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adding expansion to just play basic?

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Does it hurt the game to add the mythos cards, encounter cards, investigators, monsters and Old Ones. What expansions offer the best enhances the Basic game?

 I ask because my group, having a mere 4 completed games want to add more stuff, but are not ready to take on more endeavors like going to Dunwitch ex...There are so many options I am lost as to what to add in first. I have Base game, Dunwitch, Pharaoh, and Black Goat (in the mail).  

 Thanks for the input and general conversation on the subject matter.

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I like all expansions honestly, and they all complement the game very well, but Innsmouth Horror is my favorite big box. If you ever find it overwhelming to play with all cards from all expansions, you can always arbitrarily decide which of the components to use for your current session.(it even says so in the rules).

The problem with Innsmouth is that it doesn't add any new items, but cranks up the difficulty considerably with hard Ancient Ones and a mechanic that makes sealing victories more difficult. Which is why if you don't have any prior expansions, you're  probably gonna  have a hard time with it. 

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The main point is: do your gaming group find difficult playing with the base game or not? Once you understand the mechanics behind the base game, it's almost impossible losing a game. So, if you find the game too easy, add the Black goat expansion. Be care with the Herald; my suggestion is to play a couple of games with this expansion but without using the Herald variant. Otherwise, if you find the base game still challenging, then go with the Dark Pharoah. Dunwich is great, but is a little more complex since it adds a new board to cover and so on and, if I've understood correctly your tought, you're trying to increase slowly the game complexity

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In all honesty, I found it easiest to incorporate expansions in the order they were released.  My group and I started out with the base game, when that got easy we picked up Curse of the Dark Pharaoh.  The expansion doesn't add much to the game, thus allowing for some variety while still not being too overwhelming.  Then comes Dunwich, with the first new board to add to the mix.  Again, grants a bit more variety, can add a bit more of a challenge, and the new Ancient Ones can be a bit overbearing at first, but it's still workable.

Then King in Yellow.  Okay, now we've got a Herald mechanic and a series of Mythos cards and Act cards than can cause insta-lose.  Tricky, but intriguing in both regards.

Kingsport, the town, is kind of boring, but the opening rifts it causes that belch out monsters whenever they waddle to a new location can be annoying if not devastating if you don't keep up on the monster population.  Again, more new Ancient Ones, with a plethora of mean new abilities.  But there's hope in the form of Guardians, should you choose to use them.

Black Goat...I honestly don't know what to say about this one, as it's the one expansion my group and I really haven't played with much, and when we have, it gets diluted by the other expansions we've mixed into it all.

Innsmouth...all I have to say is tuck your head between your knees and pray.  In all aspects of it.  Personal Stories aside; those are just fun.  ^_^

Lurker we've only played with once.  I'm kind of torn on the new gates.  They're intriguing, yes, but I was hoping for a bit more variety.  The new Herald makes things fun and interesting, though, and the Relationships make a good compliment to the personal stories if your group is into roleplaying the session.

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My experience.

 

We started with friends with core game and find it to easy after we understood the mechanics, so we used some of house rules like revealing gates locations when someones walking into it and so on.

I've then bought Kingsport but to be honest I find it annoying, no gates can open there, very few monsters appear there and yet one invastigator is stuck there to prevent rift from opening. Kingsport might be good while playing with big group like 6 to 8 players so they can change in who is stopping the rift. The reason I decided to buy Kingsport was that it has the best IMO set of new investigators.

Last expansion I bought was Dunwich and I find it great, whole new board that is very much active, gates open there, monsters go around and Dunwich adds good equipement.

From my experience I can share that 4 players is rather small group and you should balance the challange level so either add a new board like Dunwich or go core board with Herald.

As for mixing cards from different expansions. After adding all new cards I decided to remove some IMO "trash" from equipment like Knifes and other weakest weapons and spells. One more important not is that the more unique items you have the less chance to get quickly to elder signs espacially to all 4-5 of them. I also removed from mythos deck all cards that directly interact with Kingsport but left those that do not, additionally I removed some rumors that I find not balanced i.e. Mistrust.

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Great advice! Thanks all of you. I think I have a much better grasp on what expansions are & can be. This really relieved some game stess, so to speak. Thanks!

