Encounter sets in this scenario: The Blob That Ate Everything, Mi-Go Incursion, Single Group, Epic Multiplayer
Available experience: 3 (resolution) + 2 (Oozewraithes) + 7 (Incursions) = 12XP
Cost to run this as a side scenario: 2XP
Disclaimer: I have never played The Blob in its epic multiplayer mode. I pretty much play exclusively two-handed solo. So this page will not be able to answer any questions specific to the epic mode. Thankfully, this scenario is excellent as a regular standalone as well!
|Size of the Encounter Deck||34|
Synopsis: Anomaly 8L-08 aka “The Blob” threatens to consume everything around the crater where it landed on earth. First anything at the crashsite, then the surrounding countrysite, the nearby town… eventually everything. It’s the player’s job to defeat it before that happens. The Blob can not be attacked directly, but its vulnerable heart can be exposed through investigation, allowing to get a few good hits in. Also, a variety of smaller Oozes have split off the main Blob and defeating those will also weaken the big one.
As if that’s not exciting enough, a strike force of Mi-Go soldiers followed the Blob to the Earth and will try to execute their own little plans. Foiling those is of course also something the players will have to deal with.
All of this takes place on a somewhat randomized big map of 13 locations, so there is plenty space to move around and discover all sorts of things.
My take on this scenario: Simply delightful. Probably my favorite standalone (Blob and Hotel are still duking this one out in my head). This, more so than any other standalone, embraces that these scenarios that don’t have to fit into a larger campaign can get weird. The scenario doesn’t take itself too seriously and instead embraces common tropes from old sci-fi monster movies and puts a nice Arkham spin on everything. It’s worth playing for that alone, especially if you like those sort of old movies and pick up the references.
In terms of gameplay, the scenario can often become quite hectic as multiple things happen at the same time and demand attention. It also requires a great deal of firepower to take down all those oozes of various sizes. Evasion is not going to cut it here, you will need to actually defeat these things. The treacheries are no slouch either, often going for assets in play or cards in hand. Those cards are then “devoured” which will not only remove them from the player’s deck for the rest of the game (so no recursion or reshuffling) but will also power up the Skull token in the chaos bag. This can easily lead to the skulls basically becoming extra auto-fails after some amount of turns. The Mi-Go incursion adds another layer on top that is often not too difficult to answer but is still going to take away resources from advancing the main quest.
I find this a very satisfying scenario to play that can put some pressure even on decks that are already 40XP deep into a campaign. Some of the random happenings (like devastating results of an Reality Acid) can set the team back even if they already thought they were in control, so having to improvise a backup plan when the original backup plan crumbles can become a thing.
The rewards are decent to good. There’s four different assets that can be claimed, but the order in which they appear is random and they differ a lot in their powerlevel and usefulness. The XP is great and not that difficult to get either.
One thing of note is that failing the scenario will end your campaign. When the Blob gets to devour everything, it will not leave investigators, decks or a campaign to continue.
The Blob That Ate Everything: The main encounter set which has the acts, agendas, locations, the scenario card, the Blob, and everything that starts out in the encounter deck. Four of the enemies are set aside and only shuffled in later as the agenda advances.
Mi-Go Incursion: These are the cards that belong to the four random events that happen whenever the act deck resets. The reward assets are also part of this set.
Single Group/Epic Multiplayer: There are only three cards that are switched out depending on whether you play Epic or not. Two of the act cards and the enemy card for the Blob come in two versions. These don’t actually change how the scenario play out, it’s just that Epic has special values for the Blob health and act clue threshold that need to be calculated.
Act/Agenda: In past scenarios we’ve sometimes encountered agenda decks that reset themselves. Blob goes a different way and instead has an act deck that cycles from 3b back to 1a. This creates the rhythm of the scenario: Find clues, expose the heart, deal damage to the heart, deal with the fallout. Then go back to start. Each pass through the act deck also puts one of the four Mi-Go incursions into play, which adds some extra drama, but also unlocks one of the reward cards. Also, each time the act deck resets, clues on oozified locations are stocked up again.
Meanwhile, the agenda deck is very standard issue. There’s three agenda cards, they have doom thresholds. On advancing the first and second one, the Blob devours two locations and some extra enemies are shuffled into the deck. On advancing the third agenda, the scenario (and the campaign!) is over.
