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awp832

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Posts posted by awp832


  1. Yorrick is a shakespearean actor,  get it now?  

     

     

    Anyway,  Yorrick is one of my favs.   Yes, low speed can be a problem,  but hopefully he can get around it, plenty of other low speed investigators who manage.  But mainly I wanted to say:  what the heck are you doing getting him blessed first turn?  You crazy?  I would only think about doing that if Mary were in the game (story Synergy).  Otherwise as you said,  +1 focus isn't that great, and rarely is an early blessing too helpful anyway.   He's basically starting with 3 clues and you're sacrificng them all for an early blessing and +1 foucs.   Instead why don't you use his first turn to pick up a clue at Historical or Silver Twilight?   After that,  if he can kill a monster, especailly if one had spawned on a gate,  you have your 5 clues to make a seal with.  Depending on what you have, Twilight turn 1 and General store turn 2 is also an attractive option,  giving yourself a chance at a momevemt boost or a gun if you don't have one.


  2. in the base set, yes.   But base set spells are on the whole, very lackluster.  Dunwich adds in 8 utility spells and 0 combat spells.  All 8 of Pharoah's spells are utility, except for Markings of Isis, which is only indirectly combat oriented.   KiY is 2 combat, 2 utility, and 2 in-betweens (Inner Beast and 3rd Eye). 


  3. Hm,  I think spells could indeed use a bit of love,   but I wouldn't go too far.   Sometimes I just wonder why they didn't allow the Draw3 choose1 at the Magic Shop,   I think that would have been just fine, and would have gone a long way towards balancing spells a bit more.

     

    Spells, at their core,  are generally not used for combat.   They are used for utility.   Obviously this can change depending on what expansions you have mixed in, but generally speaking, this is true.   Sure, there are some great combat spells out there.   But when I think of spells that I really want,  Alchemical Process, Find Gate, Summon Shantak, Inner Beast, Markings of Isis, Feeding the Mind, Vision Quest and Heal are almost always topping spells like Shrivelling or Wither.


  4. but there are so many =)

    Marie may well be my favorite Investigator to play.   The picture bugs me a little.   Something about the  way her hands are positioned, I think.


    From the last few months of stats reports, it seems that Trish might be in the "look-but-don't-touch" category.   ....  Not for me though, she's another one of my favs, =).   So my pick is probably Jack as well, for already stated reasons.

     

    Incidentally,   Mark is da bomb.   If you're fighting with him,  then you're doing it wrong.   Mark is a stealthy character, not a fighty one.   This is why I prefer him leaps and bounds to Monterey,  who's sneak maxes at 3.


  5. i doubt the game designers were too concerned with making final combat 'feel like'  a win.   I suppose it's not fair for me to speak for them either, but let me just say:

     

    If *I* was designing AH,  I would have approached it  from the following standpoint:  Final combat *is* a win,  so lets balance these AOs to make the ones fast to wake up easier to kill, and the ones slow to wake  up pretty darned tough.

     

    If you want tougher final combats, IMO, that's what Epic battle is supposed to be for.  A host of nigh-impossible AOs isn't the answer.   Zhar and Hastur really share the same problem...  on opposite spectrums.   Zhar wakes up early and has a darned near impossible combat,  Hastur wakes up late and has a relatively easy one.  

     

    To be honest,  I think power creep may have something to do with it.   In the base set, Shrivelling was the king.  There was nothing with a better bonus.   If you weren't a spellcaster or didn't  have sanity to spare,  the best you could hope for was a .45 automatic and an enchanted blade.    Enter Dunwich:  +5 single hand weapons become available.   Honestlty, their drawbacks are more than balanced with their strengths... except for in final combat, where their drawbacks cease to matter.  Flamethrower and Fetch Stick have similar mechanics.  Rare 'no-hand' items also throw off final combats.  Mission:  Sealing the Beasts power enters play.   Enter Dark Pharoah:  Some allies that are downright rediculous, Tom Murphy's +2 combat boost suddenly doesnt look so hot.  Certain Exhibit items (Eye of Light and Darkness, Mask of 3 Fates, Chime of Ra) can give a massive boost in final combat.  Enter Kingsport:  Elephant gun and Brazier of Souls make a +8 combat bonus from "hands" possible to attain in one fell swoop.  Daisy can drop the san cost of a spell to 0, and get Shrivelling garunteed first turn if she likes.   Enter King in Yellow:  Inner Beast adds another effect that gives a 'no hand' bonus to combat, Azure flame adds a magic shotgun, and Storm of Spirits helps low-fight casters like Harvey by a mile, Gladius of Carcosa and Cursed Sphere add more 'big' magic weapons.  Enter Black Goat:  Call AO, Crowbars.   Some items were just created to be broken.   Magnum is another +5 one-hander.  Enter Innsmouth:  No new items,   although Zoey is often an AO bane, and certain personal stories (Harvey, dexter, Lily, Norman, Marie) can be a huge final combat help if passed.

