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#1 CaelanCross

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:59 PM

What exactly are the Arkham Leagues?

 

I've seen them mentioned a few times on this forum, and I've noticed an entire sub-forum devoted to it, but what I can't seem to find is a thread that actually explains what they are and how they work.

 

Can anyone fill me in?



#2 Julia

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:12 PM

Sure. Two official Leagues were run by FFG through the years (IIRC, the first one in 2008, the second one in 2009). You can find rules and scenarios here

 

Additionally, Avi_dreader designed a special League intended to challenge advanced players, and implementing all expansions upt to (and including) Innsmouth Horror and some custom material designed by fans during the years. You can read about this league in Avi's blog and download all the scenarios and heralds and ancient ones to be used during the link from here.

 

Hope this helps! In case, feel free to ask :)


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#3 CaelanCross

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

Thx I'll be sure to check those links



#4 CaelanCross

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:49 PM

hmmm...  Do surviving Investigators carry over to the next scenario? and if so, do they keep their items, money, skills, etc.?  



#5 Avi_dreader

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:23 PM

hmmm...  Do surviving Investigators carry over to the next scenario? and if so, do they keep their items, money, skills, etc.?  

It's optional, and all in the instructions.  I'd just like to warn you, this was designed for very advanced players (the hardcore Arkham players who'd been playing it a *lot* for years).  If you're a relatively new player (by which I mean you've been playing the game for less than two years), or if you often find your Arkham Horror games very challenging, this thing will be above your skill level, I'd imagine.  Although it's possible to rise to the challenge (partially by asking other players how they did it).

Still, even if you're not ready for it now, it's a good thing to know about because someday you may be looking for a greater challenge, and that's the place to go.


Edited by Avi_dreader, 28 September 2013 - 11:24 PM.


#6 jackman51

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:53 PM

By advanced players is it somewhat safe to assume that this in part means you have, if not an idactic memory , then a very good idea of what to expect in each OW and Arkham Location? And are most people going in with hand picked investigators and possibly even handpicked items and skills?



#7 Julia

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 01:54 AM

It's not necessar that you have a geeky knowledge of encounters, items and stuff, because actually you don't have many ways to control these things (even if I'd say that could help, before entereing certain locations, knowing whether you'll need higher Lore or higher Luck). Point is that you need know when to fight monsters and when to evade them, how to control the doom track, how to control the terror track, what places on the board require your attention now and what can be left for later. To sum it up, you had to know how to manage the risks, when to push the board for winning the game and how to administrate your resources. And you need to be quick. The longer the game, the more difficult it is (and this is always true in Arkham), so, you'll be ready for this when you start winning consistently in a short time (12 turns on average, I'd say).

 

Nonetheless, the League *is* fun, and everybody should try Scenario 1 and see if they're ready or not :) I was quite a noob when I started the League, and I learned how to play at a higher level simply by dealing with Avi's apocalypse :)


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#8 dj2.0

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 02:10 AM

No to all of that jackman51. Well, most of it. I do carefully hand pick my teams, but that's all. Items are randomly drawn as usual, except in the first segment which permits limited carry through. As for what makes an advanced player it has very little to do with being in a position to predict encounters. That is really part of the luck aspect that makes playing as an elder still challenging. You can get a rough idea of how dangerous places are and what might happen, but its a crap shoot. I have no idea what will happen there. Where the skill and experience really makes a difference is in understanding the basic priorities and which threats are usually safe to ignore and why, knowing your way around the various assets the investigators offer so that you use them to full advantage, understanding the typical life cycle of the Doom track and -critically if you play with others - knowing the habits of your fellow players. When I play alone, I generally win. When I play with my friends, we often lose because we cannot agree on the best line of attack or defence or because our strategy is haphazard and ad hock. Playing alone, I scheme deviously and nobody disagrees with my conclusions just because it drops *their* investigator in a cauldron of bubbling spit.

Edited by dj2.0, 29 September 2013 - 02:12 AM.

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#9 Julia

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 03:35 AM

When I play alone, I generally win. When I play with my friends, we often lose because we cannot agree on the best line of attack or defence or because our strategy is haphazard and ad hock. Playing alone, I scheme deviously and nobody disagrees with my conclusions just because it drops *their* investigator in a cauldron of bubbling spit.

