Front Page

Content

Authors

Game Index

Forums

Site Tools

Submissions

About

KK
Kevin Klemme
March 09, 2020
36642 2
Hot
KK
Kevin Klemme
January 27, 2020
22003 0
Hot
KK
Kevin Klemme
August 12, 2019
8241 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
December 19, 2023
6239 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
December 14, 2023
5658 0
Hot

Mycelia Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
December 12, 2023
3432 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
December 07, 2023
3566 0
Hot

River Wild Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
O
oliverkinne
December 05, 2023
3121 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
November 30, 2023
3471 0
Hot
J
Jackwraith
November 29, 2023
4015 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
November 28, 2023
3009 0
Hot
S
Spitfireixa
October 24, 2023
4957 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
October 17, 2023
3753 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
October 10, 2023
2843 0
O
oliverkinne
October 09, 2023
3016 0
Hot
O
oliverkinne
October 06, 2023
3154 0
Hot

Outback Crossing Review

Board Game Reviews
×
Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

Recent Topics paging, uploading images and preview bugs require a patch which has not yet been released.

Arkham Horror: The Card Game

More
17 Jan 2023 15:20 #337892 by DarthJoJo
Almost through my second run of Scarlet Keys and having finally completed most of the scenarios, I am ready to talk about the campaign. The difficulty is you’re really talking about two things when you talk about MJ’s swan song: the scenarios and the map.

To take the scenarios first, they could be better. There are only two that I really enjoyed, that I will look forward to playing in future runs, Istanbul and Havana. The rest are hobbled by difficulty that swings all over the place or messy rules. Seriously, the concealed mechanic is used in a new way in the finale, but the rules are spread between two scenario descriptions and agenda and act cards.

I am much more negative on the map, and how it’s used in this campaign. To take the positive first, I like how it integrates standalone scenarios, changing the xp cost to time. It makes playing them much easier in the campaign that actually makes sense for the investigators to travel to New Orleans and Venice.

Otherwise the map is a disappointment on pretty much every level. I don’t like the narrative it introduces. Unburdened from needing to tie text to a scenario, which was already stretched to its limit in Edge of the Earth, MJ fills pages. And none of it is that interesting. I get it. Writing in the second person and needing to accommodate a variety of win-loss conditions and not knowing at what point in the story the text will be read is hard. It might even be impossible to do well, but then you just shouldn’t try it rather than write more and hope some of it works.

I don’t like the puzzle of the map. I’ve heard there is a path to try every scenario and unlock the true ending. I have only ever managed four scenarios between the prelude and finale. I’ve heard people enjoy figuring out this optimal route. Good or them. It feels to me like a connect-the-dots but without the numbers and only being allowed to draw one line every ten minutes before being told an hour later that I did it wrong and didn’t actually uncover the secret scenario or earn one of the story allies.

I don’t like the map’s approach to non-linearity. The promise of the map is to play the campaign my way: to play the scenarios I want, when I want. But why would I when I only enjoy two of the campaign’s scenarios? Why not bum rush the finale, which is absolutely possible, instead of dragging myself through a bunch of stuff that isn’t great? For a campaign that promised incredible variety at the outset, this same player choice may very well end up working against it.

If the new design team returns to this style of campaign in the future, which I hope they do because there is a lot of potential, they need to think hard. They need to cut the pages of text. Reading second-person narrative that floats in an unassumed point in time is not fun. For all my earlier complaints about the scenarios, it’s actually playing the game. Arkham is fun. The bones are strong. I like playing my doofy Dragon Pole Daisy deck. Integrate those narrative beats into the scenarios. Let me meet Taylor in Alexandria and deliver the package to Anchorage.

And clean up the rules. It’s not like the game hasn’t received errata the day of release before, but who made the decision to not include rules on hollow at all or to break up the finale’s rules across scenarios?
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Aug 2023 01:29 #340150 by Gary Sax

DarthJoJo wrote: If the new design team returns to this style of campaign in the future, which I hope they do because there is a lot of potential, they need to think hard. They need to cut the pages of text. Reading second-person narrative that floats in an unassumed point in time is not fun. For all my earlier complaints about the scenarios, it’s actually playing the game. Arkham is fun. The bones are strong. I like playing my doofy Dragon Pole Daisy deck. Integrate those narrative beats into the scenarios. Let me meet Taylor in Alexandria and deliver the package to Anchorage.


