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BD Flory

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Everything posted by BD Flory

  1. I've played the most at middling range, like 3-5. Not out of any particular intention, that's just how the games pulled together in terms of available players and so on. I think which you prefer is going to be down to taste, or even mood on the day. High player counts definitely need to worry about doom, and they're almost always going to be chasing anomalies and playing catch-up to clear doom from neighborhoods and remove anomalies. Because they draw many mythos tokens in sequence, doom can stack up before they have a chance to respond, and once anomalies spawn, you have to remove all doom from a neighborhood to remove them, rather than just policing to keep it below a certain level. In lower player counts, doom explosion is less of a threat. You can plan a somewhat more studied route through arkham to keep doom from hitting that critical mass, since drawing many fewer tokens per mythos phase, hitting the various hotspots on the way, rather than seeing what breaks in the mythos phase and racing to fix it. On the other hand, enemies can be more disruptive, either by attacking you directly or through various global effects, so you're obliged to prioritize them in low player counts. The main thing with scaling, I've found, is not the number of tokens you draw in itself, it's the number of tokens you draw in a row, without having player turns in between to answer their threats. That's why doom can pile up and explode in high player counts and `10 or 12 tokens per mythos phase; Lower player counts might see only 2-4, before they can act, giving them a chance to deal with threats before they magnify one another. Middling counts feels like the sweet spot in terms of seeing the most of what the design has to offer, as neither of the above extremes are really in force. You get a decent chunk of mythos tokens in a row each round -- about half the bag -- but not so many in a row that there are emergencies every round (unless you've been slacking in previous rounds, of course). Both doom and monsters spawn quickly enough that they're threats, but neither so fast that one outweighs the other. Like I said above, I don't think one extreme is more difficult than the other (nor more or less difficult than the middle range of players), but it does mean approaching the strategy in different ways. And investigator selection is obviously a factor as well -- it's more important that the majority of investigators be able to ward well with doom spawning all over the table every round, and in lower player counts it's more important that each investigator be able to deal with monsters in some fashion on their own. (The choice between starting loadouts for each investigator goes a long way to help here.)
  2. This is, of course, true. But proposing fixes for a game you haven't played, nor even read the rules for, is just silly. A bunch of forum posts and marketing previews are a poor frame of reference to decide whether adjusting the walking speed of investigators, as you propose, is a good idea. Once played, sure, you might want to adjust something. You might also find that the problem is completely imaginary or based on sheer speculation; or that you simply need to adjust your strategy, not the game rules, to have fun and/or be successful, without the unintended consequences of hasty house rules spoiling some other aspect of the design. But you know, your game. You're free to wallpaper your bathroom with the encounter cards, if you like. *shrug*
  3. Having played low and high player count games, as well as middle, I think it scales very well, but not necessarily by scaling every aspect of the game identically. You can't prioritize threats quite the same way at different player counts. You can let doom simmer for a while in low player counts, for example, because you're much less likely to have multiple tokens compound doom in a single neighborhood in one mythos phase without the opportunity for investigators to respond. Conversely, enemies are less of a threat at high player counts because there are more players to absorb them -- you can keep right on warding while your buddy Michael McGlen puts the tommy gun to that cultist, for example. Personally, I prefer this. It introduces variation in gameplay at different player counts. If you want gameplay to be the same at all player counts, you'll find it frustrating. I don't think it's any more or less difficult, just different.
  4. I'm not really interested in playing semantic games. You're repeatedly arguing solo and low player count investigators are at some imaginary disadvantage, despite people who've actually played the game indicating those concerns are either a non-issue or are addressed by game or scenario design (though granted, even those of us who have it can't have completely analyzed it yet, as there are a lot of moving parts). Then you pivot to some other reason solos are at a disadvantage, again based on nothing but speculation and other games. Charitably, maybe you don't realize you're doing it, which is why people keep saying to give the game a chance instead of leaping to conclusions. If you're curious, by all means, ask questions. That isn't what you're doing.
  5. The vast majority of the enemies that you need to chase -- those that add doom or whatever -- spawn either at the street nearest the lead investigator (so, one space away in in every possible map, at least until we get some non-street tiles that connect to neighborhoods), or in the location with the most doom, where you should probably already be heading anyway. I believe one or two may also spawn at the unstable location, which again, is somewhere that's probably not out of the way for you, since it's been recently active with doom or clues. And as Duciris points out, you can cover 7 spaces in two actions if you find yourself badly out of position. And that's assuming you don't have anything that increases the ground you can cover -- you might be able to get there faster. This really isn't the issue people are imagining it to be. Play the game.
