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Arkham Horror

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Arkham Horror

The co-op board game set in the Lovecraft town where you and the other players work together to close portals before one of the great old ones can burst through. I'm thinking of picking it up. I know this section of the board is kind of dead, but any other chewers that see this ever play this game?

Every review I've seen has been great, but those are from hardcore board game geeks. I'm looking for regular peoples' opinions. So, thoughts, opinions? Do I need to pick up one of the expansions to make it fun, or does it work alright on its own?
post #2 of 29
There's a little bit of an RPG element to it in that you're given a character with stats, so that might be a little off-putting for someone expecting a straight-out board game.
post #3 of 29
It looks daunting at first, but once you've got shit figured out (one or two times playing) it's really, really fun. It takes a long time for this one to get old. I played it pretty consistently with friends once or twice a week for about half a year before I got the Dunwich Horror expansion.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Sounds good, since I'm pretty much trying to wean my friends off of the too-simple-for-me games like Munchkin and Chez Geek and on to something with a bit more depth. Those games are fun gateway games, but there's only so many times you can play one before it starts to get old. I'm hoping Arkham Horror is a nice in-between game.
post #5 of 29
Have they read some Lovecraft? They might find the sheer idea of their guys fainting at the sight of monsters ludicrous.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have a feeling that they'd all go along with it. They're all pretty cool with the idea of a guy going insane from dealing with these monsters. Does the fainting happen often?
post #7 of 29
It's a fun game once everyone has the different phases down, the first dozen or so turns can be confusing. The theme is perfectly executed, but it does have a bit of a learning curve and set up can be a bitch, you need A LOT of table space even just for the base game.

Quick, close the gates!
post #8 of 29
I inexplicably just got this for Christmas, from my brother. He and I never really talked about games or gaming, and I almost never get the chance to play these massive designer board games (and I know he'll never have the chance, except on holiday vacations and AFTER the kids crash, which is when we snuck in a couple learning sessions last weekend). This was way more than out of left field from him, so why? "I dunno, I was bored just buying you books, CDs, and movies, saw this in the bookstore and it looked pretty cool." He's 48, 3 kids. I'm still scratching my head. But grateful!

Anyway, this game. Holy shit. The set-up alone is definitely daunting -- there's at least 2 dozen different decks of cards? Endless cardboard tokens and a game board that your table better be prepared for (as in, 3' x 5' ata minimum). But, yeah, after getting the hang of it, including a few goes in which we won before we realized we could win that way or lost after realizing we all should have died at some point or another but accidentally cheated, this was insanely fun. Once the crazy-ass learning curve was surfed, this fucker's addictive.

We always went with different investogators and a different Ancient One, and the gameplay and strats required changed significantly every time. Which we didn't really figure out for a while. I can see how this won't get old. But good grief, it's gonna be a trial trying to get a game on in the future; I and too many of my friends these days just don't have the time to commit to something like this on anywhere near a regular basis. It's tough enough trying to organize at least 5 together for a poker game every 4-6 weeks. I guess I have an alternative to propose next time only 3-4 can make it.

And looking around the net, this thing has FIVE expansions now!? Exactly how many dining room tables do these people think the average home has?
post #9 of 29
Oh, it's great, isn't it?
post #10 of 29
A fun, unpretentious (and simpler) alternative for a horror-based board game is "Last Night on Earth". I got it recently and even friends who are not used to heavy board gaming enjoyed playing it.
post #11 of 29
Touch of Evil is even better.
post #12 of 29
Unfortunately I have been unable to play it. It's really hard to get good board games here in Brazil. I mostly buy them when I get to travel somewhere with good game stores.

It's from the same publisher right ?
post #13 of 29
Yes it is. Flying Frog productions. A small, independent company that has really surprised a lot of gamers with their Ameritrash offerings.
post #14 of 29
So, got the Dunwich Horror expansion a little while after posting here, and that was awesome. A couple weeks ago I went and sprang for the new Innsmouth Horror expansion, and holy shit. We've only had a chance to play it 2 times, 2 games each, and still haven't won one. The last game, with both expansions? Ridiculous. But so great.

Innsmouth ups the difficulty in crazy ways. You really have to look at the Investigators simply as assets, cause there's so many ways for them to get devoured. Don't get attached, and plan for their eventual replacement. The new investigators are so far fun, though one or two seem a bit over-advantaged, and the new Personal Story dynamic is a lot of fun. It's like every investigator starts the game saddled with their own personal Rumor. Because there's just not enough distractions from the business of winning the game... Anyway, I can't see playing without Personal Stories any more than playing without the Madness/Injury decks from Dunwich.

The new Ancient Ones? Fucking brutal.

I haven't checked out Kingsport, the other big-box expansion, or any of the small deck expansions, and not sure when/if I ever will. But I can heartily endorse bashing your face against Innsmouth. Especially for the theme, which is so well implemented; Innsmouth's just a dangerous place to send anyone.
post #15 of 29
Having only played the main game, one thing that's always puzzled me is why the strayed so far from the normal Lovecraft mood in this - all those gangsters and film noir tropes, I know they're chronologically compatible with Lovecraft's settings but they rarely show up in his fiction.
post #16 of 29
Played this with MrMushnik and some friends a week and a half ago. Once we got the hang of it, it was pretty fun. Mushnik kindly picked a pretty weak ancient one for our first go round.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Miller View Post
Played this with MrMushnik and some friends a week and a half ago. Once we got the hang of it, it was pretty fun. Mushnik kindly picked a pretty weak ancient one for our first go round.
Yeah, we actually won!

