Posts Tagged ‘Arkham Horror’

Arkham Horror LCG

Posted: January 25, 2017 in Gaming, Hobby
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The new hotness from FFG this game seamlessly combines a rich RPG experience with their innovative living card game (LCG) format.

Players take on the role of investigators and build their own player decks either using the pre-built format or with a customisation element to build their characters how they wish. The core game provides 5 different characters but only enough cards to build 2 decks. The game is designed to play anywhere from 1-4 players. Each player deck contains assets and abilities to use but crucially also has a character flaw that must be included. Will paranoia grip your character at a crucial moment?

Games can be played individually or linked through a narrative campaign where a player deck can be enhanced through gameplay or certain cards can be removed as they are affected by the game. Other cards can be upgraded using experience points to make them better.

Each game is a series of Acts to which players must meet requirements in order to progress. against there Acts there are Agendas that will be set in motion should the players take too long to complete an Act. Players travel to Locations and perform up to 3 actions each turn to achieve the requirements of the story. A random deck of monsters and events is used as AI Dungeon Master working against the players.

Another innovative mechanic in the game is the chaos bag. This replaces any dice rolling that is required in standard RPG games. The chaos bag contains a handful of tokens with various numerical modifiers. The contents of the bag can be tailored to change the level of difficulty during a game or campaign. When a character is required to make a skill check or a melee attack he consults his profile for the stat, can discard as many card from his hand that enhance the stat and then draw a token out of the chaos bag. If the final result equals or beats the required target it is a success, otherwise it’s a fail.

With 1 deluxe expansion already published and 2 Mythos Cycle packs released for the expansion this game has some major support behind it. There are also 2 stand alone scenarios available currently. These can be played as standard games or brought into the campaign – Curse of the Rougarou and Carnevale of Horrors.

I have pimped my game out with a box organiser, a special chaos bag (Elder Sign bag) and the official playmat from FFG. Very much looking forward to more games in the future.

D.

  • Box organiser, custom bag and Curse of the Rougarou expansion.

  • Custom bag and tokens

So tonight I got home from work early and decided to crack out this great little game. With the latest expansion on the way I wanted to get back into the feel of the game.

The base game involves investigation around Arkham Museum as the investigators go on adventures and try to achieve Elder Signs in an attempt to seal the gates and prevent a Great Old One from destroying Arkham, and consequently, the world.

Each turn an investigator will pick an adventure, whether it’s ‘Don’t go near the Windows’ in the dinosaur exhibit or a visit to the Koi Pond. Each adventure will have a series of objectives, achieved by rolling dice and matching symbols. Each successful roll will help you achieve victory. Failing will result in penalties to your stamina or sanity and can even increase the Doom Track to bring the Great Old One out. Succeeding at an adventure will gain items, spells and unique abilities to help in the fight.

After every adventure the clock is advanced 3 hours until Midnight strikes. At midnight a new Mythos card is flipped and it’s affects will last for the following day. Some can be good but most are bad for investigators with monsters turning up to spoil the fun.

Tonight I played a solo game with 3 adventurers battling to prevent Hastur, The King in Yellow from emerging. After some initial success the adventures became more difficult but i was still racking up the occasional Elder Sign while gaining some key spells and common items (dynamite adds 2 special dice to your dice pool for the round).

Finally Dexter Drake opened a portal directly to Ry’leh. With 10 Elder Signs already Dexter knew a last gamble would gain him 3 more but it would not be easy. Gambling all (dynamite and having a clue token available to re roll any or all dice) he went for it. Gaining enough for the first line Dexter braced himself and rolled again – Lore,Attack but no Terror. A re roll later and 4 dice came to rest with a Terror symbol showing! Dexter and the team had done it and no one would ever know their plight.

Great game and more importantly a quick game.

