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DeeRow

Germany reporting in/ my starter-experience

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Hi there.

I just started playing last week this quite old game, but i am really enjoying every part of it.
Although the whole rule-board seem very tough, i managed them quite good by watching lots of yt-videos of gamers (tragic blathering is great and hilarious in his rounds) who explain every bit by showing a whole game in many parts, slowly and nearly correct.

My way of playing is solo with the core-basic-version only, i lack of any expansions so far. I randomize the investigators and the Old Ones, but take care of playing every combination one at a time.

A few minor questions came to my mind which i'd like to get resolved, mainly not concerning rules, but other stuff:

 

1. I play with 4 Investigators and manage quite good to only travel gates when one is able to seal them. As i went through this forum, i learnt that games last 90 Minutes or so, but my games always exceed 3 hours, often more so. Normal? I am new, but not a slow gamer, not much rule-book-usage or something. Even Yig took hours, and the doom-counter never reached 6.

2. I play with a special gate-burst-idea of adding 5 health-signs to a sealed gate, subtracting one when a gate-symbol appears in the mythos-phase. Anyone else does this?

3a). Does a person being LiTaS lose bank-loans? I guess not.
3b) Does a person being LiTaS rolls dice for loans and bless/curse? I guess so.
3c) Is a person in the Other Worlds affected by Upkeep-Retainers? I mean, when i'm off into the Abyss, do i get the money bec. it is transferred to a bank-account? I played that way, but is it right?

4. Do you discard Items that you did not buy on a discard pile or do you shuffle them back in?
I always use to discard them, how about you fellow players?

5. The cross. Usually the special benefit only works when equipped. BUT as i believe it's some kind of "having with me"-special thing, wouldn't the bonus on horror-checks ALWAYS work? I imagine having it around my neck, glowing or something, giving it's bonus even when not in my hand... How do you use it?

6. Sister Mary. I love this character, i dunno why. I like the idea of her getting blessed a lost blessing automatically when entering church. How do you use it? I dislike the idea of rolling two times or spending clues or anything.

7. Fire Vampires dont have undead. Why? Arent they a special kind of being and not just a burning vampire?



Thats all for now. I thanks for answering in advance.



And here is one thing i like most about AH, the creation of scenes in your mind:

As entering a streetfield equipped with a Cavalry Sabre and a Derringer, i passed a combat check against a Ghoul. In my mind, AH unfolds a scene of a monster being pierced and hold in a position by the sabre while unloading a pack of bullets in it.
Or Sister Mary, collecting the Tommy Gun and the motorcycle... a whole new nun-experience, some sort of "Sin City"-esque... AH has all this trashy-great little things which makes it a really, really great game.


Have a nice day.


P.S.: As putting the monsters and investigators in their plastic-stands i experienced some folds and things on the lower side of the little... carton... thing. Although i do this very carfully. Does anyone have a hint on how to strenghten this pieces?
 

Edited by DeeRow

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Hi there and welcome -- Arkham is a great game, every run is different!

 

1.  Heehee, yeah, a 3 hour game is not unusual at all, and we've even had 8-10 hour marathons when we pull in some of the expansions.  I'd say on average games are 3-4 hours long.  I suppose after you really get to know the rules, the games go much faster.

 

2. That's a cool idea if you want to introduce gate bursts, but don't have the expansions yet.  Does a nice job of keep the clock ticking... :)

 

3a. Yes, you keep your bank loan.  If you are LITAS due to being driven to 0 stamina or sanity, you'd need to discard half of your items, clues, and any retainers.

3b, Yes, you'd keep any Blesses/Curses

3c. Yes, we still owe money in the otherworld, and still get retainer funds.  They get deposited, even though you are "away"

 

4. For locations and items (except for elder signs), we shuffle them back in.  We use a discard pile for Mythos cards and Gate cards, but there are times when you are instructed to re-shuffle the deck, and so would bring those cards back when you re-shuffle.

 

5. Usually if an item has the hand(s) symbol, it means it's something you equip for a combat.  If there are no hand symbols, it's always in effect

 

6. Well, if she loses a Blessing and is LITAS, she has the nice benefit of being able to come back from the otherworld straight to the church, hospital or asylum depending on the situation.  If she has trophies she has that less far to travel to regain her Bless.  She's pretty cool, I do admit.

