Encounter sets in this scenario: Ice and Death, Lost in the Night, Left Behind, Deadly Weather, Hazards of Antarctica, Silence and Mystery, Ancient Evils
Available experience: 1XP for each missing partner you recover. So in theory up to 8, but not really.
|Size of the Encounter Deck||27|
Synopsis: Playing this scenario is optional and doing so will add an additional Frost token to the bag. Following The Crash, a number of members of the expedition team went missing and the players need to find them before they succumb to madness. To do so, they venture out into the same map that was used in part I, with all progress regarding revealing locations transferring over. Each of the nine outer locations gets a random facedown encounter card assigned that is either one of the missing persons or a story card that gives some other benefit. The time available to do so is quite limited however. And a large number of doom acceleration in the encounter deck makes it unpredictable how much time exactly is left.
This scenario becomes easier if the investigators already revealed a decent amount of locations in part I since those can be checked for survivors without much hassle. That being said, part II can certainly be used to progress towards map completion as well, something that will then pay off in part III and that will allow recovering more of the expedition supplies hidden on the locations.
As in part I, you basically go into this scenario with multiple open ended goals:
1 – check facedown encounter cards for surviving team members and get them to rejoin the expedition
2 – uncover more of the map to transfer this progress to part III
3 – recover further supplies
4 – return to the camp in time
Even if all team members have been recovered, it can be worth checking more of the facedown cards. None of them are bad and a few even have effects that persist, like removing Tekeli-li weaknesses from decks or, most importantly, removing Frost tokens.
The encounter deck used for this scenario is the same as in part I, except with the Left Behind set replacing the Creatures in the Ice.
My take on this scenario: This is as closest as Arkham LCG has come so far towards a scenario with no fighting at all. Only the three small Eidolons are left as something that wants to get beaten up. The rest consists of possessed enemies that the players are much better off dealing with in some other fashion, using their Parley abilities.
The scenario is optional and choosing to do it will add a Frost token to the bag. This cost is generally worth it however, as there is much to gain here unless you already aced the first scenario and uncovered almost all of the map then. On the other hand, if your part I went bad, then you are pretty much forced to play this one and try to recoup as much of your ground as you can.
Due to somewhat small doom thresholds and a whole lot of doom acceleration on the encounter cards, this scenario is over much faster than the total of 16 doom on the agenda cards suggests. Players should make sure not to stray too far away from their camp so they can make it back in time even if they suddenly draw into multiple doom cards. Some of the hazard treacheries also play into this, making movement cost more actions which can cut off investigators from reaching the camp in time.
Due to how one-note this scenario is, i don’t think it would be able to stand on its own very well, but it works well as a part of the bigger Ice and Death trilogy. I would suggest playing it in the same session as part III, that way your fighters don’t get to complain about not having to do anything for the whole day… while this scenario will make Tony and Nathaniel feel like they barely did anything, part III will make up for that.
Scenario specific encounter sets: Again, the Ice and Death encounter set is used with the same three cards as in part I. This time, Skittering Nonsense does start in the encounter deck from the beginning right away. It’s also pretty much the only enemy to fight in this scenario. Keep in mind that Zero Visibility could make your way back to the camp take longer than expected.
Act/Agenda: Like in part I, only a single card makes up the Act deck, providing the players with the goal for the scenario (Find as many explorers as possible, return to the camp in time) and the means to reach these goals through an ability to check out the upside down cards for clues and through the resign option.
The agenda deck is fairly straightforward as well. A total of 16 doom across 3 agenda cards sets the timer for the scenario. For once, advancing the first and second agenda is actually beneficial to the players, allowing them to peek at one of the facedown cards at any location. Running out of doom on the final agenda will however defeat everyone and deal mental trauma, the cost for not making it back to camp in time.
The Lost Partners: For each missing member of the expedition team after the conclusion of part 1 the corresponding Possessed version is shuffled into the facedown encounter cards that are under the locations. After finding them, the players will still need to convince them to snap out of their delusions and rejoin. This is done through a Parley action that differs a lot from person to person. Successfully doing so will add them to the victory display.
You could also defeat them here, but of course that will remove them from your campaign. You do get the victory point for them, though…
Almost the same deck as for part I: The only thing changing in the encounter deck from part I to part II is switching out the Creatures in the Ice for the possessed researchers from Left Behind. So everything said about agility testing, location based treacheries and horror/damage from encounter cards is still true here. For details, please check part I.
As mentioned above, the removal of Creatures in the Ice means that the Skittering Nonsense is the only “regular” enemy left in the encounter deck. And that one isn’t really all that frightening. You could easily get through this scenario without anyone ever playing a weapon.
The Doom Clock: The Left Behind set adds a whopping 6 more cards with doom mechanics to the deck, meaning that with Ancient Evils of course also still being in there, every third card you draw from the encounter deck wants to advance the doom clock. This adds some considerable pressure to everything here, as you really can’t be sure about how much time you exactly still have left in the scenario. Walking back to camp and using the resign action there can often take more than a full turn, so you will have to make some good risk assessment there.
Notable locations: See Ice and Death, part I. You start with everything revealed that you managed to reveal in part I, so those locations are likely the first you’ll want to check for the missing team members. If you plan on revealing more locations in addition to checking the facedown cards, you will need a lot of clues. So make full use of the ones that are readily available in the top left (Wastes, Icebreaker) and in the Snowdrifts. If you picked one of the shelter 7+ locations, your camp will also have a lot of clues on them, but it might be at a prohibitive shroud value to fully clear right away. Having a good Seeker is worth a lot there.
Suggested partner assets: And again, i refer you to Ice and Death, part I for a general overview. Some additional thoughts:
Eliyah can be useful to deal with the Frenzied Explorer. If nobody in your group has the necessary means to oversucceed on evading that enemy, then Eliyah can at least give you a shot at it. Of course, you only have three shots at it, so make them count.
If you expect to need several turns to fully parley the possessed team members, Cookie can stop them from attacking you while you have them engaged.
Depending on how part I went, Danforth and Claypool might start to become relevant here. If i were to go into this scenario with 4 Frost in the bag/4 Tekeli-li cards in my deck, i would consider bringing one of them. However, the facedown story cards allow for removing Frost or Tekeli-li cards as well. So you will likely find someone better to bring.
Reward and Failure: You get a chance here to recover the XP you missed in part I, but the more important reward certainly lies in getting to keep the partner assets in your campaign.
Another possible thing to gain from this scenario comes from the facedown story cards. Two of them are able to remove a Frost token from the bag. Even considering that doing this scenario will make you add a Frost, you could come out with fewer Frosts at the end. Four other cards are able to remove one or more Tekeli-li cards. Not a huge boon, but it’s at least something. Actually, since there are only three cards here that hand out new Tekeli-li cards, chances are that the investigators will come out of this scenario with little to none of those weaknesses remaining just from drawing the few they brought from part I. The other two story cards are irrelevant.
While time is pressuring hard during the scenario, you will typically also be able to reveal another location or two, maybe even recover some supplies. If you get that chance, jump at it, those supplies are valuable and your only other chance to get them afterwards is the upcoming part III.