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Flashback Friday - Arkham Horror 2nd edition

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17 Jan 2020 00:01 #306308 by ubarose
Arkham Horror is now so popular that...

Love it or hate it? Do you still play it?

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17 Jan 2020 08:48 #306309 by mads b.
I played it just the other week with the King in Yellow expansion. That one was not as exciting as I remember it, but nonetheless: every time I play AH 2nd ed I ask myself why I don't play it more. It is in so many ways the ultimate adventure game. I love the sense of being in a specific place it creates - something Eldritch Horror never managede to do even if it was more streamlined in some ways.

Yes, some things are a bit stupid, like adjusting sliders or how sneaking past monsters is borderline useless as a strategy. But there is just so much story in the game and so much adventuring.

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17 Jan 2020 09:26 #306310 by Gary Sax
I only play it 2-3 times a year, I think because of the setup and management load. It's my spouse's favorite game, and like Mads, every time we play it I think we should play it more. It's the best adventure game ever made, because of the strength of its emergent narrative for players.

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17 Jan 2020 09:32 #306311 by Jackwraith
Loved it and played it many, many times, but finally decided it just wasn't going to come off the shelf again; perhaps because of the setup time (we tended to use as many expansions as possible) and the bookkeeping or perhaps just because we'd had our fill of it. I still have Runebound with its 28 expansions, but a lot of those are minor/optional things like class decks and you only use one actual adventure mod at a time. If people want to play an adventure game (a rarity these days, which is another reason for moving on), I'd opt for that or something like Vast, instead. Still a great game, though.

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17 Jan 2020 09:38 #306312 by hotseatgames
I enjoyed it, but it rarely saw the table so I sold mine off years ago.

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17 Jan 2020 09:43 - 17 Jan 2020 09:43 #306314 by Gary Sax
^^these days I've moved to one expansion at a time with all the common stuff (e.g. items) still from all the expansions. It helps keep the game focused.
Last edit: 17 Jan 2020 09:43 by Gary Sax.

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17 Jan 2020 09:44 #306315 by Shellhead
Different people value different aspects of gaming. I have always been interested in games that tell stories, even if the sense of narrative is an illusion created by a combination of setting and snippets of text. And yet I don't want to play a tightly scripted story that will lack replay value. I don't want to manage some wooden representations of resources sitting on a little spreadsheet, I want to feel like I am exploring another world through a tabletop interface.

And so Arkham Horror 2nd edition remains my all-time favorite board game. I like to play it with all the expansion boards and all the cards and even a herald in the mix, ideally with several other players but sometimes running a few characters by myself. It's a big, weird sandbox of an adventure setting that is based more on the excellent Lovecraft Country modules that Chaosium produced for their Call of Cthulhu rpg than on the original writings by Lovecraft. If I played weekly for the rest of my life, no two games would play out the same. I was also a big fan of the original edition of Arkham Horror, though it has been gathering dust since 2005. The first edition was an exceptional board game when it was published in the late '80s, though second edition has completely surpassed it.

In truth, I didn't play Arkham Horror in 2019. It was a busy year, and one of my regular gaming groups now is usually too lightweight to handle any game that last over 2 hours. As Gary mentioned, there is considerable setup (and takedown) time, and the Mythos phase is a bit of work if only one player knows the system well. But I usually play a few times every year. And when I hosted board games in October, one couple expressed interest in playing Arkham Horror some time because they heard it was a good game and they are both fans of the Cthulhu Mythos. So I foresee playing more Arkham Horror in 2020.

