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Subject: 1 vs 2 Core Sets: The FINAL post this topic will ever need rss

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MISSION STATEMENT:
This game has seemingly generated more then the usual "1 versus 2 Core Set" discussions for a LCG. Herein is presented the bare bones facts (with some opinion) that may aid a mature, rationally minded individual in making the decision to purchase one or two Core Sets, based on individual circumstances and preferences. Hopefully this becomes a resource for anyone interested in jumping into the game in the future.

DISCLAIMER:
Anyone who didn't care for another post about this topic is welcome to voice their disgust; however, if you truly "don't care" than don't post. I spent the time writing this overly long post, you are not required to spend the time reading it or commenting on it.

ASSUMPTIONS:
The reader has read the game rules on FFG's website (under game support) and understands the deck building constraints of the 5 Investigators included in the Core Set.

THE MAIN POINT TO CONSIDER:
Legal 30 card deck build.

AH comes with 117 player cards; 50 Zero-level character class cards (10 per class), 20 "High" level character class cards (4 per class; ranging from level 1 to level 4, these can't be used in a campaign until a player gains character experience), 22 Zero-level Neutral cards, 4 "High" level Neutral cards, 10 Basic Weakness Cards (no deck building use having duplicates, does not count toward deck size), 10 Investigator specific Cards (no deck building use having duplicates, does not count toward deck size), and 1 Scenario Specific Card (no deck building use having duplicates)

Each Investigator's deck building requirements state 30 cards. 1 Core can achieve this for 1 and 2 players, although with 2 players you are limited to 5 specific combinations of Investigators as shown on page 15 of the rules.

With only 1 Core you have 72 Zero-level cards to start building with. I have done the math and following the Investigators deck building constrains at best you could construct three 24 card decks for 3 players or four 18 card decks for 4 players. There is also the option of using proxies.

Buying a 2nd Core Set allows you to avoid compromising for smaller then 30 card decks due to a card pool of 20 per class Zero-level cards (100 total) and 44 Zero-level Neutral cards to fill in the gaps. I view this as the key functional difference between buying 1 or 2 Core Sets.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:
First things first, every factor under this heading boils down to personal preference and it is up to the individual to decide what is "right" for them. Pro vs. Con headings are my personal opinion of the overall impact each point has.

1) (Con) Budget - Can I afford more then 1 Core Set?

2) (Pro) Complete Card Set - It can be argued that even though 1 Core Set comes with at least two of each Neutral card, extra Neutrals (26 total) can still be used to help create different decks. That point aside, there is only 1 each of all the character class cards (Zero level and higher, 70 total). So depending on how you view the usefulness of Neutrals you either get 70 more character class cards to round out the complete card set of 2 per deck or 96 more "useful" player cards with a 2nd Core Set purchase.

3) (Pro) Time Saver - Most of the other cards (the "bad guy" cards) can be sorted to have more then 1 scenario pre-built and ready to go.

4) (Meh) Patience - Once the announced expansions start rolling out, anyone considering buying them can almost certainly start filling out the empty slots in their decks. Especially considering the 5 Investigators that come in The Dunwich Legacy have different deck building constraints (i.e. they are able to sample cards from all character classes).

MY DECISION:
I will only buy 1 Core Set and wait for expansions to build up my card pool to allow more then two 30 card decks. I have no issues with the 2 player Investigator combination constraints nor have I any qualms playing a 3 player game with 24 card decks. I can come back to the scenarios in the future for an "official" win once I have the card pool to support more then two 30 card decks. If you are reading this and at least one cycle has been released already I am of the opinion that this discussion is moot as there are plenty of options to choose from aside from a second Core Set.

Thanks for your time.

*Edit - Finished an incomplete paragraph. Clarified opening statement.
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Nushura
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Even though I appreciate the idea behind your post....you know that this is the SECOND thread that claims to be the "final post on this topic, right"?

This is in part because BGG does not have a "featured" post that does not go down or similar
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Shane
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That's all very good, but should I buy 1 or 2 core sets?

whistle
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Rob s
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I honestly, I wish there was a mod team to come in and clean the Arkham Horror LCG threads up.
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Mikael Svensson
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Good post, but I have one question......

