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Subject: Too easy rss

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Hogne Skjærshamn
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We've been playing a few games now with my group (usually 3-5 players), and we've won most of our games (lost a couple in the beginning), and I'm starting to think that it may be just a tad too easy. All games have been us roaming around, closing the gates we could, until we're close to the ancient one awakening. Then we just spend 2-3 rounds to buy blessings, skills and allies, and then we'll fight the ancient one head on, and we'll usually win by a large margin.

Our last game, Ithaqua was the ancient one, and he didn't stand a chance during the final fight. He could probably have had four times the amount of health without it being much harder.

I don't think we're doing it wrong either, I don't find the rules complicated (there's just a lot of them), and I've looked through some "common mistakes" threads, and can't say we've done a lot of them (nothing important, anyway).

I also think it can be a bit boring after awhile, nothing special happens, and we'll just do the same thing over and over.

What I'm wondering, are there any expansions that adds some excitement during the game, as well as ramp up the difficulty?
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Gary Tanner
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Oooh, ooh, I get to be the first one to post and say "You're probably doing something wrong".

Sorry, it's the standard response here.

If you're doing everything right, and it's too easy, one of the big box expansions may help a bit. Innsmouth Horror would be my recommendation, because then you're fighting against the regular set, plus dealing with the deep ones rising track, which can make for a short game if you let it get out of control.
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Jiří Petruželka
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While waiting for the delivery of an expansion you can try some of the official house rules: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Arkham_Horror/...
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Bobby Ramsey
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BuddyDacote wrote:
...Then we just spend 2-3 rounds to buy blessings, skills and allies, and then we'll fight the ancient one head on, and we'll usually win by a large margin.


Many consider this a tie, rather than a victory. Especially with just the base game.
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Paul S
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Whilst agreeing with the replies above, I'd add: the consensus seems to be that winning by defeating the GOO in the final fight is a "draw" - if you always aim for gate closing, you'll find it's a much tougher game, I think.

Edit Bobby ninja'd!
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Krawhitham B
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The base game can be quite easy once you have figured out which gate locations are the most frequent and also you know which locations are most likely to yield an easier encounter.

What you have to accept with Arkham is that it is a thematic experience and you need to enjoy the story that unfolds. I will suggest which expansions make the game harder, but first I will suggest ways to do so for free

Explore the board. Have encounters where you don't normally do so. Do you farm the curiosity shop for elder signs? Why not have an encounter there instead?

Combine the powers of Ancient Ones, e.g. Make it so you also need to use 8 clue tokens to seal a gate while Ithaqua is in play (as well as his normal power).

Try to win by sealing 6 gates, instead of fighting the Ancient One. If you spend all game stockpiling trophies, weapons and clue tokens for the final battle then it will be easy. If, however, you have been consuming your precious resources in an attempt to stop the evil from awakening then you will find it much tougher if the final battle does end up happening.

So, now onto the big box expansions:

Each big box expansion adds a new board, new investigators and new Ancient One's. As well as new items and encounters.

Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion is generally considered the hardest expansion. The new Ancient Ones are much harder to fight and the locations on the new board can be brutal.

Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion is often said to be the best expansion to get first, because it adds a little of everything to the mix.

Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion makes changes to the way the final battle works.

Arkham Horror: Miskatonic Horror Expansion is an "expansion" expansion, so hopefully it is obvious not to get this one first.

Then there are the small box expansions. These will generally just add 'flavour' to your game, with new elements to throw in, along with new encounters and items. I won't go through each one, but just be aware that Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion has a version 2.0 Arkham Horror: The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion (Revised Edition), just in case there are a few copies of version 1 still floating around.

Check out http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Expansion for more details on each expansion.
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Gary Tanner
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Krawhitham wrote:
The base game can be quite easy once you have figured out which gate locations are the most frequent and also you know which locations are most likely to yield an easier encounter.

What you have to accept with Arkham is that it is a thematic experience and you need to enjoy the story that unfolds. I will suggest which expansions make the game harder, but first I will suggest ways to do so for free

Explore the board. Have encounters where you don't normally do so. Do you farm the curiosity shop for elder signs? Why not have an encounter there instead?


Well put. I tend to play Arkham Horror as a semi-roleplaying experience. Because of that approach, I've never played it as a game to maximize every move. I'll try to win, but the journey is my source of fun in it, and finding new encounters, etc, not so much the victory.
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D B
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Free ways of making the game harder without changing how you play to arbitrarily make it harder:

Difficulty Level:

This is actually a card included in one of the small box expansions (The Black Goat of the Woods), but you can just follow the rules...you don't actually need the card.

http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/Difficulty_level

Heralds:

You can try out the Herald mechanic, which are like mini-Ancient Ones that make the game harder, by downloading the free one (that also comes with the Revised Curse of the Dark Pharoah expansion). You won't get the full experience, because you need the expansion to be hit by a couple of his effects, but

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Arkham_Horror/...