  6. In the azathoth scenario, there are 2 monster tokens in the bag. In single player, it takes 7 turns to cycle the bag, meaning a solo investigator will only see a monster draw once every 3.5 rounds. And not every monsters (or threat) needs to be dealt with. High player counts are balanced by the fact that by drawing so many tokens in a row, there are many threats you simply cannot answer -- by the time it's the investigators' turn again, the 8 tokens that 4 players drew produced enough doom to straight up spawn an anomaly, and they have to spend time closing that anomaly (which is both more urgent and more of a commitment than cleaning up doom before an anomaly opens). In single player, you're likely go many rounds before enough doom accumulates to spawn an anomaly, quite possibly even a full cycle of the bag and then some. Again, play the game a few times before you insist it needs to be "fixed."
  7. The game's not even out yet. Maybe give it some time to breathe, and players some time to learn the game, before people decide what needs to be fixed.
  8. They do not, nor should they. Since doom, clues and actions all scale per investigator, scaling the codex objectives in addition to that wouldn't be scaling at all -- it'd just be making things easier for small groups. As it stands now, you may need more rounds to achieve the codex objectives with fewer players, but roughly the same number of investigator turns. Since the frequency of mythos effects is tied to investigator turns (not rounds) as well, objective-scaling is baked into the game system.
  9. When generating clues and gate bursts, you draw from the top of the deck. When generating doom, you draw from the bottom. Each of these cards are (eventually) discarded to a common pile, shuffled, and added to the bottom of the deck at intervals dictated by the chaos bag. In practice, this means that, like outbreaks in pandemic, doom tends to cluster to some extent, while still allowing for the possibility of its unpredictable spread and allowing cards drawn from the top of the event deck to spread the action to new locations.,
  10. Really, it's a whole new game that's a spiritual successor to Arkham Horror. It desrves the name more in the scope of the investigation (local, rather than global) and scale of action (the same), as well as some of the fundamental game mechanisms. It also draws plenty of inspiration from other sources, including other arkham files games, other FFG lines, as well as games produced by other companies. It doesn't supersede Arkham 2nd edition necessarily, any more than, say, Eldritch Horror supersedes Elder Sign. I would say it's much more of a departure from 2nd edition than even Eldritch Horror is.
  11. Having played it at Arkham Nights, it looks great on the table! Although I didn't really have complaints to speak of from the previews, so... shrug
  12. It's excellent. It's definitely more of a spiritual successor to second edition than a straight update, as it draws from a variety of sources for mechanics and ideas, both within the arkham files line and without. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way -- I already own second edition. Notably, gameplay feels much more dynamic with the pandemic-inspired spread of doom as the main threat (at least in the Azathoth scenario), rather than the fairly static function of gates in second edition. Hand in hand with this, various mythos deck effects -- gates, clues, monsters, headlines, rumors, and so on -- have been divorced from one another, and scaled to player count more effectively with the token draws from the mythos bag. The fundamental resolution mechanic is preserved -- dice equal to your stat, 5s and 6s are successes -- although it borrows and improves on Eldritch Horror's stat mechanics by combining focus tokens and improvement tokens, and eschewing Arkham 2's focus sliders. Instead, each investigator can take an action to focus a skill, which gives them +1 to that skill. An investigator can focus as many skills as their focus value (usually 1-3), and in a pinch can discard a focus token (from any skill) to reroll a die on a skill test, presenting a decision between long-term advantage and an emergency benefit in the short term. Arkham 2 also lifts the action system from Eldritch (and Mansions, and to a lesser extent, the card game), but presents several additional options (none of which feel extraneous) to avoid the too-common issue from Eldritch of being stuck with a remaining action, but no legal moves. It feels much more modern in design than arkham or eldritch, while still drawing a clear lineage the classics of the arkham files line. At the same time, it resolves many of the issues that led to Arkham (and to a lesser extent Eldritch) feeling like a random event generator to which you are required to respond (or plan for, if you have a great deal of familiarity). Instead, the development of threats and strategies in any given game feels much more organic and thematic as you race to respond to threats that cluster in a carefully-calibrated-but-not-quite-predictable fashion. Fair warning: If you're one of those groups that gathers 8 players for a day of fighting the mythos, the new game takes only 6. You can obviously ignore that if you wish (assuming you don't mind being short of some components, such as having only 6 blessings or 6 improvement tokens for each skill), but my suspicion is that the design breaks down a bit as you scale above 6. In particular, the mythos bag is going to produce so many threats during the mythos phase, even if you've been diligent in policing doom, that doom may scale to its limit and break through it before the players are able to respond, making the game's difficulty spiral (and not just difficulty, but the fundamental focus of the gameplay would shift from crisis management to crisis response, at least in the first scenario). Personally, I wouldn't even call that a drawback. 7 and 8 player games of Arkham were always a bit too much of a slog for me, anyway. Obviously, it might be a dealbreaker for some groups just in terms of getting it to the table, but player count limitations aside, this is an excellent take on FFG's version of the mythos, with fantastic gameplay. Everyone I played with over the weekend that was on the fence about picking up a copy either at Arkham Nights, or indeed, at all, were 100% sold after a game. Players who come to the arkham files by way of the LCG might miss the customization options, but anyone who loves the arkham board games to date should be extremely happy with this game.