Do I need one or two cores?

Give me a hint at least. Have not found this info anywhere.

Thinking about starting a thread with a poll and let the majority decide how I should behave. That way I cannot be held accountable!
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Mikael Svensson
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I honestly, I wish there was a mod team to come in and clean the Arkham Horror LCG threads up.

What? This game is dead. They do not care anymore.
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Pascal Lefebvre
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I think the most annoying part now is the people complaining about duplicate threads and those "the game is dead" joke that pollute every thread. It's a valid question, and I've started seeing numbers in explanations only recently, so there was more meat to that bone. And there'll still be some meat on that bone until enough people have played the game and can give a detailed explanations, with numbers and actual gameplay experience, on the relevance of having 1 or 2 core sets.
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Phoenixio wrote:
I think the most annoying part now is the people complaining about duplicate threads and those "the game is dead" joke that pollute every thread. It's a valid question, and I've started seeing numbers in explanations only recently, so there was more meat to that bone. And there'll still be some meat on that bone until enough people have played the game and can give a detailed explanations, with numbers and actual gameplay experience, on the relevance of having 1 or 2 core sets.


Of course, I am biased when saying this but thank you for seeing the forest in spite of the many digital trees killed in the name of this topic.
 
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Donny Behne
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Phoenixio wrote:
I think the most annoying part now is the people complaining about duplicate threads and those "the game is dead" joke that pollute every thread. It's a valid question, and I've started seeing numbers in explanations only recently, so there was more meat to that bone. And there'll still be some meat on that bone until enough people have played the game and can give a detailed explanations, with numbers and actual gameplay experience, on the relevance of having 1 or 2 core sets.


Except that discussion can happen in one thread.
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Tom Scutt
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I will only buy 1 core set for the same reason that I don't buy IAPs* in free-to-play games: I see the constraints of playing the game within the confines of the base game as an essential meta-rule.

I don't buy gems/gold in F2P games because as soon as I start doing that, the whole framework of the game becomes malleable. And once you start spending money, where are the boundaries...once you've decided that you're having trouble beating a level so you'll just spend some money to help you get past it, where does it end? What are the boundaries of the game?

I feel the same way about Arkham Horror: The Card Game. I'm really excited about it, but I'll play it within the confines of the a single Core Set (and, when they come out, the expansions), as that feels to me like the proper boundaries of the game. And if I can't beat the game within that framework then I'll keep trying until I do. For me, anything else would feel a bit like pay-to-win.

(all this is just speaking personally, of course...I have absolutely no problem with anyone else buying however many core sets they want!)

*I mean gems/gold and similar IAPs that speed up progression...I'm very happy to spend money on actual content.
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If you think you'll get use out of 2 Core Sets, Buy 2 Core Sets.

If you think you'll only need 1 Core Set, Buy 1 Core Set.

This has become needlessly complicated
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Brian Franzman
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Problem solved. Everyone should just buy 3 sets for no good reason.
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Immortal
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is there 4 flash light in the game? if no im buying 2 core set lol
 
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Gustavo Herodier
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Thanks for this, op!

My 2 cents, fwiw: the proliferation of these threads and of the "how many core sets" question does nothing but underline the absurdity of the business model (well, from the consumer's point of view anyway. Maybe it's not the absurdity but the barefaced greed of the matter).

The only reason a product labelled *core set* contains ~90% of the full set is that they know we suckers are gonna buy a second (or even third) box.

This isn't the same situation as expansions, which are optional* and self-contained (and we're all happily gonna buy too), this is more like being sold a "six-pack" of beer with only 5 cans in it. Want the sixth beer? You're gonna have to buy another 5, I'm afraid.

Basically, "I know it's crooked, but it's the only game in town" shouldn't be the end of the discussion. - we need to voice our displeasure in the (admittedly vain) hopes that games publishers aren't so opportunistic in the future. Unfortunately, were all suckers for a good game






*all games are strictly speaking optional, you know what I mean.
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Brian C
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heroes182 wrote:
Thanks for this, op!

