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Lesseps

Finally got em!

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All 6 exansions and some dices arrived here yesterday!

 

Had few sweet hours studying the contents of the boxes. Really exciting!

And now we have a question. How should we mix this expansions to get best experience and nice expert variable gameplay? What combinations are the best? Etc.

 

All replies welcome, thx.

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Heh...  Don't!

Seriously.  The small box expansions don't mix well.  They heavily dilute the game.  And they're heavily diluted in turn...

Here's what I'd advise...  The boxes say that you can play with "visiting exhibitions" or whatever.  Use a modified version of that.

The problem with doing a pure visiting exhibition is you end up only drawing cards from the expansion.  The problem with mixing in everything is the small box expansions are diluted so much you won't even feel them, ever.  I've been thinking about this issue for a while, and while I've made a number of custom heralds to try and restore the flavor of particular expansions (I still haven't made anything for CotDP), I think there's a way of handling this issue if you're willing to do a little bit of extra cleanup work after games.

First of all, I just want to say I don't like the Kingsport board for a number of reasons, I think it mostly adds to game complexity without adding to fun (and it also has a potential game breaker on it with the Olney ally encounter), I reeeeally dislike the rifts mechanic and find the town boring and time consuming (I mean, I feel like it stretches the game out more).  So I cut out the mythos and other world cards for Kingsport.  I think I need a different solution to this, but I may have one (you'll see it in the next paragraph).

I've noticed that the mythos deck and the other world deck are *enormous* when you mix everything together, so here's my alternative solution.  Mix in the Innsmouth, Base Game, and Dunwich Mythos and Other World cards, always.  Use all the other expansions as modified visiting exhibits (do not normally shuffle in their location cards, mythos cards, or other world cards, everything else is fine though).

Here's how I'd manage it (although I haven't figured out the specifics yet).  Take a randomly selected fraction of the combined mythos and other world deck, shuffle it with the expansion you'd like to emphasize (KiY, BGotW, CotDP, or KH), likewise, do the same for location encounters in Arkham.  Now, that last part might be a little more controversial, since the locations aren't nearly as random as the mythos deck or the Other World deck, so, you may want to make sure that the base game Arkham cards are *always* in the mix, maybe with a random two or three cards from Dunwich and Innsmouth, and then the full set of cards from whichever set you want to emphasize (KiY, BGotW, CotDP, or KH).

However you handle the card mix, the one thing you should be most careful of is the KiY mix, because on the one hand, you don't want to dilute the Act Deck so it's a joke, on the other hand, if you make the neck to narrow, the Act Deck will destroy you.

Hrm...  Here are the components of the base game, so I'd probably have about that number of randomly selected mixed deck cards.

 ----

67 Mythos Cards
 49 Gate Cards

CotDP

27 Gate Cards
18 Mythos Cards

KiY
 24 Gate Cards
 27 Mythos Cards

KH
32 Gate Cards
22 MythosCards

BGotW

24 Gate Cards

23 Mythos Cards

----

Soooo...  Based on these numbers, I'd say it'd be reasonable to make your randomly selected fraction 70 mythos 50 gates (oh, and make sure these always include the reshuffle cards in both decks), unless you want more dilution.

 

I'd probably also play several games with one of these expansion setups before changing the cards around again (just to save set up time).

I still think BGotW will be problematic though (It feels overly diluted even when you play only it with the base game there aren't enough cult encounters and memberships, if you want to enjoy it, I suggest you try my custom herald for it, otherwise you'll probably feel like your cult membership cards are a waste).

Heh...  One other thing, if you decide to play none of the flavored expansions and with a full mix of Dunwich, Innsmouth, and Base, I'd advise you to at least add in the dual color encounters from CotDP (since they're so much fun!).

 

Oh, and of course, if you want, you can do the same sort of technique for a relatively undiluted game of Dunwich or Innsmouth (except you'd have to weed out all the Dunwich or Innsmouth mythos and other world cards out before selecting the fraction of the other two expansions and shuffling them together).

---

 

Heh...  I should probably save this post and save myself the time of having to retype it in the future.

