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Question about Staying on Explored Gates


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#1 Judgement Dave

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:14 AM

I've checked the rulebook, combined FAQ, Richard Launius' house rules and the Kevin Wilson sticky thread and I can't spot anything about this…

I've been in an other world, seen things that no man should see, battled ten- (or was it twenty-) tacles through brawn and eldritch spells, and now I'm back in Arkham. I'm stood on an explored token on a gate. I don't close it this turn, what happens in future turns?

I know that if any monsters are at the location then I will have to fight or evade them at the start of each movement phase, whether I move or not. But what happens in further Arkham Encounter phases?

The rulebook (pages 8 & 9) seems to say that during the Arkham Encounters, if an investigator is in Arkham (as 'I' am now) then one of the following three things happens:

1 - If the location has no gate then the investigator has an encounter (which can obviously use locations 'instead of an encounter' effects instead).

2 - If the location has a gate and the investigator has not explored it (signalled by the explored token) then the investigator is sucked through the gate to the other world.

3 - If the location has a gate and the investigator has explored it, he may try and close or seal the gate.

It appears that, as far as I can see, I could stay there for several turns and not even attempt to close/seal the gate and I would not have any encounters.

That strikes me as odd. I know that whilst just waiting I'm not contributing to a win, but there's very little downside. There may even be a big upside for investigators with beneficial upkeep actions…

So what I've been doing, as I guessed it might be the intention or thought I might be missing something, is: treating an attempt to close/seal a gate as if it's an action you can do instead of having an encounter. So if I decide not to try to close/seal then I have a normal encounter (though it must be a normal encounter from the cards - I treat location effects 'instead of an encounter' as unusable as the gate prevents it…).

Of course this may be beneficial, but the first time I used this my first encounter moved me to another location, so there went the explored tokan…

So I wondered:

Am I right that according to the rules you can stay on an explored gate for free (with no encounters, just having to deal with any monsters that are there/appear)?

If so, does anyone else see it as an oddity? Does anyone have a better way to houserule it so it's not 'free'?



#2 Judgement Dave

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 02:36 AM

Judgement Dave said:

So what I've been doing, as I guessed it might be the intention or thought I might be missing something, is: treating an attempt to close/seal a gate as if it's an action you can do instead of having an encounter. So if I decide not to try to close/seal then I have a normal encounter (though it must be a normal encounter from the cards - I treat location effects 'instead of an encounter' as unusable as the gate prevents it…).

Actually realised that I incorrectly described what I've been doing.

I've been treating a close/seal as an action I can do instead of an encounter the first time I do it. If I previously failed an attempt to close, or if I chose not to close/seal this turn I have a normal card-based encounter (before I may attempt the seal/close).



#3 Julia

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:12 AM

Dave,

you've read correctly the rules. If there is no gate, encounter. If there is a gate and you don't have an explorer marker, then, into the gate. If there is a gate and you have an explorer marker, then you may close / seal the gate.

The key word here is may. You're not forced to, even if usually you will try. Let me give you some examples to make thing clearer:

- you've just returned to Arkham from a very nasty place. Consider a R'lyeh gate (-3 to close) in a Yog-Sothoth game (the difficulty to close / seal the gates is increased by 1). It's a (-3) 2 successes to close (and as soon as you start adding expansions you'll be forced to face bigger, nastier challenges). It's very, very difficult to pass, even if you have a great sealer like Joe on the gate. But there is one of your pals with an Elder Sign, a couple of blocks away. You stay there for a couple of turns until your pal tosses you the ES (and remember: you enter OW during Phase III, Arkham Encounters, so your friend can come, pass you the item and move back to the streets without being dragged into the gate)

- you've just returned to Arkham, but you lack on clues, and one of your pals has a King in Yellow or another clue-generating item. Same as above

- you've returned to Arkham, but none of you has nothing to seal, but there is only another gate open and one of your pals is in the second area of the matching OW and so you decide to wait, risking a monster surge from just under your bum, in order to try a closing victory in the coming round

Knowing when to close / seal gates and how to do it, it's part of the strategies to beat the game. There is a very nasty Ancient One called Atlach-Nacha (you'll meet him if you get Kingsport Horror) whose power is that every time a Mythos card opens a gate on a sealed location, the seal is removed. In this case, even if you have clues and so on, you might want to wait some of your pals to be back and try to seal that damn thing away in the very same round.

The drawback for waiting on a gate is that your "free pass" against monsters expire: you don't have to deal with the mosnters on gates during the round you return to Arkham, but you have during the following. And even if there are no monsters on that gate, a monster surge could happen, and, needless to say, if you're knocked unconscious / driven insane while on a gate, you lose your explorer marker.