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ELew said:

 

Does it hurt the game to add the mythos cards, encounter cards, investigators, monsters and Old Ones. What expansions offer the best enhances the Basic game?

 I ask because my group, having a mere 4 completed games want to add more stuff, but are not ready to take on more endeavors like going to Dunwitch ex...There are so many options I am lost as to what to add in first. I have Base game, Dunwitch, Pharaoh, and Black Goat (in the mail).  

 Thanks for the input and general conversation on the subject matter.

 

 

Hmm...  For a small box that'll boost the base game's difficulty considerably, get King in Yellow (moderate difficulty boost) or Black Goat of the Woods (massive difficulty boost).  Lurker is easily gamed (especially if you only have the base game), and Curse of the Dark Pharoah has some really fun stuff in it, but it doesn't add to game difficulty much, even if it's the only expansion you're playing.

Based on what you've previously ordered, I'd say add in Pharoah if you're still losing.  If you're winning, add in Black Goat (and use the herald).

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Rogue_Joker_23 said:

Black Goat...I honestly don't know what to say about this one, as it's the one expansion my group and I really haven't played with much, and when we have, it gets diluted by the other expansions we've mixed into it all.

Black Goat feels diluted even when it's the only expansion...  If you want something to deal with this, I made a custom Black Goat herald to fix that problem.  It's in my photobucket link below.

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ELew said:

Does it hurt the game to add the mythos cards, encounter cards, investigators, monsters and Old Ones. What expansions offer the best enhances the Basic game?

 I ask because my group, having a mere 4 completed games want to add more stuff, but are not ready to take on more endeavors like going to Dunwitch ex...There are so many options I am lost as to what to add in first. I have Base game, Dunwitch, Pharaoh, and Black Goat (in the mail).  

 Thanks for the input and general conversation on the subject matter.

Oh yeah, it hurts.It really hurts. Get another big box expansion, definitely. How 'bout Innsmouth? It's nice and horrifying!

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Amazing thread. Just like the original post, I, too, just acquired this game and my gaming group and I have played 4 times. I was perusing the different expansions and just from my initial searching, I was thinking of picking up Innsmouth or Dunwich and then Black Goat. I am torn between Innsmouth and Dunwich because of how insane Innsmouth looks like it can get and the fact that Dunwich is one of my more favorite Lovecraft tales. I only reason I am considering Black Goat is, for some reason, the Corruption rules intrigue me. In all honesty, I will end up getting all of these so I can sit in my world of Lovecraftian hell on Saturday nights with other miserable souls.

 

IA

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electronicham said:

Amazing thread. Just like the original post, I, too, just acquired this game and my gaming group and I have played 4 times. I was perusing the different expansions and just from my initial searching, I was thinking of picking up Innsmouth or Dunwich and then Black Goat. I am torn between Innsmouth and Dunwich because of how insane Innsmouth looks like it can get and the fact that Dunwich is one of my more favorite Lovecraft tales. I only reason I am considering Black Goat is, for some reason, the Corruption rules intrigue me. In all honesty, I will end up getting all of these so I can sit in my world of Lovecraftian hell on Saturday nights with other miserable souls.

IA

So you're looking for a first expansion? Here are some pointers:

  • Dunwich is a good first big-box. It increases the difficulty pretty nicely and the new AOs and investigators, and even monsters, are great.
  • Innsmouth is a poor first big-box. It increases the difficulty the most of all expansions, so each one you get in the future will be a little bit of a let-down. Innsmouth has AOs with worshipers that you won't own without getting Dunwich and Kingsport. Doubling the AO pool isn't as meaningful if you've only played four games of just the base set, where you haven't even experienced the eight basic AOs. Plus Innsmouth AOs are pretty hard, so you'll notice a huge discrepancy between your games depending on who you face. Innsmouth has no gate bursts in Arkham, which is silly. Innsmouth's board mechanic is more penalizing than Dunwich's or Kingsport's, so it should really be saved for last.
  • Let me start off by saying that Black Goat is my least favorite. Its theme is lacking, and the corruption cards you're interested in are hardly to be found during a game, even when Black Goat is your only expansion. Of course, if you use the Black Goat herald, you'll see many corruption cards, but you'll also see MUCH shorter games because monster surges add doom tokens. There's no real benefit to infiltrating the cult either, which is the entire point behind the expansion.