  13. Agreed. Various player counts are each viable at every difficulty. You just have to plan your deck differently. You obviously can't (nor should you be able to) specialize in solo the way you can as one of four players.
  14. It does scale very well to low player counts. We played a game Sunday where the player count slowly dwindled as people drifted away to catch their flights. If anything, it was easier to manage with fewer players than the six player game we played Friday evening.
  15. Just for the record, this is a normal game rule, not unique to arkham nights. You build your deck to completion before you draw any basic weaknesses, whether the one you receive as part of a normal level 0 deck, or any additional weaknesses gained from including experience in standalone mode. The idea is you're not supposed to be able to compensate for your weakness(es) by adjusting your deck.
  16. You, uh, know you don't choose your extra weaknesses, right? And you shouldn't draw it until your deck is locked in (you don't get to make changes based on the weaknesses you draw).
  17. I quite like the box. Serves my needs well. It's a bit unfortunate that standardizing the boxes for longer campaigns (I assume) means it doesn't fit Zealot quite as well, but it's a good space to keep standalones or player decks or what have you. The complaints about width and depth seem overblown to me. My cards (sleeved) and dividers stay oriented perfectly well, including routinely tipping the thing vertically (and other angles) for transport, and I really appreciate the flexibility of being able to fit deck boxes inside, as well. Likewise, the dividers are just fine for me. Looks great, it's sturdy. Pretty much what I was hoping for. At this price point I definitely wanted something more than just that standard OP deck/card boxes, and this fits the bill.
  18. If this was your first play, 3 cultists is not a bad number. 4 is a reasonable target for success, and sets you up fairly well for the next scenario. It's really a push-your-luck scenario, where you try to get as many cultists as you can before midnight, but aren't necessarily expected to get them all. It can be done, but generally by more experienced players with tuned decks. People have definitely done worse on their first time out. (Although looking again, I saw you got the last one very late, so I'm not sure if you actually put that one -- or any of them? -- in the victory display.) It's also worth noting that the scenario has more clues available than you actually need. It's supposed to be a difficult location to clear (thus the VP). Not all VP locations are created equal. Miskatonic has a beneficial ability; Meanwhile, Graveyard has the same number of clues with only 1 shroud, but a harmful Forced ability. Remember also that you can commit intellect icons to investigate tests to increase your odds of success, and Flashlights drop the shroud to only 2. You'll find as you play more scenarios that there are many scenarios that allow for varying degrees of success like Midnight Masks does, in various ways. Some of the game's replay value comes from trying to better your performance.
  19. The final total that you compare to the difficulty to determine success is called your "modified skill value." As such, anything that increases that (noting that Duke and Red-Gloved Man each give you a new base stat, and so are fine to use) does not apply (even if something else is reducing your intellect). No Dr. Milan Christopher, no Magnifying Glass, no Committed Cards, no Lucky, no Lockpicks, no +1 chaos token, no nothing. You may, however, modify the shroud, or modify a non-intellect skill (such as willpower for Rite of Seeking). And any negative modifiers apply normally. (Poster above is correct that the erratum was to correct the issue that, as written, negative chaos token modifiers did nothing.)
