Arkham Horror LCG: The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion

Arkham Horror LCG: The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion

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A repackaging of the Dunwich Legacy cycle. All of the player cards for the cycle can be found in the Dunwich Legacy Investigator Expansion while all the encounter cards and campaign cards can be found in the Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion. —user summary The Dunwich Legacy is a deluxe expansion for Arkham Horror: The Card Game. Several months ago, three Miskatonic University prof…
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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • If you like Lovecraft you will love this
  • Cosmic Horror and Mystery
  • Solo/Co-operative Play
  • Random elements increase replayability

Might Not Like

  • Not competitive
  • Addictive
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Description

A repackaging of the Dunwich Legacy cycle. All of the player cards for the cycle can be found in the Dunwich Legacy Investigator Expansion while all the encounter cards and campaign cards can be found in the Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion.

—user summary
The Dunwich Legacy is a deluxe expansion for Arkham Horror: The Card Game.
Several months ago, three Miskatonic University professors armed themselves with secret knowledge, traveled to Dunwich, and brought an end to the strange and terrifying creature that had been terrorizing the secluded village. Their heroic efforts brought peace to the region—for a while—but also left the men scarred by the horrors they had witnessed. Now, one of those professors, Dr. Armitage, has need of your assistance. His colleagues have gone missing, and he fears the worst…

The Dunwich Legacy challenges you to find the missing professors and launches you into a campaign that leads to Miskatonic University, the notorious Clover Club, and beyond. Five new investigators arrive to offer their services, armed with fifty-nine new player cards (including a complete playset of each) that allow you to pursue new deck-building strategies and new styles of play. Finally, you'll find all manner of new terrors arrayed against you—from backroom thugs and bad luck to arcane hexes and wholly unnatural abominations.

Player Count: 1-2
Time: 60-120 Minutes
Age 14+

First things first, The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion is not a standalone game – you will also need a copy of the Revised Edition of Arkham Horror the Card Game (or an earlier original edition) to venture to the mysterious backwater that is Dunwich to experience this adventure. Secondly, if you have been a long-time player and collector of Arkham Horror the Card Game, it is important to be aware that there is no new content in this box that was not already released back in 2017 through a variety of mythos packs.

What a Time to be Alive

In late 2021 Fantasy Flight Games announced that its earlier releases for Arkham Horror the Card Game would be repackaged and rereleased. For those of us that came late to this phenomenal game, the sheer volume of chapters from each of the campaign cycles became somewhat overwhelming. It was difficult to understand the order that each scenario was to be played in and some of the mythos packs were almost impossible to find meaning that it was not possible to play the entirety of some campaigns.

The new Campaign Expansions and Investigator Expansions bring together all of the cards released between 2017 and 2021 and present them in one easily accessible format that is perfect for newcomers to the game; the Campaign Expansions include all of the campaign and campaign-related story cards and adversaries, whilst the Investigator Expansions include all of the characters and player cards.

The Dunwich Legacy was the very first cycle of content for Arkham Horror the Card Game and is the perfect second step for those that have played through the scenarios included within the revised core box.

The Dunwich Legacy

There are no spoilers to be found in in Lovecraft’s classic tale the Dunwich Horror so, if you want to get the most of this game, I would highly recommend either picking up a copy to read whilst you wait for your shiny campaign expansion to arrive, or else listen to an audiobook whilst you go about your daily business. For those familiar with the story, some of the characters you will encounter in the Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion will be very familiar as will some of the places you will visit.

Without any spoilers of course, the general premise for the campaign surrounds an unspeakable monstrous presence which recently emerged at the secluded village of Dunwich. The learned professors from Miskatonic University that faced the entity in Lovecraft’s original tale have begun to disappear and our investigators have been tasked with learning their fate. The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion allows 1-4 players to take on the role of these investigators as they embark on this full-sized campaign of eight linked scenarios. It is in no way essential that players have access to the Dunwich Legacy Investigator Expansion to play through the campaign as the original characters included with the core game are fully capable of embarking on a this adventure using the contents of only this box.

You will start your adventure in the city of Arkham where you are tasked with tracing two of the missing university professors. The initial scenarios may be played in either order although your choice of which academic to prioritise will have ramifications for the other mission – choose wisely. The Dunwich Legacy is a well-crafted campaign that will challenge you and will no doubt leave you craving for more cosmic intrigue.

An Unlikely Story

Whilst it is totally possible to play any of the scenarios as a one-off standalone mission, Arkham Horror the Card Game really comes into its own when you play in campaign mode. You select your investigator from those that you own (five come with the revised core box) and you assemble your player deck with a variety of skills, weapons, allies and events from your collection before opening the spiral-bound campaign guide that comes with The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion for instructions on how to begin.

