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Duciris

Our Verdict

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It's excellent. It's definitely more of a spiritual successor to second edition than a straight update, as it draws from a variety of sources for mechanics and ideas, both within the arkham files line and without.  Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way -- I already own second edition. :P

Notably, gameplay feels much more dynamic with the pandemic-inspired spread of doom as the main threat (at least in the Azathoth scenario), rather than the fairly static function of gates in second edition. Hand in hand with this, various mythos deck effects -- gates, clues, monsters, headlines, rumors, and so on -- have been divorced from one another, and scaled to player count more effectively with the token draws from the mythos bag.

The fundamental resolution mechanic is preserved -- dice equal to your stat, 5s and 6s are successes -- although it borrows and improves on Eldritch Horror's stat mechanics by combining focus tokens and improvement tokens, and eschewing Arkham 2's focus sliders. Instead, each investigator can take an action to focus a skill, which gives them +1 to that skill. An investigator can focus as many skills as their focus value (usually 1-3), and in a pinch can discard a focus token (from any skill) to reroll a die on a skill test, presenting a decision between long-term advantage and an emergency benefit in the short term.

Arkham 2 also lifts the action system from Eldritch (and Mansions, and to a lesser extent, the card game), but presents several additional options (none of which feel extraneous) to avoid the too-common issue from Eldritch of being stuck with a remaining action, but no legal moves.

It feels much more modern in design than arkham or eldritch, while still drawing a clear lineage the classics of the arkham files line. At the same time, it resolves many of the issues that led to Arkham (and to a lesser extent Eldritch) feeling like a random event generator to which you are required to respond (or plan for, if you have a great deal of familiarity). Instead, the development of threats and strategies in any given game feels much more organic and thematic as you race to respond to threats that cluster in a carefully-calibrated-but-not-quite-predictable fashion.

Fair warning: If you're one of those groups that gathers 8 players for a day of fighting the mythos, the new game takes only 6. You can obviously ignore that if you wish (assuming you don't mind being short of some components, such as having only 6 blessings or 6 improvement tokens for each skill), but my suspicion is that the design breaks down a bit as you scale above 6. In particular, the mythos bag is going to produce so many threats during the mythos phase, even if you've been diligent in policing doom, that doom may scale to its limit and break through it before the players are able to respond, making the game's difficulty spiral (and not just difficulty, but the fundamental focus of the gameplay would shift from crisis management to crisis response, at least in the first scenario).

Personally, I wouldn't even call that a drawback. 7 and 8 player games of Arkham were always a bit too much of a slog for me, anyway. Obviously, it might be a dealbreaker for some groups just in terms of getting it to the table, but player count limitations aside, this is an excellent take on FFG's version of the mythos, with fantastic gameplay. Everyone I played with over the weekend that was on the fence about picking up a copy either at Arkham Nights, or indeed, at all, were 100% sold after a game. Players who come to the arkham files by way of the LCG might miss the customization options, but anyone who loves the arkham board games to date should be extremely happy with this game.

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It is a solid game. I enjoyed a lot about it, so I won't reiterate the points above because I feel the same about the majority of them.

I have three points that I'm not thrilled about, however, and I think they are worth pointing out. But take into consideration that I really enjoyed my games that I played (2 games vs Azathoth).

1). I'm not convinced that it scales well. And I think it actually may be less 'swingy' (not necessarily easier) at lower player counts. There is an issue with the cycled rotation of clues and doom from the bag that differs on player count. With 4 players you may cycle through the bag in 4 mythos phases (pulling 2 mythos tokens per player), but with 2 you would cycle through the bag in 8. This means that larger groups are seeing both more clues and more doom per turn than smaller groups, and whereas these KIND of balance each other, the clues needed to advance the codex do not scale to player count. This means in low player count games, there will be more rounds in general, which means more encounters PER investigator PER refill of the chaos bag. This may contribute to ramping up investigators more easily and also giving the players more opportunities to ward doom before anomalies will break out. (In a 4 player you can see an anomaly appear, doom added, or a dreaded gateburst after an anomaly appears and see much doom added to the AO sheet before you can even counter it because 8 token pulls may mean doom, blank, reckoning, doom, clue, blank, newspaper, gateburst, doom, and ONLY THEN can the players react with 4 investigators, vs doom, blank, reckoning, doom players react with 2 investigators, clue, blank, news, gateburst players react with 2 investigators)  This may make no sense to those who haven't played it yet, but trust me that player reaction speed to doom can matter.

