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Rovin

Is It Possible To Have Too Many Characters Per Players?

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 My wife and I started an Innsmouth game tonight - bordering on scenario, really, since I essentially cut out all the monsters that aren't Cthulhu/Deep One/Innsmouth connected, save for cultists and witches and such because, of course, Cthulhu needs its worshippers, and Ghouls and a couple of undead beasties because the Gravedigger character is in the game - and, with eight characters on the board (we were going to go with six, but my 6 year old was insistent on playing, so we set him up with a couple of characters he chose when, in fact, we basically tell him how to play them), we're finding it hard to appreciate all of them that we DO have. Typically we're finding ourselves mainly focusing on a couple with the other two feeling underplayed (two of the other two, naturally, being our son's characters). I also feel I might have shortchanged the game somewhat by just running monsters with a literary connection to Cthulhu and Innsmouth, since that completely eliminated flying monsters, and in the last several games flying monsters have really added a lot of combat situation drama to encounters. 

It's fun, but we won't be going with four per player again. It feels more like a strategic wargame and, if it makes sense, a lot less personal. 

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Rovin said:

 My wife and I started an Innsmouth game tonight - bordering on scenario, really, since I essentially cut out all the monsters that aren't Cthulhu/Deep One/Innsmouth connected, save for cultists and witches and such because, of course, Cthulhu needs its worshippers, and Ghouls and a couple of undead beasties because the Gravedigger character is in the game - and, with eight characters on the board (we were going to go with six, but my 6 year old was insistent on playing, so we set him up with a couple of characters he chose when, in fact, we basically tell him how to play them), we're finding it hard to appreciate all of them that we DO have. Typically we're finding ourselves mainly focusing on a couple with the other two feeling underplayed (two of the other two, naturally, being our son's characters). I also feel I might have shortchanged the game somewhat by just running monsters with a literary connection to Cthulhu and Innsmouth, since that completely eliminated flying monsters, and in the last several games flying monsters have really added a lot of combat situation drama to encounters. 

It's fun, but we won't be going with four per player again. It feels more like a strategic wargame and, if it makes sense, a lot less personal. 

I find that four players is the maximum number of investigators I can enjoy controlling (but keep in mind, I've been playing this game for four years now).  I prefer to control two players, but I typically control three for solo games.  I think controlling one or two investigators is the ideal number (and obviously if you're essentially playing for your child you should count his as investigators you're controlling).

I'd also strongly advise against weeding the monster cup until you've been playing this game for a *long* time and have a very good understanding of how it's balanced (but it seems like you're already figuring that out).  If you're too impatient to wait a long time, I'd suggest what you do is tilt the monster ratios a little (if there are multiple monsters of some types, you can cut them— but if you're going to do this, spend a few hours studying the various monsters and classifying them by difficulty— you should try to keep a similar difficulty level ratio in your monster cup— particularly if you're going for a Cthulhu themed game since the deep ones are pushovers unless you play with the custom herald Basatan).

I also don't like playing games with more than five humans (since they tend to get bogged down with socializing), but that's another story.

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Avi_dreader said:

I find that four players is the maximum number of investigators I can enjoy controlling (but keep in mind, I've been playing this game for four years now).  I prefer to control two players, but I typically control three for solo games.  I think controlling one or two investigators is the ideal number (and obviously if you're essentially playing for your child you should count his as investigators you're controlling).

I'd also strongly advise against weeding the monster cup until you've been playing this game for a *long* time and have a very good understanding of how it's balanced (but it seems like you're already figuring that out).  If you're too impatient to wait a long time, I'd suggest what you do is tilt the monster ratios a little (if there are multiple monsters of some types, you can cut them— but if you're going to do this, spend a few hours studying the various monsters and classifying them by difficulty— you should try to keep a similar difficulty level ratio in your monster cup— particularly if you're going for a Cthulhu themed game since the deep ones are pushovers unless you play with the custom herald Basatan).

I also don't like playing games with more than five humans (since they tend to get bogged down with socializing), but that's another story.

Good suggestion on comparing overall game difficulty ratios. That hadn't occurred to me at all. We're only four rounds in so I'll restore the regular monster cup for the rest of the game and keep your ideas in mind for my next attempt at a themed expansion game. 

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Ordinarily I think that 2 investigators is the limit to how many any player can comfortably control. And I wouldn't like to play with more than 5 people controlling an investigator (I myself will simply run the game if it comes to that).

However, I think that the bare minimum number of investigators you need to stand a fighting chance (that is, at sealing) is 2, plus 1 for each expansion board. I'd add another one investigator if you want a bit more breathing room to explore.

