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Arkham Horror» Forums » General

Subject: New AH player first impressions rss

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Jaric Loving
United States
Nevada
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I already have EH and just started a game of AH last weekend. My first impressions are that the game doesn't really deserve the reputation it has, of being too fiddly.

Yes, I had to consult the rules book several times during my first play, but it didn't seem any more of an imposition than EH. When I first ran through EH, I was consulting the book to make sure I was checking reckoning effects and order, which gates corresponded to the current omen for monster surges, etc.

AH has a lot more checks. Monster limits, outskirt limits, which monsters correspond to the current enabled movement, etc. However, overall, based on my EH experience, it was mostly similar. Gates spawn on the mythos phase, reckoning can behave like upkeep, monster surges (sometimes), you have more movement ability in AH and clues are easier to get than in EH, EH gets location/clue/expedition/gate encounter vs AH's Arkham or Otherworld encounters, which sometimes doesn't apply, so skip right to Mythos, etc.

At this point, I have fun with both and would not consider one better than the other. Additionally, I didn't find AH's rules more fiddly. Both games just require more play for familiarity and I look forward to adding expansions to the experience.
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Zack
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I haven't played EH yet but I have to say that AH has a lot w nuances that often slow the game down, which causes inexperienced players to lose concentration. Even when there is a experienced player at the table - to help & explain rules, some things are still being confused several times during the game. It required almost complete concentration from all players simultaneously in order to play smoothly.

For example phase order. Usually I'm the only person who remembers the rules pretty well and I need to explain this several times during each game (we play AH once per few months, usually) to people who already played AH in the past. Basically during the movement, combat is also being resolved which often takes time. When next player finally gets to move after combat finished - most of the time they want to play Encounter immediately after. Also when someone finishes Arkham Encounter, then next player who is in Other World almost always wants to resolve Other World Encounter as well Also you need to take into consideration at which phase the Gate is warping you and do you need to fight monsters guarding it...

Basically even If I'm there to explain the rules I often need to watch as other players tend to mix up phase order, especially after 2-or-so hours of playing and losing concentration
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Daily Grind
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Completely agree. I recently posted in a different thread that the only reason people think EH is less fiddly than AH is because they played AH first and then became more experienced at complex games.

They do have differences, and they evoke different moods for me. But complexity, fiddlyness and game length? They're the same.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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That's been my impression as well. I've found EH to "streamline" some mechanics of AH, but then keep others just as "fiddly", to the point that both games overall feel just about as fiddly as each other. The whole, "The more things change, the more they stay the same" mantra.

I like both games, and thing they both have enough of a different feel to keep both in my library (AH is more horror, EH is more adventure, somewhat akin to Alien vs Aliens or L4D vs L4D2), but I do feel both are about the same level of complexity/fiddlyness.

-shnar
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Zack
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shnar wrote:
somewhat akin to Alien vs Aliens or L4D vs L4D2
-shnar


I have to admit that this analogy made me interested in getting EH. Me and my wife both love Alien & Aliens, L4D & L4D2 for very differences between them!
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Joe Pilkus
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Jaric,

Welcome to you and glad to hear you enjoyed your first Arkham Horror experience.

Cheers,
Joe
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David Williams
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divibyzero wrote:


For example phase order. Usually I'm the only person who remembers the rules pretty well and I need to explain this several times during each game

Basically even If I'm there to explain the rules I often need to watch as other players tend to mix up phase order, especially after 2-or-so hours of playing and losing concentration

A lot of this is alleviated by flowcharts available in the Files section.
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Wolfie
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The Old Man wrote:
divibyzero wrote:


For example phase order. Usually I'm the only person who remembers the rules pretty well and I need to explain this several times during each game

Basically even If I'm there to explain the rules I often need to watch as other players tend to mix up phase order, especially after 2-or-so hours of playing and losing concentration

A lot of this is alleviated by flowcharts available in the Files section.

Here's a game turn reference that is intended to be pretty short and sweet:
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/136752/arkham-horror-cond...
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Zack
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Wolfpack48 wrote:
The Old Man wrote:
divibyzero wrote:


For example phase order. Usually I'm the only person who remembers the rules pretty well and I need to explain this several times during each game

Basically even If I'm there to explain the rules I often need to watch as other players tend to mix up phase order, especially after 2-or-so hours of playing and losing concentration

A lot of this is alleviated by flowcharts available in the Files section.

