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Barl

How Many expansion do you play with at one time?

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What I am talking about is not so much the difficulty curve of the game by using all expansion, but more to get "story" and feel of an expansion in the game.

That is I like to experince the loctaions on the new boards and if you run with all three board expansions, that can be somewhat of a rarity. I have yet to see the Dunwich horror spawn in any game with all expansions for example.

The way my group handles this is, as others have suggested to only use certain mythos cards. I think what I was wondering is, if others like to play with everything. Because I dont personly like that, because of the issues I have with dilution of game flavor. happy.gif

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Barl said:

What I am talking about is not so much the difficulty curve of the game by using all expansion, but more to get "story" and feel of an expansion in the game.

That is I like to experince the loctaions on the new boards and if you run with all three board expansions, that can be somewhat of a rarity. I have yet to see the Dunwich horror spawn in any game with all expansions for example.

The way my group handles this is, as others have suggested to only use certain mythos cards. I think what I was wondering is, if others like to play with everything. Because I dont personly like that, because of the issues I have with dilution of game flavor. happy.gif

But one always only uses certain Mythos cards by way of drawing a few... so it just seems to me that the solution is simple (that is what I was trying to half-drunkenly say before) and whether you use a system based on specific proportions like Avi's or just ad-hoc put together that which you want to see this game (if doing a systematic approach seems too much) it is just about getting what you want in a given game. If one doesn't see enough of dunwich put more in! I dunno, it just doesn't seem like a huge flaw in the game, or much of a big deal to make a expurgated deck (the one without the gannett). It has been fixed for us in a pragmatic fashion by fellow fans...

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Barl said:

 

What I am talking about is not so much the difficulty curve of the game by using all expansion, but more to get "story" and feel of an expansion in the game.

That is I like to experince the loctaions on the new boards and if you run with all three board expansions, that can be somewhat of a rarity. I have yet to see the Dunwich horror spawn in any game with all expansions for example.

The way my group handles this is, as others have suggested to only use certain mythos cards. I think what I was wondering is, if others like to play with everything. Because I dont personly like that, because of the issues I have with dilution of game flavor. happy.gif

 

I totally agree with regard to dilution, which is why I manage the Mythos deck when I play with everything except the Kingsport board and the KH Mythos/Gate cards (I dislike the Rift mechanic to the point of excluding it). So long as the Mythos remains focused, so too does the game itself, I find. By taking 15 random cards from my Dunwich/Innsmouth deck and15 random from an Arkham + small box deck, and using those to create the Mythos deck for the game, I guarantee a 50/50 chance of big box expansion Mythos cards coming into play with each draw (though 10(?) or so cards in the big box pile open gates in Arkham).

I'm not sure if I've found the balance yet, as I'm not entirely certain of Fantasy Flight's intentions. If you mix even a single small box with base Arkham, and then add a big box like Dunwhich, the odds of drawing a Dunwich Mythos card are pretty slim. Was that their intention? Are gates supposed to be rare occurrences on the expansion boards? With my method of Mythos management, the potential for gates in Innsmouth/Dunwich is massively increased. It's a relatively new system I've adopted (at least for me), I have a feeling I might have to skew the numbers a little until I stumble across the "perfect" ratio; maybe 10:15 big box:Arkham? I dunno.

EDIT: I just separated out the few IH/DH cards that open gates in Arkham from my Dunwich+Innsmouth deck. 10 from DH, only 2 from IH. With all this considered, there looks to be an (approximate, looking only at the size of the decks) 2:1 ratio in favor of gates opening in Arkham (with all 3 small boxes) compared to both Innsmouth and Dunwich combined, slightly more than 2:1 in fact. I suppose I should alter my ratio to reflect this if I hope to maintain the balance intended by the game developer. Maybe I should see what the ratio would be comparing the base game to a single big box expansion. That might be more indicative of the balance I'm looking for.

EDIT2: Eyeballing my Inventory Checklist from BGG, I see that the base game comes with 67 Mythos cards. Both IH and DH come with 36 Mythos cards each. Because DH offers 10 cards that open gates in Arkham compared to IH's 2, the ratio is different depending which big box you add. 76:26 for Dunwich, 69:34 for IH. Combining both DH and IH with AH would result in 79:60, 4:3 in favor of gates opening on the Arkham board. The ratio is severely skewed when you start adding KH and small box Mythos into the mix, but the small boxes themselves don't unhinge balance like additional expansion boards and I have no intention of using the Kingsport EB. Not sure what I've managed to prove here other than to confuse myself.

