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Subject: Thinking of getting into AH for the first time rss

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Larry Schneider
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I've watched a couple videos, and I'm thinking of trying out AH. The sprawling nature of the game and the number of pieces actually appeal to me.
I will be playing solo. Complicated rules don't really scare me.

So here are some questions that come to mind before I jump in:

Should I just start with the base game or should I consider including an expansion right from the get-go and, if so, which one?

Is it safe to buy the game used assuming the condition is good or should I stick with new for one reason or another?

I see that there's an original game and a second printing. Does it matter which I buy?

How many investigators is recommended for a solo game?

Is there anything I should be reading/researching before proceeding? A particular document or file, a compilation of tips or recommendations for the game, a FAQ, or anything else that someone new to the game would benefit from reading?

What other questions should I be asking?!

THANKS.
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Byron Campbell
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schnel wrote:
Should I just start with the base game or should I consider including an expansion right from the get-go and, if so, which one?


Start with just the base game. I personally got an expansion right away, but I am an expansionaholic.

There are two types of expansions: big box and small box. The small box expansions generally have a strong theme and change the game in minor ways; the big box expansions add new elements to the game and introduce a new board area for you to visit. The big box expansions are a MUCH better investment, in my opinion: even if you do not use the board, they add new investigators, ancient ones and monsters, which most of the small expansions don't, and they also add new gameplay elements that you'll want to use every game.

Dunwich Horror adds injury/madness cards, which make it so that the momentum of the game doesn't grind to a halt when you get sent to the asylum/hospital. Kingsport Horror adds the Epic Battle cards that make fighting the Ancient One a lot more fun and thematic. Innsmouth Horror adds Personal Stories that give each investigator a sidequest to focus on for the first part of the game.

Any of those three would be a good investment for your first expansion. I personally like Kingsport the best--the board is the least exciting out of the three, but it has some of the best investigators and investigator cards in the game. Innsmouth has a lot of investigators and ancient ones, and Personal Stories are really cool, but it doesn't add any new items/skills/spells, unlike the other sets.

DO NOT get Miskatonic Horror until you have at least the other 3 big expansions, because it is just an expansion for the other expansions--you can't really use it if you just have the base game.

Quote:
Is it safe to buy the game used assuming the condition is good or should I stick with new for one reason or another?


There's no special reason why you wouldn't want to buy AH used. If you're generally fine with used games, you should be fine with AH.

Quote:
I see that there's an original game and a second printing. Does it matter which I buy?


There's two questions here. The ORIGINAL Arkham Horror from the 80s is a totally different game, essentially. The second edition that came out in the 2000s is the one most people are talking about when they mention the game. That version of the game had a first and second printing; the second printing has an easier-to-read board and some errors fixed on a few cards. Get the second printing if you can.

Quote:
How many investigators is recommended for a solo game?


Usually, at minimum two. The game is most balanced for 4 investigators, but you can play it fairly well with 2. You can play it with just one investigator if you implement some house rules--skipping the mythos phase every other turn is a good place to start.

Quote:
Is there anything I should be reading/researching before proceeding? A particular document or file, a compilation of tips or recommendations for the game, a FAQ, or anything else that someone new to the game would benefit from reading?


Arkham Horror FAQ
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charles vera
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schnel wrote:


Should I just start with the base game or should I consider including an expansion right from the get-go and, if so, which one?

Is it safe to buy the game used assuming the condition is good or should I stick with new for one reason or another?

I see that there's an original game and a second printing. Does it matter which I buy?

How many investigators is recommended for a solo game?

Is there anything I should be reading/researching before proceeding? A particular document or file, a compilation of tips or recommendations for the game, a FAQ, or anything else that someone new to the game would benefit from reading?

What other questions should I be asking?!

THANKS.


1. Base game first then introduce the small expansions before buying the bigger ones.

2. I always like new but that's because I'm paranoid about not receiving the complete game. It's up to you and your budget. Just know that there's a lot of pieces.

3. Second printing

4. 4 but I've done it with 2 and had a blast!

5. There's some files here on bgg that are really good for beginners. And the official FAQ from FFG.

I would look into getting some special dice for the different conditions( regular,blessed, and cursed). Not needed but helpful
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Bern Harkins
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schnel wrote:
I've watched a couple videos, and I'm thinking of trying out AH. The sprawling nature of the game and the number of pieces actually appeal to me.
I will be playing solo. Complicated rules don't really scare me.

So here are some questions that come to mind before I jump in:

Should I just start with the base game or should I consider including an expansion right from the get-go and, if so, which one?


The base game is fine for learning. It gets a little easy after a very few games, so I would add (probably Dunwich and Lurker) fairly soon.

Quote:
Is it safe to buy the game used assuming the condition is good or should I stick with new for one reason or another?


My set has seen more than 120 games with very little visible wear. As long as it is complete and hasn't been abused (or comes from the lot about two years ago which had some weak, rippable boards) used should be fine.

Quote:
I see that there's an original game and a second printing. Does it matter which I buy?


