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Arkham Horror: The Card Game
The two upgraded Evidence pulled their weight in this one. As did the hungering blade. It chopped through a lot of stuff. The deck despite its possible clunkyness runs well in application. It’s a bit of a pain when backpack finds bandolier. But that’s sorta the worst of it. And with 2 search’s of 12 and 3 of nine I find what I need pretty well. Zoe held her own on clues. Scene of the crime and Evidence pulled a lot of weight. I have yet to get Crystalizer in play. But I upgraded to charisma after this game so that should not be an issue. Even with only six spirit events in the deck I am really enjoying Boxing Gloves upgraded search of 9. All the spirit events are really great as is the card draw. The passive attack plus two is great as well. My totally lacking more than two games experience with this deck is great. Lots data points there to work from.
Stella is great. She had a less stomping game than last time. But she is a trooper. I really miss the ease of seeker clue gathering. Mostly deduction with this pair. But between winging it and look what I found Stella has been doing the work. At the very end I was not decking myself on a cycle of two wining it from the trash to rebuild my deck and the. Draw them to play them twice. It was a little silly. It almost got me the win.
Upgrades for Stella are posted. I have to wait till tomorrow to publish the Zoe deck.
Let me say how much I loved the change in time and scope of this scenario. It was Ann amazing shift going to the macro as most scenarios function in much smaller scope and space as well as duration.
I continue to be amazed by what they manage to convey within this rules set. From this to Essex Express to the Car chase in the next pack to release. It’s pretty rad.
For the Greater Good: I really enjoyed this scenario - exploring the lodge, finding the keys and the different ways to get them (steal them, beat them out of people, discover them, etc.) despite being a reuse of familiar mechanics felt fresh. Once thing this scenario had in common with the Wages of Sin is the role luck plays in how easy or difficult you find it; however, this one seemed easier to get by in should the keys spawn in unfortunate locations. My investigators doubled down on being loyal to the lodge (despite it directly contradicting Diana's backstory).
Union and Disillusion: I like the pacing of this one, the Circle tests seemed kind of impossible until the final act card comes out which was a nice way to ratchet up the tension. I knew Sanford was up to no good but I really wanted to see how the lodge storyline played out - doing so meant an early end to my campaigns. I love the trolling of this early end by saying "The Silver Twilight Lodge wins the campaign" instead of the traditional "the investigators win the campaign".
Despite the white hot anger I felt while playing the Wages of Sin I decided that I did enjoy this campaign overall. I want to see the other paths and scenarios play out so have already started up another run through. This time I'll be taking Akachi and (on DarthJojo's recommendation) Silas through the campaign. Silas's two Willpower seems likely to be a source of frustration but his flexible skill cards and a Grisly Totem mean that that two is more likely to be a four on any given skill test.
I'm coming to find that while I originally thought I was a narrative player who primarily enjoyed the twists and turns of blind playthroughs; I might actually enjoy the puzzle box nature of the game more. My second playthroughs of a campaign seem to hit a sweet spot where I don't know the full narrative (as I usually take a different route) but I'm also not unpleasantly surprised by anything in the campaign.
As an aside, I've been using the Arkham Cards app ( iOS , Android ) to track my campaigns and build my decks. I whole heartedly recommend it. It syncs decks to ArkhamDB and I find the filters and UI make it easier to build decks with than the ArkhamDB web interface. The guided campaign experience is great for not exposing myself to inadvertent spoilers from reading ahead/behind. It's really slick and totally free.
For what it’s worth, True Survivor is bonkers good in Stella. Between Neither Rain, Take Hear, Resourceful and Sharp Vision, you have eight great targets, and Resourceful can loop it as long as you’re passing.
Search for Kadath just shows the strength of the Arkham system. The only gimmick is that it’s actually five mini-scenarios and instead relies on fundamentals of good treachery and location design. I think Circle Undone really pushed the system to its limits, and I was very glad to see Dream Eaters rein it in.
I think Silas is a great fit with Akachi. Beside being one of my top five, he requires about zero setup and can hit the ground running. Mystics can be monsters but need time to kit up, especially if they have a weak opening hand. And he can take Alter Fate which is pretty great for this campaign.
It’s funny that you find yourself leaning away from the story and into the narrative just as I feel the story is taking a more prominent position. The lead designer recently released a novel through Kickstarter, and the amount of lead-in text and interludes exploded beginning in Forgotten Age. I’ve occasionally been tempted to explore Arkham as literature in an essay or series of articles, but that would be time not spent playing.
I am mid scenario right now. I feel that I may be moving a little slow. I’ll finish tomorrow and likely dine into the next shortly after.
The circle undone will be my next Champaign as I can’t justify the price rage on A phantom of truth.
@Gary. Glad you enjoy the read. This thread got me back into the game. So I quite appreciate it.
Completed A Thousand Shapes of Horror. Pretty neat. I felt like I was durdeling too much. It was close run. At the end I just crushed it. Oddly the card that carried play at the end was sword cane. With a few clutch evades. Where in the previous scenario with Amanda and Akachi there was not a whole lot of killing, this was not the case here. She killed a lot of stuff. Spirt storm landed 4 hits one turn. With the way ghouls worked in this one.
Amanda is starting to find her feet. I love the upgraded Dream Diary. I spent some xp to grab the four xp Logical Reasoning. I cycled the deck once and was one draw away from the second. As I plan to buy the upgraded Perception next upgrade it will go even faster. That’s a possible 8 or 9 cards in a turn. If I needed to investigate 3 times. So that seems wise. I purchased pathfinder as the extra mobility is a huge boon. While not good at it she can punch things in a pinch. Just for 1. But it’s helped. Strange solution would fix this. But I am too far along in this campaign to pivot to it now. I would also need to not have Shrewd Analysis too.