If you're going to get just one big-box and just one small-box, get Dunwich and Lurker. Coincidentally, the story Lurker at the Threshold takes place partly in and near Dunwich (additionally, the Dunwich Horror and the Lurker at the Threshold are both spawn of Yog-Sothoth). Sadly, the Lurker expansion did not take this into consideration when it was designed.

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King in Yellow:

Pros: Very strong theme, adds lots of challenge to the game, my favorite of all the heralds.

Cons: Dilutes easily with other expansions, yellow sign tokens don't do anything (just a little peeve of mine)

 

Lurker:

Pros: New Gates, Relationship Cards, no dilution issues.

Cons: the herald actually removes challenge from the game.... but on the bright side it makes the best guardian of them all.

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Veet said:

Cons: the herald actually removes challenge from the game.... but on the bright side it makes the best guardian of them all.

partido_risa.gif You couldn't have stated that more perfectly. However, a few houserules should set him straight:

1) You cannot spend power tokens when dark pacts are exhausted.

2) Sanity and stamina damage from reckoning cards cannot be negated by power tokens.

3) Power tokens cannot be used during final battle.

However, even with those rules, in one game we managed to seal 4 gates all thanks to his gift of power.

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mi-go hunter said:

1) You cannot spend power tokens when dark pacts are exhausted.

2) Sanity and stamina damage from reckoning cards cannot be negated by power tokens.

3) Power tokens cannot be used during final battle.

However, even with those rules, in one game we managed to seal 4 gates all thanks to his gift of power.

1) I like it. In fact, I'm under the assumption that that's how those pacts are supposed to work anyway.

2) Haven't tested it yet but it makes thematic sense.

3) Actually, my house rule is that all Pacts are discarded when the AO awakens (bound allies, of course, get stuck onto the AO sheet). This disallows you from spending power tokens in any way.

I have a 4: Bound Ally pacts are not returned to the herald sheet if the "attached" ally is sacrificed or lost. In essence, each investigator can only use this pact once all game. If you want to extend it further, when an investigator is devoured or retired, the ally pact is automatically attached to the AO. So the devoured investigator's replacement can gain another bound ally (if there are any BA cards left), but you're already one bound ally in the hole for final combat!

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Veet said:

King in Yellow:

 

Cons: Dilutes easily with other expansions, yellow sign tokens don't do anything (just a little peeve of mine)

How diluted will it actually get with just this and, lets say, Dunwich Horror? Eventually, I will be A TRUE WARRIOR and own everything this game has to offer, so for the time being, will it get that diluted

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mi-go hunter said:

 

Veet said:

 

Cons: the herald actually removes challenge from the game.... but on the bright side it makes the best guardian of them all.

 

 

partido_risa.gif You couldn't have stated that more perfectly. However, a few houserules should set him straight:

1) You cannot spend power tokens when dark pacts are exhausted.

2) Sanity and stamina damage from reckoning cards cannot be negated by power tokens.

3) Power tokens cannot be used during final battle.

However, even with those rules, in one game we managed to seal 4 gates all thanks to his gift of power.

 

 

I've added these as well:

4) During their turn, Investigators may  spend power for clues up to the number of sealed gates on the board. Or you could simply rule that gates cannot be sealed by spending power.

5) each time an investigator gains power from a pact, immediately draw and resolve a reckoning card.

6) each time a gate is prevented from opening in a sealed location or due to Kate Winthrop's ability, draw and resolve two reckoning cards one after another

 

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To be brief, I really like the Lurker expansion for all of its components(especially the new gates), but the herald is too exploitable without houserules.

Of course, you don't have to play with him.  But  if you want to, try applying some of the houserules proposed here.

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electronicham said:

 

How diluted will it actually get with just this and, lets say, Dunwich Horror? Eventually, I will be A TRUE WARRIOR and own everything this game has to offer, so for the time being, will it get that diluted

King in Yellow's principal mechanic is the Three Acts deck. This is triggered by six specific Mythos cards. It becomes obvious that each added expansion reduces the frequency of the Next Act mythos cards, and since the Three Acts mechanic is a risk mechanic, reducing the frequency will reduce the risk. KiY with one other expansion shouldn't cause all that much trouble (particularly with Dark Pharaoh since it adds the fewest mythos cards: 18, which is half that of either Dunwich or Innsmouth). Kingsport only adds 22 mythos cards so that is the board expansion that dilutes KiY the least.

