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The Fractured Timeline of the Innsmouth Conspiracy, Issue 2: Scenario 3 & 4

The picture that perfectly describes the third scenario of The Innsmouth Conspiracy. Credits to FFG for creating a stunning image. My favourite is still the cover image for the path to carcosa.

The one thing I look forward to in games are narratives. I love lore and I love stories. All of which, gives meaning and enriches the gameplay, as you start to feel invested and in too deep with the story and the character you are playing. I thought the first and second scenario of TIC was the epitome of narratives, as there was just so much to read in comparison with the other expansions I have. I was so immersed and happy to have so much content, and then I thought, “Is this the only part of the expansion with the most reading to do?’ Nope. MJ Newman really nailed this campaign and if you thought narration couldn’t get any better, why not sail over to Antartica from Innsmouth, over to the Edge of the Earth 😉 But that’s for another time.

Happy New Year everyone! It’s been a long hiatus since my last write-up. I’ve been meaning to continue on my Innsmouth Conspiracy (TIC) write-up for some time now, so here it goes! Before we begin, this is a spoiler shield warning, if you have not played these two scenarios yet. I will try to avoid sharing any possible narratives here, except what has already been shared in the FFG website. To start off, how many times have you played TIC already since the release of the last mythos pack back in May 2021? Did it feel repetitive in any way, or was every campaign slightly different?

Scenario 3: In too Deep

If you remembered the first issue I wrote, I was playing Dexter, and well, Dexter didn’t make it. From the 1st scenario to the 3rd, Dexter kept taking physical and mental trauma, till I realized I probably wouldn’t go far with him. I restarted the campaign with Stella Clark. In this scenario, investigators are back in the town of Innsmouth, with the same locations in the 2nd scenario. Only this time, the town is beginning to flood, and Deep Ones have begun patrolling the town, invading it and searching for, well, YOU.

Just like the second scenario, You are once again in the town of Innsmouth, and let me stress that the designers have done an amazing job at bringing the town of Innsmouth to life. Every time I replay a scenario which involves the town, I’m always thrilled to explore more of it and what each location holds for my next adventure. In this scenario, the town is beginning to flood and there are makeshift barricades between locations that needs to be removed. With a setup of 15 location cards and barricades in between all locations, it was destined to be a long walk to safety. Most reviews I have read about this scenario often critiques it as being quite easy. To an extent, I would say so, if you are always looking to remove the barricades. However, if you take too much time, it actually gets insanely hard, as the flood levels will affect the chaos tokens and enemies in play.

I wasn’t kidding about the 15 locations. It’s tough if you play true solo as well, since there is so much to cover in such a limited time. However, I took Sister Mary and Trish for ‘In Too Deep,’ and they did extremely well. I ended the scenario feeling a sense of accomplishment, and that is a rare feeling for this game.

General tips for this scenario is to:

a. stack up on resources (it comes in handy for certain locations)

b. Keep moving: The tide keeps rising. The longer you stay, you might get stuck and drown.

c. stack up on clues (you know the drill. Spending clues helps to push through)

d. Evade as often as you can: I hate the thought of a hunter enemy constantly moving towards me in any scenario. Thus, I always feel the need to defeat it. But remember that you have grounds to cover and enemies only slow you down, so if possible, evade and keep moving.

My biggest praise for this scenario is the amount of surprises in every location. Narratives aside, certain locations offer a sort of ‘sub-mission’ within the scenario itself. There’s so much to do, and I believe that if I were to play this with two more players, it might just be possible to get through all the extra stuff in this scenario. Well, wishful thinking at best. haha.

The aftermath of the scenario. I was one location away from enemies almost throughout the scenario. Thankful enough that Stella has good evade stats and she can take a lot of hits and trauma.

Scenario 4: Devil’s Reef

TIC introduced the vehicle mechanics, unlike any other AH:LCG campaigns before. Obviously, I was excited to try it out and this was the first scenario of TIC that uses the vehicle mechanics.

Thematically appropriate, the boat (vehicle) mechanic allows investigators to travel around the islands at Devil Reef. Regular movement of investigators is allowed as well but it costs 2 actions since you would technically be ‘swimming’ to another island. lol.

Wait a minute… at first, you were trying to run away from the town of Innsmouth, and suddenly you are on a boat? Yeppp… fractured timeline indeed and I’ll let you figure that out. In a nut shell, you are investigating strange connections with the Deep Ones and the islands on Devil Reef. As you sail from island to island, more of the mystery unfolds. Just like the town of Innsmouth, Devil Reef offers plenty of movement from island to island, each with its own set of location cards. There is plenty of room for strategic movement of the vehicle and investigator movement, and the randomized island setting allows for endless replayability of this scenario.

The boat (vehicle) essentially allows investigators to travel from island to island. You spend an action to do so, just like an investigator ‘move’ action. In order to get into the vehicle, you can do so for ‘free’ as a free-triggered ability, BUT only ONCE per turn. Therefore, timing is essential on getting in and out of the vehicle.

The most important thing about being on a boat is that you can avoid taking damage from flooded locations. In fact, most locations will be flooded as you are not exactly on land all the time.

Getting off a boat is just as important since you will need to traverse the islands on Devil Reef. One might assume to stay on the boat as long as possible, but that is not the case. This is why timing of getting in and out of the boat is essential. It’s important to note that your boat can face a malfunction from time to time. This is how the game tries to slow down your progress, along with certain encounter cards and enemies that will effect you being on a boat.

Intriguing how you would need to test your intellect to fix a malfunction. Meanwhile, Daniela Reyes the mechanic only has an intellect of 1. LOL. However, I believe MJ Newman sat with the boys at Mythos Busters to talk about this as well, and they said it was fine to house rule the intellect test for possibly a will test, specifically for Daniela, to suit her narrative.

With all that said, it truly was a unique experience sailing to various islands around the reef, with each island holding its own secrets and mysteries. On my first play through, it was hard to pin point the timeline of this scenario with the first 3. However, I’ve played this scenario at least 5 times now, and though the timeline becomes clearer, the scenario is still rich in replay value. In terms of difficulty, this is a hard scenario indeed as you need to juggle between the vehicle and investigator move action all the time. On top of that, there is a lot of traveling back and forth to central locations before moving into a new island too. The treachery cards are manageable for most of the time but as stated before, certain card will slow down the vehicle, and you NEED the vehicle to travel to the other islands. On top of that, there are stronger enemies that don’t go down so easily as well. Most of them are hunter enemies too. One thing I’ve learnt from this campaign a lot is to choose your battles. Not every enemy is worth fighting. If its in your way, yea you go for it. But if it isn’t and you can afford to evade and move around, obviously the latter. The enemies in TIC are tough to put down. Not only do they do damage and/or trauma upon engaging you, most of them have a HP of 2 or more. Don’t forget that attacking any Deep Ones enemy will trigger this guy to come after you, if its in play.

Another tough one to put down.

To conclude, it is a hard scenario. Possibly harder than ‘In Too Deep.’ Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed playing this scenario, every time I get to play it. I really hope you do as well. Stay tune for the next issue for scenario 5 & 6. Stay safe everyone.

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