The Path to Carcosa was the second new story expansion to come out for the Arkham Horror Living Card Game (the Revised Core Set also here) series in 2017, once the first narrative, The Dunwich Legacy cycle was finished. Fantasy Flight who make this game used to release these expansions with one Deluxe starter pack, and then a series of monthly Mythos packs. But have now decided to combine them all into two boxes, making purchasing and playing this game a whole lot easier.
Where This Fits In The Arkham Universe
Included in this box, The Path to Carcosa Investigator Expansion is all the cards needed to set up every new Investigator seen in this cycle. This was previously collected through the main deluxe box and then six mythos packs, Echoes of the Past, The Unspeakable Oath, A Phantom of Truth, The Pallid Mask, Black Stars Rise, and Dim Carcosa. But it does not include the encounter and campaign cards which you can get from the second new expansion The Path to Carcosa Campaign Expansion. Combining the new Campaign and Investigator will give you everything you need to play this entire storyline. But be mindful that neither of the new expansions include the Return to content, and of course, a copy of the base game Arkham Horror The Card Game is still needed to play the game, no matter how many expansions you buy.
But you may be asking yourself, why is this in two boxes and not one? Good question. Well, you could just buy the Investigators and use them to play other campaigns. Or you could just buy the Campaign and use investigators from other sets, including those provided in the base game to play those new adventures. Fantasy Fight are combining everything into two easily purchased boxes, but still giving you the choice to only buy the parts you want. And of course, making the price point more palatable.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s now talk about these six new investigators included in this set. Seeing as that is the main reason you would buy this box.
The New Investigators
Minh Thi Phan is a secretary who had worked for Mr. Thomas in Arkham in his office. He was kind to her initially but has recently been found dead after reading ‘The King in Yellow.’ Minh brings her strong intelligence to the table with a score of four for both her will power and intellect. She can help other investigators out when they attempt a skill test in her location, and return cards committed to skill test to the investigators hand. She can also use her ‘Analytical Mind’ to commit one card to a skill test being performed by an investigator at another location.
Mark Harrington – a soldier who has just returned from the war, a witness to many horrors. Horrors beyond that of war, monsters! He has a huge score of five for Combat and can draw an extra card for each damage that is placed on a card you control. He also has ‘The Home Front’ allowing him to move one damage from himself, to an attacked enemy after a successful skill test. But he is plagued by ‘Shell Shock’ and the memories of his former love ‘Sophie’. A card that allows Mark to take one damage to get a plus two on a skill test. But when he gets five or more damage, he must flip the card and now he gets minus one to each skill test.
Lola Hayes is an actress. At the start of the game, she must choose a specific role to play, which then determines which cards she can play. But she can use her acting skills to switch rolls at will once per round as a free action. She is a complete all-rounder with a score of three for each skill. She was performing in the play ‘The King in Yellow.’ But after her co-star died after a show in France, she said her next show in Arkham would be her last. I am certain this will end well!
William Yorick in The Path to Carcosa Investigator Expansion, is a gravedigger who has witnessed monsters eating the dead. He can use asset cards from his discard pile whenever he defeats an enemy, as well as being able to return cards from his discard pile on a successful skill test. He is a strong fighter with a score of four for combat and can score additional points by burying non-elite enemies that have been defeated at his location.
Akachi Onyele is a shaman from Nigeria who can talk with the dead and has a huge will power of five. She can add additional charges to asset cards and with her ‘Spirit-Speaker’ card, she can return assets to her hand, or move all charges from that asset to your resource pool as resources.
Sefina Rousseau is a painter who just returned from an alien world that she had painted herself. On completion of her work, commissioned by an anonymous stranger, she was sent hurtling into the painting, only barely surviving the ordeal. She can draw extra cards at the beginning of the game for a larger hand of eight and keep event cards to use whenever she needs them. She has a score of four for her will power and agility and can use her three ‘The Painted World’ cards to copy any event card that she chose at the start of the game, and use it again.
The story that plays out in The Path to Carcosa is not the best seen in the many Arkham expansions. But it is still an amazing experience. It is just often said that this may be the one you want to buy last, despite being the second on the series. However, seeing as they are moving the production of the expansion into these two new combined boxes of the Investigator and Campaign sets, this is only the second one currently out, so you may want to try it, simply as it is available in this new easy to collect way. However, I must stress, there is no story or campaign in this box. This is just the cards needed to make up the investigators decks.
But if you do play the campaign associated with this you will find a brilliant story full of twists and turns. It is only relative to the other cycles which often gain higher reviews that I mention this. But with the story of The Path to Carcosa, you will be shocked, scared, and entertained to the bitter end. And with these six investigators, you will have enjoyable new characters to play other campaigns with, if that is your choice.
But back to Carcosa, the story starts with you, as either the Gravedigger, Soldier, Actress, Painter, Secretary, or Shaman watching the play yourself, before things very quickly go wrong for you and all is concerned. I don’t want to spoil too much here, but it is a gripping, intriguing, and rewarding story.
Overall, this is a great way to collect this brilliant expansion into one (well, two) easy to buy sets. I like the choice they give by adding the investigators or not. But do think they should also offer a combined big box version one day with everything included. I like the story in The Path to Carcosa, and rate it highly myself, but understand others comments around its place overall with the other expansion available. With the bar being set this high though, that is not a problem for me. But the characters brought to the table with this investigator set are varied, rich, and a lot of fun to play with.