     

    After all that,  Hastur, Yig, Nyarlathotep and Ithaqua start to look especially helpless.    Even some of the more dangerous base AOs like Shub and Cthulu start to fall.  New AOs with harder combats was the answer FFG came up with.


  6. *shrugs*  i dunno.  Rather than gaining clues at the science building you have to collect from the board, or try the general store.  Rumors such as 'the stars are right'  take a bit of innovation and luck to pass.  Risk taking an encounter at an unstable location to pick up an ally?  Or try to win the game before the rumor fails?  More than anything;  you're not screwin around with allies or deputy,  big T makes you focus on the game,   and I kinda like that.


  7. hey, time out,  that isn't what I said.  I said that's how *I* did it.  I'm sure it can be done in other ways too.   Lily Chen/ Marie Lambeau both have stories that can slam Zhar in final combat,  Marie even has a 3rd hand  -a free extra round of combat, woot!  Throw in a warding statue, Mandy, a liberal application of blessings and a lot of heavy firepower,  I'm sure other teams could make it work.   Of course it's difficult,  and it's probably easier to seal,  but it's certainly within the realm of possibility.

     

    Edit:  incidentally,   Tsothoggua is  one of the toughest AOs out there final-combat wise,  maybe *the* toughest.   I've never beaten him in final combat.   Nevertheless, I still find that I really enjoy playing against him.   His slumber ability is far from 'boring' IMO,  rather it's challenging and makes investigators think in different ways.


  8. i've beaten him twice,  I think.   Both times we had a little bit of help.

     

    One time we had completed "sealing the beast's power"  mission.  The other time a (blessed) Norman Withers had completed his story and ripped 2 doom off of Zhar before combat.  Don't remember all the details of the fights though.   One game might have had Tommy in in to die and hit Zhar for another doom as well.  And if i recall,  in the other game we may have had an AO attack cancel item too.    Anyway,  a lot of the time it comes down to turn order.   If your spellcasters are the first to go,  you're probably screwed, unless you have lots of magic weaponry hanging around. 

     

    Even with the above help, it still came down to the wire.  First time we had one investigator with 1 hand left,  second game we had just Harvey with both hands left.


  9. Had an interesting game today.  Marie/Wilson/Trish/Silas vs. Ghantathoa + Dagon&Hydra.

     

    Had a fairly strightforward first half.   Early Elder Sign in Wilson's hands got a quick seal.   Marie took $6 from Silas and passed her story, controlling doom for long enough so that Wilson could pass his too,  with some help from Marie's Alchemical Process, and Trish's dedication at the Newspaper. 

     

    Midway through the game, Trish got petrified by Ghantathoa's visage.  So we shuffled 'em up and dealt one random replacement investigator to the player..   Patrice.   Well,  we roll with our punches (dagon and hydra anyone?), so we take our blessings too =).  Patrice is little help actually for several turns, a victim of some poor starting equipment and most of the group's cash gone already towards Wilson's/Marie's story,  but her clues enable Marie to slap another seal down. 

     

    After the seal Marie walked out into the street and executed a star spawn with storm of spirits and the enchanted knife.  Next turn she spent the trophies (along with a shoggoth she killed earlier) at ma's and picked up Zebulon Whately.  Figured that Alchemical Process/ Refresh (tap Zeb) and recast would quickly allow Patrice to finish off her PS and solve our cash problems for the rest of the game.    I was right.