Not really. There are VERY few first printings out there, and there are few differences between them. (The term "Monster Surge" is used in the second printing, and several cards were changed; new, corrected copies of these four cards are included with Dunwich Horror.)

Quote:
How many investigators is recommended for a solo game?


It depends on what sort of game you are looking for. One Investigator has very little chance of winning, even with house rules; two is better, but still with a low win rate. Three and four are the "sweet spots" for the game, with the most wins at four Investigators, which is what I now use when I solo. The bookkeeping is not so bad, though it can be hard to remember just what multi-turn plan a character was in the middle of...

Quote:
Is there anything I should be reading/researching before proceeding? A particular document or file, a compilation of tips or recommendations for the game, a FAQ, or anything else that someone new to the game would benefit from reading?


The rulebook is notoriously bad. The designers decided to use a split format, with the rules you had to know to play in the first section, and those that come up during play in the second. This leads to a confusing mishmosh, with related passages occurring pages apart.

Also, be aware that the complete rules for Flying Monsters are not included in the rules text; they only appear in the "example" sidebar on page eleven.

I generally recommend this thread...

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/605472/newbie-faq-21-thi...


And the awesome Universal Head cheat sheet...

http://files.geekdo.com/geekfile_download.php?filetype=appli...

Also, be aware that while this game has no really complex machanics, it has a LOT of them, and you will surely make mistakes in your first games. Just shrug it off, continue playing, and do things right from that point on. The game is about the experience, not the rules, so don't sweat mistakes too much.

Quote:
What other questions should I be asking?!


Perhaps "Should I read a boatload of Lovecraft before playing?"
I'm an avid Lovecraft fan, and I say "No, not unless you want to..." Familiarity with the Mythos will let you get some of the inside references and enrich your experience, but it's completely optional; there are players at my table who have never turned a page of a Lovecraft book (nor scrolled down on a public domain website) who play regularly, and with gusto.

Quote:
THANKS.


Oh, sure, you say that NOW... before the madness starts! Welcome to the Festival!
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Gert Meyer
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schnel wrote:
Should I just start with the base game or should I consider including an expansion right from the get-go and, if so, which one?


Apart from more pieces, expansions mainly add to the difficulty of the game. You probably will not need that straight away and in fact learning the game will probably be a smoother experience without adding extra moving pieces to the puzzle. But if you are presented with some kind of package deal, then Dunwich Horror is the first one to get if possible.

schnel wrote:
Is it safe to buy the game used assuming the condition is good or should I stick with new for one reason or another?


The game uses a lot of cards (Mythos, Encounters, Items). If you buy a heavily used copy and then add a shop bought expansion later, you will probably be able to tell from the back of the cards which set they are from. Other than that, just the usual concern with used games, like missing pieces, yucky mystery stains, etc.

schnel wrote:
I see that there's an original game and a second printing. Does it matter which I buy?


Definitely make sure you get the FFG produced version.

schnel wrote:
How many investigators is recommended for a solo game?


Four Investigators is universally accepted as the best count. It is the easiest with regards to the games scaling rules and gives you a nice array of Investigator abilities on the board. But less is definitely playable.

schnel wrote:
Is there anything I should be reading/researching before proceeding? A particular document or file, a compilation of tips or recommendations for the game, a FAQ, or anything else that someone new to the game would benefit from reading?
The official FAQ from FFG is something to at least keep handy during play. UniversalHead's game aid for AH is often cited as very good.

schnel wrote:
What other questions should I be asking?!


Just ask for any other advise that user's may have

Here is mine: When playing AH, follow the game phases as laid out in the rules. Rigidly. And many questions will resolve themselves.
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Bern Harkins
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gert74 wrote:
When playing AH, follow the game phases as laid out in the rules. Rigidly. And many questions will resolve themselves.


Oh, right on, right on, right on... best advice possible.
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Mike Brewer
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You won't need expansions for a while - there is a lot to explore in the base game.

One other factor is the table size needed. AH takes up a lot of room! I have what I thought was a decent table for solo gaming, but I physically cannot fit any of the large expansions boards. So that resolves my "to buy" or "not to buy" expansions dilemma

Mike
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Teeka
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mikeb13603 wrote:
I have what I thought was a decent table for solo gaming, but I physically cannot fit any of the large expansions boards. So that resolves my "to buy" or "not to buy" expansions dilemma
I'm sorry but that's just not acceptable. Ikea has some good tables for cheap, so go buy one. devil
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Larry Schneider
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Wow! Thank you all for your valuable insight. The Newbie FAQ looks especially valuable.

Now off to find a used copy at a great price...
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Thanasis Patsios
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schnel wrote:
Wow! Thank you all for your valuable insight. The Newbie FAQ looks especially valuable.

Now off to find a used copy at a great price...


Just a note: there are a lot of rules, not complicated, but a lot. I believe it's best you don't put too much time in the FAQ before your first game. Chances are you probably won't come up with anything covered in there. Plus, once you have a game or two on your belt, you'll have a much better understanding of the rules: you'll go through the FAQ quicker and what you read will make better sense to you as opposed to reading it straight after the rules.

