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Subject: Big box expansions with 2 investigators: doable? rss

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Teeka
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I'm currently playing AH 2-player mostly.

With only the base game, our win ratio is about 60% I'd say, with FB meaning game over more often than not. With Pharaoh, the ratio went down a bit because of the double-doom Mythos cards, but not too much.

Now, we're about to go for a bix box and add a piece to the board. But I'm afraid, especially with all the travelling, this is not going to work for us. That we just won't get places fast enough, we won't be able to deal with gate bursts, etc.

I see most reviews and such aimed at the sweet spot of 4 players, which is understandable. But some of the things mentioned are different for us.
For instance, the terror track is in fact quite a big deal for us. The Terrible Experiment is our worst nightmare. But on the other hand, there's hardly any time when monsters are blocking all paths.

Now of course I could go for the houserule of a Mythos every other turn. And/or we could play more than 1 investigator per player.
But if at all possible, I'd like to keep playing as-is.

So what do you guys think? Is it at all doable?
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Kevin Eastwood
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When I play AH solo I play with 3 characters to ensure that there's enough ability to travel. Depending on the big box expansion, some provide the locations, but little incentive to travel there - as such you may end up focusing on the main board anyways.
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John Curtis
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We play with two sometimes and don't see too much difficulty. Yes, there is a lot of travelling. But with just one expansion board, it isn't too much. If you have more than one expansion board, be sure that you use the rule about multiple boards (we forgot to play with this the first few times when we were playing with 2 boards).

The rule says that you treat the number of gates needed to awaken the AO, the Monster Limit, and the Outskirts Limit as if you are playing with one less player per extra board. Which means that if you play with 3 boards (main plus 2) and 2 investigators, it is like you are playing with 1 investigator.

I would assume that it means that if you are playing with only 2 players you shouldn't play with more than 3 boards.
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Joe Pilkus
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Both John and Kevin have given sound advice, as the game is more difficult with extra boards due to the distance traveled.

However, I do want to point out that the rule governing extra boards states that a reduction to the number of Investigators is after the first board. Thus, if you play with Kingsport, no reduction, but if you play with both Dunwich and Kingsport, you reduce the Investigator number by one.

Cheers,
Joe
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Teeka
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Thanks everyone!

Apart from the travelling part and the mentioned rule (which I won't forget cause I'm using the MH reference sheets), what would you say about the rest of the gameplay? Is there any part that is specifically harder (...or easier) with 2-p?

eastwoodk wrote:
Depending on the big box expansion, some provide the locations, but little incentive to travel there - as such you may end up focusing on the main board anyways.
Well, that doesn't sound like it's fun to add then, making adding the expansion a bit moot.
If I'm only visiting another board for a short time just to close a gate or stop some other menace, then that's not a lot of extra fun.
 
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Bob T
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I've found the big-boxes are all nearly impossible with fewer than 4 Investigators, without a major house-rule. They're designed to thwart large groups, there's just too much going on for 2 Investigators to handle.

If you don't want to skip every 2nd Mythos Phase or use 2 Investigators per player, there are a few other simple remedies.

The simplest is to declare two of the less-lively unstable locations to be "stable" for the whole game- Silver Twilight, Hibbs Roadhouse etc. When a Mythos card would open a Gate there, you get a break for that turn.

I usually use my own custom deck of cards which let you skip a Gate opening or Monster Movement randomly every few turns or so.
 
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Joe Pilkus
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Bob,

That's good advice ~ I have a series of House Rules which certainly accommodate four Investigators so that they're not completely overrun in the first six turns.

Cheers,
Joe
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Tibs
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Good rule of thumb: the minimum number of investigators in a game should be one per third of an Arkham board. So with Arkham and one expansion board you should use 3 (Arkham)+1 (Expansion board) = 4 investigators
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M.C.Crispy
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The Professor wrote:
Bob,

That's good advice ~ I have a series of House Rules which certainly accommodate four Investigators so that they're not completely overrun in the first six turns.

Cheers,
Joe
Awww that takes out half the fun! I used to play with 7 players very regularly and you're always on the brink of disaster with the Gate count and can hit sudden death in the first few rounds if you get "A Gate opens and a Monster appears". Never thought to Nerf the game because of it. Certainly not with the sweet spot number of Investigators being used (4). Might be worth it with two Investigators though - at least until your win rate climbs out of the toilet if you're the sort that gets discouraged by that sort of thing (as I might admit to myself).
 
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Teeka
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kungfro wrote:
Good rule of thumb: the minimum number of investigators in a game should be one per third of an Arkham board. So with Arkham and one expansion board you should use 3 (Arkham)+1 (Expansion board) = 4 investigators
So you never play less than 3, Tibs?

Like I said, I play base game with 2 all the time and it's perfectly fine. And we're definitely not playing perfect-plan games (where you pick investigators, only aim for certain location encounters and go for gates in order of frequencies).
 
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Tibs
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If I'm using absolutely no expansions or Dark Pharaoh only then two is okay, kind of. But three is better.

It's not about the plan so much as it is the experience. With two investigators you lose out on variety and you have absolutely no chance to have stable-location encounters outside of blessing/dissection/deputy.
 
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Teeka
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kungfro wrote:
With two investigators you lose out on variety and you have absolutely no chance to have stable-location encounters outside of blessing/dissection/deputy.
From experience, I can say "absolutely" is exaggerating it a bit. During the second half of the game, we usually go visit locations based on the "common occurence" icons in hopes of some extra clues/items/whatnot.
But yeah, we don't visit Northside as much as we'd like, that's for sure.
 
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Jason Sherlock
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My girlfriend and I play two player a lot. We always play two investigators each. I think that it makes for much more interesting games.
 
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Matěj Jan Morávek
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We have the base game and Kingsport. With my wife we mixed all the cards together and sometimes we play just the base game with two, sometimes four investigators (two each) - but thats when we are trying some scenario or homemade investigator mostly. When we play with Kingsport plan, we play ALWAYS with four investigators, one of which must be fast (speed 4, better 5). It depends on actual game progress, but around one quarter of time you will "lose" one investigator, because he will have to go to Kingsport. You can exchange him later, sometimes he will need help from another investigator.
But that is important - when playing with two investigators, you will either disregard the rifts (and have much harder and faster game), or one will have to stay there for large part of playing time. And it is good to mention that there is not much fun in Kingsport (our nightmare is 607 Water street, where it is not uncommon to get delayed).
 
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Teeka
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Thanks again for all the replies!

We finally decided against playing big box for now. Even though the original plan was to try all expansions in order.
We'll try Dunwich whenever there's at least one other player or if we feel motivated to do the extra bookkeeping (which right now, we never do ).

So instead we played our first few games of King in Yellow, and will do the other 2 small boxes soon too.
 
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