This means that with all three board expansions, you need to have 6 investigators in order to stand a decent chance at sealing, but still have a little breathing room. Most of my games are solo, and I prefer to play with all expansions, so that means I usually play alone controlling 6 investigators. It can be overwhelming at times.

Of course, I use house-rules to make sure Dunwich and Innsmouth mechanics don't get diluted with multiple expansions, so without house rules, you might be able to get by with only 5 or 4 and experience the same effect. I think Solan plays games with all three board and uses 4 investigators. I don't know how he does it. Certainly, with my anti-dilution rules, I wouldn't be able to survive and have fun.

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Tibs said:

This means that with all three board expansions, you need to have 6 investigators in order to stand a decent chance at sealing, but still have a little breathing room. Most of my games are solo, and I prefer to play with all expansions, so that means I usually play alone controlling 6 investigators. It can be overwhelming at times.

With Cthulhu as A.O. and running dual avatars of Dagon and Hydra, sealing in our current game is the major goal, and it's the first game we've actually sat down and strategized any such gameplay plan as opposed to just setting it up and having fun. 

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Tibs said:

Ordinarily I think that 2 investigators is the limit to how many any player can comfortably control. And I wouldn't like to play with more than 5 people controlling an investigator (I myself will simply run the game if it comes to that).

However, I think that the bare minimum number of investigators you need to stand a fighting chance (that is, at sealing) is 2, plus 1 for each expansion board. I'd add another one investigator if you want a bit more breathing room to explore.

This means that with all three board expansions, you need to have 6 investigators in order to stand a decent chance at sealing, but still have a little breathing room. Most of my games are solo, and I prefer to play with all expansions, so that means I usually play alone controlling 6 investigators. It can be overwhelming at times.

Of course, I use house-rules to make sure Dunwich and Innsmouth mechanics don't get diluted with multiple expansions, so without house rules, you might be able to get by with only 5 or 4 and experience the same effect. I think Solan plays games with all three board and uses 4 investigators. I don't know how he does it. Certainly, with my anti-dilution rules, I wouldn't be able to survive and have fun.

6...  Hee hee hee...  ;') You're soloing twice as many as me, but I cut out the Kingsport Board (partially so my team of three could be more effective, partially because I don't enjoy keeping track of the rifts— too much stretching, and partially because I hated how the extra boards meant I was playing a "one player" team— Arkham was bare of monsters, and it was far too easy to keep the streets clean— it was one of the reasons I gave my modified Black Goat herald the +4 monster limit boost).

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Rovin said:

 

Tibs said:

 

This means that with all three board expansions, you need to have 6 investigators in order to stand a decent chance at sealing, but still have a little breathing room. Most of my games are solo, and I prefer to play with all expansions, so that means I usually play alone controlling 6 investigators. It can be overwhelming at times.

 

 

With Cthulhu as A.O. and running dual avatars of Dagon and Hydra, sealing in our current game is the major goal, and it's the first game we've actually sat down and strategized any such gameplay plan as opposed to just setting it up and having fun. 

 

 

::Laughter:: you're playing Dagon and Hydra?  Good luck.  I can't manage them (of course, I always tried playing them with three random investigators— probably a mistake).  Hydra's pretty easy, but Dagon's a pain.  With three characters I can't manage to prevent terror from rising, so it ends up costing too many clues over the course of the game, and it usually also makes the doom track too short— oh sure, I could probably win by gearing up from the beginning— definitely really, but premeditated gearing up seems a bit sleazy ;') it's one thing to do it more than mid-way through the game, in a desperate attempt at self-defence once failure is obvious, but planning it from the beginning?  Not for me.  Except against Atlach.  Hate...

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Avi_dreader said:

... oh sure, I could probably win by gearing up from the beginning— definitely really, but premeditated gearing up seems a bit sleazy ;') it's one thing to do it more than mid-way through the game, in a desperate attempt at self-defence once failure is obvious, but planning it from the beginning?  Not for me.  Except against Atlach.  Hate...

 

What good does gearing up do against that little prick? lengua.gif He's immune to EVERYTHING! I still haven't figured out a way to take him down, besides collecting a friggin' mountain of clue tokens and any skills or Allies that boosts fight/combat and praying to whichever God controls the outcome of d6 rolls (Buddah, maybe?) ... should be noted, still haven't managed to beat him in Final Combat. He might as well be Azathoth. Tips would be appreciated, though I'm not looking to hijack the thread. PM! I suppose certain items would help, like Bullwhip, etc.

ON TOPIC: I play with three Investigators, solo. I find any more and my upkeep phase really starts to drag as I mull over potential slider moves for each character, and I tend to forget certain items and special abilities. But I'm still relatively new, so maybe I'll become more proficient with more games under my belt.

