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#1 Nun of your business

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:25 AM

So, in the limited number of games we've played, my group (I still can't bring myself to call them my "cult") tried some stunts that seemed a little shadey for me. I couldn't find anything specifically against their actions in the rules, but…

Well, two examples spring to mind:

1) I don't remember the specific Mythos card that was in play, but it was a weather card that kept the investigators from sealing a gate location. We were one gate shy of a Gate Seal Victory, and the doom track was at 2 to go before Yig (dumb ol' Yig! Three games and he's been the big bad twice! Poo!) showed up. My friend was playing Kate Winthrop, so she sailed through the Abyss and came out, camping on the explored gate, waiting to close it until (hopefully) the weather changed, and we could seal it off.  

I suppose there's nothing wrong with that per se, it's just… I dunno, can you meta-game a board game? :P We won by that gate seal, BTW, after 5 (five!) passed turns. (We then ran through a mock fight with Yig and beat him up, too. Dumb ol' Yig.)

2) Throwing a fight against a monster… do you have to try to win a fight? Another of our investigators were faced with a Night Gaunt, and was actually wanting to do some other-worldy knees-bent running about advancing, so he thought he'd just throw the fight and take a free ride to R'Lyeh. Some of us said that, as Ashcan Peter has never seen a Night Gaunt before, he wouldn't know that that would be the end result of his failed [non-existant] combat check. Our friend laughed and said "It's printed right there on the card!"

I wept, and died a little.

My years of table top RPGs makes me want to play the investigators as "characters" and I cringe a little every time my friends use their "I'm a literate, breathing person" knowledge v. their "character" knowledge to pull something in-game. I'm secure enough to let others enjoy the game as they would like to enjoy the game, but I also don't want to break the rules of the game, such as they are.

Bleargh.  



#2 Julia

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 12:02 PM

Nun of your business said:

1) I don't remember the specific Mythos card that was in play, but it was a weather card that kept the investigators from sealing a gate location. We were one gate shy of a Gate Seal Victory, and the doom track was at 2 to go before Yig (dumb ol' Yig! Three games and he's been the big bad twice! Poo!) showed up. My friend was playing Kate Winthrop, so she sailed through the Abyss and came out, camping on the explored gate, waiting to close it until (hopefully) the weather changed, and we could seal it off.  

I suppose there's nothing wrong with that per se, it's just… I dunno, can you meta-game a board game? :P We won by that gate seal, BTW, after 5 (five!) passed turns. (We then ran through a mock fight with Yig and beat him up, too. Dumb ol' Yig.)

No one can help you now is a lovely Mythos card. I lost my only AH base game because of theat card. Ugh.

Anyway, you can meta-game all you want. It's part of the strategy. But anyway, rules do not say you have to attempt closing / sealing a gate. So, squatting on the gate waiting for the proper time to hit and win is 100% legal

Nun of your business said:

2) Throwing a fight against a monster… do you have to try to win a fight? Another of our investigators were faced with a Night Gaunt, and was actually wanting to do some other-worldy knees-bent running about advancing, so he thought he'd just throw the fight and take a free ride to R'Lyeh. Some of us said that, as Ashcan Peter has never seen a Night Gaunt before, he wouldn't know that that would be the end result of his failed [non-existant] combat check. Our friend laughed and said "It's printed right there on the card!"

That's a long story. If you go with an RPG approach, yeah Ashcan theoretically doesn't know anything about what a Night Gaunt is (really? maybe some drunk homeless at the Station whispered him some strange words about flying creatures serving Nodens), if you go with the rules, you're allowed to look at the back side of the chits. That's part of the strategy as well: you should check who's able to beat a Dhole and who's able to beat a Cultist before deciding who goes where. Otherwise it's just insanity. So, if you look at a monster's stats, you should be allowed to look also at the damage, so I don't see any problem with this as well. Plus, in case you need nightgaunt hitchhiking, just try to evade and fail: combat damage applied immediately, and you avoid checking for Sanity losses.

