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  1. You can always travel to a location in the travel phase irregardless to any standard rule condition bar one, the fact that there is already a location you have traveled to but not cleared (cards can of course change this, but that is always the case). As for difficulty, it pains me to say but the first quest in the core set, is arguably about as easy as it ever gets (passage through mirkwood). Wait until you butt heads with the other two core quests or the nefarious Conflict at the Carrock. This game will have you scratching your head and the only hint I can give you is that there is a deck building solution to all of it. One thing I would point out is that the second and third quests are super hard, they are actually really poorly balanced for an inclusion into the core set which effectively targets new players. Though I would also argue that you will probably learn to appreciate having quests on your "can't beat list" after a while as the pure joy of solving that deck building puzzle and beating a quest you have spent months trying to figure out is absolutely fantastic. I stick to my recommendation of playing on easy mode until you get the hang of things and don't bang your head against core set quests too long, they are tough and I mean always tough no matter how good you are or how big your card pool is, they are beasts. The rest of the first cycle is a lot more manageable and you will find the solutions to those and more importantly you will learn a lot more from them in terms of deck building and good card play that will turn into applicable lessons to quests you get stuck on.
  2. Just a tip, one noob to another. Lord of the Rings is brutally tough solo, in particular when you first start and have a small card pool, but in general its always super hard. I highly recommend playing on "easy" mode until such a time that you can actually beat anything but the first Mirkwood scenario (that one is very playable/beatable in normal mode). Else you will simply feel like all you do is lose and it can be really off putting. Those challenges will always be waiting in the queue for you anyway and its a much nicer first run through any adventure having an actual prayer in **** of beating it. Suffice to say, even on easy mode, most LotR scenarios are brutally hard, at least at first. Once you get going, get a few cards into your pool from outside of the core set it becomes more dooable. Also another thing I wish someone told me when I started but, don't buy things in order. It may be tempting and may even feel compelling if you have even a minor case of OCD but the reality of collecting this game is that things are NEVER available in order so you end up playing this constant waiting game (and the waits are long) held up by an expansion here and there trying to complete cycles, meanwhile as you wait for it to come into print other stuff that's next in the queue is going out of print. It will frustrate the **** out of you. The best way to buy is to simply get what is available, in particular the Dexluxe Expansion boxes which are actually the best deal for the buck anyway since you get 3 quest in a box. I would say the best move is to buy all the ones you can grab. Its also always worth picking up the stand-alone expansions, those don't come into print very often so if you spot one, don't hesitate. Finally in my humble opinion the most fun way to play and enjoy the game is in campaign mode, so getting the Saga expansions should be somewhere at the top of your priority and again, don't wait for stuff to come into print, get it while its available, there will never be a time where you can buy these in order. Oh and final tip, or perhaps better to say advice to increase your enjoyment is don't spoil the game for yourself by looking online for "killer decks" or "how to beat x scenario". The core gameplay concept here is that Lord of the Rings is a Puzzle Deck builder, aka, the quest is a puzzle, you beat it by solving the deck building puzzle (building a deck that can beat it). This is fundamentally the core of the game and there is a deck out there for every quest that can basically walk right through it (most of them quests anyway). Figuring it out is part of the game, looking online for the answer is like watching the Synopsis of a movie you are about to watch, its self defeating. And also Akrham Horror is awesome, in a lot of ways its actually a more advanced version of Lord of the Rings, but focused less on the deck building and more on the story/campaign and gameplay. Its also a great choice for a game and I actually think its a much better coop experience than Lord of the Rings. Still both games have their perks and flaws, but If you like one you will like the other and vice versus.
  3. I finished the core game campaign last night solo, tonight I'm going to give it a shot double fisted. I will also be expanding my card pool with some of the expansions I bought, fiddling a bit with deck building for this next run. As a whole though I think the game has some really clever dynamics. In fact, while some here have stated really good replayability, many of the reviews of the game spoke of "limited replayability" as once the story is done, your kind of done with it. I actually found that to be very untrue. It seems to me the posters here are correct, the game is very replayable, knowing the story really does little to change my interest in the game, quite to the contrary, it makes me want to take another crack at it, see how I can improve my deck, my play through, etc.. I actually thought the replayability here was a key selling point. I think one thing that hasn't been mentioned here, maybe its a given with FFG, but I was really surprised by how amazing the art work is in Arkham Horror. I found myself pausing quite a few times to examine it closely, they did a really fantastic job with illustrations, much like they did with Lord of the Rings. Really inspiring the theme. In general so far so good, I really didn't have any expectations from Arkham Horror going into it one way or the other, but its actually inspired my curiosity about the Lovecraft theme, so as a whole I think I'm sold on it.
