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#1 sepayne7l

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 06:18 PM

Hoping that a good time was had by all that could make it.

 

Please share what it was like.



#2 Smoo

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 11:22 AM

It was a blast.

I was a little confused at first about what was going on and how to navigate the event. I'm not sure if that's because I've never been to one of these before, or because it was a little under-organized. Probably more the former. Although at first the sign-up sheets for the various events seemed to be more guidelines than actual reservations. Many of the games seemed to be just pick-up games at open tables, and at least once a group seemed confused when we told them we had signed up to play one of the scheduled event games at this time slot, as they were setting up the table for their own game.

Of course, one of the things that threw off the sign-ups was the draws. I know I skipped out on something I'd signed up for when I was drawn for a Mansions of Madness game. And I'm sure that happened quite a bit. So that may have explained some of the chaos.

But overall it was a great experience, and never really a problem finding something to play. Gained a greater appreciation for the LCG after 2 or 3 plays, and got to see the fine points of several of the expansions in some of the themed setups. I usually mix a bunch of expansions together, so it was neat to play, say, with *just* Black Goat, or *just* Lurker, or whatever.

The staff were very friendly and accessible. Corey was pretty busy with Mansions, but Kevin was everywhere, either playing a game or watching one, and always seemed happy to answer questions. And the rest of the demo team folks were a great help. Thaadd was keeping Streets of Insanity running like a well-oiled machine.

And Mansions. Well. All I have to say about Manions is: start saving up. (Actually, that's not nearly all I have to say on it. Check out BGG for my session report.)

Thanks to FFG for a great weekend!



#3 Julia

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 01:26 PM

Smoo said:

And Mansions. Well. All I have to say about Manions is: start saving up. (Actually, that's not nearly all I have to say on it. Check out BGG for my session report.)

Could you kindly link your report here? It'd be easier to find :.smiling::

Anyway, thank you for the feedback on the event!


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
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#4 Smoo

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 02:08 PM

Julia said:

 

Could you kindly link your report here? It'd be easier to find :.smiling::

Oops, sorry about that.

www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/576944/arkham-nights-session-play-with-the-designer



#5 Julia

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:01 PM

Thank you, both for the link and the report!


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
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#6 Sluggonics

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:34 AM

I'll second the organization comment the sign-up sheets were really only relevant for the "play X with the designer" or "learn to play X".  The actual tables they had set up (there were, I think, 12-15 tables with the game set up, ranging from vanilla AH to single expansions per table.  That's not including the two "Streets of Insanity" tables) ended up being more for pick-up games than actual slotted groups.  It wasn't really a problem, though, as you could generally always find people willing to throw together a group to play at any time.  I enjoyed being able to play Dunwich Horror and Black Goat of the Woods two expansions I had not yet experienced.  I also got to play Streets of Insanity, which was indeed INSANE.  We only scored 8 points, but had a great time running it.

I enjoyed the seminars with the designers those guys were all willing to talk about any aspect of the process, and did a great job giving us all a good idea of just what goes into putting games like these together.

The Mansions of Madness draws were a big hit my wife was lucky enough to get drawn, and had nothing but positive things to say about the experience.  Definitely a more intimate story, with more of an ominous feel than Arkham Horror.  Corey Konieczka, the designer, said that even if your investigators "win", they should be beat to hell in the process.

My only regret was that I missed the "Tour of Lovecraft's New England" presentation on Saturday night, as I was playing Streets of Insanity at the time.

Overall, a great weekend.  We'll definitely make the trip back up to Roseville if FF hosts another event like this in the future.



#7 Gillian

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:51 AM

I also agree that the organization could have been better.   I think it would have been easier to navigate if the sign-up sheets were organized according to time instead of (or perhaps as well as ) event.  Even better for those of us traveling long distances (and thus unable to get there early) would be to allow advance sign-ups on line, perhaps a week out and up to 24 hours in advance.  That way, too, the staff can get an advance feel for how popular certain events are going to be. 

Glad my husband and I were both able to try out Mansions of Madness.  Yes...we're saving up!

The staff were very helpful and open.  It was always easy to find someone in a blue shirt ready to answer questions.  Let me also say I was impressed with most of my fellow attendees!  Most everyone was friendly, mature, and eager to play!

