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Subject: Arkham Horror if I already have Eldritch Horror? rss

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Doug Poskitt
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Hi guys,

I already posted this on the Arkham Horror forum, but advice given to me was that I would get a more-balanced view if I posted here as well.

I am already the owner of Eldritch Horror and its expansions, and I am very happy with this game series.

However, I read a lot of interesting threads here on BGG about Arkham Horror. I appreciate both games deal with the same theme, but that they seem to be different games in respect of their play mechanics and scope.

My question: Is there enough difference between the two for me to go out and grab Arkham Horror? Would I get a sufficiently different game experience from that offered by Eldritch Horror?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
 
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Grant Holzhauer
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Sufficiently different game experience? No. Eldritch Horror is a streamlined version of Arkham Horror (and set on a global, instead of local, scale). However, you're still going to locations, having encounters, closing gates, fighting monsters, collecting items, and trying to win the game before the clock ticks down to zero or everyone gets devoured.

They are twists on the same game. If you LOVE Eldritch Horror and want even more of that, or crave it in a local setting, Arkham might be a good fit for you. I personally don't find the need to own both, and prefer Eldritch. Others disagree. Personal preference here, really.
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Michael Weber
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I used to own Arkham and kicked it out of my collection. I love the setting and the FFG design, but the game takes too long for me and gets too repetitive with a game. Eldritch is a shorter game which I like and I will keep it in my collection for a while.

So, as you do not seem to have a problem with game length, Arkham may be a good choice for you.
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M.C.Crispy
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dougposkitt wrote:
Hi guys,

I already posted this on the Arkham Horror forum, but advice given to me was that I would get a more-balanced view if I posted here as well.

I am already the owner of Eldritch Horror and its expansions, and I am very happy with this game series.

However, I read a lot of interesting threads here on BGG about Arkham Horror. I appreciate both games deal with the same theme, but that they seem to be different games in respect of their play mechanics and scope.

My question: Is there enough difference between the two for me to go out and grab Arkham Horror? Would I get a sufficiently different game experience from that offered by Eldritch Horror?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Well, as I happen to inhabit both forums, the view that I provide is automatically balanced, right?

I think that you should try Arkham Horror too. Why wouldn't you? I'm sure that there's a significant number of people who own both games (though they might not play both, at least not equally). But I'd try before you buy.

I'm sure that you'll enjoy AH, but whether you'll enjoy enough to want to invest in it (and it's a big investment), I can't guess. But IMO they are sufficiently different games to warrant having both in my collection. It's mainly in the "atmosphere", scope and story-telling that they differ. I prefer AH on all three counts and those happen to be the ones that matter to me more than "streamlined gameplay" - whatever the heck that is - or ease of setup (something that I don't care about at all, I actually enjoy preparing for my games, I even spend time before the session building a Mythos for EH).

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Doug Poskitt
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mccrispy wrote:
dougposkitt wrote:
Hi guys,

I already posted this on the Arkham Horror forum, but advice given to me was that I would get a more-balanced view if I posted here as well.

I am already the owner of Eldritch Horror and its expansions, and I am very happy with this game series.

However, I read a lot of interesting threads here on BGG about Arkham Horror. I appreciate both games deal with the same theme, but that they seem to be different games in respect of their play mechanics and scope.

My question: Is there enough difference between the two for me to go out and grab Arkham Horror? Would I get a sufficiently different game experience from that offered by Eldritch Horror?

Many thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Well, as I happen to inhabit both forums, the view that I provide is automatically balanced, right?

I think that you should try Arkham Horror too. Why wouldn't you? I'm sure that there's a significant number of people who own both games (though they might not play both, at least not equally). But I'd try before you buy.

I'm sure that you'll enjoy AH, but whether you'll enjoy enough to want to invest in it (and it's a big investment), I can't guess. But IMO they are sufficiently different games to warrant having both in my collection. It's mainly in the "atmosphere", scope and story-telling that they differ. I prefer AH on all three counts and those happen to be the ones that matter to me more than "streamlined gameplay" - whatever the heck that is - or ease of setup (something that I don't care about at all, I actually enjoy preparing for my games, I even spend time before the session building a Mythos for EH).