     

    Game progressed fairly standard,  now there are 4 seals down.  DOR track is starting to become a threat, so Silas went up and quelled the uprising fairly easily,  thanks to some early clue seeding from Wilson.  Next turn he realizes that we're sitting at 6 gates, so he decides that his time is up, sacrifices himself and  seals a gate on Yha-Nethlei.  5 seals down.   Since we were playing a 4-investigator game with 2 players (2 investigators each),  we continued the turn with silas devourered rather than replacing him right away,  it was just more streamlined that way.The mythos that turn however is not with us, and another gate opens on the Graveyard,  back up to  6 gates and nobody in one.  

     

    Time to see who Silas gets replaced by.   We shuffle 'em up,  and I draw one from the middle of the pile.    ....   Who is it?   Silas Marsh.    Well,  although i'd mused over this situation before as a thought-experiment,  this was the first time that we actually drew an investigator who had been devourered already,  and it was an added laugh that it was the turn *after* he killed himself. 

     

    Silas:  "I'M BACK IN THE GAME!!!!!" 

     

    With some help from Patrice and Silas' two clues to start,  he sacs another gate, and a  monster during upkeep,  nukes a Ry'leh gate for style and sacrifices himself -again, for the win.

     

     


  10. Yeah,   i imagine that 4 invesitgators and all boards would be extremely difficult.   Are you remembering that your team gets a bit of a bonus for using so many boards?   For all intents and purposes except final battle,  you are playing a "2-player"  game of arkham. 

     

    I would highly reccomend ditching at least some boards.   Get rid of kingsport at least.  Sounds like you aren't enjoying the board much anyway,  and not having it in will free up an investigator to go do other stuff.  Possibly ditch a second board of your choice too.    Dunwich *does* singnificantly amp the difficulty,  perhaps not as much as Innsmouth, granted,  but it makes it far more likely that you awaken the AO with too many open gates at one time. 

     

      How does the AO usually awaken?   DOR track?  Doom?  Gates?  If it's the same problem over and over,  you can work on improving your game in that respect. 

     

    If reducing boards is simply not an option,  I do have other suggestions for you.  Firstly;  be judicious on whose personal stories you try to pass.   Jenny Barnes,  Hank Samson, and Vincent Lee all have high prices to pay for mediocre rewards.  Diana Stanley's is borderline, depending on how you play her.   Basically,  if you have to give up a seal in order to pass,  it's probably not worth it.  It's ok to fail some stories,  and *don't* let them distract you from the real object of the game.   I know I've had games where obsession with PS completion lead to neglect of the rest of the game,  the AO woke up and it was all over.

     

    Second:  Spend clues wisely.  Clues are a valuble resource for sealing gates.  Spending them on die rolls quickly depletes your stash.   Try not to spend clues unless it's absolutely critical.   Sometimes it's better to die and take an injury than to spend clues to avoid hospitalization/insanity.  The general store can be a decent source of clue tokens,  there are lots of items there that give you one or more clues. 

     

    Third:  create your team well.   If you don't do fully random investigator selection,  try to pick investigators who compliment each other in some way.   Mary/Yorrick  (story synergy),   Joe/Mandy (Clue synergy),  Jenny/Wilson (Story synergy, and equipment synergy -largely the motorcycle), etc.   If your team already contains a good fighter like McGlen,  you might want to lean towards a spellcaster.  It's nice to have at least one investigator who starts with some cash.   In my experience its practically *essential* to have an investigator who starts with clues.  3+ is ideal.   Having a 'gate diver' on the team is also a good idea.   Gloria is the obvious choice.   Luke quite decent as well.  Akachi is great for needing 1 less clue,  Norman is a great team member because he starts with Find Gate (one of the best spells in the game, IMO).

     

    Which brings me to:  Trade.    Trade often.  Norman starts with find gate,  it's amazing.  But after he gets out,  it's gonna be a while until he can amass the 5 clue tokens to get back in.   Give the Find Gate to somebody else with halfway decent lore and sealing clues (or at least a few clues).  Don't horde it to yourself,  especially if it's not doing you any good!  The same goes with other items too.  Wilson's motorcycle often finds its way into the hands of another investigator.  Weapons are great to trade around, and clue-giving items especially. 