Overall, we had a great time and hope Arkham Nights happens again in the future.

 



#8 ieppenbaugh

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 04:15 AM

It was a very fun time.

I've been thinking about the sign-up issue, and am of several different opinions on it. I mean, it's good to have a solid initial "Game X begins at Time Y" type of thing, but unless you put a hard time limit on every game (ala 2 hours to save the world), scheduling later events becomes problematic. Some AH games can last as little as 2 hours, some as long as 5+. And then when people get drawn to play in Mansions or play AH with one of the devs, they just jump out of whatever game they're currently playing, possibly screwing over the group.

An interesting puzzle. Hmmm.



#9 AUCodeMonkey

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 01:18 AM

My fiancée and I flew up from Alabama for the event, and we really enjoyed it! She got drawn to play Mansions on the first night, and Corey let me watch the game and Smoo's writeup of the game on BGG is spot from what I saw. I was amazed at the number of designers we were actually able to meet at the event! After I won the CoC tournament, I got to sit down with James Hata and play against him. My one disappointment was that there weren't more people in the CoC tournament, but that was such a minor let down compared to everything else awesome. A+++, would come back!



#10 Hellfury

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 06:41 AM

The scheduling was a bit...hectic. Exacerbated by the Mansions of Madness drawing. As noted above, games were just abandoned in order to play. My name was called while participating in the LCG tourney but kept my place out of respect to everyone else who was playing in the tourney (though with the deck i brought I think everyone would have rather seen me leave...  ). I got to play Mansions on sunday, so I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

The only way I can think of preventing such a thing from creating havoc in the future is to draw everybody's names for each for such lotterys at the very beginning of the event itself so that everyone can make plans accordingly from that point on. This does however have a drawback that some people may leave if they already know they wont have a chance to play in such a hotly publicized game during the course of the event, but there is always backup draws later on for substitutions when a player might not be able to make it for whatever reason.

I think it was well run otherwise with the relatively minor snafu that the Mansions of Madness drawing created. FFG are already well aware of this though so I am sure its just a lesson learned from unforseen circumstances. They make great games and throw great parties. Thats their forte.


The event itself could be best described as a Lovecraftian Woodstock. (Without all the garbage and the 'bad acid' hysteria... it could have used some Jimmy Hendrix though)


Richard Launius was a blast to play Arkham Horror with. A true gentleman with a great sense of humor. He has some great house rules that made the game run so much more smoothly and logically than as detailed in the rule book. It was like the sun finally rising in the east when he explained how he liked to play it. I suppose that should hardly be surprising since it is his game in essence. Katie is more excited to play Arkham Horror now more than ever because of his houserules.

He invited us up to play around 10PM (no lottery needed) and we shut the place down at quarter after 1AM. Dave called 'last call' at midnight so that he could close. When I went down to ask him if we should wrap the game up, he only smiled and said "I am not going to be the guy to tell Richard Launius to leave". Dave is awesome. :) FFG made a wise move hiring that man for the event center.

The Call of Cthulhu LCG tourney had a fairly small turnout, made even smaller by two other people leaving to play Mansions of Madness when their names were drawn in the middle of the tourney. Jason got first place and won the glassy goodness of the Arkham Nights LCG trophy. I think the top 4 each got one of the new resin Cthulhu domain statues. It was a great tournament and everyone was very casual about playing, with no attempt at being cut throat. The participants are to be lauded for their great attitudes.

Mansions of Madness I wont comment on here since I already made my opinion clear in the link Smoo provided. But I will say it is a great game. VERY fun. Buy it.

Met a lot of great people at the event and still didnt have time to talk to or play games with everyone Katie and I wanted to, sadly. The FFG staff were their usual awesome selves and helpful as ever. Got a question? They are johnny on the spot. They do their jobs well.

I live only about 20 minutes away, but I think I would have driven from alaska to make the event. It was great and I hope that FFG plan to make this a yearly event.



#11 NarcoSleepy

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 07:58 AM

I went with my son and we both had a great time, although my son was intimidated and just watched me and others play the various games.  I've never played Arkham Horror before and have only played the LCG once or twice - incorrectly, it appears.  It was great to get to learn the game from people who really know the rules.  All of the staff and developers were very helpful, and playing with people that really got into the atmosphere/flavor of the games was great.  Played a couple of different games of AH with Richard Launius - he is a very energetic player.

