Randall Kent
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Like many of you, I have been following the pre-release of Arkham Horror: The Card Game with great interest. However, despite the great majority of news being very exciting there is, in my opinion, one apparent major flaw in the game as we know it, namely:

The revealed side of location cards will only ever be an unexpected surprise for your very first play through. After that for your next several dozen, or even hundreds, of games you will know exactly what's behind them and it will be almost impossible not to let that affect/dictate your game play.

The solution is obvious, although implementation may vary. We need Fantasy Flight, later down the road, to sell expansions that focus primarily on providing us with multiple duplicate locations with unique hidden sides. Will they?

Following production of a complete campaign, for example The Dunwich Legacy, we will have on average 8 scenarios. If we assume that on average there are 7 locations per scenario we will end up with roughly 56 distinct location cards (7×8=56). If we create 2 new versions of each separate location that leaves us with 112 new cards that now allow each location a possibility of 3 unique cards (each with unique hidden sides) that can be shuffled individually and selected prior to set up in each game. While this may seem small (only 3 possibilities per card) it actually results in 175,616 different possible unique campaign layouts! (56 sample points with 3 different possible positions each = 56^3 = math nerds check me on this!). Compare this to the currently possible 1 (and only 1!) combination for the locations as they are now.

My preferred take on a solution is as follows: Following each campaign cycle Fantasy Flight Games releases a big box "campaign" expansion for that specific campaign. Included are the approximately 112 needed new location cards to make a complete set of 3 possible versions for each card. Fantasy Flight's big box expansions usually have about 165 cards in them (Dunwich has 156 with 5 small player cards), that leaves us roughly 50 cards to play with (minus extra costs for double printing all locations). I propose they use those 50 card spots to provide "Nightmare" versions of existing playsets; i.e. "Nightmare Ghouls/Rats" that would completely swap out a original Ghouls/Rats playset, etc. That way you could bump the difficulty in any given scenario by swapping out one or more "Nightmare" playsets according to taste.

Possible alternatives include providing 3 new cards for each location (168 cards) for a total of 4 unique, or instead doing 2 full campaigns with one box (224 cards likely with a higher price point)

The question Fantasy Flight needs to ask itself is if there is demand for such a product. Well forum, is there? Make your voice heard now! I for one know I would snap up a product like that! Think how much it would improve replay ability between campaign cycles!
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Milo Gertjejansen
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I will put a big box expansion on that they will make something exactly similar to the Nightmare Decks in Lord of the Rings.
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J P
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Since I play many different games I neither have that kind of money or need that much variety.

Also, once you pass a certain age, the memory doesn't work as well and, like I said, I play many different games, so by the time I get around to replaying a campaign I won't remember the specifics of every location.
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Matt E.

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I hear what you are saying OP, I just don't know if that's where FFG wants to focus their printing resources and creative resources.

Having said that, I suppose for many simply increasing the difficulty will have to be sufficient for repeat runs.
 
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Itai Rosenbaum
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Or, y'know, just include duplicate locations in the core box...

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Richard A. Edwards
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The short answer is yes.

While the first scenario of the core campaign (The Gathering) has only 1 of each location, the second scenario (The Midnight Masks) has two different cards for Southside and Downtown and you only use ONE of each when you setup the game. The third scenario (The Devourer Below) gets even wilder with 6 copies of Arkham Woods of which a random 4 are placed during setup.

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Bradley Will
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SirRoke wrote:
The short answer is yes.

While the first scenario of the core campaign (The Gathering) has only 1 of each location, the second scenario (The Midnight Masks) has two different cards for Southside and Downtown and you only use ONE of each when you setup the game. The third scenario (The Devourer Below) gets even wilder with 6 copies of Arkham Woods of which a random 4 are placed during setup.



Bravo.thumbsup
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trevor

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Okay, I'm not crazy then, because I thought this was already included in the game
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Randall Kent
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SirRoke wrote:
The short answer is yes.

While the first scenario of the core campaign (The Gathering) has only 1 of each location, the second scenario (The Midnight Masks) has two different cards for Southside and Downtown and you only use ONE of each when you setup the game. The third scenario (The Devourer Below) gets even wilder with 6 copies of Arkham Woods of which a random 4 are placed during setup.



Thank you SirRoke! This exactly what I wanted to hear!

To address some of the points raised(both on this board and elsewhere):

First, this same principle may have been shown in a preview (woods) where there are multiple copies of a location card that looks identical on the unrevealed side. Although it's unclear to me whether you shuffle these before the game and add only one (my idea) or if you simply have 3 copies of a generic location in the same game and you have to search each one to find what you need (according to SirRoke above it's both). In any case this simply proves my point that having multiple different hidden sides improves replay ability because it forces you to guess/play differently. The question is whether we are satisfied with this being a one-off 4 card diversion in one particular scenario or whether we'd like the whole campaign to have that feel.

Second, for those concerned with clutter/value I was clear that I DON'T want this to be part a a "regular" campaign box/cycle. It would be beyond foolish to thin the card pool in normal sets to give duplicate locations - that's why FFG didn't do it! Frankly, that's why they didn't give a full duplicate player card set in the Core Set either, they know variety is more important. I'll want that variety in full play sets of new player cards each cycle too! It's foolish to think that FFG will just design/test/create 112+ new location cards and just "include them for free" either.

