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Through the Gates!

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I've just played my first game with the new expansion, and am a bit exhausted as a result! Is this game not yet out in the US? The latest preview has me confused, as I had this box delivered on Thursday...

 

A very enjoyable addition to the line-up, it's always fun delving into the mythos of course, and here we have a fantastic crossover between Elder Sign and Arkham Horror. I love seeing the full sealing-gates mechanic making its appearance here, and the Memberships are another really fine addition. In my first game, I misread the rules and thought you had to end your turn when encountering a face-down Arkham Adventure, so my one game (so far) felt really slow. That said, even though Ghatanothoa woke up, it was relatively easy to beat him back into submission. 

 

As an aside, I noticed that at least one adventure card featured the Blessing die as a reward. I love seeing expansion integration in this way, though some folks picking this up without Unseen Forces might be a bit lost by that. It also has a veritable brick of new cards for the new game mode, which is pretty exciting as well!

 

Overall, it looks to be a really great expansion, with a whole new way of playing this game, and I'm looking forward to playing it some more in the coming weeks and months! 

 

Anyone else have it in hand yet? Any thoughts?

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Played my first game as well and it really enhanced the game. Feels a lot more like AH now.

As for the Blessed/Cursed Dice there are 10 cards in the new Arkham Adventure deck with rewards/penalties for them (7 Cursed, 2 Blessed, 1 with both) so it's not huge but glad it's in there and not forgotten.

They usually appear on a split reward/penalty so you can choose one or the other only if you can (ie. if you have the extra dice perhaps it's get Cursed and spawn a monster, if you don't then you must advance Doom by 1).

Edited by Viking

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Hi Spalanzani,

 

First off, I'm jealous that you get to play it before I did! :) Second of all, I'm dying to know:

Is playing the 'Streets of Arkham' mode harder than the regular Elder Sign mode? If yes, how much? A bit or a lot?

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It plays differently.

 

There are fewer immediate reward options on the streets than at the Museum Entrance. To make up for this, there are opportunities on cards. You have to decide whether you want to flip an adventure now to get on with it, or keep it around because you know it has some immense advantage, such as healing all your stamina.

 

You're meant to play the streets without the Museum, but you may want house rule to add in the Museum as a single card that gets replaced with another museum card when you complete it. (This way all those cards from the base set don't go to waste!) If you do so, you probably ought to rule that the Museum card can't have a gate put onto it.

 

If SoA is successful, I can imagine an expansion-expansion for Dunwich / Kingsport / Innsmouth and a repackaged Elder Sign that includes SoA as the base, and shunts the original game down to an optional variation.

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I really like your idea of adding back in the Museum cards with a house rule. Anything that preserves some of the components from ES gets a thumbs up from me. I don't really know how I feel about "Streets of Arkham" essentially being a brand new game that *happens* to use the Elder Sign mechanics (like a mod of a computer game). I'll still pick it up.

Jake Yet Again, did you play SoA yourself? I would still like to know if you (or anyone else) thinks it provides a harder challenge than the base ES game.

Edited by Saint7

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Saint7,

 

yes, it provides totally a different challenge. The game was designed with the intention of being harder than ES or ES+UF, and considering the amount of games I lost even after understanding how to play a proper strategy, well, they reached their target.

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I like the idea of still using the museum adventures with Gates, too, as sort of a 'medium' difficulty setting. Maybe split the adventures, 3 museum (always face-up), and 3 Arkham (always placed face-down to start). I agree with Jake that gates should always go on Arkham adventures, with the Other Worlds facedown to start. I think that might force you to leave the relative safety of the museum. You might even play it that solving an OW adventure automatically sends you to the corresponding Arkham location, with no movement phase the following turn to force you to encounter it, face-up or face-down. With only 3 museum adventures available at a time it might not be so easy to get all your Elder Signs without going after an OW, and thus venturing out.

I also thought you could play with both the Arkham streets card and the museum entrance, although I'd have to give some thought as to what entrance card(s) to use (don't want it to be an easy fall-back). You could leave the museum to go directly to the street card (and an Arkham adventure), but you would have to stop at the entrance (for a full turn, as usual) before re-entering the museum for the often easier (and always visible) adventures. Maybe use all 4 museum entrance cards (or the original entrance, if you don't have UF), but only allow using the museum entrance abilities when you re-enter the museum from an 'outside' Arkham location, or the streets.

All players would start in the museum at the beginning of the game. I think you would still only use the new mythos cards (gotta keep those gates coming), but you might add the master mythos cards from UF to the mix.