 

Agreed. That's why with the passing of time I tend to play alone / with my husband instead of playing with friends. The last time we got friends playing, it was a Yig game, core set only, and we lost because with doom track 9 and No one can help you now in play, they refused to get blessings because "why wasting points spending trophy? the old snake is easy to stomp on in final battle". Jerks (said with all the affection possible, but still)


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#10 CaelanCross

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:47 AM

 

hmmm...  Do surviving Investigators carry over to the next scenario? and if so, do they keep their items, money, skills, etc.?  

It's optional, and all in the instructions.  I'd just like to warn you, this was designed for very advanced players (the hardcore Arkham players who'd been playing it a *lot* for years).  If you're a relatively new player (by which I mean you've been playing the game for less than two years), or if you often find your Arkham Horror games very challenging, this thing will be above your skill level, I'd imagine.  Although it's possible to rise to the challenge (partially by asking other players how they did it).

Still, even if you're not ready for it now, it's a good thing to know about because someday you may be looking for a greater challenge, and that's the place to go.

 

 

Well my group wouldn't be "advanced" by your standards: we have been playing about twice a week for a little over a month so we have about 20 games under our belts now.  There are 3 of us, we play with 4 investigators and our skill levels varies ;)

we mostly use the Dunwich and/or Innsmouth expansions (we don't own Black Goat and I don't think we have the Dark Pharoah yet) 

 

I though we might look at the League to spice things up bc we have won more than half our games far, but only once or twice by sealing; we aren't very good at controlling the board yet, and  we always seem to end up fighting the Old One and kicking his butt even though that is supposed to be the "last resort" strategy. 

 

Got any tips for a newb?



#11 jackman51

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:19 AM

 

No one can help you now in play, they refused to get blessings because "why wasting points spending trophy?

 

 

Yep that is one reason I also have qualms about playing with others. I pay absolutely no attention to the points system having considered the game won after winning the conventional way (and only a draw for AO Final battle). I also sometimes run into people who get too attached to their character and even items and won't even trade them or give them up for free to someone who should be gate diving or monster slaying for example. I have no patience for a lack of altruism.

 

Which reminds me that I'm in the qeue for a PBF game on the BGG forums--maybe I'll reconsider that.



#12 dj2.0

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:31 AM

One tip i like is the patrol wagon, but to use it you have to be stocked with enough clues (because otherwise you should be spending most of your trophies at the Science Building) and enough time to exploit the teleportation it allows. Also, focus tightly on speedily sealing the first 3 or 4 gates, sucking up clues so they spread around nicely in the first turns, maybe starting with heavily clued in investigators. Ignore everything else unless it threatens this goal directly.

#13 Julia

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:02 PM

Yep that is one reason I also have qualms about playing with others. I pay absolutely no attention to the points system having considered the game won after winning the conventional way (and only a draw for AO Final battle). I also sometimes run into people who get too attached to their character and even items

 

Aye, very true. They don't really understand the word "cooperative". If you need to give away your sword, or your money, just do it, and stay shut, I'll do the same, no probs, if it's more convenient.

 

You reminded me of an old story Avi told me, about a game with friend where the top character, with Sword of Glory and an abundance of clues and everything else had the chance to try her Luck and draw one Innsmouth Look Card to get devoured. It was totally useless, and there was a gate at Devil Reef, and she drew the card, got devoured and they lost the game because of that gate.

 

No probs with losing, it could happen, but please, at least try to play the game for what it is.


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#14 Julia

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

Aye, Dj hit the right spot, be quick. Try to have at least one investigator in an OW by the end of turn two, stockpile clues and hunt down the gates. You don't win the game by killing monsters, you don't win the game by getting cozy items for you collection, just focus on gates.


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#15 Schwaig

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 12:33 PM

 

Yep that is one reason I also have qualms about playing with others. I pay absolutely no attention to the points system having considered the game won after winning the conventional way (and only a draw for AO Final battle). I also sometimes run into people who get too attached to their character and even items and won't even trade them or give them up for free to someone who should be gate diving or monster slaying for example. I have no patience for a lack of altruism.

Never had this problem. The people I play with always go with something like "Oh, they know the game better than me, I'll trust them and do what I am told to." while they are new to Arkham. As they get to know the game better they usually understand the term 'cooperative play', so it's not a problem to suggest trades or sacrifices.



#16 Kuk

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 11:20 PM

Just played our first game tonight! The four of us won against Hastur. The difficult part was closing/sealing gates--we won 2 1/2 hours later! My sons loved it, but perhaps the hardest part of all is convincing my wife to play!