2). I played a game where as Michael McGlenn, all I did was ward neighborhoods (primarily a lore test).... and it worked. This did not feel thematically very neat, and I think it has to do with the focus mechanic. It does prove that investigators are not completely hindered by their 'role' or stats. I'm not sure that the investigator identity is as clear as in Eldritch OR 2e. And definitely not as clear as the LCG. Same investigators I love, but I don't know if I would be quite as attached to them if this was my first Arkham Files game. Not 100% sure on this, it's just been eating at me a bit. And I'm not sure why I feel this way.

3) The decks are pretty thin in the base game. I expect this won't be a problem for long. But I'm not really sure how much replay I'll get of this game until they pad out a bit.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed the game, but these were my biggest concerns. I don't really think the story branches have as much 'pathing' as people were wanting, which I'm mostly fine with, but without more encounters I don't know how different individual games are going to feel once they've hit the table 2-3 times for each AO. It is, however, much quicker that EH or 2e, so I expect it to still hit the table when I don't feel like a longer sitting.

Edited by Soakman

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13 hours ago, Soakman said:

It is a solid game. I enjoyed a lot about it, so I won't reiterate the points above because I feel the same about the majority of them.

I have three points that I'm not thrilled about, however, and I think they are worth pointing out. But take into consideration that I really enjoyed my games that I played (2 games vs Azathoth).

1). I'm not convinced that it scales well. And I think it actually may be less 'swingy' (not necessarily easier) at lower player counts. There is an issue with the cycled rotation of clues and doom from the bag that differs on player count. With 4 players you may cycle through the bag in 4 mythos phases (pulling 2 mythos tokens per player), but with 2 you would cycle through the bag in 8. This means that larger groups are seeing both more clues and more doom per turn than smaller groups, and whereas these KIND of balance each other, the clues needed to advance the codex do not scale to player count. This means in low player count games, there will be more rounds in general, which means more encounters PER investigator PER refill of the chaos bag. This may contribute to ramping up investigators more easily and also giving the players more opportunities to ward doom before anomalies will break out. (In a 4 player you can see an anomaly appear, doom added, or a dreaded gateburst after an anomaly appears and see much doom added to the AO sheet before you can even counter it because 8 token pulls may mean doom, blank, reckoning, doom, clue, blank, newspaper, gateburst, doom, and ONLY THEN can the players react with 4 investigators, vs doom, blank, reckoning, doom players react with 2 investigators, clue, blank, news, gateburst players react with 2 investigators)  This may make no sense to those who haven't played it yet, but trust me that player reaction speed to doom can matter.

2). I played a game where as Michael McGlenn, all I did was ward neighborhoods (primarily a lore test).... and it worked. This did not feel thematically very neat, and I think it has to do with the focus mechanic. It does prove that investigators are not completely hindered by their 'role' or stats. I'm not sure that the investigator identity is as clear as in Eldritch OR 2e. And definitely not as clear as the LCG. Same investigators I love, but I don't know if I would be quite as attached to them if this was my first Arkham Files game. Not 100% sure on this, it's just been eating at me a bit. And I'm not sure why I feel this way.

3) The decks are pretty thin in the base game. I expect this won't be a problem for long. But I'm not really sure how much replay I'll get of this game until they pad out a bit.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed the game, but these were my biggest concerns. I don't really think the story branches have as much 'pathing' as people were wanting, which I'm mostly fine with, but without more encounters I don't know how different individual games are going to feel once they've hit the table 2-3 times for each AO. It is, however, much quicker that EH or 2e, so I expect it to still hit the table when I don't feel like a longer sitting.

It's really dependent on how you look at it (from a Clue and Doom standpoint).  The bag cycles at the same rate of player turns regardless of how many of you there are.  I believe that for all 4 scenarios, it is 14 tokens and thus 7 player-turns per bag.  In a 1-player-game, it's 7 rounds/bag; in a 6-player-game, it's almost 1 round/bag; in a 13-player-game, it's almost 1 round/2 bags (they ran this at Arkham Nights '18, with 26 card Rumor/Headline deck).

