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Subject: Solo game 3 investigators, 1st play, rules sugg... rss

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Brad Burchett
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Well I finally got my hands on a copy and after reading, punching and just basically salivating all over my new game, I decided to play it.

First off I would like to premise this review by saying that I cut my teeth on games like Third Reich 1st ed, Anzio, Bulge, Blitzkrieg, as well as AD&D, Traveller and War of the ring battle for middle earth.

For those of you who say this game is an RPG or close, I would strongly disagree with you. There isnt enough of a sense of struggling to find your way, blindly almost, and there really isnt enuf individual choices to make. Other than which items to use during checks or combat.

The rules that so many people seemed to be burdened by, I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of the game. Granted there are your rule-discrepancies, and the order of actions, for me the evade, combat phase felt odd. But otherwise, a pretty easy game to digest.
Think Talisman, but with a few more steps.

My game I decided on 3 investigators and got Amanda Sharpe, Dexter Drake, and Ashcan. I got lucky and drew YIG so I figured this may be a doable situation. My guys are pretty damn good. Their special abilities and gifts are very handy.

My strategy was to aim at sealing six gates. I wasnt really sure of where or how to acquire the Elder signs, so I concentrated on clue tokens and acquiring Allies, and items. I found that I was never really in any trouble throughtout the game.

during play i managed to find/buy 3 Elder signs and used cluetokens to close the rest. The doom track never went past 8 and the terror track never got past 5. Ash proved to be my best player once he got two gate trophies and I turned them in for the Deputy of Arkham. The paddy wagon proved very useful.

I purposefully brought two investigators together to swap items on two seperate occasions. This is how Ash got two gate trophies early. I also got lucky and picked up Pickman as an ally, and later once things got heated up a bit, I used gatetokens to bless my players. This is another big adv.

The monsters just werent enuf to mess me up, but then my players all had good stamina of 4, 5, 5. Needless to say this was about a 5 hour endeavor and all in all quite enjoyable. It is however quite easy and so I will employ some tweaking. I also plan on adding the expansions.

The other worlds are just too damn easy. I was never seriously injured or driven insane. I was lost a couple turns, but I think sealing the gates are just too easy. There should be monsters that should appear indescriminately in the Other Worlds to make it a bit harder. I wasnt even knocked into time and space. I definately expected more from the Other Worlds in the way of bad experiences.

I'll play another game and take two lesser players and see if the challenge is sufficient enuf.

This game is missing something and I cant yet put my finger on it. I like the idea of the game getting progressively harder as you go along. This seems like it could be accomplished by having the Monster limit modifier being expanded by the same number of gates sealed currently. Example, 3player game, modifier is +3 = 6 monster limit. Once a gate is sealed, the limit goes up one. The modifier is cumulative. This might do it.

Also what if whoever is carrying an Elder Sign also has the burden of being the primary target for monsters? Such as Flying and Fast ones, if all things are equal between two investigators, will always pester the carrier of an Elder Sign.

Maybe also draw an extra mythos card every turn while you scamper to close and seal the last remaing gate? This would certainly make you prepare before sealing that 5th gate and would add haste once it is.
In my game I knew I was going to win once I got my 5th gate shut.

Later guys...
 
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Universal Head
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Brad, you've played one game! I know it's tempting what with all the variants on the 'Geek, but how about playing the game more than once - oh and with some other players perhaps - before you start adding and suggesting a whole lot of house rules.

Yet another first time session report masquerading as a review ... the 'Geek is going downhill in the reviews forums.
 
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Brad Burchett
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Thankyou for suggesting the proper forum; Sessions, for my piece. I agree with your assessment that I mislabled it, as of yet, I havent figured out how to change the heading.

As for your tone, gimme a break. I may have only played one game as you put it, but I have been reading and researching this game for a month and had a very solid foundation of what to expect from the game as well as its apparent shortcomings.

What I experienced was just what I expected. I was pleasantly surprised with the theme, never having read H.P., and other elements of the game, but as a whole I like more meat and potatoes to my game and that is why I prefer to tinker in game two.

