was quite thematic that Daisy made it out of the asylum while in a straightjacket, a treachery card that forces the discard of any body assets and hand assets. The resolution text tells how the investigators used a straightjacket to soften the barbed wire that tops the wall around the building. It was a fun thematic point, anyway!

There is another Interlude that follows this scenario, which deals with the aftermath of escaping the asylum with Daniel in tow. We find ourselves in Ma’s Boarding House – another classic location! – and in his more lucid moments, Daniel tells us more about Hastur and the King in Yellow. He warns us to prevent those who wish to awaken Hastur and open the path to Carcosa. We heed Daniel’s warning, which gives us +2 conviction and a grand total of 7 experience points in total.

Time to upgrade the decks again!

Daisy has upgraded both her Scroll of Secrets and Old Book of Lore, and has swapped in some Archaic Glyphs. Now, I hadn’t realised that Duke is not an ally in Ashcan Pete’s deck, so I have now gotten myself a copy of Jessica Hyde to aid with the combat attribute, and has gained the Scrapper permanent card. As permanents don’t take up a deck slot, I’ve also used some experience to buy a Grisly Totem, which might be of some use!

So I’ve got a few more toys to try out – as we head off to Paris next!

The Path to Carcosa

Hey everybody,
So it’s not too long since the Dunwich Legacy campaign has ended, but already I’m on my way with a new campaign – working my way through things in publication order, it’s the turn of The Path to Carcosa to begin!

I’m really excited about this, as it’s like the first time playing once again – having previously played The Dunwich Legacy, while I did enjoy it the second time around, there was that element of having been here before. With The Path to Carcosa, however, it’s all new and I don’t really know what to expect. Obviously, we’ve got the element of artists and madness that usually accompanies any mention of Hastur, but who knows where I’m headed!

As always with these things, there is going to be an element of spoilers for the game, so be warned!

Let’s dive in.

Curtain Call

Curtain Call is the first scenario in the box, where the investigators attend a performance of The King in Yellow and everything goes a bit… crazy… Much like my experience with The House Always Wins, there was an incredible atmosphere to the game, as my guys were exploring the deserted theatre in an attempt to find out what happened between the acts. This one was a little bit bonkers though, as it feels so different from the Dunwich Legacy scenarios. Right from the start, it just felt a little bit like anything could happen. As things went along, I really felt like my choices were going to matter, and I was getting a bit worried about whether I was making the right decision!

Campaign Log
Despite the things that I witnessed in the theatre, I chose not to go to the police, which gave me one doubt. Something that I think is interesting on this campaign is this introduction of doubt and conviction, which has ramifications further down the line. Also, the Stranger is on to you – Ashcan Pete has become haunted by the Man in the Pallid Mask!

The Last King is a much more straightforward scenario, in that it is very reminiscent of The Midnight Masks from the core set. The task is quite simple, claim the clues from five Bystander cards that are discovered at each location, after which we’re said to have interviewed each one. However, things are all a bit, well, weird. The guests are all liable to go a bit crazy, or is it just the effects of an ongoing madness that makes you think they’re going mad?

The way this scenario works is just phenomenal, and the overall effect of playing the two together on a game night really gives a fantastic effect for the story being told.

Campaign Log
I interviewed all five of the VIPs at the party, however both Constance Dumaine and Jordan Perry succumbed to the madness and were slain.

As with The Dunwich Legacy, there is an Interlude that follows the two scenarios, which serves to set the investigators on the right path for the first mythos pack of the subsequent cycle, regardless of the outcome of the two scenarios. Here, I fled the dinner party, and attempted to barricade the door of the manor house.

What can I say about the Path to Carcosa so far?! It’s an excellent start to the proceedings, as we get the real sense of something wrong taking place in Arkham. We’re just on the brink of it, and it’s that tension that I’m really enjoying.

I’m playing Ashcan Pete and Daisy Walker, a Survivor and a Seeker deck, respectively. Previously, I’ve played Daisy during the Night of the Zealot campaign, but it was very early in the game’s life and I didn’t have a great deal of luck, I suppose because the card pool wasn’t all that great at the time either. Now, however, with both more experience behind me and an enlarged card pool, I can begin to properly get to grips with her as an investigator.

Pete, however, I’m not so sure about. This is the first Survivor deck that I have played, and I’ve not properly got to grips with what the class is trying to do. It seems like there is a great deal of making the best of a bad situation, although I feel in the main that this might be the sort of support class, maybe?