 

7. Yes, they are actually Mythos creatures and so are no true undead, though Fire Vampires is what humans call them

 

As regards monsters, I generally avoid putting them in stands because they do rough up the tokens.  You can put some Matte finish on them to toughen them up, but I still think the stands would compress the cardboard.  Have fun and enjoy the game -- it's great for a group of friends!

Edited by Wolfpack48

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Hi wolfpack,
thx for your answers.

Especially for the answer 7, which gave me a new hint how to look an these beings. Now it makes sense for them not being undead while only humans calling these Fire-things "Vampires" for their look and behaviour. By looking at the picture again, yeah, they seem like "Lost Boys"-guys vampire-esque, but could be a totally other form of being. Thx.

And to 4, yeah, your way makes more sense. Do you shuffle in discarded spells also? (I know you said "every", but just for clarification. Because discarding spells would make real-life-sense when you assume a papyrus-sheet burns itself up after using... if there were such things anywhere in a tibetian streetshop, i believe they would behave that way.)

It's a shame there are no special monster-stands then. Well, maybe i find any solution sooner or later for this. Just laying them down on the board just doesnt feel right. Maybe some wire stands... ill think about that.

Oh, and the gate-burst-idea is not made by me, i saw it in one of the yt-videos and thought it's a logical way to adapt this. Because i usually dont have any Old Ones waking up in the Core-game. After sealing a few locations, they doom-track stops rising. But yeah, i heard that expansions are dealing with that matter right... horrorbly. ;)

Thanks so far, have a nice day.

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Hi DeeRow,

 

and welcome to the Carnival :) Arkham Horror it's certainly a great boardgame, and it comes with the complete package, including a huge community of fanboys willing to help (staying with us) :)

 

Allow me to add some considerations to your queries :) (with some slightly corrections to the Wolfpack post. As a general note - please, sorry if this could sound rude, it's not the intention :) - I always recommend a) to quote the rules you're referring to. Not to prove the other guy you're right, but to give him an idea of where to look at what he's searching for in case the same doubt returns and he has no trace of the thread where he originally posted and b) if you're not sure of the answer, use "I think" / "I suggest" instead of saying "it's done in this way". It's misleading for newcomers, and it's important they have the rules down properly)

 

1. I'm one of those playing in less than 90 minutes. But after 350 games played, I know the game quite well, so that everything goes incredibly smooth rulewise / regarding strategy. So, don't be worried if your first games are not alike but last longer. Additionally, core set only games are much slower than normal games. Basically because once you figure out the gate frequencies (some locations have gates appearing more often than others) and you seal the high frequency gates, you often have Mythos cards not opening any gate at all. Considering you need six seals to win, weeeeeell... the game could last ages. A good way to measure the length of an Arkham game is the number of Mythos cards / game that are resolved: on average (with at least one board expansion in) it should be between 12 and 16 Mythos / game. So, the more you play, the shorter should be the time you need to play a turn. Considering the number of turns is more or less the same, you can see how the game becomes shorter. Another additional element impacting the playing time is the number of players (not investigators) you play: if you play alone / with your usual game buddy you'll need a lot less time than playing with six persons that need to agree on what to do. This is one of the best parts of coop games (talking, debating, deciding) but also their weakest points: people not understanding the game will drag you in an eternal stand-off.

 

2. As for gate bursts: it could work, but I suggest you to give a look at the list of Mythos Cards on Arkhamwiki (here). Do some elementary stochastics and simply check for each location on the board, with a complete set of Mythos Cards from all expansions, how many (N) gates open at a certain location, and how many among those are gate bursts (M). Then use health equals to N/M. As you'll see, certain locations never burst, while others burst a lot, so that you can use variable health for this seals. This will be of greater help to refine your strategy for when you add expansions.

 

3. LiTaS is a peculiar condition. Rules instruct you basically to lose a turn (you can cross-reference my answer in the Rulebook, pag. 17). Hence:

a) you do not lose bank loans (being lost somewhere doesn't imply the money you owe to the bank magically disappears. Sadly)

b) you do not roll to keep Blessings / Curses, nor you check for Bank Loans (but you still keep all these cards and start checking them again as soon as you are back to your normal Arkham Life. "Hey, that's a Dark Young?" / "Really? **** it, I should pay mortage")

c) your properties keep on producing money even if you're not in Arkham. So, you can enjoy the Abyss and in the meantime your shares keep on pumping your bank account. No probs with that.

