We’re back for more!
Well, we had so much fun, we played it again the following week! Andrew brought over his giant Cthulhu Miniature which has a scenario which goes with it, and the model itself is the board. It’s such a cool model that I was excited to use it in the game. But, to make the most of the evening, we decided to play episode 3 of the season 1 box before playing the epic episode with the Great Cthulhu.
For this episode, we crashed a house party being hosted by Dagon! The scenario uses Deep Ones and cultists, but Dagon’s special friends the Servants of the Deep were also in attendance tonight. They are essentially fancier Deep Ones. We were using the same characters as previously, Adam Benchley the shotgun-wielding maniac, Rasputin, The Kid, and Ahmed.
As well as cultists and monsters, there were regular people at this party, just dancing and grooving. But hidden amongst those people were 4 sorcerers, and it was our job to find the sorcerers and get them down to the waterfront. These were all represented by partygoer tokens, 4 of which had sorcerer symbols on the opposite side, the rest having silhouettes of people dancing. We could, as an action, interrogate partygoers to find out if they were regular people or sorcerers, and also use an action to “usher” them around (force them into another room to get them separated). This was important because the scenario depended on getting the sorcerers out the back of the house, and sometimes events would cause us to flip the sorcerer tokens and shuffle them with the other partygoers if there were any unflipped tokens in the same room as them.
Again, this was fun and thematic as we interrogated and separated sorcerers from regular people, while slaughtering cultists and fishpeople in plain sight. This scenario, we managed to disrupt the ritual and get Dagon onto the board before he hit the red spots on the Elder God track, giving us more time to fight him and cause damage!
Finally we got ourselves all into the same room as him and I prepared to give him a taste of Godslayer (which you may recall, was what I named Adam’s shotgun). But, at the end of my turn, a Servant of the Deep bit Adam, and I couldn’t thwart the last wound! Adam was downed by a fishguy while facing down Dagon! So, of course, Rhiannon finished him off, much to her delight. Now she had the glory of bringing down an Eldar God.
So I had to choose a new character to fight the Great Cthulhu! The characters are all so fun and interesting, and I narrowed it down to Sister Beth, the nun (who has the Brawling skill), or Borden, the homicidal axe-murderer. You might notice that some of the characters are based on real-life historical figures. Rasputin is obvious (although maybe Connor wasn’t playing “The Mad Monk” correctly, since he always ended up being the most sane at the end of each game), and Borden is based on Lizzie Borden, who famously murdered her parents with an axe (I’ll link a documentary video). Andrew picked up another character pack and says that there are characters in there based on Albert Einstein and Josephine Baker! I think our goal as a gaming group is to play every episode before getting all of the characters killed.
Anyway, Borden has neat abilities, like doing more damage to enemies when they are alone with no other enemies in the spot. This, combined with Swiftness (which gives her more movement) and Stealth (which allows her to leave spaces with enemies without dragging them all along), made for a neat play style of isolating enemies to slaughter them. I could imagine the gleam in her eye when an enemy ended up in her space, thinking it had found a lone, helpless victim.
The epic episode recommends 5 investigators, so we recruited my wife, Stephanie, to play with us for this session. She chose to play Fatima, the Egyptian Roma-like character with the ability to redraw Mythos cards if she didn’t like the effect of the one she drew on her turn. At higher levels of this, she could draw two and choose one, and also heal stress when doing it. We found out why it says you should bring 5 investigators, but I’m not going to tell you. In fact, even with all of these words, I have been a bit vague and leaving details out so that you, reader, can experience some of the surprises and excitement we did, without having it all spoiled.
Anyway, the board for this one is set up quite differently. We were not in a house, but a temporary dimension created to fight Cthulhu outside of our world. Around Cthulhu’s base were a series of portals, vortices, and gates, simply represented by tokens placed in a large circle around him. We could only move to adjacent ones, with each counting as one space of movement. The gates were where new enemies might appear, and the others did have some effects, but were mostly labelled because we needed to perform incantations at specific ones. We needed to find the incantations during the investigate phase, when we had no enemies to hinder us. However, we could only ever investigate (get a discovery card) at each location once.
The purpose of the incantations was to make Cthulhu’s limbs vulnerable. Once a specific incantation had been performed (usually by discarding specific amounts of energy at specific locations), the limb associated with that incantation would be vulnerable to attack. In order to win, we had to reduce the wounds of Cthulhu’s head and any two of his other limbs to zero. But of course, once a limb was vulnerable, he got angry and his attacks became more powerful.
The enemies we faced were chosen randomly at the beginning of the scenario, and we got Hunting Horrors, a Star Spawn, and a Shoggoth! When we killed a monster, they dropped energy that we needed to collect to perform the incantations. The discovery cards weren’t only the incantations, though. There were also spells that we could cast using the energy.
