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#1 Selphy

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 02:20 PM

 My friends and I have been getting into Arkham Horror a lot more lately and so I decided to add to the game by buying some of the expansions. We were going in order so I picked up Curse of the Dark Pharaoh and just recently Dunwich Horror. We've just been combining decks but I feel the decks are getting too large. I was wondering what to do about this.

Would it be better to play with the base cards plus a single expansion? Or should I look through each expansion and take certain cards out to make a "master" deck for locations, arkham, mythos, and other world decks which include every expansion I have? Also, would it be a bad idea to play with every expansion active at one time?



#2 Solan

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 02:26 PM

Selphy said:

 My friends and I have been getting into Arkham Horror a lot more lately and so I decided to add to the game by buying some of the expansions. We were going in order so I picked up Curse of the Dark Pharaoh and just recently Dunwich Horror. We've just been combining decks but I feel the decks are getting too large. I was wondering what to do about this.

Would it be better to play with the base cards plus a single expansion? Or should I look through each expansion and take certain cards out to make a "master" deck for locations, arkham, mythos, and other world decks which include every expansion I have? Also, would it be a bad idea to play with every expansion active at one time?

You're going to get different answers to thse questions depending on who you ask.  Some people play only with a single big box and small box expansion, to maximize the themes of those expansions.  Other people like playing with all of the expansions, enjoying how anything can happen with such a set-up. 

Personally, I'm a big fan of using all of the big box expansions and possibly Curse or King; I find that this provides a great challenge to my group, with the outcome often depending on the last Mythos card drawn. 

If you're just getting started with Arkham I would recommend using Curse first, and then taking it out and using Dunwich.  That will give you the chance to fully experience each expansion in turn, and it's better to get used to a small box expansion before tackling a big box one. 



#3 avec

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:14 PM

As far as I'm concerned, the more encounter cards, the better.  The Arkham Horror toolkit is a great way to get rid of all the Arkham location decks and Other World deck (though I'm pretty sure the Miskatonic plug in doesn't work).

Mythos cards are where it gets tricky.  A lot of the game's balance depends on having the right distribution of cards in your mythos deck.  Here is a link to probably more information than you could want to know on how the mythos deck degrades as you add expansions, and what you can do to fix it:

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=114&efcid=1&efidt=543410



#4 Veet

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:20 PM

If you don't want to do a lot of sorting an easy way of handling this is to combine all the cards and when drawing redraw until you get a card with a symbol of an expansion you are using.



#5 Selphy

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 03:59 PM

 Part of me really wants to use every single expansion in one game, but then there would be an insane amount of mythos cards to compensate for each expansion. I don't mind taking the time to think about set it up, but I would like to pick and choose what from what expansion should be used and what can be left out. The main problem is deciding what is worth keeping. If you know what I mean.



#6 Tibs

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 04:14 PM

Partly because I don't want to sort, and partly because I want to see as much stuff in use as possible, I prefer all-expansion games. However, I would highly discourage any new player from doing that until they're well acquainted with every expansion, and at least every base-game Ancient One.



#7 avec

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 04:28 PM

Selphy said:

 Part of me really wants to use every single expansion in one game, but then there would be an insane amount of mythos cards to compensate for each expansion. I don't mind taking the time to think about set it up, but I would like to pick and choose what from what expansion should be used and what can be left out. The main problem is deciding what is worth keeping. If you know what I mean.

You could use all the item/skill/spell/ally cards from each expansion without too much trouble.  You could also use all the encounter cards.  In my opinion, the encounters in Dark Pharaoh are better than average, while the encounters in Black Goat are really boring (like, "you find a piece of paper with a clue on it"). 

Most expansions offer their own game mechanic. 

Dark Pharaoh:  Exhibit Items

Dunwich: Injury and Madness cards

King In Yellow:  Blights and Act cards

Kingsport:  Epic Battles and Rifts

Black Goat:  Corruptions and Cult Encounters

Innsmouth:  Personal Stories

Lurker:  Relationships and Dark Pacts

Miskatonic:  all of the above

A lot of seasoned players use most or all of these mechanics at once.  I encourage you to follow Tibs' advice and sample only 1-2 at a time.  Personally, I always use Injury cards, Madness cards, Blights, and Personal Stories. 



#8 Selphy

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 04:35 PM

Tibs said:

Partly because I don't want to sort, and partly because I want to see as much stuff in use as possible, I prefer all-expansion games. However, I would highly discourage any new player from doing that until they're well acquainted with every expansion, and at least every base-game Ancient One.