Let me highlight this point (it's important for the game): you are not allowed to choose not to roll the dice. If you enter combat with a monster, you have to roll the dice. You can choose not to use weapons, or not to spend clues, but if you have at least one die, you have to roll it


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#3 Tbla

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:08 PM

About "No one can help you now":
Don't worry about hanging out on a gate because it feels like cheating. Many times it's the only possible action with at least a small chance of success. You just have to hope for it to change before the AO awakens, and that is not guaranteed. Even if it does change it usually take valuable time from you (my personal record is 8 turns), time being the most valuable resource in the game. And besides it is not entirely safe to wait there, beware of those monster surges!
But even though it's perfectly legal and I don't have any problem with it, it' s quite boring to just sit on an open gate waiting for an environment for several turns.



#4 Esto

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:48 AM

Julia -----

      I just read your message to Nun of your business. It was only 2 short days ago that I pulled the Mythos card, "No one can help you now" out of my 100% complete Collection of Mythos cards (must be at least 400-500 cards altogether). This card single-handedly prevented me from gaining a "6 Gate Seal" Victory with 4 Investigators. Lola Hayes was camped on her location for 5 turns waiting for the Environment card to change whilst Dexter Drake had just explored the 6th location with his 5 clue tokens (waiting to seal also). But unfortunately at this point, Nyogtha woke up. His tentacles grabbed & devoured 3 Investigators underground in the 1st 3 turns. Luckily, the ally Basil Elton prevented Dexter Drake from suffering the same fate on Turn 4. On Turn 4, Dexter needed to get 8 hits on 14 dice (with his Grapple skill) to win. Looked do-able at this point (thanks to the arsenal built up by Mask of Vice relic & some strong combat spells). But alas, Dexter achieved only 4 hits. On Turn 5, Dexter was fortunate enough to attack 1st but now he lacked sufficient sanity to utilize his  spells. So his only hope was to roll 4 hits on all dice (without any clue tokens left or anything else to modify his rolls). Under the most intense kind of pressure, Dexter rolled the following -----  6, 4, 4, 4. The most satisfying AH victory ever ----- without Grapple I would have been doomed. Afterwards, I rolled the dice for Dexter to see if Nyogtha would have devoured him on Turn 5 ---- and the answer is "Yes", Dexter would have died.



#5 Julia

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:06 AM

Esto, a really narrow victory, but of great satisfaction indeed :-) Very well done :-)


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#6 jgt7771

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:18 AM

Oh, Nun, you are such an adorable rookie, I can't tell ya.

No One Can Help You Now - possibly one of the worst "simple" Mythos cards ever.  No monster boosts, no check modifiers, no elaborate movement restrictions, just "SORRY, YOU CAN'T WIN RIGHT NOW."  I've seen it make players do any number of odd actions as they spin their wheels in a game that punishes you for spinning your wheels.

Regarding your actions, however, I would have done the EXACT same thing.  In fact, in past games, I HAVE.  There is no one better suited for Gate-camping than Kate.  There are levels of meta-gaming, but I don't consider using what makes Kate Kate "cheating", it's just being Kate.  Sometimes there is no better option than to wait the game out; that's when you make everyone else figure out a Plan B while you babysit Plan A.

And it still fits inside the story: no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seal the rip.  Something was resisting her efforts.  "Fine," she muttered, fiddling with her flux stabilizer, "let's see if I can't boost this thing."  And five turns later, she did.

Nightgaunt - Oh buddy, we've all been doing the Nightgaunt gate-drop thing for YEARS.  Frankly, I'm going to congratulate you on discovering that one on your own so early in your AH career.  I've left a Nightgaunt stuck on The Terrible Experiment in order to slip past nastier monsters sitting on nearby Gates; or used a Nightgaunt as a shortcut across to Devil Reef without a boat.  It seems you took that bit of meta-gaming a little hard, but I promise you nobody on this forum will give you any flak for that.

But Julia's right: you can't NOT throw the dice.  But you CAN fail to modify yourself with anything that might help you pass it.  If you go up against a Nightgaunt with Max Will to obliterate the Horror Check, I bet you won't have any Fight dice left, and gun/knife/Spell use is completely optional.

