Arkham Horror Ironman

Ironman – The Innsmouth Conspiracy (@ BusterCon 2023)

The next official Ironman occurs on Saturday, June 3, at BusterCon 2023! Please sign up via the link below (there is an option to find a team if you need help with that). Follow along and post your own results in the “ironman-results” channel of our Discord server.

What is Ironman in Arkham Horror?

The term ‘Ironman’ as it applies to Arkham Horror: The Card Game/Arkham Horror LCG signifies an event in which a team of 1-4 players sits down with the intent to play through an entire, 8-scenario campaign in a single day, even if it takes them multiple investigators each to do so (due to investigator elimination).

‘Ironman’ comes from a reference to the grueling triathlon event in which contestants race over 130 continuous miles while swimming, cycling, and running (no, it is not a reference to Iron Man – sorry Marvel fans!). The mental endurance required to power through 8 scenarios in a single day mirrors the physical endurance required to complete such an event, which made the name a natural fit. The analogy extends to the intense amount of prep work that goes into both events, as there is a lot of planning, coordination, and logistics that go into getting ready for an Arkham Ironman playthrough.

Getting the scenarios ready for a full Ironman run.

How did the Ironman event start?

In the lead-up to Arkham Nights 2017, Mythos Busters host Scott, along with friend of the show Casey, came up with the idea to run a full campaign of The Dunwich Legacy in a single sitting. Shortly after, Sean was invited to join, and then Nick barged his way in to form a full group of 4 investigators. They touted their plans on the Mythos Busters podcast, and a small number of other groups decided to join in and attempt this apparently Herculean feat.

Nobody had any idea how long this would take, even if we’d be able to do so entirely within the business hours of the Fantasy Flight Games Center (the site of the Arkham Nights event). Plans were made, and after a long and arduous 11.5 hours of gaming, the team pulled out of Lost in Time and Space with a big victory and four sore posteriors.

Pictured, left to right: Sean, Casey, Scott, and Nick celebrate their victory over The Dunwich Legacy

How has Ironman evolved over the years?

Following 2017’s The Dunwich Legacy, each following Arkham Nights saw an increase in outside participation and spectacle for their respective Ironman events. The Path to Carcosa in 2018 saw the first time all four Mythos Busters hosts were present for a game together, with swag to give out to Ironman participants as well.

The Forgotten Age Ironman in 2019 saw an attendee count to equal roughly 25-30% of the full attendee count for Arkham Nights that year, and introduced a new pre-game ceremony with The Drawing of the Weaknesses. Ironman participants were encouraged to bring their decks ready to play, sans random basic weakness. 

All the participants of 2019 Ironman throwing up an “S” for all the sneks in The Forgotten Age.

More ceremony was also added: friend of the show and fellow Ironman planner Josh served as the Grand Cultist, handing out custom event swag while in costume.

Josh as the Grand Cultist

The Mythos Busters then commenced The Drawing of The Weaknesses; they went from table to table with a full collection of weaknesses, and each table drew theirs from that collection. It served as an exciting way to get all participants in the spirit of the event, feeling like they were part of the larger whole, even if only at the very beginning.

The Drawing of The Weaknesses Ceremony

The Mythos Busters themselves weren’t spared from the drawing, with Scott declaring he was a coward and rejecting the first weakness he drew, and Ian drawing Amnesia – the one weakness he didn’t want to see for the deck he’d built. Witness his pain in the picture below.

Try to guess what Ian is about to say in this photo. Hint: it starts with an “F”

Ironman 2023

Ironman 2023 will take place at the inaugural BusterCon! Teams will spend Saturday, June 3, 2023, trying to make their way to end of The Innsmouth Conspiracy.

Sign up to participate here.

There is no Ironman-specific merch this year, as the BusterCon logo itself is serving double duty as the con logo and the event logo (note the waves in the background). If you are interested in purchasing BusterCon-themed merch, you can do so over at Mythos Merch.

