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Angelic Despot

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    , Hants, United Kingdom
  1. This isn't a comment on the rules, but on 'riding two sleds at once'. If the rules allow using multiples of assets, then I would picture this as just having lots of spare dogs and sleds. After all, you wouldn't actually be reading two books literally at the same time, and you wouldn't be travelling while researching or whatever either. Your two actions represent what you can achieve over a period of time - there's no reason why that couldn't mean having your expedition be extra well-prepared allowing you to travel very quickly.
  2. Here's another idea of how you could take a Dwarf trait and turn it into a reason for sticking around: pride. Perhaps in the recent past there was a battle involving humans and dwarfs as allies. The dwarfs were doing most of the heavy work, but something went wrong. A mistake was made, a messenger got lost, or something. And the battle turned badly. It looked as if the orcs/beastmen/whoever were going to slaughter everyone. Then a group of humans - including the two scoundrels, or people related to them, did something really, really underhand which turned the tide again. Perhaps they disguised themselves as Dwarfs, with massive fake beards, stole (borrowed) the priceless rune hammer from the dwarfs, and then, when surrounded by the bad guys, offered to surrender. The bad guys jumped at the chance to take such important prisoners, especially when they could humiliate the dwarf leader/king in the process. Of course, the 'surrender' was really just a trap, and the humans / dwarfs ended up winning the day in the end. However... the dwarfs are greatly shamed: their fighting spirit wasn't enough, and the humans won by trickery. What's more, that trickery really mocked the dwarfs, and left rumours about them surrendering never quite going away. Unable to kill their human allies, the dwarfs (in a drunken rage?) swore to show that they were better than the humans: that honour, resilience, good workmanship, good dwarf values, etc. - that these were really the key to victory. And so the character has ended up accompanying his former allies in an attempt to show them up. To demonstrate the inferiority of their trickery and get them to admit that dwarfen honour is really superior. Of course, it will never happen, and the dwarf may start to realise this, but that oath can't be broken...
  3. I think it is in Hero's Call that there are rules for mass battles. They take quite a narrative approach, rather than forcing players to take part in lots of individual combats. There are also rules for extended, combined, party dice rolls. So the battle is resolved by a single roll. The difficulty may be something like this: 4 purple dice for the 4 main enemy regiments, 6 black dice for the darkness, rain, low morale, low supplies, injured troops and enemy champion. The players each contribute 1 blue dice, to add to the single blue dice that their army has. The players then describe what they're going to do to even the odds, either before the battle or during it. So the bezerker can go bezerk, allowing him to change his blue dice to red. He's also going to charge around the battlefield bellowing challenges to enemy champion - which grants the party an extra 2 white dice to their pool. The scribe is able to find some additional supplies to distribute to the players' allies before the battle, which contributes some white dice, etc. So you can take a good few minutes building the dice pool, describing what everyone is doing and how the battle begins. Then roll the dice, and then work out what each dice result means. The white dice roll well - so the bezerker cuts down the enemy champion, the black dice give lots of bad results, but the purple dice are surprisingly not bad: it must be that the enemy army was really demotivated and looking for excuses to break, not putting up much of a fight. This battle will go down in legend as one where more of your allies died from drowning in the mud than being killed by opponents. (Not necessarily true, but a reflection of what sticks in the minds of the survivors.)
  4. I prefer the idea of 'rolling with it' and helping the player develop their character with the mutated face, but one option could be some sort ot Tzeentchian ritual of change which enables the player to mutate away his facial mutation... in exchange for 2 new mutations from the deck. It's a risk, but potentially everyone wins: the PC gets his face back, and Tzeentch gets to visit double the number of mutations on the world. Of course, the 2 new mutations might be worse than a weird face, but you got to take your chances don't you?
  5. Hopefully someone else can give you a more useful answer, as I don't entirely understand your question - not having come across this yet. But my experience of playing - and consulting the rules - was that the order in which things happen is now clear. You work your way through the card, doing one thing after another. So if something is drawn at one step it's now on the board and in the game and ready to be activated by any further steps. As long as you follow the correct order for doing things, it looked reasonably simple to me. It looks like the confusion comes in when you expect several things to be happening at the same time when in fact, they don't.
