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What expansions should I get?


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#1 Ghaundan

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 04:47 PM

I know eldrich horror is coming out soon, but I'm considering buying an expansion to arkham horror. Any tips on which are worth it? Especially as a first expansion. Also, any good places to buy it (apart from ebay) in europe would be appreciated! :)



#2 Jake yet again

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:24 PM

Dunwich.


Lovecraft Country Horror - A completely FREE Big Box expansion for Arkham Horror, exploring the minor locations of the Cthulhu Mythos. Contains: Lovecraft Country Board, 16 Investigators, 4 Ancient Ones, 16 Skills, 32 Common Items, 24 Unique Items, 10 Spells, 16 Music of Erich Zann cards, 76 Leads, 4 Allies, 32 Monsters, 24 Injuries and Madnesses, 54 Mythos Cards, 41 Outer World Encounters, 52 Location Encounters for each Neighbourhood.


#3 Ghaundan

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:42 PM

Any reasons? What does it contain and how does it improve upon the game?



#4 BenEggler

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 05:55 PM

My favorite component, along with many others, is the addition of Injury and Madness cards. In the base Arkham Horror game, when you either go Insane or Unconscious, you are sent to the Asylum/Hospital and recoup one of your sanity/stamina. You also lose half of your items (I think this is the rule. I've always had Dunwich, so forgive me if I'm mistaken).

 

With the Injury and Madness cards, when you go insane/unconscious, you draw a card from the respective pile rather than losing half of your items. You also regain ALL of your sanity/stamina, rather than just one.

 

These cards will give you a penalty for the rest of the game. Such as a broken foot, making it so you must move one less space than normal from now on. Or perhaps you become claustrophobic, making it so if you end your move on a space with another player, you'll lose one sanity.

 

These cards are a fun way to add to the theme of the game. Instead of losing your items, your character obtains injuries and psychological ailments due to the physical and mental trials they've been experiencing throughout the game. This mechanic makes the game much more exciting and tense.



#5 Tibs

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Posted 23 November 2013 - 06:01 PM


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#6 Schwaig

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 05:12 AM

My favorite component, along with many others, is the addition of Injury and Madness cards. In the base Arkham Horror game, when you either go Insane or Unconscious, you are sent to the Asylum/Hospital and recoup one of your sanity/stamina. You also lose half of your items (I think this is the rule. I've always had Dunwich, so forgive me if I'm mistaken).

 

With the Injury and Madness cards, when you go insane/unconscious, you draw a card from the respective pile rather than losing half of your items. You also regain ALL of your sanity/stamina, rather than just one.

 

These cards will give you a penalty for the rest of the game. Such as a broken foot, making it so you must move one less space than normal from now on. Or perhaps you become claustrophobic, making it so if you end your move on a space with another player, you'll lose one sanity.

 

These cards are a fun way to add to the theme of the game. Instead of losing your items, your character obtains injuries and psychological ailments due to the physical and mental trials they've been experiencing throughout the game. This mechanic makes the game much more exciting and tense.

Normally you would also lose half your clues, with Injuries or Madnesses you may keep them, I think. Thats the main advantage.

 

For the expansion question: I would go for Innsmouth. Allthough it has no new items and other investigator cards, it has Personal Stories, which are little side quests for every investigator. Also it has a big deal of new investigators and ancient ones (16 Is and 8 AOs instead of 8 Is and 4 AOs) and the Deep Ones Rising - Mechanic makes every game, and by that I mean every game, much more difficult and exciting, because whatever you do to win the game, it never has only advantages for the Investigators (like placing elder signs). The investigators are mostly well designed and some of the AOs are damn hard. I like Innsmouth best, though it has to be said that they could have included at least a few new items or skills, which is a bit embarrassing… Still I would go for it.



#7 Jake yet again

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 06:15 AM

Any reasons? What does it contain and how does it improve upon the game?

 

A new board, monsters, AOs, Investigators, Mythos and small cards. The number of unstable spaces on the boards combine to keep your game fresh. Sealing the big 4 won't be enough to win the game now, but the game won't suffer such a sharp difficulty spike as if you went straight for Innsmouth.

 

The other benefit is that you receive Injury and Madness card, which, for the reasons outlined in one of the previous posts, are definitely worthwhile.

