Blood On The Altar. Arriving at their destination, Dunwich, after a train journey worse than an overcrowded Birmingham to London where the only available seat was on the floor next to the toilet, you might think our investigators would want to check into a hotel and put their feet up. Unlucky for them they have arrived at Dunwich at the worst possible time.
Finding the village eerily deserted, they soon discover that several of the locals have gone missing. Mysterious noises and lights, rumours of strange sightings and the gathering of flocks of whippoorwills trilling their call in the night which legend has it- foreshadows death.
Blood on the Altar is a grand game of hide-and-seek in a village in the thrall of deadly power. Investigators will search locations looking for clues of where the missing villagers have gone and what conspiracy may be afoot. The set-up, like in other missions, is hugely variable with two versions of each location and one location removed at random.
The game flow is more investigative as you try to unearth the cards you secretly place below each location during set up. It has a nice balance and is a nice change of pace from the rollicking exploits of the previous encounter in the cycle. Tension is provided by a ticking clock of allies met in previous missions slowly being kidnapped and sacrificed.
The cards in this expansion are unique in that most are useful in different circumstances. There is certainly less filler. Overall, I think Mystics again seem to do better out of the Dunwich Cycle cards, but this might just be because Mystics suit my playing style better. The two rogue cards go nicely together, generating resources and then using them for big gains on skill tests. Seekers and Survivors are the losers here with ‘meh’ editions to their sets.
Blood on the Altar is the chapter where bad performance earlier in the cycle really starts to catch up on you. You can be really hampered here by being at war with the mob as thugs pop up in locations you’re searching with alarming regularity. While this can feel a little lucky and can cause a previously good game to nosedive into a gruelling slug to the death – that’s Arkham Horror LCG and you either like it or you don’t.
I really enjoyed the hide-and-seek as you hunt out the village’s secrets. The way the locations are linked gives investigators some tough decisions about the most efficient way to search for clues and unlock the hidden cards beneath. The solution will strongly depend on the characters you are playing as and how you have configured your deck. This is a more sedate but solid entry in the cycle.