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Which expansion to purchase?


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#1 Nun of your business

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:46 AM

So, imagine you're very poor, but that your birthday is coming up in a few weeks. You've played a few games of Arkham Horror and have gotten the taste (yech) for the destruction of eldritch, cyclopean horrors and now you want more.

Knowing you can only really afford one of the AH expansions with the money your kind relatives will give you, which of the available expansions would you choose?

In other news (while I'm spamming the boards), I've seen people mention an Arkham Horror FAQ page, but I can't seem to find a link. I'd be extremely grateful if someone could show me the way.



#2 The Professor

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:59 AM

this one has been discussed, debated, and argued for many years…suffice it to say, we have much to, well say on the subject..  For me, I strongly suggest the King in Yellow for a small expansion and Dunwich Horror for a large expansion.  Tibs has a few very good threads over on BGG.


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#3 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 03:14 PM

Nun of your business said:

 

So, imagine you're very poor, but that your birthday is coming up in a few weeks. You've played a few games of Arkham Horror and have gotten the taste (yech) for the destruction of eldritch, cyclopean horrors and now you want more.

Knowing you can only really afford one of the AH expansions with the money your kind relatives will give you, which of the available expansions would you choose?

In other news (while I'm spamming the boards), I've seen people mention an Arkham Horror FAQ page, but I can't seem to find a link. I'd be extremely grateful if someone could show me the way.

 

 

I have a stock answer that I keep for threads like this, and here it is:

 This is the most popular question on these boards, and you'll get different answers from everyone.

If you can get a big-box right out of the gate, GET DUNWICH HORROR. The board's lousy, the Horror itself doesn't activate that often but it's got some great Investigators, Monsters, and Ancient Ones - And Madness and Injuries. After you play with Madness and Injuries once, you will never want to play without them again. Period. Of all the Expansions, big and small box alike, Madness and Injuries are by far the best single addition to the game. You will use them every game, and the thought of abandoning them will never once enter your head. They are THAT CRITICAL.

If you want a Small Box, you have four to choose from, and all have their strengths and weaknesses.

The King in Yellow: This one is generally held to be the favorite, and it's my personal favorite as well. It doesn't add a lot to every game (if you don't use the Herald or Acts in every game) but it is by far the most Thematic and Intense, and it's Herald is easily one of the two best. If you want a distinct flavor to your game, this one is the one to get.

Curse of the Dark Pharaoh: This expansion is solidly thematic, and the recent revised edition makes its Exhibit mechanic interesting. However, it also includes the single worst Herald they put out, and the Patrolled mechanic isn't that fun. If you ignore the Herald (I do - I've never played with it and I never will), the Whispers mechanic and the solid theme make it a worthwhile experience.

Lurker at the THreshold: Lurker would be my number-two choice behind King in Yellow. There are many complaints about the exploitability of the Herald, but it's also the most interesting Herald (not the hardest or most fun, but most interesting). Relationships add a little flavor, but we rarely use them. But another good bump are the Lurker gates (which have abilities) and it also features some Gate Bursts to make your games a bit more threatening. However, it's the least thematic expansion - just mix the whole thing to every game and you won't notice a theme, but it'll improve the experience.

Black Goat of the Woods: Get this expansion if you hate your gaming group. The Herald is the hardest (YIPES) and the mythos deck is darn mean too. It comes with a lot of monsters, most of which are Dark Young which just suck to fight. But it's mechanic is useless - it's incredibly difficult to find the Cult, much less join it, and the other cards will get virtually no use. This is widely held to be the weakest of all expansions, and I'd advise you to get it last of the small boxes.

As for the other big boxes:

Innsmouth - Innsmouth has some fantastic Investigators, and Personal Stories, which are not as critical as Madness and Injuries, but we use them every game as well. It's got some terrifying Ancient Ones (Quachill Uttaus is by far my favorite, even though we've never beaten the dusty bastard), and Innsmouth itself is fairly interesting and very hostile. I'd recommend it as the second Big-Box pickup after Dunwich - you'll get a few Epic Battle cards you can't use until you get Kingsport, but you won't miss anything.