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I play with all expansions, all the time. However, I earned that right!

Play a couple games with each small expansion individually. Then a couple with each big one. You'll appreciate what each expansion brings to the table.

From there, you have three good options:

  1. Play games with just one large and one small expansion. Dilution isn't prevalent, either in theme or mechanics.
  2. Play with a random mix of expansions. In this way the dilution is irrelevant. Some games you'll have many expansions, so you shouldn't expect the Dunwich Horror or the Three Acts components to have a prominent presence.
  3. Play with all expansions. You get to see all boards in action, as well as to have the largest variety of encounters and effects! Plus, you never have to remove any components between games. However, you will need a lot of table space, and an anti-dilution rule might be necessary (I recommend mine gui%C3%B1o.gif)

Personally, I find all expansions to be the most satisfying. I always play that way except when introducing new players, where I put them through a regimen of each expansion on its own, in increasing difficulty (however I always use Injury/Madness, Epic Battle, and Personal Stories). Only after they have played each expansion on its own do I feel they're ready for the full montey. If nothing else, you don't have to explain any new rules mechanics to them at that point.

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Tibs said:

 

I play with all expansions, all the time. However, I earned that right!

Play a couple games with each small expansion individually. Then a couple with each big one. You'll appreciate what each expansion brings to the table.

From there, you have three good options:

  1. Play games with just one large and one small expansion. Dilution isn't prevalent, either in theme or mechanics.
  2. Play with a random mix of expansions. In this way the dilution is irrelevant. Some games you'll have many expansions, so you shouldn't expect the Dunwich Horror or the Three Acts components to have a prominent presence.
  3. Play with all expansions. You get to see all boards in action, as well as to have the largest variety of encounters and effects! Plus, you never have to remove any components between games. However, you will need a lot of table space, and an anti-dilution rule might be necessary (I recommend mine gui%C3%B1o.gif)

Personally, I find all expansions to be the most satisfying. I always play that way except when introducing new players, where I put them through a regimen of each expansion on its own, in increasing difficulty (however I always use Injury/Madness, Epic Battle, and Personal Stories). Only after they have played each expansion on its own do I feel they're ready for the full montey. If nothing else, you don't have to explain any new rules mechanics to them at that point.

 

 

Until several months ago, I played all expansions also.  Since then I cut out a bunch of stuff (I know I've kept in all of the base game, DH, and Innsmouth, but I'm not sure what else I've cut, most of KH, CotDP, KiY and BGotW, not counting items, allies, investigators, monsters, and AOs)  Still, I've been pondering dilution problems for a long time, and I think my above suggestions will actually solve them rather well.  I'll probably try implementing this system soon.  After I have a few hours to separate all the card stacks ::shudder::

Heh...  For dealing with newbies, I came up with a neat trick, I let them use Mandy, but I only let them use her ability on herself.  This way they don't feel entirely overwhelmed their first game.  It allows them to feel a false sense of competence :') which means they'll be more likely to become addicted and come back for a severe beatdown on their third or fourth game ;'D

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interesting idea Avi.    You take a newbie and entice them to play a character with a house rule that makes her strictly worse than she already is.    And yet,   it somehow makes so much sense.  Alternatively,  YOU could play mandy, and be the newbie's guardian angel =).

 

expansion-wise I generally use 2 expansions + base game.     Current iteration is AH+ DH+IH,  after doing several runs with KiY or CotDP.    Just the 2 big boards adds some interesting elements to the game, if you're thinking of changing your expansion mix.    It's basically gate assault,   we seem to rarely have monster surges  (or gate blocks, for that matter),  and in the 5 or so games I've played with this variant,  I don't think any reasonable person would  say that either dunwich or innsmouth has been "dilluted", at least,  not in those games, that's for sure!

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awp832 said:

 

interesting idea Avi.    You take a newbie and entice them to play a character with a house rule that makes her strictly worse than she already is.    And yet,   it somehow makes so much sense.  Alternatively,  YOU could play mandy, and be the newbie's guardian angel =).

