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Effects of LOTR LCG on Arkham LCG

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1 hour ago, Network57 said:

As for the autofail, that's really no different than cards like The Nine Are Abroad, Biting Wind, or Sleeping Sentry, or Sudden Pitfall, which can basically be autofail. However, instead of just losing one test, these are cards that can quite literally cost you the entire game. Or shadow effects like "If the defending character is an ally, discard it from play", or "Until the end of the round, this enemy cannot take damage". I think the randomness is just as annoying in both games, and also not fair to see the tentacle token as "no fun" but insta-death LOTR encounter cards as OK.

I haven't played Arkham Horror, but I *hate* Sleeping Sentry and Sudden Pitfall, and I thought that was the general sentiment among LOTR players.  I see them as badly designed cards, and think it as no accident that we've seen nothing as brutal as those two since (no, I don't see Nine Are Abroad or Biting Wind as being nearly as bad).

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2 hours ago, Network57 said:

 

As for the autofail, that's really no different than cards like The Nine Are Abroad, Biting Wind, or Sleeping Sentry, or Sudden Pitfall, which can basically be autofail. However, instead of just losing one test, these are cards that can quite literally cost you the entire game. Or shadow effects like "If the defending character is an ally, discard it from play", or "Until the end of the round, this enemy cannot take damage". I think the randomness is just as annoying in both games, and also not fair to see the tentacle token as "no fun" but insta-death LOTR encounter cards as OK.

 

Err sorry, but I disagree. It's just not the same thing.

Sleeping sentry and whatnot are not in every encounter deck. Yet we need to test 3+ times every turn, every game in AH with a chance to auto fail.

That, and there are simple ways to get rid of a nasty treachery or shadow card. Not (yet) so with the auto fail token unless you play as Wendy.

I see design space there, designers. ;)

 

2 hours ago, Network57 said:

I don't think this is a fair assessment. As far as encounter decks go, yes strictly speaking, AH has smaller decks -25-30, on average, compared to (a rough glance at Hall of Beorn) 35-50 for LOTR. However, the difference is variety. LOTR might have more cards, but 5 of those will be Goblin Swordsmen, or Underworld Dissident, or Savage Trollspawn. I don't think AH has an encounter card that's more than a 3x in a single deck. But this makes the game harder. As any card gamer knows, a tighter deck means easier combos. Think of the encounter deck not as random Orcs thrown in your way, but a simulated AI. He gets to bring a well-constructed deck, and a small deck means those annoying combos go off easier. It might seem repetitive, but it does heighten the tension of each card draw. You also cycle through LOTR encounter decks faster with the shadow cards, so it makes sense you need to have more cards so you don't shuffle every two or three rounds.

I'm aware of all that, and as I posted above the point I was trying to make is all about more variety being a good thing in the encounter deck. A tighter deck makes easier combo's true, but I don't see the encounter deck in AH doing a lot of combos. Just test this, or add a doom to the agenda: you just lost a turn.

It doesn't just seem more repetitive in AH, it IS more repetitive. Simple as that.

2 hours ago, Network57 said:

Here's the important difference: In Arkham, if I autofail a critical test, I just sigh but look for other options. You can resign, you can fight well enough to earn some XP regardless, you can find alternative paths to resolution. You don't need to "win". You still get to move on. However, in LOTR where each scenario is played as a standalone, if on turn 2 I get a card like one of the ones above and it's impossible to win..... I have no options. There's no "well you didn't win but you did well enough!" resolution to work towards. There's no point in continuing an LOTR game that's become a lost cause, except maybe for personal benefit and experience.

True.

Edited by Noccus

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38 minutes ago, dalestephenson said:

I haven't played Arkham Horror, but I *hate* Sleeping Sentry and Sudden Pitfall, and I thought that was the general sentiment among LOTR players.  I see them as badly designed cards, and think it as no accident that we've seen nothing as brutal as those two since (no, I don't see Nine Are Abroad or Biting Wind as being nearly as bad).

