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Subject: Arkham Expansions vs Eldritch Horror rss

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John C
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Greetings fellow gamers.

I am new here and to the forums. Been lurking for a while. Pretty excited about now being able to connect with fellow gamers.

My wife bought Arkham Horror for me for Christmas. When I first saw the box, I was worried. I have been hinting at getting a D&D Board Game (Ravenloft) or the Pathfinder Card Game as fantasy is really my normal RPG theme.

Those worries were quickly put to rest when we sat down and played for the first time. We both fell madly in love with the game. More so than any other game we have ever played. So much so, that we have played every night and haven't gotten tired of it yet and don't expect to any time soon. I even got the Dunwich Horror Expansion a couple of days ago, and we are even more in love with the game now as the expansion has added so much to the game.

You have to understand, my background is in psychology and occult lore (topics I live and die for) and I love taking on the role of a game leader in traditional RPGS (storyteller, dungeon master, keeper, whatever you want to call it). This board game has given me the chance to actually be able to play and enjoy the game world – with which I have a rich imagination for.

I've been pondering getting one of the smaller expansions for the game to keep building "the world" for us to play in.

The problem:vI'm starting to hear about Eldritch Horror.....mostly really good things. So I'm at a crossroads now.

What we both love about Arkham is the normally cooperative game-play, the events/encounters, the item cards (especially spell cards) and the general theme and atmosphere. I'm just wondering right now, if I would be better off getting Eldritch Horror or moving ahead with a new expansion for Arkham?

I tried Elder Sign and it was a disaster! I hated every minute of it and am seriously considering taking it back and getting my money back. Compared to Arkham, it just lacked in so many ways for me. My wife was a little more appreciative of it. I, however, don't want another experience like that and I would not recommend that game to anyone. Ever. Just my humble opinion.

So, what advice do my fellow gamers have for me? Keep moving along with the Arkham expansions or grab Eldritch Horror and give it a whirl?

Thanks in advance!
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Mike Em
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Hello, and welcome to BGG,

Fantasy Flight have done a really great job with all their Mythos games so I think you are in for good times, no matter which way you go.

I really enjoy having the expansions for Arkham Horror, but a mega game isn't really the best application for them, so if you have enough time to play multiple games of Arkham horror, and can mix a few expansions in each time then you are set for a long time.

Eldritch Horror offers a tighter, quicker experience. I just opened it yesterday and was happy to find there is a really strong narrative feeling in the cards, that in some cases is even stronger then Arkham. It has impressed me so far so I think based on the reasons you enjoy Arkham, you will enjoy it as well.

As far as Elder sign goes, take your time with it, and come back to it later on. I kind of view Elder Sign as an extreme close-up of specific story in the museum, while Arkham Horror covers the city of Arkham, and Eldritch zooms out to a global setting.
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marcusnc
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I'm in love with Eldritch Horror and have been playing it non stop for a month or so, but I would NEVER get rid of Arkham Horror (I have all expansions). Although they have a lot of similarities, they are still different games. One isn't better than the other and in my opinion EH will never replace AH for good.

My suggestion: have both games and enjoy the heck out of them.
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Jon Phillips
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Based on how how you love Arkham I would say keep digging in, get more expansions as time goes on and also add Eldritch Horror to your collection. I have played EH a couple times now and it is definitely more streamlined and accessible but that just makes it different. I personally like the complexity of Arkham (I own every expansion made for it)and it sounds like you do to.

I also bought Elder Sign and I can tell you that I enjoy playing it on my tablet more than the board game. Much easier set up.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Based on how much it sounds like you love AH, I'd say skip EH and stick with AH for a while. Once you feel burned out on it (which happens after a few expansions), then consider getting EH. I feel AH is a better game than EH, though EH has a different enough feel that it's enjoyable.

-shnar
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Michael F
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It sounds like you appreciate Arkham Horror for the same reasons I do, which is why I would probably stick with it rather than get Eldritch Horror.