 

expansion-wise I generally use 2 expansions + base game.     Current iteration is AH+ DH+IH,  after doing several runs with KiY or CotDP.    Just the 2 big boards adds some interesting elements to the game, if you're thinking of changing your expansion mix.    It's basically gate assault,   we seem to rarely have monster surges  (or gate blocks, for that matter),  and in the 5 or so games I've played with this variant,  I don't think any reasonable person would  say that either dunwich or innsmouth has been "dilluted", at least,  not in those games, that's for sure!

 

 

You mock ;') but I'll explain.  Controlling an investigator and doling out its ability when you see fit makes the other player feel like their play is dependent on another player; however, letting them control it— limiting the use of Mandy for Mandy— allows the newbie to feel a delusional sense of power, and competence :') Really, not everyone gets off on an Arkham inspired sense of impotence.  ::Shrug:: newbies feel bad when they get knocked out from getting into a stupid fight, and if you let them use Mandy on other players, they'll often give the rolls to someone else and then suffer a KO.  ::Shrug:: besides, a Mandy that can only reroll her own dice is still one of the best investigators in the game.

Seriously, if you use Mandy for a beginner, they don't feel like they have control over it, or their actions (and they don't, but shhh, don't tell them that).

::Sigh:: I'm disappointed no one has commented on that giant expansion use post I made yet.  Ah well.  Maybe tomorrow.

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Actually I wasn't mocking... too much.    I *did* actually get the point.  Restricting Mandy's ability to herself increases Mandy's personal power several fold,  which would be great for a newbie.     However,  I just thought it was kind of funny because,  strictly speaking,  you're making Mandy as an Investigator weaker.

 

Hm... not too much to say about your anti-dillution scheme.    I never play the 'touring' modes for the expansions,   something about that just rubs me the wrong way.  I don't play Tibs' anti-dillution mode either,  I'm sure it works great,  I'd just personally rather restrict myself to one or two expansions and not have to worry about it.     Anyway,  I do like the idea of having a neat 100 card mythos deck, or close to it,   which is much easier to shuffle, when it needs it.   I'm not really thrilled about what you would have to do to get there though.  Don't like the idea of randomly choosing 70 cards in the first place,   because if you wanted to play again,  you'd (presuemably)  have to go through the deck you just made, seperate stuff, and a new 70 cards from AH/DH/IH....  at least if I am understanding you correctly here.

 

I dunno,  the way I see it...   do you really *need* all those expansions mixed in?  I mean think about it...

Kingsport has no unstables,   and really, not *especially* thematic mythos cards,  not any more so than the base game, anyway.    You can probably toss the Kingsport mythos deck out the window and never play with it again,  am I wrong here?

 

BGotW gets a lot of flak as an expansion.   Probably most people don't especially care to play with this mythos deck either.  I mean,   Strange Sightings!  is really the most interesting card in there,  and you get one in Innsmouth anyway.

 

Cotdp has annoying mythos cards.   I'm sorry, but it does.   Here,   go through the monster cup and find the 3 maniacs and put them on Downtown.   That won't slow down the game at all....      If it weren't for certain cards like 'A Sandstorm?'   that *are* actually entertaining,  I'd probably not use this deck either.   Still, we'll keep this one in the 'maybe' pile.

 

  KiY is pretty sweet,  and IMO is really the one that most of these kinds of things seem aimed at.

 

Then there is IH which is awesome, and DH which is also awesome.

 

So,  In my eyes,  there are 3 maybe 4 mythos add-ons that are compelling to play with.  AH plays just fine with 2 expansions mixed in,  without much dillution at all.  Even if you are thinking zomg, I LOVE the kingsport and BGotW mythos decks!!!111! ,  then we're back up to 6, but big deal.    I mean,  can't you just choose 2 and play a run of games with them?  Then choose 2 different ones and do those for a while?   Do you *have* to have everything in, all the time?   I dunno,  that just seems odd to me, and I don't know that it would add to the 'fun' of the game.     If people just played the game the way that it is suggested  to be played (IE; with only one or two expansions per game)  than dillution really wouldn't be a problem.