I realize there are several Mythos cards in each deck that don't result in an open gate, cards that add doom tokens and whatnot, but I'm not intent on making my calculation THAT specific and complicated. I think next game I'll try 4:3 and see how it "feels." Hopefully I enjoy an exciting session involving all three boards without making the game harder than it already is!

Sorry to hijack the thread with my rambling! lengua.gif

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Barl said:

 

What I am talking about is not so much the difficulty curve of the game by using all expansion, but more to get "story" and feel of an expansion in the game.

That is I like to experince the loctaions on the new boards and if you run with all three board expansions, that can be somewhat of a rarity. I have yet to see the Dunwich horror spawn in any game with all expansions for example.

The way my group handles this is, as others have suggested to only use certain mythos cards. I think what I was wondering is, if others like to play with everything. Because I dont personly like that, because of the issues I have with dilution of game flavor. happy.gif

 

 

Right.  Got it.  And if you read my link you'll see that with my method you can have random chaos without dilution of the expansion you want emphasized :')

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Deek said:

 

Barl said:

 

Sorry to hijack the thread with my rambling! lengua.gif

 

 

Oh no, what kind of madhouse would we inmates be running if we had no rambling hijackers ;')

I'm not sure why you won't just use Epic Battle cards, they're fun.  

Also, since you seem interested in this too make sure to check my link from earlier in this thread where I deal with mythos card proportionality.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?efid=5&efcid=1&efidt=283973&efpag=0#284384

To me, mythos cards and encounter cards are the only elements of the game that *really* need weeding to insure theme.  I'm quite happy with towering item decks.

 

Also, man's best friend:

http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Main_Page

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Oh no, no! I use the Epic Battle cards. I love 'em. I use everything from Kingsport EXCEPT the board, the location encounters (obviously) and the Mythos/Gate cards. Everything else is in! Investigators, GOOs, items, etc. Thanks for the link!

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Deek said:

Oh no, no! I use the Epic Battle cards. I love 'em. I use everything from Kingsport EXCEPT the board, the location encounters (obviously) and the Mythos/Gate cards. Everything else is in! Investigators, GOOs, items, etc. Thanks for the link!

Yeah...  That's basically what I do with Kingsport.  I'm not much of a fan of the board.  I can deal with it just fine, it's just I don't see much of a point in playing it except for flavor games.

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Joseph_Lavode said:

I may do that with Kingsport, I haven't decided yet. I figure I owe the town at least a couple more games to give it a fair shake before I remove it from my rotation.

Poor Kingsport, nobody loves it.  I do miss the pawnshop though.

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Well, I can be the dissonant voice and say I honestly think Kingsport is overall the best expansion for Arkham. Granted, the board itself is a bit boring, but pretty much everything else in that expansion rocks: the Epic Battle cards, new encounters for Arkham, Other World encounters for The Underworld and Unknown Kadath, the two heralds, the four Ancient Ones, most of the new investigators, the Rifts - heck, even the Guardians can add some nice flavor without making the game too easy.

I think people are a little unfair in their reviews of Kingsport solely because there are no unstable locations on the board (which is admittedly a major weakness). It took me a while to accept that Kingsport is basically a safe haven for investigators, but to counter-balance that everything else in the box makes the game much, much harder. With the ability to pick and choose which components and mechanics to use, Kingsport offers the greatest range of difficulty from relatively easy to very challenging (far better than those stupid Difficulty level cards).

Just give Kingsport a chance. The Epic Battle cards alone are worth it.

-Villain

 

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Avi_dreader said:

Joseph_Lavode said:

I may do that with Kingsport, I haven't decided yet. I figure I owe the town at least a couple more games to give it a fair shake before I remove it from my rotation.

Poor Kingsport, nobody loves it. I do miss the pawnshop though.

Funny, I love Kingsport but have never cared about the pawn shop.

Dam said:

Avi_dreader said:

Poor Kingsport, nobody loves it.  I do miss the pawnshop though.

 

My plan is working perfectly cool.gif !

Must be one hell of a plan. You can dissuade people from getting it, even though you've never physically held a copy yourself!