 

You also might want to check out some of the fan expansions - The Arkham Nightmare, Door To Saturn, Vermont Horror and Lovecraft Country Horror probably add the most to your game. (See http://boardgamegeek...created-content for a collection of links to some of the best material out there)


Lovecraft Country Horror - A completely FREE Big Box expansion for Arkham Horror, exploring the minor locations of the Cthulhu Mythos. Contains: Lovecraft Country Board, 16 Investigators, 4 Ancient Ones, 16 Skills, 32 Common Items, 24 Unique Items, 10 Spells, 16 Music of Erich Zann cards, 76 Leads, 4 Allies, 32 Monsters, 24 Injuries and Madnesses, 54 Mythos Cards, 41 Outer World Encounters, 52 Location Encounters for each Neighbourhood.


#8 Julia

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Posted 24 November 2013 - 07:00 AM

Copy-pasting from a thread I posted on the BGG. Hope this helps :)

 

__________________________

 

Big box expansions
After some plays with vanilla Arkham, it's clear the core game is too easy to beat. First of all because you have 11 unstable locations and all AOs but two have a longer Doom Track, so, if you seal every time you enter, you can't wake up the AO. Additionally, you have only 4 high freq locations, so sealing those allows you several turns of respite for Mythos bouncing on seals. So, you need more space, more unstable locations, more threat. Remember this in the following analysis.

- Dunwich Horror: this is the usual "must have expansion". First of all, it adds 5 new unstable locations (hence, you have enough unstable locations to wake up every AO in the game), and an extra board to control. It introduces also vortex dynamics, which are cool and important in Arkham. It has a marvellous Mythos deck, with gates opening both in Dunwich and in Arkham (and it's the only expansion board doing so! So, important!) and introduces gate bursts: Mythos card able to remove seals you already put on the board. The 4 new AOs rock: they are difficult and cleverly designed. The new investigators are good, but the thing that is fundamental coming with this expansion are the two Madnesses and Injuries decks. They should have really been part of the core set, and alone are a reason to get Dunwich. They to revise the complete Insane / Unconscious rules, allowing you to keep items and clues for a lingering effect that in someway penalizes you character (not too much, unless you have really bad luck).

- Kingsport Horror: it's a wonderful expansion, with the rift mechanics that never dilutes and it's always a constant threat. Many say it's a boring expansion because there are no unstable locations in Kingsport. BS. Eventhough you don't have gates opening there, you have encounters giving items, allies (and what allies!!), clues, and so on. A great theme. Item that rocks, wonderful characters and 4 new AOs that, even though they are not Dunwich level, are interesting and fun to play. And the Mythos deck... is nasty. The difficulty increses again with this one in play. Additionally, it comes with Epic Battle cards to make final battle more challenging (base game AOs needed a sort of revision, and here we go!). BUT. Since there are no unstable locations, Kingsport doesn't work very well as a stand alone expansion board. It's a magnificent second expansion board, that works briliiantly when paired up with Dunwich or Innsmouth. So, I'd not get this one as first expansion.

- Innsmouth Horror: this is the most difficult expansion board ever designed for Arkham. Especially because of some locations very difficult to reach and very dangerous (pouring monsters directly into vortices). It introduces a new way of waking up the AO (the Deep One Rising Track), and 8 new (IIRC) AOs. Some of these are superb (Bokrug above all), some others are simply nightmarish but not so fun (Rhan Tegoth). Still, again, it's not a good first big box expansion, for the following reasons: a) the difficulty rampages a lot, so you pass from an easy game to a game it's likely you'll lose 70% of the times you play (later on the win-loss ratio improves a lot, but you need practice in between. It's like you're moving from hiking on the hills surrounding your house to hike in Nepal. You need practice and training in between). Then, the Mythos deck is structured so that Innsmouth Mythos open gates only in Innsmouth. So, nothing changes on the core board, hence the game is biased: extremely difficult on the expansion board, easy peasy on the core board. Finally, there are no small cards coming with the expansion (apart from the personal Stories, which are awesome, but still), so that decks of Unique Items, Common Items and so on are really thin.