And who's to say Pete never saw a Nightgaunt before?  On the back of his sheet, he's been having nightmares for some time now.  Some faceless winged thing may still be frightening to behold in real life (Horror Check), but Pete might still recognize what it could be, and what it might do, from his lousy dreams.  Nodens (and his Nightgaunt servants) may be on our side, but it's not like he picks up a phone or anything to tell us how he plans to use us.


What was that noise?

#7 Nun of your business

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:23 AM

 

Julia said:

Anyway, you can meta-game all you want. It's part of the strategy. But anyway, rules do not say you have to attempt closing / sealing a gate. So, squatting on the gate waiting for the proper time to hit and win is 100% legal

 

I guess what I meant with the meta-game question is not if it's so much legal to meta-game, but if it's even possible, or rather, if what's going on in this instance is actual meta-gaming, since it's not technically an RPG. The limits and the rules set by the game itself allow for situations that would be considered "meta" in a… you know what? I'll just shut up about that now. Your response was elegant and helpful and I really shouldn't belabor the point. :P

Julia said:

That's a long story. If you go with an RPG approach, yeah Ashcan theoretically doesn't know anything about what a Night Gaunt is (really? maybe some drunk homeless at the Station whispered him some strange words about flying creatures serving Nodens), if you go with the rules, you're allowed to look at the back side of the chits. That's part of the strategy as well: you should check who's able to beat a Dhole and who's able to beat a Cultist before deciding who goes where. Otherwise it's just insanity. So, if you look at a monster's stats, you should be allowed to look also at the damage, so I don't see any problem with this as well. Plus, in case you need nightgaunt hitchhiking, just try to evade and fail: combat damage applied immediately, and you avoid checking for Sanity losses.

 

An excellent strategy, but again it poses the same problem as my original concern. Which is really a non-issue, when I think about it in light of what you've already said.

I think my deal is I have to stop applying limits from another experience (RPGs) to this one, and just love Arkham for what it is: A Board Game.

A fun board game!

And heck, it'll be fun to do what you did in the aforementioned scenario, and come up with thematical reasons for investigators to use the strategies they use, if I find myself incapable of dropping my meta-gaming obsession. :P

Julia said:

Let me highlight this point (it's important for the game): you are not allowed to choose not to roll the dice. If you enter combat with a monster, you have to roll the dice. You can choose not to use weapons, or not to spend clues, but if you have at least one die, you have to roll it

 

 

 

Perfect! I really appreciate you addressing that. Thanks so much, Julia!

@ Tbla: 8 turns? That's crazy! :P

And you're right, of course. There's a definite trade-off in spending your turn waiting on the lip of some inter-dimensional portal when you could be having interesting and possibly lethal/mind crushing encounters elsewhere. In the game we had going, we were pretty confident we could take Yig if he popped up (I was anyway, nobody else had really had an opportunity for an AO fight yet, so they weren't exactly sure of the mechanics, but we were brimming with clues and all blessed… ), so a Gate Seal wan't our only hope of victory, but…

(also, it was Kate Winthrop babysitting the gate, so a monster surge wouldn't have hurt her. Pretty sure…?)

@Esto: Yeesh! Skin of your teeth victory, there! 0_0

 Edit: Gosh, I really messed up the format on that post! Sorry!

 

 


#8 Nun of your business

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:42 AM

 

 Sorry for the double post!

 

jgt7771: Oh, Nun, you are such an adorable rookie, I can't tell ya.


LOL! I'm a little obsessive at times.


jgt7771: No One Can Help You Now - possibly one of the worst "simple" Mythos cards ever. No monster boosts, no check modifiers, no elaborate movement restrictions, just "SORRY, YOU CAN'T WIN RIGHT NOW." I've seen it make players do any number of odd actions as they spin their wheels in a game that punishes you for spinning your wheels.


Regarding your actions, however, I would have done the EXACT same thing. In fact, in past games, I HAVE. There is no one better suited for Gate-camping than Kate. There are levels of meta-gaming, but I don't consider using what makes Kate Kate "cheating", it's just being Kate. Sometimes there is no better option than to wait the game out; that's when you make everyone else figure out a Plan B while you babysit Plan A.