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Deek said:

I totally agree with regard to dilution, which is why I manage the Mythos deck when I play with everything except the Kingsport board and the KH Mythos/Gate cards (I dislike the Rift mechanic to the point of excluding it). So long as the Mythos remains focused, so too does the game itself, I find. By taking 15 random cards from my Dunwich/Innsmouth deck and15 random from an Arkham + small box deck, and using those to create the Mythos deck for the game, I guarantee a 50/50 chance of big box expansion Mythos cards coming into play with each draw (though 10(?) or so cards in the big box pile open gates in Arkham).

I'm not sure if I've found the balance yet, as I'm not entirely certain of Fantasy Flight's intentions. If you mix even a single small box with base Arkham, and then add a big box like Dunwhich, the odds of drawing a Dunwich Mythos card are pretty slim. Was that their intention? Are gates supposed to be rare occurrences on the expansion boards? With my method of Mythos management, the potential for gates in Innsmouth/Dunwich is massively increased. It's a relatively new system I've adopted (at least for me), I have a feeling I might have to skew the numbers a little until I stumble across the "perfect" ratio; maybe 10:15 big box:Arkham? I dunno.

EDIT: I just separated out the few IH/DH cards that open gates in Arkham from my Dunwich+Innsmouth deck. 10 from DH, only 2 from IH. With all this considered, there looks to be an (approximate, looking only at the size of the decks) 2:1 ratio in favor of gates opening in Arkham (with all 3 small boxes) compared to both Innsmouth and Dunwich combined, slightly more than 2:1 in fact. I suppose I should alter my ratio to reflect this if I hope to maintain the balance intended by the game developer. Maybe I should see what the ratio would be comparing the base game to a single big box expansion. That might be more indicative of the balance I'm looking for.

EDIT2: Eyeballing my Inventory Checklist from BGG, I see that the base game comes with 67 Mythos cards. Both IH and DH come with 36 Mythos cards each. Because DH offers 10 cards that open gates in Arkham compared to IH's 2, the ratio is different depending which big box you add. 76:26 for Dunwich, 69:34 for IH. Combining both DH and IH with AH would result in 79:60, 4:3 in favor of gates opening on the Arkham board. The ratio is severely skewed when you start adding KH and small box Mythos into the mix, but the small boxes themselves don't unhinge balance like additional expansion boards and I have no intention of using the Kingsport EB. Not sure what I've managed to prove here other than to confuse myself.

I realize there are several Mythos cards in each deck that don't result in an open gate, cards that add doom tokens and whatnot, but I'm not intent on making my calculation THAT specific and complicated. I think next game I'll try 4:3 and see how it "feels." Hopefully I enjoy an exciting session involving all three boards without making the game harder than it already is!

I think pretty clearly FFG only tested the expansions with the base game.  But they don't live under a rock and notice that players want to play with everything they've purchased and so was (still)born Kingsport.  Ugh. Also the heralds are meant to do this, but fail for the most part or do it very inelegantly.

I've probably played my last hundred games or so with a truncated Mythos deck and for simplicity purposes 1/3rd of the cards are from the expansion(s) I want to emphasize. The leftovers are from the base game. 

I've played games were 1/3rd of the cards came from Innsmouth, Dunwich and the KiY and none from Arkham.  Works fine.  I've played games were 1/2-2/3rds of the Mythos come from Innsmouth or Dunwich.  I've even played some games where all the cards came from Dunwich and one game where the Dunwich Horror was placed on the board from the very beginning.

IMO, the more Mythos decks you use the more homogenized the game becomes.  It's pretty much always the same game.  The gates come fast a furious, there's few monster surges and bumps.  You have to play hard and fast to have a chance.  You'll hardly ever see the Dunwich Horror and the Deep One rising track will hardly ever rise.  You'll never get past the First Act and the Next Act card is a blessing not a curse.  The Cult of the Black Goat has their monthly greet and eat meeting but, it's just a social club. Nobody's corrupted and the Exhibit items remain as fresh as when you bought the game.  Essentially you're just playing Kingsport which isn't even that much fun even when you want to play Kingsport.

 

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Tibs said:

Must be one hell of a plan. You can dissuade people from getting it, even though you've never physically held a copy yourself!

It's all down to mental powers cool.gif !