Bonus Ironman #1

There was an unofficial Ironman held at Arkham Nights 2022 where teams ran through The Dunwich Legacy.

Ironman 2022

Ironman 2022 will be fully virtual once again this year, and will occur on May 14, 2022.

To discuss your Ironman plans, view the conversation around other groups’ preparation efforts, or to find a group to play with, please visit our Discord server and check out the “ironman-2022-planning” channel.

The Mythos Busters will be streaming our Ironman run on our Twitch channel on May 14. On the day of the event, discuss your results and follow along with others in the “ironman-results” channel of our Discord (under the Playing IRL section).

Purchase your Ironman 2022 logo merch here!

We hope to return to an in-person Ironman event at BusterCon in 2023.

Ironman 2021

For those following along and wondering why Ironman jumps from 2020 to 2022, there was no official Ironman in 2021 due to COVID-related concerns. The timing of Ironman was moved around a few times and then ultimately pushed into 2022.

Ironman 2020

Arkham Ironman 2020 Logo

With Arkham Nights cancelled, we’ll be conducting Ironman virtually in 2020. The campaign this year is The Circle Undone, and it will be conducted entirely on stream on Saturday, October 24th with the Mythos Busters, who are encouraging any and all interested parties to play along from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The stream kicks off at 10 a.m. CST – join us on the Mythos Buster Twitch channel (if you’re not playing), or join in the conversation and share how your own Ironman run is going on the dedicated Ironman Discord channels.

The Mythos Busters will also play and stream a game of the prologue scenario, The Disappearance at the Twilight Estate, the results of which all participants are encouraged to use, if they so choose. That will occur the evening before (October 23rd).

This playthrough will start at 7 p.m. CST on the Mythos Busters Twitch channel.

The Drawing of the Weaknesses 2020

After the prologue playthrough, Mythos Buster Scott will be doing a tarot-style version of The Drawing of the Weaknesses for anyone who is interested. He’ll be streaming this on the Mythos Busters Twitch channel, so tune in to participate and let him know if you want to accept your weakness, or whether you are a coward who rejects your fate (as Scott was in 2019)!

If you want to have the weaknesses for your team drawn on stream, please sign up here, and then tune in to our Twitch channel during the drawing ceremony.

Ironman 2020 Merch

If you want to get in on the fun of Ironman in the form of swag, we’ve got you covered! Check out our merch store for limited edition Ironman 2020 gear with the logo for this year. This gear will be available until the end of 2020, then it will be removed from the store.

Register for Ironman 2020

To register for Ironman, please complete this sign up form.

Then, join the planning discussion on our (Far)kham Con Discord server. We’ll also have channels ready to go the day or Ironman so that people can share their progress, stunning defeats, and (potentially) triumphs.

Ironman 2020 – Replay

Arkham Ironman 2020: The Undone Fun Run is in the books! Check out the Mythos Busters’ run (all 16 hours!) of it here.

A catalogue of past Ironman decks

[Editor’s note – we know that we are woefully behind on this – we’ll eventually have the links, though, we promise!]

The Dunwich Legacy (November 2017)

  • Agnes Baker (played by Casey)
  • Lola Hayes (played by Nick)
  • Mark Harrigan (played by Sean)
  • Rex Murphy (played by Scott)

The Path to Carcosa (November 2018)

  • Daisy Walker (played by Sean)
  • Leo Anderson (played by Nick)
  • Sefina Rousseau (played by Ian)
  • William Yorick (played by Scott)

The Forgotten Age (November 2019)

  • Diana Stanley (played by Sean)
  • Finn Edwards (played by Nick)
  • Rita Young (played by Ian)
  • Ursula Downs (played by Scott)

The Circle Undone (October 2020)

  • Agnes Baker (played by Justin)
  • Tony Morgan (played by Ian)
  • Patrice Hathaway (played by Sean)
  • Minh Thi Phan (played by Scott) [Editor’s Note: Scott was originally going to play Mandy, but the great Seeker nerf of 2020 dropped just before Ironman, so he changed to Minh as a result].