The Arkham Horror Mega-Game Geeklist
Ed Browne
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ColtsFan just made a great poll Geeklist to see who is playing what Arkham Horror expansion with what else and components, etc. I have had the idea of doing a list like this for a while and I think it makes a good companion to ColtsFan's great list. This is for comments on each expansion for those who can't buy all of them at once or are only looking for specific elements. Let's talk about each one and using them all in a Mega-Game.

NOTE: This is as of the release of Black Goat of the Woods
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1. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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First up: the base game by itself. I don't think anyone will tell you that this isn't enough by itself. However if you are finding it easy to beat or looking for more interesting random encounters, etc. look to the expansions. Also, anyone decided they only want to play the base game?
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2. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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This was the first expansion published. As one of the "small box" expansions, it only adds cards (items, mythos, gate, location, etc.). There is no "chronological order" to the expansions, so don't feel you need to buy this one first because it was published first. And in hindsight, with all the other expansions that have been released up to this point, I believe this is the weakest small box expansion by far and would only recommend it to someone who wants to have all the expansions. It really suffers from dilution in a game with all expansions and has lots of "fiddly" bookkeeping issues with it. I definitely do not recommend it for you first expansion.
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3. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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DH is the first "big box" expansion that actually adds another board to the game for the investigators to have to keep track of. It has some unstable locations that can have gates and the monsters can quickly become a problem in the village.

As far as I can tell, this seems to be the overwhelming favorite expansion for a majority of players and I agree (feel free to comment if you feel differently). If you asked me what 1 expansion to buy, if you could only get 1, I'd say this one.

It has many features. It makes the game harder to win if you find yourself winning too easily with more gates, introduces gate bursts (sealed gates can re-open with a special Mythos card), and adds the Injury/Madness cards (draw one instead of losing items when losing all stamina or sanity). The Injury/Madness cards are an element that is used by some as part of their game even when not using the extra town board. The Ancient Ones are more difficult, in my opinion. It also was the first expansion to add some "corruption" elements to the game in the form of encounters that allow you to gain something at the risk or something else, including your soul. It is also the only expansion that you could, conceivably, play by itself (with the components from the base game, that is) with a little fiddling. Someone on the site has a variant for this, I think, if someone wants to put up the link.

I don't see it suffering as much from dilution in a game with all expansions because it seems to mix in well. Some games no trouble from Dunwich; others it is hopping with action. And those unstable locations can open a gate at just the wrong time and wake the Ancient One.

This is the only expansion that I would list as a "must have" for the set and I find it difficult to want to play without it.
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4. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.63 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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This is the second small box expansion. It introduced the optional use of a "Herald" and has one of my favorite Heralds.

Not only does this contain more cards with a "King in Yellow" theme for encounters, items, Mythos, etc. but introduces some variant mechanics:

Next Act Begins cards. If you reach Act III you automatically lose. Acts I and II can be stalled by adding doom tokens (Act I) or removing a seal on a gate (Act II).

Blight cards. Place a yellow sign marker and draw a blight card that represents one or more townspeople going insane as things in town worsen. These are for use with the Herald, but I have used them on their own without a Herald as well to make the game more difficult. Blight cards, in my opinion, make the game much more difficult, but interesting.

The Act cards suffer greatly from dilution the more expansions you use. I leave them in because I like that extra random element of the game ending out of nowhere. I usually don't pay the price for the Acts; I just hope three don't come up in the course of a game.
 
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5. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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The 2nd big box expansion. It adds another town board of all stable locations. At least one investigator will probably have to be stationed in the town as you need to investigate locations there to hold off Rifts or to remove Rifts fromt the board. Rift markers get placed based on the monster movement symbols of the Mythos card and when there are enough, a rift token is placed on the board and starts spitting out monsters and possibly adding doom tokens until removed. I find this does add difficulty to the game, but adds very little to the theme for me (other than the general "we're screwed" theme).

Elements it adds that can be used without the town board:

Guardians, which are "good" entities that can be added to assist the investigators.

Epic Battle Cards adding difficulty and some variance in Ancient One battles.

Aquatic monsters and locations.

I find the aquatic monsters don't come into play and don't use the Guardians. Since our group considers the Ancient One awakening a loss, we don't use Epic Battle cards either. Added to the fact that the Rifts add more bookkeeping and less theme, this is the weakest big box expansion to me and the only one I have considered removing from my mega-game (all expansions). Only my desire to "use everything" has kept me from doing it so far. This does not get a recommendation from me except for those who want everything or want the Epic Battle or Guardian elements to add to their game.
 
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6. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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The most recent expansion, this little box is all about Shub-Niggorath. It basically adds some hexagon monsters and a few theme based cards like the other small expansions.

The possibility to join "The Cult of the Thousand Young" is interesting, with its accompanying green and red corruption cards, but this expansion suffers from dilution in the mega game (not very many chances to join the Cult in all those Arkham location cards). Not to mention the penalties can be very harsh to joining, making one wonder how anyone other than the curious are going to want to use the mechanic at all.

This is much fun to play as the only expansion to the game, however. Lots more chances to join the Cult and a very difficult game to win with lots of specific thematic elements.
 
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7. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:237] [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Ed Browne
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The Mega-Game

Here is a place to comment on how many expansions you like to use and what suggestions you might have about dilution issues.

I use everything except Guardians and Epic Battle cards (because we see waking the Ancient One as a loss to make us concentrate on closing gates instead of beefing up). I add blight cards if the mood suits me.

One thing I do for variety is to not shuffle any decks unless I have to search the deck (items, spells, etc.) or its reshuffle event card comes up (Other World Encounters and Mythos Cards). I've been on the fence for a while about taking out Kingsport and CotDP (in that order), but haven't yet.
 
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8. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:3260]
Ed Browne
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What's Next?

I used the old game photo because I played it and am still a big fan. But this area is to comment on what you would like to see done, if anything. There have been rumors for a while about a possible Innsmouth expansion (maybe why they added aquatic monsters?) with another town board. I'll buy it, but it'll be difficult for me to play with everything at that point, I think.

What I would like to see is an "upgrade" kit similar to what FFG did for Talisman. Since each expansion has been made so you didn't have to have all the others to play, dilution is a major issue. What about publishing a kit that would equalize elements just for those who want to use everything? A bunch of King in Yellow Act cards. A couple more elder signs. Changing the Woods, Black Cave, and Unvisited Isle to have a way to pay a price to automatically join the Cult of a Thousand Young. They could even make suggestions on taking out some items and/or spells or copies of them.

You include some plastic figures of the investigators and it'll sell like hotcakes if you ask me. Just for the figures if nothing else.

Any other ideas? Do you really want another big box expansion? Any suggestions for those playing the mega-game? Put your comments here for everyone to see!
 
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9. Board Game: Outside the Scope of BGG [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:2540]
Mike Young
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I have used the Strange Eons http://www.sfu.ca/~cjenning/eons/index.html editor to create a number of cards, including one game where we all played ourselves as investigators.

It is a wonderful tool to make custom expansions.
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