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  1. What is this I don't even.... Let me put it another way. The Euro approach is about designing a game system, and then building the theme and components around it. That seems to have been the idea with Elder Sign: it's a dice-rolling game that someone built a Cthulhu theme around. The other approach, in contrast, is to start out with the theme and components and built a game system around them. (I can just see the Tides of Iron developers, standing around a huge pile of miniature soldiers and map components, and asking each other: so, who's going to design the game that will use all this stuff?) For the other titles in the Arkham series, I suspect that that's how it went - they started with investigators, weapons, spells, monsters, and a map, and asked, how can we turn this into a game? I don't see Eldritch Horror as being purely one approach or another. Rather, it would seem that they started with a clear idea of both the theme (Cthulhu) and the gameplay (fast, story-driven) and built the game and its components around that. It's not the pure Euro approach of moving blocks around on a board with just a hint of a theme . . . but it's certainly not the other approach, of a massive map with huge numbers of bits and a rulebook whose only purpose is to give all that stuff some reason for existence, either.
  2. (Skipping the flame war . . . ) The purpose of the Nightmare Mode expansions, as I see it, is to pacify the players who are constantly complaining that the game is too easy. A secondary reason may be to quietly assess the level of interest for very hard scenarios; if they sell very few of the Nightmare Mode expansions (as I think likely), then they'll know how many players are interested in that difficulty level. At the risk of being cynical, I don't think it will shut down the complaints. Every relatively easy quest that is released - every single one - they complain, as if they expect every single quest to be Difficulty 11. The idea that that may not be what all players want completely escapes them. But at least now there is a reasonable response: think the recent quest is too easy? Have you beat Escape from Dol Guldur in Nightmare Mode with your solo deck yet? No? If what you want is difficulty, then why are you playing recent quests that you know will be less difficult than the Nightmare Mode quests?
  3. My initial thoughts on this new entry in the Arkham line: less Ameritrash, more Euro. FFG has long been known for its entries in the Ameritrash category, and Arkham Horror was first in line, with all the requisite features: big board, long play time, mechanics loaded up with "chrome", and lots and lots of fiddly bits. (Granted, Arkham Horror was initially a bit light on the mountains of plastic bits that Ameritrash games are known for, but that oversight has subsequently been corrected with the release of the miniatures.) And expansions - lots and lots of expansions. A veritable Tides of Iron for the lover of Lovecraft. Eldritch Horror seems to be moving away from all of that. The board is smaller, the mechanics seem tighter, the fiddly bits fewer, and plastic is nowhere in sight (although I am confident FFG will be willing to sell some suitable plastic bits to the diehard if-it-doesn't-look-like-Axis-and-Allies-I-won't-play-it crowd). The preview focused on what appear to be carefully designed, interlocking mechanics - more the mark of a Euro design than an Ameritrash design. One significant variation from the Euro trend would be more emphasis on the flavor - which I think is one thing FFG does get right. Elder Sign (another move away from Ameritrash and toward Euro in design) was criticized for being light on the flavor, and I think they've taken that to heart. I don't really have a specific thought on whether this is designed to replace Arkham Horror - I think it's more designed to draw a wider range of gamers in. Gamers who would look at a gigantic layout with massive piles of cards and bits and would instinctively say "no thanks" may take a closer look at this one, and I think that's the goal. FFG has no fear of endless expansions - just look at the LCGs - so its presence doesn't automatically mean no more for Arkham Horror.
  4. That would be me. I have played Arkham Horror and enjoy it, but in general, it's too long, too big, and too loaded up with stuff that seems to be there for no other reason than to make it long and big, and that goes double for the expansions. Also, the flavor is a bit on the bland side relative to the RPG and even the LCG. I'm happy to play it, but can't see myself getting it for my own collection given the price and the size. I am hoping that the new entry will be more compact in both time and space requirements, and with stronger flavor. If that's the goal, I'm interested.
  5. I'm reluctant to mention it, but one significant factor that may be impacting perceived difficulty is the simple fact that not all players are playing by the same rules. In a competitive game, there is always the opponent there to keep you honest. In a solo game, there isn't, and even in a cooperative game you can get away with a lot more than in a competitive format. As such, I suspect there are any number of "house rules" being implemented that significantly shift the difficulty curve. (I also suspect that there are a certain number of players who studiously avoid errata and official rulings and just play the cards the way they think they should be played, rather than be unhappily surprised that Zigil Miner has been nerfed into the ground.) To take a specific instance, it's been admitted on these forums that a certain number of players take a very expansive view of the mulligan rule. Taking more than one mulligan may not seem like a big deal, but given how critical certain cards are in certain decks, I think it is. I won't claim innocence on this one - I will confess that I've done the old "whoops I didn't mean to do that let me just undo my last action", which in a competitive game I likely would not be able to get away with. But I wish I could be confident that the players who are going on about high win rates and how winnable the game is if only the rest of us knew how to play would confirm that they were playing strictly "by the book" - but I'm not confident that that is always the case.
