hengst2404

First Play of Arkham

33 posts in this topic

My fiancé and I decided to give it a go with a two-player game against Azathoth to see what we though compared to Eldritch Horror. We actually had a lot of fun, even though that first game took almost 4 hours as we learned to play as we went. I don't know if Azathoth is just that easy or if we had some very luck draws and rolls and mythos, but we did win via sealed portals. There were only two doom tokens on the AO and our terror only hit level 3. I am sure we made some mistakes, but overall it was a good experience. Combat and movement are certainly different than in Eldritch. We only played the base game and characters, we will slowly introduce the expansions, only one used each game, once we have a better handle on things. I am sure as our group size increases and we change AOs it will be a completely different game. I will say that those encounters where you have to roll for luck were terrible as I never had luck above zero. 

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Sounds like you had a fun time! I am thinking if doom was only at 2 that you might be forgetting to add 1 doom every time a gate opens. One way we remember this is to keep a doom token on top pf the gate stack.  Welcome!

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Could be that playing with core set only the OP was overbloated with ES. But yeah, it could also happen that he forgot to add doom every time a gate opens, or mistakenly had removed a doom when he sealed the gates with clues.

In any case: congrats on the first victory! and yes, Azathoth is uber-easy; and in general, the core set isn't super-challenging once you have the basic strategy down. At that point, adding Dunwich makes the game a whole different nightmare :)

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19 minutes ago, Julia said:

it could also happen that he forgot to add doom every time a gate opens, or mistakenly had removed a doom when he sealed the gates with clues.

Ah, right, also an easy mistake to make.  Remove doom only with an Elder Sign unique item -- clues seal, but do not remove from doom.  Congratulations on Az!  Maybe Ithaqua or Yig next...

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7 hours ago, hengst2404 said:

There were only two doom tokens on the AO and our terror only hit level 3.

Only 2 doom tokens on the AO?! That doesn't sound quite right to me.  I suppose it could happen if you were able to pick up and use every Elder Sign in the deck, but that would be very lucky indeed.

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I think it was more the result of the darn mythos deck not being shuffled enough. The monster surges got really annoying, but bear in mind we sealed 6 gates and closed 3 more so we did whittle it away a bit. We have a second play this coming weekend with our regular group and I imagine it will get more challenging and of course understanding the rules better will help. I will report back after the game.

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19 minutes ago, hengst2404 said:

I think it was more the result of the darn mythos deck not being shuffled enough. The monster surges got really annoying, but bear in mind we sealed 6 gates and closed 3 more so we did whittle it away a bit. We have a second play this coming weekend with our regular group and I imagine it will get more challenging and of course understanding the rules better will help. I will report back after the game.

I'm confused. What does sealing gates have to do with whittling away an AO's doom track? Unless a gate is sealed with an Elder Sign card, doom tokens are not removed from the doom track. A normal gate sealing, paid for with Clue tokens, does not remove any Doom tokens from the doom track.

Edited by Lee418

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2 hours ago, hengst2404 said:

I think it was more the result of the darn mythos deck not being shuffled enough. The monster surges got really annoying, but bear in mind we sealed 6 gates and closed 3 more so we did whittle it away a bit. We have a second play this coming weekend with our regular group and I imagine it will get more challenging and of course understanding the rules better will help. I will report back after the game.

I think Julia may have guessed it -- it sounds like you were incorrectly removing doom tokens when you closed or sealed gates.  The only time you are allowed to remove doom tokens is if you use an Elder Sign unique item to seal the gate (and these are pretty rare).  If you are using clues to seal, you do not get to remove a doom token.  If you close a gate but do not seal it, doom is not removed in this case either, but doom also has a good chance of increasing if another gate opens on that location.  You may just want to re-read closely the rules on opening, closing and sealing gates.

Edited by Wolfpack48

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Yep, as the other said, 6 seals + 3 closed means the doom track should be at 9 (minimum: I imagine when you won you had a few more open gates on the board). Since there are no 7 Elder Signs in the Unique Item deck, the options are only two

a) you made professional abuse of the doom removing encounter at the South Church (a good reason to immediately add location encounter cards from expansions) or
b) you removed doom when you were not supposed to

(just saying because it seems you could have the rules down wrong: your posts don't seem to suggest an a) policy was adopted)

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The rules are unambiguous on this point.

Quote

 

Sealing Gates

If an investigator successfully closes a gate, he may immediately spend five Clue tokens to permanently seal it. The player takes a doom token from the pile of unused doom tokens, turns it over to its elder sign side, and places the token on the gate location. The player still claims the gate marker as a trophy. The gate is now sealed: No further gates can open and no monsters can appear at the location of the sealed gate for the remainder of the game.

 

 

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I notice that the OP is an Eldritch Horror player. I've never played EH. Is there a similar game mechanic in EH that could have lead to a misinterpretation of the Gate Sealing rule in AH? 

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Not really, retreating doom in Eldritch is tied to very specific events, and doom advancing is not directly tied to gates opening (but to the number of gates matching the color on the omen track when omen advances)

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No I must have misread that as we were playing, certainly wasn't an adopted rule :) I did the math and we still would have won, but it would have been right at the edge of the AO awakening and the game being over as a result.

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A rapidly filling Doom track will make the game feel very different. The rising tension and increasing sense of urgency surrounding the imminent awakening of the AO is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the game. Hopefully you will get to experience this in your next game.  