Although I was the only player eliminated, playing Mansions of Madness was outstanding.  The puzzle mechanic is interesting, although the only concern I have is that the intelligence of the player might be lower than the intelligence on their character's stat card.  That wasn't a problem during our game.  We kept playing as the player solved the puzzles, so it didn't really break the momentum.

My only complaints have already been touched on:

(1) Since playing Mansions of Madness was only available to those that pre-registered, the lottery should really have been handled via web/email/etc.  Anything.  It was agonizing to wait while a hundred names were called ("Bueller?  Bueller?  Bueller?) since many people were out for various reason - especially Sunday, since those that came from out of state probably had to head home early.  I felt a little guilty ditching my game to go play MoM, but I doubt they missed me.  Having the lottery prepared beforehand would have made it a lot easier to schedule which games or events you wanted to attend.

(2) Not well organized.  This is kind of an extension of (1) above, since the lottery for MoM was chaotic (oddly appropriate).  For having only 2 games to play (3 if you were lucky to be drawn for MoM), there was a LOT of variety!  Being new to Arkham Horror, I only ever played the base game, but there were many tables of the various expansions, as well as a couple large tables for the full game & all expansions - the idea of playing that horrified me.  The sign-up for events was painful, especially when it was on 3 different clipboards (1 for each day) and a hundred people waiting anxiously to be able to sign up while people thumbed through them.  I just signed up for the two "Learning to Play" sessions, since I didn't really know what I wanted to do after I figured out what the games were about.  I am sure this was a learning experience for FFG and things will improve in the future.

Things I would like to see happen:

I realize this was an event put on by the publisher looking to build interest in their games, but I would have been happier if this was billed more as an H. P. Lovecraft event instead of just a "Games inspired by H. P. Lovecraft".  I would really liked to have seen a room with H. P. Lovecraft inspired movies playing constantly.  Most of them are 20+ years old and campy, but something like this would have been great for relaxing between games or when you had nothing better to do at the time.  Space is limited at the Event Center, but by broadening the scope to something more than just the games, attendance could be high enough for a change of venue. 

Another thing (perhaps the same thing) related to the movies would be a comfortable place to just sit and veg, check email, blog, read, etc.  The chairs that were at the event center were for the players, and at times, that meant there was nowhere to sit unless you were actively playing a game.  Also, the chairs are NOT comfortable, which is fine for playing, but makes them not very good for relaxing.

The winners of the tournaments got... ribbons.  The kind of ribbon that I used to get in elementary school for being able to do complex division faster than some other kid.  Really?  I know, the event was only $25, which REALLY was a great bargain.  But I am sure SOMETHING could have been arranged.  We had access to the Arkham Horror figurines before they were on sale, why not give them a choice of a free figurine?  A coupon redeemable for X% off of FFG merchandise.  SOMETHING....  Maybe it was just me, but I would have felt like a tool standing there with a tiny blue ribbon having my picture taken by FFG staffers.

I know changes like this would most certainly raise the costs of the event, and thus the ticket prices, but I think most would be willing to pay it.  At least I would.

With all of that said, let me restate that I really did have a GREAT TIME.  It was extra great to play with the game designers - these guys really love what they do;  It shows in the games they make, but it shows even more when you watch them play those games.



#12 Grevane

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 11:52 AM

NarcoSleepy said:

 

The winners of the tournaments got... ribbons.  The kind of ribbon that I used to get in elementary school for being able to do complex division faster than some other kid.  Really?  I know, the event was only $25, which REALLY was a great bargain.  But I am sure SOMETHING could have been arranged.  We had access to the Arkham Horror figurines before they were on sale, why not give them a choice of a free figurine?  A coupon redeemable for X% off of FFG merchandise.  SOMETHING....  Maybe it was just me, but I would have felt like a tool standing there with a tiny blue ribbon having my picture taken by FFG staffers.

 

 

 



#13 Grevane

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 12:04 PM

LOL, My 2 friends a random guy we met there and I were the ones who won the tournament and I have to say that you sir NarcoSleepy must have been in our car on the way home. We said almost the same thing. Even the figures of the 4 investigators we had to play with would have been something in theme with a prize.