Correct Dale, the consensus is that Sleeping Sentry & Sudden Pitfall are badly designed. Probably nobody likes them, but there are ways around them. The big difference is that they are not in every encounter set. Imagine if they were :blink: In AH the auto fail token is part of the core mechanic. It's not a "game over" token mostly, but as I said, imho it's just not fun as there is no way (yet) to work around unless you play Wendy (or use grotesque statue as a mystic...but that thing costs 4 exp a piece and then needs to be drawn from your deck, then played for 4 resources, then you get 4 uses)

Edited by Noccus

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21 hours ago, John Constantine said:

Wendy is a way around the auto-fail. As is the high level survivor event that makes you not draw chaos tokens for the turn. As does grotesque statue.


Bullroarer, I am currently at the end of the second scenario.

I have double tentacle using Wendy.  She reduces the odds sure, but if you've thrown your cards at the first draw you might not be able to win the second regardless of what you pull.

Curious... Are you at the end of the second for all investigators or just Wendy?  (Btw, I really wanted to like Wendy, but had the hardest time with her.)

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I vastly prefer even brutal treacheries to Chaos bag.  

And let's be real here, we can be certain that AHLCG is going to have its share of brutal treacheries also.  So it isn't like it's LotR has brutal treacheries and AH has the Chaos bag and those somehow balance out.  AHLCG has both the brutal treacheries and the chaos bag.  I mean,  Ancient Evils?  Are you kidding me?   You lose an entire turn for every investigator. 

You stack the Chaos bag on top of that.  And the Chaos bag is much harder (impossible) to predict.  In lotr, if I see Sudden Pitfall come up during the quest phase, I know I don't have to deal with it again until I shuffle the deck.  Tentacle token isn't like that, you can always auto fail and you cant plan around it.  

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I disagree about not being able to plan around the auto-fail. In fact I think you must plan around it. You always have to question committing all your resources to a test because there is always a chance of failure. To me this is more interesting than committing all your characters to the quest knowing that no encounter card in the deck is going to keep you from placing X progress and winning the scenario. And yes, some encounters have bombs like Sleeping Sentry, but for most part once your board state is strong you have solved the puzzle and will eventually win the quest. You more or less just go through the motions at that point without too many tough decisions.

I don't mean to disparage LotR, it is still my preferred game, but I definitely appreciate some of the things like this they have done in Arkham.

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On ‎2‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 11:34 AM, John Constantine said:

Bad luck happens. Being able to re-draw mitiages the odds.

 

What do you mean "for all investigators"? I played her solo, no other investigator is participating in the same campaign.

I mean have you played any of the other investigators all the way through the campaign?  Which did you find the easiest?

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13 hours ago, Bullroarer Took said:

I mean have you played any of the other investigators all the way through the campaign?  Which did you find the easiest?

I did. Jenny, O'Toole, Roland. All ended up sacrificing poor ol' gal, unfortunately. Jenny was the easiest, I think. She's most suited all-arounder. However, if you get into right situations, Roland is pretty facerolling with his getting clues for fithting stuff.

Edited by John Constantine

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14 hours ago, donkler said:

I disagree about not being able to plan around the auto-fail. In fact I think you must plan around it. You always have to question committing all your resources to a test because there is always a chance of failure.


But suppose for a second that instead of the tentacle, the tentacle was say, -7.   The next worst token in the bag is -4 if you are on standard difficulty, excepting if there is a special scenario token that is different.   If you really want to pass a check guaranteed you could commit 7 points above the difficulty in resources/cards.   Or you could commit +4, and hope you don't draw -7.  I could maybe save myself with Close Call, or something too.  These are decisions to be made by the player, that sort of thing is fun.   All I can do is commit +4 to a critical check and hope I don't draw auto-fail and if I do, well there wasn't anything I could do about it except be luckier.
 

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It's not just that you've lost, it's that you've committed all those resources and still lost.  It's do devastating in solo.

 

John - I agree about Jenny.  (And skids is pretty good too.). I never played Roland oddly.  I was extremely unsatisfied with pushing Lita into the abyss, but getting another resolution is really hard in solo.  And if you chose not to burn your house down back on the first scenario that's off the table anyway.

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38 minutes ago, Bullroarer Took said:

It's not just that you've lost, it's that you've committed all those resources and still lost.  It's do devastating in solo.

This. Hate it when that happens.

 

38 minutes ago, Bullroarer Took said:

John - I agree about Jenny.  (And skids is pretty good too.). I never played Roland oddly.  I was extremely unsatisfied with pushing Lita into the abyss, but getting another resolution is really hard in solo.  And if you chose not to burn your house down back on the first scenario that's off the table anyway.