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I think I should stick to the "2 big + 1 small" type of game and interchange some expansions from time to time. The main thing I don't like in Arkham base game is you already know all the location cards, and typically go farm blessing at Science building, or Ally somewhere else, etc. That's why I empathise to all 6 expansions at once. You almost never will get the same game time after time. The only thing that scares me is ENORMOUS Mythos and Gate decks and ENORMOUS amount of space needed (we probably would use 2 tables together). Other thing that empathise me about 6 expansions is BIG GAME process when we spend half-day just moving around those 2 tables, drinking beer, and chatting about tactics etc.

Lucky for us, we have 5-7 players every time we play, so we always get interesting evening time.

 

About Mandy: we really think her ability is game-breaker, so we nerfed her. And now we always use this character as only self checks reroller, not others.

 

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I think the best way ro find out how we should mix expansions is learn it with experience of different games combinations. As everything is subjective...

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awp832 said:

Actually I wasn't mocking... too much.    I *did* actually get the point.  Restricting Mandy's ability to herself increases Mandy's personal power several fold,  which would be great for a newbie.     However,  I just thought it was kind of funny because,  strictly speaking,  you're making Mandy as an Investigator weaker.

Hm... not too much to say about your anti-dillution scheme.    I never play the 'touring' modes for the expansions,   something about that just rubs me the wrong way.  I don't play Tibs' anti-dillution mode either,  I'm sure it works great,  I'd just personally rather restrict myself to one or two expansions and not have to worry about it.     Anyway,  I do like the idea of having a neat 100 card mythos deck, or close to it,   which is much easier to shuffle, when it needs it.   I'm not really thrilled about what you would have to do to get there though.  Don't like the idea of randomly choosing 70 cards in the first place,   because if you wanted to play again,  you'd (presuemably)  have to go through the deck you just made, seperate stuff, and a new 70 cards from AH/DH/IH....  at least if I am understanding you correctly here.

Yeah ;') Mandy's diminishment induced delusions of grandeur are ironically amusing.

No, I wouldn't recommend redoing the deck every game, maybe once every four or five games, or longer if you have large spaces in between your games and you don't remember the deck contents very clearly (although I would of course, shuffle the hundred card deck itself every game).  I mean, there's *a lot* of variety in a hundred mythos card deck.  Keep in mind, you can have a *very* high level of randomness with 100 cards.  I know it's fashionable these days to never see the same environment in 15 games ;') however Arkham doesn't need to be jumbo sized to be fun.  Yesterday I played against a somewhat diminished mythos deck and it was *brutal* (I still haven't formally separated the cards— I want a few more rubberbands first so I can compress everything into fewer boxes and allow easier portability without having to put encounter, mythos, and OW cards in boxes not belonging to them and making it harder to find them ::sigh:: I'm not looking forward to figuring out how to rebox everything).

Anyways, if you incorporate my advice, what you'd basically have is a section of Base/DH/IH that'd rotate out every 4/5 (or more if you're willing) games, with a complete other small expansion that you want to heavily flavor the mix (of course, you could leave in certain elements you really liked permanently if you really wanted to— I would think possibly the giant Innsmouth encounter cards, and the CotDP AO encounters— which, let's face it, with a jumbo sized OW deck, you hardly ever see anyways).  ::Shrug:: I think I might leave out the Innsmouth OW encounters (except when they're randomly incorporated); but I think I'd always like to have at least one of the AO encounters in.

The game started off with about 50 OW, and with all of them in one deck, it's about 200.  So....  There should be about 1 randomly selected (and unseen) AO placed in the gate deck (I wouldn't bother to randomly redraw another unless the card was seen during the game).  It'd appear at about the same frequency as it normally would (since 50OW plus an expansion's OWs will bring the deck up to about 70 or 80 OWs).  The frequency's close enough.  It's not that this is complex, I just wanted to justify my distribution math :')

-

So, in short:

Shuffle the Other Worlds and Mythos decks of Base/DH/IH and set aside new decks every 5 games with 70 randomly selected mythos, and 50 gates.  Then shuffle in all the mythos and OW cards from the expansion you'd like to emphasize.