On another note, since opening gates is now not usually a good thing, the benefit of using the Gate Box item or Find Gate spell is questionable. To make those items a bit more beneficial, I think I will house rule that both allow you to place the OW card face-up from the start. Seems thematic in relation to the items themselves, too.

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I really really like your thinking Xfoley8. Not to go against you or anything (because I like your ideas) but don't you think adding ALL of that stuff might go against the spirit of 'SoA'? I.e. this is meant to be a quick 1 and a half hour game?

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Oh, I definitely think folks ought to try out the new expansion as intended to start with- it's a good challenge and, I think, an improvement to the game overall. My variant is for those who miss the museum (and hate the idea of never using those cards again), and want to try and mix the two. I'd agree that you should keep it simple and not futz with the mechanics too much. If I laid out the entire variant clearly, I bet you could still play it in about the same amount of time, once you got used to how it rolls. 1.5 hours ought to be about the max time a game should take. I think my games are usually 45-60 minutes. Only the new Yog, with his 15 Elder Signs, might run longer, or if you're having a bad run with no ESs coming up.

Admittedly I haven't tested my variant yet. In my mind it's clear how it should work, but obviously it needs to be tried out to see how it plays, and how long it takes. With most any game, the first few times you play might run a little longer than 'normal'.

Edited by xfoley8

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It plays differently.

 

There are fewer immediate reward options on the streets than at the Museum Entrance. To make up for this, there are opportunities on cards. You have to decide whether you want to flip an adventure now to get on with it, or keep it around because you know it has some immense advantage, such as healing all your stamina.

 

You're meant to play the streets without the Museum, but you may want house rule to add in the Museum as a single card that gets replaced with another museum card when you complete it. (This way all those cards from the base set don't go to waste!) If you do so, you probably ought to rule that the Museum card can't have a gate put onto it.

 

If SoA is successful, I can imagine an expansion-expansion for Dunwich / Kingsport / Innsmouth and a repackaged Elder Sign that includes SoA as the base, and shunts the original game down to an optional variation.

 

One of my initial complaints was that this expansion took your core set, and kept a small amount of its content.

 

After playing for a while I wouldn't want a core set that was replaced with the mechanics of SoA. I'd much rather they decide to release expansion packs that alternate their content between something like Unseen Forces, and then a pack like Streets of Arkham. Specifically, I'm already itching for a Shores of Innsmouth expansion. 

 

I'd much rather they keep this core set, and then depending on what you want out of your experience you can choose the expansion path you go down. There were times that left me frustrated at the end of a SoA game, getting stuck in Other Worlds because of event cards and gates popping up, and sometimes I don't want that when I play Elder Sign. Unseen Forces lets me avoid that if I want to mix things up.

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It plays differently.

 

There are fewer immediate reward options on the streets than at the Museum Entrance. To make up for this, there are opportunities on cards. You have to decide whether you want to flip an adventure now to get on with it, or keep it around because you know it has some immense advantage, such as healing all your stamina.

 

You're meant to play the streets without the Museum, but you may want house rule to add in the Museum as a single card that gets replaced with another museum card when you complete it. (This way all those cards from the base set don't go to waste!) If you do so, you probably ought to rule that the Museum card can't have a gate put onto it.

 

If SoA is successful, I can imagine an expansion-expansion for Dunwich / Kingsport / Innsmouth and a repackaged Elder Sign that includes SoA as the base, and shunts the original game down to an optional variation.

 

One of my initial complaints was that this expansion took your core set, and kept a small amount of its content.

 

After playing for a while I wouldn't want a core set that was replaced with the mechanics of SoA. I'd much rather they decide to release expansion packs that alternate their content between something like Unseen Forces, and then a pack like Streets of Arkham. Specifically, I'm already itching for a Shores of Innsmouth expansion. 

 

I'd much rather they keep this core set, and then depending on what you want out of your experience you can choose the expansion path you go down. There were times that left me frustrated at the end of a SoA game, getting stuck in Other Worlds because of event cards and gates popping up, and sometimes I don't want that when I play Elder Sign. Unseen Forces lets me avoid that if I want to mix things up.

 

Redriipper's feedback has me worried now. I am ambivalent of picking up 'Gates of Arkham' now........... FFG, did you read this?

 

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Which part? I'm afraid my comments came off in a way I didn't mean.

 

If it sways things, on a day when we're not playing Arkham Horror we tend to play Elder Sign with Gates, but on a day with Arkham or Eldritch Horror then we play Elder Sign with Unseen Forces. I fully intend to keep supporting this product line and enjoy the expansion.