Edited by Kuk, 29 September 2013 - 11:20 PM.

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#17 Julia

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:15 AM

Well done! Hastur is really annoying because of the 8 clues required for the seals, so Hastur games tend to be longish :) Glad all of you had a good time :) As for your wife... dunno.. maybe starting from Lovecraft's tales to sparkle her curiosity?


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#18 Avi_dreader

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Posted 01 October 2013 - 05:20 PM

 

 

hmmm...  Do surviving Investigators carry over to the next scenario? and if so, do they keep their items, money, skills, etc.?  

It's optional, and all in the instructions.  I'd just like to warn you, this was designed for very advanced players (the hardcore Arkham players who'd been playing it a *lot* for years).  If you're a relatively new player (by which I mean you've been playing the game for less than two years), or if you often find your Arkham Horror games very challenging, this thing will be above your skill level, I'd imagine.  Although it's possible to rise to the challenge (partially by asking other players how they did it).

Still, even if you're not ready for it now, it's a good thing to know about because someday you may be looking for a greater challenge, and that's the place to go.

 

 

Well my group wouldn't be "advanced" by your standards: we have been playing about twice a week for a little over a month so we have about 20 games under our belts now.  There are 3 of us, we play with 4 investigators and our skill levels varies ;)

we mostly use the Dunwich and/or Innsmouth expansions (we don't own Black Goat and I don't think we have the Dark Pharoah yet) 

 

I though we might look at the League to spice things up bc we have won more than half our games far, but only once or twice by sealing; we aren't very good at controlling the board yet, and  we always seem to end up fighting the Old One and kicking his butt even though that is supposed to be the "last resort" strategy. 

 

Got any tips for a newb?

 

http://www.arkhamhor.../Basic_Strategy



#19 Avi_dreader

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 09:50 AM

 

 

Got any tips for a newb?

 

I wrote this cheat sheet some time ago to get new players up to speed.  This is the sort of thing a carefully observant player might pick up after a year or two of very heavy gaming.
 

Time: The more time that passes, the worse things will get, and horrible events will occur.  The faster you play, the more likely you are to win.  Arkham punishes exploration and other digressions from the primary objective with exponentially increasing pain and ultimately death.

 

The primary objective, winning: The main way to win the game is collecting thirty clues or clue equivalents and spending them to close and seal gates.

 

Clues: sets of five clues can be used to close and seal gates.  Once six gates are sealed, the game is won.  Clues can not be traded so don’t take more than you can need for sealing (5 per gate) or other players won’t be able to get enough.

 

Gates: Most turns of the game, a gate appears on a location and monsters emerge from it.  Players can enter gates, spend two turns inside them, then return from them and close them by rolling a successful skill check against them.  Inside gates, you can’t read tomes.

 

Success: a die roll of 5 or 6.

 

Skill check: players have 6 basic types of skill checks.  Speed, sneak, fight, will, lore, and luck checks.  Cards will tell them to make a speed, sneak, fight, etc. check of +1, +0, -1, -2, etc.  This means look at their skill number and add or subtract the number mentioned on the card from it and roll that many dice.  If one of those dice is a success, the skill check is passed.  I.e. if a card says make a +3 speed check and you have 4 speed, roll 7 dice.

 

Special skill checks:  Spell checks are a type of lore check that determines whether or not a spell you cast has any effect. Evade checks are a type of sneak check made with the number on the front of monster card (if passed, you run away from the monster, if failed, the monster attacks you).  Horror checks are a type of will check made against the blue number on the back of the card at the beginning of combat.  If it is passed or failed, it is not repeated.  Failure results in sanity loss equal to the number of blue dots under it.  Combat checks are a type of fight check made against the red number on the back of the monster card.  Failure results in stamina loss equal to the number of red hearts under it.  To defeat the monster and take it as a trophy (a token that can be traded a certain locations) you must roll successes equal to the number of blood drops on its bottom middle.  Up to two hands of weapons or spells can add bonuses to the number of dice rolled for your combat checks.  Each time you fail to defeat the monster, if you still have stamina, you must try again, or try to run from it. Generally speaking, sanity is easier to lose than stamina— you need to protect it more.

 

Special Monster abilities:

Endless-this monster can not be taken as a trophy.

Resistance-this will reduce your weapons’ dice bonus in half, rounded up.

Immunity-this will eliminate your weapons’ bonus entirely.

