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Arkham Horror» Forums » General

Subject: So I'm getting frustrated with this game. What am I missing? rss

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W. Cracker
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Lighter fluid and a matcharrrh
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Krawhitham B
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How many investigators are you running?
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Michael F
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Krawhitham wrote:
How many investigators are you running?


Unless you're running at least 3 (preferably 4), the game is usually more on the difficult side.

It sounds like you might be too focused on acquiring weapons and defeating creatures. Since the game is won by getting gates closed, I find that that's usually the best thing to focus on. Go after clues as much as possible, and get those gates closed. Just try and avoid the monsters as best you can. Sometimes it benefits you to have a designated fighter to take them out for trophies, but you are dealing with otherworldly beings, after all. If they're too much of a hassle to defeat, don't make it a priority to do so. If it looks like the GOO is going to wake up, get prepared to fight him. Have encounters in locations where weapons are likely to pop up, get blessed if you can, and trade around items if you haven't already.

I'm actually kind of surprised that most people say the Terror Track is a non-issue for them, because I've played many games of AH, and the Terror Track is usually at least 8 or 9 for me by the end of the game. I just don't stress about visiting stores because you don't really have a lot of money to spend anyway, but if there's nothing else to do, stores can be a good place for encounters.

If it makes you feel any better, Pandemic is a game I dislike because of how frustrated I get when I lose it. I always feel like I did everything as optimally as possible, but still lost because of how the decks were shuffled. Maybe that's the same case here with you and AH. Personally I don't mind getting annihilated in AH because the theme assumes you probably will lose, though I've had more easy games than difficult ones.
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David Jones
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As Kraw is suggesting, investigator count is critical. Even if you are playing solo, you should be running three or four investigators. Winning with one investigator is very hard. I haven't played vanilla AH in a long time, but I will try to dig up what I can remember about winning.

First, since you've mentioned madness/injury cards, that tells me you've bought Dunwich, but not what elements you've mixed in. Part of the strategy I am about to give you rely's on the fact that unique item deck and the location decks are very thin. If you've mixed all the Dunwich stuff in to those respective deck, this strategy becomes harder to pull off.

Figure out who your most useless investigator is. This investigator is going to be your "shopper," In the base game, there is only one bad and two neutral encounters at the newspaper. All the other encounters typically generate you some kind of money. Just going to keep having encounter here until you get $8. Go to the specialty shop. You only care about two things: Elder signs and weapons. If you find an Elder sign, buy it. Have your healthiest investigator come get it from him and go rush a gate so you can seal it. If you get a weapon instead, have your worst equipped investigator come pick this up from him. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Pick an investigator with 6 heart/4 brain and a decent fight score. His job is going to be to keep the streets clean. Make sure he has a good physical weapon and a good magic weapon so he can deal with any kind of resistances or immunities that might come up. Don't worry too much about the horror checks. If he can survive the physical combat, he can come get money from your "shopper" and heal up at the asylum. But at the end of the day, the "street cleaners" job is to keep the paths clear for the other investigator(s) so they can get where they need to go. I know that some of those big monsters look impossible, but if you go into battle armed like Neo it is possible to take them out. (But do pay attention to how many hands you are using.)

Your third person needs to rush either the first or second gate that opens. Don't worry about sealing it. You just need to close it to keep under your gate limit and control your monster surges. You should have one investigator in another world for each gate over two on the board. If you have to stop shopping or street cleaning to keep your gates under control, thats OK. But do keep it under control.

If you have a fourth investigator, they should be collecting clues so that when they rush a gate they can seal. You only need five to seal, but you want to have seven clues with you. You may need a reroll or some such thing while you are in another world. But this person is basically going to do a lot of the actual gate sealing or handling the odd emergency that your other investigators can't get to.

Don't lock any investigator into any particular role. It may take too much time to have investigators go across the board to swap items. If your shopper gets an elder sign but is closer to an open gate than your other investigators, just send your shopper through the gate and get it sealed. Have somebody else move up and take over his/her job. Similarly, your shopper may pick up a weapon and be closer to a monster than your street cleaner. Most investigators can handle any role, some just do it better than others. Understanding these roles will help you get a grasp on the game, but if you don't learn how to be versatile in switching these roles between investigators you will bottleneck your strategy. A good example is that sometimes you have two street cleaners, one who has magical attacks and one who has physical attacks. Whichever one isn't actually needed for street cleaning is usually going to be closing a gate.

Use the Docks and Science building. Getting money for monsters is more efficient than using the newspaper. Trading for clues is also important as clues can't be bought and are generally hard to come by. When you do turn monsters in for money/clues, always turn in the cheap/easy monsters. You don't want to throw a tough monster back into the cup if you can avoid it. In fact, using these location to deliberately dump easy monsters back into the cup is actually a good strategy.

