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Subject: My new most hated mechanic (Spoilers Inside) rss

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Michael Dillenbeck
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My new most hated mechanic, even above the dreaded "shuffle the mystery back in" is this:

"When you would gain an artifact, gain the _____ artifact instead. Then . . ."

Yup, every time I get one of these damn mystery cards that require getting an artifact and replacing it I have to waste half the game running around trying to find it. One time it was about 2/3 the way after failing an expedition and succeeding at an expedition without an artifact we found an artifact tome in Arkham and ruled it counted for substitution. My last game Leo chased around the world succeeding at two expeditions with neither giving an artifact - and only a timely appearance of a Mi-Go gave us a sure shot at it.

So why do I hate this more than "shuffle a mystery back in"? Simple: with other mysteries, you have ways to force what you need to appear. With an artifact there is no guaranteed way to make an artifact appear.

Now to the YIG SPECIFIC SPOILERS BELOW:

However, nothing is worse than the Yig artifact mystery(Crown of the Serpent). Not only do you need to race around and get half the clue tokens to solve it, you must pass a will -1 check AND discard 2 allies. Here's the real kicker - a reckoning will cause a Serpent Crown Artifact holder to discard one ally. If you have less than 2, you can't solve it. So for this mystery you need to: 1) first find an artifact encounter, 2) succeed at the encounter to get the artifact, 3) have 3+ allies or 2 allies and not get a reckoning, and 4) have clue tokens equal to half the investigators. I actually managed to pull this off after 10 turns in a 2 investigator game.

I have yet to see an artifact before mid-game in any of my 2 player games - at least with the regular mysteries it is get to a point, make a test, and spend clue tokens or something. I can easily see never getting a single artifact encounter in a game, so "replace an artifact" could easily be an impossible game to win.

Yes, I want it to be challenging - but I detest the "unwinable" game. The only reason I was able to solve this hard-to-get-artifact-discard-insane-amount-of-allies mystery was because I had the ally vacuum Leo Anderson who grabbed the only 2 allies to show up in the game plus started with one.

The other thing that irks me is how it shows the investigator scaling really isn't fixed. With 4 investigators, I could have gotten a lot more allies up - but with 2? Nope, not enough actions per mythos card. In the end the crown would have drained away allies while my 2 investigators tried to keep them up.

Oh well, bitching over. I am sure many like this mechanic. I don't. Might as well start adding in mystery cards that say things like "if it is after 2pm but before 1 am, you lose the game" or "if you have 2 or less investigators, lose the game" or "unless you have 2 incantation spells, 3 clues exactly, and the Hired Muscle ally on one investigator by the end of next turn, you lose." If I keep getting these bloody artifact mystery cards, I might just stop playing all together and stick to Arkham Horror.
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Ron
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My wife currently trying to beat Yig - unsuccessfully so far (with 7 times tried). This card is a killer! When it comes up (and it came up every time), we already know that we will lose.

We even talked about houseruling that one ... isn't it hard enough to gain an artifact in that game? And two clues? And a -1 test?. meeple

So I guess we will have fair chance of winning against Yig when this mystery isn't drawn. It really seems a little unbalanced.

And while whining already: I generally don't like any mechanic that forces me to search through a deck for a certain card - that burns up valuable game time. I even made copies of the assets that are starting assets for certain characters.

On the plus side, I have to say that EH is the most fascinating game I bought and have played in the last few years (I never bought Arkham Horror, as the many expansions shunned me away). So much story and tension in that game! Terrific!
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Gamer D

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Regarding the artifacts the expeditions often give them when you succeed, that's your best bet. It should only take a couple of expeditions to get one normally. Also in the new Mountains of Madness expansion if you happen to be using the Antartica side board in a particular game there is a space on that board where you can do a simple local action to gain an artifact, so when that board is out it's slightly easier than chasing expeditions.
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chris thatcher
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Quote:
I might just stop playing all together and stick to Arkham Horror.


Go to the dark side..
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michael mcguire
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there's a Darker side?
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Ron
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thewoozle wrote:
there's a Darker side?

Where the sun never shines?
 
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Chick Lewis
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Hmmm, seems it may be partly bad luck.

We have played against Yig twice, gotten the "S Crown" mystery twice, and received an artifact on the first expedition attempt once, and the 2nd expedition attempt once. In neither case was ally discard an issue.

Or maybe our luck was especially good?

I'll bet somebody has evaluated expedition encounters and knows exactly how many offer a chance for an artifact.
 
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The Grouch
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This should be in the forum for Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore
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Ron
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I just played a 2-player game with my wife, using Yig again.

