Yesterday, Jamie & Eric E. and I descended upon Eric H.’s house for some Cthulhu and cupcakes. After watching Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (which was pretty cool, by the way, and I’ve never been much of a DC fan), we busted out Arkham Horror and set about saving 1920s Massachusetts from Shub-Niggurath (the randomly drawn villain du jour) while stuffing our faces with Eric’s white chicken chili and the aforementioned cupcakes.
Eric H. had never played, I’d only played twice before, but Eric E. and Jamie had a handful of games under their belts so, after picking out and equipping our characters, and some frantic rule-reading (which was a frequent event over the course of the game), the quartet of Carolyn Fern, psychologist (Me), Dexter Drake, magician (Eric E.), Joe Diamond, P.I. (Eric H.), and Kate Winthrop, scientist (Jamie) set forth against the forces of cosmic evil while trying to avoid losing our sanity or being messily devoured.
There are already a couple of reviews of the game so I won’t try to do my own. The setup is fairly involved, and there are tons of cards and game pieces, but once you get rolling the gameplay is pretty smooth. Eric caught on very fast and, by the end of the game, had killed more monsters and closed more dimensional gates than the rest of us! We adopted one house rule to make the game run a little more quickly (characters with remaining movement points can continue moving after an encounter instead of ending their turn there), and made a few mistakes: advancing the doom track more often than necessary (bad!), and not increasing the toughness of the monsters due to Shub-Niggurath’s special ability (oops). Had we done that, the game would have been much more challenging.
As it was, we successfully closed all of the gates before the doom track was more than half-full, leaving Shubbie snoozing peacefully in her corner of the bleak and uncaring cosmos instead of stomping all over the Roaring 20s, presumably in search of bathtub gin. This was celebrated by more snacks, more Justice League and, eventually, a trip to the Detroit Eagle.
I ordered gin.