For fixing a mixture of Arkham encounter stability and randomness, I'd suggest you *always* keep in the base seven encounters, then randomly 4 encounters from the DH/IH encounters, then add in whichever small box encounters you want to add.

Cycle in new AH/DH/IH cards every five or so games, even if you don't want to change the small expansion (I'd ignore the location encounters though— I'd only change those when changing small expansions, or if it were a *really* long time)

Done.

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Lesseps said:

 

I think I should stick to the "2 big + 1 small" type of game and interchange some expansions from time to time. The main thing I don't like in Arkham base game is you already know all the location cards, and typically go farm blessing at Science building, or Ally somewhere else, etc. That's why I empathise to all 6 expansions at once. You almost never will get the same game time after time. The only thing that scares me is ENORMOUS Mythos and Gate decks and ENORMOUS amount of space needed (we probably would use 2 tables together). Other thing that empathise me about 6 expansions is BIG GAME process when we spend half-day just moving around those 2 tables, drinking beer, and chatting about tactics etc.

Lucky for us, we have 5-7 players every time we play, so we always get interesting evening time.

 

About Mandy: we really think her ability is game-breaker, so we nerfed her. And now we always use this character as only self checks reroller, not others.

 

Thanks for the suggestions guys. I think the best way ro find out how we should mix expansions is learn it with experience of different games combinations. As everything is subjective...

 

 

Don't nerf Mandy :'P some characters are weaker, some are stronger, just characters randomly (and have the discretion to redraw if you pull her against a weak AO— personally, I won't even play against weak AOs).

As for farming....  You can still do that in the other expansion boards.  As for consistency of encounters, you'll always get that, a lot of encounters have redundant effects with the base game (to keep primary location effects from becoming too diluted).  ::Shrug:: If you use my method your encounter decks will be about 15 cards (although I guess if you're playing seven player games and don't mind expansion theme being deemphasized, just leave in all the DH, and IH, encounters if you try my method).

The problem with 2 big & 1 small is you still have significant dilution problems for the small box, you also won't be able to combine DH and Innsmouth, and believe me, you've never seen horror in Arkham until you've seen highly active DH and IH simultaneously :')  If you use my method you can essentially use 3 big and 1 small without suffering dilution.

;') anyways, awp, I think you should give my method a shot (even though I haven't entirely incorporated it yet— my partial trial last night was very successful though) and then you'll finally be able to play ::gasp:: 3+1 with even less dilution for the small expansion :') I'm actually feeling kindof nostalgic, I miss having CotDP and KiY themed games...  And I think even a Kingsport themed game would be fun (crazy fun, but fun) if I brought out that Basatan Veet made, or just for special occasions when I miss the ever so annoying rifts.  I still doubt BGotW will work (I doubt this because I tried using it with only the base game for three games, and it still didn't work) ::laughter:: oh well, that's why I made a herald for it after all.

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Lesseps said:

 

Avi, I think thats a time to get a patent for your method and start to sell it out for some bucks. You advertise it so hard :))

 

 

And just think!  I'm giving it to for FREEEEEEEE!

;') I'll not so crazy that I won't charge for mattresses though.

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Yes, Avi's system looks very good, but takes some time to prepare.

But I also recommend Tibs Idea to play a couple games with each small expansion individually.

Personally I mix all the expansion cards together. Before play - and it depends mostly with how many players we are - we decide wich expansions we play. That's when the symbols on the card come in play  They are there, so use them!
If we pull a card that is not of the expansion we decided on, we take the next one etc... We do that for all Arkham & OW encounters, Mythos and for the Ally deck. Some expansions have special cards so we use them only if we play the expansion.
We also use everything from the base game and ALL Investigators, Common & Unique items, Spells and Skills.

Some cards we always use:  the Injury & Madness cards (we don't use the origional: "discard half your items..." anymore), the epic battle cards when the AO awakes and the Personal Stories. Some of the Herald's don't mix good with other expansions, same goes for the Gardians, so we stick to the selected expasions with them too.

