We started off trying to make the game harder - Florent and Audrey had a lot of easy games, compared to the rules as they'd misinterpreted them the first few times they played (each player plays all phases, meaning that there are as many mythos phases per turn as players D:) so we wanted to give them a challenge. It turns out that Quachil Uttaus backed up by Father Dagon *and* Mother Hydra is a little much, especially when playing with 8 players reduces the gate limit to 5!
The second game was just as bad - it was the gate limit that screwed us again. You can have 5 gates open by the end of turn 4, and it takes 3 turns minimum to close the first gate, unless you're lucky and get an encounter that dumps you out early. In fact, we should have survived for longer, but we forgot a bonus in play which might have helped sorceror to evade the monster which killed him and stopped him closing the first gate.
On reflection, I was kind of an asshole all night. I argued with people about the rules a lot, slowing the game down, and when I was right, it was usually in a way that was worse for us. Also, once we realised about sorceror's roll, I and others argued to leave it as it is - an old habit from GMing to never roll back. If we'd fixed it, and played to the rules, we may well have had a longer second game. I hope people had a good time anyway.
On the plus side, the food was amazing - longpig made an italian stew with pasta, where the pieces of meat are stuffed with garlic and bacon, and it was amazing! She made it once before and swore never again, so I was delighted to get to eat it again. It's my turn to make it next time! Patrick brought Bruschetta, Audrey and Florent made pie, and Peter and Charles brought more desserts :V
On Sunday, we played another game of AH with rumor_esq, which turned out much better - having more time at the beginning really makes all the difference closing gates. We still ended up fighting the Old One, but we *just* had enough stuff to win. Also, we found a beautiful rules summary to print on boardgamegeek, along with some cards to attach to the board to make some of the more frequently used rules obvious - that sped up setup and gameplay a lot. Lessons learned!