Nightmarish X-this monster will cause X sanity damage if you pass its horror check.

Overwhelming X- this monster will cause X stamina damage if you defeat it.

 

Primary Locations for trading trophies in order of usefulness: Science Building (clues), Ma’s Boarding House (Allies), South Church (Blessing— this temporary effect makes dice a success on rolls of 4 also),  The Police Station (an item that allows teleportation across the board).

 

Crucial locations: The Newspaper (where you are most likely to get money in the form of retainers which give $2 a turn).  The Curiosity Shop (where money is most effectively spent), and The Bank (where money is most easily made, if you’re desperate).

 

What happens if you lose all your sanity or stamina: for stamina, draw an injury, get all your stamina back, move to the hospital and lose a turn, for sanity, draw a madness, get all your sanity back, move to the asylum and lose a turn.  Lose your retainer too.

 

Crucial Items: Elder Signs (equivalent to 5 clue tokens), and King in Yellow (equivalent to 4 clue tokens), both are found in the unique item deck (at the Curiosity Shop).

 

Crucial Strategy: clues can not be traded, so players should generally not collect more than five (since that is all that is needed for closing and sealing a gate).  Risk management strategies are successful in the game.  It is important that characters holding multiple clues play as safely as possible so they do not waste this vital resource by dying, having their time stolen, or becoming crippled.

 

This is a team game: The game is a team effort, it is important that everyone become a Socialist for the duration of the game.  Self-aggrandizement will lead to collective defeat.  Players with clues are the most important to protect by sharing resources so monsters can not defeat them.  Weaker characters should support stronger characters.  Characters that need to perform a task should be supported by other characters.  Normally, at most, two players should be concentrating on gathering clues while other players are performing other tasks (going to close and seal gates, shopping, trading for resources, and last and least important, though most fun, hunting monsters).

 

Closing and Sealing Gates: this requires a successful fight or lore check made using the number on the gate after they have been exited.  Again, seal 6, and you win.

 

Gate Frequency: not all locations open gates at the same frequency, the higher frequency they are, the more monsters they tend to produce (consequently it is a higher priority to close and seal them).  If too many gates are open, the game is usually lost.

 

High Frequency Gates Locations: The Woods, Unvisited Isle, Independence Square, The Witch House

 

Medium Frequency Gate Locations: Black Cave, Graveyard, The Unnameable

 

Low Frequency Gate Locations:  Once or twice per game if there are too many gates on the board, you can close these without sealing them (i.e. without spending 5 clue tokens).  This will prevent you from losing from too many gates being open, but it will not get you closer to winning by sealing 6 gates.  The locations are Hibbs Roadhouse,  The Historical Society, The Silver Twilight Lodge, The Science Building, Y’ha-nthlei (ultra-rare), and Devil’s Hopyard.  It is safe to let 3 or sometimes even 4 clues accumulate there since gates rarely appear in these places.  When a gate appears on a location, it destroys all clues there.  On average, less than one clue is generated per turn and games last ten to twenty turns, so it is important to not waste clues (since thirty are needed) and to find other means of gaining clues and clue equivalent items.  Act as if gates not specified here are high frequency gates.

 

Good luck: No, really, have your luck skill at its maximum unless you need lore for spells.  You tend to have about 3 luck checks for every 2 lore checks.  Although there are a few locations that violate this rule (e.g. The Witch House, The Library, and The Administration Building).

 

Turn order: In the first part of your turn you can adjust your skills by changing them by a number equal to your focus (if you have focus 1, you can change your skills by 1, 2 by 2, or 3 by 3). This part of your turn is called upkeep.  Adjust your skills so they fit what you think you will need to do that turn and the turn after.  If you have very low focus, you need to plan for three turns ahead.  Then comes movement (you can move a number of spaces equal to your speed if you are on the same space as someone else during this part of the turn you can trade almost anything with them except allies, skills, injuries, madnesses, clues, blessings, and retainers.  If you move onto a space with a monster, or start movement with a monster on your space, you must run away from it (pass an evade check) or end your movement phase and fight/evade it and all other monsters on the space.


Edited by Avi_dreader, 04 October 2013 - 09:15 PM.

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#20 Julia

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Posted 02 October 2013 - 12:23 PM

Evade checks are a type of sneak check made with the number on the front of monster card (if passed, you run away from the monster, if failed, the monster attacks you). 
 

 

I'd say the monster damages you..

 

Anyway, great list Avi!


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