Kingsport: Except for (maybe) Miskatonic or Black Goat, I'd get this expansion last. The Epic Battles are cool in theory, but you get to that point very rarely, and the Sinister Plot cards are practically a waste of space. The Kingsport board has an interesting mechanic, but so little goes on in Kingsport itself that whoever is stuck with Kingsport duty will be hating life by the end of it. Two of the three guardians can be fun, but they aren't necessary. And honestly, the best thing to come out of that expansion is the Tulszcha Herald, who is up there with the Lurker and the King in Yellow for most interesting and fun Herald. The Ancient Ones and Investigators are ok as well. But still, of all the Big-Box sets, this one I felt was the least necessary.

Miskatonic: Don't get Miskatonic until you have most the expansions. You don't necessarily have to get it last, but you should at least have 2 of the Big Boxes and 3 of the Small Boxes before it becomes worth it. But when you do, it is very worth it. Every little annoyance or issue with dilution, ect. is well handled in the expansion, and it will bring new life to your expansions.

So there's the run down. If you want to know the order to buy them, I'd recommend:

Dunwich Horror
King in Yellow and/or Curse of Dark Pharaoh and/or Lurker at the Threshold
Innsmouth Horror
Finish off King/Pharaoh/Lurker
Kingsport Horror
Black Goat of the Woods
Miskatonic Horror
Hope that helps!
 



#4 Jake yet again

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:52 PM

Good god, I wish we could sticky this question. Anyway, Dunwich Horror is the best big box set. Kingsport is easiest and Innsmouth is hardest. You'll probably want either Dunwich or Innsmouth to start with as they give you extra locations for gates to open at. don't get Miskatonic Horror until you have at least 4 other official expansions

Small box expansion is trickier: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh gives you a new class of cards (Exhibit cards), King in Yellow is probably most balanced in terms of theme, Black Goat of the Woods for extra monsters (but the cult itself is rubbish) or Lurker at the Threshold for extra gates. My preference is CotDP, but you can make a decent argument for all of them.

More significantly, if you're tight on funds, grab some of the custom material out there! Here is a small list you should seriously consider downloading:

 

Simple Additions

These links require no extra material to play. You can download them, print them out and you're ready to go.

FFG Free Material: http://www.boardgame...al-ancient-ones

16 Custom Investigators: http://boardgamegeek...m-investigators

Nyarlathotep Heralds: http://s622.photobuc...ague/?start=all

 

Large Expansions

These expansions are "big box" expansions. They're probably the best bang for your buck, containing new boards, new cards and new challenges. Whilst that sounds like a lot of work remember that Arkham is modular so you can often include some cards and disregard others. For instructions on how to manufacture the boards, read this excellent article: http://www.boardgame...ards-for-arkham
 

Lovecraft Country Horror: http://www.boardgame...rules-and-board (See my sig for more details)

Vermont Horror: http://www.boardgame...sion-for-arkham

Arkham Nightmare: http://www.boardgame...xpansion/page/1

 

Board Expansions with Scenarios

These expansion include a new board for use with a specific scenario. As such the replay value may be impacted, but they may be worth downloading nonetheless.

The Haunted House: http://www.boardgame...8/haunted-house

The Masks of Nyarlathotep: http://www.boardgame...o-download-from

Koth of Hyboria: http://plaidscape.ne...2/Sc6Images.zip

 

Expansion Specific Material

These expansions preusme that you own at least one other expansion, either Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (for the first two) or Innsmouth Horror (for the last one.

The Gilman Memorial Exhibit: http://cgjennings.ca...les/gilman.html

Curse of the Gold Scarab: http://megaupload.com/?d=W0LT60Z0

Dark Corners of this Earth: http://boardgamegeek...rs-of-the-earth

 

Other Resources

For additional material, check out the fan creations protion of this forum, the FFG leagues and the Spanish leagues.