It's not exactly a wash, but the fewer the players the more you need to multitask, while the more players the more you can specialize.

I think for paths, there is more than EH and you have more agency over all for narrative.  There are also multiple endings where you don't die (in at least 1 scenario and only if you make it that far).  It's not the LCG, though; that has agency and options.

Otherwise I'm with you.  I can say that 2nd edition wasn't my favorite, and unless I have a group that really wants to experience it I won't bring it back to the table.  I think I'll try to get this to the table as often as I do Mansions.  Eventually.  Right now it's not leaving the table until next week when we play the LCG again.

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I wonder what house ruling that token pulls happen at the end of player turns, instead of at the end of rounds, would do to the game. That fixes the scalability issue, but probably tips balance too much in favor of the investigators. 

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16 minutes ago, Tolheim said:

I wonder what house ruling that token pulls happen at the end of player turns, instead of at the end of rounds, would do to the game. That fixes the scalability issue, but probably tips balance too much in favor of the investigators. 

Hmm.  At the end of player's turns would be before the Enemy Phase & Encounter Phase.  It would allow enemies to spawn on top of investigators attacking them without their foreknowledge and preventing them from having encounters; clue encounters would be added to the deck before their encounter; a neighborhood's doom threshold could be met/exceeded causing anomalies or other effects that would prevent an investigator's encounter.

It would probably be more reasonable for an investigator to go through all 4 phases (Action, Enemy, Encounter, Mythos) and then move on to the next investigator.  However, you'd need to go in a pre-set order (clockwise or whatever) so that no one has more or fewer turns.  That would make it difficult if someone draws a monster that spawns on you while you are not a combat character - you'd have to take your turn regardless and perhaps do nothing and then get whacked before your tank could go.  It would also be greater downtime between you doing something.  Mind you, I'm not saying it wouldn't work, I just think it would prevent the same degree of strategizing at the start of a turn/round.

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I don't think the way it works now is bad, just for the record. I think that you are going to occasionally see crippling bursts of mythos interactions on occasion at higher playercounts than you would see at lower player counts. As long as you don't see this as a problem, it's not. I am just pointing out that while the scaling is pretty good, it does not scale as neatly as it might appear at first.

Having only played two games at 4 player count, my best estimate for scaling back the game would be to require larger doom and clue thresholds on those cards that have thresholds. Perhaps each neighborhood could hold 6 doom or 4 on a single space before an anomaly occurs at higher player counts, or you could mess around with the token bag to replace a doom with a blank token or somesuch. 

It's not a deal-breaker for me. The game is still fun, and I think that using the bag as the mythos element was implemented pretty well. But it's sort of a different context that other bag-token-randomness (like in the LCG where it subs a die roll). The mythos bag is subbing a card deck, and typically the symbols on those cards or other game elements related to them scale with player count. 

If you are familiar with Eldritch, it's almost like the difference between drawing two mythos cards at the end of the round with 4 players, and 1 with 2 players. Except that you don't have any text on the cards unless you draw a rumor. Will you get two green clue cards? Or will you get a clue, and a reckoning? Or will you get a Clue card and a rumor? Or will you get a Rumor and a Reckoning (in which case the reckoning procs the rumor immediately before you can address it)?

Edited by Soakman

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2 hours ago, Duciris said:

Hmm.  At the end of player's turns would be before the Enemy Phase & Encounter Phase.  It would allow enemies to spawn on top of investigators attacking them without their foreknowledge and preventing them from having encounters; clue encounters would be added to the deck before their encounter; a neighborhood's doom threshold could be met/exceeded causing anomalies or other effects that would prevent an investigator's encounter.

It would probably be more reasonable for an investigator to go through all 4 phases (Action, Enemy, Encounter, Mythos) and then move on to the next investigator.  However, you'd need to go in a pre-set order (clockwise or whatever) so that no one has more or fewer turns.  That would make it difficult if someone draws a monster that spawns on you while you are not a combat character - you'd have to take your turn regardless and perhaps do nothing and then get whacked before your tank could go.  It would also be greater downtime between you doing something.  Mind you, I'm not saying it wouldn't work, I just think it would prevent the same degree of strategizing at the start of a turn/round.

