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Nathanael Green
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So I just got the second edition and ran through the first scenario several times. Here are my first impressions of the game and a couple of questions.

1. Regarding scenario variation - There is a lot of variation in items, and some variation in board layout (There appear to be only two layouts for the first scenario with the base game, more if you own the first edition material. It's certainly not procedurally generated or anything like that.), but there DO NOT appear to be multiple different storylines per scenario. There were some changes in dialogue and options based on actions I took during the game (
Spoiler (click to reveal)
save the butler, read all the way through Lilith's journal, etc.
), but the general storyline was the same. It was disappointing because there were several bits in the second playthrough that seemed to indicate there was a different story -
Spoiler (click to reveal)
ie that Vanderbilt, instead of being a straight-up evil priest of Dagon, had simply gotten in over his head with the occult while looking for ways to contact his dead wife, part of whose spirit still seemed to be in the urn (somewhat similar to one of the story options in Fall of the House of Lynch)
. But no, I reached the attic and guess what,
Spoiler (click to reveal)
he's still just an evil priest of Dagon.


I ran through the app a couple more times just to make sure that I hadn't accidentally gotten the same story choice twice in a row, and indeed I hadn't. This was disheartening, as it would seem like the app would have so much more potential for story variation. Hopefully this is only the case for the intro scenario, and the other scenarios have SOME story variation, or else it's just wasted potential. None of the surface variation of items and layout matters to me if it's just the same story over and over again, especially if there are only four scenarios and two of them are too long for a typical meetup.

I guess my question for people who've played other scenarios is, do THEY have story variety?

2. Does the app seem to adjust anything based on player count? I noticed I got the same number of starting items regardless of the number of investigators I was using, and there didn't seem to be any variation in the number or toughness of monsters.

3. I tried toggling the 1st edition content on and off, to see what effect it had on the first scenario. It seems to add two additional possible layouts to the first scenario, and a bunch of new monsters. None of these monsters seem to make sense narratively though - they're just inserted into the scenario for variety's sake. Suddenly there's a Dark Druid or a Goat Spawn hanging out the library! These made sense when Shub-Niggurath was the antagonist, but with Dagon they don't.

4. The random mythos events are a little lame. In the first edition you as the keeper could put some effort into making them thematic - "As you're fleeing from the monster, you trip over a tree root (mythos card) and break your leg (trauma card)." - that sort of thing.

Here your seasoned researcher of the arcane who just one-shotted a Hunting Horror with a withering spell suddenly mistakes a shadow for a monster and blunders into a wall. Of course you're always going to have that sort of silliness in these games, but in the first edition you could at least try to mitigate it.

5. On a positive note, I LOVE the new dice system and damage / horror cards. They took the excellent dice mechanics from X-Wing and sort of inverted how critical hits work in that game, and it works brilliantly.

6. Also good - the new mechanics for becoming wounded / insane. These are cribbed from Imperial Assault, where you can take damage up to your health and get a debuff, but you have to take it again in order to be eliminated. I liked it in IA and I like it here. The traitor mechanic introduced by insanity cards adds a very welcome element of uncertainty and intrigue.

7. Puzzles are pretty good. The app handles them seamlessly - no more disrupting gameplay for 5 minutes to dig them out and set them up. No rotation puzzles anymore, the only kind of puzzle that survives from first edition are the rune puzzles. There's also a new kind of slide puzzle that's just OK - it replaces both lock and wiring puzzles. The new code puzzles however are really enjoyable and would have been hard to implement without the app.


So in sum, the app wasn't quite the endless wellspring of variety I'd hoped for, but it does a good job of streamlining the play experience and removing the role of keeper. I'm just glad I finally get to play this game as the investigator. Once I've played a few more games I'll write up a full review - I don't believe first impressions belong on the reviews forum.
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Justin Colm
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I agree with you assessments mostly. Just a bit of detail on the 1st scenario (I'm discussing all layouts and monsters I've found to date for scenario 1, so be aware of that before you read the spoiler:

Spoiler (click to reveal)

I believe there are 4 different layouts using only 2nd edition:

Start Room - Entrance Hall
End Room - Yard

Start Room - Entrance Hall
End room - Conservatory

Start - Lobby
End - Attic

Start - Lobby
End - Bell Tower

And then I believe there's another variation (2?) using 1st edition tiles but I've yet to play those ones through.