As for playing with other people, that is coming so try to keep your panties from riding up and chill a bit.

Your assessment that any facet of this sight is heading downhill, is wrong as well.
 
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Universal Head
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I apologise for the touchy tone mate, but there has been a rash of 'first impressions' reviews lately due to the new system of review approval.

I stand by my comment that this aspect of the otherwise fantastic 'Geek is going downhill. It's somewhat frustrating as I can see the Geek being swamped with tossed-off two-paragraph session reports (not that I'm suggesting yours is tossed-off; some are really bad) labelled as reviews, so when you are researching a new game you'll have to wade through tens of them to get to one complete, balanced, informed, experienced, well-written review.

However I appreciate your recognition that yours is a session report. Many other people seem to think that one play of a game is enough to write a review; others like myself would never think to write a review after one game because they haven't yet had enough experience of the game to write one that's good enough.

Oh, and my panties are quite comfortable where they are, thanks.
 
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Brad Burchett
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Yeah I know what you mean, I generally only read the articles that have positive feedback or at least list within the title, the contents of the post.

Hope to butt heads with you again. Best regards from across the pond..

 
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Daniel Edwards
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As I understand it you can't trade gate tokens (in the same way you can't trade clues) only money, items and spells. That makes a fair difference as its not easy to obtain sherrif early.

I'd also add that any game where you draw 3 elder signs (out of a possible 4), particularly if you draw them early, generally turns out to be a fairly easy win if you use them on high incidence gates.

I've played games where we've picked up 2 elder signs in the initial draw and my suggestion has been to simply restart as its just not going to be a challenge if the players play properly (barring an extremely unlucky mythos card disribution).

While in my view the games need toughening up for 4+ players the difficulty level for 2-3 is pretty good if you choose players and AO's randomly. The harder AO's (cthulu and the 8 clues to seal guy) especially provide a good challenge with 3 and are quite difficult with 2.

One fairly easy "fix" for the game which isn't often suggested is just take out the easier AO's and pick from the harder ones.

If your getting cocky just try it with one (with you choosing the investigator). That will get your brain working.
 
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Darrell Pavitt
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Also, try looking at the FFG house rules link, it includes some similar ideas to make the game harder.
 
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Brad Burchett
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Myopia, I really havent had a hard time acquiring the Deputy of Arkham duties as two gate tokens, or 1 and 5 monster trophies isnt that hard to get fast by one investigator. I have now played twice, and I am certain the Patrol Wagon is perhaps the most important item in the game.

Having an ability to jump from one place to another, without being molested by monsters is priceless. In the two games I have played, the one who ended up getting the ride ruled the roost and was able to narrowly escape with victories in both games.

The amount of time u save with the whip is unreplacable..

The Upkeep 1$ and revolver is pretty nice as well.
 
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Travis Hall
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You are certain the patrol wagon is perhaps the most important item in the game? So you aren't really certain of anything, then?

Anyway, I haven't found the Patrol Wagon to be that great in a multi-player game. It is nice, especially for an investigator with low speed, but I generally find that I can arrange to get investigators where we want them just by having other investigators kill monsters in their paths. This method has the added bonus of keeping the number of monsters down, which is important so that the terror track doesn't spiral out of control.

The Deputy is worth getting, but like Myopia, I often don't find myself able to do it early. The problem isn't usually being too weak to obtain the payment. It's usually just the time it takes to hunt down the monsters and seal the gates. I can only kill monsters which are there, and only seal gates once I have the clue tokens. And I don't count turn 10 as "early".

Edit: Oh, and there's also the factor that the other players are gathering clues and killing monsters too. Unless the other players are being ineffective, of course, but if that is the case, it isn't a matter of the Patrol Wagon making an investigator dominant, but of the dominant investigator being the one able to acquire the Patrol Wagon.
 
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Brad Burchett
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I dont think by generating 10 points of monsters/gates first means that your necessarily the strongest competitor.

But if you choose to spend the 10 points on the Deputy it is the best single buy.

