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adajean

Help with social play

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I'm about to start a four-player scenario game with friends, using two cores + Dunwich + Forgotten Age.  The group's been playing coop games together for a while, and we're comfortable with each other, which also can mean we get tetchy sometimes. Two of us have played a little of Arkham LCG before, two haven't. We can start on Easy.

What I'm concerned about is making sure it stays fun, by minimising conflict over cards, and trying to avoid one character ending up useless for the duration. So far I've strongly suggested we play a different character class each, and try the three scenario intro before committing to a full campaign with the characters. One person is very keen to play a mystic.

Investing in more cards isn't an option at the moment. 

Can I ask for any suggestions for class and/or character options to try, or ones to avoid? Any tricks with cards? If we need to, we can use the odd proxy but it makes it all more complicated. 

Any help appreciated :) I kinda love this game, and would love it if the bug spreads...

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This sounds almost exactly what I'm doing and it's worked well for us for a while now (We're on our third campaign.)

 

What you do is this: one player per "main" class. That player gets first dibs on cards from that class. Meaning that if you have, say, a Rogue and Wendy (Survivor/Rogue), the rogue gets to build his deck first and Wendy gets whatever rogue cards remain. 

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https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/6942/roland-turn-2-cores-into-a-5-character-pickup-play-set-1.0

These decks are wonderful for introducing players.  The experienced players could modify them potentially, but they don't need any modification.  It provides a good description of how the character plays and what they're good at.  Which could be helpful for all the players to read.  It also allows you to prebuild the decks so that it's easier for you to get the game started.

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My group almost always runs a 3 or 4.

We generally each choose a different class and then allow the primary class person dibs.

There are some things we look at for.  The way I handle that is to have the less knowledgeable players choose first and then the more experienced players choose to avoid overlap. 

Like if someone chooses Sefina, maybe we don't need a mystic to argue over those L0 mystic cards.   Also, maybe its not a great idea to choose Roland (Guardian Primary), Skids ( G sec) and Bill-Y (G sec) in the same group even if there is no primary overlap.

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The Dunwich investigators tend to be nice since they are mostly a single class experience.  The five level 0 cards can be sometimes contentious, but the Dunwich investigators all have really strong effects that can overcome being slightly crippled when they can't take the most optimal selections for their out of class cards.  I think there will be no argument that Ashcan, Zoey, Rex and Jenny are all real strong choices.  I'd suggest Akachi instead of Jim since she's a bit easier to use effectively and it just as focused on the Mystic class (maybe more so than Jim).

So if you are trying to create a party of characters with the least overlap in cards to minimize people fighting over cards (using one play set) I think a four person party of Zoey, Rex, Akachi and Ashcan would be a pretty easy choice. 

Edited by phillos

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Or, if you have your cards sleeved, you could print some proxys, at least for the staple cards :) This is how we play in a 4 player group and nobody is complaining.

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Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the responses, and I'm reassured this is going to work and be fun. We don't have access to Akachi or Sefina (yet!) but I can suggest Agnes over Jim. I like the idea of prebuilt decks, although our peeps will want to pick their own characters, but I think there's a official set of starter decks for each character someone as well.

I also think the idea of getting the newbies to pick first, then my partner and I to manage around that will work. 

Once again, I appreciate everyone taking time to respond. Feeling a lot more confident about this now!

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When I introduced my friends to the game, I pre-generated 4 decks.   They were of different classes,  they were (I believe, and these are just examples,  I'm not saying that it was the best possible learning team,  for example I picked Mark because I knew he is one of my friends' favorite Arkham Files characters...)   Mark, Jenny, Ursula, Akachi.   So, basically all single-classes, some with a little bit of splash.        I explained the ideas behind each deck briefly, for example:

Mark:  Ok, so he's *very* good at combat, but he's  not that great at finding clues.  He might be able to do it in a pinch if he has to though,  he can take damage to make himself a little stronger temporarily.
Ursula:  She's super mobile, and awesome at finding clues.   She can maybe evade some enemies, but she might need somebody to protect her against the stronger ones.
Jenny:   Her stats aren't great but she will get a lot of resources and can use those resources to help her out of any jam.  She's a generalist and can help out wherever the team is lacking.
Akachi:   She's super-strong against most things the Mythos is going to throw at her.   She can find clues and help in combat as well... but only if she gets the right spell cards, which are somewhat limited.   She can be powerful but she might take a bit of setup time.

After that I let them pick which decks they wanted with the most experienced players (me and my wife)  picking last.  They had a nice first game and were keen to play again.    I let them upgrade their decks on their own, offering suggestion if they asked for it, but otherwise letting them choose their cards to upgrade (or replace).   I thought this worked well,  they weren't overwhelmed with choices they werent prepared for because I constructed the original decks and ensured they were going to work.  But once we were a mission or two in to the campaign,  they still got to feel like it was *their* deck, because they were the ones who upgraded and customized each card.  

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Something else I would consider, try to live the experience as much as you can the more you can feel what you are doing the more enjoyment is usually generated, at least in my experience.  For example the other day I was playing with some new players and one used dynamite blast in the room we were all in, I described it as *slight spoilers* "So we are in Roland's study with these doglike monsters, and Carolyn just looks at everyone and shouts Duck! right before she depresses a Dynamite plunger and we are all thrown about the room, we recover, very messed up, but all the monsters lie dead, Roland groans "...Ugh good job Carolyn...I think.."  Live the moments try to make them as memorable as you can, and Don't forget to read the flavor text on as much as you can, it will slow the game but the newer players will probably appreciate it.  Just my opinions but I have seen it help get new players in much easier.

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9 hours ago, Starbreaker1 said:

Something else I would consider, try to live the experience as much as you can the more you can feel what you are doing the more enjoyment is usually generated, at least in my experience.  For example the other day I was playing with some new players and one used dynamite blast in the room we were all in, I described it as *slight spoilers* "So we are in Roland's study with these doglike monsters, and Carolyn just looks at everyone and shouts Duck! right before she depresses a Dynamite plunger and we are all thrown about the room, we recover, very messed up, but all the monsters lie dead, Roland groans "...Ugh good job Carolyn...I think.."  Live the moments try to make them as memorable as you can, and Don't forget to read the flavor text on as much as you can, it will slow the game but the newer players will probably appreciate it.  Just my opinions but I have seen it help get new players in much easier. 

For a while my group called that move the Jenny Barnes special.

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As a healer, Carolyn refuses to wield high-level weapons. Still, she does understand that violence is, regrettably, an occasional necessity; thus, strictly for self-defense purposes, she's willing to carry a knife or a small handgun or a few pounds of high explosives.

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36 minutes ago, rsdockery said:

As a healer, Carolyn refuses to wield high-level weapons. Still, she does understand that violence is, regrettably, an occasional necessity; thus, strictly for self-defense purposes, she's willing to carry a knife or a small handgun or a few pounds of high explosives.

...or a .45 Thompson? 🤣

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36 minutes ago, Soakman said:

...or a .45 Thompson? 🤣

I was wondering if anyone else had noted that!

Sure she will be a tad unimpressive at first, but once she picks up Keen Eye she should be set for the resources to be a total killing machine with one.

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On 3/8/2019 at 5:36 PM, Soakman said:

...or a .45 Thompson? 🤣

"I don't think anyone's gonna buy a few dozen counts of self-defense with a submachine gun. I think there's kind of an unspoken rule in our society that if this many people are trying to kill you, you're supposed to be dead."

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