Subject 8L-08 aka “The Blob”: This is our boss enemy and killing it will win the scenario. The enemy card for the Blob doesn’t have any combat values or abilities, as it can not be interacted with directly. It’s just a big pile of health points that needs to be reduced to zero. The primary way to do so is through damaging the Vulnerable Heart, which will need to be uncovered through clues and is only on the board for a round before it closes up and needs to be investigated again. The Heart is actually quite dangerous, dealing 2 damage and horror each, with the potential to gain extra attacks through Retaliate and possibly attacking multiple investigators at once through Massive. Usually, players would want to evade this sort of Massive enemy, but that’s flat out impossible with the Heart. So it’s very possible that the three actions for a fighter that turn might be “move into location, attack, move out” unless they are able to soak or dodge the attack to get an extra attack in. Doing so pays off, as the act will put 2 damage on the Blob for each damage dealt to the heart. So make your short damage window count, because after that the act deck has the Blob fire back at you, spawning its “Manifold” minions all over the place.
The Manifold: The Manifold are a group of enemies with the trait of the same name, indicating that they are pieces of the large Blob. They attack individually, but can be also be fought and defeated. Doing so will harm the Blob and is the secondary way of getting damage on the objective. They can be drawn from the encounter deck as usual, but whenever the Vulnerable Heart closes up at the end of a round, it will also spawn a wave of these enemies proportional to how much damage the Heart was dealt. The encounter deck starts out with 4 Oozelings and 1 each of the Grasping and Cubic Oozes. The agenda deck will first shuffle an additional Grasping and Cubic Ooze and finally two Oozewraithes in for a total of 10 enemies.
Defeating these can take quite some actions, as even the smallest slimes have 3 health. In terms of combat values they all aren’t that impressive, but the raw health pools that enter the board can take some time to chew through. Except for the Oozeling, these all have something to worry about. Both Cubic and Grasping Ooze deal 2 damage or horror and the Cubic Ooze even comes with an ability that can make it do so on reveal if the player isn’t able to evade it (which isn’t easy at all). Grasping Ooze is especially a problem for investigators that rely on melee weapons. And melee weapons are otherwise a good idea in this scenario due to the high number of enemies and not having to rely on ammo. Finally, the Oozewraith has a lot of health, a respectable fight value and Retaliate to make both of those stats a lot more relevant. Luckily, they provide victory points, which will stop them from appearing over and over like the other oozes.
Defeating any of these will deal damage to the objective enemy equal to the Blob value. It’s not a whole lot individually, but it adds up over time so you’ll need to find the Heart less often. You’ll probably not beat the scenario just through defeating slimes, though.
Devouring treacheries: One of the special things about this scenario is that cards can be devoured by the Blob. When this happens, they are considered removed from play so they can’t be recurred or interacted with any further. Aside from potentially disrupting the player decks this way, the skull chaos token will also scale its negative modifier by the number of devoured cards. It should be noted that not only player cards can be devoured. The agenda will devour locations and Reality Acid in particular can devour all sorts of stuff.
Reality Acid is the most prominent of the bunch. It’s in the deck four times and there is a large table with possible outcomes for its effect in the rules for this scenario. It is extremely swingy. Results range from things like “all of your spell assets are devoured” which could just cripple a player over “the Blob devours your Elder Sign token” to things that barely have an impact or, like “it devours your weakness”, might even be positive. There are also some wacky effects in there, like “Devour your light” which will make you switch off all lights in the room and only allows you to use flashlights and candles… deal with these how you want to when playing solo. If you totally dislike this sort of thing, you can always redraw the tokens and probably get something more relevant.
Wave of Ooze and Consuming Maw are versions of Grasping Hands and Rotten Remains, with the additional wrinkle that any assets that are defeated by soaking this are devoured.
Devouring Ooze and Corrosive Slime go for your assets and cards in hand more directly. And Caustic Dissemination deals some damage/horror with the same clause as Wave of Ooze and Consuming Maw.
Aside from the whole devouring mechanic, these cards represent a significant amount of asset hate. You should definitely not take any assets in play for granted, keeping a backup in hand is advised.
Other treacheries: Replication and Alien Food Chain interact with the Manifold enemies, either enhancing them or cloning them. They aren’t too bad and can just be dealt with as they show up.
It’s Got Me! and Sticky Feet both aim to relieve players of their “countermeasures”, a rare resource they only gain when finishing a Mi-Go incursion or when they buy them at the Research Site. It’s Got Me! can sink a good amount of actions as even in the best case, that investigator has to seek out the Research Site and spend an action there. Possibly they might even have to buy a countermeasure there first. Being devoured by the card is highly unlikely though. Sticky Feet can cost a lot of actions over the course of the scenario. If it’s not on an outer location (or one that might just end up getting devoured soon) you should probably invest the countermeasure to get rid of it.
Notable Locations: These four locations are the only ones that aren’t randomized completely with the others which have an identical Quarantine Zone back.