#14 Smoo

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 01:38 PM

Hellfury said:

He has some great house rules that made the game run so much more smoothly and logically than as detailed in the rule book. It was like the sun finally rising in the east when he explained how he liked to play it.

Please share!



#15 AUCodeMonkey

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 05:57 PM

Hellfury said:

The scheduling was a bit...hectic. Exacerbated by the Mansions of Madness drawing. As noted above, games were just abandoned in order to play. My name was called while participating in the LCG tourney but kept my place out of respect to everyone else who was playing in the tourney (though with the deck i brought I think everyone would have rather seen me leave...  ). I got to play Mansions on sunday, so I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

Hey, I was rather glad that you stayed in the tournament Patrick! I still learned some deck building tricks thanks to you!  Not that it matters since I told Jennifer I'd break that deck apart, lol.

johnny shoes said:

The Call of Cthulhu LCG tourney [...] was a great tournament and everyone was very casual about playing, with no attempt at being cut throat. The participants are to be lauded for their great attitudes.

That is definitely true. Every player in the CoC tournament was extremely nice. When I played Teh Kriz in the first round, I told her that I was worried that everyone was going to be hell bent on nitpicking rules, but it was very relaxed and I was very glad of that. It's great to see a community of players that aren't cutthroat.



#16 NarcoSleepy

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:35 AM

I had forgotten about one of the suggestions I had for future "Arkham Nights" events - I awoke out of a dead sleep last night and remembered it, which is oddly appropriate....

Since FFG is now branching out into publishing books, it would be great if this event could also be a draw for the various authors that have dabbled in the Cthulhu mythos for panels or signings.  We even have a famous local author here in Minneapolis that occasionally puts out a H. P. Lovecraft inspired story, although I understand he typically charges quite a bit to show up.  By broadening the scope of the event, FFG would be in the position to attract new people to their games.  Many people that play boardgames are avid readers, so it stands to reason that readers coming out who were only interested in the authors could be enticed to play the games.

Just a thought :)  I know FFG is a relatively small shop and coordinating something of this scale would be much more difficult.  Perhaps a partnership with another group could make it happen.



#17 NarcoSleepy

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 04:44 AM

Smoo said:

Hellfury said:

He has some great house rules that made the game run so much more smoothly and logically than as detailed in the rule book. It was like the sun finally rising in the east when he explained how he liked to play it.

 

Please share!

The couple of things he did different in the games that I played with him were:

1) Gates come out facedown. If you want to see where it goes or how hard it is to close, you have to explore it first.

2) Instead of dying or going insane and losing your stuff, he brought these death and insanity cards from one of the expansions; I've only played the core game, so I don't know what expansion they come from.  Some of the cards have humorous effects, and they tended to make people a bit more dangerous in the way they played when they weren't so concerned with losing their hard won loot.

Richard really was a lot of fun to play with.  A very high-energy gamer with a great sense of humor.  You could really tell this is his passion.  Compared to him, I am a stick in the mud, and he's kind of inspired me to change how I play games with my son.



#18 Hellfury

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 11:49 AM

AUCodeMonkey said:

Hellfury said:

 

The scheduling was a bit...hectic. Exacerbated by the Mansions of Madness drawing. As noted above, games were just abandoned in order to play. My name was called while participating in the LCG tourney but kept my place out of respect to everyone else who was playing in the tourney (though with the deck i brought I think everyone would have rather seen me leave...  ). I got to play Mansions on sunday, so I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

 

 

Hey, I was rather glad that you stayed in the tournament Patrick! I still learned some deck building tricks thanks to you!  Not that it matters since I told Jennifer I'd break that deck apart, lol.

 

I think for the sake of both of our relationships, it would be best to dismantle those decks as quickly as possible. Mine has already been dismantled with extreme prejudice. We are both lucky enough to have female companions that play, no need to strain that goodwill anymore than needed. Hope to see you guys next year.



#19 jkon

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 04:10 AM

Hellfury said:

 

Hellfury said:

 

 

I think for the sake of both of our relationships, it would be best to dismantle those decks as quickly as possible.

Nah, Jason just needs to take endless interrogation out and I would be forever happy!  My mono-Cthulhu deck can combat that deck really well if endless interrogation is out...

And yeah, I hope we can come back to Arkham nights next year!






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