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Arkham Horror: The Card Game
We played on standard but accidentally skipped one of the mythos phases so I guess it ended up being semi-easy mode? We didn't fancy our odds at the final showdown so took the option to resign, leaving us low on experience (which might not be a bad thing given that with three investigators we are running short on cards!)
Both of them enjoyed it and want to play through the next two scenarios so I feel like I'm definitely going to need a second starter set at some point.
Fantasy Flight just released its latest parallel investigator with alternate abilities and deck building to spice up some long-in-the-tooth characters. It’s Roland Banks, kind of a surprise to me since I figured they might skip the novella investigators who all received parallel signature cards, but I’m glad they didn’t. This is the most ambitious parallel yet. This Roland comes with five Directives, of which he picks three at character creation. They give him play restrictions and benefits. I haven’t played them yet, but they’re so great. The core Roland was a brute, metaphorically beating information out of cultists, snakes and byahkee. Directives like Due Diligence and Consult Experts makes him a good guy actually trying to talk to suspects and protect his allies. Great stuff that breaks his builds wide open.
I’m glad your kids are enjoying the game, but two things to consider before you pick up a second core. First, it’s been mentioned before on this thread, but the investigator starter decks are a great value for new players and have some fun, solid characters. I think you can buy three for the cost of a single core, and you won’t have all the duplicate encounter cards. Second, if you still want the second core because there are some good player cards worth having two of, it sounds like Fantasy Flight is planning on announcing a revised core soon. It might be worth waiting a few months for it. If nothing else, it’ll have some new art on the player cards.
I’ve probably been playing too long to remember my experiences as a beginner, but what do you mean by being confused by the act and agenda advancements? Do you mean as a player trying to accomplish your goals and move on or setting up new locations and enemies and stuff or what? I’d love to help, if I can. Otherwise, if you really want to dive in, maybe watch some live plays on YouTube to see what is supposed to happen. The Team Covenant guys take it slow and sometimes make mistakes, but the chat normally corrects them pretty quick.
No need for existing owners of everything to buy unless you crave alt art or extra tokens.
I have the first mythos pack Dunwich scenario setup (Museum) for when my spouse wants to play so I'm pretty pumped for the game. It is turning into a big card gaming summer, what with me playing a lot of solo Oath and hopefully trying out Imperium this weekend too.
It's a shame there's a four-month gap between announce and release though. Don't much see the sense in the long lead time on a core product, surely current core sales will tank in the interim?
I'm also not completely sold on all of the new investigator art. For the most part it looks too clean, bright and un-painterly. Regardless, that won't stop me picking this up. Overall it's a great product update.
DarthJoJo wrote: I’ve probably been playing too long to remember my experiences as a beginner, but what do you mean by being confused by the act and agenda advancements? Do you mean as a player trying to accomplish your goals and move on or setting up new locations and enemies and stuff or what? I’d love to help, if I can. Otherwise, if you really want to dive in, maybe watch some live plays on YouTube to see what is supposed to happen. The Team Covenant guys take it slow and sometimes make mistakes, but the chat normally corrects them pretty quick.
I wanted to come back to this because it's a good question and I've really been marinating on what it is that puts me off just a little bit about Arkham LCG first scenario plays, which with my spouse and I are going to be most important. I bounced some of this off sornars in my discord too (hit me up on PM or find the tabletop simulator thread if you want an invite, as always), so this is an extension of those thoughts...
I played the Dunwich Museum scenario with
I remain convinced that this game requires very experienced gamers even though I know lots of newbs play it as their only game in practice, I have a hard time squaring that with my experience! Fundamentally, I think Arkham Horror LCG on first plays is a game about internalizing and learning new games on the fly using an existing rules vernacular. To execute the fun and cute stuff the scenarios require you need to have an extremely thorough grasp of the all of the basic mechanics, and maybe more challenging than that you need to integrate very mechanical instructions across maybe 2-5 cards that have fragments of each, and then bring them together in a holistic understanding of what the fuck is going on mechnically. That can be a barrier even for me who learns a SHITLOAD of games and reads rules to games I don't play.
