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Arkham Horror» Forums » General

Subject: Should I try Arkham Horror when I have Eldritch Horror rss

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Doug Poskitt
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Hi guys,

I am already the owner of Eldritch Horror and its expansions, and I am very happy with this game series.

However, I read a lot of interesting threads here on BGG about Arkham Horror. I appreciate both games deal with the same theme, but that they seem to be different games in respect of their play mechanics and scope.

My question: Is there enough difference between the two for me to go out and grab Arkham Horror? Would I get a sufficiently different game experience from that offered by Eldritch Horror?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Jack
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The base game is probably ok, but it is so much more convoluted with expansions than EH.
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Alain Baum
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Were it the other way around (you have AH and are interested in EH), I'd say sure, go for it. As it is, though...

There are things that are different in AH. Monsters can rarely be ignored, since you cannot move from A to B if there are monsters along the way. So there's the spacial component.

There are also a lot more types of cards, especially if you add in expansions.

You have skills which you have to plan at the beginning of a turn, improving some while worsening others.

Due to the fact that some locations are unstable and some stable, and that clues almost exclusively appear in unstable locations, there are places that are rarely visited.

Compared to EH, there are a lot more encounters that are entirely positive or negative, with no skill check.

The mythos phase is a lot more complex; mainly the monster movement is fiddly.

There's also the fact of the game pace, which is a bit off. In the first few turns, a gate opens every turn, and you're like "OMG! Oh noes! We're gonna lose so hard!" Then, after you have closed and sealed a few unstable locations like Independence Square or the Witch House, the mythos phase goes from horrible to meh. Suspense effectively lessens throughout the game.

This sounds pretty negative. AH is not a bad game, otherwise I wouldn't have so many expansions. But the base game AH gets stale soon, and you may be disappointed by some clunkier design choices; you feel that EH is the more "polished" version.
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Santi Velasco
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That depends on your particular disposition as a gamer. Me, I found the bookkeeping in AH almost unbearable, so EH was a very welcomed change of pace. But if you find EH to be too light and look for a much more detailed experience, you might like AH best.
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Jack
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Though, please, feel free to buy my copy and all the expansions so I can stop looking at it on my shelf.
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Antonia
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senorcoo wrote:
The base game is probably ok, but it is so much more convoluted with expansions than EH.

Arkham is only convoluted when you mix all the expansions together. This often made statement is therefore only true if you do not separate the cards according to their expansion.
I like Arkham because you can mix in whatever expansion you like. Eldritch tries to sort out the 'convolution' by making the boards only playable with a certain old one or prelude which in turn diminishes the value of the additional board because you only can use it in specific cases.

There have been a lot of discussion which of the two games is better, I will not repeat all of this stuff here. Just search in the corresponding forums.

If you like Eldritch, you will probably not like Arkham as much. I own both and prefer Arkham over Eldritch for several reasons.

P.S.: Summarized it might be said, that Arkham is more thematic in its encounters.
Whereas Eldritch has more thematic Old Ones.

Arkham is more fiddly and has more upkeep to take care of. Which I like about it.

Arkham (at least with expansions) is true to the original Lovecraft stories, whereas they do not shine through in Eldritch as much as they do in Arkham.
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M.C.Crispy
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Personally, I'll choose to play Arkham over Eldritch every time. I prefer the overall feel of the game and prefer the overall story that comes out through gameplay.

I don't play "all in, all the time" so every game that I play is carefully built as a scenario rather than a "pick your GOO and go" per Eldritch. Sure, my setup time is high - but I don't care 'cos (a) I enjoy doing it and (b) I do it in advance of the session so it doesn't affect the group. At the end of the game we chuck it all back in the box unsorted ('cos I enjoy sorting it out after the session)

The thing that bugs me with Eldritch is how often I experience the "ah, bother, that's game over then" -type events in EH compared to how often I experience them in AH. That and I find the globe-trotting Indiana Jones feel of EH less engaging than the claustrophobic imminent doom feeling of Arkham. Along with the single path to victory in EH.

But it's horses for courses and I'd say give it a try for sure. But be aware that it might cost you a lot of money
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By posting this in the Arkharm Horror-specific forum, you're going to get a slightly eschewed player base responding as mainly fans of the game follow this forum. I would consider posting this in the recommendations forum instead.