 

I'm sure any worrisome comments were heard by FFG during testing.  :D

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I haven't picked this up yet but I have a question about one of the new mechanics - that is if I understand it correctly.

 

I read that the adventures are now face down and aren't reveled until you take on that adventure, apparently to add a little mystery and tension to the game. But once you visit that location during a game wouldn't you then always know what's on the other side of the card from then on or are all the backs of the cards the same? This part of the game confuses me.

 

Regardless, I know I will be adding this to ES soon. The game is one of my top favorites and this expansion adds more to do and explore.

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During setup, you place 3 Adventures face up, the other three facedown.

 

 

When you visit a facedown adventure, you flip it, and it remains faceup for the rest of the game, or until resolved.

New adventures always come into play face down(including Other Worlds).

 

From what I've seen of the rules, the back of the adventures only shows the estimated difficulty of the card(color-coded), and  midnight effects you may suffer(if any) as long as that adventure card remains facedown

 

Still waiting for my copy of GOA in the mail. Come on! Get here already! :D

Edited by zealot12

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Quidom,

 

the locations are grouped into three-card groups, so that there are actually 3 cards for the Witch House, 3 cards for the Unvisited Isle, and so on. So, during the game, even after quite some plays, you'll now what could be there, but won't be sure until you turn the card face-up.

 

So, there'll always be a certain uncertainty. Zealot12 is right while saying that on the back of the card there's a colour coding the difficulty of the adventures. Beware that it's an indicator of the average difficulty of the adventure cards referring to that location; this doesn't mean they are all easy or all difficult. And it's not calculated only referring to the actual odds of passing the adventure, but it's also an indicator of the risk you take: failing a red adventure often is much more risky than losing a green adventure.

 

Hope this helps :)

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Hi Spalanzani,

 

First off, I'm jealous that you get to play it before I did! :) Second of all, I'm dying to know:

Is playing the 'Streets of Arkham' mode harder than the regular Elder Sign mode? If yes, how much? A bit or a lot?

 

Hey Saint7,

 

Apologies for taking so long getting back to this topic! In my personal opinion, I think Streets of Arkham is much more difficult than the regular museum adventure, though I'm fairly convinced that at least part of my reasons for thinking that are due to its new-ness. I'm not the sort of player who plays a new game unto death and then decides it's a let-down for being easy, but rather take my time exploring things! For me, for now, Streets of Arkham is harder than the base game ever was, but I'm sure it'll diminish in time. Whether we get more expansions for this game at all, it'll be interesting to see just how they support this mode - whether with new towns, or just sticking to the same town but enriching the experience... 

 

Have you got it yet, yourself?

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Gates of arkham is in at my local store! Ia ia! Ftagn!

 

I hope FFG will release similar expansions based on the other towns of the mythos.

 

Who else wants to see a Gates of Innsmouth* expansion?

 

New locations such as the Temple of the EOD , The Gillman House, Devil's Reef and Yha-nthlei, etc...

 

The "Esoteric Order of Dagon" and the "Federal Authorities" Replace the two factions from GoA.

New items (White Gold Tiara), allies (Zadoc Allen) and for Great old ones we'd get A new version o Cthulhu, Dagon and Hydra.

 

* Working title :)

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If I were to go to Innsmouth, I'll focus the expansion on a DOR mechanism triggered by the adventures, with the idea of a massive conspiracy in act you need to stop. But aye, I agree, Robin.

 

In any case, this is my top three settings I'd like to have an ES game set in:

 

a) Antarctica

b) Dreamlands

c) Innsmouth

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Ooooh Hadn't tought of the dreamlands yet. Maybe inclue a Night/Day mechanic like in the LCG?

Oh and i want new dice that you can only use in the dreamlands.

And dreamer investigators/ allies that have diferent abilities depending on if they are in the dreamlands or not.

Maybe a invstigator who is very weak in the waking world but a real powerhouse in the dreamlands. (Randolph carter?)

And for great old ones I'd pick Bokrug and Atlach-Natcha.

 

tumblr_lqscecPWip1qzsz6ro1_500.jpg

 

 

Oh and Cats. Gotta have cats (of Ulthar and from Uranus)

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Now let's hope FFG designers picks up those ideas/have the same ideas as we do.

 

Hey, maybe they can do a spin off like eldritch horor in wich you travel between various locations acros the world. (Eldritch signs?) Maybe a dd in a travel mechanic (travel die) and a new doom track.

 

Also i want stuf based on Shub-nigurath and Yigg. (Maybe as print on demand expansions)

Edited by Robin Graves

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