 

@ Villain: If the objective is to avoid final combat at all costs, where are EBs so cool (gear-heads probably should use EB all the time)? Even worse, they offer you a way out vs Bokrug that might be an impossible to win without EBs. And what's the point of having the Red cards if you're not going to see them barring house rules (going past 8 rounds in final combat is rarer than final combat wins vs Tsathoggua)?

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Villain said:

Well, I can be the dissonant voice and say I honestly think Kingsport is overall the best expansion for Arkham. Granted, the board itself is a bit boring, but pretty much everything else in that expansion rocks: the Epic Battle cards, new encounters for Arkham, Other World encounters for The Underworld and Unknown Kadath, the two heralds, the four Ancient Ones, most of the new investigators, the Rifts - heck, even the Guardians can add some nice flavor without making the game too easy.

I think people are a little unfair in their reviews of Kingsport solely because there are no unstable locations on the board (which is admittedly a major weakness). It took me a while to accept that Kingsport is basically a safe haven for investigators, but to counter-balance that everything else in the box makes the game much, much harder. With the ability to pick and choose which components and mechanics to use, Kingsport offers the greatest range of difficulty from relatively easy to very challenging (far better than those stupid Difficulty level cards).

Just give Kingsport a chance. The Epic Battle cards alone are worth it.

-Villain

 

Agreed.  Except I like all the Kingsport components except the board.

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Dam said:

Tibs said:

Must be one hell of a plan. You can dissuade people from getting it, even though you've never physically held a copy yourself!

 

It's all down to mental powers cool.gif !

 

@ Villain: If the objective is to avoid final combat at all costs, where are EBs so cool (gear-heads probably should use EB all the time)? Even worse, they offer you a way out vs Bokrug that might be an impossible to win without EBs. And what's the point of having the Red cards if you're not going to see them barring house rules (going past 8 rounds in final combat is rarer than final combat wins vs Tsathoggua)?

So THAT'S why you seem so amazed at my final combat vs. Shub Niggurath story in the other thread... 

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mageith said:

I've played games were 1/3rd of the cards came from Innsmouth, Dunwich and the KiY and none from Arkham.  Works fine.  I've played games were 1/2-2/3rds of the Mythos come from Innsmouth or Dunwich.  I've even played some games where all the cards came from Dunwich and one game where the Dunwich Horror was placed on the board from the very beginning.

IMO, the more Mythos decks you use the more homogenized the game becomes.  It's pretty much always the same game.  The gates come fast a furious, there's few monster surges and bumps.  You have to play hard and fast to have a chance.  You'll hardly ever see the Dunwich Horror and the Deep One rising track will hardly ever rise.  You'll never get past the First Act and the Next Act card is a blessing not a curse.  The Cult of the Black Goat has their monthly greet and eat meeting but, it's just a social club. Nobody's corrupted and the Exhibit items remain as fresh as when you bought the game.  Essentially you're just playing Kingsport which isn't even that much fun even when you want to play Kingsport.

Yessir, I do that too. As I said in my earlier post on the first page, I sometimes play with a truncated, carefully considered Mythos. Arkham + an expansion or two for a focused experience. Usually AH + 1 big box + 1 small box. I'm still relatively new to AH (certainly less than 100 games under my belt) and I've yet to settle on a playstyle that best suits me. More often than not we play all-in, but with a Mythos deck that manages not to exclude the expansion boards. I enjoy the variance it provides, always something new and different cropping up to make life difficult.

I think it's also fairly clear that FFG tested Arkham + DH + IH at least a few times, hence the "+1 max open gates when board expansion boards are in play" ruling. It is with this in mind that I hope to strike a balance in line with what FFG might intend while including all the small box and even a few Kingsport Mythos cards in the mix.

Truth is, using a ratio method, I often find that one expansion board is ignored dependant on the Mythos draw; it's no longer a matter of Arkham overshadowing the smaller towns. Either Innsmouth or Dunwich becomes the focus to the exlusion of the other, with only the occasional gate popping up in the secondary location (often providing a welcome respite). It's rare that the draw is so evenly split that both can be safely ignored or easily contained. More often than not, one board remains empty and unmolested for 90% of the game. It's become so common, in fact, that I've considered removing one expansion board if only to save table space! Be it dilution or wasted space, I suppose the result is the same. It's not ideal.