  6. This is a great move, and will very likely tempt me back to playing the game. I had quietly dropped the game for a number of reasons, but most prominent of those was the difficulty. It felt like the loudest advocates of the game were - to borrow FFG's terminology - "Boromirs", players who apparently think that a 10% win rate is too high and Sleeping Sentry was the FFG designer's finest moment. FFG literally was "turning it up to eleven" on difficulty, and since I had no interest in that, I had no intention of sticking around. FFG has, wisely, decided to cater to a wider audience. The masochists now have their difficulty 11 decks that will require a hundred play-throughs before they can defeat it with their every-OP-card-in-the-game solo deck, while those of us who just want to enjoy the theme while experimenting with interesting deck builds will be able to do so without getting repeatedly drubbed by bad card draws. Granted, those of us who play on Easy Mode will have to endure the condescension of the hardcore gamers, but in my mind that's less of a price to pay than having to hate the game because of painful win/loss ratios on the scenarios.
  7. The new expansion is out, and it looks great, strongly recommended.
  8. OK, so it's not quite that simple - you would need another location to attach the Bootlegging to, since you'd be running that and the Blackmoor at the same time. And no, there aren't enough Yithians to stack the whole deck with them . . . not yet, anyway. But still, someone needs to give this a shot.
  9. One more reason that Crypsis isn't junk: it can break untyped ice, like the recently spoiled "Whirlpool", coming in the next expansion. Granted, I think FFG will naturally be very cautious about releasing ice that broken by conventional breakers - and Whirlpool is certainly situational, and a one-time-use - but that means having an AI breaker available will have real utility above and beyond deck speed and size optimization.
  10. Question that came up in a recent game: can Three Bells trigger even if one or more players do not have any characters? The card text, for reference: "Pay 1 and exhaust The Three Bells to have each player choose and sacrifice a character." My read is no, but I can see it either way. According the FAQ 1.5, "A player cannot trigger a card effect that requires him to choose a character, support card, or story card if there is no card of that type that he is able to choose." However . . . that may mean only that the triggering player must be able to choose a character; that is, a player may be able to trigger it if he has a character but his opponent does not (although it would be a rare case where that would be beneficial). Next question: can Ipiutak fire off Three Bells? My read is no, but again, I think it's close. Ipiutak reads "after a character you control was chosen as the only target of a triggered effect . . . " As far as I can tell, Three Bells will have two targets chosen (by two players). An alternate reading, however, would see Three Bells as triggering two effects, each of which has one character as the only target, which would allow Ipiutak to respond. Finally, not a Three Bells question, but related: can Ipiutak fire off Temple of R'lyeh? My read again is no, but again, I think it's vague. Temple clearly chooses the opponent as the target, with the opponent then sacrificing a character. There's only one character that is ultimately impacted, but I think technically it's not a target, as "choose" is not used in conjunction with it - unless it's implied? The faculty and students of Miskatonic University await the court's verdict with great interest.
  11. Danigral said: Hmmm, Azathoth may slot into my ST/Yog deck. Between all the bounce and Path of Blood, it may be fairly consistent to trigger him. When playing against Hastur, he would probably be tucked away as a resource though… I'll have to try this against you next time we meet up. You aren't the only one building an ST/Yog deck.
  12. Dimensional Rift is cheaper, but there are more things that can go wrong with it - e.g., getting stolen. The one advantage of Azathoth is that there are very few things the other player can do to stop it (Power Drain is one option, but there aren't many others). And the best combination with Azathoth is Initiate of Huang Hun, or alternately Lord Jeffrey Farrington. But for that combination, you really need to make certain your opponent doesn't have a Power Drain handy.
  13. Don't worry about a second Core Set for now. Just build a Corp deck and a Runner deck and try them out. You'll quickly get a feel for which strategies you like, which cards are working well for you, which you can swap out, etc. Once you have a feel for the game, it should be easier to pick out which expansions you need. But to be honest, so far the designers have been very good with adding value to the game. The fact that solid decks can be built out of just the Core Set alone is a credit to the designers, as is the fact that I feel like every expansion has had something of significance for all seven factions. Some of the other LCGs, I've picked up expansions where I've flipped through the cards and thought, "nope, nothing here", but that hasn't happened for me with Netrunner yet. So you really can't go wrong.
  14. I would buy these if they made them as well. My guess is that they are already in the works, and that for artwork they will be using Corp logos and Runner identities.
  15. Getting another core set should provide you enough of the singletons to put together competitive decks, as pointed out above. But it also lets you build more than one Corp and Runner deck; I find that to be useful, as it allows me to have "standard" Corp and Runner decks I can use to test my experimental decks against without having to dismantle every time I want to build a new deck.
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