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ShiraHata

Complexity of board states compared to Lord of the Rings?

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One thing that kept Lord of the Rings from being the perfect solo game for me was that the board could get convoluted really fast. This was especially true when playing two-handed, i.e. controlling two decks at the same time. Often, mundane choices could take forever, just because of the sheer number of cards involved. It didn't help at all that there was no hand size limit, and card draw was abundant.

 

Overall, I think that the game suffered, because the designers didn't control how much stuff could be in play and in player's hands at the same time. Game of Thrones comes to my mind as an example of how to approach this correctly: there are many effects and mechanisms that remove cards from the board and from players hands throughout the game, so that clutter is rarely an issue.

 

What is your experience with Arkham Horror so far? Judging by the rules alone, it seems that cards don't tend to 'pile up' as much as they do in Lord of the Rings. I would be really excited for a solo LCG that requires you to make difficult choices rather than keeping track of a huge board state. Here in Germany we unfortunately have to wait until next year for the localization of the game, but in the meantime I would like to hear the opinions of some of you lucky people who already played it.

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Really depends what you mean by "piles up".

 

LotR, if you're lagging in Willpower, can get a very convoluted central adventure path, and there is no particular limit to the amount of allies and gear each of your three or so heroes can tote around.

 

On the other hand, AH has rooms, things in rooms, things in rooms in various states (ready, exhausted, etc), investigator boards, investigator threat areas, and so on.

 

I'd find them both equally messy in my mind, but I never minded LotR.

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Depends on the quest. Some quests do remove a ton of cards from the board, like The Dunland Trap. Some quests intentionally put as many out there as possible. The first time my wife saw me playing LOTR, I was playing Blood of Gondor, and there were about 50 cards on the table. That's an extreme case, but Arkham seems to be somewhere towards the lower end of table complexity. Although in scenarios with more locations and multiple investigators, it'll be just as bad.

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I agree with the OP LotR can get really gummed up and hard to keep track of when playing solo. I switched from 2handed solo to true solo because of that reason. 

So far in AH I've had a really good experience playing 2handed solo and not worrying about the board state too much. I like the way they do locations in this game where its almost as though each location has its own staging area and if you're not in the location you don't have to worry about it. Their are some complexities but so much easier to manage. However I will say that this is just the core set.

 

I could see this game getting busy as the game progresses. However the best part for me is not having to count willpower! haha  I even use a die to keep track of willpower but even then it gets a bit tedious to count it then count threat in staging area then look at willpower again. It sounds silly as Im typing it but for some reason it does become a burden

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LotR... there is no particular limit to the amount of allies and gear each of your three or so heroes can tote around.

Two Limited items per hero.

 

Restricted, not limited...  but not everything is restricted.  A hero can easily have up to a half-dozen attachments sitting on them in various states of readiness.

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LotR... there is no particular limit to the amount of allies and gear each of your three or so heroes can tote around.

Two Limited items per hero.

Restricted, not limited...  but not everything is restricted.  A hero can easily have up to a half-dozen attachments sitting on them in various states of readiness.

Two Restricteds is different from "no particular limit" which was the only point I was trying to make.

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LotR... there is no particular limit to the amount of allies and gear each of your three or so heroes can tote around.

Two Limited items per hero.

Restricted, not limited...  but not everything is restricted.  A hero can easily have up to a half-dozen attachments sitting on them in various states of readiness.

Two Restricteds is different from "no particular limit" which was the only point I was trying to make.

 

Which does nothing to actually affect the limit of how complex the play space can be.  So while pedantically correct, it doesn't actually provide any meaningful information to the OP's question.

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LotR... there is no particular limit to the amount of allies and gear each of your three or so heroes can tote around.

Two Limited items per hero.

 

 

Yes, I know. However, with no other limit to non-Limited items, titles, song, allies, and all the other junk LotR heroes can drag along with them, I think I was fair in saying "no particular limit" when comparing the amount of board clutter LotR heroes can generate compared to if there was no Limited category.

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Thank you all for your input. I agree with the statement that limiting restricted items in Lord of the Rings to two per character does near nothing to reduce the complexity of board states. I believe that the reason for this rule is more related to balancing, as it makes building up to a voltron hero a little bit more difficult. On the other hand, it is also flavorful, since your heroes can only carry two weapons at a time.