Of the 4 games I have played, all solo and with investigators of 2,2,2,3, I have won each time with little trouble, never seeing the Doom track reaching 9, or the Terror track reaching 9 either.

Every game starts the same with you behind the eight ball early on and the Doom counter reaching 5 quickly. But once that first gate falls, and then that player whoever it is finishes the other 5 points of kills and then becomes the Deputy, he has absolutely dominated from then on.

If you figure you get 1$, The Wagon and a +3 revolver, it is the best value in the game.

The Wagon allowed for the player to never have to worry about acquiring clues again, due to direct transit. The gun sends your Combat factor up, being one handed and the upkeep allows you too visit the Curiosity shop every 4 or so turns, or the asylum/hospital for healing...







 
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Travis Hall
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Oldschoolhexman wrote:
I dont think by generating 10 points of monsters/gates first means that your necessarily the strongest competitor.

I didn't say anything about the first to get the required trophies being the strongest competitor. I said that if a single player generates the trophies so fast that the other players have not impacted significantly on his ability to gather resources (by picking them up themselves) by the time he does it, that player is most likely dominant - and I maintain that this is so.

Quote:
But if you choose to spend the 10 points on the Deputy it is the best single buy.

I find that by the time I have acquired the required trophies, the game is already giving a good indication of what I need. If that happens to be mobility or a weapon, I might go to the Police Station, but if I am seeing a clue drought, I might go to the Science Building instead. I might spend for an ally at Ma's (especially if I am well-armed and highly mobile). If an investigator is cursed, I might head to the South Church (because curses really hurt, even if they are temporary). I do think the Deputy is probably the best general-purpose buy, but not necessarily the best for a given situation.

Quote:
Of the 4 games I have played, all solo and with investigators of 2,2,2,3, I have won each time with little trouble, never seeing the Doom track reaching 9, or the Terror track reaching 9 either.

Nothing new there. It isn't a hard game, using the rules straight out of the box.

Quote:
The Wagon allowed for the player to never have to worry about acquiring clues again, due to direct transit.

The game only generates one clue per turn from mythos cards. Why aren't the other three characters grabbing their share of those? The way you are playing may see you save clues for the Patrol Wagon guy, but without the Patrol Wagon those clues would usually still be gathered by somebody - just not necessarily that character.

Quote:
The gun sends your Combat factor up, being one handed and the upkeep allows you too visit the Curiosity shop every 4 or so turns, or the asylum/hospital for healing...

A one-handed +3 weapon is nice sometimes, and meaningless others. It depends what the group has already drawn.

I really suspect that what is going on is that the Patrol Wagon is allowing a single investigator to becomes more effective at the expense of the effectiveness of the other investigators. That means that becoming the deputy isn't really as valuable as you might think.

I've even played one or two games in which I've become Deputy, then used the Patrol Wagon to reach and clear key streets to maintain the mobility of the other characters.
 
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Chad Walton
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I like that you can walk into the police station with a sack full of cultist heads and instead of being arrested for murder they give you a job.
 
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Michael Lee
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UniversalHead wrote:
Brad, you've played one game! I know it's tempting what with all the variants on the 'Geek, but how about playing the game more than once - oh and with some other players perhaps - before you start adding and suggesting a whole lot of house rules.

Yet another first time session report masquerading as a review ... the 'Geek is going downhill in the reviews forums.


Taking games so seriously seems humorously ironic.

I think an inspired 'first impressions' review is just as valid as an anylitical breakdown of the game. I liked your review Brad!
 
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Michael Lee
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Hmm.. I see the problem after reading further discourse, however the rating system should give a decent indication of whether-or-not the review is a good one. I suppose there is a bit of grey area between a review and a session report. It would be nice if some of the more prolific and higher-rated forum members had some basic admin rights to do things like shift threads to the appropriate category.

I know I'm like 100 Internet years late with my two-cents, but I'm glad to see people fighting nice (instead of flaming) on a message board for once.

I have AH laid out before me as I write this, and I'll be playing/learning solo. Later this week I'll play again with some friends. I'll reply with my 'first impressions' probably much to the chagrin of board game purists everywhere
 
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