However, if you add more than two other expansions to KiY, the Next Act cards become so infrequent that there is no longer a risk. There's a chance that the mechanic will cause a game-over, but there's no longer incentive for the investigators to take a penalty to prevent it, which is how it was designed to work. In fact, the infrequent Next Act cards will become a benefit, since they don't open gates and they give a clue to an investigator.

Go ahead and get all the expansions. I've developed a bunch of different ways to counter the three main sources of mechanics dilution (Next Act, and the Dunwich and Innsmouth board mechanics). In particular, I've just finished making a simple anti-dilution mechanic that was designed to work with all expansions.

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electronicham said:

 

Veet said:

 

King in Yellow:

 

Cons: Dilutes easily with other expansions, yellow sign tokens don't do anything (just a little peeve of mine)

 

 

How diluted will it actually get with just this and, lets say, Dunwich Horror? Eventually, I will be A TRUE WARRIOR and own everything this game has to offer, so for the time being, will it get that diluted

 

 

Not too diluted with only one expansion.  But Tibs already explained what happens.  If you dig through my custom heralds, you'll see that I tried to incorporate major diluted game elements onto heralds (exhibit items, act cards, corruptions, and cult memberships).  If you don't like using heralds , you can just toss in some sort of simplified house rule of your own so that diluted materials still see use when you mix everything together.

I like Lurker and King in Yellow...  I'd probably advise getting King in Yellow first (it adds in a bunch of items).  It should be more enjoyable when your collection is smaller.  Lurker doesn't really feel like it has a diluted mythos deck even when you mix it.  So again, I'd say it's better to get KiY first.

I also think the Lurker "herald" can really distort your perspective of how the game is supposed to work, especially if you use it frequently and unmodified.  Don't coddle yourself :'D  15-20 free clues is not a balanced game mechanic :'/

 

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zealot12 said:

 

I've added these as well:

4) During their turn, Investigators may  spend power for clues up to the number of sealed gates on the board. Or you could simply rule that gates cannot be sealed by spending power.

5) each time an investigator gains power from a pact, immediately draw and resolve a reckoning card.

6) each time a gate is prevented from opening in a sealed location or due to Kate Winthrop's ability, draw and resolve two reckoning cards one after another

These sound like good suggestions. However, perhaps there would be a way for investigators to be tempted to use dark pacts, but at the same making the Lurker a stronger herald? Too many restrictions can suddenly make taking dark pacts unappealing.

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mi-go hunter said:

 

Veet said:

 

Cons: the herald actually removes challenge from the game.... but on the bright side it makes the best guardian of them all.

 

 

partido_risa.gif You couldn't have stated that more perfectly. However, a few houserules should set him straight:

1) You cannot spend power tokens when dark pacts are exhausted.

2) Sanity and stamina damage from reckoning cards cannot be negated by power tokens.

3) Power tokens cannot be used during final battle.

However, even with those rules, in one game we managed to seal 4 gates all thanks to his gift of power.

 

 

I think these rules are essential to making him a herald, but if you want to fix the last problem, and make him into a *real* herald, have him raise the number of seals required for victory to 8 (and perhaps increase the Ancient One combat modifier by -3).  I'm thinking about having that as my permanent Lurker houserule.

The two extra gates will make it so there's a much higher temptation to use the pacts, but at the same time, it'll also raise the bar of clues needed to win the game, so it won't be nearly as easy to exploit the pacts for an easy win.

I would have preferred three extra gates, but it won't work with the 10 doom ancient ones.

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I've discovered a fun way to fight dillution for KiY if you are playing with more than one other expansion is to throw out the base game mythos cards. Depending on which expansions you are using it can lead to some very wonky games that you have to think fast to adapt to.

As for the lurker, in addition to the house rules to balance him out you may want to visit the custom forum. Quite recently someone made the challenge to create a custom version of him to make him harder, it became a popular tactic to make an add-on herald to enhance him and several very good ones were shown. If you are already house ruling its not to big a jump to start exploring custom content, after all what is a custom herald but a house rule that you print out?

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