Jenny is probably the best investigator we got. And I feel many rogue cards are really good. Most more so then those of other classes.

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I'm just a huge fan of Burglary since it is one of the few 'reliable' and repeatable ways of gaining money, so I find I gravitate towards green cards (or splash green) anyways.  

I haven't read through (or played) all the scenarios, but are you saying if you burn down your house you can't get Lita?  

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I was very hyped when Arkham was announced. Only just got into the original Lovecraft stories at that point and hadn't played any previous AH boardgames, but I knew FFG would deliver. I've played through the core set with my fiancée and we really enjoyed it. She prefers gameplay in AH over LOTR because of the strong story aspect and how there's barely any mental arithmetic. Once you've built up your "army of allies" in LOTR, 90% of the rest of the game consists of just keeping track of numbers, particularly in 3-4-player games. Having one investigator and up to one ally is refreshing. I also like what they've done with locations compared to LOTR, even though setup is a bit fiddly. (So can LOTR's setup be, particularly in newer scenarios where you may have a separate enemy deck and certain cards set aside etc.)

The only real downside for me when it comes to AH LCG is the deckbuilding and how it relates to story progression. On the one han I like the sense of accomplishment when you can upgrade e.g. equipment or a spell in AH, but it's all tightly connected to the narrative of a specific campaign. Deckbuilding is a lot more flexible in LOTR and I enjoy just putting a deck together and using it in any scenario without having to worry about progression. (Though we never know what the growing card pool of AH might change down the road.)

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I think some of the complaints abut deck building will die down when there are more expansions out and a larger card pool to draw from, and the more synergistic multi-card combos start to emerge. I wasn't playing LotR when it came out, but wonder if there weren't similar complaints then when the core had just released, or just an expansion or two was available.

Yeah, there will still be more deck limitations, but that's also a function of the built-in campaign assumption of the game. I consider that a feature, but it depends on your approach to the game.

Campaign play also mitigates the effect of the chaos bag.  Drawing an auto-fail doesn't necessarily auto-fail the investigation, and failing the investigation doesn't end the campaign -- there are resolutions that allow continuing on for a variety of results.  That's in contrast too LotR -- die or threat out, and you're starting over. Of course, if you don't like the auto-fail token, just take it out, replace it with a -7, or whatever. The plus of the chaos bag is it is tailorable. (I'm not a huge fan of the chaos bag mechanic, if I'm honest -- I'd prefer dice if we have to have a random element on top of the cards -- but it does work and tailorability is a huge feature.)

Ultimately, they are different games, and AH has built on the mechanics from LotR.  Though I prefer the world of Middle Earth, I do prefer the game play of the AH LCG. It's less fiddly, requires less upkeep to stay on top of game state, has a superior location mechanic, and overall does a better job of intertwining story and gameplay than LotR. But then, I'm more of a thematic player who prefers single-handed solo play, so YMMV.

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maybe it's my LotR colors shining through but, with regards to campaign play:

it LotR campaign (Saga) even a scenario win can often lead to an undesirable result, often by losing a hero, or failing to acquire a valuable boon or something.  In LotR you are allowed, even encouraged to replay the scenario to get the result that you want.  I think a lot of this carries over for me,  I find myself replaying AH scenarios if I didn't achieve the desired outcome (which from what I have read, is pretty common), so the point about failing a mission due to chaos bag but ultimately being ok in the campaign overall doesn't have much impact for me.  

Actually one of the things I find somewhat annoying about AH campaign is that the whole "winning" thing is a bit less clear cut.  I mean, supposing I defeat an ancient evil by sacrificing my friend to a grisly death, is that really a win?   Sorta?    the win condition on the campaign has thus far been essentially defined as how well you perform in the last scenario.  Winning earlier scenarios in the campaign can increase your odds of doing that but, in the end, the final mission is winner-take-all.  I don't like that, because it makes every other mission feel comparatively a whole lot less important.  Didn't manage to interrogate any cultists?  No prob, you shot Umordroth in the face so, well done.   Conversely, getting smushed by Umordroth results in campaign loss, no matter how well you did in the previous missions.  

 

I don't get that vibe with LotR.   Since I have to win every scenario, there doesnt seem like the last mission is massively more important than  the rest.

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