Blegh, I didn't think through the "Monster spawning right before the encounter phase" bit. Would you have to go in a preset order if you ran the whole round as an individual, or could you just use the same "flip your token at the end of your turn" book keeping the game has now? It would actually potentially add an extra layer of strategy: the monster killer can go early in the round, but then s/he is not available for future token pulls until everyone else has gone.

1 hour ago, Soakman said:

I don't think the way it works now is bad, just for the record. I think that you are going to occasionally see crippling bursts of mythos interactions on occasion at higher playercounts than you would see at lower player counts. As long as you don't see this as a problem, it's not. I am just pointing out that while the scaling is pretty good, it does not scale as neatly as it might appear at first.

Having only played two games at 4 player count, my best estimate for scaling back the game would be to require larger doom and clue thresholds on those cards that have thresholds. Perhaps each neighborhood could hold 6 doom or 4 on a single space before an anomaly occurs at higher player counts, or you could mess around with the token bag to replace a doom with a blank token or somesuch. 

It's not a deal-breaker for me. The game is still fun, and I think that using the bag as the mythos element was implemented pretty well. But it's sort of a different context that other bag-token-randomness (like in the LCG where it subs a die roll). The mythos bag is subbing a card deck, and typically the symbols on those cards or other game elements related to them scale with player count. 

If you are familiar with Eldritch, it's almost like the difference between drawing two mythos cards at the end of the round with 4 players, and 1 with 2 players. Except that you don't have any text on the cards unless you draw a rumor. Will you get two green clue cards? Or will you get a clue, and a reckoning? Or will you get a Clue card and a rumor? Or will you get a Rumor and a Reckoning (in which case the reckoning procs the rumor immediately before you can address it)?

I agree completely, I think this game is more scalable then most of the Arkham Files games. Still, it feels close enough that it's hard not to wonder what it would take to really reach a "drop-in drop-out" level of scaling.

Edited by Tolheim
Formatting

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Everyone has activation tokens, like in Imperial Assault.

  1. The Activation Phase:  You decide who goes during the Activation phase, taking your 2 different actions.
  2. The Enemy Phase:  All monsters move (unless they don't) & attack (very similar to the LCG).  Any decisions involving order of resolution is decided by the group/lead investigator.
  3. The Encounter Phase:  Everyone not engaged by an enemy has an encounter - either a location or clue encounter (only the deck knows!), or an anomaly encounter if there is one of those in y'all's neighborhood.  Done in player order (I believe).
  4. The Mythos Phase:  Every draws 2 tokens, resolving each one-at-a-time, & passes the bag to the next investigator.  Again in player order.  If you take there is no token in the bag, place all the tokens back in the bag (shuffle) and continue as normal.

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On 10/23/2018 at 3:57 PM, Duciris said:

The Enemy Phase:  All monsters move (unless they don't) & attack (very similar to the LCG).  Any decisions involving order of resolution is decided by the group/lead investigator.

Do the monsters move and attack the same turn?  Or do they move and engage, but not attack if they moved and engaged a player that phase?  Do only monsters that were engaged at the start of the enemy phase attack?  

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12 minutes ago, gothdreams said:

Do the monsters move and attack the same turn?  Or do they move and engage, but not attack if they moved and engaged a player that phase?  Do only monsters that were engaged at the start of the enemy phase attack?  

Those that move into an investigator's space engage and attack them.  They can only engage 1 investigator, unless they are massive.  If they were exhausted (by evading them or otherwise) they are not able to move or attack, but merely ready and engage an investigator if there is one in their space.

If you've played the LCG, the monster phase works just like that one.  There may be exceptions to these rules, but the monster itself will tell you when that happens.

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16 minutes ago, Duciris said:

Those that move into an investigator's space engage and attack them.  They can only engage 1 investigator, unless they are massive.  If they were exhausted (by evading them or otherwise) they are not able to move or attack, but merely ready and engage an investigator if there is one in their space.