EH is still a good game, but they gutted a lot of the atmosphere out of it. It feels more like a game than an experience. The event cards feel really random and not connected at all. After I had seen them more than once, I just started scanning through them..."Okay, so I check lore, and if I fail I lose 1 sanity. Great, guess I'll roll..."...not even caring what the flavor text did to add to the story. There have been a couple of games where a neat story was concocted based on the cards that came up (For instance, I pretty much recreated the story of the Dunwich Horror on one occasion...it was pretty awesome), but this is very atypical of EH. Arkham just felt more thematic to me.

Now I will say this in EH's defense: It plays better with two than AH does. Unless you play with multiple investigators, playing AH with two almost guarantees that you'll be facing the Great Old One you're playing against...so trying to go for other paths to victory usually won't work that well. Not only that, but there's less setup and takedown time, which, as you'll discover if you buy the expansions, grows exponentially with AH. Plus, there are encounter cards specific to each of the Great Old Ones, though most do the same things, mechanically speaking.

On the whole, however, I enjoy Arkham more than Eldritch, but I seem to be in the minority on that. I kind of wish I would have stopped after buying the big box expansions for AH, because now it's a pain to bring it all to the table and store it. It's still my favorite game though, and I still look forward to playing it on every occasion. I'd say that if you're enjoying AH and want more, go for the expansions. Just realize that the expansions add extra layers of mechanics to implement (Not that you have to do them all at once).

EDIT: Also, if you want an experience closer to D&D, you might look into Mansions of Madness.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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I would get Eldritch. Personally, I like it better, as it is more streamlined, and tells a more cohesive story (mostly because of the GOO-specific encounter decks and mysteries). It is also more tense, throughout the game. And I love the condition cards. They contribute so much to the story. You may not agree, but I would definitely either buy Eldritch, or try it some other way, before buying more expansions for Arkham. Unlike Elder Sign (which I hate), Eldritch is basically the same game as Arkham, and if I were you I would want to know which game I like better and would want to spend more money on (Eldritch will get expansions too, it's FFG, after all), unless you know you will eventually get everything for both, like me. In that case I would probably buy Arkham expansions first, just in case they go out of print.
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Frank Franco
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Arkham horror is your hot MILF. Demanding, needy, but has lots and lots of experiences she has left to show you. Your relationship with her has only just started.
But what's this? Along has come the younger, skinner eldrich horror. More modern and easier to deal with, has less experience but more will come with time.
So which do you choose to be with?

I say marry both. If Abraham could marry multiple games then so can you. Spread the love.

And when threesomes are getting boring and your ready for a full on orgy, get Mansions of Madness.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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A lot of people are saying EH tells a more "cohesive story" but I haven't experienced that yet in my games. There is kind of a goal now with the Mysteries, but all the encounters are still random just like in AH. Other World encounters are even more frustrating since it requires multiple tests and more often than not failing to close a gate. And since the gate encounters are completely random, you can strategize which investigator to send, it's just a random crapshoot. Even the GOO-specific-research-encounters don't seem to be very cohesive. They just allude to the GOO in play.

So far (about half a dozen games), it feels more random than AH. Might be because the encounters are 'across the world' and so there's no 'city' atmosphere like in AH (i.e. even though random, since they were all in the same city, it felt similar). Even the mythos cards are still random. If one area they should have added general cohesion to the game it's the Mythos cards. But nope, just as random as ever...

-shnar
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M.C.Crispy
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shnar wrote:
A lot of people are saying EH tells a more "cohesive story" but I haven't experienced that yet in my games. There is kind of a goal now with the Mysteries, but all the encounters are still random just like in AH. Other World encounters are even more frustrating since it requires multiple tests and more often than not failing to close a gate. And since the gate encounters are completely random, you can strategize which investigator to send, it's just a random crapshoot. Even the GOO-specific-research-encounters don't seem to be very cohesive. They just allude to the GOO in play.

So far (about half a dozen games), it feels more random than AH. Might be because the encounters are 'across the world' and so there's no 'city' atmosphere like in AH (i.e. even though random, since they were all in the same city, it felt similar). Even the mythos cards are still random. If one area they should have added general cohesion to the game it's the Mythos cards. But nope, just as random as ever...