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.


#5 jgt7771

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 04:01 AM

Welcome to the Asylum, Nun!

Usually I start by asking what kind of player you are—all expansions at once vs. 1-2 expansions—but if you’re starting with nothing but the base game, you might not even know what kind of player you are yet. So we’ll moot that.

My other question would be, are you a completist? Will you end up eventually buying every expansion anyway, whether you play it or not? (I am, and I did.) If so, I could actually recommend buying them by order of release date—DP(but Revised), Dunwich, KY, Kingsport, BG, Innsmouth, LT, Miskatonic—which does a decent job of mixing the not-so-good with the good, so you aren’t front-loading all the fantastic, leaving you junk at the end. (Keep in mind that EVERY Expansion has SOMETHING in it to enjoy. Sometimes it’s the mechanic, sometimes it’s just a new pack of Commons or Spells.)

All that said, if you can afford it, I would always recommend Dunwich first. Extra board aside—which still has fun Encounters to explore, both in the village and in Lost Carcosa—DH not only adds more of EVERYTHING, but it honestly feels like all those new cards COMPLETE the base game. There are synergies between DH cards and AH Investigators that seem too natural to have been split up. The DH Investigators can be a little more advanced in strategy, but not as crazy as some of the KH or IH ones. On the counter-balance, if you thought Yog and Shub were tough…wait until Glaaki leaves you cardless, or Tsathoggua has you desperately trying to dig Clues out of the table you’re playing on. The new monsters finally raise your Monster Cup to the proper balance of fear and respect, and Master Fwiffo is dead-on with his praise for the ever-impressive Madness/Injury decks.

Really, your mileage may vary, but there is very little in DH that disappoints.


What was that noise?

#6 Nun of your business

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:30 AM

Thanks so much for the thoughtful and timely input, forumers who are obviously fellow humans!*

@The Professor:  Board Game Geek is crazy full of stuff! It's going to take me a month or two to go through all the Arkham related stuff they have there. Also, apparently they have threads about a LOT of other games that I am currently enamored with as well. Too. Thanks for the heads up! (And now, another forum to join. Le sigh.) 

@Master Fwiffo: Wow! Thanks for all the info! I'm terrribly excited to add the Maddness and Injuries to my gaming experience. Annnnd that sentence is rather worrying. Miskatonic was featuring rather high on my desired list, but mostly because I wrote a Murder Mystery party that took place in that famed institution for last Halloween, and I am terribly illogical when it comes things like that. It's why I need nice people like you to help inform my choices. :P

Many of the things you've mentioned in your response have evoked a sense of longing in me, though. I'm terribly curious to see how Heralds work in game, as well as Lurker Gates and gate bursts. (Reading around, it seems like my favorite thing in the AH world [sealing gates] can now be undone in an instant! Terror!)  You've given me much to contemplate, :)

@Jake yet again:  Thanks for all of the links! (Especially to the free stuff! I'll have to wait until I get home to take full advantage of them, but I'm very excited to do that very thing.) I'm completely in love with the idea of making my own stuff in game, so I pretty much have my entire weekend set up for me now. OCD power activate! 

I saw the League stuff in my trolls through the forums, and I as of yet haven't really come to understand what they're all about. More research to be done there. Also must delve into "Country Horror". Thanks! 

@jgt7771: Thank you for the kind welcome! If my personal history is any indication, I'll probably be the type of player who will restrict my intitial dealings to one expansion at a time. I'm horrible at multi-tasking. We'll have to see as things progress, though.

Had I the funds, I would totally be a completist. I suppose my limited space would also kinda put a damper on that thought, too. Grrrr. Stupid reality!

With your additional vote for the Dunwich Horror, I think I hafta say I'm completely sold. Here come Halloween, looks like I'll be punching some Whatelys right in the shins. We'll see who's the gate, Yog!

Thanks again for all your kindness and help!

 

*and not dread, formless star spawn.