- Miskatonic Horror: this is an expansion-expansion, enhancing everything already published for Arkham, so, the more expansions you have, the more you could enjoy this one. Additionally, playing at Miskatonic Horror level is *really* difficult, because the Mythos deck is a nightmare. Period. Tons of cards producing the most nefarious effects ever seen, spawning tons of monsters, slowing down your movement, forcing players to instantly move to OW and lose other turns and so on. So, if you're arriving from the core game, you won't enjoy this one as first (or second) expansion.

So, for big boxes: following the realease order is the best way to go. First Dunwich, then Kingsport (so that you have the most cards and options and the difficulty raises quite consistently). The get Innsmouth. Finally get Misktonic.

Small box expansions:
I'll cover this quickly because they are easier: all small box expansions add some variety to the game, adding many cards and a Herald (a powerful creature trying to accelerate the plans to wake up the AO). Remember that they do not rampage the difficulty of the core game that much, though, so, in order to enjoy a better Arkham experience, you should start with a big box

- Curse of the Dark Pharaoh: a badly designed Herald, a great Egyptian theme, nasty Mythos, and Exhibit items, which are a cool addition to the game but for some reasons they rarely enter play (not only gaming related, but I'll cover this in detail only if interested)

- King in Yellow: the best small box ever released. The Herald is magnificent, the Blight cards are terrific yet terrible, and the theme... I stil have goose bumps when I draw cards like Mirages of Lakes. Wonderful theme. Wicked, evil, threatening. Arkham flavour at its best

- Black goat of the Woods: this expansion sucks. No other way to say this. Some nice additions, spells and stuff, but it's mainly focused on infiltrating the Cult of the Thousands (devoted to Shub, free goat cheese for everyone?) and there is no reason to actually do this. By infiltrating you have access to special encounters that has no positive effects on the game, they give you just penalties and problems, so that they are 100% useless. And the Herald - I like it, but I'm an Arkhamasochist and it's another story - is brutal, penalizing the game too much (every time you have a gate surge, add a doom token to the doom track). Additionally, the Corruption mechanics is cool, but it never enters play unless you play with the Herald (anyway, there are fixes for this, some of them designed by me, some others by Avi; if you go with this one, just ask and I'll post here the files)

- Lurker at the Threshold: that's another great small box expansion, adding new gate markers and cool items and Mythos. Problems: the Herald is more a Guardian (benefical entity) because it ws designed well, let's say "without really understanding how the game works"), and the theme is lacking. It's like they created some encounters just focusing on the dice to roll, but without adding flavor or consistency with the "Lurker at the Threshold" short story. Again, several fixes made by fan saved the expansion (again, me, Avi, Amikezor designed excellent stuff to have everything working again)


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#9 Ghaundan

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 05:22 PM

Well, after reading alot of the reviews and the small summaries here (thanks alot to everyone!) I managed to find someone on ebay selling a small collection.

 

Arkham Horror: Core Set
Arkham Horror: Black Goat of the Woods
Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh
Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion
Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion
Arkham Horror: The Dunwich Horror
Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion
Arkham Horror: the Lurker at the Threshold Expansion

Hopefully i'll get it soon and the extra core set might make a nice christmas present for someone :)

Thanks alot guys, I'll defineatly be trying Dunwich first.


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#10 Lee418

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 11:18 AM

Curse of the Dark Pharaoh: a badly designed Herald, a great Egyptian theme, nasty Mythos, and Exhibit items, which are a cool addition to the game but for some reasons they rarely enter play (not only gaming related, but I'll cover this in detail only if interested)

 

I've ordered this one today. By the end of the week the collection will finally be complete. :)

 

It's a shame it sounds like a bit of a flop though. It must have some redeeming qualities?

Would I be right in guessing that, like the other small expansions, CotDP really needs to played with the Herald to get anything from it? That's something I've noticed with all the small boxes so far.



#11 Julia

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Posted 26 November 2013 - 01:54 PM

Hi Lee,

nope, you don't need to play with the Herald to truly enjoy the theme. Actually, you mustn't play the Herald to enjoy the theme, since the Herald penalizes you a lot for getting Exhibit items which are an interesting addition to the game.

 

The Pharaoh ws the first expansion for Arkham to be released. It had some ideas, and some flaws, but I do think it was inevitable. The revised edition seems to improve some of the weak points (mostly badly worded cards), and it's definitely worth having in your collection. It's not the best small box, but still it's a good one :)

 

And congrats for completing the Madness


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#12 Ghaundan

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:01 AM

Sounds grand. I'll hopefully get a bunch of investigators together and try the various expansions. 