Once a limb was made vulnerable, we could attack it by going to the space that represented that limb. There was an inner circle of spaces made up of Cthulhu’s legs, arms, head and the portal that connected them to the outer circle. From the portal, we needed to make a roll to see how far we could climb Cthulhu to attack him. We made the head vulnerable, and Andrew got Ahmed up there to start battering on Cthulhu’s head. Unfortunately, he was still codependent with The Kid, so every time he got to a swirly spot on his sanity track, he instantly moved down to her space, since there cannot be two investigators on the same space of the inner circle at the same time. For every time he managed to get up there, he, in total, inflicted a single point of damage.
This had a great “team working together” feel to it as some of us raced up Cthulhu to attack the limbs, while the others collected energy to perform the other incantations, or to get spells to help heal us or fight the enemies.
Eventually, Rhiannon managed to destroy Cthulhu’s head, after which I chopped off his left arm in three consecutive attacks for my turn, and then right after that, with her turn following mine, Rhiannon rolled an astounding number of successes (with a levelled up Arcane Mastery) to rip his leg off in a single attack.
And thus fell the Great Cthulhu.
Several times during this scenario, more than one of us was at their final wound and in serious danger of being killed. It was a real nail-biter. But we had a great time with it!
We are very much looking forward to playing through the rest of the episodes in season 1, especially since Andrew just got season 2!
These scenarios were again quite fun, especially the latter. In the first one I positioned myself as more of an usher, getting many of the sorcerers out of the crowds and onto the beach. It turns out that these waterfront scenarios are quite difficult with Dagon, and we only barely managed to pull it off with a timely sacrifice from me.
In the mega-scenario I played very heavily to the objective, doing or participating in every last ritual to unlock Cthulhu’s limbs while everyone else went off to do all the glorious stuff, while never setting foot on him myself. And it all paid off when in the last turn I got to watch Scott one-shot his arm, while Rhiannon in a single turn blew off his head, climbed all the way around, and then proceeded to knee-cap him, dealing something like 30 damage in a single turn. It was very impressive. It was quite the cinematic experience that I recommend everyone try for themselves, assuming you can get that monster of a model. It took up so much room that I had to ask players on the other side of the table where some of the spaces were because Cthulhu obstructed them. Throughout the game Scott’s character kept falling asleep because of Catatonia, but he spent so much time like that that we had to keep ribbing him. Apparently you can sleep on the job and still be useful; who knew?!
This one was somewhat annoying because whenever I tried to help or do anything dad and Andrew would shuffle all the deep ones to me so I had to kill them before I could do anything else. And to make matters worse, Connor was complaining he was doing all the work. Andrew turned into a deep one pretty quickly so we were on edge for a lot of the game. Connor ushered all the sorcerers in disguise to the waterfront and Dagon was summoned. You thought it was going to be dad who killed him but it was me, The Kid! So I finally got the glory.
Cthulhu was huge. He was the size of a toddler.
Dad and I almost died right away. Cthulhu hit us twice and did a lot of damage. Luckily we got to rest so we didn’t die in the third turn. The whole right side of Cthulhu was covered in big monsters so we stayed clear of there. Connor and mom went around picking up all the energy the monsters dropped when we killed them so we could actually hit Cthulhu. Dad just took a nap for the entire game. He was pretty useless. Cthulhu’s head was vulnerable pretty early on so Andrew went up and did one point of damage to it. One point. Then he had to come down to me because he went insane. He was also pretty useless. So I made my way around the board to the base of Cthulhu so I could go up on his arm and hit him in the head with my marksman ability next turn. Then Andrew went up onto his head again and did a little more damage, but still not much. Then he went insane so he had to come back down to me. We were getting nowhere with killing Cthulhu just because Andrew’s character needed a hug from me every turn. So now mom and Connor made Cthulhu’s arm and leg vulnerable so we could actually go hit it. So dad went up onto his arm and promptly fell asleep there. Andrew went onto Cthulhu’s head and actually did decent damage to it this time and got to stay up there. Then dad woke up and chopped off Cthulhu’s arm then went back down to his leg to chop it off on his next turn. But little did he know he wasn’t going to get a next turn. On my turn I chopped off Cthulhu’s head and moved to his arm. I went insane and moved up a level in Arcane Mastery so that whenever I rolled a star it counted as two successes. Then I hit Cthulhu’s leg and did 15 damage. I was the savior of humanity. Mwhahahahahaha!!!!
I feel that I should explain that the madness card I drew for Borden was “Catatonia”. This means that when I get to a swirly spot on her sanity track, she falls asleep. It then costs one stress to get back up. However, while asleep, she can’t attack or move, but also can’t BE attacked, so for part of the game, it was a safer place to be, so I did spend a couple of turns sleeping, just taking rest actions, which one can do while catatonic. So it wasn’t ME that was sleeping during the game, it was my character.
Yeah, he only does that while watching TV.