AO depends; usually all AO but sometimes we pick a combo

The small expansions:
KiY -> Hastur + King in Yellow herald
CofDP -> Nyarlathotep + The Dark Pharaoh herald
BGotW -> Shub-Niggurath + Black Goat of the Woods herald

I hope the The Lurker at the Threshold will be too?

Boarde Expansions:
DH -> Yog-Sothoth + The Dunwich Horror herald
IH -> Cthulhu + Father Dagon + Mother Hydra heralds

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Lesseps said:

All 6 exansions and some dices arrived here yesterday!

 

 Had few sweet hours studying the contents of the boxes. Really exciting!

And now we have a question. How should we mix this expansions to get best experience and nice expert variable gameplay? What combinations are the best? Etc.

 All replies welcome, thx.

 

I believe the expansions were only playtested with the base game, so when I want to play with an expansions I want it to act somewhat as playtested.

 I mix everything together except the Mythos decks.  I keep each Mythos deck separate.  I only play up to 2 expansions at a time. Ususally 1 big board and one small board.

To determine which Mythos deck I use I roll a die

1-2: Base game; 3-4 First expansion; 5-6 2nd expansion

Expansion Effects

Dunwich 36 (35%)  Slightly under emphasized by 2%

Innsmouth 36 (35%) Slightly under emphasized 2%

King in Yellow 27 (29%)  Slighty over emphasized by 4%; Touring mode underemphasized by 81%

Kingsport 22 (25% Over emphasized by 8%

Black Goat 23 (26%) Over emphasized by 7%

Dark Pharaoh 18 (21%) Over emphasized by 12%, Exhibit mode under emphasized by  29%

Arkham 67:  If you play all expansions Arkham Mythos will be about 26% instead of 33%

Sometimes I play Intense modes using 3 pips instead of two for Innsmouth, for example and when feeling really brave use Extreme mode using 4 pips and no small expansion.  In short, its really flexible.

 

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I've kept this from an old Tibs posting...

I still think this is a great way to start playing through the game if you have all expansions and still do it myself for thematic reasons sometimes...

1.Base game with Azathoth (I used to try Yig but he woke up way too soon to get a feel for the game)
2.Dark Pharaoh with Nyarlathotep (all monsters, which means all 10 masks! Gotta love it)
3.Hastur and King in Yellow (Jacqueline Fine is a barred character, because they need to face the music when a Next Act comes up)
4.Black Goat and Shub-Niggurath (here they may taste their first gate bursts)
5.Kingsport and Ithaqua (lots of OOHs! and AHHs! over the new board)
6.Dunwich and Yog-Sothoth (snicker)
7.Innsmouth and Cthulhu (you may not have friends left after this one. Literally. They will have been eaten)

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Wow, I don't even remember where I posted that! Yeah, that's how I do it all right. And tonight might be a new player group's step 3 with Hastur the Unspeakable!

I think I might have made 1 be Yig again so that the game would end early and the players would be given a teaser, and want to come back for more! Step 8, incidentally, should then be Azathoth and every expansion. Now the players have to cope with everything, and if they fail to stop the doom track from filling up it will be all over. Plus, putting Azathoth the destroyer last seems thematically fitting. After that final step, the game will be all expansions with a random AO, a random herald if the team won against that AO before, and a random guardian if they lost against that AO before. If the players have seen that herald before, a guardian will be added, and vice-versa.

Unfortunately (and I say that facetiously), there is a new expansion coming up, so I have to change the regimen! It will add another step to the list and probably occupy step 4 or 5, depending on the expansion's difficulty (I don't imagine it to be less difficult than King in Yellow; most likely there will be gate bursts). Now it looks like I have to find out which AO resonates thematically the strongest with this expansion, too!

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Tibs said:

Wow, I don't even remember where I posted that! Yeah, that's how I do it all right. And tonight might be a new player group's step 3 with Hastur the Unspeakable!