The small boxes, I haven't decided. I can almost guarantee that BGotW will forever remain shuffled with base Arkham. I love the majority of the contents but I have yet to find a use for the Cult. I removed all mention of it from the game, to be honest. Terrible, terrible mechanic. Worse than rifts. No one ever joins. The only time corruption becomes an issue is when the Herald is in play or someone stumbles across one of the three encounters that grant corruption outside of the Cult. Beyond that, I see no reason to showcase BGotW as a stand alone small box. I'm holding out hope that the "Dark Pact" mechanic in the new Lurker expansion will scratch my itch in that regard. The KiY and CotDP .... I definitely enjoy both in a focused context, especially the KiY. When playing all-in, though, I do not include the Act cards. Exhibit items are indeed a rarity. The small box expansions are the true victim when playing all-in.

If anything, I'll likely end up with an Arkham+BGotW (minus Cult) deck and several smaller decks representing each additional expansion. Regardless of how I ultimately end up playing, I really do enjoy randomly selecting cards from pre-sorted decks based on a pre-determined ratio, to create a 30-ish card Mythos deck. I find it saves a ton of useless shuffling and sorting and guarantees that each expansion element is well represented. Depending what Lurker brings to the table, it'll either deserve it's own deck or end up melded with Arkham and Black Goat for additional flavor.

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Dam said:

@ Villain: If the objective is to avoid final combat at all costs, where are EBs so cool (gear-heads probably should use EB all the time)? Even worse, they offer you a way out vs Bokrug that might be an impossible to win without EBs. And what's the point of having the Red cards if you're not going to see them barring house rules (going past 8 rounds in final combat is rarer than final combat wins vs Tsathoggua)?

Like it or not, final combat is still an important part of the game (unless you always play against Azathoth) - Epic Battle cards give you all the more incentive to avoid it, but it still can (and will) happen. Just like you avoid having your investigators unconscious or insane, it still happens in the game - and yet the Injury and Madness cards are very cool.

Moreover, with the Epic Battle cards the final combat may often last longer than 8 rounds. In the green deck alone there are several cards that hamper the investigators' attack, not to mention some Sinister Plot's won't allow investigators to attack at all that round. If you actually played with Epic Battle cards, you would know that seeing red cards is not nearly as rare as you believe (although still not common). This is especially true with large teams of investigators, where a nasty Epic Battle card may devour an investigator or two early on, reducing the attack power of the remaining team, which in turn makes the Ancient One last much longer than usual.

As far as those few helpful cards (like Bokrug's or Tsathoggua's Sinister Plots) go, I think they add a great deal of uncertainty to final combat: with Epic Battle cards you might actually beat Bokrug (or even Tsathoggua!!!) without gearing up - but that would be an extremely rare and fortunate occurrence! A very Lovecraftian element, I'd say.

Epic Battle cards make final combat worth playing - without them you might as well stop the game the moment the ancient one wakes up. If you try them, you'll see what I mean - since then playing final combat without them just feels very lame.

-Villain
 

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Villain said:

Dam said:

 

@ Villain: If the objective is to avoid final combat at all costs, where are EBs so cool (gear-heads probably should use EB all the time)? Even worse, they offer you a way out vs Bokrug that might be an impossible to win without EBs. And what's the point of having the Red cards if you're not going to see them barring house rules (going past 8 rounds in final combat is rarer than final combat wins vs Tsathoggua)?

 

 

Like it or not, final combat is still an important part of the game (unless you always play against Azathoth) - Epic Battle cards give you all the more incentive to avoid it, but it still can (and will) happen. Just like you avoid having your investigators unconscious or insane, it still happens in the game - and yet the Injury and Madness cards are very cool.

Moreover, with the Epic Battle cards the final combat may often last longer than 8 rounds. In the green deck alone there are several cards that hamper the investigators' attack, not to mention some Sinister Plot's won't allow investigators to attack at all that round. If you actually played with Epic Battle cards, you would know that seeing red cards is not nearly as rare as you believe (although still not common). This is especially true with large teams of investigators, where a nasty Epic Battle card may devour an investigator or two early on, reducing the attack power of the remaining team, which in turn makes the Ancient One last much longer than usual.

As far as those few helpful cards (like Bokrug's or Tsathoggua's Sinister Plots) go, I think they add a great deal of uncertainty to final combat: with Epic Battle cards you might actually beat Bokrug (or even Tsathoggua!!!) without gearing up - but that would be an extremely rare and fortunate occurrence! A very Lovecraftian element, I'd say.