I am about to update Akachi now. So we will see what she looks like. I know for sure only one Shriveling is getting upgraded.
After looking at the Stella deck I made some changes. Instead of Lucky 3 an upgraded Derringer, Charisma and two Peter Sylvestre I have made an about face.
I went with one True Survivor, Sharp Vision and a pair of Chainsaws. Because they seem legit fun. I’ll look to add Oops2 for my key rings and another True Survivor after my next game. Maybe upgrade Lucky if I can.
I am enjoying the flex in both of these decks. By putting both On the hunt onto Stick to the plan it really smoothed out some of the moving parts of the clue package. Evidence 1 is quite a bit better when you snipe the 4 health monsters from the deck. This build does decent enough damage between the Hungering Blade the two upgraded vicious blows and the One Two punches. Add in Stella throwing down with a Chainsaw for the big stuff and it works well.
For Stella the Chainsaw paid off in spades as it pulled an odd double duty. It cleaved some monsters and the second got thrown into a test to clear tokens and the 3 combat icons were massive there. Without it I would have not made it through. Did not really get the Stella engine running in this one. I had a reduced hand size by 3 that was checked as soon as I drew. No time to clear it let alone drop more cards. I ended up discarding Take Heart because I would just lose the cards from it. Slightly odd game. Never saw a Winging It. Just had to grind. The two Sharp Vision were great though.
I have been tearing through this campaign. Plan to have wrapped up Monday. May even start making new decks right after.
Outside of that it was nothing too bad. Murdered some stuff and graves clues. The bit at the end was neat. But not really bad as Amanda had 2 pathfinders out and a deduction as her skill card. It really diminished the difficulty at the end. As it was I was dangerously close to losing running out of time.
I think I am pretty shit at playing the Akachi deck. It’s got a little too much going on for what I need to be doing with it. It would probably rock in a 3 player game. It’s a little too slow here. But I am happy to learn that. I get this a little odd showing as how convoluted the Zoe deck was at the start. But there it is.
I have learned that some of the stuff I thought would be neat in Amanda just don’t see play. I finally ditched the Arcane Enlightenment as it never hit the table. I think I would also drop the dream serum. While I only have 2 tiles in the deck I still like Whitton Greene for her ability to find the Dream Diary. She has been a blast to play.
It’s time for the end game here. Last two scenarios.
Stella is awesome. I think I prefer the Silas deck a little more between the two of them. But they were both fantastic. Of the two teams the dream side got much more experience. So these two decks were loaded by the end. Still stuff I could have upgraded. But not a whole lot.
I will be curious to see how the other two decks preform. I really like the Amanda deck and the way she plays. I am not a fan of this build for Akachi. If I play her again it will be a little more strait forward. But not sure I will. I find her solid. And good at what she does. Just unexciting.
We will see how this ends tomorrow.
The Akachi deck sorta did non of the wacky Seal stuff it was intended to. But it got a shriveling with Twila Price in play and just strait murderized things. Which was also its stated intent, so it did its job.
I think next time I add in a pair of Vicious Blows or something to fine her a little teeth. This deck just hums. The card I was most on the fence on in the end was Promise of Power, I think I only used it once under Amanda but it was clutch when I did. Four wild icons is beastly. Not that I had a choice but in the future unless building a large handsome deck I would skip Dreams of a child. It was just too hard to have eight cards in hand. I still adore the Dream Diary.
Of the four investigators Amanda was my favorite followed by Stella. I think this is because they play the game on a different axis than others. Stella less so as other survivors use fail to succeed but none as heavily or well as Stella. Zoe is cool. I just wanted her to be Nathan. That’s on me. I really enjoyed her clue package though. As stated before, Akachi i would love as a no nonsense more focused deck. And is my fault. I am thrilled with the experience.
I am now torn. Two investigator games go pretty quick compared to three. But I sorta feel that third investigator design space is a really fun place to play and that campaigns are long enough that I will experience more investigators by playing a third at least for now than playing campaigns faster. It bears thinking on as I build for my next game.
I may go bold and try two mystics and a something. Dexter and Diana going in very different directions. Or maybe not. Both with guns. I want to mess with Sleight of Hand in Dexter. I’ll need a solid third for clues and such. That likely means back to seeker or maybe another Survivor. I could also maybe try Carolyn Fern. I think that’s what I will shoot for. Should be a fun and different group.
Bernie wrote: I am now torn. Two investigator games go pretty quick compared to three. But I sorta feel that third investigator design space is a really fun place to play and that campaigns are long enough that I will experience more investigators by playing a third at least for now than playing campaigns faster. It bears thinking on as I build for my next game.
I feel the same tension. Two investigators is about what I have the headspace/patience to play but some investigators (Carolyn) and cards seem to ideally play a support role which is most useful in a three player experience. Maybe I'll save that for when I run through some of the Return to boxes.
The other problem I've been facing is when to throw in the standalone adventures. During blind playthroughs it doesn't make a lot of sense but I'm always tempted to but haven't ended up yet, adding one to a second run.
It sucks because support is like the most vital design space to make a game interesting in, but playing with 2 you often can't explore it.
Diana is built. It’s a super sweet subversive deck. arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/26064/i-know-gun-fu-1.0
It’s the kind of thing that really speaks to me.
So that covers the encounter deck some and light monsters.
Carolyn with heal, share some econ and find some clues.
That leaves Dexter to kill the big baddest and find some clues. That should totally be doable.