Each scenario is sealed as an individual deck with instructions for set-up to be found in the aforementioned guide. Adversaries and locations will be found sealed with the story cards, or will be drawn from an earlier campaign scenario, or even from the revised core game. It is difficult to fully communicate how immersive and rich the gameplay is in Arkham Horror the Card Game. The artwork on each of the cards and in the campaign guide are as dark and mysterious as you would expect from tales set in the universe of Lovecraft’s mythos.

Your investigators will face terrifying creatures, be chased by the mob and will need to make critical decisions to survive their adventure. The outcome of each chapter, and the choices you make, will directly shape how future episodes play out. If your investigator is particularly successful they will grow in experience which will, in turn, enable you to upgrade their investigator deck. Will you choose to lean into a certain playstyle or skill, or draft in old friends as allies perhaps?

Although up to four players can enjoy this campaign together, the game is scaled accordingly for optimal balance so there is no need to play multiple characters. I enjoy playing Arkham Horror the Card Game true solo using only a single character. Whilst this can be particularly challenging as it is difficult to have one investigator with varied enough skills to overcome everything that they will face in order to be successful, it is not impossible and it is certainly rewarding when, against all odds, you manage to help guide a single character through an arduous campaign.

Persons of Interest

In my first playthrough of The Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion I used Ashcan Pete and his faithful hound Duke. As a survivor class character, I thought he would have all of the tools needed to survive a true solo playthrough of the game. Any of the characters are absolutely fine to play with though. Without spoiling the story it is difficult to make any suggestions to help guide you in your choices. However, it is fair to say that there is a mechanic that flows through this campaign that can be pretty unforgiving. Had I known about it, I would have tailored my player deck specifically to make things easier. That said, it was far more fun going into the adventure cold and celebrating as Pete barely scraped through each of the scenarios as he delved further into the mystery.

One of the greatest things I find about this game is that players don’t necessarily have to ‘win’ to progress; the story will continue and will be shaped by the outcome, successful or otherwise. I would recommend starting the campaign with your favourite character and a balanced investigator deck and just making the most of it to see how things go. If you are the sort of person that likes to know what is coming, however, there’re plenty of playthroughs on YouTube for you to watch to see other people working through the campaign.

Is That All?

Once you have successfully navigated all eight scenarios in the campaign, your investigator will be changed. Perhaps they will carry an injury or have suffered lasting mental trauma… One thing is certain, you will have played through a very compelling story that will certainly challenge you at times. When you have completed the story, what then? Fear not, it is not necessarily the end. One of the best things about the Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion is that all of the scenarios utilise random components from a pool of cards; be it different rooms or creatures for example. Basically, you will never really know which areas you will be exploring for certain in a given scenario, nor will you know in which order they will appear.

Furthermore, the campaign deck for each scenario assembles a variety of thematic packs and each playthrough only makes use of a small portion of those available. Therefore, there is a lot of replay value in the campaign expansion without you even needing to consider using alternative character classes or investigator decks!

Whilst your first play through will without doubt be the most rewarding and surprising because everything will be new and unknown, you will be able to invest tens if not hundreds of hours in the Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion without the experience becoming stale.

Next Steps

When you are ready to take your own story to the next stage after enjoying the Dunwich Legacy Campaign Expansion, I would recommend acquiring the Path to Carcosa Campaign Expansion, which was the second cycle to be released. We are truly lucky that these expansions are now easily available to purchase in their entirety without having to search for missing chapters or having to wait for months for the next scenario to be released. Each expansion introduces a new setting and new mechanics to test players and offer great value for money – especially if you pick them up from Zatu.

In conclusion, if you already own the Arkham Horror Card Game Revised Edition, The Dunwich Legacy is an absolute must-have expansion and I fully recommend that you tackle it before any of the others to ensure that the complexity and the associated challenge of playing the game increases as gently as was originally intended.

Dunwich is, as it always was, a deeply satisfying play experience. Often held up as “the original and the best” campaign, with its emphasis on time pressure (don’t take too long on any one scenario, or the subsequent ones get harder), and there is a genuine sense of potential total failure – you can simply crash out of this campaign having failed to save humanity. It is VERY Lovecraftian, and as a huge fan of the books and the classic Sandy Peterson RPG, this feels entirely authentic… but equally, it may put off some as you may want setback for failure rather than having to do the etch-a-sketch hard reset.

The revised Investigators don’t really add masses to the game beyond some new decks to play with: the characters are relatively mid-tier and don’t really enhance or alter existing game mechanics; to put it another way, you can readily just play the campaign box with your core set. I personally would like to have seen the Investigator box really lean into teaching the deck-building side of the game, but equally not making it essential makes the purchasing decisions easier. As a campaign box, though, it’s a great buy as your next step: more variety and more narrative without adding further complexity.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • If you like Lovecraft you will love this
  • Cosmic Horror and Mystery
  • Solo/Co-operative Play
  • Random elements increase replayability

Might not like

  • Not competitive
  • Addictive