  6. Yeah, my card holders were free. I ordered 10 packs (actually more) of FFG card sleeves - for using on AH and EH - and use the cardboard box they came in, with thick cardboard spacers I cut from packaging. But you could use any cardboard box of approximately the right shape. It means I can have all of my AH location decks in a space that takes up no more than about 2" by 8" - a lot less than laying them all out flat on the table. For me, while playing EH it wasn't just the searching for cards I found annoying, but the shuffling of the deck every time I drew a card. The only reason you have to keep reshuffling is because you're glancing at other cards while you're searching for the one you've been instructed to draw. But if you've split the deck (assuming that space either isn't an issue or has been solved by using a card holder of some kind), you don't need to search, and don't therefore need to shuffle. As for almost guaranteeing the card you'll draw next from a small deck, that's a result of having so few of any given type of card to choose from. Whether or not you pad those three cards out by mixing them in with what is in practice a deck of different cards is irrelevant. Every time you're instructed to draw a debt, blessing or what have you, there are only so many cards of that type to choose from - so if one of them is already in play, and you're somewhat familiar with the cards, then you'll be able to make a pretty good guess as to what you're about to draw. One of the things I greatly appreciate about this game is that a lot of clutter and space (rules and components) have been merged, slimmed down, discarded, etc. as appropriate. But mixing the conditions doesn't - in my opinion - make any sense, because the different conditions are not interchangeable. It's like having the Other Worlds deck and the Expeditions deck merged into one, along with the instruction to search through the deck for an other world card every time you go through a gate (and then reshuffle the deck). The intention - saving space and complication - was definitely a good one. I just think this deck took that principle too far.
  7. I put my mini decks in a card holder, and have each one separated by a cardboard spacer, so they don't take up any more room than a single deck. And it's quicker and requires much less reshuffling to just pick the top card from the relevant deck than sort through a combined deck and then reshuffle the whole lot. Constantly. The reason I'd like different coloured backs obviously is only because I don't see any benefits in having the cards as a single deck, and so having each of the mini decks have distinctive look would therefore be helpful. As I said, combining the assets into a single deck works very well, especially with a spread of cards displayed to pick from. But assets all, broadly speaking, do the same thing (give you a boost to something). The conditions don't. They are triggered by different things, and affect characters in different ways. As I also said, I don't think there's ever likely to be an occasion when something that triggers you to pull an injury would just as sensibly require you to pull a debt. If you're constantly searching through the deck for specific cards, then I don't think it makes sense to have combined them in the first place. Obviously personal preference is all that matters here, but I just found this to be a weird decision.
  8. I've only played a single game, and used Akachi, Leo and Diana, and of the three, Akachi was my favourite. I think I picked her to begin with because I wanted a contrast with AH, where you feel like everyone knows everyone and it's an urban game, and in EH I thought I'd really play up the globe-trotting. But I found her ability to jump all over the board to be tremendously useful, and her ability to hide from monsters wasn't bad either. (Of course it helps that I didn't flip over the card and see there was a sanity cost, but, ahem...) Leo spent a while trying and failing to learn something useful in San Fran, travelled a bit and then got killed. So I didn't get a lot out of him, but it's probably not fair to judge him on a single game. Diana seemed pretty interesting, but I didn't play her long before I lost the game. Overall, I like the characters, and although I've only glanced at the others, they all look like they've been designed to be interesting and good at something that interests you. Unlike AH, where you're supposed (I think) to assign characters at random, EH tells you to pick. With that in mind, there's no reason to feel like you've been shafted by whichever character you end up with. I like that it feels like all of the characters have abilities that are powerful or dramatic in some way. There's not necessarily a guarantee that that thing will be useful in any given game, but you do at least know that you can do something cool. Some of the AH characters feel a bit bland by comparison.