-shnar
This is not far off my own sentiment. The mysteries are no such thing, they are quests or tasks and they are not linked in any way other than in their relationship to the AO (so there's theme, which is a good thing, but not "cohesive story").

I have grown weary of the "oh look, roll a single die or unpredictable bad stuff happens" random encounters. Inevitably with complex encounters its pass stage one, fail the Pass effect or fail stage one and pass the Fail effect, because one or other of them comes down to a single (unpredictable) dice roll. It's not about difficulty, it's about that uneasy feeling when I win that I did so 'cos today the dice were with me rather than because my skill has won through.

Still, I am invested in the game (as much as anyone here I suspect) and enjoy playing it - just not as much as I do Arkham Horror.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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shnar wrote:
A lot of people are saying EH tells a more "cohesive story" but I haven't experienced that yet in my games.


Maybe it's not more cohesive, because the research encounters and mysteries doesn't really replace encounters in Arkham, they replace clue collection and gate sealing, which doesn't lack "cohesiveness", I guess. The research encounters make the clues feel less generic and abstract, though, and both mysteries and research encounters make each GOO feel less generic, as well. In Eldritch, I feel like I'm up against Shub-Niggurath, in Arkham I feel like I'm up against a GOO with slightly different stats than the last game. In the expansions, you have heralds, of course, which I guess is an afterthought they came up with after two expansions. In EH, they gave each GOO some personality, instead.
 
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Frank Franco
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I'm not sure what you two grumpy bums want. Maybe the next iteration ("Cthulu horror") will come with a midget in the box who can put the story together for you?
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Eh, I'm not saying I don't like the game, just that what some are saying is great compared to AH I'm not seeing. They're both about the same, with minor differences in enjoyment.

-shnar
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M.C.Crispy
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
I'm not sure what you two grumpy bums want. Maybe the next iteration ("Cthulu horror") will come with a midget in the box who can put the story together for you?
Assuming that you're being rude to me, let me respond. I'm not looking for anything more from EH, it is what it is. I'm not complaining that things aren't better than they are, I'm merely commenting on things about the game that make it a lesser game than AH for me, in the spirit of an open discussion.

I don't need the game to tell the story for me, I'm quite capable of doing that for myself, which is why I prefer AH to EH, it leaves more space for my story. It's not that EH has a more cohesive story, it's more like I feel that I'm on rails instead. I'm happy to play EH, I'm happier to play AH.
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Frank Franco
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mccrispy wrote:
Assuming that you're being rude to me, let me respond.


If a bit of light ribbing has you so offended I suggest putting me on your ignore list.
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M.C.Crispy
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
mccrispy wrote:
Assuming that you're being rude to me, let me respond.


If a bit of light ribbing has you so offended I suggest putting me on your ignore list.
Ever the defense of the rude: "I was just ribbing you". Of course, I should have spotted it was humour
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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You'll get used to Frank real quick around here

-shnar
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John C
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So, first let me say that I'm amazed at the number of responses I got in such a short period of time. That's pretty awesome. Normally when I post to a forum somewhere I get lucky if I get one or two responses. So I was a little surprised to log in and see so many.

Second, thank you to everyone that responded. Everyone has given me some valuable insights. Some in a very humorous way, others more straightforward, but all valuable to me.

Finally, I believe I will keep up with the Arkham expansions for now. In a month or two I will pick up EH. Also, to those who recommended I give Elder Sign another try - I'm sure I can muster up the sanity to do so.......... but it may require all my stamina to do.
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reaching out from the in-between spaces...
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I just recently played FFP's Fortune and Glory, an Indiana Jones globe trotting adventure. I was brought there after playing A Touch of Evil, FFP's answer to AH that takes place in a Sleepy Hollow type town.

I also recently played EH, and had that same feeling that I had in FanG, that it felt less personal than the games that took place in a town.

Moving around Arkham, visiting all the locations is, for me, really cool and fitting with a Horror theme. Visiting a space named London (in EH), just makes for a less personal experience, for me.

