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Triming the Mythos Deck - Making Expansion Threats More Threatening


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#1 Lance845

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:20 AM

-=::=- WARNING! -=::=- This will be a long post with allot of information -=::=- WARNING! -=::=-

 

     So my concern recently has been that with each expansion the mythos deck is getting larger and larger and different expansions suffer because of it. Why worry about the Dunwhich Horror when the chance of him spawning is so low? Why worry about the next act begins when there are only so few of them in what is now a 190+ card deck?

     My goal is to condence the deck to be larger then the original game but manageble. With the proper ratios of Headlines/Rumors/Environment (weather/mystic/and urban) while maintaining the proper ratio of portal distribution. In doing so I hope to make the dunwhich portals a threat, while maintaining a reasonable chance that the King in Yellow Next Act Begins cards will apear. My hope is to make the deck large enough to be playable but small enough to keep the threats. My current estimate is a deck roughly 100 cards large.

Preferably, if this all works like I think it will, you will be able to add an entire new expansion to this trimmed mythos deck without upsetting the balance too much. Then after seeing what the next expansion has to offer you can retrim out whatever cards you think add the least flair and bring it back to the target number, again maximizing expansion threats.

So I have been crunching some numbers. Here is what I have so far...

* % are rounded

_________________________________________________________________________________________

 

                  Mythos Cards               Gate Bursts             Headlines                 Rumors            Weather                 U / W / M

Total                   192                         28 (14.6%)           104 (54.2%)               18 (9.4%)       70 (36.5%)                23/23/24

 

AH                   67 (34.9%)                          -                           36                                6                       24                           7/5/12

 

CotDP              18 (9.4%)                           -                           9                                   2                        7                             2/3/2

 

DH                     36 (18.8%)                        14                        18                                 3                        15                          6/8/1

 

KiY                   27 (14.1%)                          -                           14                                  2                        11                        4/4/3

 

KH                    22 (11.5%)                         7                           13                                3                         6                          2/1/3

 

BGotW               23 (12%)                            7                            14                              2                         7                          2/2/3

 

_______________________________________________________________________________________

So far this tells us that a little more then half the deck should be headlines. With about 1/6th of the deck gate burst. 1/10 rumors. And the rest environments (broken up amongst weather, urban, and mystic really however you choose though at this point they have evened them out).

 

Here now is the break down of the mythos cards in each expansion and total and where they open portals to. And after the totals it is a break down of how many are headlines/rumors/environments. Locations were shortened to the First letter of the words or one Cap one lower case if it is a single word. Wo = woods. CSG = Cold Spring Glen. (% I will calculate latter)

_______________________________________________________________________________________

                   AH                  CotDP               DH               KiY            KH            BGotW        Total                      H  /  R  /  E

BC              6                        1                      1                   2               2                  2                 14 (7.3%)             7 / 1 / 6

 

GY              6                         1                     1                   2                2                 2                  14 (7.3%)            7 / 1 / 6

 

IS                10                      2                     2                   3                2                 2                  21 (10.9%)       13 / 1 / 7

 

HRH           2                         1                     -                    -                 1                 1                   5 (2.6%)              4 / - / 2

 

HS               2                         1                    -                    -                 1                   1                  5 (2.6%)              2 / - / 2

 

STL             2                         1                     -                    -                 1                   1                  5 (2.6%)              3 / - / 2

 

SB               2                         1                    -                    -                  1                    1                 5 (2.6%)              3 / 2 / -

 

Un                6                        1                    1                   2                  2                   2                 14 (7.3%)            9 / - / 5

 

UI                  10                      2                   2                    3                2                    2                  21 (10.9%        10 / 3 / 8

 

WH                10                      2                  2                    3                 2                     2                21 (10.9)          12 / 1 / 8

 

Wo                10                       2                  2                    3                 2                     2                21 (10.9%)        13 / - / 8

 

CSG              -                         -                    2                    -                   -                     -                  2 (1%)                - / 1 / 1

 

DH                 -                        -                      2                   -                  -                       -                  2 (1%)               - / - / 2

 

GP                 -                         -                       7                 -                  -                       -                   7 (3.6%)           - / 1 / 6

 

WF                 -                        -                       2                  -                   -                     -                    2 (1%)                - / - / 2

 

WH                -                        -                       12               -                  -                     -                      12 (6.2%)          7 / 1 / 4

 

NP*                 1                        3                       -                9                  4                   5                     22 (11.4%)      14 / 6 / 1**

_______________________________________________________________________________________

 * NP = No Portal

** +1 for The Story Continues

What I see here is that there are clearly hot spots that have carried through every expansion. Those % (when calculated) will need to be maintained when I trim the deck so as to keep places like independence square a hot spot. Another interesting note is that when DH came out Wizards hill was just behind those hot spots in frequency.