Edited by Lee418

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I think getting that first play in was important, but it is after that, where I find the rules really gel and expanding the number of players will change things as well. Looking forward to this weekend. I think there will be at least 3 of us. Any suggestions for the AO? 

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9 minutes ago, hengst2404 said:

I think getting that first play in was important, but it is after that, where I find the rules really gel and expanding the number of players will change things as well. Looking forward to this weekend. I think there will be at least 3 of us. Any suggestions for the AO? 

Ithaqua or Yig. Yig for a slightly harder challenge.

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Cthulhu might be a good choice. But I would avoid Hastur. He's not particularly difficult, but he does occasionally tend to produce some rather protracted and dull games.

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I second Cthulhu: the doom track is slightly shorter than Azathoth's, and his special ability isn't too impacting on the game unless you pick 3/7 or 7/3 characters. In this way you have a slight increase in difficulty without pushing too much, and you ensure (due to the longish doom track) enough time to have your friends getting accustomed to the game rythm.

I'd not suggest Ithaqua, mostly because his Icy Wind ability is a pain and if people need to understand (and love) the game, being constantly annoyed by Icy Wind could be not so fun, and I'd not suggest Yig either because he's the most difficult in the core set due to his short doom track and the built-in doom accelerator (+1 doom if you kill a Cultist or go LiTaS). Shub's difficult as well due to monster toughness pumping, Hastur is the worst design of the core set because he's overly boring. Nyarly is fun but has a short doom track (but I'd pick Nyarly over Ithaqua and Yig any time I want a faster game that's not too annoying) and Yog is good, but require proper sealing strategy. So, Cthulhu.

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I like Yig as a nice contrast to Azathoth.  There's a much better chance you'll end up in the Final Battle with Yig (as opposed to no chance for a final battle with Azathoth), and it's a good test of playing out those mechanics and rules.  Also, good for a short game!  My two cents.  :)

Edited by Wolfpack48
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Also played my first game ever, also with two investigators, also vs. Azathoth.  Went smoothly, mostly because Kate Winthrop was an absolute monster. She had +1 fight, a .45 plus a derringer, and most importantly gained a blessing on about turn 3 that simply refused to disappear. Darrell on the other hand gained two blessings which both lasted the minimum amount of time before disappearing, and generally bumbled his way through the combat with a magic sword he swiped off a Mi-Go; He ended up sealing just one gate (but closing two) and killing a modest amount of cultists and one shoggoth. Kate did literally everything else. 

This game is really amazing though, can't wait to get some friends together and try to take out a harder god with more investigators on the board.

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Okay folks, game two in the books, going with Yog as the AO after looking through the recommendations. So it was overall a great game. My friend who was the new player picked it all up fairly quickly having played Eldritch as well. It may not be that similar, but enough of the core mechanics are the same to make it a solid transition. So things that I did wrong at first:

 

Yog's stirring means I need 2 successes to seal a gate not one. I was thinking it meant one less die rolled, but we only did this once.

Nobody was lost in time and space, but I came so close it was not funny.

Didn't realize that if you stay on a square with a monster, you still need to either evade or fight. Only happened once or possibly twice, not sure how I missed that one.

Flyers in the sky need to be counted towards the total monsters. Probably missed this one the first few times

Didn't know that if a clue spawns on your spot during Mythos that you can pick it up. Assuming I didn't read that online it will help our next game

Hound of Tindalos, when he moves goes to the nearest building with an investigator. Missed this on the first time he moved, but he only moved 2-3 times the whole game.

 

So we ended up winning via  a strategy of sealed gates. My team had some of the luckiest encounters you would imagine, seeming to always end up with one or more clues being awarded. Our mythos phase was pretty generous as well. After quickly opening up 3 gates, we had a few monster spawns and At least 3-4 times in the entire game had a draw of a gate that had already been sealed. Our terror was getting up there, with a 5. We ended up in this loop where we had 6 monsters on the board and they were clustered and tougher than we were so we kept getting the fringes filled up. Our Doom was at 7 and I was getting nervous as I had spent my gate trophy for a blessing earlier in the game.

So I am not sure if we were just really lucky on draws, or what. I do know we are going to try Cthulhu next game and see how that goes. What is the deal with Flying Monsters? I have yet to get stopped on a city square, much less intentionally do so. IS the only time they encounter an investigator when they stop their movement on a city square? We had one flyer and I am curious if I was doing that wrong somehow.

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Congrats on the victory :) The more you play, the more you'll notice there are very specific patterns in the game (three to be precise: a) how gates open, b) how clues spawn, c) how OW are color-coded to indicate the likelihood of specific encounters to happen) and on this you'll develop the perfect strategy to master the core set :) Cthulhu's good as next one :)

Not so sure what you mean by city squares. Are you referring to street areas in general, or to some specific location (see Independence Square)?

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Well that is my question. For flying monsters, do they mean any city spot with a named building or location, or just the generic ones with names and no gate symbols?

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Posted (edited)

4 hours ago, hengst2404 said:

Well that is my question. For flying monsters, do they mean any city spot with a named building or location, or just the generic ones with names and no gate symbols?

The only time a flying monster will be in a location is the first time they spawn from a gate, and happen not to move.  When they do move, they will either move to the street in the current neighborhood, if an investigator is there, or to the sky, if no investigator is there. Once in  the sky, they can move to any street area with an investigator, but never back into a location.

Edited by Wolfpack48

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