My 2 cents, fwiw: the proliferation of these threads and of the "how many core sets" question does nothing but underline the absurdity of the business model (well, from the consumer's point of view anyway. Maybe it's not the absurdity but the barefaced greed of the matter).

The only reason a product labelled *core set* contains ~90% of the full set is that they know we suckers are gonna buy a second (or even third) box.

This isn't the same situation as expansions, which are optional* and self-contained (and we're all happily gonna buy too), this is more like being sold a "six-pack" of beer with only 5 cans in it. Want the sixth beer? You're gonna have to buy another 5, I'm afraid.

Basically, "I know it's crooked, but it's the only game in town" shouldn't be the end of the discussion. - we need to voice our displeasure in the (admittedly vain) hopes that games publishers aren't so opportunistic in the future. Unfortunately, were all suckers for a good game






*all games are strictly speaking optional, you know what I mean.

I need one of those fervently clapping in the back row of the theatre gifs for this post.
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Aaron Yoder
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nightwishpower wrote:
is there 4 flash light in the game? if no im buying 2 core set lol


Yes.


ydna_llero wrote:


Buying a 2nd Core Set allows you to avoid compromising for smaller then 30 card decks due to a card pool of 20 per class Zero-level cards (100 total) and 44 Zero-level Neutral cards to fill in the gaps. I view this as the key functional difference between buying 1 or 2 Core Sets.


I disagree. You shouldn't ever have less than 30 cards in your deck unless you and your partner choose characters with coinciding major/minor classes. Instead, the real reason to buy the second core is to allow yourself to insert multiples of class cards into your deck, as each class card has only one copy per core. It opens up deckbuilding and leveling options.

If you don't want to buy 2 Core Sets, you will still have a fully functional, awesome game (we didn't open up our second set until after playing the campaign the first time). The only difference is that you won't really be constructing a deck.
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nomoredroids wrote:
ydna_llero wrote:


Buying a 2nd Core Set allows you to avoid compromising for smaller then 30 card decks due to a card pool of 20 per class Zero-level cards (100 total) and 44 Zero-level Neutral cards to fill in the gaps. I view this as the key functional difference between buying 1 or 2 Core Sets.


I disagree. You shouldn't ever have less than 30 cards in your deck unless you and your partner choose characters with coinciding major/minor classes. Instead, the real reason to buy the second core is to allow yourself to insert multiples of class cards into your deck, as each class card has only one copy per core. It opens up deckbuilding and leveling options.

If you don't want to buy 2 Core Sets, you will still have a fully functional, awesome game (we didn't open up our second set until after playing the campaign the first time). The only difference is that you won't really be constructing a deck.


I don't disagree with any of your statements.

My comment about having less then 30 cards in a deck is only in the case of only owning 1 Core Set and wanting to play with more then two players. In which case major/minor class overlap is unavoidable. Yes, this would bend the deck building rules and result in smaller, unofficial decks, but I am willing to make that compromise if it means playing it with one more friend within the privacy of my home.

I tried to convey the limited (I say constrained) deck building of only 1 Core Set but said it differently and less clearly. I am looking forward to owning and playing with what comes in 1 Core.
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Exo Desta wrote:
heroes182 wrote:
Thanks for this, op!

My 2 cents, fwiw: the proliferation of these threads and of the "how many core sets" question does nothing but underline the absurdity of the business model (well, from the consumer's point of view anyway. Maybe it's not the absurdity but the barefaced greed of the matter).

The only reason a product labelled *core set* contains ~90% of the full set is that they know we suckers are gonna buy a second (or even third) box.

This isn't the same situation as expansions, which are optional* and self-contained (and we're all happily gonna buy too), this is more like being sold a "six-pack" of beer with only 5 cans in it. Want the sixth beer? You're gonna have to buy another 5, I'm afraid.

Basically, "I know it's crooked, but it's the only game in town" shouldn't be the end of the discussion. - we need to voice our displeasure in the (admittedly vain) hopes that games publishers aren't so opportunistic in the future. Unfortunately, were all suckers for a good game






*all games are strictly speaking optional, you know what I mean.

I need one of those fervently clapping in the back row of the theatre gifs for this post.