Thanks for taking the time to post on both forums.

As I said, I am really happy with EH. I could imagine, from what I have seen and read, I would be happy with Arkham Horrror as a game; I don't mind bookeeping and card sorting (should the latter ever come to pass if I buy into the expansions).

What I was really wondering about was whether there would be enough of a difference in the overall experience of playing one game after the other. From the myriad of replies my posts have received, it looks like that may well indeed be the case.

I have Star Wars Imperial Assault and have read a multitude of posts on BGG and watched videos on YouTube where lots of comments have been made on the similarities between the two; that has caused me to veer away from any Descent 2nd Edition purchases.

I just wanted some assurance that this would not be the case with AH v EH.
 
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Chris Byer
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I own complete sets of both. So here is my short opinion on both. They are both fun and they both have a spot in my collection but for very different reasons. AH was the first game I bought when I got into modern gaming 6ish years ago and will always have that nostalgia value. EH on the other hand takes everything I loved about AH and cuts out the parts I don't care for and packs it into a much quicker play time. However, if I was looking to get into one or the other today without owning either I would choose EH every time.

Table Time:

Set up time is the biggest factor here, between sorting cards and managing what expansions to use AH can take upwards of an hour just to get set up and if you can't do it before everyone shows up you're gonna have a bad time.

AH hits the table MAYBE once a year.
EH gets played almost monthly.

Rules/Mechanics:
The difference between AH and EH is night and day. AH can feel very clunky and fiddly, these elements would probably be more glaring coming from EH first. EH on the other hand feels like it took the great parts of AH and trimmed out the messier elements to create a more focused experience.

Theme:
AH can feel disjointed at times. Both systems use the same style of encounter card resolution/mythos cards/gate cards, but AH just pulls its mythos cards from a giant deck of cards which often have nothing to do with the emerging story.

EH is far superior for theme. Aside from the location encounters everything about a game is centered around the ancient one that you are fighting and there is a feeling of a much more cohesive thematic experience.
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chbyer wrote:
I own complete sets of both. So here is my short opinion on both. They are both fun and they both have a spot in my collection but for very different reasons.

I love this post because this is a very well reasoned analysis of both games and I feel exactly the opposite

chbyer wrote:
EH on the other hand takes everything I loved about AH and cuts out the parts I don't care for and packs it into a much quicker play time. However, if I was looking to get into one or the other today without owning either I would choose EH every time.

For me, EH takes everything I love about AH and removed it in the name of simplicity, and yet in my experience didn't actually make the game play any faster. Less fiddley yes, but to me that removes a delicious chaos aspect from the game. I can play both games in about 2 hours.

chbyer wrote:
AH hits the table MAYBE once a year. EH gets played almost monthly.

Exactly the opposite for me.

chbyer wrote:
AH can feel disjointed at times. Both systems use the same style of encounter card resolution/mythos cards/gate cards, but AH just pulls its mythos cards from a giant deck of cards which often have nothing to do with the emerging story.

EH is far superior for theme. Aside from the location encounters everything about a game is centered around the ancient one that you are fighting and there is a feeling of a much more cohesive thematic experience.

For me, I completely agree that EH is better thematically in terms of integration of the GOO with the game mechanisms. But by removing the necessity of fighting monsters and making it global in scope, I feel it makes the peril much less personal and thus reduces the thematic feeling of actual doom. It's like experiencing a tragic event in your neighborhood vs watchin it on TV in another country, so (again for me) AH wins theme hands down.

I think the only conclusion is: the only way to know for sure if play both and see which side you land on

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cafin8d wrote:
I think the only conclusion is: the only way to know for sure if play both and see which side you land on

I spent 10 minutes typing a response and just deleted it because you said everything I was going to say only more succinctly. thumbsup

To the OP: AH and EH are similar enough that I do not recommend AH unless you thoroughly enjoy EH and wish there was more to it. If that sounds like you, pick up a cheap used copy of AH and check it out. You might find AH adds tactical and narrative depth that you enjoy, or you might find it adds complexity and volatility that you do not enjoy. Only you can determine that.
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A: yes, grab both*

*if money isn't a huge obstacle

Regardless, both get dry if you don't buy expansions. So money is REALLY an important long-term consideration.
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EH is evolution of AH. EH is supposed to be better as a next step. And is better! Look for new AH card game! Is really amazing game? AH is good game but time is not stand still! Evolution is on! Go for new incarnation nevel look back
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dojogrant wrote:
Sufficiently different game experience? No. Eldritch Horror is a streamlined version of Arkham Horror (and set on a global, instead of local, scale).