Epic Battle cards make final combat worth playing - without them you might as well stop the game the moment the ancient one wakes up. If you try them, you'll see what I mean - since then playing final combat without them just feels very lame.

-Villain
 

In our game on Saturday night with Joe Diamond and one other player left when we'd hit the red cards in Epic Battle, Diamond had no more monster trophies left, meaning if the card would read "Ancient One Attacks Normally" or whatever he'd been instantly devoured. Instead we got a plot card, and the drawn card read that Shub-Niggurath would bud off Dark Young that'd combat the characters, with each victory removing a doom token. There was only one Doom Token left on the Ancient One sheet and Diamond had battled a Dark Young earlier in the game so the giant sanity loss wasn't gonna happen. Result: Diamond beats Dark Young, essentially coming back from nothing by chance to win the game.

For me, that's SO much more fun than the straight battle math. Epic Battle is great fun. 

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Epic Battles inject a ton of flavor into final combats, whether you enjoy final combats or not. Perhaps EB will make you enjoy final combats more.

Just because I enjoy the Epic Battle decks does not mean I deliberately shoot more for final combats. On the contrary: I avoid them even more. But I still enjoy them immensely when they happen.

And rejecting the entire Epic Battle mechanic just because one Sinister plot of one Ancient One offers a free win is a pretty weak argument. Note that without house rules, you'll only get one shot (one in three) of getting that specific card in the first eight rounds! Without any AO attack cancelers, Bokrug lasts 8 rounds at most (and that's when he's at his weakest: a real pushover) which means it's effectively impossible to get a second or third shot to draw that card. Besides, it's entirely thematic: Arkham is not Sarnath. Once in a while, Bokrug will figure this out and take his vengeance elsewhere.

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There is also the supposed increase in difficulty with the EBs that people talk about. Currently at +14.69% according to the stats (OT: Tibs, it's March, update gran_risa.gif ). But how many of those final combats would've been losses even without the EBs can't be accounted for. KW's Clue-seal rule adds a minor blip in difficulty, but I know that even without it, the last three final combats I've logged I would've still lost. Even if I could recall all my final combats to the very first game, my current final combat tally of 24-21 (in 104 games) would change taking KW's suggested ruling into account, because I don't clue-*****, so I don't have that many Clues to spend period.

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Dam said:

There is also the supposed increase in difficulty with the EBs that people talk about. Currently at +14.69% according to the stats (OT: Tibs, it's March, update gran_risa.gif ). But how many of those final combats would've been losses even without the EBs can't be accounted for.

A good point, but the real question is, how many of those dozens of games that resulted in investigator victory would've been losses had Epic Battle cards been used in every game? I'd wager more than a few.

Speaking of the stats, it would be great to see the statistical effect of Epic Battle cards per each Ancient One, listed like this:

Ancient One - Final Combat Loss Percentage (without Epic Battle) - Final Combat Loss Percentage (with Epic Battle)

I'd guess the likes of Yig and Ithaqua would defeat the investigators a lot more often with Epic Battle cards than without.

-Villain

 

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Villain said:

I'd guess the likes of Yig and Ithaqua would defeat the investigators a lot more often with Epic Battle cards than without.

I'm already at 50-50 vs Ithaqua (my base game nemesis) demonio.gif . Wanker always seems to eat all my combat items at the start of battle. Heck, my first seal win vs Ith came when the BGotW Herald was used gran_risa.gif .

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Dam said:

Villain said:

I'd guess the likes of Yig and Ithaqua would defeat the investigators a lot more often with Epic Battle cards than without.

 

I'm already at 50-50 vs Ithaqua (my base game nemesis) demonio.gif . Wanker always seems to eat all my combat items at the start of battle. Heck, my first seal win vs Ith came when the BGotW Herald was used gran_risa.gif .

Now, imagine him eating all your items twice in the same final combat! demonio.gif

You know you want to experience that. gui%C3%B1o.gif

-Villain

 

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Deek said:

mageith said:

I've played games were 1/3rd of the cards came from Innsmouth, Dunwich and the KiY and none from Arkham.  Works fine.  I've played games were 1/2-2/3rds of the Mythos come from Innsmouth or Dunwich.  I've even played some games where all the cards came from Dunwich and one game where the Dunwich Horror was placed on the board from the very beginning.