And it still fits inside the story:
no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seal the rip. Something was resisting her efforts. "Fine," she muttered, fiddling with her flux stabilizer, "let's see if I can't boost this thing." And five turns later, she did.


Get out of my dream journal, you! :P I had started a write-up that had posited that exact scenario! It wound up being WAY too long and self indulgent, so I never posted it, but still… that's a little creepy.

And much better written.


And tons shorter.


jgt7771: Nightgaunt - Oh buddy, we've all been doing the Nightgaunt gate-drop thing for YEARS. Frankly, I'm going to congratulate you on discovering that one on your own so early in your AH career. I've left a Nightgaunt stuck on The Terrible Experiment in order to slip past nastier monsters sitting on nearby Gates; or used a Nightgaunt as a shortcut across to Devil Reef without a boat. It seems you took that bit of meta-gaming a little hard, but I promise you nobody on this forum will give you any flak for that.


But Julia's right: you can't NOT throw the dice. But you CAN fail to modify yourself with anything that might help you pass it. If you go up against a Nightgaunt with Max Will to obliterate the Horror Check, I bet you won't have any Fight dice left, and gun/knife/Spell use is completely optional.


And who's to say Pete never saw a Nightgaunt before? On the back of his sheet, he's been having nightmares for some time now. Some faceless winged thing may still be frightening to behold in real life (Horror Check), but Pete might still recognize what it could be, and what it might do, from his lousy dreams. Nodens (and his Nightgaunt servants) may be on our side, but it's not like he picks up a phone or anything to tell us how he plans to use us.


Nodens has called me before, but he always calls collect for some reason (unlike Cthulhu, who just calls [and calls, and calls, and calls…]).


But yeah, I think you guys definitely have the right of it, and I'll enjoy the game even more if I stop applying artificial limits to it. It's just so hard to undo all those years of training to be non-meta. :P


Thanks so much for the help!


EDIT: Sigh! How is it I keep messing up the format of these posts so much? Urgh!

 

 



#9 Julia

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:46 AM

Nun of your business said:

I think my deal is I have to stop applying limits from another experience (RPGs) to this one, and just love Arkham for what it is: A Board Game.

A fun board game!

And heck, it'll be fun to do what you did in the aforementioned scenario, and come up with thematical reasons for investigators to use the strategies they use, if I find myself incapable of dropping my meta-gaming obsession. :P

You touched an interesting point indeed (a point that was longely debated throughout the ages, here, on this very board). Arkham is a boardgame, but it's a very peculiar boargame that can be played both with an RPG's and a strategic gamer's attitude. A few of us (Avi, Dam, myself) play the game in the most strategic way possible: grab the clues and hit the board, as quick as you can, as strong as you can, before everything's lost (and if you look at the logs of our games, you'll notice they are rather short. My games tend to last more or less 12 Mythos). Others tend to spend a lot of time while doing other stuff (passing tasks and missions, buying items, completing Personal Stories, and so on) and their games are very long. Most of the others are in between, some strategy mixed to some other elements. I guess you should find the way you enjoy your experience the most. Maybe don't become obsessed by the Nightgaunt damage helping investigators, but you could merge into some other stuff (like Tibs' thematic starting possessions variant) and cuddle your RPG side with joy :-))


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#10 Nun of your business

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 05:04 AM

Julia said:

Nun of your business said:

 

I think my deal is I have to stop applying limits from another experience (RPGs) to this one, and just love Arkham for what it is: A Board Game.

A fun board game!

And heck, it'll be fun to do what you did in the aforementioned scenario, and come up with thematical reasons for investigators to use the strategies they use, if I find myself incapable of dropping my meta-gaming obsession. :P

 

 

You touched an interesting point indeed (a point that was longely debated throughout the ages, here, on this very board). Arkham is a boardgame, but it's a very peculiar boargame that can be played both with an RPG's and a strategic gamer's attitude. A few of us (Avi, Dam, myself) play the game in the most strategic way possible: grab the clues and hit the board, as quick as you can, as strong as you can, before everything's lost (and if you look at the logs of our games, you'll notice they are rather short. My games tend to last more or less 12 Mythos). Others tend to spend a lot of time while doing other stuff (passing tasks and missions, buying items, completing Personal Stories, and so on) and their games are very long. Most of the others are in between, some strategy mixed to some other elements. I guess you should find the way you enjoy your experience the most. Maybe don't become obsessed by the Nightgaunt damage helping investigators, but you could merge into some other stuff (like Tibs' thematic starting possessions variant) and cuddle your RPG side with joy :-))

Hee. I feel like I've come so late to the party, dredging up all this stuff that's pro'lly been talked over to death many years before! Thanks so much for putting up with all my questions. I like to learn stuff. :P

And what is this starting possessions variant you speak of? Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subcribe to your newsletter.!

