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Subject: Game weight - Is this really a heavy game? rss

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Andi Hub
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Yesterday I played my first game of Eldritch Horror. While it is not really my type of game, because of the amount of outcome randomness, I was surprised that this game has currently an average game weight of 3.2. Put differently, more people think this is a heavy game than people thinking EH to be light. I think this is a light game, but I am interested to hear some opinions why I am "wrong" and EH is actually a heavy game.

Why I think EH is a light game: The game gives you tasks to complete, which are pretty straight forward (to close a gate, encounter the gate). Maybe you decide to level up a little bit first. But I have the impression that in the end these decisions are less important, since if you are successful depends so much more on the dice rolls. I even think that Pandemic is (a little bit) heavier, since you know the effect of your actions and hence can plan better (although mechanics are much simpler). In my game of EH, it was more like "Yeah, you could try to do that. We'll see how it turns out." So you cannot really plan that much ahead and rather just play along. That is a light game to me.

Why I think EH may be seen as a heavy game:
- Long play time.
- Difficulty. EH is hard. We failed pretty miserably.
- A lot of components and mechanisms.
While I agree on all of these points, I do not think that these make the game heavy in the way that I have to really think about my decisions what to do next. Even all the different effects on the cards did not increase complexity in my opinion.

Am I wrong? Do the cards offer a complexity that I could not see? Does a veteran player recognize that getting the clue in Sydney (or rather the attempt to do so) is much better than closing the gate in Shanghai?
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Chris J Davis
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ringo84 wrote:


Why I think EH may be seen as a heavy game:
- Long play time.
- Difficulty. EH is hard. We failed pretty miserably.
- A lot of components and mechanisms.


I agree with this assessment. I don't think EH is a particularly heavy game.

Saying that, my rating was a "3" (medium weight), which would tally up to it's current average weight.
 
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Rayne Smith
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I actually rated the weight of this game at medium. Maybe my scale is a bit different from yours, but I only give a light weight rating to the lightest weight games (such as Love Letter). Most games I rate as light are typically gateway type games.
 
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Daniel Honig
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Agreed. It's pretty solidly a medium-weight game, probably actually a bit lighter but it feels heavier than it is.
 
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Ben E
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I'd say 3 would be a pretty fair assessment of weight to be honest. It's pretty middle of the road. It's not a light easy game that anyone can jump into straight away (LoveLetter) and it's not a game that is almost completely inaccessible to new players and requires everyone to have pre-read the rulebook (Here I stand I'm looking at you).

Ultimately it depends on where you place your 1 and your 5 as to where EH falls. Also it depends on your cognitive ability to grasp different aspects of games. Different people find the same games heavier or lighter depending on a myriad of factors.
 
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James Boyd
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Andarel wrote:
Agreed. It's pretty solidly a medium-weight game, probably actually a bit lighter but it feels heavier than it is.


+1
 
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Øivind Karlsrud
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Aren't you confusing "weight" with "depth"? This isn't a very deep game, but for most non-gamers it is a rules-heavy game. I think you can play this with casual gamers, but only because you can explain rules as you go along. They would have major problems learning it alone. In that sense, it's not a light game.
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Andi Hub
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oivind22 wrote:
Aren't you confusing "weight" with "depth"? This isn't a very deep game, but for most non-gamers it is a rules-heavy game. I think you can play this with casual gamers, but only because you can explain rules as you go along. They would have major problems learning it alone. In that sense, it's not a light game.

Maybe I do. For most games I would consider "deep" and "heavy" not to be much different. As a rule of thumb for assessing game weight, how much thinking (and even exhaustion) is involved in playing the game well. This may come from complex rules, but this was not the case in EH. But I was not the guy running the game (leading through all the phases and reading the Mythos cards). So the game might be more demanding, when you have to make sure that everyone follows the rules.
 
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Damean Rendell
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Quote:
Difficulty. EH is hard. We failed pretty miserably.


Maybe because of this

Quote:
The game gives you tasks to complete, which are pretty straight forward (to close a gate, encounter the gate). Maybe you decide to level up a little bit first. But I have the impression that in the end these decisions are less important, since if you are successful depends so much more on the dice rolls. I even think that Pandemic is (a little bit) heavier, since you know the effect of your actions and hence can plan better (although mechanics are much simpler). In my game of EH, it was more like "Yeah, you could try to do that. We'll see how it turns out." So you cannot really plan that much ahead and rather just play along.
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aurelian
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I suspect many people give it a medium or even heavy weighting to reflect its relative complexity of rules and the number of things you have to remember during play. I'd agree that based strictly on difficulty of choices and potential for brain-burn this is a light game - the best choices for play are usually obvious each turn. In a way that;s why it's so good as a multi-player solo game - the decisions aren't too taxing (though not trivial either) so you can enjoy the story as it unfolds. Personally I mix up complexity and depth when assessing games and would say EH is medium weight, but can see the OP's point of view.
 
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Rob Wrigley
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A couple of thoughts:

Dice doesn't equal Random
Dice = Probability

The way you improve your play is to learn the probabilities, and find ways to adjust them in your favor consistently through-out the course of the game.

Which is why:
Quote:
The game gives you tasks to complete, which are pretty straight forward (to close a gate, encounter the gate). Maybe you decide to level up a little bit first. But I have the impression that in the end these decisions are less important, since if you are successful depends so much more on the dice rolls.


You are experiencing EHDDS. Eldritch Horror Dispair/Derangement Syndrome. The game gives you a lot of options and a path to victory that is much less clear or certain than it first appears. At first it is like to be an uncontrollable abusive relationship. You try everything you can think of, but nothing works, and the games just beats you harder the more you try. Then you drawn the 'All for Nothing' card, and the table gets flipped.

It takes some time/skill to figure out (a) how to swing odds in your favor; (b) what to prioritize during the phase of the game; and (c) how to mitigate the worst effects of a bad Mythos card.

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Justin Bohnet
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My take is that it is rules heavy, but the focus on narrative makes it a strategy light game with a high degree of randomness, so it is difficult to rate the 'weight' with a single number. To me, saying it is a 'heavier' game because of the largish rule book, regardless of how much randomness there is makes sense.
 
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Andrew Chapman
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I've played this about 5 times (mainly solo), and I have found myself with some subtle and agonising tactical choices to make which have resulted in more than a few moments of analysis paralysis. Though certainly the randomness surrounding encounters makes confidence in any choice low.
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Andi Hub
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Thanks for all the input. Especially what Rob said:
robwrigley wrote:
...

You are experiencing EHDDS. Eldritch Horror Dispair/Derangement Syndrome. The game gives you a lot of options and a path to victory that is much less clear or certain than it first appears. At first it is like to be an uncontrollable abusive relationship. You try everything you can think of, but nothing works, and the games just beats you harder the more you try. Then you drawn the 'All for Nothing' card, and the table gets flipped.

It takes some time/skill to figure out (a) how to swing odds in your favor; (b) what to prioritize during the phase of the game; and (c) how to mitigate the worst effects of a bad Mythos card.

I rather experienced this "uncontrollable abusive relationship" during my first play, but I am glad to hear that there is much more to the game!
 
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Alex Villanova
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I'd rate both AH and EH as medium weight games with AH closer towards the heavy side of medium and EH on the light side of medium.
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