IMO, the more Mythos decks you use the more homogenized the game becomes.  It's pretty much always the same game.  The gates come fast a furious, there's few monster surges and bumps.  You have to play hard and fast to have a chance.  You'll hardly ever see the Dunwich Horror and the Deep One rising track will hardly ever rise.  You'll never get past the First Act and the Next Act card is a blessing not a curse.  The Cult of the Black Goat has their monthly greet and eat meeting but, it's just a social club. Nobody's corrupted and the Exhibit items remain as fresh as when you bought the game.  Essentially you're just playing Kingsport which isn't even that much fun even when you want to play Kingsport.

Yessir, I do that too. As I said in my earlier post on the first page, I sometimes play with a truncated, carefully considered Mythos. Arkham + an expansion or two for a focused experience. Usually AH + 1 big box + 1 small box. I'm still relatively new to AH (certainly less than 100 games under my belt) and I've yet to settle on a playstyle that best suits me. More often than not we play all-in, but with a Mythos deck that manages not to exclude the expansion boards. I enjoy the variance it provides, always something new and different cropping up to make life difficult.

I think it's also fairly clear that FFG tested Arkham + DH + IH at least a few times, hence the "+1 max open gates when board expansion boards are in play" ruling. It is with this in mind that I hope to strike a balance in line with what FFG might intend while including all the small box and even a few Kingsport Mythos cards in the mix.

Truth is, using a ratio method, I often find that one expansion board is ignored dependant on the Mythos draw; it's no longer a matter of Arkham overshadowing the smaller towns. Either Innsmouth or Dunwich becomes the focus to the exlusion of the other, with only the occasional gate popping up in the secondary location (often providing a welcome respite). It's rare that the draw is so evenly split that both can be safely ignored or easily contained. More often than not, one board remains empty and unmolested for 90% of the game. It's become so common, in fact, that I've considered removing one expansion board if only to save table space! Be it dilution or wasted space, I suppose the result is the same. It's not ideal.

The small boxes, I haven't decided. I can almost guarantee that BGotW will forever remain shuffled with base Arkham. I love the majority of the contents but I have yet to find a use for the Cult. I removed all mention of it from the game, to be honest. Terrible, terrible mechanic. Worse than rifts. No one ever joins. The only time corruption becomes an issue is when the Herald is in play or someone stumbles across one of the three encounters that grant corruption outside of the Cult. Beyond that, I see no reason to showcase BGotW as a stand alone small box. I'm holding out hope that the "Dark Pact" mechanic in the new Lurker expansion will scratch my itch in that regard. The KiY and CotDP .... I definitely enjoy both in a focused context, especially the KiY. When playing all-in, though, I do not include the Act cards. Exhibit items are indeed a rarity. The small box expansions are the true victim when playing all-in.

If anything, I'll likely end up with an Arkham+BGotW (minus Cult) deck and several smaller decks representing each additional expansion. Regardless of how I ultimately end up playing, I really do enjoy randomly selecting cards from pre-sorted decks based on a pre-determined ratio, to create a 30-ish card Mythos deck. I find it saves a ton of useless shuffling and sorting and guarantees that each expansion element is well represented. Depending what Lurker brings to the table, it'll either deserve it's own deck or end up melded with Arkham and Black Goat for additional flavor.

I'm sure FFG tried the all in game, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it playtesting. A lot of players report that that the +1 bonus is actually too good of gift. I think the heralds (some of which have never been included in an expansion) was their attempt to bridge the gaps.

 

In addition, King in Yellow, I am convinced was originally designed as a stand alone Mythos deck. (27 cards) and the permanent version was a compromise. Same as CotDP, except that the exhibit version is only referenced half the time. Note its not shuffled in those rules.
 

Never found that using the ration method that one board was totally ignored, but, of course, it could happen. But then I don't dilute base Arkham with GBotW. My games last about 16 or so mythos phases. So that means 3-5 cards per expansion usually. Dunwich only has about 2/3rds of its Mythos cards actually reference Dunwich gates.

I think BG of W is probably the hardest small box (when mixed it) because of the gate bursts. It has some interesting Mythos cards, it, overall, just doesn't do as advertised.

 

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