The Temporary HQ are where the players start. They can return here later to spend their spare countermeasures to heal up or gain cards and resources. Since the team starts with 1 or 2 countermeasures, taking the 5 resources on turn 1 is actually an interesting option that can kickstart the game. Just don’t spend your last one or you might end up scrambling to find an answer to “It’s Got Me!”.
The Research Site offers a way to turn spare clues into countermeasures or vice versa. While turning clues into countermeasures might be a lifesaver in some situations, the other way round is very inefficient as the clues are just dropped on the location and need to be picked up.
The Crater allows converting countermeasures into damage to the Blob (or one of its offspring) which can be especially useful to finish it off for the last few points. It is also a valuable source for low shroud clues. Since it’s oozified, it even refills some of them when the act deck resets, giving low intellect investigators a chance to help with the clue gathering.
Fungus Mound is relevant for some of the Mi-Go incursions, serving as an entry point or target for Mi-Go enemies or objectives. Countermeasures can be spent here to damage Mi-Go at any location which can be handy, but also risky since there’s a test attached and countermeasures are too rare to gamble away.
The Quarantine Zone: There’s a total of 10 locations that all have the same backside. These Quarantine Zone cards are shuffled and 9 random ones make up the bulk of the lands surrounding the crater (the tenth card is just removed from play). They provide the clues that are necessary to uncover the Heart. With a total of 13 locations in play, there is a lot of room to move around. Many of the Manifold enemies don’t spawn at the investigator’s location, so you can usually pick your fights fairly well. There’s nothing too special on any of these cards, they usually provide clues at 2-4 shroud and with some sort of ability that interacts with the Manifold enemies or hinders the players in some other way. All of these are Oozified, so they do refill clues when the act resets.
The Mi-Go incursions: The incursions are sets of two to four cards that together make up a side quest that opens up whenever the act deck resets. At that point, one of the four story cards is randomly drawn that set ups some situation the players have to solve before the Mi-Go do. If they do, they are rewarded with countermeasures and victory points. Also, they unlock one of the four possible story assets.
These aren’t terribly difficult and their timing means that they won’t be happening during the most hectic turns, when the heart is open. They are still something that distracts at least a bit from going for more clues and once more after the heart of the Blob.
Rewards: This scenario pays out a handsome amount of XP, surpassing any of the other standalones. The maximum is 12XP, a potential net win of 10XP. That’s a third of Dunwich or Dream-Eaters right there! Now, most of those XP are in the incursions and 2 are on enemies in the encounter deck, so most likely you’ll end up missing 3-4XP in the end. But that’s still very respectable. A fine counterbalance to the potential of having your campaign ended by this scenario. Compare this to War of the Outer Gods, which costs 3XP instead of 2XP to enter and pays out only up to 6XP, for a maximum of 3XP earned. I’d also argue that War of the Outer Gods is more difficult than Blob.
Blob has no victory points on any of its locations, which makes sense considering that the Blob devours some of them.
The four reward cards are not unlocked through killing the Blob itself, but by thwarting the Mi-Go incursions. Since it’s random which incursion shows up, it’s also random which rewards you get. In theory you could get all four, but that’s certainly not going to be easy. The four rewards show a bit of variance in how useful they are, but none of them is actually bad.
Lt. Wilson Steward commits the same crime as so many other story allies before him: He takes up the coveted ally slot. While in play, he’s not bad. He’s got decent soak for his cost and his ability is generally useful (if a bit random), but chances are you got better things in your deck meant for his slot. A survivor that uses their discard pile as another source to draw from can get the most out of this asset. Or just be Norman and sidestep the whole issue about not knowing what you discard.
Universal Solvent requires a high intellect to do its thing, but does a good job then. It doesn’t take up a slot and being able to defeat small enemies with intellect is useful. You might even be able to use its first ability to counter something like an Overgrowth, Locked Door or Stone Barrier for great effect. It uses supplies, so consider an upgraded Emergency Cache to refill the card if it’s something you want to lean into.
The Mi-Go weapon is a fine one-handed gun. Only 3 ammo, but for 2 cost that’s fine. To get the full potential out of it, you need a high base fight value to get the oversuccess by 3. Then it will deal 3 damage and push an enemy around. Curiously, this isn’t limited to non-Elites, so feel free to tangle up Atlach-Nacha in her own legs with it.
Finally, the Pet Oozeling is just kinda insane. Even just as a slotless 3 damage soak for 2 it’s fine but that ability is quite something. Being able to defeat small (or hurt) enemies with no test, with no action is very good. And it even heals up when it does so! The drawback is of course something to consider, but even just taken for itself you can afford using it once per scenario. However, if you have any sort of bag manipulation, the value of the card goes through the roof very fast.