I wanted to love Arkham Horror, and indeed, I did like it. But I never felt like I played all of the rules right even after 5 games (before I logged games). The amount of bookkeeping can be overwhelming and mundane, especially if you're the only person who read the rule book or watched the how to play tutorials.

The biggest problem I had was that after Arkham Horror sat on the shelf for a stretch, I would forget a bunch of small fiddly rules, which made me not want to re-read the rules or play the game. So I didn't play it, and my memory of the rules only got worse so I became less and less interested in playing until I finally traded it.

Eldritch Horror took the core concepts of Arkham Horror and streamlined it. They are very similar games, but I don't have any of the problems with Eldritch Horror that I had with Arkham Horror. If you want a Lovecraftian game with a different feel, I would suggest going for Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition instead of Arkham Horror. In fact, I think Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition replicates the parts of Arkham Horror that Eldritch Horror lacks such as monsters moving to pursue you or being in a more close quarters, intimate environment such as a single town or in this case a single mansion rather than the grandiose global-sprawling pandemic-like adventure of Eldritch Horror.
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Paul T
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Lol. Can of worms time.

Now I think they are sufficiently different to be considered individual games. Some do not and think Eldritch Horror is just a better designed and more streamlined '2nd edition' of Arkham Horror. You will also probably get various 'One is Great the Other is Rubbish' comments. As someone who loves both this is what I find.

Of course there are many, many similarities. They are both culled from the same Mythos theme and produced by the same company with many shared things like artwork, spell lists and effects, monsters, abilities, items, artefacts, investigators and so on. Obviously both share and draw on themes and concepts from the same ancestral root. But then again so do Bridge and Poker.

What defines them most to me are the gameplay and feel:

Gameplay - some will say Arkham gameplay is not good because it is clunky and fiddly and Eldritch is good because it has been streamlined and 'fixed'. Whatever the truth of that I find the gameplay sufficiently different to separate them both as individual games. Monster movement, the movable skill mechanism, the different otherworld encounter mechanism, the focus on closing/sealing gates rather than completing mysteries and so on. So much so that I change my tactics and playing style depending on which game I am playing.

Bloat merits a mention here as well - some think AH gets too big if you pile all the expansions in and then the chosen Ancient One can lose its identity under all the extraneous material and if to counter this you strip out stuff for a more streamlined feel it loses out in that it becomes a fiddly and cumbersome set up time sink. That said I feel Eldritch is slowly (if not as comprehensively) inching along this route too as the expansions pile up.

Feel - Arkham is much more claustrophobic and horror driven to me whereas Eldritch is more a globe trotting action adventure with a supernatural element. For example monsters are more of a nuisance in Arkham where they affect investigator movement to a greater degree and can harass and hem you in a bit more. Hence the claustrophobia and greater perception of being 'trapped'. In Eldritch monsters are rather static.

I love both games and can myself easily embrace what some see as the clunkiness and bloat of Arkham (which I find it very quaint and appealing in a strange way! ) just as I can embrace what can come across in Eldritch (to me at least) as a pulp action adventure that doesn't quite have the same oppressive atmosphere of Lovecraftian Horror.

So in summary yes I do get different things and use different tactics and strategies (not wildly different - after all stopping the end of the world is a common goal in both games!) while playing AH and EH. I generally pick one or the other based on my mood. Horror or Action Adventure.

I'd suggest trying before buying if you can. It really is a question of your personal preference.
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Alain Baum
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There's one thing I wanted to add, which I forgot:

When you have multiple expansion, EH handles the "kitchen sink" approach (i.e. leave everything in) much better than AH. So, the shuffling in and separating out of expansion cards in nearly 20 decks is very tiresome.

In AH, I recommend to use at most one small and one big expansion for each game.
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DukeOfEarl wrote:
There's one thing I wanted to add, which I forgot:

When you have multiple expansion, EH handles the "kitchen sink" approach (i.e. leave everything in) much better than AH. So, the shuffling in and separating out of expansion cards in nearly 20 decks is very tiresome.

In AH, I recommend to use at most one small and one big expansion for each game.

Given you do mind to separate the cards after you played this is definitely a plus point for Eldritch.
But as said above, the downside is that the side boards are only used when a specific Old One or prelude is chosen. This means that you pay a lot of money for a board that you do not use that often.