I've read quite a few critical remarks here and at BGG about Arkham Horror, and many people were eager to declare that Eldritch Horror fired Arkham Horror. And yet I get the impression that Eldritch Horror ran its course and most folks just don't play it anymore. All I know is that I have introduced dozens of players to Arkham Horror over the years, and with the exception of one hardcore eurogamer, everybody enjoyed it.
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17 Jan 2020 09:48 #306317 by ChristopherMD
Arkham Horror 2nd is one of a handful of games that has a permanent place in my library. I have all the expansions and at one point I went through and read every single card so I could customize all the decks in the base game. Then sleeved all of them but left my expansions unsleeved so I can easily remove them after play. Haven't had any issues knowing the next Mythos card is expansion or not. Also customized the monsters in my monster bag to be about 100 of them and also sleeved those because they were wearing out quickly from being shuffled in the bag. Have 24 character miniatures I built up from buying 4 every month off FFG's website back in the day. Always play with the Injury/Madness cards, make Personal Story cards optional (I usually opt to use them), and the Final Battle cards.

This was the first co-operative game I actually liked and is probably still my favorite co-op. All players mostly do their own thing while working towards a shared goal so there's no Alpha problem in my experience. At the end we all contributed in some way. I almost never bother with the sliders. I like to set them at the start and live with it. Lots of crazy shit can happen in this game both good and bad. Our first ever 4-player game took 8 hours. After we all learned the game to know what we were doing they usually took about 3 hours. Its not a perfect game but its an enjoyable one every single time I've played. Still love it and would play this weekend if I could. In fact, I may set it up solo soon as its been too long.
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17 Jan 2020 10:10 #306318 by jeb
I can’t say better what’s been said above. It’s the best game in my 100+ collection. Learning how to play is a pain in the ass, but made so much better by MrSkeletor’s flowcharts. We play one big expansion at most, due to table size, but always have injury/madness. We mix in little expansions here and there for variety. The whole thing is wonderful.
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17 Jan 2020 10:15 #306320 by Gary Sax
What I would really like to know is if Uba still plays it. It was, if I recall correctly, her favorite game and she had that wheeled suitcase set.

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17 Jan 2020 10:18 #306321 by edulis
I'll pile on and say this is my favorite solo game. I've created a simple campaign mode (Character carry-over and unique items are lost if a character is killed or it is used that sort of thing) that I've started a few times to see how many old ones I could defeat before all the characters were killed).

However the lose of my game room to children not wanting to share a room any longer, has been a big set back. Leaving Arkham set up on the dining room table is frowned on...

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17 Jan 2020 10:20 #306322 by Ah_Pook
Great game that doesn't make it to the table as often as it might just because it's so much to set up. I have to use a side table for all the decks of cards etc. I play this one pretty regularly Solo though, and typically leave it set up for a couple games once it's all out. Though I haven't tried that since I got two kittens a couple months ago. I have a feeling it would work... Less well.

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17 Jan 2020 10:27 #306323 by Shellhead
Speaking of tables, when I finally got a house, I bought a new gaming table. I made sure to get one that would be big enough for an 8-player game of Arkham Horror with all the expansion boards. That table also worked well when I ran a long D&D 3.5 campaign for 8 players.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jpat, DarthJoJo, Ah_Pook

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17 Jan 2020 10:42 #306325 by Rliyen
Leave it to Shellhead to encapsulate what I feel about that game. I play it constantly solo, but I agree it's a bear to set up. Every time I think about adding it to the pile of the TO BE PLAYED games on Game Day, I remove it because if we want Lovecraftian horror, they're going to go more for Elder Sign, which is a mainstay, than AH 2e.

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17 Jan 2020 10:45 #306326 by lj1983
still my wife's favorite game. 2 players, 2 characters each, so really a 4 player game. 1 large expansion. There's a large enough chance that one of your characters will spend a couple turns in a row doing 'nothing' that having two characters helps out a lot. But this is my dungeoncrawl. go around, fight monsters, prep against a big baddie. I even have the expansion expansion for some reason.

We did introduce it to some friends....and then it clicked for me. they just really don't like co-op games. they didn't like Pandemic, defenders of the realm or spirit island. they really disliked Arkham, they just felt the game was beating them down at every turn. and to be honest....it was.

I've looked into the 3rd edition stuff, and while having cards that might be alittle better tied into the specific narrative for that game seems like a nice upgrade, I haven't seen too much to make me want to change over.

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