Finally, if you stay on a gate, you don't collect clues on the board, you don't fight monsters, you're not able to explore other OW, so, even if nothing nasty happens to you, you have an investigator stuck in a place, unable to do anything, while the Mythos slowly destroy Arkham.

Try to imagine the collective landscapes, and you'll notice that even if you don't draw encounters (you are not allowed to, anyway, a gate replaces a location, so as long as the gate is there no encounters can be done, and no special activity can be used) it's not like "nothing bad is happening"

Hope this helps


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#4 Predator

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:32 AM

For the Ancient one that removes seal tokens if a gate is suppsoed to openo n that location….can I interpret the rules as stated that the sign is removed and that is all that happens?  Or is the seal removed AND the gate is opened…..



#5 Julia

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 03:49 AM

Predator said:

For the Ancient one that removes seal tokens if a gate is suppsoed to openo n that location….can I interpret the rules as stated that the sign is removed and that is all that happens?  Or is the seal removed AND the gate is opened…..

The seal is removed, a new gate is open, but no doom token is added to the doom track. And all Flyers move, regardless of their dimensional symbol. Please refere to "Gate Bursts" on the Dunwich Horror rulebook.


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#6 Predator

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:02 AM

Sorry, I thought that AO ability and Gate Burst were separate things.

Is his ability listed as a Gate Burst?



#7 Judgement Dave

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:24 AM

Predator said:

Sorry, I thought that AO ability and Gate Burst were separate things.

Is his ability listed as a Gate Burst?

It is indeed (as seen at the wiki http://www.arkhamhor...om/Atlach-Nacha)

Web Between Worlds - While Atlach-Nacha stirs in his slumber, all gate openings are gate bursts. In addition, all Mystic cards are discarded without their special effects taking place.



#8 Judgement Dave

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 04:35 AM

Julia said:

- you've just returned to Arkham from a very nasty place. Consider a R'lyeh gate (-3 to close) in a Yog-Sothoth game (the difficulty to close / seal the gates is increased by 1). It's a (-3) 2 successes to close (and as soon as you start adding expansions you'll be forced to face bigger, nastier challenges). It's very, very difficult to pass, even if you have a great sealer like Joe on the gate. But there is one of your pals with an Elder Sign, a couple of blocks away. You stay there for a couple of turns until your pal tosses you the ES (and remember: you enter OW during Phase III, Arkham Encounters, so your friend can come, pass you the item and move back to the streets without being dragged into the gate)

I did similar in a game about a week ago - that's what made me wonder if I was missing something, as just sitting there waiting with virtually no danger (the monster limit was reached, so even a surge wouldn't have affected me). There's virtualy nowhere else that you can volunteer to stay in a fairly safe spot, so it seems odd that there no 'active' penalty for just waiting (as opposed to the passive penalty of not doing anything positive against the mythos threat).

I expected some sort of encounter/roll to provide greater chance of going insane/unconscious or being moved against your will. It almost feels like the game is being kind for once!

I hadn't considered the use of waiting whilst going for a closing victory. Though that just makes it feel even odder that the game lets us get away with just waiting!

Julia said:

Hope this helps

As ever, it did. Thank you.

(And whilst typing this post, my Kingsport arrived in the post! Maybe I'll try that there Atlach-Nacha…)



#9 Julia

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:20 AM

There are several factors weighing in, Dave, on the waiting / not waiting issue. Not so sure how many expansions you play with (but congrats for getting Kingsport, it's a great expansion, for many things), but the more you expand the game, the more you'll notice that there is no greater penalty than being stuck on a gate. Plus, there are some Heralds (King in Yellow, for instance) with effects triggered by the terror level rising, hence even the "monster limit reached" condition can be a pain. Not to mention that as soon as you have the Lurker gates in play (or mixed in, as I tend to play), you'll have moving gates.

And in a Daoloth game, a monster surge can mean game over, regardless of what's going on around.

Just to say that sometimes, it's ok waiting on the gates, sometimes it may cost you the whole game.

Anyway, enjoy Kingsport! And drop us some lines of feedback after a couple of games, if you wish :-)


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#10 Tbla

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 06:40 AM

Concerning reasons to hang out on a gate: don't forget the "No one can help you now" mythos card (gates can not be sealed).
If that one comes up late in the game, there's often no alternative to just stay, wait and hope.
And for some reason it always comes just when you are about to win.



#11 Julia

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 07:10 AM

Tbla said:

Concerning reasons to hang out on a gate: don't forget the "No one can help you now" mythos card (gates can not be sealed).
If that one comes up late in the game, there's often no alternative to just stay, wait and hope.
And for some reason it always comes just when you are about to win.

::laughter:: very true. That's why I love buying Astral mirror!


We have dragged Reason from her Throne and set in her place the Empress of Dreams [liber Endvra]
Custom Arkham Horror material / Arkham Horror Advanced Players League




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