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Sealing the Beast's Power Mission completed drops him to -3 (same as Shudde, who also packs double-Resistance). Richard Upton Pickman (to ignore Phys. Res) and/or Prof. Armitage (to ignore Mag. Resistance). Zoey Samaras can ignore both. GOO attack cancellers. Call Ancient One lengua.gif ? Lily Chen for -2 doomers at the start of battle, Norman Withers with completed PS to roll 4 dice and remove a doomer for each success.

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But Atlach is double-Immunity, isn't he? If he were "merely" double-Resist, I'd hike up my big boy pants and go to war with a smile on my face.

I need to check his sheet, haven't looked at it for a while. I keep praying I never see it again. llorando.gif

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Avi_dreader said:

Rovin said:

 

Tibs said:

 

This means that with all three board expansions, you need to have 6 investigators in order to stand a decent chance at sealing, but still have a little breathing room. Most of my games are solo, and I prefer to play with all expansions, so that means I usually play alone controlling 6 investigators. It can be overwhelming at times.

 

 

With Cthulhu as A.O. and running dual avatars of Dagon and Hydra, sealing in our current game is the major goal, and it's the first game we've actually sat down and strategized any such gameplay plan as opposed to just setting it up and having fun. 

 

 

::Laughter:: you're playing Dagon and Hydra?  Good luck.  I can't manage them (of course, I always tried playing them with three random investigators— probably a mistake).  Hydra's pretty easy, but Dagon's a pain.  With three characters I can't manage to prevent terror from rising, so it ends up costing too many clues over the course of the game, and it usually also makes the doom track too short— oh sure, I could probably win by gearing up from the beginning— definitely really, but premeditated gearing up seems a bit sleazy ;') it's one thing to do it more than mid-way through the game, in a desperate attempt at self-defence once failure is obvious, but planning it from the beginning?  Not for me.  Except against Atlach.  Hate...

We've been lucky so far in that the first four rounds didn't activate the Innsmouth board (where I'm keeping the Fed mostly stationed in readiness collecting clue tokens, save a quick trip back to Arkham proper to deal with a Shoggoth) and we've worked hard to keep the monsters under strict control. We had a lucky break early on in that in the first round one of my wife's characters got a card that allowed all the players to roll for a chance at blessing, and consequently five of the eight characters earned blessed status. We had a bad break just in round 4 when the shaman woman, who was in another world, drew a card stating that alien experimentation on her either took two sanity or two spells and dumped her out of the other world without the sealing we were trying for. 

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Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

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Deek said:

Avi_dreader said:

... oh sure, I could probably win by gearing up from the beginning— definitely really, but premeditated gearing up seems a bit sleazy ;') it's one thing to do it more than mid-way through the game, in a desperate attempt at self-defence once failure is obvious, but planning it from the beginning?  Not for me.  Except against Atlach.  Hate...

 

What good does gearing up do against that little prick? lengua.gif He's immune to EVERYTHING! I still haven't figured out a way to take him down, besides collecting a friggin' mountain of clue tokens and any skills or Allies that boosts fight/combat and praying to whichever God controls the outcome of d6 rolls (Buddah, maybe?) ... should be noted, still haven't managed to beat him in Final Combat. He might as well be Azathoth. Tips would be appreciated, though I'm not looking to hijack the thread. PM! I suppose certain items would help, like Bullwhip, etc.

ON TOPIC: I play with three Investigators, solo. I find any more and my upkeep phase really starts to drag as I mull over potential slider moves for each character, and I tend to forget certain items and special abilities. But I'm still relatively new, so maybe I'll become more proficient with more games under my belt.

Heh...  Gearing up against Atlach means buying the entire allies deck basically (and as many skip ancient one attack items as possible.  And of course, clue stacking.  Basically if you're fighting atlach you should leave high frequency gates open, devote your game entirely to combat (close low frequency and some medium frequency gates to keep the gate limit from being reached to soon.  You might want to make other town gates high priority (because otherwise they'll send stuff into vortexes and raise the terror level costing you potential allies.  If you can get eight rounds of combat, that should be enough to have a decent chance of taking the bastard down.  Have you tried spending your entire game preparing for final battle against Atlach? 

And yeah, the more you play the game, the easier it will be for you to handle multiple characters.

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Deek said:

But Atlach is double-Immunity, isn't he? If he were "merely" double-Resist, I'd hike up my big boy pants and go to war with a smile on my face.

I need to check his sheet, haven't looked at it for a while. I keep praying I never see it again. llorando.gif

Resistance, he's scary, but not *that* scary :')

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Vazanar said:

Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

I'm quite happy with three.  If you're only playing Innsmouth and Pharoah, 3 is definitely adequate.