I think the new announcement today is pretty promising with respect to the beefs outlined here, limited scope that doesn't seem to have much capacity for long short story style vignettes like TSK.

www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2023/8/4/a-feast-of-hemlock/
The following user(s) said Thank You: sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Aug 2023 16:06 #340155 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic Arkham Horror: The Card Game
This looks great. I love the theme and the creepily festive art. The day/night mechanic sounds cool. Yep, looking forward to this one.

Off-topic: After a decent hiatus from the game for the last six months I finally started my first run of Carcosa last week. I'm up to the third scenario playing Sefina Rousseau and Mark Harrigan. Carcosa is often cited as 'the best' campaign and, unsurprisingly, I'm really digging it.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Aug 2023 16:27 - 05 Aug 2023 17:32 #340156 by Gary Sax
Sornars and I started the Dark Matter fan campaign and it's real good.

We wrecked the first scenario, though, the decklists we both downloaded (detective and the Calvin) are made by one of the really, really good deckbuilders on arkhamdb. Just sick ass card draw shit, at least for the detective.

I was also today years old when I learned that Fool Me Once can attach to your. basic weakness and take it out of play for the rest of the scenario (HOLY SHIT).
Last edit: 05 Aug 2023 17:32 by Gary Sax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sornars, Kmann

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2023 16:53 #340258 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic Arkham Horror: The Card Game
What do you guys reckon about the Return to Carcosa box?

Even though I'm not up to these campaigns yet I grabbed Return to Forgotten Age, as everyone said it was nearly essential, and also Circle Undone for the snazzy tarot cards. I really liked Return to Dunwich when I played my pal's copy - even though the increased difficulty wrecked me lol - but it's now sold out everywhere.

So what are your thoughts on Return to Carcosa? There's one local shop left with a copy. Is it worth picking up while I still can?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2023 17:23 - 15 Aug 2023 17:29 #340260 by Gary Sax
I think it's one of the least essential ones, because the original is pretty well put together so there isn't as much bug fixing or improvements on the original scenarios needed.

I'm mean, I'm a completionist, so I'd still get it for the player cards, but I'd glance at what those are and see if you realistically see them having a lot of play.

It still doesn't feel like you'll be seeing those return to sets again so that's the other issue.

edit:

arkhamdb.com/set/rtptc

There are the player cards. Logical Reasoning 4 is pretty cool. Storm of Spirits 3 is pretty nuts. Lantern and Shovel 2 are pretty cool and I've used them before.
Last edit: 15 Aug 2023 17:29 by Gary Sax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sornars, Kmann

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
15 Aug 2023 23:13 #340261 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Thanks Gary. It looks like plain old FOMO is going to be the main deciding factor then.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
08 May 2024 01:01 - 08 May 2024 01:02 #342284 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Shortly after that last post life got in the way and my Carcosa campaign spluttered out. After a gaming hiatus, I got pulled back in with the mutants joining Marvel Champions and with my copy of the long-awaited Earthborne Rangers arriving right before Xmas.

Recently I started to get the Arkham itch again and a month ago I decided to restart Carcosa. I unwrapped the two investigator starter decks I have, Winnie and Harvey, and shuffled up.

I finished last night and
Warning: Spoiler!


What a fantastic campaign. The run-through was awesome, thoroughly enjoyable and often quite tense. The scenarios are varied and interesting, the different locations are great and the story is fantastic and brilliantly executed. Easy to see why it's so highly recommended.

Of the campaigns that I've played, I'd rate them in this order: Carcosa, Dunwich, Edge of the Earth, Night of the Zealot.

I have Scarlet Keys and Forgotten Age so my next campaign will be one of those. I'm leaning towards the jungle adventure.
Last edit: 08 May 2024 01:02 by Kmann.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars, DarthJoJo, Ah_Pook, Dive-Dive-Dive!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
18 May 2024 15:53 #342316 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic Arkham Horror: The Card Game
I was weary to begin The Forgotten Age due to all the talk of its difficulty and needing the Return To box to "fix" the problems with some of its mechanics. I do have that box but after hitting the forums I saw some good advice which was to play the campaign as released first so as to be able to better enjoy/appreciate the Return To changes/fixes. So with that in mind, Yorick and Akachi dove into the jungle.

I finished the third scenario yesterday and wow! I'm blown away by how great this campaign is so far. Am loving it. You can really tell the designers were in full stride with this one.

Super thematic, economical storytelling that pulls you into the story and provides an emergent narrative for you to build in your head and super exciting scenarios.
Warning: Spoiler!
All three scenarios I've played so far have been fantastic.