This means in order to optimize DH to the way it was when it was released the % of portals to each place has to remain similar to the way it was when DH came out. Making DH our cap. In order for this whole thing to work the deck can never be larger then it was when DH was released. I intend to actually make mine smaller. So that is fine.

Here are the same numbers but only up to DH.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

                      AH                   CotDP               DH              Total                  H / R / E

BC                  6                       1                       1                8 (6.6%)           4 / 1 / 3

 

GY                  6                        1                       1               8 (6.6%)           4 / 1 / 3

 

IS                   10                      2                        2              14 (11.6%)       9 / 1 / 4

 

HRH               2                       1                         -              3 (2.5%)             2 / - / 1

 

HS                  2                        1                        -              3 (2.5%)              1 / - / 2

 

STL                 2                       1                         -              3 (2.5%)              1 / - / 2

 

SB                   2                       1                         -              3 (2.5%)              2 / 1 / -

 

Un                   6                       1                         1            8 (6.6%)               6 / - / 2

 

UI                   10                      2                         2             14 (11.6%)         7 / 3 / 4

 

WH                 10                     2                          2             14 (11.6%)         8 / 1 / 5

 

Wo                  10                     2                          2             14 (11.6%)         10 / - / 4

 

CSG                -                         -                          2              2 (1.7%)              - / 1 / 1

 

DH                   -                         -                          2              2 (1.7%)               - / - / 2

 

GP                   -                          -                         7               7 (5.8%)              - / 1 / 6

 

WF                   -                         -                          2               2 (1.7%)               - / - / 2

 

WH                   -                         -                         12            12 (9.9%)             7 / 1 / 4

 

NP*                  1                        3                          -              4 (3.3%)               2 / - / 1 (+1 for story continues)

_______________________________________________________________________________________

* NP = No Portal

The only number here that Does not matter too much is the No Portal cards. Future expansions add allot of NP cards so I intend to have a higher % NP then normal. After all that is the point. Making those next act begins cards a threat again is part of why I am doing this.

 

 

 



#2 Lance845

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:22 AM

Reserved for more info.



#3 Lance845

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 04:23 AM

Reserved for more info.



#4 Hannibal Rex

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 05:09 AM

Work like this has been attempted before, and many people use some kind of variant self-made Mythos deck. What would be very helpful, I think, if you didn't just put your findings here, but also included then in the www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com.



#5 Lance845

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 05:19 AM

Will do when I am all done. And yea I am sure everyone uses some kind of self made. When I am all finished I am going to post my chosen cards.

The other thing I realized while doing this is that you can choose to make certain spots into more hot spots (possibly increasing the difficulty of the game and effecting naything from monster surge chance and terror level increases to anything else in the game) by breaking away from the formula i am figureing out. Modifiying your game to be more or less difficult as you go.



#6 Lance845

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 07:35 AM

Updated with %s and up to DH information for a more acurate listing of what % I will be looking for in my final trimed deck.

Also, aparently I cannot edit the posts anymore. So my reserve posts went to waste. Silly forum feature IMO.



#7 Frank

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 09:57 PM

Personally I find that when you deal out cards at random from expansions, the hot spots carry over as much as I care for them to.

 

That is, the gate openings in Dunwhich are only from the DH expansion, but in all the other expansions the gate openings are fairly uniform in their appearances. So if I shuffle and deal out half the number of cards from the basic set's Mythos deck sight unseen, my chances of drawing a Black Cave gate are still high an my chances of drawing a Historical Society gate are still low. Indeed, the chances are exactly the same as if I hadn't shortened the deck.

 

I have found that by far the best way to trim the deck is to take the things you want to be more common (for example: Dunwhich Gates or Next Act Begins), put them aside. Then take all the rest of the cards, shuffle them, and then deal out a percentage of them face down. Then recombine the cards of fixed probability with the cards of random probability. Shuffle again. Done.

 

-Frank



#8 Lance845

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:58 AM

There is a good chance that will work out because of the % but when the decks all all spread through out you never know if there is a "clump" some place that could just not be in your deck.  (most of the rumors are on the bottom?) My goal is to create an actual deck (which I now think might end up being 2 versions). One is less then 110 cards the othr is less then 130. I am not sure if the 110 card deck would be TOO hard.



#9 Frank

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 08:48 AM

Oh no, there is not a chance that it works out, it always works out. Your chances of drawing a Gate from the Historical Society is literally exactly the same as if you were simply drawing a card from all the Mythos cards combined, because that's exactly what you are doing. This is fundamentally exactly the same as simply not trimming the deck, then rolling a die against a chart to see whether you should draw from Dunwich or draw from the rest of the cards unmodified.

