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The Ally Deck


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#1 mageith

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:06 AM

I'd be interested to hear your interpretations on how the Ally deck works and how it interacts with Allies met in the encounters.

I'd be more interested to hear your house rules when it comes to the Ally Deck. I'd even be interested in comments like "That's how I do it too!" to get a feeling for how rampant house rules are for Ally Decks.

Thanks



#2 ColtsFan76

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 10:30 AM

Not sure if you want an interpreation on the actual rules or just houserules.

I don't play any houserules but as convuluted as the Allies deck is getting, I am not sure any interpretation is 100% correct.

To build it: If you combine multiple expansions, shuffle all the Allies together.  Randomly keep 11.  You are allowed to look at who is kept.  Reshuffle and form the deck.  These are the only 11 playable this game.

If you have an Investigator that calls for a specific Ally, such as Ashcan and Duke, then Duke is part of this 11 card deck.  Or to put it more clearly, take Duke, and randomly select 10 other Allies to form the starting deck.  There will never be more than 11 Allies in the game.  If someone draws a random Ally, like Leo Anderson, they randomly draw from this deck of 11.

Encounters: Since you are allowed to see who is in the game at the beginning of the game, we allow you to look through the Ally deck when you run across one in an encounter.  (This may be the first instance of us starting to houserule - but we just don't think we should be that restrictive when we can just as easily write down the contents of the Ally deck).  If we don't have access to the Ally, then we decide at the moment if we want to take the "Plan B" reward from the encounter.

Charlie Kane disrupts everything.  We have never gotten an official answer on this one.  My opinion is that he starts the game with a random ally from the deck of 11 available just like Leo.  Second interpretation is he can randomly take from all 34 Allies.  I do not believe the interpretation he can take whoever he wants is correct.  It is, afterall, a random Ally and if he could select one, he would probably always select the same one (Professor Rice).

As far as him gaining Allies, I think he can grab anyone that comes up in an encounter.  That seems to be the rule he is breaking with his ability.  Second interpretation is that he can only grab one of the 11 from that game that has gone back to the box.  That seems viable and is inline with my setup interpretation.  But it makes him considerably weaker.  With the way we keep the Terror Track from moving, we rarely have any Allies get returned to the box.  So we would never use his special ability.  I do not think the interpretation that he "intercepts" any and all discarded Allies is correct..  His ability isn't worded in that way at all and would make him too powerful.

The only thing that is a question mark to me is Charlie and Ma's Boarding House.  Since he gets to select his Ally, I would limit him to the 11 that are in the game.  It doesn't sit well with me that he can choose anyone, even if they weren't boarding.  I guess this remains in line with my setup interpretation.



#3 MrsGamura

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 12:25 PM

It depends on what expansions where playing. For example if where playing AH and KH thats a total of 22 allies. We will deal out 11 at random and return the rest to the box.

The way we play Kane is that when he gains an ally he may gain one that was returned to the box. So in my example he could get one of the 11 returned to the box or one of the 11 at Ma's (note: this works for his random staring ally too) but he could not gain allies from CotDP or DW because we are not using those expansions.



#4 Dam

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 08:25 PM

With AH + DH + DP, I have a max ally deck of 23. I split that into two 11 card decks, with one ally getting bumped out of the game during set-up. First 11 is the regular Ma's deck, that you can shop for (which we very rarely do), draw your starting and random allies not named, etc. from. Second 11 is available for allies encounters specifically name. When an ally is returned to the box, move one from each deck, counting it as one for purposes of Glaaki etc. While it sounds like you'll get a lot more allies than normal, having a 27 card Arkham location deck for each neighborhood cuts down the chances of harvesting for allies (we shuffle the deck each time before draw of course). And also, even if you draw an ally encounter, you still need to pass the test somehow.

When playing Tsathoggua (who shuts Ma's down), I just make a 22 ally deck for all the needs, dropping 2 back to box for each terror level etc.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 archbishopdan

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 06:28 AM

I have all the expansions (read large ally deck), and I go through the normal setup to get 11 allies.  The only problem that we were running into was, because of the variety of allies, any time we had an encounter that gave a specific ally, they weren't in the available allies.  We decided that this was both dissapointing and unthematic.  To deal with this we've been playing that anytime a player finds an ally in a random location encounter, he takes that ally (whether or not they were part of the 11), and discards one of the random 11 that haven't been picked yet to keep the mathematical balance.  This way, the only time that an ally wouldn't be available is if someone else had that ally, or some game effect had removed the allies.  This worked very well until the last time we played and one of the players ended up with 4 allies gained from location encounters that, according to the rules, shouldn't have been available.  It was awesome but definitely ridiculous.  Guess I need to revise it somehow to prevent that in the future.  I still like what the house rule tries to accomplish though.



