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Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Cursory reading before hand suggested that high agility investigators were a must for this campaign. I settled on one of the most recommended pairs for this campaign: Ursula and Finn. The decks I put together were reasonably good but throughout the campaign I felt like the whole thing just wasn't very fun. My favourite part was when I messed up so badly on City of Archives that both investigators ended up in the body of a Yithian. While I suspect the designers expected me to retire those investigators I decided to try and complete the campaign without swapping - that did not end very well.
Interestingly, during my first run through the things I didn't enjoy weren't the most common complaints. The Explore mechanic was fine although somewhat capricious. I once had four out of ten cards be treacheries stacked on top of the deck, I understand that the Return To box prevents this from happening. I didn't mind the uncertainty of the Supplies mechanic either although a slightly less descriptive and more mechanical explanation may have helped. The threat of Vengeance felt great but ultimately, only really mattered for one scenario. Poison was irritating but it felt like it was designed to be. What I really disliked was the general difficulty/oppressive nature of the campaign. I didn't feel like I was exploring ruins in the jungle, I felt like I was mostly swatting
Despite not really enjoying it, I did tee up a secondary run through the campaign with the intention to not get trapped as a Yithian. I used Trish and Rita for this run through. Having a knowledge of the scenarios made this run much better. That is until I made it to the secret scenario. Once again, my decks were potentially capable of winning this scenario but it wasn't fun and after an initial failure I wasn't particularly interested in trying again to get the optimal outcome.
I do think the campaign was balanced around multiple playthroughs. I really wonder how many people don't even bother to make it through a second time and of those who did, how many also bounced off the final scenario. I'm not really keen to return to this campaign a third time anytime soon.
Onwards to The Circle Undone!
I have a problem. It’s that I want to play way more builds than I can. I look to finish dunwitch next week and then launch into forgotten age. I think I will three hand again with a team of Silas as an all around guy along with Trish for clues and a crazy Diana Stanley gun deck I found for killing monsters. I am pretty excited for this mix of characters as I have no real experience with mystics or survivors.
I wonder if your experience with getting bogged down wasn’t due to putting so much emphasis on evading. If you can keep your tempo up, evading is great, especially in solo, but too many enemies coming out of the encounter deck can really overwhelm you. In our last play of Boundary Beyond, my wife and I literally were facing more enemies than locations before we doomed out because she couldn’t play her gun.
Hope you enjoy Circle Undone more.
DarthJoJo wrote: I wonder if your experience with getting bogged down wasn’t due to putting so much emphasis on evading. If you can keep your tempo up, evading is great, especially in solo, but too many enemies coming out of the encounter deck can really overwhelm you.
This is almost certainly true. Despite the action efficiency of Ursula and Finn, I had a much better time my second time around as I knew how tight the clock is on some scenarios and what needed to be done in each scenario.
I would go so far as to say that I enjoyed my second time through and am willing to try the Return to version after giving myself some time to cool off. Part of my enjoyment the second time around was how fun Trish's ability is and how amazing Rita with the Ornate Bow is, as opposed to how...mechanical(?) Ursula's abilities was. I'm not sure if mechanical is the right word but I don't think I'm particularly interested in playing Ursula again even if her ability is quite strong. Finn was fun to play and I'll probably try him out again in the future.
If you liked the Bow on Rita, original Skids might even wield it better. Venturer can keep it topped up, and you get access to Marksmanship, which is fun.
And that scenario is an absolute beater that you probably need to tech for from the beginning. I’m okay with that, though, as you probably won’t get it in your first try or two or four unless you know what you’re doing.
I may only want to play two investigators though as six decks seems like a lot. Something to think on as I finish out dunwitch.
Been reading the deck building guide linked. As most of my experience is still theoretical at this point. Lots of great info there. Thanks for posting it. It is a terrific bit of work you have done.
Fun campaign. I really enjoyed the Nate Cho deck. It was pretty much his stock deck out of the pack. Some really awesome events in there. He did his job destroying monsters.
The Winnie deck is a blast. I had to not take full advantage of it the last two games as I would have been wrecked if I had to reshuffle my deck. She still did a ton of work without going wild on commuting cards to draw. I would rebuild it different. She needs more treachery help with her 1 willpower. She for sure excels in the switch hitter roll though. She was a great third team mate. She has the stat spread to really provide punch with rogue add agility to other stat cards for shooting or investigating.
My Rex deck was pretty unimpressive as far as doing crazy stuff. It just found clues and provided some card draw for the others. It found clews pretty well. But no deeper synergy’s. Just clew and have some ways to evade / fight. Oddly enough his weakness was a real help in the last scenario. It dumped some real bad special effect tokens back into the bag when the would have succeeded on my first pull and so got dumped back in. That was pretty amusing.
Now building my new team for some yet to be determined campaign. I know two for sure. I’m still leaning in the direction of forgotten age. As if I cycle through all the campaigns that will put the ones I have return to boxes for the furthest back from when I have done them. Think my team is Silas, Trish and the Diana. Should be a fun crew. Silas taking the roll of do whatever needs done with Trish on clues and Diana as my combat rockstar.
So far Sister Mary has been interesting. She is not overly amazing in fights. I have been rolling with blessed blades and .35 Winchester. I want another game or two to lock my thoughts on on the Winchester. Long term I plan to buy lightning guns. I’ll need two to three scenarios likely to replace them. So that seems ok to me. I did buy the guardian covenant from the most recent pack and have really liked it in play. I have had it throw 3 blessings back into the bag on a check I did not need them. It takes a lot of the win more out of the tokens. I have managed to fill the bag with 10 blessings. That felt good. She is pretty terrible at getting clues. Only 2 Scene of the crime really dedicated to clues with a little extra help from Grete Wagner it’s hope for blessing pulls if she really needs clues. Or hope to get to where Trish has dropped the Skeleton Key.
So far Silas has been a beast at doing it all. Old key ring has been fantastic for getting some clues. With judicious use of skills in the way only he can it goes a long way. As I get experience my survivor engine gets better. So I have decent expectations that he will get even better.
Trish as expected is amazing for this campaign. Fast action clues for evades be pretty terrific. Playing with some new stuff here too. Obfuscation to blunt opportunity attacks. I have made the questionable choice to not include any killing cards in her deck. So it’s really all about the evade here. Not sure how I feel about my equipment chooses here. Running Hawkeyes and Cryptographic Cyphers. I also splurged on the skeleton key.
I think I have been pretty lucky so far. Also benefiting from lots of good evade. I expect things to start going south real fast now.
Trish was once again a clue gathering beast. She now has more mobility with her acquisition of Pathfinder. This was clutch for me this time around as there was a lot of movement. Not a whole lot of evading to do in this one. But a lot of clues.
Silas was the star of this one. He and his meat cleaver chopped through a few baddies including the only one worth VP. Had a good opening of skill cards that I was able to recur to quite a few successful tests. He is starting to hum. I am excited to see how his lates cards will work. I saved a little and bought 2 Eucatastrophy. They should really be fantastic with their ability to add a skill from my trash to a check and then my hand. I went with them over a time worn brand. We will see how that decision plays out.
Marry had a pretty quite game. She did a lot quietly. She had a scenario item that Gabe her a few explore action each turn and she put it to a lot of use. She also killed a few things. But was largely support. I replaced one Winnie with a lightning gun. So she should have some more teeth next time out. The card that continues to pull weight is the guardian covenant. I was not able to keep the bag as loaded with blessings this game but finished with 3. They are still doing work for me.