If you've played the LCG, the monster phase works just like that one.  There may be exceptions to these rules, but the monster itself will tell you when that happens.

Thanks. 

 

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1 hour ago, KrisWall said:

How's the narrative element?  I play the LCG and wasn't a big fan of the board game because it felt very mechanical and not much like I was playing through a story.

It's still not the LCG, but it is a lot better.  If you've played Eldrtich Horror, this takes that and does it better.  All of the encounter cards are tied directly to the scenario.  The monsters, except for generic cultists and a pair of flying nasties, are also scenario exclusive.  The codex (cards in play dictating how the story progresses, for better or worse) advance the story and give you instructions the same way the Act & Agenda decks do, but with more flavor text.  The map changes based on which big-bad you're dealing with as well.

Overall, very much improved.  The randomness and lack of story in 2nd edition didn't wow me either.  This is somewhere between a Mansions of Madness story and maybe 2 consecutive scenarios in the LCG.  It's way more story based than Eldritch Horror.

This one doesn't have game mechanics that detract from the game.  Everything you're doing feels like you should be doing it and the focus is more on 'how do we stop this' and 'are we going to survive.'  Moving from 2nd edition to 3rd isn't unlike picking up Resident Evil 4.  Now I'll do the minigame to climb the - oh, I'm already up the ladder and zombies are here.  I picked up the shotgun, gotta go into my inventory, select the weapon, take the ammo - no, it's just in my hands ready to be used.

I feel like they figured out how to streamline the game enough that now you can actually enjoy it.  Spooky.

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10 hours ago, Duciris said:

It's still not the LCG, but it is a lot better.  If you've played Eldrtich Horror, this takes that and does it better. 

Do you think this will end up replacing Eldritch Horror completely for you? Or do you think you would still want to go back to EH every now and then? Is there anything you miss from EH that you would have liked to see in AH third? Ignoring the differences in the amount of content available currently.

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4 hours ago, AstroChicken said:

Do you think this will end up replacing Eldritch Horror completely for you? Or do you think you would still want to go back to EH every now and then? Is there anything you miss from EH that you would have liked to see in AH third? Ignoring the differences in the amount of content available currently.

It's going to be like the AH2/EH days. Some players prefer one, some prefer the other, and many of those people will snobbishly look down on the plebeians in the other camp who don't recognize true greatness. I'm going to play Eldritch more than this; I just prefer the wider-open board and the feel of it.

Of course, now I want Eldritch Horror 2, which grabs certain aspects of AH3, and cleans up other issues with EH1...

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34 minutes ago, Xelto said:

It's going to be like the AH2/EH days. Some players prefer one, some prefer the other, and many of those people will snobbishly look down on the plebeians in the other camp who don't recognize true greatness. I'm going to play Eldritch more than this; I just prefer the wider-open board and the feel of it.

Of course, now I want Eldritch Horror 2, which grabs certain aspects of AH3, and cleans up other issues with EH1...

Got my copy. I will definitely be playing EH more overall I think. The narrative elements in 3rd ed are tighter, but that also makes it less replay friendly for me. Unlike the LCG where you can build your deck and that changes the experience a lot from game to game, I'm not sure what the motivation will be to replay 3rd ed scenarios. They're great fun, but EH has elements of randomness that 3rd ed can't even begin to approach yet with its limited card pool.

Additionally the game is scripted alternatively, and although EH's mysteries and research encounters are looser interpretation of a story at large, when you start the game, you never know which version you're going to be playing. 3rd edition offers story advancement by winning/losing objectives and choice, in the former case, you still know what order you will be running into these after a few plays; the latter case will dictate the story and objectives by choice and they'll be scripted.

I love the small town atmosphere in 3rd ed better, but I miss the randomness of the objectives and the challenge with adapting as you draw something unexpected. 

I'll continue to play both, but I think after I play all the scenarios a few times, we'll still see eldritch more for the moment. Maybe once 3rd ed fleshes out, it'll feel more at home there. A shame that Nikki may not be doing the expansions; I hope they expansion designer can add more without making it clunky and overwrought. She did an excellent job keeping things streamlined considering all of the moving parts.