So you're mainly saying to just throw everything together and have at it?



#9 Tibs

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 05:30 PM

Selphy said:

 

So you're mainly saying to just throw everything together and have at it?

If you're into that, and if you already know each expansion well enough on its own, then I say go for it. This kind of play is worth trying at least once once, as you may not wind up liking it. Certainly there are players who prefer one big and one small expansion.

But it is definitely not a good way to learn about expansions.



#10 Selphy

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 06:41 PM

Tibs said:

Selphy said:

 

 

So you're mainly saying to just throw everything together and have at it?

 

 

If you're into that, and if you already know each expansion well enough on its own, then I say go for it. This kind of play is worth trying at least once once, as you may not wind up liking it. Certainly there are players who prefer one big and one small expansion.

But it is definitely not a good way to learn about expansions.

I wasn't planning on buying every expansion instantly and throw it into one big mess. I'm planning on buying them in order still. I think for now I'll just play with Dunwich and a small expansion until I pick up the next board expansion which should be Kingsport Horror, then eventually Innsmouth Horror right? Is it possible to play with all the expansion boards at once?

I'm just kind of thinking about the future because this game is so addicting, I just want to play it again and again. Is there any expansions not really worth buying? I'm thinking eventually, after playing each expansion, I would like to just mash everything up together but are there some expansions that just don't work well like that?



#11 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 08:56 PM

 Here's my advice.

At first, I wanted to keep all expansions separate because I liked 'Theme' games and it made it easier.  However, once I got most of the expansions Miskatonic Horror (which is an expansion designed to make all other expansions work together), it no longer became easy or even desirable to keep them apart.
 

So, I'd actually recommend following that course.  Play with just 1 small box and/or 1 big box at a time for awhile, until you you have most of the expansions.
 

The exception to this rule (and what I used from the beginning) is that each expansion has a few handy elements that give some new life to the game, but not so that it drastically changes the game.
 

In general, normal Items and Other World Encounters I just all throw together into the main game as soon as I get an expansion.  Each other expansion has some stuff as well:

Curse of the Dark Pharoh: Exhibit Items(?)

King In Yellow: Magical Effect Items

Black Goat: More Scary Monsters!  Also difficulty cards (but who uses those?)

Lurker: Relationship Cards, Gates with Effects

Dunwich: Madness/Injury Cards, Monsters, Invetigators, AO's

Kingsport: Epic Battle, Monsters, Invetigators, AO's 

Innsmouth: Personal Stories, Monsters, Invetigators, AO's

After you get most of the expansions, grab Miskatonic, and you can start permanently incorporating expansions into your game.  I tend to keep the Board expansions Mythos and Board Encounters seperate (and only use those when playing with those boards), and use other things based on the Herald (Except the Cult - it's rare enough to keep it in all games, like a super special Twilight Lodge Membership).

It sounds complex, but with some resourcefulness and careful planning, you can get the entire game down to three big-boxes (2 for the main game, and 1 for all the expansions).  



#12 avec

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 04:52 AM

Selphy said:

 

I think for now I'll just play with Dunwich and a small expansion until I pick up the next board expansion which should be Kingsport Horror, then eventually Innsmouth Horror right?

Dunwich should probably be your first expansion, and you should hold off on Misktaonic until you have at least 2-3 other expansions.  Beyond that there's no order that you should buy them in. 

Selphy said:

Is it possible to play with all the expansion boards at once?

Sure, if you have enough table space.  You should use at least four investigators, though.

Selphy said:

I'm just kind of thinking about the future because this game is so addicting, I just want to play it again and again. Is there any expansions not really worth buying?

I think Black Goat is the worst expansion.  Still, I'm not sorry I bought it.  A lot of us use house rules to make the mechanics of Black Goat interesting.

Selphy said:

I'm thinking eventually, after playing each expansion, I would like to just mash everything up together but are there some expansions that just don't work well like that?

It used to be that the mechanics for Dark Pharaoh, King in Yellow, Dunwich, and Innsmouth became "diluted" if you threw everything together.  The revised Dark Pharaoh solves the dilution problem for that expansion, more or less.  Miskatonic Horror solves the dilution problem for King in Yellow, and it mostly solves the problem for Dunwich and Innsmouth.   The only problem I know of is if you use Miskatonic and you use only the Dunwich board (or only the Innsmouth board), but not both.  In that case, dilution will still be a problem. 