  9. Of course you can split the deck any way you like I'd be insane to suggest otherwise. For me it's the thought of a million 3 card decks and finding somewhere to put them all (defeating some of the point of EH's design in the first place), not to mention the pointlessness of "shuffling" three cards. As I said, I'm sure the deck will become huge at some point and then we'll have Injury and Madness decks and maybe a general Conditions deck for the rest. But I don't think it's come to that point yet - at least not for me. Well, I think that's why they probably did combine all those decks. In my opinion though this was one of the few 'consolidations' that doesn't work. I get around the problem - in Arkham Horror too - by keeping all the separate decks in a single box, with dividers between them. Sort of like an old fashioned card filing system. This way I can go straight to the deck I want and take the 'top' one. Once the decks are split like this, there's actually no need to keep shuffling them either. It's only because the different types are mixed - and so you necessarily see what's in the deck when you're searching for a relevant card - that you keep being instructed to reshuffle the deck. By keeping my cards in a box, it also means I can't see what the top card is either, so there's no messing about with sometimes taking from the top of the deck and sometimes from the bottom.
  10. Mccrispy, I started another topic on this, but I don't (yet) see any reason why the condition deck can't be split into separate (very small) decks consisting of just madnesses, just debts, just injuries, etc. So far I haven't come across or heard about anything in the game that tells you to draw a condition totally at random. It's always either 'specific card x' or 'a random madness/debt/injury', etc. If you do this you firstly won't need to shuffle very often, as you're not going to be looking at the deck, you'll just be drawing the top one each time - and it will be often by the 'right' card. And secondly, for those times you are told to draw a specific card, you'll only have to shuffle a small pile.
  11. As I said, it may just have been that I was playing solo for the first time. But I think it's also about the scale. In Arkham (and with lots of players), you always felt like you could phone or shout to someone in the street next to you, and with it being relatively fast to move around, it did feel like you were at least crossing paths. In this game, Akachi and Leo met once, briefly, in Australia. Leo handed over some magic knife and was dead a few moments later from a dark pact. (And Akachi then lost the knife and something else in some horrible sanity-busting event shortly afterwards.) Akachi and Diana did I think then cross paths as one was on her way to Greenland via Arkham and the other was fleeing, ahem, strategically redeploying to somewhere else... But it's hard to imagine characters who start the game in different continents, and never meet actually working together very successfully as a team. I can't really think that there's a way round it in game. I just have to hope that when I play again with more players I'll get some of that Arkham feeling back.
  12. I haven't read most of the cards, so I'm expecting either that some mythos events will make it seem like a good idea to go on an expedition, or I you happen to be relatively close I'll take the opportunity to go on one. It just didn't arise in this game. Mind you; it's probably appropriate. I haven't read a lot of HPL's stories, but of those I have read, only one of them was really set in the wilderness. It's probably just as well to have wilderness expeditions and encounters be rare - and mysterious.
  13. Same here - and that's what I'm hoping for! But I'd be surprised. I can't imagine many situations in which it'd be as appropriate to gain a bad back as a debt or a blessing.
  14. Finally got my copy of the game this weekend, and played my first game yesterday. It was also the first time I've played a solo game of any kind through to the end. I used 2 characters; initially Akachi Onyele and Leo Anderson. Things were pretty slow to begin with, as I wasn't totally sure what I was supposed to be doing, and there were hardly any clues on (or appearing on) the board. But Akachi was happily visiting other worlds and shutting gates left, right and centre and I hadn't realised at the time how quickly the Mythos deck might run out, or what that implied, so all was fine. Sadly, Leo kept failing to notice anything interesting in San Franciso... It did take an awful long time to get the first mystery done (put 2 research clues on the mystery card), but then although I was luck with cards drawn, the second one didn't take so long. By chance, the Tick Tock men spawned on top of me, which was a problem as I absolutely couldn't kill them. Akachi fled and Leo was on his way when he was devoured thanks to making a dark pact to resolve the rumour card! Enter Diana Stanley, in Mexico City. She made her way to Greenland to try to get a clue from there... When the Spinner of Webs spawned on top of her! And once again, it was impossible for me to defeat her. This time, there was no one else to turn to, as Akachi didn't have the necessary skills either, even if she could get there in time, so it looked like the game was almost up. I went for the last mystery, and might have made it, had I not drawn a Mythos card that triggered the third and final 'reckoning' that ended the game with a defeat to the Spider thing. Ironically, the