Silas Marsh the sailor and Akachi Onyele the shaman were trying to stop Azathoth. This was on ‘easy’ difficulty, with the hard (tentacled) Mythos cards removed from the deck.
They got off to a good start, gaining lots of spells and equipment using bank loans and clearing the debts with influence. The first mystery was solved fairly quickly without the doom track dropping much.
However, before long a lot of rumors were hanging around, waiting for that first reckoning.
Silas tackled the worst rumors, preventing the Return of the Old Ones and defeating the Wind Walker. Both were combat-based, which he could handle well.
Akachi completed the Occult Research mystery and was on her way to Tunguska to find the green meteorite when her Amnesia cleared and she realized she had made a Dark Pact.
Before she could make it to the meteorite site, the reckoning came and Silas was offered up for sacrifice and devoured.
The goings-on in northern Russia alerted Trish Scarborough the spy. She quickly used her keen observation skills to solve the rumor of the missing children fading from society.
Akachi arrived at Tunguska but could not find the meteor. While she was searching the snowy forests, a Tide of Despair blew across the land and her mind snapped. Trish found her in the sanitarium in Krasnoyarsk. Akachi shared her visions and Trish took her clues and made her way to Tunguska and found the green meteorite, solving the second mystery.
Trish was in Russia and Diana Stanley the redeemed cultist was in Central America. The third mystery required them to close the gate in London to resolve the Omen of Devastation, but neither could make it there in time and the Doom Track reached zero and the World Was Devoured.
It was pretty close. My strategy was to focus on the mysteries and any rumors that could lose the game or be devastating. I decided to leave the gates and monsters alone as much as possible. If Akachi had found the meteor and solved Tunguska with her first attempt, they would have had two or three extra turns to close a gate for the third mystery and may have won.
I discovered these rules during this game:
- You draw from the bottom of the double-sided decks.
- You don’t discard clue tokens back into the pool. Wait until the pool is empty and then put all the discarded tokens in a new pool.
- Shuffle discarded spells and conditions into their decks. There is no discard pile for double-sided cards.
- Monsters get discarded into the cup and shuffled.
- If you already have a debt, you can’t use a bank loan to buy assets.
Neat effects I found:
- Spending sanity on the Feed the Mind spell to improve Lore and then being able to cast it at low risk to improve other skills.
- Buying expensive assets (or several cheap assets) with bank loans and then using influence to clear the debt straight away.
Things I noticed:
- Monsters tend to be difficult to kill, but you can kill them over a series of turns.
- Assets are very good to have. If you don’t have any influence, you should trade with someone who does.
- A lot of mysteries and rumors need clues to solve, so investigators with clue abilities are generally good.
- Influence gets you out of a lot of trouble. I’d say it was my first choice of skill to improve.
- There was a long wait for a reckoning while rumors gathered. I think this may have been a quirk of the draw.
- With two investigators the mysteries are easy to solve, requiring only one or two clues, so one investigator could solve them in a couple of turns if they don’t get distracted.
- Closing gates becomes more important later in the game, when enough are open that the doom track goes down with each omen track move. You need to solve the mysteries before too many gates are open, or closing them becomes a necessary diversion.
- You can plan which gates to close by watching the omen track. The doom track moves based on matching omens, so close gates for whichever omen is coming next.
- Don’t forget your investigator abilities. Read the reference guide page on them to make sure you are using them correctly.