  4. I didn't read any of the responses, I think its best to get several opinions so here is mine. I am a long time player of LotR's and I just recently got into Arkham Horror as well. For me personally while I'm really enjoying Arkham Horror and I'm certain to keep up with expansions, but LotR is the bigger draw for me. There are several things that I think LotR does better, but I think Arkham definitely has some muscle as well. First, LotR is a proper Deck building experience. Now its true before you can deck build with either game you need to expand, the core set is in no way shape or form enough for deck building for either game, effectively it doesn't exist at all, its more like "deck adjustment". After a few expansions and sets however LotR is a robust, varied, highly customizable game with a massive range of options for deck building. And you will customize/deck build to beat each adventure, as every challenge requires some sort of "rethinking of the puzzle", its one of the amazing aspects of LotR as you are constantly reassessing your card pool, hero's and concept about deck building. Its simply one of the best deck building experiances I have had in any of FFG's games. Arkham Horror on the hand is a pretty limited deck building experience, actually in the line of FFG LCG's, its the most limited game in the entire lineup. The decks are small, investigators come with hard limiting options (aka a laundry lists of "cant's"), there is a lot of pigeon holding, Investigators only come with Main Expansions (not in adventure packs). If your looking for deck building challenges and puzzles, this is the last game I would choose. On the flip end I think Arkam Horrors on going (always forward pass or fail) "campaign/story" system is far superior to LotR's systems (or perhaps better to say the lack thereof). With Arkham when you sit down to play a campaign, your going to play it. There is no, oh I failed a mission, lets do it again thing.. you are always progressing forward, there are branching paths and you can finish a campaign having failed every mission to find out your miserable fate. In LotR failing a quest in a campaign means, you play it again and you keep doing it over and over again until you succeed (at least by the rules). This can be a bit tedious in particular if your interest is in experiencing the story, more than that though, while some might argue, a solid 20-30% **** near impossible to beat so you often run into stuff that you just can't get through. To me that's part of the challenge, I like having things I can't beat and trying to find a way to do it, but yeah it can burn you out. Arkham Horror has that "oh can't beat it, maybe you can evade it instead" kind of thing going for it. In terms of story, well its theme preference but I think both games have fantastic stories with great flavor that spurs the imagination so in that regard you pick the theme you like more. Finally, mechanically speaking, I think Arkham Horror is a bit more of a robust game, which may sound weird after I said it wasn't much of a deck builder, but really in terms of actions, resource management, smart card play, good timing, you can overcome things in clever ways and beat some pretty tough scenarios. Aka, the mechanics can be used against the game to out play it and you really do see that even after just a couple of games. That is not to say LotR's is bad gameplay wise, I love that mechanic as well, but it really is a "my deck" vs. "Encounter Deck" kind of a thing. Its a game of building a deck that stands up to the Adventure Deck which are varied and unique all of them, but that's what it is. You can't "game" the game, you beat the game by building really good decks. In that though is the puzzle solving aspect of trying to figure out how to beat a quest through deck building. In my humble opinion both games are fantastic, budget allowing I think they are both worth investing in a core and a few expansions just to see which floats your boat, but barring that, I would probably pick it more on theme then anything else unless you recognize something in yourself from some of the feedback like "I don't like building decks" for example.. in that case, don't pick LotR, or if you really love deck building, don't do Arkham Horror you will be disappointed. They are both very smart games, **** they are both Nate French so .. you know its going to be good, the man is like a card game making savant!
  5. For me the selling point of the current model is that every time I want to get something for my favorite game, I get to buy something entirely new and I only need to buy 1 of it. I love that. Buy an expansion pack for LotR, get 3 copies of everything, get a new adventure, never EVER have to buy it again for any reason. That's perfect!
