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Subject: Vacation rss

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Wilbur Whateley
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So I'm about to go on a trip. I plan to take a game with me to solitaire during down hours (instead of the usual playing endless games of Puerto Rico on an iPad like I usually end up doing - trying to be more "analog" in my gaming nowadays).

Was thinking about Elder Sign because it is relatively small and I have only played the cardboard version of it once, and it wouldn't take that long nor require that much table space, and should be solitaire friendly. I have played the Elder Sign: Omens app quite a bit on my iPhone, which seems significantly more difficult than the board game did.

I own all the expansions for Elder Sign, but have not had the chance to play any of them. I am thinking I should bring one with me, since the base game just seemed too easy, especially for an experienced player of the app.

So, if you were going to be somewhere with Elder Sign and one expansion for a week, and thought the base game too easy, which expansion would you bring with you?

Also, it seems (in the app at least) that the fewer investigators you have, the easier the game gets, since the adventure rewards are more concentrated in the hands of fewer investigators and it takes fewer lost turns to heal up if necessary. Does this hold true in the board game version? Is playing with one or two investigators too easy?

Thanks.
 
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Michael Brettell
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Gates of Arkham for sure. I don't have the latest one, though, so can't comment on that. Both Omens and GoA fit inside the main box, and I don't think Omens takes up any more room on the table, so why not take both?
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Wilbur Whateley
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Interesting. I can't fit two expansion boxes inside my main box. You can? Or are you talking about taking all the components out and mixing them all together?
 
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mortego
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Base Game + Unseen Forces. It's more of the same and just a few extras (Blessed/Cursed dice) and no big change.
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Jonathan Hersey
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if you plan on being able to play through more than 4 times, my recommendation is as follows:
-remove the following from the base game:adventure cards (but keep the other world cards), Mythos cards, and Ancient Ones
-Add everything from unseen forces except for: the adventure cards (the other world cards can be included), Mythos cards, and Ancient Ones
-Add everything from Gates Of Arkham
-Add everything from Omens of Ice

Basically you will be playing Gates of Arkham or Omens of ice but can use the items, other world adventures, and blessing & curse dice/cards from the base game and unseen forces expansion

You could probably get away with just gates of Akrham and if you only expect to play 1-5 times then I would say only take that one. But if you are going to be playing more than that the variety between Gates of Arkham and Omens of Ice will be good.

Omens of Ice takes a lot longer to play 2-3 hours, but is more strategic and you can play against the same AO more times without it feeling as similar as it is with other game modes.

One last thing, since you are traveling you should get drawstring bag (or any non see-through bag) for your monsters. It will make setup and tear down much easier and make the game more portable.
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Robert Clevidence
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The only additional suggestion I have is to remove the Plateau of Leng other world card from the base set. There's one in Gates of Arkham that is almost exactly the same and there's no point in having both.
 
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Wilbur Whateley
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

By the way, do any of the expansions change the Other World cards?

In regular Elder Sign, they typically don't seem worth bothering with, and can increase the Doom count if I recall correctly, unlike in the iOS app, where they are often the best locations and can actually reduce the Doom count while also giving an Elder Sign.

It really struck me when I tried the cardboard version, that instead of Other Worlds being the best locations, they were often the worst, and usually best avoided.
 
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Robert Clevidence
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I like them since they more often yield elder signs. I have only played Gates of Arkham twice and haven't paid much attention to which set the other world cards are from, but in the case of Plateau of Leng, for what it's worth, the new version reverses the doom count by one and the original increases it by one.
 
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Jonathan Hersey
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chuft wrote:
Thanks for all the suggestions.

By the way, do any of the expansions change the Other World cards?

In regular Elder Sign, they typically don't seem worth bothering with, and can increase the Doom count if I recall correctly, unlike in the iOS app, where they are often the best locations and can actually reduce the Doom count while also giving an Elder Sign.

It really struck me when I tried the cardboard version, that instead of Other Worlds being the best locations, they were often the worst, and usually best avoided.


The same other world cards (with a few replacement exceptions) are used with Gates of Arkham but they feel different because GoA fundamentally changed the game. Essentially normal adventure cards become gateways to the other worlds and the normal adventure is no longer available unless you beat its respective other world card. So you are forced to go to the other worlds frequently. This does make the game harder but also much more exciting, plus they add in some additional ways you can deal with them besides just beating them outright.
 
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Michael Nerman
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chuft wrote:
[...]and can increase the Doom count if I recall correctly,

There are replacements for the Other World cards that increase the doom count in Unseen Forces.

Other worlds are (almost?) guaranteed Elder Signs and often have above average rewards for their difficulty, so they are definitely good.
 
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Michael Nerman
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You did remove the insert, right? I have room in my box for Unseen Forces, Omens of Ice (the beta) and a bunch of homebrew stuff.
 
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Wilbur Whateley
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I cannot fit more than one expansion box in my totally empty Elder Sign box.
 
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Robert Clevidence
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chuft wrote:
I cannot fit more than one expansion box in my totally empty Elder Sign box.


The only game box I know of that was designed to accommodate the expansions' boxes is Eminent Domain. For Elder Sign, take the expansion contents out of their boxes and try to fit the stuff in the core box again.
 
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Stephan Beal
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chuft wrote:
Interesting. I can't fit two expansion boxes inside my main box. You can?


i fit the base game and all expansions, minus the tokens, in the base box:



The monsters are tucked away in a little box buried in there somewhere.

Granted, the box doesn't close.
 
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Stephan Beal
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Jonathan68 wrote:

You could probably get away with just gates of Akrham and if you only expect to play 1-5 times then I would say only take that one. But if you are going to be playing more than that the variety between Gates of Arkham and Omens of Ice will be good.


And just to introduce a contending viewpoint: i'd just take the base and Unseen Forces. i completely dislike Gates if Arkham (it's a non-stop gate-spamming fest, and i don't see the fun in that) and am still undecided about Omens of Ice (found it kind of "meh" in my first/only play-through, and i'm not a big fan of the 3-staged adventure design). Unfortunately, though, the base game/Unseen Forces is quite a bit too easy (in stark contrast to the app version of the game, which is simply a meat grinder) and might or might not scratch your vacation gaming itch by itself.
 
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Stephan Beal
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chuft wrote:
By the way, do any of the expansions change the Other World cards?

In regular Elder Sign, they typically don't seem worth bothering with, and can increase the Doom count if I recall correctly, unlike in the iOS app, where they are often the best locations and can actually reduce the Doom count while also giving an Elder Sign.


IMO they should be a priority, as they normally provide more Elder Signs. In the base game, if you concentrate solely on collecting Signs, the game is easy peasy.

i played about a dozen sessions on the app before throwing it out the window (never once collected more than 6 signs before being wiped out because the app is stupidly, randomly difficult). i recommend not trying to draw any conclusions about the board game based on the app - they are superficially similar, yet radically (and disappointingly) different.
 
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