Betrayal 3: Cold Heart

Cold Heart is the third scenario in the Betrayal at the Mountains of Madness campaign, a player-made cycle for Arkham Horror: The Card Game.

This article contains minimal spoilers for the scenario and implicit spoilers for earlier scenarios. If you’d rather play it without any spoilers, you can find a Tabletop Simulator mod and printable cards here.

“It is a fact that the wind had wrought dreadful havoc. Whether all could have lived through it, even without the other thing, is gravely open to doubt. The storm, with its fury of madly driven ice-particles, must have been beyond anything our expedition had encountered before. One aëroplane shelter—all, it seems, had been left in a far too flimsy and inadequate state—was nearly pulverised; and the derrick at the distant boring was entirely shaken to pieces. The exposed metal of the grounded planes and drilling machinery was bruised into a high polish, and two of the small tents were flattened despite their snow banking. Wooden surfaces left out in the blast were pitted and denuded of paint, and all signs of tracks in the snow were completely obliterated.”
-HP Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

Onto the Ice

With the difficulties of the voyage behind them, the investigators and their tenuous Ahnenerbe allies have finally arrived at the Filchner Ice Shelf. The austral continent looms: a vast, almost completely uncharted wilderness, utterly hostile to human life. Just surviving in this place is a challenge in itself, and foolishness or recklessness are punished with frostbite or death. The investigators will have to rely on the vehicles and supplies of the German expedition to have any hope of survival in this forbidding place.

The Nazis are here to find the site of the previous German expedition, who were largely wiped out the previous year by something they found – something on the opposite side of the continent to the discoveries made by William Dyer. Whatever it is, the Ahnenerbe can’t be allowed to get to it first. Beating them is going to be difficult, and doing so without raising their suspicion all the more so.

To make things even more complicated, the expedition’s travails at sea have left it in a less than ideal condition. Everything that’s gone wrong so far will have an impact, from insufficient food and supplies, damaged vehicles, missing scientists and even the loss of the captain.

The mechanical challenges facing the investigators in this scenario are many. None of the locations have connection icons, which makes conventional movement impossible – your Shortcut isn’t going to help you navigate hundreds of miles of featureless ice and snow. The investigators have two ways to get around – using dog sleds via the ability on the act deck, or in style using the Junkers JU-52. With only one plane between them, the investigators will have to manage their movement carefully. As well as being intensely inconvenient, the terrain is also intensely hostile. Investigators will need to return to the base camp to replenish their Antarctic Supplies to avoid the ever-present threat of Frostbite.

Carolyn and Leo have finally made it to Antarctica, but their troubles are just beginning. Meanwhile the Ahnenerbe, well armed with gratuitous weaponry, have already spread out to start their own investigation.

Meanwhile the Ahnenerbe expedition have their own well-armed Exploration Teams out on the ice shelf looking for the same base, supplied by the graceful zeppelin LZ 125. The Germans are trying to accumulate clues for their own act deck, and the investigators must race them. The Nazis also have a second act deck to track how suspicious they are of the investigators. Push them too far and the well-armed expedition will reveal an arsenal of MG-34s and the sharpshooting riflemen aboard the zeppelin, not to mention that a hostile base camp will be far harder to obtain supplies from. If the race is going badly though, perhaps attacking the teams directly could be a way to slow them down.

How to Play

Cold Heart is available to play now via Tabletop Simulator, or to print and play.

See instructions in the main article.

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