#13 Avi_dreader

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 05:39 AM

If you want to use multiple expansions but emphasize a particular expansion's theme (let's say you really love King in Yellow or Curse of the Dark Pharoah).  You could remove all those cards from your encounter decks and mythos decks permanently, but then when you want to cycle them in, randomly draw a 60 or so card encounter deck and reduce all your encounter decks to seven random cards (don't look at them), and get an other world encounter deck that's small too (check the numbers given in the Arkham Horror manual to know the exact proportions).  Just make sure you include the reshuffle cards in the mythos deck and the other world encounters deck.  Keep the proportions right and you'll have minor theme games (that will still challenge) while also having massive games that don't require significant deck searching most of the time.



#14 Vittek

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 06:22 AM

Hello everyone,

I currently own these expansions:

- Dunwich

- Innsmouth

- Lurker

We played only a couple of games with Innsmouth before I bought the other two (special discount from a soon-to-close shop, I just couldn't let it pass).

My intention now is to add Lurker as an always-present expansion (except for the Herald and Dark Pacts), and to alternate between base+Luker+Innsmouth and base+Lurker+Dunwich.

I don't mind handling the extra prep time, as I'm also leaving monsters, items and other cards from both big expansions. What I'm swapping is mostly Myth cards and Other World Encounters. Dunwich and Innsmouth Location Encouters are easy to swap. I'm also keeping Madness, Injury, Relationship and Personal Story cards.

So my question is: what about Arkham Location Encouters? Should I keep all cards from all expansions, or add only the ones from Lurker and the big expansion I'm using? What are the benefits/drawbacks?



#15 Jake yet again

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 08:19 PM

It depends on how much you care about the theme. If you want multiple subplots, some of which you might only hear about once a game, chuck everything in. If you want a game which empasises a specific theme, just add in the encounters and Mythos cards pertaining to that set.

With some things it doesn't matter - most of the Investigators and Ancient Ones are independent and adding, say, a Sledgehammer in the Common Item deck isn't really going to add or subtract anything from the theme.

Personally I go all in, though we often don't play with all the boards, and if a gate occurs on a board which we aren't using in that particular game, we just discard that Mythos card and draw the next one.


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.


#16 jgt7771

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 06:28 AM

Vittek said:

So my question is: what about Arkham Location Encouters? Should I keep all cards from all expansions, or add only the ones from Lurker and the big expansion I'm using? What are the benefits/drawbacks?

That's exactly what I did when I first acquired Lurker: AH+Lurker+one other board.  At the time, those three possible combos were the best one-small-one-big games I ever had.  Lurker-Innsmouth alone can be delightfully nasty.  But it also proved to me that Lurker is the best small box in one category: it is perfectly modular.  There is no deck of cards in Lurker that cannot be dropped in or out of ANY expansion combination.  Besides the Herald, which is already a perfectly modular concept, the other primary mechanic of Lurker is not cards at all: it's the new Gates, also perfectly modular.  By not having any cards relying on any specialized deck (like a Corruption Deck), you can drop Lurker Encounters in and out of ANY game, and you will simply have that: more (or less) possible Encounters.

Now, it's not really a big deal to add any of the other expansion's Encounters to any game, but you will have to make sure to add any other specialized cards from that box too.  You can't add Dark Pharaoh Encounters without adding the Exhibit Deck and mechanics, and you can't add Black Goat without adding the Cult/Corruption decks (even though they will probably never see play without the BG Herald anyway).  I think King in Yellow Encounters are probably safe without requiring the Acts to be in play, although there will be a LOT of KY theme present.  It's probably not foolproof to play with any big box Encounter cards without the corresponding expansion board in play as well, although you could just ignore any Encounter that tries to transport you to an area that isn't available.


What was that noise?

#17 Tbla

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 03:52 AM

I might be a bit weird. I actually enjoy sorting all the cards, monsters etc. after I've played
(not after every game though, we usually play a few with each setup).

This is driving my gaming group insane though.



#18 Team Wrong

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 06:49 PM

Hey all the responses you've been given are great advice and this topic always comes up every now and then on this forum.  You definitely want to start out small and work your way up to everything.  Or maybe not!  If you got the cash to drop, sure why not?  Get everything and throw it all in.  I like to think that I'm somewhat of an expert in playing with everything.  I ran this as an event at a gaming con (Strategicon) and my players and I playtested a few different variations in playing with every expansion set.  Ultimately this is what I did. 