 



#7 Master Fwiffo

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 02:28 PM

You're very welcome!

Almost everyone agrees, Dunwich first if you can. Madness and Injuries really should have been in the base game - in my games, I remove the 'lose half your stuff' rule completely in favor of them. It's so much more fun to say "the Monster broke your leg" over "the monster ate your, uhhh, flashlight."

Miskatonic Horror, unlike all the other expansions, isn't really based around a theme. It's an Expansion for all the other Expansions - everything in it adds specifically to later expansions elements (for example, new Cult items for Black Goat or new Lurker cards, ect.) It's a good expansion, but you really need pretty much everything else before you can take advantage of all its features.

Heralds will really shake up the game, and make it much harder, but a lot more interesting as well. The best three Heralds are the King in Yellow, the Lurker, and Tzulza (In Kingsport). They're the ones you'll want to play with.

Gate Bursts can be found in any of the Big Box expansions, as well as the Black Goat and Lurker expansions. Since you want a herald, bursts and he Lurker gates, Lurker may be the best Small-Box for you. It was my first Arkham expansion actually, and I never regretted getting it first (though I actually ended up getting King in Yellow, like, a week later, after all of one game with just the Lurker). It'l make it a bit harder though, so be warned!

 

Also, check our customs forum right above for some great custom stuff. It may not be as polished, but you can add all sorts of fun stuff to your game. I've been known to make Batman Investigators and Godzilla Ancient Ones… >>

 



#8 Nun of your business

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:08 PM

Master Fwiffo said:

 

Also, check our customs forum right above for some great custom stuff. It may not be as polished, but you can add all sorts of fun stuff to your game. I've been known to make Batman Investigators and Godzilla Ancient Ones… >>

 

Master Fwiffo! I'm very put out right now! My first thought upon downloading "Strange Eons" was that I wanted to make a 'Zilla AO! :P (I saw a King Kong and Gigan, too! I've come so very late to the party! But still, so cool!)

And a Batman investigator is simply a wonderful idea. Have you ever read The Doom that Came to Gotham?

Maybe I could make a Lobster Johnson investigator…



#9 Nun of your business

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:28 PM

I apologize profusely for the double post, and I hope this isn't an unforgivable breach of forum decorum, but:

@ The Professor: I recieved a message from you just recently, and it seemed to be somewhat incomplete? I couldn't see how to reply directly to the message, and when I went to the "send message" option in my own inbox, I found that there were two "The Professors" to choose from.  o_O

I'm notoriously bad at these things (using forums correctly), so again I apologize for this off-topic and clumsy way to respond to/contact you, but I couldn't think of anything better.

I feel like such a doofus.



#10 pobolycwm

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 03:22 AM

If i could give kudos on here i would, saves me asking the question and now i know where to look.

Many thanks to the op and to the replies, and i agree this should be stickied



#11 suicidepuppet

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Posted 13 October 2012 - 08:09 PM

I have GOT to get the fan content up…I know how people feel when they click a link from Megaupload and get nothing.

I'm really trying guys. I have a D.O.T. guy up my a** and he is driving me crazy (they want a piece of our property and want to pay next to nothing for it).

I should have complete and proper copies of everything (I felt like Indiana Jones there for awhile, world-hopping the web to get all the pieces) I just have to go through and find the right ones and not upload the wrong ones (I have about a 4-1 ratio of bad to good copies)

A big vote, small box wise, for the CotDP because so much of the fan content is focused on it from the early days. I'm using the Memorial Deck in a video of how to 'fast prototype' an item and get it to the gaming table quick. And in B&W no less :)

If this week doesn't kill me I will start trying to upload the expansion packs. I am still figuring out the best way to handle the one shot things…maybe just big zips…have to think on it…

Anyway, hold fast, I have back ups of back ups and with just a little luck maybe I can get something up for folks.