I think I might have made 1 be Yig again so that the game would end early and the players would be given a teaser, and want to come back for more! Step 8, incidentally, should then be Azathoth and every expansion. Now the players have to cope with everything, and if they fail to stop the doom track from filling up it will be all over. Plus, putting Azathoth the destroyer last seems thematically fitting. After that final step, the game will be all expansions with a random AO, a random herald if the team won against that AO before, and a random guardian if they lost against that AO before. If the players have seen that herald before, a guardian will be added, and vice-versa.

Unfortunately (and I say that facetiously), there is a new expansion coming up, so I have to change the regimen! It will add another step to the list and probably occupy step 4 or 5, depending on the expansion's difficulty (I don't imagine it to be less difficult than King in Yellow; most likely there will be gate bursts). Now it looks like I have to find out which AO resonates thematically the strongest with this expansion, too!

The Lurker At The Threshold, in regard to the novel, is Yog-Sothoth I believe.

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Well that's annoying. I don't want two different expansions in my regimen to have Yog-Sothoth. And LatT will have to come before DH (because DH has the board). I would add a herald onto Yog in the DH game, but there isn't one more appropriate than the Dunwich Horror herald, but I don't want to use that herald for the first DH game. Maybe a Guardian with the LatT expansion?

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Tibs said:

Well that's annoying. I don't want two different expansions in my regimen to have Yog-Sothoth. And LatT will have to come before DH (because DH has the board). I would add a herald onto Yog in the DH game, but there isn't one more appropriate than the Dunwich Horror herald, but I don't want to use that herald for the first DH game. Maybe a Guardian with the LatT expansion?

No **** it, no, Tibs!  Gah!  Guardians are horrible.  I never use guardians.  C'mon, seriously ;') heralds uphold the Lovecraftian spirit, Guardians undermine it.

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Tibs said:

Well that's annoying. I don't want two different expansions in my regimen to have Yog-Sothoth. And LatT will have to come before DH (because DH has the board). I would add a herald onto Yog in the DH game, but there isn't one more appropriate than the Dunwich Horror herald, but I don't want to use that herald for the first DH game. Maybe a Guardian with the LatT expansion?

I haven't seen the Black Pharoah expansion, but maybe there's a creative way to make it seem more generic and perhaps work Rhan-Tegoth in? Rhan-Tegoth WAS "The Horror in the Museum," after all. Or perhaps Ghotonothoa.

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Tibs said:

Well that's annoying. I don't want two different expansions in my regimen to have Yog-Sothoth. And LatT will have to come before DH (because DH has the board). I would add a herald onto Yog in the DH game, but there isn't one more appropriate than the Dunwich Horror herald, but I don't want to use that herald for the first DH game. Maybe a Guardian with the LatT expansion?

Well, maybe it's a Yog Herald playable together with the Dunwich Horror herald, as Father Dagon can be played together with Mother Hydra. Dealing with double Heralds is pretty fun (and pretty devastating, actually, but... you know, after the first Sanity loss, everything is different ::smile::)

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But using a guardian with Yog's first game and then no guardian with his second game would make him more difficult.

I was actually thinking... what if the "lurker" for my purposes was... Quachil Uttaus???

Pretty creepy huh?

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Tibs said:

But using a guardian with Yog's first game and then no guardian with his second game would make him more difficult.

I was actually thinking... what if the "lurker" for my purposes was... Quachil Uttaus???

Pretty creepy huh?

That could be a cool option... check out the story they got him from... javascript:void(0);/*1266697265902*/

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I combine a few variants that I found on BGG. They seem to work really well together. These are from J W and Tibs

If your Mythos draw shows a gate in Arkham, or no gate at all (but it is not a Next Act or Story Continues card), discard it and redraw, resolving the new card regardless.