Weird.

Wait on EH. Like AH, it first needs an expansion to take off. The GOO's don't have enough research cards (to gain a clue, you need to draw and resolve a research card). You will see the same research cards multiple times in one game which creates a samey feel. I found my self card counting.


Jorune
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Richard
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I've made it through five AH games in the last two years. I've played seven games of EH in the past week. I just went through AH to try it again and made it a few steps and put everything back in.

I love the town theme of AH but everything else? No thanks. If FFG would like to make an Eldritch-mod to AH whereby they clean up the rules to EH-level, I would gladly play again but until then AH will be collecting dust, most likely forever.

Even the scale, which I thought was the weakest part of EH until I played, I love. I am enthralled by the globe-trotting scale of EH and even find it makes more sense with the board game. I love how they wrote the adventure text in such a way that you truly can read it aloud and do the test then find out the consequences. I love how the game is not just "close gates" but complete the mysteries and I love how each AO feels unique. EH, to me, added a lot of character while removing unneeded bits and rule-bloat, an amazing feat.
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Bob T
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I think you'd like Eldritch a lot better than Elder Sign, but since you hated Elder Sign I think you should stick with Arkham. Eldritch lies somewhere inbetween AH and ES. I love all three games, but Arkham is still the core game for me. Elder Sign could never replace AH, but it was never meant to; I don't think EH is meant to replace it either... although it comes a lot closer. The Encounters are really good, but the game is more about strategy and completing tasks, very similar to Pandemic.

I'd stick with Arkham for a while if I were you- Eldritch is a different gaming experience. I envy anyone who's starting out on the Arkham Horror journey- there's a whole lot of awesomeness ahead!

I'd also stick to one expansion at a time. It's best to treat each Expansion as a totally separate scenario (except for "Miskatonic" which expands the expansions, and "Lurker at the Threshold" which was designed to work with the others) and not mix all 8 together into one gigantic mega-game. That way you have several different variants on the game to choose from and it never gets stale. The small-box expansions are dirt cheap nowadays- try "The King In Yellow" to really mess up your day!

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Jack Smith
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You know you will end up getting both..you know it, we know it, your wallet knows it

I've been playing AH for several years now, on and off, and it was fun but nothing amazing. Last month I got the Dunwich Horror expansion and it added a lot more real decision making to the game and removed the flat parts which often occurred in the base AH game. We have played it about 6 times already which is a lot for us but we have been having a great time. Some very tense moments and feeling of accomplishment when our plans work. The dismay when they do not. Just like the Mythos.

I have looked at EH but something tells me it is lacking. However that is just a feel and I may well be wrong. I suspect both are as good as each other, just in different ways. I am not sold at all on those who say one is better than the other or EH replaces AH. It will depend on what a person wishes to get out of a game so for some that will be true but for others, like me, I'll probably end up playing both.
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Thoth Amon wrote:
Eldritch lies somewhere inbetween AH and ES.


I just had to say how much I disagree with this. AH and EH have a lot in common (they are basically variants of the same game), but they have nothing in common with ES, except for the theme. And thematically it's AH that lies between ES and EH, since it's set in a town (which is somewhere between a museum and the earth in size).
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chris thatcher
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I have Arkham and all expansions, ive looked at Eldritch but ultimately decided to stick to Arkham. If i want another adventure type game id go for Fortune and Glory or one of the newer games coming out soon.

One thing i would say about Arkham is get a storage solution. I have a large wine box that i just open and play straight from (cards are divided, plano boxes for counters), this makes it much easier to just play and not spend ages setting up etc.

Eldritch will also end up with loads of expansions (its Ffg after all) and will also become bloated with many rules additions. In my mind i would say if you have invested in Arkham stick with it, Eldritch is not that different, and if you then want another adventure game, there are a few out there now that atleast offer a different theme and implementation. Unless obviously you have unlimited money/shelf space.
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Halfinger wrote:
I have looked at EH but something tells me it is lacking. However that is just a feel and I may well be wrong.

Trust your feelings...

-shnar
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