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Can't play with Gate Bursts anymore


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#1 Wolfgar

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 06:31 PM

I'm coming down from a lose by forfeit for tonight, and I've decided for our game we just can't play with Gate Bursts. Tonight was just the base game, facing off against Azathoth.We had put some, but not all of the Lurker on the Threshhold expansion into play: the Relationship cards, the Mythos and Otherworld cards, and Herald so we could try the Pacts and such.

 

This should have been a pretty quick game, win or lose. The sucker dragged. We sealed several Gates, only to just have them come undone a turn or two later. Nothing stayed sealed. One particularly mean turn had me sit on a Gate from the Witchhouse for three turns waiting to gain the Clues from the resolution of a rumor to seal it, only to have the Gate Burst that very Mythos phase. It was especially frustrating since the struggle to get out had been one of those times where suddenly the Other World is full of bannana peels and every encounter is delayed, delayed, delayed.

 

Sadly nobody took any Pacts, and the Reckoning deck cried itself to sleep at night from loneliness. I don't know if people just forgot it wa sthere or were too chicken.  It was probably one of the aspects I was most loookign forward to as well.

 

The game took four and a half hours and never arrived at a satifying conclusion. Personally, I'd rather we could have just lost straight in the first three hours. It really kills me, because I like how Gate Bursts change the strategy of the game. Without them, it's just a matter of sealing the high frequency locations and then doing a victory lap. Bursts make it much more tactical what to seal and what to close; I also feel it makes simple closing more relevant. But in practice they seem to undo the progres of the investigators, and not really greatly advance the ancient one, so it doesn't feel like we are making progress in either direction so much as spinning our wheels.

 

Next game will be a while I'm afraid. Maybe next time we can break the losing streak. :(



#2 Julia

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 08:23 PM

Sorry to hear of the game having been so frustrating. Sometimes, it's really difficult to keep everything sealed, but this fortunately it's not everyday Arkham. There are a couple of things I could suggest you, if you don't mind:

a) playing with just the base board should allow you the following strategy: do not close / seal the high freq gates (Independence Square, Witch House, Unvisited Isle, Woods) in the first stages of the game, unless the gate limit approaches. There are no gate bursts on low freq locations (hence, the seals are safe) and only a few cards triggering bursts at medium freq location. So, you could risk some monster surges

b) additionally, with the Lurker you have countless clues: it's enough that, after taking a pact, you take some damage to gain Power in the Upkeep, and you spend the Power as clues immediately. So technically you can explore any OW even without clues, then, as soon as you return to Arkham, you use the pact and seal the gate (this is one of the major flaws of the Lurker Herald)

Finally, if none of these suits your need, you can use the following houserule: whenever a gate bursts on a sealed location, you flip the elder sign token on the "doom" side instead of removing the seal. In case a gate bursts on a sealed location with the "doom" side of the token face up, you remove the token. In this way, you need two bursts to remove one seal.

Nonetheless, before adding houserules, probably the best thing will be giving the game a couple of tries more. It happened to me as well, to have 4 gate bursts on 4 subsequent Mythos, but really, it's just an unlucky game :)


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#3 The Professor

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 11:27 PM

Wolfgar - I've been a victim of multiple Gate Bursts in the same game. But, I don't go into the game with a definite expectation of winning, but instead knowing that it will be one helluva story!

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#4 Manishtusu

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:22 AM

Bursts are nasty, but they make the victory all the more satisfying! (and if you're playing with Innsmouth, at least the DOR won't rise) The first Lurker game we played we had 3 broken seals, against Yog (a nightmare to close gates, especially the Lurker ones: -5[2] anyone?!). We abused the 'herald' though and managed to put the 9th seal down, briefly before the Great One appeared. Pacts are very powerful, you shouldn't find yourself lacking clues, like ever. Without MH added to the deck, reckonings are weak, even benefical in many cases (drawn through the gate in mythos phase - find gate in the next turn, no OW encounters; or here's a nice little spell and some extra powers). Just don't hoard power and you should be fine. And as Julia pointed out, you can go for the low frequency gates, the seals won't ever break there. High freqs are high risk & high reward! 



#5 Tibs

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 03:56 AM

Keep trying with the burst cards. Getting more than one in a game is pretty uncommon, in my experience. You just had strangely bad luck.

Even if you don't get any bursts in a game, the threat of them is enough to keep the tension high, which in Arkham Horror is a good thing.



#6 Wolfgar

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 05:04 PM

Bad luck or bad shuffle. We had a bad string of Dunwich Gates open the first time we played it, and that was due to improperly shuffling the Mythos Deck.


QUOTE:
Wolfgar - I've been a victim of multiple Gate Bursts in the same game. But, I don't go into the game with a definite expectation of winning, but instead knowing that it will be one helluva story!

I always try to enjoy the ride more than the destination personally, but the group I'm with tends to be a bit too win focused at times. Every game walks away with some story though. Entertainingly the go around, Sister Mary kept summoning monsters to her space to fight, leaving her continually low on Sanity and Stamina, and of course the good sister refused to give in to temptation of the Lurker, so by the end Mary had a Sprained Ankle, a Concussion, Consumption, Xenophonbia, and I believe Hysteria. I pointed out she could probably be retired at that point, but her player took it as a mater of pride to take Our Sister of Perpetual Boo-Boos to the end game.

QUOTE:

b) additionally, with the Lurker you have countless clues: it's enough that, after taking a pact, you take some damage to gain Power in the Upkeep, and you spend the Power as clues immediately. So technically you can explore any OW even without clues, then, as soon as you return to Arkham, you use the pact and seal the gate (this is one of the major flaws of the Lurker Herald)


*headdesk* Why didn't I think of that at the table? Deeerp.



#7 Julia

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Posted 24 May 2013 - 09:30 PM

Wolfgar said:

so by the end Mary had […] I believe Hysteria.

And if she hadn't, you most certainly would, after such a mess of a game! :laughter:


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#8 Dr.Faust

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:41 PM

Or you could just ignored Gate Bursts, like I do, in most instances. They are ugly and frustrating but if you want a simpler game, just ignore them when they come up--just don't but a marker there if you draw one and carry on. It's not a game if you're getting frustrated by it, as the point is to have fun, not get depressed (though this /is/ L:ovecraft so, grain of salt and all that).

 

Or, if you're the type like me that likes the challenge but wants to feel like you're not completely being a bit of a cheat, you could make it every other Burst works. That way you're effectively getting Gate Bursts but directly controlling the frequency. You just have to keep track of which one takes effect. I recommend giving them their own pile so it's easier to keep track of which is a 'Normal' Burst and which is one you ignore.

 

But effectively, yeah it comes down to what you want to do to have fun--this is a game, in the end.



#9 Dr.Faust

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 01:45 PM

...so by the end Mary had a Sprained Ankle, a Concussion, Consumption, Xenophonbia and Hysteria....

 

 

So, now I've got this image of Sister Mary, wheeling herself around in a wheel chair, coughing and hacking as she grumbles about 'those damned [insert racial slur here]' while crossing herself over and over again.






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