Here's a game turn reference that is intended to be pretty short and sweet:
https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/136752/arkham-horror-cond...

Pretty neat! Thanks!
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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divibyzero wrote:
shnar wrote:
somewhat akin to Alien vs Aliens or L4D vs L4D2
-shnar


I have to admit that this analogy made me interested in getting EH. Me and my wife both love Alien & Aliens, L4D & L4D2 for very differences between them!

I think the L4D analogy is closer than the Aliens one, since the two games are very similar but the subtle differences between the two make L4D1 more 'horror' in my book, and L4D2 more 'adventure'. Mainly the introduction of melee weapons, in L4D2 you can run through maps faster and it has less of a horror feel and more of an action feel. It's still fun, and the difference is very subtle (I have 3k hrs in the games, so I've noticed the difference), but I think AH and EH are along those same lines.

AH, being in a town, feels more horrific, more personal. EH though feels more Indiana Jones-ish, more romping around the world taking care of dangers, etc.

-shnar
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Karl Ruppelt
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Olmsted Township
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I've found reading H.P. Lovecraft really adds to the thematic atmosphere of playing AH. If you can get past his antiquated prose and unfortunate/ignorant racist overtones, it really sets the stage for understanding the mythos. The Necronomicon is a good selection of his best works.
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Freelance Police
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It's fiddly for gamers who can't get past four pages of rules.
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Peter Andersson
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Good to hear that you liked Arkham Horror!
Just wait until you've added some expansions, then the game really starts to shine!
(And it's already an awesome game to begin with!)
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Le Roux Van Der Vyver
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Eldritch Horror: 90% of the rules in 10 minutes, another story getting the final 10% of interactions right.

Arkham Horror: Get 90% of rules wrong in first 5 games, only make a mistake here and there after those.
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Fernando Santos
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Amadora
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Welcome to a amazing game! I have Arkham Horror (and a few expansions for it) and bought after it Eldritch Horror.

For me i like both games, they play differently but i rather prefere Arkham Horror (if i didn't i would not have choose it for my 100 games challenge!).

I also haver Elder Sign and Arkham Horror LCG, diferente games, the same "world" and lots of fun!

And that's really is the importan reason for it, to have fun playing amazing games!

Now if only i could sell a kidney and bought Mansions Of Madness 2....
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Dave S
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Sam and Max wrote:
It's fiddly for gamers who can't get past four pages of rules.

IMHO playing your turn isn't really fiddly, I agree.

However, the AI overhead (i.e. checking outskirts and the monster limit, navigating your way through all the different symbols and calculating sneak/combat checks) is where AH starts to feel a little fiddly.

One dedicated player who has digested these rules can really smoothen the experience for the whole group. In my case, I take over the role of the Keeper and the rest of the gang can enjoy gearing up and blasting monsters.
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Wolfie
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ddnd wrote:
Sam and Max wrote:
It's fiddly for gamers who can't get past four pages of rules.

IMHO playing your turn isn't really fiddly, I agree.

However, the AI overhead (i.e. checking outskirts and the monster limit, navigating your way through all the different symbols and calculating sneak/combat checks) is where AH starts to feel a little fiddly.

One dedicated player who has digested these rules can really smoothen the experience for the whole group. In my case, I take over the role of the Keeper and the rest of the gang can enjoy gearing up and blasting monsters.


A few things you can do to decrease fiddliness:

Instead of reading off each monster movement symbol on the mythos and checking to see if there's a matching monster on the board, read the monster symbols on the board first and see if there's a symbol on the mythos card. Goes much faster: "Is there a triangle? Yes, on white. Slash?, no. Circle, no." Once you get through the monsters on the board, you're done.

Use colored(?) stands for monsters equal to the monster limit so you know when to start putting monsters in the outskirts. Use a different colored set of stands for expansion boards. These are great btw: https://www.etsy.com/listing/400285553/acrylic-monster-stand...

Put a die on the outskirts with the limit, so you know when to empty (the cheat sheets that came with Miskatonic are good for this too).

Place a die on items needing upkeep to remind you to roll for them (thanks Catweazle for this one).

Place a doom token on the stack to remind you to add when a gate opens

(By the way, I don't see that Arkham is much more fiddly here than Eldritch's Reckonings -- lots of little nits to keep track of there, too).
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