Saturday, cookiemonger and I hosted our largest game of Elder Sign ever. We had eight players, which I think it both the game’s maximum, and the first time we’ve had more than four players. The game holds up surprisingly well no matter how many people you have around the table, whether you have one or eight.

Earlier in the week, we had a four-player game against Azathoth which nearly ended the world, but we managed to pull together a victory with only one space left on the doom counter. A real eleventh-hour-type victory. It was also pretty spectacular. On Saturday, we faced Shub-Niggurath, who makes all of the monster tasks tougher.

Having the clock strike midnight twice as the turns passed around the table is actually a pretty effective way of maintaining the game’s difficulty with that many players. Most of the investigators failed to collect enough to trophies to trade in at the gift shop, but we won the day by completing adventures that had Elder Signs as rewards.

Myself, I only successfully completed a single adventure, the last one we needed to win the game. I lost quite a bit of health and sanity however, which gave our doctor and our psychologist someone to tend. We suffered no casualties, and no one was forced to wait at the entrance, making it one of our least bloody games ever.

One of the things that concerns me about the game though, is that we don’t seem to ever lose. I’ve heard it said before that it’s possible to play a lot of games and never lose, and I think it’s well-crafted so that the players are very likely to win by luck. It’s possible to lose by being unskilled, but I don’t think strategy helps as much to win.

Maybe our game earlier this week is an example of what it looks like “to lose.” I mean, we really did pull a victory out of thin air, maybe the game is just for deciding the different times at which the group wins? Whether quickly and overwhelmingly, or slowly but surely, or suddenly and unexpectedly at the end. *shrug* I don’t know yet.