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Arkham Horror» Forums » Variants

Subject: Frequency of gates/clues by location rss

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Fridrik Jonsson
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It's been troubling me just how skewed the distribution of gates/clues on mythos cards is. I realize there is probably some rationale behind making some unstable locations nearly non-existent and some amazingly common, but it feels random to me (I mean, come on, Wizard's Hill and Gardner's Place are pretty much the only places you need to think on in Dunwich, ever!).

It makes the game easier, as I'm sure you all know, to be able to calculate such things for tactical sealing. I also dislike having to memorize frequencies of places for effective gameplay... I've heard it said that gate bursts are meant to fix that, but honestly, gate bursts feel like a fairly shitty mechanic to us as it makes the game even longer. I prefer making the game harder with other ways (like playing with two ancient ones) that doesn't elongate the game even further.

As the game is too easy anyway I thought I might as well suggest a different approach: Making a simple chart of unstable locations with an equal-ish percentage of appearing and rolling a d100 to determine where the next gate appears. Whenever we'd draw a mythos card that has a single gate opening, we'd roll to see where it is. A similar list could be made for clues to roll each round (with small odds for every stable location as well to increase the chance of actually using those location cards). That way you can use mythos cards as usual, except make gate openings and clues well spread.

Anyone see any specific problems with this I haven't noticed? It should make the game harder I imagine as the likelihood of monster surges and elder signed locations occurring when placing gates becomes smaller. The game can do with being harder though.

We usually play with the Dunwich and Kingsport big boards, so you know where I'm coming from.
 
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Andrew Peterson
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I agree with the gate burst. To me it has always felt arbitrary, fake, and ultimately frustrating. Difficulty should be ratcheted up in other ways, not by randomly undoing your work. (I am trying to think, but big and sudden setbacks are a theme in Lovecraft's work, no? Maybe that was the logic behind the mechanic? Either way, I don't like it.)

As for the distribution of gates and clue tokens via the Mythos cards: There is some valuable strategy and theme going on there. Because certain locations pop up way way more than others for gates/clues, players have to stop and think. I could go to an unstable location to get a pile of clue tokens that are sitting there, but if that location is, say, The Unnamable or Independence Square there is a good chance of having an unwanted gate open on top of me at the end of the turn. Picking up clue tokens at the Historical Society or the Science Building is somewhat less risky. Similarly, if I have the needed 5 clue tokens to seal a gate I should stop and think which open gate to use them on. Locations that pop open more often should get sealed first and I largely ignore the less active unstable locations unless I need a gate trophy ASAP.

That being said, I think the distribution could be skewed SLIGHTLY so that those lesser active unstable locations come into play just a bit more often. But generally, I like the lopsidedness.
 
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James Gregory
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One of the largest problems with Arkham Horror is dilution by expansions.

After the initial game of... wow, have we gone through all the cards already to... I wonder if I will ever see that card again... experienced AH people should be trimming all their decks to keep the game thematic, and therefore undiluted.

DH runs with Wizards Hill getting 12, GP 7, and the last three locations are 2,2, and 2.

Right now our house rule is one big box, and one small box expansion - to keep the dilution down. This means all the Arkham encounters cards, items, allies, and spells that don't have one of two logo's (plus the core) - we ignore.

We also have the mythos sorted into three piles : Core, big, and small.

If it's troubling you, just pull out a lot of WH and GP. Without running through the deck I would think I would still want 4,4,2,2,2.

14 cards... the question now is how many rounds do you typically play in a game... and then how do you sort (or not) pulling mythos?

Just shuffle and pile up... if this is the case, I don't see how the skewed distribution could be bothering you... you might only see 0-5 DH per game anyhow? If you pull 1 from DH, 1 from KP, and then 1 from the Core - it becomes more evident.

Right now we pull from three separate mythos piles : Core, big box, and small box. This keeps the theme elements going, and ensure DH, or the small box elements keep going. I would say the average game ends before 21 - so it's only 4-6 pulls per mythos pile. DH also has 11 gate bursts for the core set... so... keep those in or not? Again, up to you.

One of the things I do like is the off-balance of the encounter spaces. The fact that some of the encounter areas actually have a feel about them, or a danger level and they aren't all the same... is exactly what I would be looking for.
 
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Jason Sherlock
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The gate bursts only occur at more frequent gate locations. This is intentional.

You have to make choices whether to seal low frequency gates permanently or seal a high frequency gate and risk it bursting.
 
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chris thatcher
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Quote:
One of the largest problems with Arkham Horror is dilution by expansions.

After the initial game of... wow, have we gone through all the cards already to... I wonder if I will ever see that card again... experienced AH people should be trimming all their decks to keep the game thematic, and therefore undiluted.


Disagree. Some of us do not see a problem in dilution.
I play normally with 2 extra boards and use everything else from the expansions mixed in. We don't use heralds and we still find the game hard.
 
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