While the physical cards may indeed have clump up to the point that there are very few instances of the Black Cave or no instances of the Road House or whatever - this is in no way different from having all the cards in the deck and having the Black Caves or Hibbs gates be near the bottom where you never actually draw them. It is rare indeed that you play a game where more than 20 Mythos cards are ever drawn or seen, and there is no difference between a Mythos card that is not drawn because it is removed from the deck and a card that is not drawn because it is one of the cards that isn't in those top twenty after shuffling. Unless of course, you look at the cards removed from the deck, in which case they are fundamentally different (unless you make them equal again by looking through the deck as well to see what isn't going to be drawn).

 

Indeed, so long as you keep the cards that you are removing a secret, you don't have to remove them "evenly." You just have to do it randomly and keep the removed cards face down. Not only does this keep new games fresh, it preserves probabilities at least as well as any consructed deck could ever hope to.

 

-Frank



#10 JohnnyG

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

Hi,

I went about this a little bit differently.

As I see it the game comes down to theme and mechanics.  I wanted to make a Mythos deck that included as much of the theme as possible of each of the expansions with minimal watering down while at the same time keeping the mechanics of the game as they were intended.

In the Dunwich Horror the mechanics relied on the gate numbers remaining the same as if the Mythos deck was made up of the original combined Arkham and Dunwich decks.  This would allow the monsters to appear as they would have been play tested and therefore with the same risk of the Dunwich Horror appearing.

The Kingsport Horror mechanics relied on an equal chance of each of the six different Mythos card/Rift token movement types occuring.

Each of the five expansion Mythos decks included cards that matched the theme of the expansion and generic type cards.

What I did was start with the combined original Arkham and Dunwich Mythos deck and replaced any generic type cards with themed cards from the other expansions, matching gate locations and movement types as exactly as possible, also taking into account Headlines, Rumors and Environments.

I ended up with a 114 card deck which in theory should play mechanically almost as intended with combined Arkham, Dunwich and Kingsport boards while also including as much of the theme of each of the five expansions as possible.

I say in theory as I haven't tested my deck...........

I also think that to keep as much of the theme as possible the Arkham board locations also need to be looked at.  I have not done this either.

Cheers

John



#11 Lance845

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:18 PM

Monster movment was something I forgot about untill yesterday. I am gunna calculate out that graph of % next and then do my triming. Starting with rumors, then environments, then headlines (all making sure that I have x amount of cards to each location keeping the % correct) Then I will throw in the non portal cards like next act begins and double doom tokens. I should end up with a well rounded deck that keeps all the expansions relevant.



#12 Hand of Osiris

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:35 AM

I look forward to seeing the deck list that you come up with and trying it out.

My easy take but will probably screw a few game mechanics up (I am thinking that there would be no cards to get a Silver Twilight Membership for example)

Don't use any of the original cards.

Mix all the small set cards together.

Separate the DH and KP into their own decks.

Force an investigator to start the game in KP and DH.

Depending on where the First player is that is what pile they draw from:  Mix = Arhkam, KP = KP, DH = DH.  In addition you play with the rule that you draw 2 Mythos cards and apply the effects of both but only opening and laying clue tokens based off of what the FIrst players card is.  The second Mythos card is group selected from either of the 2 piles that were not drawn from that turn.

Off topic but I also remove all duplicate items/spells/skills from the game from the original deck.  Then I randomly replace 1 of the originals with 1 of the new ones.  Since the new ones have duplicates, it increases the odds of getting a themed spell, magic item etc.

Also if I am using just 1 set, I only use the Allies from that set and don't randomly draw from the whole.



#13 Hand of Osiris

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 06:41 AM

Hand of Osiris said:

I look forward to seeing the deck list that you come up with and trying it out.

My easy take but will probably screw a few game mechanics up (I am thinking that there would be no cards to get a Silver Twilight Membership for example)

Don't use any of the original cards.

Mix all the small set cards together.

Separate the DH and KP into their own decks.

Force an investigator to start the game in KP and DH.

Depending on where the First player is that is what pile they draw from:  Mix = Arhkam, KP = KP, DH = DH.  In addition you play with the rule that you draw 2 Mythos cards and apply the effects of both but only opening and laying clue tokens based off of what the FIrst players card is.  The second Mythos card is group selected from either of the 2 piles that were not drawn from that turn.

Off topic but I also remove all duplicate items/spells/skills from the game from the original deck.  Then I randomly replace 1 of the originals with 1 of the new ones.  Since the new ones have duplicates, it increases the odds of getting a themed spell, magic item etc.