Of course the reviews here are biased towards Arkham because after all the people answering here are subscribed to the Arkham forum for a reason. You will get a more positive view of Eldritch in its forum.

As said above the people who really like Eldritch tend to not like Arkham, therefore the answers over here might give you a little bit more insight.

But if you are unsure I would definitely recommend trying the game before actually buying it.
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chris thatcher
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I have all the expansions and play all in. I do not find it any more clunky than many other big box games. It does help if you have expansions to have some sort of storage solution to make set up and playing easier. This is to be expected, it is a HUGE game with all the expansions.

I do agree that base Arkham has a slow down issue once certain gates are sealed. Just add the Dunwich expansion and that issue is fixed.

Arkham really does have a claustrophobic feel to it.

It is also a great solo game. My favorite.
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Jerry Martin
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The big difference between the two games:

Arkham is story telling game with a puzzle element (beating the ancient one)

Eldritch is puzzle game (beating the game) with a small amount of story.


At first I was really drawn into Eldritch because it seemed to solve a lot of the problems I perceived in Arkham, (I especially like how the ancient one is central to the story and you have clear objectives), but now that I have played it a number of time I find it isn't as good at telling a story and I really like that about Arkham. My wife and I got into as Role-players.

Personally, I like both games and am slowly picking up the expansions to Eldritch.
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Wolfie
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The one thing I would recommend is watching some playthroughs on YouTube. Catweazle's are especially entertaining, and they will give you a good feel for the game:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh-FZRH6EBIWhhHw5v645Kg/pla...

Personally, I own and play both Eldritch and Arkham, and the feel of each game is very different. Both are great games, and I enjoy the variety and flavor in each -- I'd play either without hesitation.

Arkham is more character-focused, the personal journey of the investigator while they are also battling the Ancient One, while Eldritch is more focused on the mysteries of the Ancient One and has more of an Indiana Jones feel.

In Arkham you become attached to your investigator and want them to succeed in their own stories as well as beating the big bad (the personal story cards that come with the Innsmouth Horror expansion are a huge addition.)

The New England setting is has more of a closed-in feel than Eldritch, and as monsters and effects come into play, it becomes a challenge to maneuver through the city streets and escape the long hand of the mythos. Each location and expansion board has great theme, and as you mix and match expansions with Ancient Ones with modular rules such as Madness/Injury Cards, Heralds, Relationship Cards and so on, you end up with a very different feel from game to game.

So, without hesitation I recommend both games. They are both, very different, very fun games.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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DukeOfEarl wrote:
There's one thing I wanted to add, which I forgot:

When you have multiple expansion, EH handles the "kitchen sink" approach (i.e. leave everything in) much better than AH. So, the shuffling in and separating out of expansion cards in nearly 20 decks is very tiresome.


I never understood the "separating cards is a hassle" thing. It is very easy to leave all the cards in and just redraw if you draw a card from an expansion you aren't using. I cannot understand why anyone would go through the hassle of separating out the cards.

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Paul Sheppard
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Based on my experience, I would say give AH a try at least if you know someone who has it. Or else watch some of the many excellent playthroughs to see if you might enjoy the game, as Wolfie said.

AH has a different flavour to EH

I only signed up for Elder Signs and ended up with EH then AH too!
Drawing a line at Mansions of Madness though. laugh
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Wolfie
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
DukeOfEarl wrote:
There's one thing I wanted to add, which I forgot:

When you have multiple expansion, EH handles the "kitchen sink" approach (i.e. leave everything in) much better than AH. So, the shuffling in and separating out of expansion cards in nearly 20 decks is very tiresome.


I never understood the "separating cards is a hassle" thing. It is very easy to leave all the cards in and just redraw if you draw a card from an expansion you aren't using. I cannot understand why anyone would go through the hassle of separating out the cards.



Here's a good discussion on the whole card management thing:
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1614470/which-components-ex...
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Sebastian Beck
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You have to play it.

Arkham blows Eldritch out of the water when it comes to the individual development, story and theme.

I find it a better game as well. You have much more influence in Arkham. In Eldritch the game plays you and you have almost nothing to mitigate the luck of draws.

In Arkham there is much more planning and mitigation.

Check it out. You owe it to yourself!
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Wolfie
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Beckikaze wrote:
You have to play it.

Arkham blows Eldritch out of the water when it comes to the individual development, story and theme.