So over the bank holiday weekend I decided to while away some hours playing one of my favourite themed board game – Arkham Horror. For those who are unfamiliar with the game it is a thematic co-operative investigation game, the players working together to figure out the best moves and actions to defeat monsters and ultimately win the game. The board and the monsters work against the players and all monster moves are determined each round. There are literally a tonne of tokens, counters and cards that help to bulk out this game and make every adventure unique. But for me one of the best qualities of the game is that it can be played solo.

So what’s in the box? Well, open the lid and you will find a huge 6-tile board with the locations of Arkham for those familiar with the Cthulhu Mythos. There’s a full-colour 30+ page large format rulebook. Each map sector in Arkham Horror is colour-coded and each colour has a separate card deck for the adventurers to explore and either succeed or fail in their investigations. There are a number of investigator sheets, each one with different stats, allowing players to either randomise or select their favourite investigator. There are card decks for different items in the game – Common Items, Unique Items, Spells and Lores. A huge deck forms the Mythos deck – portals opening over Arkham, monsters moving and environmental and headline conditions. A large amount of monster tokens make up the monster pile and each investigator has their own unique stand up card. A good way to bling out your box is to buy miniatures for each of the investigators. A set of Elder Gods is supplied, each one with unique abilities and effects and every game 1 of these is the main antagonist.

In solo play mode I selected 3 investigators at random and 1 Elder God who is trying to break through into Arkham to destroy all mankind. To win the game the investigators much venture to open portals, investigate and then close them. Closing all open portals immediately ends the game. Closing 6 portals also ends the game. If the Doom Track reaches it’s final point the Elder God wakes and the investigators must do battle with it to win the game.

At the beginning of the game each investigator gets his starting cards and abilities, some are random, some are fixed. This adds yet more randomness and replayability to the game.

This game the investigators will be battling to prevent The King in Yellow from breaking through into Arkham. Each Elder God has some unique abilities. The King in Yellow requires investigators to spend 8 clue tokens rather than the default 5 to close a gate. He also makes cultists tougher and gives them Flight!

Once all characters have been equipped the game begins. A game turn is broken down into phases: Upkeep, Movement, Arkham Encounters, Other World Encounters and Mythos Phase. During Upkeep players ready their exhausted spells, regain stamina or sanity if applicable and earn money. Players can then move their counters along their stat track to alter their Speed,Sneak,Fight,Will,Luck and Lore values.

Movement is next. Players move up to their movement value between different locations in Arkham, trying to pick up clues, avoid monsters and get to certain locations to seal gates. If a player moves into a monster square he can try and evade or fight. If he fights his movement ends for the turn. If he tries to evade he uses his Sneak value modified by the monster’s evade bonus. If a player ends his movement in a space with a clue token he can pick it up and add to his pool.

Those investigators at a location will have an encounter there and pick a card with the same colour and read the encounter matching the location.

Players who end on an open gate will be sucked to that Other World location and will spend 2 turns having encounters there. Once they are returned to Arkham they will have an encounter token placed on them. This is the only way a gate can be closed.

After encounters are completed it’s the Monsters turn! In the Mythos phase a Mythos  card is flipped. This card will tell where a gate will open, where a clue will appear, any new environmental conditions or news headlines and lastly which monsters will move and in what direction. All monster tokens have a symbol on them. Certain symbols will appear on the Mythos card in either a white or black box. Those in the white box will move from their current location in the direction of the white arrow and the same for black monsters matching the symbols in the black box.

Once all phases are complete, the turn ends and the first player token is passed to the next player.

Solo play in Arkham Horror requires little adaptation from the core rules. The player simply takes as many or as few investigators as he wishes. The number of investigators will affect certain things in the game – the number of monsters allowed on the board, the speed at which the Terror Track advances and so on. This means in solo play you can control how difficult the game will be which is great for trying the game out, trying new strategies etc.

I love this game solo and it’s a great way to spend 3 hours rolling dice and fighting monsters.

 

Tomorrow sees the second annual International Tabletop Day. We will be at our local club, Dragonslayers at Queens University. Our plan is run some demo games of Guildball and Malifaux before getting into a meaty game of Arkham Horror.

Check back throughout tomorrow for updates.