When I mixed all the different sets together, I didn't just shuffle them all together.  I randomly chose a card from each expansion and built one whole deck.  E.G. when building an encounters deck, I'd start with the basic set and grab 1 card.  Then I'd grab 1 card from Dunwich, then 1 card from Yellow King, 1 card from Dark Pharoah, etc..  I'd do this until my entire deck was built.  In the cases where maybe the original has a larger mythos deck than everything else combined, I'd grab 2 from from this pile and continue my clockwork system.  Does this make sense?  This way come play time there was an excellent chance I'd draw from every different expansion.  Kinda a rainbow effect.  Now on top of this, I used the optional rule with the mythos deck where I'd draw 2 cards and choose 1 of the two.  This also helped guarantee that you'll draw cards from the other expansions. I only used this rule with the mythos deck though and no other deck.  I found we didn't need to cycle through any other deck as badly.  The mythos cards determine which board gates open up to.  Someone else already wrote that you could also just keep drawing until you draw a card appropriate to the expansion you want.  This would definitely work out also.

Now, I got it that after one playing of this, you'd have reshuffle everything back in and things won't be so homogeneous.  But at this point the deck is so huge you could actually put the cards you played aside and for the next game work on the rest of the deck.  This is actually what I did and I would shuffle the previous game's cards that we had used independently and add that to the bottom of the deck.  Understand when playing with every expansion it's a really huge deck.  And of course in theory after every game you could separate and repeat the above process but that'd be a bit painful.  So this is one approach though not necessarily the best one (if there is a best one).  Now this technique works with just a few expansions also, obviously you don't need to own every single one to do this.  You could use your judgement as to when you'd reshuffle the entire deck or just the ones you used for a game.  I'd base that on the size of the deck you were working with.

Someone added a link further above on the % of what you draw for the different expansions.   This link is actually an excellent link, well for a nerd crunching number like me.  And somewhere on these forums someone else adjusted those %s with the Miskatonic expansion as it raises those %s.  You can definitely use the link as a base for what you want to add in and what to expect when you combine some of those expansion sets. 

Someone else wrote about keeping the theme.  Yeah this can be kinda important or not, depending on your group.  I personally love the Yellow King and find it one the harshest expansions and love just playing with this expansion and none other.  Especially if you play it as a visiting play then there's a great chance you'll get hammered by the expansion set.  This really gets lost when you shuffle it all in with everything else.  On this note, this is a huge pro for why you want to start small and work your way up.  This way you'll get a really good feel for each expansion set so by the time you own everything, you'll know which expansion you want to throw in and/or focus on.  Or you may not feel so strongly about the themes and just throw it all in and watch the melting pot. 

Just a few other thing.  Lurker IMHO is the worst expansion.  The herald is broken and really needs to be fixed.  Really unfortunate that no official errata (or has it?) has ever fixed him (or it?).  If you do get Lurker, just search the forum for advice on how other people address the issues with the herald. 

Finally, I almost recommend you get the Miskatonic expansion last.  It's actually a great expansion but what it does is it works off of every other expansion so not so useful unless you have all the others.  There is one exception to this rule IMO.  If you have all 3 of the big expansions, then I recommend you get Miskatonic.  Why?  Again, that link above on %s.  Miskatonic really does its best to address how you could play a game with those expansions and finish the game without ever visiting any of those other boards.  I actually wrote a more indepth review on Amazon you can check out.  Same handle.

All the other expansions you could get in whatever order that interests you.  I'm pretty sure I got them out of order with Dunwich last.  And you're lucky because the revision of the Dark Pharoah is IMO every way superior to the old one.  So you won't waste money like us old timers and spend money on both.  And wow, I really love the Dark Pharoah herald.  With the right combination of an Ancient One and the wrong character, you could actually start the game at the Asylum because you went insane during setup!  Outstanding.  Cthulhu wins again.

So I guess in conclusion, like someone else already wrote, there's a few different ways to approach this and you should try them all and see which one fits best your group and style of play.  And hey, I hear you about separating the decks.  Me too, this mundane activity is actually fun for me also.



#19 Ebonrook

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:34 AM

 I personally am very laid back, when it comes to my group. Especially considering none of us are "hardcore" gamers and it is just that - a game.

So generally when we are playing we do occasionally "cheat" a little. Basically I will occasionally decide not to include decks, such as Madness/Injury or other expansion cards. Or if a Mythos card is drawn that is too complicated for my friends to understand fully I will try to explain it but if it doesn't go well, I will simply draw another one. 

Again I know it's cheating but at the end of the day it means that I don't have to worry about sort through hundreds of cards to set up and we can just have fun.






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