The Crown of Serpents didn't show, but nevertheless, Yig came and with him the apocalypse. But it was really close ... soblue
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I hate the All for Nothing card. It's very unthematic and against common sense.
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Daniel Honig
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How so?

It's also not all that dangerous most of the time, just another clue tax. When it hits hard it hits really hard, though. I don't think anyone would complain if it was removed from the deck, but there are much more painful mythos cards, some aren't even Hard difficulty - Tide of Despair, Burden of Greed, Wanderlust, even Evil Never Sleeps.
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The solving of a mystery is the ultimate reward for investigators other than winning the game. Each and every action is done so that a mystery is solved, which is the key to winning. Now, one of the reasons EH is more streamlined than AH is the mysteries, which reduce randomness and allow the players to be coordinated on a vast geographical area.
Thematically it doesn't make sense. When the investigators solve a mystery, they have done so. It is solved, a mystery is something knowledge-related. "the investigators find out the first of the three keys to keep the GOO away". That card strips away that knowledge for no reason, unless Alzheimer's hit all of the investigators at the same time. No, at a moment in time, the mystery is solved. There is no time paradox that makes something that happened void.
Yet, the price to avoid this is spending clues? So, you gain knowledge (solve the mystery) and for no reason whatsoever this knowledge is removed, the event voided, unless you lose more knowledge?
Doesn't make any sense to me other that they wanted a Nuke 'em All card and couldn't figure out how to design one.
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Tibs
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Our only game against Yig had this as the first Mystery. At a glance it seemed too hard but I figured there was something I was missing. There wasn't. Yig was nearly awakened by the time we solved it.

No thanks.
 
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Daniel Honig
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Clues are bits of knowledge. Spending them is piecing the knowledge together into a concrete form - e.g. sorting out the mystery.

With "All for Nothing", it turns out that your efforts to solve one of the mysteries only revealed half the truth - the mystery wasn't solved in the first place, and you're just now realizing there was a hole in your efforts. The epic monster's defeat was only a minor setback, or the disappearances start up again in a different. If you have the clues you can immediately go and finish the job, but if not the ancient one's will continues to act on the world in a new (or identical, because you simply failed the first time) form.

It leads to some very dumb lost games, but it's usually not incredibly threatening since it's just a clue tax. Tends to push certain rumors/mysteries to be very very difficult though.

On the other hand, if I had to remove one mythos card from the deck now that things have been fleshed out enough, that's probably the one I'd remove because its existence doesn't really make the game any more interesting.
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Mark Bauer
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Andarel wrote:

On the other hand, if I had to remove one mythos card from the deck now that things have been fleshed out enough, that's probably the one I'd remove because its existence doesn't really make the game any more interesting.


This.
Well, I also agree with the other things you said
I already removed the card from the deck anyways.
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Chick Lewis
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We have experienced 'all for nothing' only 3 times. Since we FEAR it, we always keep a couple of clues at hand, deliberately, never spending our last two or three.

All for Nothing has never triggered, only cost us the clues we keep in reserve to deal with it.

There is no reason to wuss out and remove that card.
 
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Jujo Vee
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yaxomoxay wrote:
I hate the All for Nothing card. It's very unthematic and against common sense.


Sure, that card sucks big time, but being unthematic and against common sense? In a game like EH? C'mon now.
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Daniel Honig
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I will say, however, that the Azazoth research encounter that does the same thing is unforgivable and remains the only card we have removed from the game.
 
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Arthur Peterson
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I LOVE the "find an artifact" mechanism. It's one of those that makes the game really feel like a pulp adventure. I wish every mystery deck had one of these.
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Daniel Honig
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I too am a big fan of it. It's not that hard to find an artifact (especially with Antarctica!), and it depends on whether you decide to play with the ruling that taking an artifact from a defeated investigator allows for replacement.

From what I remember there are at least 3 GOOs that have that as one of their mysteries.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Yig: Serpent Crown + Collect Allies, Cthulhu: Sword of Y'ha-Talla + kill Hydra, Rise of the Elder Things: Alien Device + kill Rampaging Shoggoth.
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Joel Carson
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A little fuzzy on the cards since I haven't played in a while, but here goes...

Can't you use the crown to try to gain an ally and then trade the artifact to another investigator before the reckoning kills the newly gained ally? This is even more easily done with Leo in the game cause he can spawn his two allies using his personal action, then meet up with the player with the crown to take the item and then try to solve the mystery.

Also, if you are having issues getting an artifact, a weird way to do it is have an investigator with an artifact be defeated. When you go have an encounter to grab their things, you can switch one of the artifacts for the item for the mystery.