Is there a thread already set up where people talk about their house rules and variants already in existance? I want to go to there!



#11 Julia

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:19 AM

Nun of your business said:

Hee. I feel like I've come so late to the party, dredging up all this stuff that's pro'lly been talked over to death many years before! Thanks so much for putting up with all my questions. I like to learn stuff. :P

And what is this starting possessions variant you speak of? Your ideas are intriguing and I wish to subcribe to your newsletter.!

Is there a thread already set up where people talk about their house rules and variants already in existance? I want to go to there!

::laughter:: no Julia's newsletter at the moment, but still, if you want to look at the face of madness, just follow the link in my signature and enjoy the curious fruits of my twisted mind. If you're searching for some variants, house rules and so on, you could simply merge into the Fan creations section of this board (here), some ideas are actually *cool*.

As per Tibs thematic starting possession variant, he created a list of skills, objects and so on that each of the 48 investigators of the game can start with (and also those you cannot start with are listed as well). It's an *impressive* work. I don't have a link right now (even if I guess Tibs will prompt you the download link), but if you like, you can PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you over the file


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#12 Tibs

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 12:50 PM

Thematic Starting Posessions

Here ya go!



#13 Jake yet again

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:50 AM

Nun of your business said:

2) Throwing a fight against a monster… do you have to try to win a fight? Another of our investigators were faced with a Night Gaunt, and was actually wanting to do some other-worldy knees-bent running about advancing, so he thought he'd just throw the fight and take a free ride to R'Lyeh. Some of us said that, as Ashcan Peter has never seen a Night Gaunt before, he wouldn't know that that would be the end result of his failed [non-existant] combat check. Our friend laughed and said "It's printed right there on the card!"

It's called the Nightgaunt Taxi Service in this neck of the woods and by 'eck it's efficient. Of course you can be subtle about it, whack your Will up to pass the Horror check so that you'll have less chance of passing the combat check. Pete might never have seen Nightgaunts, but maybe old Slums O'Reilly who rid the rails with him back in Frisco in '23 told him 'bout it whilst they were bindlestiffing and sharing a pouch of chewing baccy. Course, Slums O'Reilly talked 'bout a lot things… mos'ly crazy talk 'bout them talky cats that fight over in the moon, but that ol' hobo sure did have some kind of strange look in his eye when he starts a-telling one of his tales.


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#14 Sinthioth

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 07:04 AM

Ashchan Pete is actually one of the only Investigators I would say actually could reasonably know what a Nightgaunt does by default. His personal story is all about the Dreamlands, which is where the Nightgaunts are from. If he'd hear whispers about them in his travels there he could have learned that they don't actually kill people, merely toss them around. Of course, there's plenty of other ways of rationalizing his knowledge; he could've read it, heard it from a traveler or cultist, ect. I think one of the funnest parts of the game is making up explanations for all the players' actions and encounter results to make a coherent narrative!



#15 Nun of your business

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 04:58 PM

 

These are all super ideas, guys, and further indications that I've been aproaching this all wrong.

@ Sinthioth: You make a very good point about Jake's backstory. I hadn't taken that into consideration.

@ Jake yet again: +15 points for the use of "bindlestiffung"! It's the Hobo way!

@Tibs and Julia: Thanks so much for sharing the link! Tibs, you have a very intimidating way of spending yuor free time! Wonderfully comprehensive list, and very fun thematically, from the little that I actually know about! Julia, it looks like you've done a goodly amount of designing new and horrible ways to help investigators die. This is all wonderfully teriffying. :)

 

 






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