Monsters I have seen to date:

Hunting Horror - always in the kitchen

Priest of Dagon (Vanderbilt) - always the main villain

Servant of Dagon (Eugene the Butler) - in my 2 player games Eugene transformed into the Servant (even when he was killed by the Hunting Horror, with no acknowledgment by the app that he had even died shake). In 3+ player games he didn't. I don't know if that was random chance and he can appear in 3 player + games. If Eugene doesn't transform the investigators can acquire a gun from him.

Cultists - bread and butter enemies with only 2nd edition monsters.

Deep Ones - Seem to turn up in place of cultists sometimes with 3 + players?

Season 1 adds the following variety in place of cultists: zombies, witches, Dark Druids, Goat Spawn.

Other appearances:
Crawling One - pretty cool; spawned instead of the Servant of Dagon along with a zombie in one game I played

Mi-Go, a few turns after an investigator acquires the Wither spell a Mi-Go may show up in the same space (I don't know what monster this would be (if it happens at all) with only 2nd edition enabled)


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S. R.
Germany
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Thank you for the review, but please put Spoiler warnings at the beginning of your text. It spoils motive and background of the first story, and that is a lot!!!

...goes to show how seemingly insignificant snippets can take the fun out of something for others...
 
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Nathanael Green
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High Flying Bird wrote:


Spoiler (click to reveal)


Servant of Dagon (Eugene the Butler) - in my 2 player games Eugene transformed into the Servant (even when he was killed by the Hunting Horror, with no acknowledgment by the app that he had even died shake). In 3+ player games he didn't. I don't know if that was random chance and he can appear in 3 player + games. If Eugene doesn't transform the investigators can acquire a gun from him.



Spoiler (click to reveal)
That's weird... also, I noticed in a game where I saved Eugene but didn't talk to him, he didn't turn evil.



Quote:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


Mi-Go, a few turns after an investigator acquires the Wither spell a Mi-Go may show up in the same space (I don't know what monster this would be (if it happens at all) with only 2nd edition enabled)




Spoiler (click to reveal)
In my experience without 1st edition, it was a Hunting Horror.

I haven't been able to figure out yet what monster/s Vanderbilt spawns depends on. It may depend on the game clock, since one time when I just clicked through all of the exploration and puzzles on the app on the first turn, he spawned a Star Spawn.



 
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Nathanael Green
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Dumon wrote:
Thank you for the review, but please put Spoiler warnings at the beginning of your text. It spoils motive and background of the first story, and that is a lot!!!

...goes to show how seemingly insignificant snippets can take the fun out of something for others...


It's in the thread title... However, now that I've learned how to put spoilers in text from Justin (who would've thought that "o" would be the tag) I'll amend the post.
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Justin Colm
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TRK27 wrote:


Spoiler (click to reveal)
In my experience without 1st edition, it was a Hunting Horror.

I haven't been able to figure out yet what monster/s Vanderbilt spawns depends on. It may depend on the game clock, since one time when I just clicked through all of the exploration and puzzles on the app on the first turn, he spawned a Star Spawn.




Spoiler (click to reveal)
Holy... I'll have to try that one. I can only assume you're right: it's tied to the game clock. Interesting! So that's another factor we have to experiment with.
 
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Isabell and Soohyun
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Can't really follow the thread because of all these spoiler boxes

I share the same concern as the OP especially about how variable each scenario can be. Please let us know the outcome of this hidden discussion!

Just a quick question to OP, some users were talking about the feeling of 'disconnect between the app and the board' while playing this game. I guess you tend to stare at the screen and click as you play. Did you have that feeling of playing a 'video game', rather than a 'board game'?