You'll need to make a homemade version of the Dark Pharoah monster, or just figure out a method to know you drew it from the monster cup instead of a different monster, hopefully without damaging a different monster (If not using Nyarlathotep...just put a single mask monster in and count that as the Dark Pharoah, but if you use Nyarlathotep the fight against him is harder and the Dark Pharoah's Mask monster modifier makes it a bit harder too).

http://www.arkhamhorrorwiki.com/The_Dark_Pharoah

House Rules:

Also look through the house rules, find more things to make things more difficult.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Arkham_Horror/...

---

I'm not one who thinks defeating in the Final Battle means a tie/draw, it's one of the possible winning scenarios, after all. However, make sure you've won against Azathoth at least once or twice, just to be sure you're capable of winning outside the Final Battle.

Ithaqua's one of the easier Ancient Ones, apparently, so perhaps go after Yog-Sothoth, Cthulhu, or Hastur if you haven't already.

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/346551/goo-order-easiest-to-...

I've heard the King in Yellow expansion (small expansion) makes things harder, and it's not as big of an investment as the big box expansions.
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Alvin C
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With just the base game, I would also consider killing the Great Old One directly a 'soft win' or a 'draw'.

However, fighting against the expansion GOOs with the Kingsport final combat cards... I consider that a win as well.
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Adding my vote to the "draw" pile.

AH is a heavily thematic game that you may find far more rewarding (not least more difficult) if you play that the final combat is a last resort rather than a winning strategy. Besides, some GOOs will be unstoppable even if tooled up to the max.
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M.C.Crispy
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Final Battle outcome is very dependent on the Investigator count (easier with fewer, harder with more) as is the ease of winning through Seals (but the reverse trend compared to FB). I think this shows how brilliant the design is: the game changes with Investigator count to provide alternate victory conditions as game dynamics are affected. Personally, I prefer to abandon the game as a loss if the AO wakes up, but it's a Variant to do so. I would prefer it if we didn't have the "real Arkhamites don't call FB a win" bigotry, because it's a win by the rules and playing otherwise is a Variant. Real Arkhamites embrace the variety that is in this wonderful game and get the most out of their investment any way they chose, without judgement or prejudice (actually, that last bit might not be entirely in the spirit of HPL, but you get my point).
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soak man
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If you find yourself fighting the AO (and that's how you like to win), I'd suggest getting the boxed expansion with the epic battle cards.

They make the final fights MUCH harder. And additionally, you might want to try getting some other expansions for more difficult AO's.

Ithaqua is VERY easy. Try Chaugr Faugn (or however it is spelled).
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M.C.Crispy
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soakman wrote:
If you find yourself fighting the AO (and that's how you like to win), I'd suggest getting the boxed expansion with the epic battle cards.

They make the final fights MUCH harder. And additionally, you might want to try getting some other expansions for more difficult AO's.

Ithaqua is VERY easy. Try Chaugr Faugn (or however it is spelled).
Nice points. Innsmouth has some of the most crunchy AOs in the game. Really. Hard.
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Hogne Skjærshamn
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I'll consider getting some of the harder expansions then. It's not that I don't like to play it as a light RPG, but I think that since it's a board game, it should also provide a challenge through pure gameplay mechanics. After all, there is a CoC rpg out there.

I've also never thought about defeating the GOO in combat as a draw, that sounds like a good idea. I'll keep it in mind the next time we play.
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Alexander Mercer
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Base game Arkham Horror is relatively easy once you've grasped it.
Most of the expansions do up the difficulty though. The epic Battle Cards, Heralds, Personal Stories and other bit all add to the difficulties (I love completing Personal Stories, while acknowledging their primary point is to distract you from advancing the main objective).
Innsmouth seems to add most difficulty.

Also by thinking in character terms I tend to discard the idea of win/lose/draw (and I've never bothered with the points system). If the GOO awakens, Arkham, if not the World are pretty screwed up, you've halted the apocalypse mid-way instead of preventing it all together. Humanity will probably never recover, but at least survives.
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Jason Sherlock
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Just get the Kingsport expansion. Final fights cease to be a cakewalk.
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Krawhitham B
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jackalope wrote:
Just get the Kingsport expansion. Final fights cease to be a cakewalk.