I've been wanting to check out the Dunwich and Innsmouth expansions, too, so it's good to hear that they add some cool stuff to the game. Of course, I'll probably wait until we actually play some more before throwing a whole bunch of new stuff at the group.
post #18 of 29
I can personally attest to the Dunwich Horror expansion being pretty good. I like the new "get out of hospital/asylum immediately but take an injury/mental disorder" system.

Seals can be broken now, which is really, really sucky.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMushnik View Post
Of course, I'll probably wait until we actually play some more before throwing a whole bunch of new stuff at the group.
Yes please. I think we should actually determine which rules we were likely breaking as well. How about this weekend or next, by the by?
post #20 of 29
I remember one time I was playing this and it was like 1AM and we were *this* close to winning ... just needed one more seal and then *BAM* monster surge. I think at that point we just gave up.

Unfortunately the guy who owns the game would rather run Delta Green or Call of Cthulhu pen and paper RPGs than play this so we haven't played in a while.
post #21 of 29
Oh, this is exceptional. Really really great. If I may, what are the easier Great Old Ones in the original game? We're easing ourselves into this, and maybe a slight learning curve will help us.
post #22 of 29
Yig the snake guy is by far the easiest one, followed by the abominable snowman-type whose name eludes me right now.
post #23 of 29
Beat Yig. Motherfucker ain't got shit.

I can see this game being full on addictive. It's a good thing it's such a pain in the ass to wrangle up a game, because this could be my World of Warcraft otherwise. As is, it'll be big fun a couple times a month.

And yes, the idea of expansion boards is absurd. I'm sure they'd be glorious nerd fun, but this thing is busting off the table as is.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post
Beat Yig. Motherfucker ain't got shit.

I can see this game being full on addictive. It's a good thing it's such a pain in the ass to wrangle up a game, because this could be my World of Warcraft otherwise. As is, it'll be big fun a couple times a month.

And yes, the idea of expansion boards is absurd. I'm sure they'd be glorious nerd fun, but this thing is busting off the table as is.
Someone tried to teach me the game with ALL of the expansion boards out at once. Not fun.

Then I played just the one board, and it was a blast. People need to keep this in mind when teaching new players. I'm sure all the explansions are fun, but you can't take the steep learning curve for granted in an afternoon session.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendrix View Post
Someone tried to teach me the game with ALL of the expansion boards out at once. Not fun.

Then I played just the one board, and it was a blast. People need to keep this in mind when teaching new players. I'm sure all the explansions are fun, but you can't take the steep learning curve for granted in an afternoon session.
That's plain nuts. I picture Mark McKinney in BRAIN CANDY, "Are we ever going to get the big table in here, or do I have to go out there and cut down that fucking tree myself?"

The couple of times I've squeezed two expansion boards onto my octagonal poker table -- only with AH vets -- the edges were hanging off the ends and at least two other side tables ended up coming into play to hold all the other shit, with the investigators' stuff crammed into the edges of the game board table. Expansion games are indeed geeky fun, but more than 1 at a time and you practically need people individually dedicated to specific rules to track for everyone else. Not to mention shit can get bogged down fast. The small-box card-only sets are a lot easier to integrate, though. I think a new one of those just came out, actually, but I haven't checked it yet.

But holy hell, expansions are no way to hook beginners. You need to ease em into the deep end by handling the bulk of the nitty gritty for em, while they get to be nuns shotgunning Elder Things so the old professor on the motorcycle can zip into the gate to Yuggoth.

ETA: Adding to the space issue is the all-important NO DRINKS ON THE TABLE rule. I am so paranoid of someone's beer -- probably mine -- washing into that forest's worth of paper and cardboard.
post #26 of 29
Sold. Think I'm going to have to play this on the carpet, judging by comments above. This is probably a good thing though as I also plan to be paralytically drunk whilst playing.

And I'm eating calamari, damn the consequences!
post #27 of 29
If you're looking for a soundtrack to go along with it, a fella up on BGG has created a pretty awesome one- http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/5950...ror-soundtrack

That site's priceless for tips and strategies and such, as well. Universal Head's simplified rules really help speed things along- definitely recommend printing out a copy for each player when they're starting up. Like other have said the game may seem daunting but play a game or two and you'll be sealing those gates and fighting off the great old ones with no problem.
post #28 of 29
Thanks, a soundtrack is a great idea to add atmosphere, now all I need is a steady supply of dry ice!
post #29 of 29

For any other freaks/addicts out there who've collected every frigging expansion so far, FFG's just announced a new one -- an expansion that augments every other expansion.

 

Yeah... I'll be grabbing that one, too. So weak.

 

So after extensive playtesting, my friends and I have pretty much settled that the ideal game is the base, plus Dunwich's Madness/Injury system (really should have been with the base rules, it's practically essential), Kingsport's Epic Battles (having to fight the Ancient One at the end is exciting now!), and Innsmouth's Personal Stories (everyone starts with their own rumor = awesome). So, yeah, highly recommend the big-box expansions; plus they each add a lot more than just those aspects (increased pool of investigators and Ancient Ones for one thing). Then to add difficulty, use no more than 2 expansions a game, preferably at least one of them a small box, because (1) it's fucking complicated enough, seriously, and (2) you can better develop a theme (nerd). Especially if you're adding a Herald; maybe just one expansion for some of those, they can be brutal paired with the right Ancient One. Pretty sure we've yet to beat just the base plus Black Goat of the Woods/Shub-Niggurath, that bitch.

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