Apologies for the delays :(

-the puppet-



#12 electronicham

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

Jake yet again said:

Good god, I wish we could sticky this question. Anyway, Dunwich Horror is the best big box set. Kingsport is easiest and Innsmouth is hardest. You'll probably want either Dunwich or Innsmouth to start with as they give you extra locations for gates to open at. don't get Miskatonic Horror until you have at least 4 other official expansions

Small box expansion is trickier: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh gives you a new class of cards (Exhibit cards), King in Yellow is probably most balanced in terms of theme, Black Goat of the Woods for extra monsters (but the cult itself is rubbish) or Lurker at the Threshold for extra gates. My preference is CotDP, but you can make a decent argument for all of them.

More significantly, if you're tight on funds, grab some of the custom material out there! Here is a small list you should seriously consider downloading:

 

Simple Additions

These links require no extra material to play. You can download them, print them out and you're ready to go.

FFG Free Material: http://www.boardgame...al-ancient-ones

16 Custom Investigators: http://boardgamegeek...m-investigators

Nyarlathotep Heralds: http://s622.photobuc...ague/?start=all

 

Large Expansions

These expansions are "big box" expansions. They're probably the best bang for your buck, containing new boards, new cards and new challenges. Whilst that sounds like a lot of work remember that Arkham is modular so you can often include some cards and disregard others. For instructions on how to manufacture the boards, read this excellent article: http://www.boardgame...ards-for-arkham
 

Lovecraft Country Horror: http://www.boardgame...rules-and-board (See my sig for more details)

Vermont Horror: http://www.boardgame...sion-for-arkham

Arkham Nightmare: http://www.boardgame...xpansion/page/1

 

Board Expansions with Scenarios

These expansion include a new board for use with a specific scenario. As such the replay value may be impacted, but they may be worth downloading nonetheless.

The Haunted House: http://www.boardgame...8/haunted-house

The Masks of Nyarlathotep: http://www.boardgame...o-download-from

Koth of Hyboria: http://plaidscape.ne...2/Sc6Images.zip

 

Expansion Specific Material

These expansions preusme that you own at least one other expansion, either Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (for the first two) or Innsmouth Horror (for the last one.

The Gilman Memorial Exhibit: http://cgjennings.ca...les/gilman.html

Curse of the Gold Scarab: http://megaupload.com/?d=W0LT60Z0

Dark Corners of this Earth: http://boardgamegeek...rs-of-the-earth

 

Other Resources

For additional material, check out the fan creations protion of this forum, the FFG leagues and the Spanish leagues.

 

This is incredible. I got all giddy when I saw Brown Jenkin



#13 CrusherJoe

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:52 PM

There is much goodness in this thread.  It has driven me sane regarding expansions. 

The links above seem to be fan content that has withstood playtesting and is in general, "fan approved."  Meaning, it works and is fun.  I have bookmarked them, but I'm also enjoying lurking in the fan content thread here.  So much of it is "works-in-progress," and there's a LOT to go through (enjoying it though, don't get me wrong), if there was a "Hall of Fame," or a way to know if those many investigators, institutions et. al. could be tagged as "Final," my noob heart would love it.

I'll be regularly lurking for updates.  I have an idea for a small expansion in my head, but that's cart before the horse at this point.



#14 Jake yet again

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:30 AM

The list above is my personal "fan-approved" list. i.e. What I think of as the creme de la creme. Your mileage may vary. Since writing that list, I'd also add: http://www.boardgame...-mini-expansion

The "hot" files section on the Arkham Horror webpages of boardgamegeek is an excellent way of crowdsourcing the strongest material. A side effect of the complexities of Arkham Horror means that you'll have to sift through multitudinous player aids (many of which are very good, but you'll only ever need one or two of them) You should start running into new material on page 2 or 3. Naturally, if you do use this mechanic and you download an expansion which you feel is worthy, please give that file a Thumbs Up, so that other players using this method will also find it in the future.


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.


#15 DaveNYC

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 06:14 AM

The advice above is spot on. I followed this forum's advice from similar, older threads and bought Dunwich Horror as my first expansion. I was not disappointed.






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