  6. Well I have had my first 4 games, effectively just learning the rules with the first scenario, getting a feel for the game. I certainly can't say much about it at this point, other than that I appreciate all the answers and it seems at least at the moment everything said so far appears to be quite on the money. There were two things that kind of stood out for me. First was that deck building seems very limited and I don't mean in the sense of "options", I get that it will expand etc and more cards will be available but in the sense that it was an extremely tight player deck. With a 30 card limit (at least for the investigator I was playing), a Sphere limitation and a 2 card of the same type limitation and a single investigator per player its considerably less robust than Lord of the Rings. I mean, clearly deck building will be part of the game here, but it seems to me that the game really wasn't designed with deck building construction in mind, at least not comparatively to Lord of the Rings. I also felt that the game had a more "board game" feel to it, rather then a card game. With position on the board being important, an action economy, juggling of multiple resources and health bars, I kind of felt like while there was a bit of luck involved with the Chaos bag, it was often more about management then card play, at least a lot less then I expected. Its all very early to make any real assessment for me but quite happy with the game, I really enjoyed the game, certainly a nice addition to my collection. I'm certainly looking forward to trying it with a partner, I have to agree with the above statement that it felt like the game would be more action packed with 2 players. Thanks again for all the feedback and answered questions, its appriciated.
  7. So I just bought into the game (core set and some of the expansions in progressive order). As a long time super fan of Lord of the Rings the Living Card game I was quite hesitant to get into a second game, in particular since I'm not the hugest fan of Lovecraft (mostly like just like the Indian Jones sub-layer it has). In either case, while theme is always super important, gameplay to me can usually get me deeper into a theme so I took a crack at this one after watching some reviews and how to play videos. In any case, there are a couple of questions (I feel like I'm asking a bit late) that I have that I'm sort of hoping and praying are answered with some objectivity from fans of the game. First, how does the game do solo? One of the key draws for me to Lord of the Rings the card game which in its own right is quite an oddity for me since I typically wouldn't venture that deeply into a collectible card game was the extremely challenging solo play. LOTRLCG is **** near perfect when it comes to being playable solo, it's ridiculously challenging and to me that is a big draw but also really loyal to the source material thematically which is icing on the cake. I'm wondering how Arkham Horror fairs. Second thing is regarding re-playability. Now with LOTRLCG replay-ability is really driven by challenge and deck building. In general, you will play most quests many times before you kind of "solve the puzzle", after which you kind of know how to beat it and you might not go back to it, at least not for a long time. With the sheer amount of quests, including campaign mode and various sort of player instituted formats the replayability is really quite near infinite. But I got the feeling from some of the videos that with Arkham horror there is a kind of "go through it once" adventure like thing going. How do you rate the replayability of Arkham Horror, once the story is played through once, do you have a sense of "lets do it again but this time I will ... xx yy... " or is it more like you have one good run and its done? Finally regarding deck building, characters etc.. Do I understand it that there are 4 Heroes in the game and that's it or are new heroes introduced for each campaign? or do you simply add new heroes to the core gaining a growing number of heroes as you collect to run the adventures with a second, third .. etc time. Like in LOTRLCG basically every time you get a new hero it kind of feels like... ahah.. with this hero I can build this or that type of deck and you have this urge to go back to all of your old quests to try your hand at them again with the new setup. How does that work in Arkham Horror. Thanks for any reply's its greatly appreciated!
  8. I just ordered the core set, first expansions and a few quests. Super excited to try it, I too was sold on the how to play videos. As a big fan of lord of the rings the living card game I realized that it could be fun to try something new. If it's half as good as LOTRTLCG, I will be happy!
  9. yes.. as in capital ships or flagships.