So, on that, I have to strongly disagree. The game experiences are very different, though the themes and even some of the items (obviously the investigators), and even systems are similar on the surface, even very similar.

That said, Arkham plays out much, much differently. Just a few key differences off the top:

In Arkham, you must deal with monsters, where in Eldritch you only need encounter them if you want to, at least most of the time. There is no simply deciding to leave a monster behind in Arkham.

Arkham tends to have major swings in fortune, and there's always a chance you could pull out a win if things are going badly, and always a chance things can go horribly wrong if you are doing well. Some of the most epic games have been a crushing defeat when all seemed winnable, or pulling out a glorious victory when all seemed lost.

The system feels more like playing an RPG character, with the ability to shift your stats based on the situation. Increasing one stat decreases another, so you are always making trade-offs. This is why many say Arkham is more character-story focused, while Eldritch is focused on the large scale, world shattering mystery. Again, both are cool, but very different focuses. In Arkham, you become attached to your character (and is much more painful to lose), while in Eldritch losing characters comes with the territory.

Much finer detail (and more rules) on most everything in Arkham, which is great for some, not so for others. There are lots of different levers to pull in Arkham, while Eldritch operates at a more macro level.

I'm sure there's more, but to say one game is just a streamlined version of the same thing is just not true.
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Dave K
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I also own both still. When EH came out I assumed it would make me eventually sell off AH, but that hasn't happened. EH is probably better mechanically. I'm not a fan of streamlining without a purpose, but the pared-down system in EH is largely an improvement on the mechanics. It moves a little faster (although I have not found it to be _that_ much faster), it flows a little more cleanly, and the big-baddie specific decks make the game a bit more cohesive thematically.

AH, however, has more of a see-what-happens narrative to it, which while not as cohesive as EH, does offer a lot of really fun moments to it. The expansions broaden this even more, and while the game is more random (for better and for worse) and the setup time is a bear (and the main reason we don't play it as often), the experience generally is worth it.

I'd recommend trying AH before buying though. It's not as refined but it is a great deal of fun. I don't think most collections need both, but I don't mind keeping them both for now at least.
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Krister Dahlgren
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The only thing I find Arkham does better than Eldritch is that since that the locations are more limited in scope, the encounter cards that you draw on them make for a more coherent story-telling experience.

If you go to Velma's Diner, the encounter will make sense as a "Velma's Diner" encounter. In Eldritch Horror, if you to so San Francisco, you can end up in Chinatown, a Graveyard, the Harbor, a police station, a national park and so on. Most of the encounters could just as well have taken place anywhere else in the world and still make sense.

Otherwise, I find Eldrich Horror superior in all ways.
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Chris Franka
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MountainMaverick wrote:
I sold my AH after a year of playing EH and realizing AH would never hit the table again.

Same here. After playing EH, the thought of playing Arkham Horror instead did not excite me. AH was no longer a game I looked forward to, primarily because I don't think the mechanics of AH aged well.

I don't think AH offers a gameplay experience that's both different enough from and as fun as EH to warrant adding it to your collection (if you've already got EH).
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Wolfpack48 wrote:
[q="dojogrant"]In Arkham, you must deal with monsters, where in Eldritch you only need encounter them if you want to, at least most of the time. There is no simply deciding to leave a monster behind in Arkham.

Seriously? If you don't want a really short game of Eldritch, you have to get through the monsters in front of the gates... Which is essentially all of them. In Arkham, half the characters spend a lot of time trying to dodge monsters, hoping the group's brick can clear a path for them.

Quote:
Arkham tends to have major swings in fortune, and there's always a chance you could pull out a win if things are going badly, and always a chance things can go horribly wrong if you are doing well. Some of the most epic games have been a crushing defeat when all seemed winnable, or pulling out a glorious victory when all seemed lost.