 
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anthony dybacz
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I controlled the app in our game (I was always keeper in first ed) and I certainly got the feeling I was looking at the app far more than the board.
I didnt feel like I was playing a video game, but I did feel disconnected somewhat.
 
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Kevin Seachrist
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CardboardAnt wrote:
I controlled the app in our game (I was always keeper in first ed) and I certainly got the feeling I was looking at the app far more than the board.
I didnt feel like I was playing a video game, but I did feel disconnected somewhat.


Oh, so you're one of those guys who sits there with a mobile device open at the game table, eh?

I think having it in front of you the whole time and choosing to be the quasi-keeper might have amplified the disconnected feeling, where distributing the narrative task would have allowed you to connect with the board more fully.

I'll be in a similar spot this week and will keep your experience in mind.
 
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oldschoolgamr
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Rykaar wrote:
CardboardAnt wrote:
I controlled the app in our game (I was always keeper in first ed) and I certainly got the feeling I was looking at the app far more than the board.
I didnt feel like I was playing a video game, but I did feel disconnected somewhat.


Oh, so you're one of those guys who sits there with a mobile device open at the game table, eh?

I think having it in front of you the whole time and choosing to be the quasi-keeper might have amplified the disconnected feeling, where distributing the narrative task would have allowed you to connect with the board more fully.

I'll be in a similar spot this week and will keep your experience in mind.

I think having sole access to the app would potentially create this isolation. I displayed the steam app on the 50" in front of the game table and that definitely made it feel as everyone was part of the app. Used a wireless keyboard with touchpad we could pass around as needed...
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Justin Colm
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oldschoolgamr wrote:
Rykaar wrote:
CardboardAnt wrote:
I controlled the app in our game (I was always keeper in first ed) and I certainly got the feeling I was looking at the app far more than the board.
I didnt feel like I was playing a video game, but I did feel disconnected somewhat.


Oh, so you're one of those guys who sits there with a mobile device open at the game table, eh?

I think having it in front of you the whole time and choosing to be the quasi-keeper might have amplified the disconnected feeling, where distributing the narrative task would have allowed you to connect with the board more fully.

I'll be in a similar spot this week and will keep your experience in mind.

I think having sole access to the app would potentially create this isolation. I displayed the steam app on the 50" in front of the game table and that definitely made it feel as everyone was part of the app. Used a wireless keyboard with touchpad we could pass around as needed...


I'm doing this too and I recommend it where possible. It's not just one person relating everything (although I was the one clicking the mouse) and strangely it's easier to ignore the screen and play on the board when the screen is on the wall, not the table, especially if the controller is the only one directly facing it. We made a point first time we played after setting up the first room: 'we focus on the board, not the screen, except when we're interacting with the app' and we found that easy to do.

Big screen is the way to go where possible.
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Jon Olsén
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Spoiler (click to reveal)
I have played the first scenario two times, I only got 2:nd ed.

Hunting Horror always in the kitchen with Eugene. Eugene did not go go evil in any of the games. He gave me some stuff in the first run and was killed by the Hunting Horror in the second.

1. Staring room: Entrance hall, Ending room: Yard. Spawned a lot of Cultists and Deep ones. Managed to disrupt the ceremony and get out.
2. Staring room: Lobby, Ending room: Attic. Spawned a few Cultists and a Star spawn. Died while trying to close the portal.
 
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Nathanael Green
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High Flying Bird wrote:


Spoiler (click to reveal)

I believe there are 4 different layouts using only 2nd edition:

Start Room - Entrance Hall
End Room - Yard

Start Room - Entrance Hall
End room - Conservatory

Start - Lobby
End - Attic

Start - Lobby
End - Bell Tower

And then I believe there's another variation (2?) using 1st edition tiles but I've yet to play those ones through.





Spoiler (click to reveal)
From playing it a couple more times, you're correct, there are four variations total using the base game tiles.

There is an additional one if you have the 1st edition base game (Foyer - Attic Loft), and yet another if you have the base game and expansions (Foyer - Rooftop), for a total of 6.
 
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