What I'm saying is that I want a separate campaign location expansion that I can buy to give me the replay ability I want (encounter and player deck reshuffling already provides this to some extent - but set locations allow players to abuse foreknowledge). I'm also saying I want this enough that I'd rather delay the 2nd campaign several months (and then delay the 3rd, etc.) in order to make room for this location expansion box. I figure I'll get much more re-use out of playing the entire 8 scenario campaign indefinitely than I will by playing the first two scenarios of the next campaign a few times a few months earlier.

Now your opinion may differ, that's fine. If you only expect to play each campaign once, or if you don't really think you'll send the investigator with the flashlight to the -4 shroud room while his partner without the flashlight searches the -1 shroud room (really?), or if you can't be bothered to send your Guardian with the shotgun to the location the big Boss will spawn (REALLY?!!)... then I think you would be right to think that new locations won't benefit you much.

Ultimately it's about what you value in a game, and how you prioritize those values. No one is wrong to prioritize different types of content, and whether there is a consensus for or against this type of multiple versions of location content is what I want to know. Thanks.
 
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Cannibal wrote:



I'm also saying I want this enough that I'd rather delay the 2nd campaign several months (and then delay the 3rd, etc.) in order to make room for this location expansion box. I figure I'll get much more re-use out of playing the entire 8 scenario campaign indefinitely than I will by playing the first two scenarios of the next campaign a few times a few months earlier.



You would delay things quite a bit. Most games take at least around 2 years to develop. Simply printing and getting things distributed to stores takes 2-3 months. Maybe in the future that would be cool to implement, but I, personally, don't want them to delay anything they've already got in the pipeline.


EDIT: typo
 
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Randall Kent
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DancingFool wrote:
Cannibal wrote:



I'm also saying I want this enough that I'd rather delay the 2nd campaign several months (and then delay the 3rd, etc.) in order to make room for this location expansion box. I figure I'll get much more re-use out of playing the entire 8 scenario campaign indefinitely than I will by playing the first two scenarios of the next campaign a few times a few months earlier.



You would delay things quite a bit. Most games take at least around 2 years to develop. Simply printing and getting things distributed to stores takes 2-3 months. Maybe in the future that would be cool to implement, but I, personally, don't want them to delay anything they've already got in the pipeline.


EDIT: typo


Let me say out the gate that I don't care if this type of expansion comes out before, after, or in the middle of another campaign cycle (regardless of which number). I just want it to come out! ;^) My comment was never intended to dictate FFG's release schedule. That being said...

My comment was intended to address the allocation of resources, chiefly printing capacity, etc. I did not intend to suggest they should withhold an already developed printed product. However according to FFG themselves they are no where near close to printing the 2nd campaign box yet so in theory they could swap out the two projects (although the big box printing is likely a bigger bottleneck than the card packs).

It would hardly take 2 years to develop concepts for alternate locations like a new game would. You have to understand that basically 100% of the art, etc., is already developed, approved, and ready to print. What we're talking about more closely resembles printing errata on a reprint.

As far as development you have only 56 cards (plus whatever extra cards make up the box) and you need to swap around shroud/clue numbers (that can be done in an afternoon) and then add some unique and fun different effects. That will require some creatively and a little playtesting, although again not likely to be extensive considering the bulk of the game (Player/Encounter/Scenario cards) is already in place. Doing it in a matter of months is certainly not out of the question.

I agree that the first cycle is already designed, approved, and waiting to print/distribute. This just means that any current reallocation of development team resources won't affect the first cycle at all. Which as I mentioned would obviously push back the development done by the same team on some future campaign cycle. If it so happens that that the second campaign is fully designed as well and they are working on the third, than it would be even easier to shift resources to work on a location based expansion now, although potentially it might be harder to correct the printing window (as the big box printing window needs to line up with the following cycle packs windows without jamming up their Star Wars lines, etc.)

FFG never stops printing something, they just change which products are currently being printed; and it's not out of the question to shift a print window that's more than 6 months out from today's date - the further out you go the easier it is to shift. However, due to the need for maintaining product lines you're not likely to bump anything non-Arkham fo something that is Arkham which means that if you want an Arkham location expansion product you are almost by default bumping another Arkham product.

Again, the main issue is the printing capacity and a distribution window, which are limited.
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Richard A. Edwards
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The game is so thematic and the scenarios story driven that I don't see the usefulness in "generic" locations that can be swapped among different scenarios.

Nor do I think such generic effects randomly included would provide a balanced game experience.

Instead, I think what they're doing, using multiple locations tailored to the specific story scenario, to allow for replay surprises while keeping the locations balanced and thematic, is perfect.
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Gergely Kovacs
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SirRoke wrote:
The game is so thematic and the scenarios story driven that I don't see the usefulness in "generic" locations that can be swapped among different scenarios.


I cannot agree with this more.
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Bojan Prakljacic
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What I see, in the future, are location cards with list of token icons which has various effects / shroud / negative bonuses for the player, and by flipping the Location cards you will be inclined to take one of the tokens from the chaos bag to resolve the location effect.
I'm actually surprised they have't done it already. Imagine the additional replay-ability. Also, lowers the number of location cards since you don't need variations. One card would have multiple variations depending on the token you drew from the bag.
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You'd need some way for the game to keep track of which token was pulled. That means either another card (which would defeat the point) or leaving the token on the location (which would throw off the odds for the rest of the scenario--potentially a feature, but still something you need to plan around).
 
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Bojan Prakljacic
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Or you just place Doom token on the selected variation (or any other token to mark the selection basically). I'm sure they will add more tokens for marking or something in some future expansion.
 
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