You don't think Eldritch can swing as wildly as Arkham...? Ah, I get it now. We're obviously playing different games with the same names.
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One thing that I miss in EH that I feel I get in AH is the occasion when a truly Epic story unfolds, culminating in either an Epic Win or an Epic Loss. I find the EH win to be anticlimactic compared to AH's instant win on triggering, the same with losses. I abandon a much greater proportion of my EH games when it becomes clear that we're going to lose than I do in AH, because in AH I always believe that it's possible come back from a seemingly disastrous position. EH seems to have far more of an "inevitability" in the outcome - especially for losses.

For me, solving a Mystery in EH is nothing of the sort, it's akin to "grinding" in a video game. For some reason, Sealing Gates in AH never gets stale.

Don't get me wrong, I like EH (a lot), I just happen to significantly prefer AH.
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Definitely do not buy Arkham without playing it first somewhere. The games are quite similar and it always strikes me in these threads that a big reason some people like Arkham better is nostalgia or familiarity because they've already been playing it a long time and don't like that Eldritch Horror changed their game. The same thing happens in pretty much every case of a game getting a new edition that has major rule changes, such as people who were solidly invested in first edition Descent complaining that second edition was inferior in their opinion because it changed things but people who weren't particularly fond of first edition Descent or who hadn't played it often liking second edition better.

Point is a lot of people who have played both games say they like Eldritch better. Even if it is a 50/50 split it seems risky to buy Arkham without having ever actually played it if you already own and enjoy Eldritch. Your money would likely be better saved for another game you are thinking of buying that doesn't overlap so much with Eldritch.
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Xelto wrote:
Wolfpack48 wrote:
In Arkham, you must deal with monsters, where in Eldritch you only need encounter them if you want to, at least most of the time. There is no simply deciding to leave a monster behind in Arkham.

Seriously? If you don't want a really short game of Eldritch, you have to get through the monsters in front of the gates... Which is essentially all of them. In Arkham, half the characters spend a lot of time trying to dodge monsters, hoping the group's brick can clear a path for them.


I’m arguing that the games feel differently mechanically here, not whether one is better than the other. In Eldritch, you can leave combat any time, as long as you fight one round. You can do partial damage to a monster then get a (free) retreat. In Arkham, combat is all-or-nothing with monsters, and to retreat or move through the space you must make a successful skill (Evade) check for each monster in the space. It’s a huge differentiator in the way the two games “feel.” The mechanics actually are fine and work well/as intended for both games given their focus. But to say they play the same way, and one is just a an evolved version of the other is a huge oversimplification.

Xelto wrote:
Wolfpack48 wrote:
Arkham tends to have major swings in fortune, and there's always a chance you could pull out a win if things are going badly, and always a chance things can go horribly wrong if you are doing well. Some of the most epic games have been a crushing defeat when all seemed winnable, or pulling out a glorious victory when all seemed lost.


You don't think Eldritch can swing as wildly as Arkham...? Ah, I get it now. We're obviously playing different games with the same names.

No game I have ever played in Eldritch has ever matched the major swing of being in the final battle with the Ancient One, two investigators devoured, the final investigator down to their last round, and pulling a final battle card that allowed +1 successes for rolls of 6 and -1 successes for rolls of 1, then managing to roll 3 6’s and a 5 to knock 2 doom off the track and pull out a victory. I am sure there are close calls in Eldritch, but nothing matching coming down to a series of circumstances resulting in a final roll that can win or lose the game. Again, nothing wrong with the way Eldritch plays – my argument is the games play and feel very differently. I agree with mccrispy, that Eldritch does have an "inevitability" point where it becomes clear that the game is lost, no matter what you do.
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It might be interesting for you to play Arkham Horror, if a friend already owns a copy, to get a feel for the game. The mechanics are a little different, the playstyle is a little different, the theme is mostly the same.