I've read that Hemlock Vale is not as wordy as Scarlet Keys and Edge of the Earth so I hope that trend of shrinking wordcounts continues. I haven't played SK yet, that'll be next, and while I enjoyed EotE I much prefer these earlier campaigns where the storytelling is concise and leaves room for you to almost roleplay your characters' parts within the story.

Has anyone played Hemlock Vale? I love the creepy folk-horror theme. Interested to hear how it plays/feels especially as it's the first release since MJ's departure from the game.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ChristopherMD, sornars, DarthJoJo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 May 2024 10:11 - 19 May 2024 10:13 #342319 by Gary Sax
I have been playing Hemlock. Really solid, I like it a lot.

It is far, far better on the wordy side. It's refreshing. The companions mechanics are solid too and about the right amount of attachment to characters they try to introduce. You don't have to care if you don't want to.

The scenarios are mostly good, but we are still in late stage arkham LCG. That means scenarios that are clever and well-designed, but are quite complex. So in that respect, Feast is not a throw back. I would never recommend it for new players, we had some sit there and try to parse what is going on moments mechanically, and we are very, very experienced arkham LCG players.

It's a little difficult to say how hard it is tuned to me. We have two really strong decks and we haven't swept the board every time or anything.
Last edit: 19 May 2024 10:13 by Gary Sax.
The following user(s) said Thank You: ChristopherMD, sornars, DarthJoJo, Kmann

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 May 2024 14:44 #342327 by Kmann
Replied by Kmann on topic Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Thanks, Gary. Glad to have HV's shrinking word count confirmed and that it's a solid campaign. Availability down here is still very random at the moment, which is usual for LCG new releases, so I'll look forward to picking it up once I get through FA and SK.

Your phrase 'late stage Arkham' got me thinking. It's in its 8th year now and appears to be doing well. The designers are still getting a lot of juice out of the mechanics and there's no shortage of stories. But gazing into the crystal ball what are everyone's guesses/expectations for the game's future?

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 May 2024 16:17 #342328 by DarthJoJo
I believe Hemlock Vale has a similar word count to Edge. It’s still a lot, but you might only read half(?) of that during any particular run. Appreciate that. If you’re going to write that much, breaking it across runs is reasonable.

Regarding late stage Arkham, I don’t feel design decay yet. The current design team has only worked on Hemlock and looks to have a lot of energy for the game. I haven’t quite finished Hemlock yet, but it’s the best use yet of the big box format and has only one scenario where the new rules had me struggling.

I feel like the biggest struggle right now is in player card design. After nine campaigns and starter decks, it’s hard to make cards that are different and not strictly better or worse. The focus has gone into new mechanics or trait synergies. It’s not a real problem, but they are fitting a lot of text on those cards.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars, Kmann

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 May 2024 18:35 #342330 by Gary Sax
I agree on player cards. I don't think I ever would have thought I'd ever say this, but I could imagine buying a campaign expansion but not its player card expansion.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
02 Jun 2024 14:40 #342405 by DarthJoJo
Finished Hemlock, albeit missed two scenarios because that’s how the box is structured. Still, I feel confident putting this campaign alongside Edge and Carcosa in my second tier of releases.

Lots of good stuff. Feels like a return to form (ironic considering this is the first post-MJ release) after the shaggy, unwieldy Scarlet Keys. Encounter design is clean, solid stuff. Every scenario has its gimmick, but the new mechanics aren’t overwhelming or distracting. They don’t get in the way of playing.

Biggest success is the NPCs. In the line of Edge and Keys, there is a sprawling ensemble, but these ones are mostly actually interesting and matter. They have personalities beside having a crush or being mysterious and arrogant. Pushing the right buttons makes them matter mechanically and narratively. Great work. I wouldn’t mind a return to a smaller cast, but this was probably the best possible version of the NPC ensemble.

Finale is fine but frustrating. Three new mechanics are introduced, but I think I mostly played them right. Mechanically didn’t feel like a culmination of what comes before.

Preludes, the big narrative innovation, are definitely going to get tiring on repeat plays. They are necessary to meet and interact with the NPCs, but by making them a pseudo-scenario instead of a text tree, they become way longer. Feels like a strange response to the people complaining about the reading in Keys by sneaking the text into a scenario with zero tension or challenge and thus making it even more of a time commitment.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gary Sax, sornars

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
02 Jun 2024 15:23 #342408 by Gary Sax
Yes, the preludes were pretty breezy when we played on TTS but thinking about the annoying overhead that would be involved setting them up physically every time made me shudder a little.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary Sax
Time to create page: 0.306 seconds