  10. I think there is some logic to this arrangement. From a development stand point, it was probably a lot easier to test and balance when you always play with everything and there are no alternatives and combos to test. There were a lot of oddities with the rules and balances when it came to mixing different variance, so it was less about rules complexity and more about how X variant, combined with Y and Z variants worked in the scope of a 6 hour game. I would imagine as well that with TI3 players being fairly accustomed to playing with variants pretty much always (aka, I think very few if any at this point play vanilla TI3), it made sense that they just work the most common variants into the core. I mean since Shattered Empire was released I have never played without Racial Techs for example and since Shard of Throne I have never again played without capitals. I think if I were to research "most common variants used", I would probably come up with a list of things that were included in TI4 and I'm guessing this is probably how it went down. Then there are variants like Distant Suns and Leaders which where great in theory, but from a pragmatic stand point had a lot of mechanical issues. Distant Suns were basically a "random" component to the game which is something from a design perspective not particularly great in a 6 hour a game. Getting a major setback that will likely cost you the game in the opening moves of a game in a 6 hour game is fairly disappointing and I watched that play itself out pretty much in every game distant suns were included over the last 10 years. Its cool conceptually but, in practice it kind of sucked. Leaders were also kind of a weird mechanic because it largely just stalled games adding rounds to an already insanely long game, so while again a cool concept it was not very practical. What it looks like to me is that they set a core foundation using what was effectively the fan favorites from TI3 with its 3 expansions like the races, capital ships, racial techs for example, and they cut out the more beneficially debatable mechanics. I would venture to guess with a certain certainty that some of the variant mechanics we had in TI3 will find their way into expansions in newer more streamlined form, hopefully a more balanced form as well. My gut feeling is that TI4 will completely replace TI3, its not going to be this 3rd edition, 4th edition D&D kind of thing where you have hold outs who think the old game is better, its clear its the same game with more focus so Christian T.P. clearly did his homework on the community.
  11. Quoting myself from last year, now that 4e has been released it turns out my final comment was not only accurate but almost a direct quote from Christian T.P. about the logic and reasoning for developing and releasing 4E. For what its worth I agree with him whole heartedly, sometimes you have to create something like TI4 just for the fans, just because its part of your legacy. He did just that and financially successful or not 4e, even before its released is going to be a part of a long and wonderful legacy that FFG has produced with this game. Its great to see that even after years of financial success FFG still knows how to treat its fans.
  12. Yeah you got in late m8. I think at this point TI3 isn't going to be worth a whole lot. Even now you can buy shrink wrapped 3rd editions on Ebay for less than 20 bucks and TI4 isn't even out yet. There are a lot of people trying to shake their 3rd editions on E-bay, I looked it over and while prices range from 20 bucks for the box to 300 bucks for the game and all expansions, as it stands I don't see a single bid on even one of the postings with the exception of the guys selling it for 20-30 bucks. The good news is that you can probably pick up the expansions on Ebay dirt cheap. People are putting out their entire sets at 200 bucks or best offer, I bet you could low ball those for 40-50 bucks and they will sell it to you. Boardgamegeek markets haven't caught up yet, but people are out of their minds their trying to sell expansions for 300 bucks and stupid stuff like that, obvious attempts to take advantage of the fact that they are out of print and trying to make people think that they are worth more as a result. I would say right now the actual value of TI3 is like TI3 Core = 20-30 bucks Expansion = 15 bucks max With a bit of patience you might be able to get a bit more for it, but I wouldn't count on it. On the bright side, since TI4 is basically a TI3.5, many of the components are re-usable. For example you can use the plastic for 7 & 8 player games, or systems for creating a larger variation of galaxies. You could use the Strategy Cards as alternatives to change up the game a bit, you can add leaders back into TI4, you have distant Suns that can be used in TI4. I mean I doubt most TI4 converters will be getting rid of their TI3 stuff, its still got some value towards the new game in particular for the variants and expansion possibilities. I would personally keep the core and just call it a loss. It would have been nice for FFG to give us some heads up, I thought the way they handled the release was really ***. Lots of people have been waiting for the expansion reprints and there really was no warning at all about a new edition and then suddenly its already coming in October. A bit of a bait and switch, I can understand your frustration.
  13. Seriously. I've avoided spoilers to a point as I don't like knowing everything about a game before I play it, but right now the only thing I want is for it to be in my hands. I've reached a point of "tired of waiting for it" and the momentum of the excitement is going to fade if we don't get this show on the road! Its time for us to play Legend of the Five Rings, we are ready!
  14. sorry I misread your post. I thought you said "I was wrong" but you said "Your not wrong". Mah-bad.
  15. Legion may very well become more successful then Runewars, but I'm curious how you can say I'm wrong about what happens in my gaming circles? I mean its not like I made it up, I asked them, they told me, I offered up our experience. I'm 100% certain, I'm 100% right about everything I said, because they are stone cold indisputable facts.