 

I could see this game getting busy as the game progresses. However the best part for me is not having to count willpower! haha  I even use a die to keep track of willpower but even then it gets a bit tedious to count it then count threat in staging area then look at willpower again. It sounds silly as Im typing it but for some reason it does become a burden

 

I know exactly what you mean. The encounter phase really adds a lot of things to keep track of, without adding much depth to the game play. I find combat to be the more interesting aspect of the game, albeit it is so much simpler in terms of the math involved. I like your idea of using a die to make keeping track of willpower easier.

 

Glad to hear that at least the core game play in Arkham seems to be a bit more streamlined. Also, good point about locations forming sort of their own 'staging areas'. I think that there are different ways to keep complexity in check, and one of them is certainly to have only a subset of cards be 'active' at a time.

 

Am I correct in assuming that each location can be viewed as its own little challenge that needs to be overcome? Or is traveling between locations so common that you have to take the whole board into account when making choices? I liked the puzzle solving aspect of Lord of the Rings, but having an even wider variety of mostly self-contained 'puzzles' to solve within one game would be appealing to me.

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Just for references, I've played about half of every scenario available for LoTR (excluding Saga-expansions), and the first two scenarios for Arkham. Also, remember that this is just my personal opinion. I'm sure some people disagree with me.

 

Like previously state, you do not have to worry about the willpower-counting in Arkham (or anything similar, at least not yet). However, I'm not sure that I agree that Arkham is less cluttered and that the "gameboard" is more streamlined (although the game itself is definitely less complex right now, but that's not a fair comparison, IMHO. Also, even though they are both coop LCGs, they are very different games).

In my opinion, the second scenario of Arkham was more cluttered and harder to get a overview of that any of the LoTR-scenarios I've played so far (although not saying that it was hard per se), since it includes quite a few different locations, where each one could have several different cards on it. Additionally, you always need to considered which locations are connected to which, which also adds a layer of convolutedness (?) to the game board.

 

Am I correct in assuming that each location can be viewed as its own little challenge that needs to be overcome? Or is traveling between locations so common that you have to take the whole board into account when making choices? I liked the puzzle solving aspect of Lord of the Rings, but having an even wider variety of mostly self-contained 'puzzles' to solve within one game would be appealing to me.

I would say that it depends on the scenario. The first scenario of Arkham is a little bit like want you want, with a few rooms that are more or less "finished" after you've visited them. However, the second scenario are much more like a map on a board game, where you do need to consider the entire "map" (ie. every location) and how they are connected, which does add to the more cluttered/messy feel of the game compared to LoTR.

 

Lastly, Arkham seem to vary quite a lot in amount of space needed to play (due to how they use locations, which is very different from LoTR). The first scenario was less than a average LoTR-scenario, while the second scenario definitely needed more than an average LoTR-scenario

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i solo play both games, so far i definately feel that Arkham has less triggers going on all over the place but its early days. as i control one investigator it all seems more manageable, i have just one set of actions and conditions to deal with rather than three heroes each with their own attachments or actions. Also player asset cards so far have not tended to stack up that much in Arkham. 

 

two main areas where i see the games have a different feel, locations are more important to Arkham in that they are unique and feel like a real place you must go to but in LOTR you often see location cards as an inconvenience to clear asap but take less interest in them. Combat on the other hand is much more interesting in LOTR with attack, defend decisions and card triggers often requiring a lot of thought - and more like an engaged battle, Arkham feels a tad lacking to me on fighting enemies.

 

i like both games and they clearly have similarities, but they do feel different enough to me when i play them. i think i like LOTR a bit better as a varied series of individual quest challenges, however i do feel much closer to my investigator in terms of being in the game and telling a story. Arkham is more an extension of me being in the story rather than me standing back and directing a larger party in order to defeat a quest. I believe this is what they were after when they designed it so well done FFG.  

Edited by Crusaderlord

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Lastly, Arkham seem to vary quite a lot in amount of space needed to play (due to how they use locations, which is very different from LoTR). The first scenario was less than a average LoTR-scenario, while the second scenario definitely needed more than an average LoTR-scenario

 

Note that The Gathering is definitely at the low end of the bell curve, with a maximum of four locations in play at once. The third scenario has six, the spoilers for Essex Express give that one seven, and the third scenario and Rougarou are tied in first with nine.

 

Of course, the number of locations is only the roughest of estimates for complexity (Curse of the Rougarou is, in my opinion, far simpler than the third core scenario), so make of that what you will.

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