The base game does feel easy relatively soon, as closing gates without sealing them most often felt counterproductive to our cause and killing monsters really wasn't that difficult if we got the right weapons or spells. 

I do LOVE the theme and looking forward to trying the more theme centric ones if we end up loosing to some of the more difficult expansions and end up needing a confidence boost. Just having new investigators and items to go will be fun. Though I doubt nothing will beat the laughs we get when someone gets mugged by Sheldon and his gang.

Is it possible, even advisable to mix and match expansions? Also, tips on good storage items for all the small pieces are most welcome.



#13 Julia

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:28 AM

Yes, indeed, expansions can be blended all together, and there is always an expansion-expansion (Miskatonic Horror) designed to allow a better interaction among the components. Still, my suggestion is not to mix everything together at the moment: just go one by one to fully enjoy the theme and see what  each expansion has to offer. Maybe just 5-10 games, or so. In this way you should be able to prepare the Arkham cocktail of your dreams (for some people here is "everything in", for others "one big and one small expansion at a time", for others "two big and one small": it really depends on what you're searching for, and you'll discover it along the road). But you can certainly mix immediately all the small cards.

 

As for storage solutions: many were proposed during the years. I'm using some of the items designed by Joe (here). They are really cool, both for design and efficiency, and they are now a constant presence at my table :)


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#14 Ghaundan

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:20 AM

Wow, they do look lovely. Pricey but lovely. What are they made out of? Steel? Plastic? Might get some later on, don't have alot of money to spend after buying the expansions themselves :)



#15 Julia

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 06:23 AM

It's some sort of resin, so that they actually are also very light yet resistant :) And agreed, the price is quite steep, but there is a huge work behind it. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to back the KS project a long time ago so that I payed for them quite a lot less


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#16 Ghaundan

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 07:39 AM

I'm used to buying mini's, so pricey I'm used to. It's all about quality and I'd love painting those. 

That's nice :) Now that you mention it I do believe i saw it on kickstarter ways back but never considered it as I only had the basegame.

I presume extra investigators, AO and such can for the most part be bundled with the basegame without any problems? Or at least with minimal effort in simply removing cards that won't work.

Also, does it take alot more boardspace with expansions? Because AO is already pretty space hungry.



#17 Julia

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:44 AM

Ok then :) Consider you can paint Joe's products, but you have to ask the last "something" is not applied to the models otherwise they won't be suitable for painting (Joe will probably confirm this soonish)

 

Yes, you can mix investigators, AOs and stuff with the basegame. Also encounter cards from Arkham locations could be mixed in (but here you can suffer some theme dilution problems, so maybe you don't want to do so. Dunno). No tweaks are necessary; just remember some AOs could become really difficult or really easy according to the number of exp boards in play (a vanilla game against Atlach could last ages; a vanilla game against Shudde can last only very few turns)

 

The three expansion boards require the same space required by the core game board (indeed, the game is *big*)


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#18 The Professor

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 04:34 PM

Ghaundan,

 

     Greetings!  I'm glad you're enjoying the game...it is my "go-to" board game.  I play and play-test several wargames, but I have one, entiled The War which I play far more than any others.  Back to AH ~ thanks for checking-out the pieces.  They are made from a high-quality resin and all of the pieces are crafted by U.S. artisans at their own foundries.  For that, I'm especially grateful...no shipments from China!  They are a boutique item, so they're not for everybody, but if you're like me, you run out of things you really want before you run out of people asking what you want for [fill in your holiday here].  Anyway, please don't hesitate to reach out to me at anytime to chat or inquire about AH, our pieces, or almost anything else. 

 

Julia,

 

     As always, I greatly appreciate your kind comments about the pieces and can't wait to see some 'action' shots from the gaming table.

 

Cheers,

Joe


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#19 Julia

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 05:43 PM

Julia,

 

     As always, I greatly appreciate your kind comments about the pieces and can't wait to see some 'action' shots from the gaming table.

 

Cheers,

Joe

 

I'm sending you some via wetransfer in a few minutes :)


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#20 The Professor

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 11:17 PM

Julia,

 

     I look forward to seeing them!

 

Ciao,

Joe


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