 

To sum this up: you always check for stuff except when you are LiTaS. While LiTaS you do not lose any of these conditions, but also you don't check for them during that specific turn.

 

4. Items you don't buy go on the bottom of the deck, they are not shuffled back in the deck unless specifically stated by a card / effect (core rules, pag 22, under "Discarding cards"). It's common wisdom that whenever an encounter specifically instructs you to draw a specific item (for example, a shotgun), you search for the item and then shuffle the deck again. If the encounter instructs you to draw a "category" item (for example, the first weapon in the Common Item deck), you keep drawing cards from that deck until you find the first item matching the "category" and do not shuffle the deck.

Location cards are supposed to be shuffled every time you have to draw one card from the deck. Some (me included) find this terribly boring and want to cycle the deck to see the encounters (it's also a tactical reading of the game: farming for a specific encounter, for example a Retainer at the Newspaper) simply draw from the top, resolve the encounter, and then put that card back on the bottom of the deck.

Also, I never put items on the bottom of the deck, but I generate discard piles (but still apply all the above quoted rules): this way, it's easier to deal with the decks that become quite large once you add all the expansions in.

 

5. Some items have a combat bonus AND an additional bonus (examples: Cross, Whip). The Combat bonus is used when you specifically use that item during combat, the other bonus is always active. For instance, having the Cross among your possessions is enough to grant you a permanent +1 Horror checks. Having the Whip allows you to exhaust the item to reroll one die during combat. And this is always granted even if you don't use that item in combat. Additionally please remember that there is no such a thing as "equipped items" in Arkham. This is a common wording from many other games that is totally confusing and incorrect. You can fight over several rounds against the same monster and changing weapons at every new round of combat and there's nothing forbidding you to do so in the rules, and no items is equipped or not. You have your possessions (hence, everything is "equipped") and then you decide what to use and what not.

 

6. Mary was fixed by her Personal Story: basically if during the game there are at least two investigators that got Blessed, she gains a bonus (once / turn you may allow one investigator, including you, to roll again while performing an Upkeep action). You can find more about personal stories in the Innsmouth Horror rulebook. They are rather flavourish and easy to implement even if you don't have the expansion (the wiki allows you to generate some proxies)

 

7. Fire Vampires are by no means Undead. If you look at the monster chit and read the description, you'll see that it's not the man the vampire, but the flames dancing around him and burning him naked. Fire Vampires are some sort of "alien fire" that attaches to your body and burns you. So, no Undead at all.

 

Hope this helps!

 

JULIA

 

 

EDIT: Grammar

Edited by Julia

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Hey there DeeRow and Julia,

 

DeeRow, if there is any discrepancy in what I say and what Julia says, definitely follow Julia's instruction - she's been playing much longer than me!   :)

 

Sorry if I mis-portrayed anything, especially on (4) discards - we've been fuzzy on that rule for awhile and I should have looked it up -- I have an older rulebook, so it's on p20 for me.  We only found out about the shuffle on the locations recently, and we're sorta torn on it -- I like the variety myself and would prefer to go through the deck before reshuffling, but that's the actual rule.

 

As for items, Julia's explanation makes a lot more sense.  You use and discard an item and it goes to the bottom of the deck so you can't farm for an item, but re-shuffle when instructed to search for a specific item.  We've gotten in the habit of reshuffling items between every draw, but think we'll switch to a discard pile so we don't bring stuff back in that shouldn't be there.

 

Yes, and on the cross, that's a special (and fairly complicated!) case.  I was pointing to the general scenario, but with Arkham there are always a few exceptions/extensions.

 

Again apologies for any confusion.   :)

Edited by Wolfpack48

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Sorry if I mis-portrayed anything, especially on (4) discards

 

Don't be sorry :) Actually you did a great thing helping the OP and you had most of it right. If I may add a personal note, it's a pleasure to see new forces arriving and be willing to help others. With the passing of time, the "old guard" was wiped away by real life and other stuff coming, so that most of the people who helped others with rules conundrums write here a lot less if not at all. Having new friends helping is really *awesome* :)

 

As for items, Julia's explanation makes a lot more sense.  You use and discard an item and it goes to the bottom of the deck so you can't farm for an item, but re-shuffle when instructed to search for a specific item.  We've gotten in the habit of reshuffling items between every draw, but think we'll switch to a discard pile so we don't bring stuff back in that shouldn't be there.