FROM THE CREATOR
Some odds: if you play with Dunwich alone, you'll draw a Dunwich gate 25/102 times (25%); Innmouth alone: 33/102 (32%); King in Yellow alone: 6/93 (7%). If you combine all expansions, there are 18 "non-gate" cards, and 146 Arkham gate cards. The "normal" distribution for "non-gate" cards is hard to say, as if you play with only one expansion (small or large) you get very low numbers (3% or so), but once you add on a few expansions it jumps up quite a bit. Throwing everything into one big deck creates this distribution:
Arkham gates: 64%
Dunwich gates: 11%
Innsmouth gates: 14%
Next Act cards: 2.5%
Non-Gate cards: 8%
...so each of the effects we wish to preserve occurs well under half of its "in isolation" frequency. (IMHO, it's more useful to look at the distribution like this instead of by which expansion the card came from, as the latter is very muddy in terms of game effects.)

The problem I had with preserving the "in isolation" frequency (as kungfro's variant does), is that the distribution looks like this:
Arkham gates: 33%
Dunwich gates: 24%
Innsmouth gates: 32%
Next Act cards: 6%
Non-Gate cards: 4%
...so the vast majority of activity occurs away from Arkham. IMHO, Arkham should be the hub of activity, with occasional necessary trips out of town to deal with the hot spots. As a very simplistic comparison, there are 9 Arkham neighborhoods, and 10 non-Arkham neighborhoods (though Kingsport is inflated, considering the lack of unstable locations). Note too that playing any expansion in isolation has Arkham having 66% or more of the activity, so dropping that to 33% feels too extreme. I don't want to go too far down the path of justifying this detail, but ending up with an even split between Arkham and "Everything Else" seems about right.

The distribution with the "Balanced Dilution" variant looks like this:
Arkham gates: 46%
Dunwich gates: 19%
Innsmouth gates: 25%
Next Act cards: 4.5%
Non-Gate cards: 5.5%
...so you end up with a reasonable improvement in Dunwich (+8%), Innsmouth (+9%), and Next Act (+2%), while still keeping Arkham and non-gate cards in play. There is a little mechanical fuss (I would have loved to be able to omit the clumsy "Next Act" clause, but if you redraw on Arkham-only, you get 13% non-gate cards, which is too many). I also would like Next Act to be a bit more frequent, but it's nearly twice as probable as without any variant, so I'm OK with it.

(For King in Yellow) I use Tibs variant.
After resolving a Mythos card from an expansion other than King in Yellow, roll two dice. If their sum is exactly 3, flip over the top card of the Three Acts deck and resolve it immediately.

(Optional for more monsters) Again Tibs
For each monster that emerges from a gate in Dunwich or Innsmouth, roll a die. If the die result is less than the total number of expansions being used, then add another monster. Do not roll again for monsters added this way. This means with the Lurker coming up, it will be possible for a monster to appear every time a monster enters the dunwich and innsmouth board.
 

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I've recently become a fan of playing with the base game + 1 big box + 1 small box. I used to play all-in, but I find the game isn't well represented in this format. It's still hella fun, don't get my wrong, but certain mechanics don't function as well (Dunwich Horror, Deep One Rising, gate bursts, monster surges, etc). With gates and monsters spread across two or even three expansion boards (AND Arkham proper), the odds of certain events occurring are reduced proportionately. Not to mention the general dilution of theme, which isn't a HUGE concern of mine, but it's definitely something to think about. The small boxes suffer the most when you play this way, all but forgotten.

Playing with base AH + IH + CotDP for instance, so long as you manage your Mythos deck a little, you'll likely enjoy a focused experience. Gate bursts and monster surges will be a real possibility, there's potential for the Deep One Rising track to get out of hand. You might even find a stumble across a few Exhibit Items and fight a mummy.

I tend to create a small Mythos deck at the start of every session, using a set number of cards from each of the expansions I've chosen to include. For instance, 10 cards from Arkham base + 8 cards from IH + 6 cards from CotDP (+ 2 additional "The Next Act Begins!" if using KiY). This creates a 24 (or 26) card Mythos deck that maintains a reasonable ratio of base to big box to small box. This guarantees action on the expansion board and often a few cards from the small expansion of your choice (usually). Adjust the numbers as you see fit should you wish to over-emphasize a specific expansion. Some would rather play 10/8/8+2 or even 10/10/10. Whatever works!

It's a simple system. The math isn't hardcore but I find the ration/ratio approach results in a fun game more often than not. happy.gif

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