It’s going to be a much more interesting campaign, I think, than the Dunwich Legacy campaign, both due to the unknown aspect as well as having potentially some difficult plays coming from the investigators that I have chosen!

Stay tuned as I attempt to uncover the madness surrounding The King in Yellow!

The Dunwich Legacy concludes!

Hey everybody,
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.

Campaign Log
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.

Campaign Log
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.

Some thoughts
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!

Down in Dunwich

Hey everybody,
I am loving the Dunwich Legacy campaign at the moment, and today I want to talk about a couple of scenarios from the centre of the scenario: Blood on the Altar, and Undimensioned & Unseen. Both of these scenarios take place firmly in Dunwich village, and I can remember vividly the feeling of being back in the Dunwich Horror expansion for Arkham Horror, back when I played them for the first time in summer 2019!

Blood on the Altar

Blood on the Altar sees the investigators trying to find those kidnapped folks from the earlier scenarios, exploring the environs of Dunwich in an effort to find the Hidden Chamber where they are thought to be held. This is represented by the Chamber card and the Key to said chamber being shuffled into some random cards from the encounter deck, and being placed beneath the locations: once those locations have been fully explored, you can flip the card underneath.

In possibly my fastest game to date, my first discovery was the key, and my second was the chamber itself! When revealed, the abomination Silas Bishop is spawned there, but with Roland Banks pretty tooled up for the job, he was able to dispatch him in fairly short order. Destroying Silas Bishop, I was able to rescue all of those kidnapped folks, after all!

Campaign Log
The investigators put Silas Bishop out of his misery. We also gained 4VP in total.

In the same manner as the deluxe box, there is then an interlude, where the rescued chaps then have a bit of screen time, as we all regroup and come up with a plan to deal with the supernatural terrors plaguing the Dunwich landscape.

Dr Henry Armitage survived the Dunwich Legacy
Professor Warren Rice survived the Dunwich Legacy
Dr Francis Morgan survived the Dunwich Legacy
Zebulon Whateley survived the Dunwich Legacy
Earl Sawyer survived the Dunwich Legacy

Each of these fine folks helps with the attributes of the investigators. Roland has gained the help of Professor Rice, Dr Morgan and Earl Sawyer, while Akachi has the help of Dr Armitage and Zebulon Whateley, as well as Armitage’s Powder of Ibn-Ghazi.

After a quick pit-stop to swap out some more cards, both of our intrepid heroes have run down their experience by trading for some (hopefully!) useful cards in their decks!

Undimensioned & Unseen 1

Undimensioned and Unseen is a great adventure, and quite possibly my favourite from the campaign so far. Basically, the game begins with a number of “Brood of Yog-Sothoth” enemies in play based on the number of folks who were rescued in the last scenario – in my case, five folks were rescued, so we start with the minimum of two. The encounter deck has got some more enemies, but it has quite a few attachments to make these Brood enemies tougher in different ways.

Furthermore, you can only defeat them with scenario-specific Esoteric Formula cards, which come into play when the Act deck has advanced by spending clues at a specific location – the ruins of the Whateley farm. Akachi was beginning the game with the Powder in play, though, which has a number of uses based on the number of rescued folks, too. This Powder allows you to exhaust a Brood enemy at your location, avoiding its attack for the turn.

The Brood monsters are fought with Willpower, not Strength, and the Esoteric Formula allows for a bonus to that attribute if you can place a clue on the monster. You do this through exploring the locations, but the Agenda deck will force the Brood to move to a random location each turn. It’s just incredible, the way the scenario plays out!

However, I had Akachi on my side – with base 5 Willpower, it wasn’t a huge task for her to overcome the combat check of 6+ to defeat these enemies, once the Formula was discovered.

Undimensioned & Unseen 2

I must say, though, that it was exhausting! Akachi managed to single-handedly defeat three of these things, two of them had attachments that increased their health to 4, meaning that she couldn’t dispatch them in a single turn – it was quite the nail-biter! Meanwhile, Roland was just chundering around like a spare wheel – he did some work when more regular enemies came out of the encounter deck, for sure, but on the whole, this scenario was all about Akachi. What a hero!

Campaign Log
No Brood escaped into the wild, a fact that I’m quite pleased with, and we each gained 3VP for the experience.

I’m having an absolute blast playing through this campaign once again, in case it wasn’t completely obvious! As I near the end of the campaign, though, I do find myself thinking about moving on to the next one in release order, Path to Carcosa, which is widely agreed to be the best campaign to date. I wonder, could it beat my beloved Dunwich? Time will tell – until then, though, I need to make my way to the next scenario, Where Doom Awaits!