 

Yup. Additionally, if you keep on shuffling, you basically destroy investigators such as Lola. Her special ability allowing her to farm the Skill deck would be a lot less useful if she's not certain to be able to recover one of the ability she has just discarded. Same for Ashcan: you can build an entire game on Ashcan working on drawing discarded copies of the King in Yellow. Sometimes this could feel broken (Ashcan and Eltdown Shards? Really? maybe with Members of the Book Club? Eltdown Shards should be "return to the box" if you pass the Skill check), but, apart from some rare cases, the intent of the designer was to allow certain characters to cycle over the same items

Edited by Julia

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Thanks Julia,

 

I like to jump in and help, but will start pulling out my rulebook and FAQ before I start typing lol.  :)  

 

Looking forward to our game tomorrow -- we're playing weekly now, and everyone is really enjoying the variety, especially now that we're getting to October and Halloween.  We want to check out Eldritch too, but we've got so much we haven't done in Arkham that we're holding off for now.

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Lovely that you still enjoy the game so much :)

 

And you're right: there's a whole universe to explore. And tons of custom content to add a lot more (basically, you can grow tired of the mechanisms of the game, but it's impossible becoming bored because you keep on repeating the same game)

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DeeRow,

 

     Welcome again to the Carnival :lol: ...far and away, you have embarked on a journey with the greatest game on the market, especially in light of the fact that as a cooperative play game or one engaged as a solo player, running 1-8 Investigators, you will not find a better experience on the market.

 

     I know Julia quite well, and I'm impressed by the use of the term "elementary stochastics" in her post ^_^ ...awesome!

 

     Regarding the "mechanic" fact that you place the unpurchased cards on the bottom of the deck was handled expertly by Julia...from a game play perspective, it's can be done strategically when playing "Ashcan" Pete who may look at and draw from the bottom of a deck.

 

     Anyway, enjoy the experience...having played more than 150 games (nowhere near my dear Italian friend ;) ), it's a blast now five years and running!

 

Cheers,

Joe

Edited by The Professor

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Thank you all so much for your answers.

Okay, Julia, that's a good hint you gave with these "Fire Vampires". Now it surely makes even more sense when referring to the picture and the text on the backside of the marker. thx ;)
And for the discarded-pile... i'll give it a try to stack them back under the item-deck again. Of course, Ashcan's ability makes quite more sense that way, rebuying things others didnt want or cant afford.


Wolf, i did understand what you were pointing at, so no problem at all. Thanks again.

Professor, one of the biggest impression positively is of course the large community, aside this great game. As i was browsing the net, i found loads of customized stuff and even this "Customizer". I never ever thought that stuff like this exists for board-games as well, as it does for videogames. It's kinda widening my horizon and i am really deeply impressed.


When i'm having time on my hands, i guess customizing investigator-sheets with actual friends, their pictures, with their abilities of sneaking or fighting, will etc.  and customized possible items, background-stories and specials (e.g. a soon-to-be-married couple sharing their money value but also both having health-loss simultaniously when one gets hurt..) would be a blast for a gamenight i guess.
But, as for a newbie, I take one step at a time and first step is: Not 4, but 3 investigators next time, trying to seal. And then, thx to your advices, i'm taking a look on the mythos-card-count.



Thank you all for your help and nice welcome-words. I gonna browse this forum now to learn a bit more of how people handle this game etc.

DR.




 

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But, as for a newbie, I take one step at a time and first step is: Not 4, but 3 investigators next time, trying to seal. And then, thx to your advices, i'm taking a look on the mythos-card-count.

 

Sounds like a plan :) Glad we all helped :)

 

As for playing 3, that's the way to go: when you're able to beat consistently the core game with only three investigators, then it's time for you to start adding expansions :)

 

Enjoy the game, and for any question, feel free to come and ask, there's certainly someone watching over the forum that should be able to answer you in quite a short time

 

Grüße,

 

JULIA

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