What makes EH different from AH is that many of the complex mysteries will require team effort. In AH everyone goes into their own portal, crosses their fingers nothing bad happens, seals the gate and moves on. In EH, people need to coordinate moves to improve the odds of being successful.
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Jujo Vee
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Well yes, strictly speaking you do gain possessions of defeated investigator, but gaining the Crown that way seems gamey and stupid (unthematic!) to me so I have never done it.
 
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Andarel wrote:
Clues are bits of knowledge. Spending them is piecing the knowledge together into a concrete form - e.g. sorting out the mystery.

With "All for Nothing", it turns out that your efforts to solve one of the mysteries only revealed half the truth - the mystery wasn't solved in the first place, and you're just now realizing there was a hole in your efforts. The epic monster's defeat was only a minor setback, or the disappearances start up again in a different. If you have the clues you can immediately go and finish the job, but if not the ancient one's will continues to act on the world in a new (or identical, because you simply failed the first time) form.

It leads to some very dumb lost games, but it's usually not incredibly threatening since it's just a clue tax. Tends to push certain rumors/mysteries to be very very difficult though.

On the other hand, if I had to remove one mythos card from the deck now that things have been fleshed out enough, that's probably the one I'd remove because its existence doesn't really make the game any more interesting.


I respectfully disagree on the following arguments.

1) “All for nothing” does not refer to investigators that learn half the truth. As the name of the card itself implies, it means that the mystery under investigation was wrong. “All for nothing” is not the same as “well, there’s still something else to do”; it’s “well, you were looking at A, the truth is B, yet you had absolutely no choice”. The action on the card is proof of that. The mystery is shuffled back, as if it never happened, as if the investigators were just useless. The investigators did not learn half of the truth, they were doing the wrong thing and had no way to prevent that (later on the clue tokens). It’s the game telling the human players that they were misled to do the wrong thing.
2) Calling a “clue tax” is a bit unjust. That card is pure, unneeded punishment, it’s the game blackmailing the players. The only way to prevent it is to save clue tokens, which is absolutely anti-thematic. The most experienced players will save clue just to prevent that card from going into action. It’s detached from the game as it requires a pre-emptive action by the players “just because”.
3) One of the worst effect of that card is that the timing mechanism does not help. There is barely enough time to solve three mysteries, let alone four. I understand keeping it on the edge, but that card unbalances the time-effort relationship. It will barely make it possible to solve three mysteries before the bad guy wakes up. That would mean that there’s a good chance that the players will have to solve FIVE mysteries. (3 “regular” + 1 “all for nothing” + 1 GOO mystery). All of this without even balancing time? To me it’s just crazy.
4) As you mention, it makes rumors much more difficult. During an EH game investigators often thirst for clues. They are needed to solve mysteries, solve rumors, do the occasional actions etc. The card in combination of a bad rumor might destroy a game before 50% of it is even completed.

Of course, it’s just a game. Nothing to get serious about, I just find that the card is badly designed.
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Aaron Stark
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thewoozle wrote:
there's a Darker side?

There is no dark side, really. As a matter of fact, it's all dark.
 
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Miklós Holló
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JCChrono wrote:
A little fuzzy on the cards since I haven't played in a while, but here goes...

Can't you use the crown to try to gain an ally and then trade the artifact to another investigator before the reckoning kills the newly gained ally? This is even more easily done with Leo in the game cause he can spawn his two allies using his personal action, then meet up with the player with the crown to take the item and then try to solve the mystery.


Exactly what I wanted to suggest reading through this thread. Either use the artifact to gain allies then pass them to another investigator, or gain allies then pass the Crown to the other investigator who has none. You probably have to meet anyway since it is unlikely that the investigator who got the artifact also has the clues needed. This is the way we managed to solve that mystery. However, I do agree with the original point: it is a really annoying mechanic and one difficult to solve. Getting an artifact can be very hard and being unlucky in that particular part can decide the game. (One can argue that it is thematic and it certanly is, but from a player's point, it is frustrating. I also have to add that I only got my copy of MoM yesterday and still haven't played it so that may change things.)

I'm pretty sure you cannot change cards you gain from defeated investigators. Althogh you "gain" those, IMO it is more like "gain specific card(s)": you gain the cards he or she had. Thematicly makes sense. (I never even thought of the option before I read this here.)

On the "All for nothing" topic: that is the only card I removed from the game. Not because it is unthematic or anything but because if it cames up and you are unprepared for it (eg. you spent your clues to solve a mystery or close a gate at a critical moment - or you just happen to not have any) it literally destroys the game, even if you are doing well.

Merry Christmas everyone!
 
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