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Dam said:

Sealing the Beast's Power Mission completed drops him to -3 (same as Shudde, who also packs double-Resistance). Richard Upton Pickman (to ignore Phys. Res) and/or Prof. Armitage (to ignore Mag. Resistance). Zoey Samaras can ignore both. GOO attack cancellers. Call Ancient One lengua.gif ? Lily Chen for -2 doomers at the start of battle, Norman Withers with completed PS to roll 4 dice and remove a doomer for each success.

If I didn't know you better I could almost swear you were being sarcastic ;')  Still...  Not bad ideas, except for Call Ancient One.  I hate that card.  Even against Atlach.

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Vazanar said:

Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

In our previous games we've used 2 investigators per player, and I think we'll be going back to that. 

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Rovin said:

 

Vazanar said:

 

Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

 

 

In our previous games we've used 2 investigators per player, and I think we'll be going back to that. 

 

 

Two is my favorite number, but I can't manage the game with only 2 investigators when I solitaire.  Too many extra boards to cover.

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Avi_dreader said:

Resistance, he's scary, but not *that* scary :')

Oh, whoops! I was thinking of the wrong AO.

QUACHIL UTTAUS ..........

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Avi_dreader said:

Rovin said:

 

Vazanar said:

 

Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

 

 

In our previous games we've used 2 investigators per player, and I think we'll be going back to that. 

 

 

Two is my favorite number, but I can't manage the game with only 2 investigators when I solitaire.  Too many extra boards to cover.

In your experience would four investigators be the base effective group for big-box board expansions?

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Deek said:

 

Avi_dreader said:

Resistance, he's scary, but not *that* scary :')

 

Oh, whoops! I was thinking of the wrong AO.

QUACHIL UTTAUS ..........

 

 

You confused the pattering of spider feet with Quachil feet.  Understandable :')

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Rovin said:

 

Avi_dreader said:

 

Rovin said:

 

Vazanar said:

 

Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

 

 

In our previous games we've used 2 investigators per player, and I think we'll be going back to that. 

 

 

Two is my favorite number, but I can't manage the game with only 2 investigators when I solitaire.  Too many extra boards to cover.

 

 

In your experience would four investigators be the base effective group for big-box board expansions?

 

 

I can do three, but I remember *needing* four when I first started playing Kingsport and Dunwich together, for a while.  Then I was able to bump it back to three.  I've been able to manage with three investigators (but keep in mind, that's after three years of playing Arkham almost exclusively in my gaming time).  So yeah, four investigator's probably a good idea if you're playing three or four boards.  Three if you're only playing two boards.  Or more if you need it.  But I really think three investigators are enough to handle two boards.

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Avi_dreader said:

If I didn't know you better I could almost swear you were being sarcastic ;')  Still...  Not bad ideas, except for Call Ancient One.  I hate that card.  Even against Atlach.

Just because I don't do gear-up, doesn't mean I don't know the cards well enough to figure out how one would go about it cool.gif . Little "fun" exercises, like how to remove 18 doomers from a GOO when he wakes up, that sorta thing.

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Avi_dreader said:

Rovin said:

 

Avi_dreader said:

 

Rovin said:

 

Vazanar said:

 

Guess my group is still rather new to the game. We have normally 3-5 players each with one investigator. Do you all find the game better with 6 or so investigators instead of 3? Right now we have only the Innsmouth and Pharoah expansions.

 

 

In our previous games we've used 2 investigators per player, and I think we'll be going back to that. 

 

 

Two is my favorite number, but I can't manage the game with only 2 investigators when I solitaire.  Too many extra boards to cover.

 

 

In your experience would four investigators be the base effective group for big-box board expansions?

 

 

I can do three, but I remember *needing* four when I first started playing Kingsport and Dunwich together, for a while.  Then I was able to bump it back to three.  I've been able to manage with three investigators (but keep in mind, that's after three years of playing Arkham almost exclusively in my gaming time).  So yeah, four investigator's probably a good idea if you're playing three or four boards.  Three if you're only playing two boards.  Or more if you need it.  But I really think three investigators are enough to handle two boards.

We're about to start round 8 tonight - each round takes forever - and at this point it seems as if the high number of investigators has really hammered the game resources as well. Investigators are no longer able to get clue token from locations hardly, they're getting them mainly through encounter cards and such. We're currently at four seals with one that'll top off the Arkham Encounter phase on round 8 so we've nearly won via seal, though. We WOULD have sealed for win a couple of rounds earlier had a couple of our investigators not ended up Lost in Time and Space or bounced out in circumstances that stopped them from doing so (experimentation/memory loss for one). 

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