Agreed all around! I love many FFG games (I am a part of the problem, I own two cores of LoTR:LCG...) but they should be taken to task on this issue. I know it has been discussed in many places, but it is worth saying it again.

OP: I appreciate your breakdown of the situation for somebody who is new to the discussions. I have joked elsewhere on this forum about the incessant talk about this but issue, but I was just kidding around (some people take things a bit too seriously!).
 
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heroes182 wrote:
My 2 cents, fwiw: the proliferation of these threads and of the "how many core sets" question does nothing but underline the absurdity of the business model (well, from the consumer's point of view anyway. Maybe it's not the absurdity but the barefaced greed of the matter).


Yes, I think this is exactly right; I think to many people, it does seem absurd.

I suspect part of the reason there have been so many threads about the number of cores is that it seems this game is aimed at a slightly wider audience, perhaps, than things like Lord of the Rings (which seems a little hard-core). This is the first LCG that I've been really grabbed by, and I can't imagine I'm the only rookie.

With that in mind, the core sets thing is deeply weird. If I buy Caverna, I own Caverna. If I buy Catan, well, I might want to shell out on an expansion for 5-6 players, but I don't have to buy a complete second copy. It is off-putting, and it is weird.

I guess for LCG veterans, this practice might be normal - but to us newbies, it's very strange.
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This thread is too long. All I need to know is whether I need 1 core set or 2. Thanks in advance.
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roborob wrote:
This thread is too long. All I need to know is whether I need 1 core set or 2. Thanks in advance.


Maybe we need a new place to discuss this. Should I start one or two new threads?
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It pops up all the time and the reasons don't change. FFG isn't trying to gouge us by releasing the game like they do, it's the most reasonable way to give a wide variety of cards while keeping their costs reasonable.

One core let's two people play the game and enjoy it, perfect for most players that don't feel the compulsion to have everything. As mentioned by OP patient players who will purchase expansions and continue playing don't need more than one core either as the game will very quickly have sufficient cards for more options.

Completionists may complain that they have to buy a second core for full play sets, but that's a conscious decision that individuals make and isn't necessary to enjoy the game. You may have a suboptimal deck without the second core but that's a complaint that doesn't carry near enough weight for FFG to start releasing full play set cores with half the card variety.

Personally I'm a completionist and I'll buy all the core sets I need for playsets, I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford to, perhaps that makes me part of why the system won't change. Personally I like that core sets are designed with the more casual crowd in mind - something that's more likely to get people to try the game.

Anyhow that's my 2c for what it's worth.
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Dan Gillette
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My friend and I each have one core set. Neither of us can wait to get our second for deckbuilding reasons.
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Nushura wrote:
Even though I appreciate the idea behind your post....you know that this is the SECOND thread that claims to be the "final post on this topic, right"?

This is in part because BGG does not have a "featured" post that does not go down or similar


Might I suggest hitting the "recommend" green thumbs up found at the top, next to the thread title? If enough people do this then it will become a "Hot Thread" and stay elevated above the others. Its not a perfect solution and I understand if some people don't feels it might warrant such a position.

As of this writing the OP has 30 thumbs up while this "recommend" button only has four.
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indy lim

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My answer to the question of number of cores: 1 core + 3 sets of player card proxies:



I was surprised with how quickly I could make about 240 proxies. The key was a photo inkjet printer with a flat bed scanner than can make copies, a rotary trimmer, heavy weight photo paper and some sticky tack to line up and affix the cards for scanning. It took me about 3 or 4 hours, and once sleeved you can hardly tell the difference. I can make a more detailed tutorial if theres interest.

Anyhow, having 4 copies of each of the player cards allowed me to make decks for all 5 investigators, and allowed me to do some deckbuilding, so that Daisy can maximize the number of tomes in her deck and Agnes can double her chances of getting Shriveling (MVP in our 4 player game tonight).

I was able to introduce my friends (all veteran LCG players) to the game tonight. We were able to get through the first scenario of the core set with more optimized and thematic decks, even with the
Spoiler (click to reveal)
ghoul priest having 20 health!

such that we could probably have played it at a harder difficulty level than standard (although even then things were coming to a head pretty quickly!). It was an awesome time. I think I sold everyone on the game with the demo.
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