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26 minutes ago, AstroChicken said:

Does the base game feel like a complete experience to you guys? Or do you feel it needs one or two expansions to hit it's full potential?

It's a completer experience than Eldritch Horror is. Since the clue cards get mixed into the encounter decks, you don't get as tired of the same eight encounters as quickly, and you really don't get as tired of the same 24 Other World cards, that you see half of each game. 

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50 minutes ago, AstroChicken said:

Does the base game feel like a complete experience to you guys? Or do you feel it needs one or two expansions to hit it's full potential?

It will definitely benefit from a larger pool of encounter cards (after our 3rd play, we've already got a few memorized) and more scenarios will be welcome of course, but other than that I think they did a good job of making it feel like a 'complete' game.

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1 hour ago, Soakman said:

A shame that Nikki may not be doing the expansions; I hope they expansion designer can add more without making it clunky and overwrought. She did an excellent job keeping things streamlined considering all of the moving parts.

I don't know. I felt like Eldritch Horror started getting away from her about the time of Strange Remnants. Some of her later Ancient Ones may be my favorites, but she had trouble balancing the rest of the game. Among the more notable issues: the first glamour spells were penalties rather than benefits, the first talents were the same way. We would rather take a dark pact than an agreement, and that's just wrong. She started adding in way too many other world cards with choices that boiled down to 'which stat do you want to test on', rather than choices that made a difference, and in many of the remaining other world cards succeeding or failing at the first test just changed which stat you made the second test on (when you want to fail a test, that's usually a problem with design). The later conditions started going to silly extremes. And, of course, there were a few mythos cards that were just ridiculous (everyone impair your highest stat, then repeat twice comes strongly to mind). 

The capstone of it all was that joke of a "campaign".

And those were only the major issues: there were a bunch of minor ones, as well. She had some good ideas but trouble with the execution, and I would prefer to see the game handed off to someone else.

Edited by Xelto

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17 minutes ago, Xelto said:

I don't know. I felt like Eldritch Horror started getting away from her about the time of Strange Remnants. Some of her later Ancient Ones may be my favorites, but she had trouble balancing the rest of the game. Among the more notable issues: the first glamour spells were penalties rather than benefits, the first talents were the same way. We would rather take a dark pact than an agreement, and that's just wrong. She started adding in way too many other world cards with choices that boiled down to 'which stat do you want to test on', rather than choices that made a difference, and in many of the remaining other world cards succeeding or failing at the first test just changed which stat you made the second test on (when you want to fail a test, that's usually a problem with design). The later conditions started going to silly extremes. And, of course, there were a few mythos cards that were just ridiculous (everyone impair your highest stat, then repeat twice comes strongly to mind). 

The capstone of it all was that joke of a "campaign".

And those were only the major issues: there were a bunch of minor ones, as well. She had some good ideas but trouble with the execution, and I would prefer to see the game handed off to someone else.

That's a fair critique, but I never saw any of those as issues, but I'm kinda okay with punishing cards in EH. (For context, although not particularly good design, I leave my shuffle-completed-mystery card in my options for mythos, and we actually managed to pull out a win against Atlach Nacha just this week, solving 4 mysteries with 0 defeats! That was fun!)

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to give other designers a shot at the expansions, but I hope that they are able to really make use of the structure that is already present in the game, as it is really quite good. The event deck, in particular, solves quite a few problems pretty elegantly for all that it does, and in a way I haven't really seen before.

Yes, it rings of Pandemic, but implementing that into a deck of event/clue cards was pretty interesting, especially while solving some of the issues of the thinner neighborhood encounter decks.

Edited by Soakman

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1 hour ago, Soakman said:

Got my copy. I will definitely be playing EH more overall I think. The narrative elements in 3rd ed are tighter, but that also makes it less replay friendly for me. Unlike the LCG where you can build your deck and that changes the experience a lot from game to game, I'm not sure what the motivation will be to replay 3rd ed scenarios. They're great fun, but EH has elements of randomness that 3rd ed can't even begin to approach yet with its limited card pool.

Additionally the game is scripted alternatively, and although EH's mysteries and research encounters are looser interpretation of a story at large, when you start the game, you never know which version you're going to be playing. 3rd edition offers story advancement by winning/losing objectives and choice, in the former case, you still know what order you will be running into these after a few plays; the latter case will dictate the story and objectives by choice and they'll be scripted.