Have fun (or better, despair) with the Mythos!
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Teeka
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NasosP wrote:
Just a note: there are a lot of rules, not complicated, but a lot. I believe it's best you don't put too much time in the FAQ before your first game. Chances are you probably won't come up with anything covered in there. Plus, once you have a game or two on your belt, you'll have a much better understanding of the rules: you'll go through the FAQ quicker and what you read will make better sense to you as opposed to reading it straight after the rules.
I'd even say: go play like 4 games as practice, and be ok with any and all mistakes along the way. The game usually plays fine regardless (some mistakes will be in your favor, and some won't).

Make notes of uncertain situations but at the time just decide something and play on, and then check the faq later when you want to go play entirely correctly. I found that a lot of mistakes you really only make once anyway. NasosP is right: there are a lot of rules, but (almost) every single rule is pretty simple in itself.
And to repeat what has already been said: "follow the phases"!

Game on!
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Neil J.
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Just wanted to say how pleasantly surprised I am at the profound support for Arkham Horror in these forums, especially considering that the game is pushing 10 years old. I'm really impressed by the numerous detailed responses here. This to me is a testament to how great of a game AH truly is!

Enjoy your first solo game, schnel. Recommend immersing yourself in the "theme" of the game as much as possible (flavor text, etc) because for me that is where the game really shines. I agree that you should start with just the base game, there is plenty there for multiple games of unique enjoyment. After that, perhaps look into King in Yellow (small box) for a lighter rules addition with lots of theme and Dunwich Horror (big box) for more of everything.
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Glenn Darrin
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Teeka wrote:
mikeb13603 wrote:
I have what I thought was a decent table for solo gaming, but I physically cannot fit any of the large expansions boards. So that resolves my "to buy" or "not to buy" expansions dilemma
I'm sorry but that's just not acceptable. Ikea has some good tables for cheap, so go buy one. devil


There's always the floor!
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daa1982
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Waiting for Fantasy Flight to invent hovering game boards.
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Larry Schneider
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Decided to buy new. It's on the way! Thanks for all the valuable input and support!! :)

I can't believe I'm so late to this party...
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Teeka
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schnel wrote:
Decided to buy new. It's on the way! Thanks for all the valuable input and support!!

I can't believe I'm so late to this party...
I only started like a year and a half ago. But I got hooked immediately. Bought all the expansions, constantly bugging my friends to come play with me... Welcome to the madness!
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Teeka wrote:
Make notes of uncertain situations but at the time just decide something and play on, and then check the faq later when you want to go play entirely correctly. I found that a lot of mistakes you really only make once anyway. NasosP is right: there are a lot of rules, but (almost) every single rule is pretty simple in itself.
And to repeat what has already been said: "follow the phases"!


This is simply the best suggestion you could get!! Do not let the lack of knowledge/clarity on some of the rules ruin the experience. Save the questions for later, choose the whatever you think makes it fun the most at the moment and keep going. Next time you play with the right rules for those situations you will feel like trying "the official version" XD

I joined the Arkham Horror train this year and I can only envy you for having this amazing trip ahead. Learning the encounters behind the locations in the city will only make it come alive in front of you.

Say bye to some of your sanity and game on!
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Nightfall 23
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Forgot to mention, Grumsh (a user here in BGG) uploaded a series of very good review/play samples of Arkham Horror. You can find them on Youtube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqVLo_s5kdI

Update: added link to video.
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Teeka
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hchb2000 wrote:
NasosP wrote:
Make notes...


This is simply the best suggestion you could get!!
Thanks for the compliment, but you misquoted... cry
 
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Nightfall 23
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My bad!!!!


Fixed it though
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Phillip Thurlow
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Teeka wrote:
schnel wrote:
Decided to buy new. It's on the way! Thanks for all the valuable input and support!!

I can't believe I'm so late to this party...
I only started like a year and a half ago. But I got hooked immediately. Bought all the expansions, constantly bugging my friends to come play with me... Welcome to the madness!



Just got my copy a month ago. Also grabbed The Curse of the Dark Pharaoh small box expansion. Also play it solo. Loving it.
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Bob T
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Gaius wrote:
Just wanted to say how pleasantly surprised I am at the profound support for Arkham Horror in these forums, especially considering that the game is pushing 10 years old. I'm really impressed by the numerous detailed responses here. This to me is a testament to how great of a game AH truly is.


And people are still making fan-made expansions for it! Think the latest of these is "Horror at Red Hook" (haven't tried it yet) The ones I have tried are outstanding (Arkham Nightmare, Vermont Horror, Cult of the Golden Scarab, and The Door To Saturn) So AH isn't going away any time soon even though FFG stopped expanding it...
 
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Teeka
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Thoth Amon wrote:
So AH isn't going away any time soon even though FFG stopped expanding it...
Well, they haven't officially stopped. It's just not getting any new stuff at the moment because other games are currently getting all the R&D and budget. Who knows, in a while...
 
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