I don't have Kingsport, but it feels like the Innsmouth board is more 'interesting' than Kingsport. Plus the Innsmouth Ancient Ones are tough too.

I'm not entirely disagreeing, but my opinion is that it is better to make the main game harder, rather than focus on the final battle.
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Bob T
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Well, gearing up all game for the Final Battle is one of the main strategies that works...but it makes for a pretty lame adventure. Try Azathoth- there's no Final Battle, you have to close/seal Gates.

There's practically no final battle for most AOs from Kingsport or expecially Innsmouth. You really don't want Chaugnar Faugn or Eihort to wake up...and the final "battle" against Quachil-Uttaus is basically just a cruel joke...
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Bern Harkins
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Another problem with the "gearing up" strategy is that it leads to longer games...with the base set, sometimes MUCH longer. My group seldom sees a three hour game; two and a half is typical. Sealing strategy leads to faster decisions, and more exciting games.
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soak man
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I REALLY want to know what you guys are doing differently than I am. Most of my AH games (played with 2-3 players and 4 or 5 investigators depending on number of expansion boards) last anywhere from 5-8 hours.

We do, at the beginning of the game, read each investigator story and PS to set the tone. And then during encounters we also read these out loud.

We have alwasy played without bidiretional trading (meaning the trader can give but can't receive).

But I can't believe that these things add 3-5 hours onto play time. LOL.

Sorry if this is off-topic. Maybe it's because we use most of the cards from all the expansions as well?
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Bern Harkins
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We don't read any of the color text from the characters or personal stories, although we do discuss the mechanics of special powers and pass/fails. Encounters are always out loud, read by the player to your left.We use all small investigator cards from all expansions.

Part of it is that we have played more than a hundred games of Arkham together, but that can't be all of it, sine we have only had three games go over five hours.

Our storage system is sets of ziplock bags, stored in larger ziplocks according to when they are used (every game, or only with certain AO's, heralds or guardians). Working together, the four of us get the game set up and broken down in under 10 minutes.

We rarely plan to defeat the AO in final combat, and sometimes just call the game if he awakens (depending on how hopeless our situation is).

We discuss strategy in terms of "What are you planning on doing?", or "Shouldn't somebody get to such and such?", but very seldom "You should do this!" As a result, we are strategizing separately, rather than the whole team going over every single move.

Other than that, I just don't know. Out games do not feel rushed; there is plenty of time for discussion, laugher and snacks. We have about a two thirds win rate.

Any differences in approach you can see?
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Bern Harkins
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Oh, I should perhaps mention that we are maniacs, racing around like... well, like the world is ending. Very little time is spent at the Asylum or Hospital; investigators are pushed until they drop (most of the time) and multiple injuries and madnesses are common. Being devoured in the service of humanity is a badge of honor, and we seldom retire... only when some combinations of I&M's makes a character unusually ineffective. Other than that, full speed ahead...

"End of the World, Babies!"
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Gary Tanner
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My longest game was about 8 hours. Most of the time, it takes between 3-5 hours (depending on how quickly things get out of hand). But the groups I've played with also chat a lot during the games.
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We have played with up to 7 players and have never taken more than 5 hours with that number. With our currently typical 5 players it's more like 3 - 3.5 hours. We do read all the flavour text out loud on everything (apart from the reverse of the Investigator card). We discuss tactics at each Upkeep phase too. I try to keep the game moving along with a little chivvying, but generally we're there for the ride so we take the time to enjoy the view with lots of table talk and humour. We always play for a Seals victory and immediately call it a loss if the AO wakes. Our strategy is to focus on the Seal and avoid distractions doing what's necessary to ensure nothing gets in the way of progress toward the goal.

But when all said and done, I don't know what we do different, 'cos I haven't seen you play and don't know the detail of your play.
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Krawhitham B
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soakman wrote:
I REALLY want to know what you guys are doing differently than I am. Most of my AH games (played with 2-3 players and 4 or 5 investigators depending on number of expansion boards) last anywhere from 5-8 hours.

We do, at the beginning of the game, read each investigator story and PS to set the tone. And then during encounters we also read these out loud.

We have alwasy played without bidiretional trading (meaning the trader can give but can't receive).

But I can't believe that these things add 3-5 hours onto play time. LOL.

Sorry if this is off-topic. Maybe it's because we use most of the cards from all the expansions as well?


Well, as long as you are having fun...

I am curious as to why you don't do bi-directional trading. It is allowed in the rules.

How many mythos cards do you get through in a game?
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