     

    Play to your investigator's strengths:   Like it or not,  there are some characters who just *arent* fighters.  Sure,  Finn Edwards could start with an Enchanted Blade and a .45....  great.   Give them away.   Finn isn't a fighter.  His stats suck for it,  those weapons will do far more damage in the hands of Zoey or McGlen.  Finn sneaks around.   So does Mark Harrigan.  Trust me.    Yeah, monster slaying is fun,  but leave the fighting to the fighters, let the sneaky characters gather clues and dive into gates,  or handle Innsmouth.


  11. While I use Dunwich cards every game,  the Dunwich board is less used these days.   It mostly sits and gathers some dust in the box.  I simply find that the Innsmouth board is vastly superior in terms of game design.   Nevertheless,  I would still regard Dunwich as an essential, Investigator cards, injury/madness and characters are worth the price of admission,  even if you don't use the board or mythos.

     

    I disagree that Innsmouth is a bad expansion to get first though.   Sure,  it amps the difficulty considerably.    Rather,  the Innsmouth board does.   But if you're just getting used to the game,  simply don't use the Innsmouth board/mythos.   The added characters increase variety considerably, stories are *very* fun  (at least as fun as new items, IMO).   And if you are having difficulty,   there are some very powerful investigators included that can give you a huge boost (Patrice, Roland, Silas  -yes,  even without the IH board Silas is top notch.   His story gives you such an easy seal it catapults him into the creme de la creme).  

     

    largely agree with flamethrower when it comes to small-box expansions.   Except I don't see CotDP as quite as critical.    It's cool.   But there isn't anything there that I would miss so terribly much if I didn't have it.


  12. Nobody likes it becasue 1:  it is extrodinarily difficult to complete.   Even if you draw it as starting equipment with Pete or somebody who starts with an ally (best case scenario), it's still terribly difficult.  

     

    And more importantly, 2:  one of Arkham's major selling points is that the team all wins or loses together.   JtWT is fine for 'solo' games using multiple investigators or whatever, and kind of cool to complete.   But for those of us who actually play the game with other people,  it's no fun.   It will be very difficult for the rest of the team to pick up the other investigator's slack as they focus all their efforts to JtWT,  and likely the game is already going poorly, or else JtWT wouldn't be attempted. 

     

    3:  there is no penalty for failure.  More accureately, the penalty for failure is not specific enough.  if an investigator attempts it, and the team seals the AO out in spite of this 'traitor',  the JtWT-attempting-bastard has just won the game anyway.   That's dumb.   They should have added a line of text that said something like:   "If this card has at least one clue token on it,  you can't win the game by any means other than this mission."


  13. seeing as how i've been in a sizeable number of those games reported,  I suppose I can just tell you.

    Random:   deal 2/3 choose 1.  Or deal 5 choose 2 (when only 2 players run 4 investigators)

    Cherry pick people/AO?:  nope.

    Plan for final combat from early game?:   Nope.   We attempt to seal every game.

    Stubbornly refuse to prep for combat at all, even if it is clearly invevitable, like having 1 seal on the board with 9 doom against Yig and the DOR track at 5/6, like Dam does?  :  Nope.  =)

     

    Expansions:   Big Boxes:   Means I used the board.   If the game says DH, it means I used the DH board.   If it doesnt,  I still used the stuff from  DH,  but not the board.

    Small Boxes:   Used the Mythos/stuff.   I probably should stop listing KiY as being used, since I generally dont play with the mythos (to increase IH concentration).  

     

    -note:  yeah,  this system yeilds some weirdness.   You'll see games where we were supposedly not using DH, but have Mark Harrigan in the game, a rail pass, and coded messages or something like that.   This is cause we use all the encounter cards and all the investigators/ stuff is available.   Still, I think this system is the best way to avoid throwing off the stats too bad for things like "the DH awoke".

     

    Item Decks:  All stuff from all expansions I own.   'culling' the item deck is kept to a minimum.   We only remove items that we feel reduce the fun of the game by being so completely useless as to have no application or actively remove the fun.   6 cards are removed:  Join the Winning Team, Walking the Ley Lines, Shrine to an Elder God,  Throne of Carcosa, Wrack x2 are removed,  everything else from CotDP, DH, KiY, AH are in. 

     

    Monsters:  all in.


  14. I suggest playing with only 1 expansion board at a time as well.   But,  have you wasted your money, buying other expansions?   I think not...   The 'big box' expansions add a lot to the game,  even if you don't play with their boards.   Extra items, injury/madness, investigators, AOs, heralds, monsters and encounter cards are all things you can put in your arkham games without having to use the extra board.. 