  20. That still allows you to use the action at any point during that turn, rather than immediately. Which is really just to point out that we could imagine a lot of little tweaks, but rephrasing it while having it produce the actual desired effect, while still fitting it in the limited space of a card is all easier said than done. On the other hand, the subtle difference here between Leo and Ursula has been confusing for a lot of people, so I'm sure it's something they'll bear in mind in the future. It's all kind of a moving target. It does make me wonder, though, if a lot of people have been taking the Quick Thinking action without provoking attacks of opportunity, or if they've been playing that correctly (and if so, why?). I imagine it does come up a lot less often though, as I would assume that if you succeed by 2 for Quick Thinking, you've *probably* gotten yourself out of trouble (or you're just going to attack again).
  21. "Additional action" comes freighted with some rules baggage that isn't appropriate for Ursula, in particular that you have some flexibility in when you use additional actions that Ursula does not enjoy. "Take an action," like Quick Thinking (which also uses "take an action" rather than "additional action," indicates that the action is to be used immediately, and there is no free trigger window between the move and the investigate action granted by her react.
  22. You don't take additional AoOs from Ever Vigilant. It is giving you the effects of the "play a card," basic action from the RRG, but you're not paying the cost (use an action) or taking the play a card action. This is also, fundamentally, why Leo and Ursula behave differently. Leo's react gives you the effect of an action, without using an action (the cost is, instead, triggering a react). Ursula prompts you to take an entire action. While you don't have to spend one of your actions (the normal formulation of a basic action in the RRG is that you "use an action" to gain an effect; Ursula's ability covers the whole process, so she grants the action you use), you are still "taking an action," which is explicitly what provokes an attack of opportunity: "Each time an investigator is engaged with one or more ready enemies and takes an action..." ("Attacks of Opportunty," RRG).
  23. As established above, you can't Yorick the Bat on the same attack you lose it. The Beat Cops, if they are discarded or defeated when you initiate their ability (or in other words, pay the cost of discarding Beat Cop 0 or damaging and possibly defeating Beat Cop 2) can be salvaged by Yorick immediately, because you pay costs to initiate abilities before you resolve their effects. Guard Dog is a little more complicated, because it's a "when" trigger, which means that it goes off before the damage dealt to the guard dog affects the game state. So the enemy attacks, you assign damage to the guard dog, but before you actually place the damage on the dog, you trigger its ability. The enemy defeated (if appropriate). *After* the enemy has taken the damage and been defeated, you finish damaging the guard dog, which may defeat it, but by then it's too late to trigger Yorick.
  24. And there were also promos that people backed decks with. The problem with promos is that they aren't necessarily chase cards by design -- many companies tried to make powerful promos easy to get by keeping them in print for the life of the game or the expansion with which they were associated, and made promos with short runs exceedingly narrow use. Many companies tried to do the same thing with rares. I worked for one of them during the exact period we're discussing. But demand is unpredictable, and the play value of cards in relationship to other cards changes over the life of the game. What you "needed to chase," as a player or collector, was unpredictable. This is like arguing that you don't want to buy bad fiction to get cards (if you're on the con side) or that it's buying good fiction with that comes with bonus cards (if you're pro). Whether the fiction is good or bad is immaterial. Just like whether the promos or rares are good or bad, vital or coasters, is likewise immaterial, in part because it's both unpredictable and subjective. Even with the best intentions, it's inevitable that a power card will slip through. The only thing we can say is true for all (primary market) purchasers is that they had to buy fiction that made up the bulk of the cost of production to get the cards. Many companies *tried* to make promos and rares without making chase promos and rares. That wasn't a new thing, and wouldn't have been worthy of announcement. The whole point of the promise wasn't that LCGs were supposed to be a stupid investment. It's that they weren't supposed to be a financial investment at all. You buy a game at a reasonable price, for its value as a game, not an investment. So of course the promise makes LCGs sound like a stupid investment. They were supposed to be. The far more important point, though, as I've said multiple times, is that FFG's business practice following the introduction of the format was 100% consistent with my interpretation. You know a tree by its fruit, and the fruit of this announcement was no mechanically distinct promos or rares, no matter how innocuous. Yes. And it was known it would be a collectible game from the jump. What's your point? FFG never said they wouldn't do promos for any of their games, or that they would never do collectible games with rarity. Only that they wouldn't do either of those things in the LCG format. Destiny is as advertised, and everything you described is a predictable consequence of a successful collectible game. This is another false equivalence. They also do exclusive promos cards for the other Arkham Files board games at Arkham Nights. I would be happier if they were widely available, of course, but FFG never promoted those games as a response to the proliferation of promotional items in the board game market. Yes, and they did so not by presuming they could predict which promos or rares would be "chase" items, but by entirely foregoing promos and rares for gameplay, and marketing the format based in part on that decision.
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