I love the small town atmosphere in 3rd ed better, but I miss the randomness of the objectives and the challenge with adapting as you draw something unexpected. 

I'll continue to play both, but I think after I play all the scenarios a few times, we'll still see eldritch more for the moment. Maybe once 3rd ed fleshes out, it'll feel more at home there. A shame that Nikki may not be doing the expansions; I hope they expansion designer can add more without making it clunky and overwrought. She did an excellent job keeping things streamlined considering all of the moving parts.

Can't please all the people all the time!;)  The randomness of EH for me is too much - nothing feels like it should be happening, rather, "Well, other monsters are breaking out, I will too!"  It also made the game too swingy for me - I was never convinced I would win the game (which is fine) but I was often right, and the decks got so huge that the distribution of what I needed from the game's start never showed up.

I agree with you on replay concerns, though.  It seems a bit like Mansions of Madness, where if you've played a scenario then you know what you should be doing.

1 hour ago, AstroChicken said:

Does the base game feel like a complete experience to you guys? Or do you feel it needs one or two expansions to hit it's full potential?

Yup.  That's very much what it feels like.

6 hours ago, AstroChicken said:

Do you think this will end up replacing Eldritch Horror completely for you? Or do you think you would still want to go back to EH every now and then? Is there anything you miss from EH that you would have liked to see in AH third? Ignoring the differences in the amount of content available currently.

Hm.  It might.  People voiced concerns about movement on a different topic here, and for me EH had that in spades.  This one board can be crossed in 2 rounds, assuming you had at least $1 before starting that movement.  I really like how polished this game is, and now I want to mess around in the framework of the existing game by creating personal challenges not unlike the Ultimatums present in AH:LCG events.

19 minutes ago, Xelto said:

I don't know. I felt like Eldritch Horror started getting away from her about the time of Strange Remnants. Some of her later Ancient Ones may be my favorites, but she had trouble balancing the rest of the game. Among the more notable issues: the first glamour spells were penalties rather than benefits, the first talents were the same way. We would rather take a dark pact than an agreement, and that's just wrong. She started adding in way too many other world cards with choices that boiled down to 'which stat do you want to test on', rather than choices that made a difference, and in many of the remaining other world cards succeeding or failing at the first test just changed which stat you made the second test on (when you want to fail a test, that's usually a problem with design). The later conditions started going to silly extremes. And, of course, there were a few mythos cards that were just ridiculous (everyone impair your highest stat, then repeat twice comes strongly to mind). 

The capstone of it all was that joke of a "campaign".

And those were only the major issues: there were a bunch of minor ones, as well. She had some good ideas but trouble with the execution, and I would prefer to see the game handed off to someone else.

Much better put (and understood) than I could have...uh...put it.

5 minutes ago, Soakman said:

That's a fair critique, but I never saw any of those as issues, but I'm kinda okay with punishing cards in EH. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to give other designers a shot at the expansions, but I hope that they are able to really make use of the structure that is already present in the game, as it is really quite good. The event deck, in particular, solves quite a few problems pretty elegantly for all that it does, and in a way I haven't really seen before.

Yes, it rings of Pandemic, but implementing that into a deck of event/clue cards was pretty interesting, especially while solving some of the issues of the thinner neighborhood encounter decks.

I'm not good enough at that game to be able to overcome some of that.

The event deck is really cool.  It's interesting that as you investigate a neighborhood, it gets cycled into the encounter discard pile and becomes more likely to generate Doom.  The unequal distribution of the deck is also an interesting choice - not everything will explode in equal proportions.  If you have 3 clues floating in a neighborhood, that's eating 3 of its 4-6 event cards.  Do you go there and get those clues knowing that it will make the area more dangerous, or do you avoid it knowing that a section of the board won't be as much of a problem?

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Paraphrasing for clarity:

On 10/30/2018 at 3:32 PM, Duciris said:
On 10/30/2018 at 2:04 PM, AstroChicken said:

Does the game feel complete? Or does it need expansions?

Yes.

Ok, so which is it?

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