Week in Review
This week completed the pages for Circle Undone. First was Union and Disillusion, a difficult scenario that curiously uses a whole lot of Dunwich Legacy cards. Last (and least) there is Wages of Sin. I will fully admit that i dragged my feet on this one and kept it for last, both because i think it’s just not all that great and because it is actually one of the more involved ones to review with its 45 cards across two encounter decks.
Next week i’ll finish up the last two remaining encounter sets from the Innsmouth deluxe and put up my words on Devil Reef. And after that i will switch to the slower pace of articles that i talked about last week.
Well then. I was hoping i get to talk about my initial reactions to the Return to The Circle Undone today, but alas it looks like FFG has more tarot cards to tease us with than anyone has any ideas on what they could be used for. If you haven’t yet, check them out on their twitter here.
As for actually playing the game, i currently got two campaigns going on and i suppose both are worth talking about for a bit while we wait for FFG to spoil … something 🙂
The first one is an ongoing Innsmouth campaign that i will keep going until all of the packs are released. Obviously that means it will be in hiatus for long periods because who knows when i will get those packs (still waiting on Light in the Fog…) but that’s not an issue. For this one, i had a bit of an interesting idea that goes against everything i usually preach on this site. Joe Diamond teams up with Preston Fairmont for this run through all of Innsmouth. Meaning that neither is really able to pass any agility or willpower tests the encounter deck throws at them, so they are just fighting uphill against whatever the mythos phase brings. I wanted to do this as a bit of an experiment to challenge my own ideas about how the game is supposed to be played and i have to say … it worked out A LOT better than i thought.
Turns out that Preston and Joe are actually able to speed through the scenarios fairly well with both of them being flexible enough to do both clue grabbing and enemy control. Pit of Despair was a breeze. The Amalgam was strangely absent and going from location to location to pick up clues and shoot fish people was not difficult at all. Joe and Preston split up here, as they both were able to do both parts. Vanishing of Elina Harper went great as well, although Preston ran out of steam for the final bit and had to resume so that Joe could win by just killing the kidnapper.
In Too Deep was super fun and the first time that the encounter deck started to really punch the two vulnerable dudes around. Pulled Back lead to some high drama more than once. But Preston and Joe got out with 5 keys, so that’s cool. Devil Reef could’ve been a disaster, but i got lucky. I was severely lacking in firepower to deal with the kraken, the Winged One and all those fish people. The lucky part is how the Underwater Cavern locations were placed in such a way that i didn’t need to use the boat to collect all three relics after recovering the keys. So i never had to run into the Terror of Devil Reef and was able to flee from most Hunters as well. That could’ve gotten ugly otherwise.
Horror in High Gear with Preston and Joe was actually the first (and so far, only) time i played that scenario. And holy crap, i feel like i did very little there. They were both in the same car and that car had two Malfunctions stacked up on it fairly quick. I decided to just let Jesus take the wheel and see what happens when you no longer have brakes. So the car just barreled from one location to the next each turn, some crap happened in the Mythos phase that usually stacked more horror on the guys and at some point the car actually arrived at Falcon Point with both investigators still alive. Barely. They were both one horror short from going insane. Flicking through the encounter deck afterwards made me realize that the chances of getting through that were extremely slim. So yeah.
The lesson here is that conventional wisdom is to prepare yourself for the encounter deck’s shenanigans if you want to survive. But it turns out that you can make up for your shortcomings there if you can just be quick about steamrolling the rest of the scenario. You do certainly leave a lot of your fate up to random chance, though. I do prefer being in control of my fate, but this was/is a fun experience as well for sure.
After slamming the Dream-Eaters cycle pretty hard in my recent ranking of all the scenarios, i also wanted to give that full campaign another go. I still have Weaver on the table, but the rest is done. Luke and Wendy went into campaign A, Nathan and Norman into B. To cut a long story short, that campaign has me deeply confused. I actually had a pretty great time with Search for Kadath this time around. On the other hand, Point of No Return was lacking anything eventful this time. Dark Side was as annoying as ever and Gates of Sleep still manages to put me to sleep IRL. But i finally managed to finish Thousand Shapes without having anyone die on the steps near the end. So that’s cool. I even finished Where the Gods Dwell successfully! With 5 doom still on the clock and without using Mandy to cheat my way through the encounter deck! Madness. I think how enjoyable this campaign is does depend a lot on which investigators you bring to it, more so than other campaigns. As an example, Wendy felt right at home in Dream Eaters A and just crushed any challenge put before her. Evasion is really strong in this campaign and i think Waylay in particular is as strong nowhere else. I’m quite unhappy with my Nathan deck this time around, but the investigator is strong enough to just smash through enemies anyways. And so is Norman “My entire deck is my Hunch deck” Withers, for that matter. I have little doubt that they will just wipe the floor with the Weaver later this weekend.
The lesson here is that while i did rag on this campaign a bit whenever i had the opportunity to, it is still a neat thing to play. I do find it inferior to the other campaigns, both because of the selection of the scenarios and because of the stunted mini-campaign format. But it is still clean ArkhamLCG fun. The other lesson is that my rankings are nowhere near definite. If i had to do them today, i would certainly put Point of No Return and Search for Kadath both into tier 3 instead of tier 1 and tier 4. But like i said then, all of that was highly subjective from the start…
Until next week, for what is likely going to be the final Weekly Evils. I hope we can talk about some undone circles then. 🙂