But I highly doubt you will add much E/$ (Entertainment per dollar), by buying Arkham Horror in addition to Eldritch Horror. They are similar enough in style that you will primarily end up playing one version (whichever you like best) and ignoring the other.
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Xelto G
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Quote:
Quote:
You don't think Eldritch can swing as wildly as Arkham...? Ah, I get it now. We're obviously playing different games with the same names.

No game I have ever played in Eldritch has ever matched the major swing of being in the final battle with the Ancient One, two investigators devoured, <etc>


That's a shame. Eldritch has its equivalent ("doom is at two, and we have four red gates open, and it will be impossible to finish the mystery this turn... can we hold off long enough to get one more turn? If so, what will mythos bring?" Or "well, if I can flip this task, we might have a chance..."

I always thought Arkham's way of facing the GOO was cheesy. I prefer Eldritch. But in either game, there are games where you grab victory from the jaws of defeat. Or where you lose a game you were sure of winning. And yes, it can come down to a final card or die roll, in either one.
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dande313 wrote:
But I highly doubt you will add much E/$ (Entertainment per dollar), by buying Arkham Horror in addition to Eldritch Horror. They are similar enough in style that you will primarily end up playing one version (whichever you like best) and ignoring the other.


Eh. We play one or the other on alternating weeks, and enjoy both equally. Neither game is going to be ignored any time soon.
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Xelto wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
You don't think Eldritch can swing as wildly as Arkham...? Ah, I get it now. We're obviously playing different games with the same names.

No game I have ever played in Eldritch has ever matched the major swing of being in the final battle with the Ancient One, two investigators devoured, <etc>


That's a shame. Eldritch has its equivalent ("doom is at two, and we have four red gates open, and it will be impossible to finish the mystery this turn... can we hold off long enough to get one more turn? If so, what will mythos bring?" Or "well, if I can flip this task, we might have a chance..."

I always thought Arkham's way of facing the GOO was cheesy. I prefer Eldritch. But in either game, there are games where you grab victory from the jaws of defeat. Or where you lose a game you were sure of winning. And yes, it can come down to a final card or die roll, in either one.


Great! That may come with more plays, and looking forward to experiencing it -- so far, we've had a few close wins and losses, and many "inevitable" losses. Like I say, we enjoy both games, and I'm sure we'll love it when it happens.

As to the final battle, we always imagined the investigators being one of many others (military, police, etc.) fighting the battle -- really another combat mode altogether. We're not really hurting the AO, but rather annoying it enough to decide to come back later.
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If you love EH and have played all the expansions, you should definitely take a look at AH. If you are unsure, Youtube the game or find some gamers who have the game and are willing to play with you. You may find the game charmingly different from EH, with neat skill sliders that help you maximize your efforts when you need to, characters that change each session as you draw different items for them, and a ton of places to explore and different gates to encounter. Or you may find it a clunky, bloated, out of control game that lacks the refinement of EH, and a Mythos deck that lacks the punch of the hard (and medium, for that matter) cards out of EH deck. Either way, AH to me is definitely something every lover of the Mythos should check out and play at least once, if only as a reference point to make sense of all the "AH vs EH" discussions that seem to break out on the forums on a regular basis.

New Mansions of Madness 2nd ed and Arkham Horror LCG on the horizon too. It is a good time to be a Mythos fan!
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DouglasLondon wrote:
EH is more "realistic" IMO. All those monsters running around in one small town always struck me as ridiculous.

It's sort of like being a hippy. Most places, you get stared at. San Francisco, that just means the homeless people don't bug you for money. Well, this is Arkham. Deep one walking down the street? Well, they usually stick to themselves up in Innsmouth, but whatever, dude.
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Xelto wrote:
DouglasLondon wrote:
EH is more "realistic" IMO. All those monsters running around in one small town always struck me as ridiculous.

It's sort of like being a hippy. Most places, you get stared at. San Francisco, that just means the homeless people don't bug you for money. Well, this is Arkham. Deep one walking down the street? Well, they usually stick to themselves up in Innsmouth, but whatever, dude.


You'd think that the Terror level would start going up when all of Independence Square gets swallowed by a portal to Carcosa and the God of the Bloody Tongue starts hanging around downtown and eating anyone who steps out of the bank, but apparently the residents of Arkham are just that jaded.
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