I find it a better game as well. You have much more influence in Arkham. In Eldritch the game plays you and you have almost nothing to mitigate the luck of draws.

In Arkham there is much more planning and mitigation.

Check it out. You owe it to yourself!


I'd agree a bit on this, though I still know when we play Eldritch to expect more "you're screwed, nothing to be done about it" cards. We play around it, and have taken it in as part of the flavor of the game.

Arkham definitely has more "you WILL be screwed if you don't do X" cards, which I think is a fun aspect that increases the tension as you scramble to avoid disaster.
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M.C.Crispy
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reverendunclebastard wrote:
DukeOfEarl wrote:
There's one thing I wanted to add, which I forgot:

When you have multiple expansion, EH handles the "kitchen sink" approach (i.e. leave everything in) much better than AH. So, the shuffling in and separating out of expansion cards in nearly 20 decks is very tiresome.


I never understood the "separating cards is a hassle" thing. It is very easy to leave all the cards in and just redraw if you draw a card from an expansion you aren't using. I cannot understand why anyone would go through the hassle of separating out the cards.

Because I hate drawing cards and then redrawing until I find one that works. Or rolling dice to select from a pile. I cannot understand why anyone would just smush everything together and dilute theme.
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Wolfie
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senorcoo wrote:
The base game is probably ok, but it is so much more convoluted with expansions than EH.


Playing Arkham Horror with all the expansions and rules is probably best left to people who know the rules in their sleep.

What's more fun is to mix and match the modular rules, taking what you like to build a thematic scenario. Half the fun of Arkham is finding the right mix of expansions, rules, Ancient One and investigators to create a unique story.

Arkham is modular -- a good rule of thumb is a max of one large and one small expansion per game, at least to start.
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M.C.Crispy
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Wolfpack48 wrote:
senorcoo wrote:
The base game is probably ok, but it is so much more convoluted with expansions than EH.


Playing Arkham Horror with all the expansions and rules is probably best left to people who know the rules in their sleep.

What's more fun is to mix and match the modular rules, taking what you like to build a thematic scenario. Half the fun of Arkham is finding the right mix of expansions, rules, Ancient One and investigators to create a unique story.

Arkham is modular -- a good rule of thumb is a max of one large and one small expansion per game, at least to start.
Well, that's a matter of opinion I think you'll find (though one that I agree with - though I prefer just one expansion, regardless of box size)
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Chris Schafer
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Beckikaze wrote:
You have to play it.

Arkham blows Eldritch out of the water when it comes to the individual development, story and theme.

I find it a better game as well. You have much more influence in Arkham. In Eldritch the game plays you and you have almost nothing to mitigate the luck of draws.

In Arkham there is much more planning and mitigation.

Check it out. You owe it to yourself!


This.

I've given Eldritch Horror the college try a couple of times and don't care for it. It's like Diet Coke and I already have other games that do the lighter fare better.
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Wolfpack48 wrote:
What's more fun is to mix and match the modular rules, taking what you like to build a thematic scenario. Half the fun of Arkham is finding the right mix of expansions, rules, Ancient One and investigators to create a unique story.

This. Trying to play with too much dilutes everything to the point that little of interest ever comes up. But taking a big and/or small expansion to make a themed game can really make a play unique when you start combining Heralds and Great Old Ones and expansion mechanics in interesting ways.

The game can really drag, however, no matter what you do. It's usually because of the cards you draw. Our last game was really trudging along and we just ended up quitting after a while.
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dougposkitt wrote:
Hi guys,

I am already the owner of Eldritch Horror and its expansions, and I am very happy with this game series.

However, I read a lot of interesting threads here on BGG about Arkham Horror. I appreciate both games deal with the same theme, but that they seem to be different games in respect of their play mechanics and scope.

My question: Is there enough difference between the two for me to go out and grab Arkham Horror? Would I get a sufficiently different game experience from that offered by Eldritch Horror?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.


Personally Id say that if you have EH then skip AH. This being said by someone who prefers AH.

The reasons are thus.

1: They are relatively similar in play on enough points that they oft feel the same despite having different setting scopes.

2: Backtracking for AH expansions may prove a hassle depending on whats still for sale and whats gone OOP. Whereas EH expansions will be easier to find or keep up with as they come out.

I'd say do some research on what is and is not availible for each and then make a better informed decision based off that.
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