#6 Foxburr

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 08:38 AM

I play the ally deck exactly as ColtFan's description of "To Build It" and "Encounters." We play Charlie Kane pretty closely, too, having him randomly draw his starting ally from the deck of 11.  However, for Ma's Boarding House, he can pick any ally from the "active/available" ally deck or the boxed/discarded ally deck.  This hasn't been a big game-buster, either. 

I agree with what Archbishopdan said, though. It is disappointing to have encounters in which you may gain an ally, but the ally's not in the active/available deck.  It's going to be more of a problem, too, as more and more expansions are added.  Possible solution: if the ally is not available because it wasn't in the starting deck, the investigator should roll a die. On a success, the ally is available for the purposes of that encounter. 



#7 MrsGamura

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 09:33 AM

Sometimes its good to not have an ally available when you run into him in an encounter. For example that one ally from CotDP that gives you a tome when he joins you. This is bad ju-ju when Y'Golnac is the AO and infact made me loss because of it.

I use to play where you could get any ally but quite that soon after my investigator had to get a buss just to move around Arkham. You guys ever seen that Sprint commercial where all those people are following that guy around? Well that's how my investigator felt with all his allies.



#8 jhaelen

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 12:01 AM

To be honest I liked the rule introduced in CotDP better than the one from Dunwich, i.e. keep all allies in the game but discard multiple allies when the terror track increases.

I think I understand why they decided to keep the Dunwich rule the official one but as long as the total number of allies is close to a multiple of 11, the CotDP rule works great.

We've never had a game where someone went to Ma's to pick an ally, btw. we just like to do it that way to increase the chances of a particular ally being available when a location encounter calls for one.



#9 Glasgow Scotland

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 04:47 AM

The only house rule we play, that I can recall, is to NOT put allies back in the box during the course of the game.

As we keep adding expansions, the "bookkeeping" and administrative time have mounted up, and have become almost too demanding for anything they might add to the enjoyment of the game.  

We decided a long while back that the periodic trimming of the ally deck during play is just a game rule that adds little.   We have also intentionally "forgotten about" a few other rules. 

 



#10 Quizoid

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 05:36 AM

Glasgow Scotland said:

The only house rule we play, that I can recall, is to NOT put allies back in the box during the course of the game.

As we keep adding expansions, the "bookkeeping" and administrative time have mounted up, and have become almost too demanding for anything they might add to the enjoyment of the game.  

We decided a long while back that the periodic trimming of the ally deck during play is just a game rule that adds little.   We have also intentionally "forgotten about" a few other rules. 

 

 

Out of curiosity, which other rules have you forgotten?



#11 Kobu

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 02:02 PM

I also use the CotDP rule. Not even having the possibility of ally being there makes a lot of encounters disappointing.



#12 Cariosus

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 12:20 AM

Same here, CotDP rules, so we have 23 allies atm, No KH here.

So we discard 3 allies at first terror track elevation and 2 after that.



#13 Kobu

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 01:23 AM

And if you do have KH, do 4 allies the first time, 3 after that. Piece of cake.

Hopefully, IH will include 10 allies and make the CotDP rule official again. With the way it is, you could go many, many games with all the sets and never see a single ally show up from an encounter.



#14 spirit

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 07:58 AM

We go with 11 selected and then those are the only ones available throughout the game but I have to say they don't come up that often. We don't go chasing allies unless a certain rumour comes up and if an ally comes up in an encounter but isn't available... well the stuff you get is often pretty decent.



#15 ColtsFan76

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 12:58 AM

Kobu said:

And if you do have KH, do 4 allies the first time, 3 after that. Piece of cake.

Hopefully, IH will include 10 allies and make the CotDP rule official again. With the way it is, you could go many, many games with all the sets and never see a single ally show up from an encounter.

Yes, Innsmouth with 10 would be perfect.  Having 34 Allies really creeps out my OCD.



#16 Conejo

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:03 AM

we say "screw it" and just throw the whole of the ally deck down.






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