The first chance you have to seal a gate (five clues or an Elder Sign) seal The Woods. The Woods the most frequent location in the mythos deck. You seal this and about half of your monster surges go away. If I remember correctly the Black Cave and Graveyard are the next most frequent locations, so those are your next priorities. Independence Square is the least frequent, so you will typically ignore that gate until you are near the end game. That said, look at the symbols on the gates and the symbols on the "tough" monsters on your board. Sometimes sealing a gate for its symbol is more valuable than sealing for its location.

Rumors generally suck. With a few exceptions, they will always become your highest priority when one flips. It gets in the way, but often the rewards are good enough to make up for the diversion.

Thats about all I remember from vanilla AH. The main thing is to just pound that unique deck for Elder signs. Not only is it a guaranteed seal, but it turns the clock backwards. As mentioned above, this gets harder if you've added all the Dunwich stuff in. The elder sign frequency gets reduced when you add the new unique cards in and the newspaper shop also becomes less lucrative if you've added the new Arkham encounter cards. Once you start winning vanilla games, then add that stuff in and work your way into more difficult setups.
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Reverend Uncle Bastard
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Coase wrote:

I can't seem to ever get a handle on the monsters. I try buying weapons, I try having a designated fighter, I try everything I can read in these forums--and yet every game devolves into a 3-toughness monster with Physical Immunity blocking off half the map, or a flying Polyp who won't go away. Even under the best circumstances, I can't find enough weapons to even come close to defeating anything aside from the occasional Cultist. I've had games where it's the third turn and I have six monsters on the board and each one has three toughness. I can't do anything with that!


I don't understand how you can't beat a 3 toughness monster. Even with an investigator with only 4 maximum fight, it is easy to find an item or spell that gives +4 dice to combat. You should be able to, much of the time, roll 3 successes (5s or 6s) with that many dice.

Also, if a monster is giving you grief, just close a gate with a matching symbol and it will disappear into the void! Remember, you don't need elder signs to close a gate, just to seal it once it is closed. If the board is filling with monsters, just go through a gate, spend the turns in the other world and then come back and close it. Most gates close easily and then you can remove all monsters from the board/sky/outskirts with the matching symbol. Your sticking points and repeated difficulty makes me suspect you are missing a key rule. Why aren't you just closing gates to get rid of monsters?
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Bern Harkins
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If you are using the Dunwich I&M cards, you should not be losing items when Investigators go insane/unconscious.

Large creatuures who cannot be fought with your current weapons can be Evaded. This can take multiple turns as you adjust your skill sliders.

If you are playing with only one Investigator, a one-in-ten win rate is about right. Play at least three for a reasonable chance of winning.
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Robert Ruescher
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When all else fails

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Wolfie
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Okay, some questions regarding monsters:

Are you using Evade as a viable option? I remember we used to only look at the combat side when we dealt with monsters, but at a certain point we started looking more closely at the Awareness stat on the front side. Often (not always), tough monsters have a pretty easy Awareness modifier (+0 or -1), and can be snuck by, generally after a slider adjustment. Remember that you don't have to worry about monsters until Movement phase, so you almost always have a chance to adjust sliders before you deal with the meanie.

Is there something else you can do in a reachable location besides fight with monsters? Take a close look at the special abilities where you are, or consider visiting a green location - often you can get some really nice encounters that can help in some way. Look closely at the symbols on the encounter locations.

Try to get both a magical and physical weapon. Fairly standard advice, but good to remember, and best to do as early in the game as possible. Also see the next one, below.

Don't forget to trade items, and don't forget Spells are an item. We used to forget about doing this all the time. Often an investigator will have 2 or 3 weapons, while another will have none. Get over to each other early and distribute those weapons as much as you can, and maybe spend the first few turns shopping at the General Store or Curiositie Shoppe.

Find a way to get money, so you can buy items Getting a Retainer at the Newspaper can definitely help with income. Bank Loans can be good if you have some other source of income or can trade money easily, but don't overdo it.

Don't forget Spells and Tomes. We used to ignore these all the time. If you get a tome, convert it to whatever it's worth (skill, spell, clues, etc.) as soon as you can. Treat combat spells as a weapon, and get it to the person who can make the most use of it in a trade. Remember that spells are considered magical weapons.

If all else fails, remember that going insane or unconscious transports you to the hospital or asylum. Does going to the hospital or asylum get you any closer to that open gate? Maybe having an Insanity or Injury card is worth the trade off.
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Teeka
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I want to help out too, but where did the original post go?
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Brian Mc Cabe
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Nothing. You're playing it right. Or, more accurately, it's playing you.

Brian
 
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