Mythos card that did this was the so-called 'Omen of Good Fortune'... (Positive) Observations: I loved the very simple, readable and understandable rules. After one read through I felt like I knew all I needed to. When I needed to reference rules during the game, it was almost always very quick to do so. After the nightmare that is (to me) the Arkham Horror rules, this was a real treat! I loved a lot of the simplified mechanics (compared with AH). Things like combat didn't feel simplified or dumbed down, but they did feel much easier to follow, predict and understand. I was also grateful for the lesser prevalence of combat in general. I liked the single 'Asset deck', which merged a whole range of bonuses into one, easily digested pack, thus saving plenty of space. I liked the fixed stats for the characters, again, saving space and fiddly counters. Both of the above points are examples of something else I liked: the scale and the focus on significant events. This is not something that is 'better' than AH; just different. Most things in the game felt significant. Who cares about spending one dollar on a train ticket? At this scale, that level of detail is not needed. Likewise, the encounters were generally much more satisfying. The rewards seemed bigger, and they seemed more like the result of doing something. Helping a detective track down a murderer rather than 'chat with the paper boy'. None of them felt like generic 'filler', unlike some encounters you can have in Arkham when you're hoping to get something exciting. And the encounters are among my favourite bits from both games. They're really where a lot of the narrative and feel of the game comes from. The encounters also felt more stable and predictable in a way. i.e. Sometimes I had good ones, sometimes not. Sometimes I gained something, sometimes I failed. But generally I wasn't losing more than one or two points of health or sanity, meaning that choosing to have an encounter wasn't generally a potentically life-or-death decision. Running out of health or sanity would obviously be bad, but it felt that you'd need a string of bad luck (or bad decisions) to get to this point, rather than a single bad encounter. Being delayed wasn't such a disappointment either, as you could still have encounters and so feel that you were 'in the game'. The emphasis on the 'big picture', the Old One specific events and research, and the high quality encounters, made the game feel to me that the theme was more obvious than I've often felt playing Arkham Horror. (Negative) Observations: The flip side of the quality encounters and theme is that it's quite apparent that there aren't enough cards in some of the decks! I didn't like the combining of all the conditions into a single deck. I don't see the point, as I never needed to pick a random one - I was always instructed to take a specific card, or draw one from a specific selection (eg. an injury). I'll be separating the conditions into their own mini-decks in future. Travel seemed pretty slow. Admittedly that makes it meaninful, but it did usually mean that my investigators were a long way from help and/or where they needed to be. I'd have felt this more keenly has not Akachi not been able to keep appearing at different gates and/or clues and had not I been able to replace the dead Leo in Australia with the living Diana half a planet away (and closer to the action) in Latin America. I missed the feeling of being part of a team that I get from AH. Although the investigators are on the same side, in my game there was very little interaction between them, so it was more like 2 or 3 individuals fighting private wars against the horror rather than a small team of comrades. Perhaps playing with real players will mitigate this feeling somewhat, just be being able to chat with each other. I didn't use the expeditions at all. That's not actually a criticism of the game. It's quite nice actually to know that there are still things to explore! But I was surprised that it never seemed sensible to try to get to Antartica. I wish there were more city locations on the board. It's not that I felt the game needed them for any mechanical purpose, but it did feel odd not being able to visit some important and characterful places. Over all, I enjoyed it and am looking forward to playing it again - with friends! I'm also pretty confident that when I introduce the game to them, they'll pick up and understand the rules very quickly, and so feel more like they can do what they like in the game, rather than be forced to rely on me to explain what they can do - as happens a fair amount with the convoluted AH rules.
  15. I can see a new board being welcome - but only a long time in the future. By that time the white lines where the board folds will have worn through and will look pretty unsightly, so while producing a better quality one, they could also take the opportunity to add more locations to the board (such as Cairo, Mexico City, etc.). And perhaps add a bit more information to the board (e.g. expand on the route/journey key). But all of this can wait. The main thing I'd like to see more of are encounter cards - particularly OO specific and city specific - and Mysteries. More mythos cards and other worlds cards would also be great. Although I'd love to see regular small releases of new cards, what I don't want to see is this at the expense of quality. I don't want 8 new encounter cards that are slight variations on very generic formulas.
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