Also if I am using just 1 set, I only use the Allies from that set and don't randomly draw from the whole.

 

oh yeah and same with Monsters:  Create 3 monster cups.  DH, Arhkam, and KP.  The city spaces and corresponding outerworld spaces draw from that cup. 

 



#14 baysbenj

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:26 AM

This is a great idea!  I look forward to trying out what you come up with.  Deck dillution (particularly with the Dunwich portals) is really what is stopping me from buying Black Goat of the Woods.



#15 jhaelen

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:15 AM

Has anyone tried to get rid of the different frequencies for gates by trimming the deck?

I've been thinking of doing this because it seems to me that once we figured out which gate locations were the high-frequency ones, our strategy is pretty much the same in every game, especially since we always try to win by sealing/closing gates.

I think, if every location had the same chance of a gate showing up, the game would become more frantic because you'd want to try and seal every gate. On the other hand it might greatly reduce the chance for monster floods. Thoughts?



#16 Merrick

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:38 AM

I haven't looked at this scientifically, but isn't the most important thing when playing with the Dunwich board just to retain the 12/7/2 gate frequency ratio? Given the length of time that it takes to play the game, I don't mind spending a few minutes rearranging the deck, so I typically sort the mythos cards by gate, reduce each pile down to the appropriate frequency (selectively or randomly removing cards) and then recombine and shuffle. This way expansion mythos cards displace ones from the original set (or vice versa), but the odds of drawing a Dunwich card remain about the same as the original combined set. Only extra cards like the act cards have any real dilution impact on the original combined ratio. I likewise limit all location piles to 14 cards each.

I've also been experimenting with enforcing the original 10/6/2 ratio in order to randomize which gates count as high frequency. If you have all of the expansions there are enough cards available that you can have at least 10 cards available for all of the high and medium frequency Arkham gates. I start by reducing all of the low-frequency gates to 2 cards each and set them aside. Then I reduce the piles for the high and medium frequency gates down to 10 each. I then ask a friend to play 3 card monte with the face down piles so I don't know which gate is which, pick four gates to be high frequency, reduce the remaining piles down to 6 cards to be medium frequency and then recombine and shuffle. The net result is that I am no longer guaranteed to see Independence Square as a high frequency gate and it makes it harder to decide where to seal early in the game. If the next expansion contributes at least one more card for each of the low-frequency locations you could even randomize which locations are medium and low frequency to really mix it up.

Merrick



#17 mageith

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 08:52 AM

jhaelen said:

 

Has anyone tried to get rid of the different frequencies for gates by trimming the deck?

I've been thinking of doing this because it seems to me that once we figured out which gate locations were the high-frequency ones, our strategy is pretty much the same in every game, especially since we always try to win by sealing/closing gates.

I think, if every location had the same chance of a gate showing up, the game would become more frantic because you'd want to try and seal every gate. On the other hand it might greatly reduce the chance for monster floods. Thoughts?

 

I considered it early one, but decided not to do it for a number of reasons:

Working from memory here, so feel free to check me out: Actually some of the expansions do this subtlely already.  CotDP with 18 cards adds 1 gate to each location and two to the major gates.  So increases chances of a  minor gate (From 3% to 4%) per gate location.  OTOH, KIY only adds to the 7 major gates and so decreases the changes of the 4 minor gates.  DH adds 1 gate burst to each of the medium gates and 2 gate bursts to each of the major gates.  Mixing all expansions probably brings it back to a more predictable distribution.

If each gate is equal, then this would indeed make a more frantic game.  Sealing six gates would be less effective as the chance of a gate bump would be about half (9% per gate) of what is was before (about 16%).  So I'd say it might add three gates to a normal game.  Can you handle three more gates?  And it would, as you point out, reduce the number of surges and monsters to deal with.  Personally, I think there are too few monsters now.  Of course, you could fix this by having more monsters come out with each gate and/or surge. 

Gate Bursts would become less effective, since there are none for the minor gates, so they'd be the tactical choices for sealing.

Kate would be less effective since she'd be less likely to stop a gate from coming (though her encounter chances would be the same).

Other subtle or unintended changes:  The Science building would more likely have a gate so less trading in for clue tokens.  I think the historical society and science building have a few more clues than normal (not sure here) and so there'd be less clues on the board for them.  Would you keep the clue distribution the same?

The major and medium gate locations are also more dangerous to have encounters in. Since they'd be open more often than before and might have clues on them, investigators would be having more dangerous encounters.

Now if you really want to have a frantic time, let every LOCATION have a chance for a gate?   Including Kingsport!!!  

 

 






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