I get why they can't do it, parsimony, but the game needs a simplistic in words description when it introduces a gimmick, at least for the two of us. I want to be told how a key mechanic was going to work when introduced but in an organic fashion, though outside the narrative voice of the scenario. I get why they don't do that, it'd be easy to get misled, but it would help me and would greatly reduce my rules mistakes. All of this is tinged by the fact that my spouse really does not enjoy the process of learning games but likes to play games she has a mastery of the rules for, so obviously this is a high level challenge for her in particular. But even I sometimes have a hard time piecing together the multiple cards coming together and what it is actually trying to get me to do. So it isn't just rules grit, as you say, it's a larger thing where what does the execution of these rules mean to the game overall. I find this makes the game choppier than I want---I have to sit and piece together what the newly flipped cards that all interrelate deeply mean when put together. It's a very neat trick, it is the game's specific trick, but I find that it hurts pacing a fair amount. So it sort of makes sense on my spouse liking but not loving the game and me being more enthusiastic.
That said, a bunch of games in, I am blown away with how good the deckbuilding aspect is when you have a decent sideboard. My spouse picked up Wendy's amulet combo, its "trick," and really thought was cool and leveraged it on several occasions. She also immediately dived on several of the cards while upgrading and could see the huge possibilities. The game does a shockingly good job at getting you into deckbuilding for future plays from the start with the upgrade mechanics using a base deck.
Also, quick and easy rules question---can I use a trigger action more than once when something happens? Can you rules reference that for me? I kind of assume no. My spouse immediately bought upgraded permanent streetwise and the red survivor one (scrappy or something) so we wanted to know if you could do it more than once if you had the resources.
It’s admittedly not super clear and implied by omission but the Abilities, Triggered Abilities and Triggering Conditions of the rules reference as well as the timing chart are what I’d point to.
Edit: The FAQ explicitly clarified this.
Can I trigger the ability on cards like Physical Training (Core 17) more than once per skill test?
Yes. Unless the ability has a printed limitation on it, you may use it as often as you like, provided you are able to pay the ability’s cost each time.
Unfortunately, I can’t say that much to help unless you’re willing to spoil your blind plays. Personally, coming from the Game of Thrones LCG with its own Fantasy Flight rules and where ‘when,’ ‘until’ and ‘after’ the end of a phase were different windows has helped me as I’m a bit more aware of how important a difference in term can be and a bit more familiar with what Fantasy Flight has done with its rules in the past.
The best advice I can give is to be alright with making mistakes so long as they keep the pace of play up. Sometimes you just miss a -1 modifier because you have twenty other things you’re keeping an eye on. Sometimes you miss that you couldn’t make that particular attack because the enemy is elite. It’s fine. Roll it back if you can, keep on keeping on if you can’t. I make mistakes constantly, even in scenarios I’ve played several times over. Just last night I forgot to add new tokens to the chaos bag and had, unsurprisingly, a much easier go of it in the next scenario. And that’s not even including the times the designers screw something up and makes a scenario functionally impossible to advance.
The game even recognizes this with the oft misunderstood Grim Rule. Choosing the worst option isn’t about making the game more punitive. It’s about keeping the game moving. It’s there to settle rule disputes.
This may not be the greatest advice when something like Miskatonic Museum is built on a single gimmick and screwing it up can change your whole experience, but it’s the best I have.
Also, thanks for the clarification on triggered actions.
My wife suggested we make little player mats and a mat that held things on the board, that it would help. I know ffg sells an arkham lcg mat, so I'll probably be getting that. Any of you have a cool *player* mat/board suggestion with sockets and the like or is that already on the ffg board?
I also only recently learnt how to play, getting interested after almost a year of heavy Marvel Champions play. Without that background AH would have been a lot more difficult to learn and I'm not sure I would have stuck with it. Even with my MC experience I was still constantly diving into the rulebook while playing for many, many games. I don't think it's a fault of the rulebook or Let's Play guide, there's just a lot in the game to get your head around.
Fortunately I liked the Zealot campaign. All up I must have played it around 8-10 times before moving into the Dunwich campaign. I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing so I didn't mess up a "proper" campaign and I also wanted to try out all the investigators.
But I also just enjoyed the story and playing it.