  15. In regards to Hydra;  yes, her abilities combine extremely well with Dagon,  but she is more formidable than you might think on her own.

     

    Played a game yesterday against Abhoth + Dagon and Hydra, a formerly unattempted combo, now:  an undefeated combo =).  Each monster surge gave us a minimum of 6 monsters:  4 (players) +1(Hydra) + 1 (child of Abhoth).    No cultists for easy-kills either,  ouch!!!

     

    We were doing ok until late game when a couple of investigator deaths put monsters in the outskirts, and a few surges in a row added 2 terror, ripped all of our clues away and woke up Abhoth on doom,  nasty.   Granted it was the pairing that was the killer on that one,  but difficult monsters thanks to Hydra/Abhoth were hounding us all game.  When Ursula is looking at a Gug and thinking  "maybe that's the 'easy kill'  I need for my 3rd trophy.... "   you know you've got problems.

     

    Anyway,  I'm rambling,  but I still think that Hydra alone is at least as challenging as King in Yellow, or Dunwich Horror, and more so than Dark Pharoah.   This puts her somewhere in the middle of the herald-difficulty list.


  16. hm..  I guess I've always taken that to mean that the Deputy can't be arrested.  Why would they make a ruling that applies only to a single Mythos card?   I mean,   the only reason to think the deputy would given any special treatment whatsoever for that card would be if the Deputy couldn't be arrested...

     

     


  17. Well, I think you may not be giving due credit to some really tough heralds out there,  specifically Dagon.    But nevertheless, Yes, Black Goat is rediculous, and certainly is a contender for most difficult herald.  Your complaints are legitimate, and I often feel that BG turns Arkham in to an AO battle, which is one of the reasons I dont intend to purchase BG expansion.   I think that your house rule is an appropriate one though,  I've considered it myself.   Hex monsters and corruption gives a different spin on the game that is fun and worthy of a Herald's ability. 

     

    Nevertheless, it's not impossible.  Some tips:  Select investigators like Zoey Samaras, Mandy Tompson, or Ursula Downs.   As many investigators as possible who start with a *lot* of clue tokens.  Wendy Adams is naturally, a good choice for an early seal and a -1 doom to boot (dont worry about failing her story I say... who cares?)  Seal early and often.  Dont waste any time.   Avoid killing hex monsters if you can.  Therefore, a nice alternate route would be to play characters with bunches of sneak.   Wendy again,  Trish, Mark, Joe.   You don't need to fight monsters in this game.  Many of the heralds penalize you for high terror, but BG does not.   So let the outskirts fill, only waste your turns on killing monsters if you absolutely have to.


  18. It's pretty much been established what 'draw' means.    It would have been clearer if they would have said "draw and keep", but they didn't.  First:  Starting items don't count.   Second, any items you draw and then immidiately discard don't count, only those you keep.   As you can see, shopping works for gaining Uniques, but you aren't drawing "3" per shopping turn,  you're only drawing one.   Various things like the Sale at the Curiosittie Shoppe, or the Sale at Uptown could allow you to draw multiple uniques at once and keep them,  which would count for story purposes.

     

    Not really clear on exactly what you're asking on your second question, but I'll try to explain how the Patrol Wagon and Devils reef interact.   Well....  just like anyplace else.   You can drive out to Devil's reef if you want,  you don't have to use Falcon Point and you don't have to pay the $2.   You may also drive back to any location of your choice with the Patrol Wagon if you are on Devil's Reef at the time.  You may not use it to go to Y'ha-Nthlei, because there is specific text that prohibits it.   Devils Reef has no such text, and therefore functions just like any other location.  

     

    3rd question:  It's the most *likely* way, yes.  But it isn't the only way.    Other things that can get you out of Devil's Reef are encounter cards, mythos cards (Charity Case! for example), patrol wagon, Mi-Goh Brain Case, Call Friend, Astral Travel, going insane/unconcious, failing to kill a Nightgaunt, failing a combat check against a Dimensional Shambler (or otherwise LITS), Silas Marsh's ability,  and getting arrested (crowbar perhaps, or Temperence Fever!).

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