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Anthony Evans
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Trying to build my collection of board games and looking for suggestions. I like the H.P. Lovecraft type of dark themed games, such as Elder Signs. However, while I like playing Elder Signs, the dice make it at least 80% chance. I am looking for board games that have similar dark or D&D type of themes, but that are more about strategy and skill than rolling dice?
 
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Nathan Howe
United States
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The new Arkham Horror: The Card Game may fit the bill. While not a board game specifically, it may pique your interest in terms of theme and mechanisms. Character skills and skill tests may be modified by items in hand or a combination of Token effects. There is a degree of randomization with the chaos tokens, but this is superceded by the cooperative play and character interactions where the skill and planning aspect you're looking for evolves. If it doesn't jive with what you're looking for now, you might want it on your radar anyway.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
United States
New York
New York
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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For Lovecraft, try A Study in Emerald (second edition). It plays best 4 or 5 player. There is some minor luck in the card shuffle but most of the game is about outmaneuvering your opponents. There's also Kingsport Festival but that has a fair bit of luck with the dice.

For D&D style you could go for classic Euros like Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz, and Lords of Waterdeep.
 
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Aric Ashgrove
United States
Independence
Missouri
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Most games of that type will have that element of "chance." There is some factor of chaos in games regardless if it is done with player unpredictability, dice, cards, etc. The best one I can think of is A Study in Emerald for what you might be looking for as far as diceless Mythos themed.
 
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Freelance Police
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Palo Alto
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If strategy includes deduction, Mythos Tales will have a retail version coming out soon. See the KickStarter or BGG entry for the free download to see if you like the game or not!
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Daily Grind
United States
Raleigh
North Carolina
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If you like solving mysteries: Mythos Tales
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Marius Østland
Norway
Oslo
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Witch of Salem
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Jennifer Derrick
United States
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Chowdah wrote:


Was just coming to recommend this. It's basically the euro version of Eldritch.
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Anthony Evans
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Thanks so much for all the feedback. I will definitely be checking all of these out.
 
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Anthony Evans
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While Witch of Salem looks pretty interesting, is there a version with English on the cards? Don't feel like having to translate a board game.
 
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Braden Adam
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Cthulhu Realms and Cthulhu Gloom are both fun!
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Chowdah wrote:

Always very weird to see people recommend things which go against the OP's wishes. Witch of Salem comes with tons of dice luck. It was one of the reasons I'll never play it again.
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Chris Dragon
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Nevada
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Tides of Madness is a simple card drafting game exclusively for 2 players. I would not call it a "thematic" game, but it's more about forward planning and reading what your opponent will do. Besides what was shared already, it's the only Cthulu themed game I can think of that is more strategy than luck.
 
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Paul Kellett
United Kingdom
Preston
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Perdition's Mouth: Abyssal Rift might be worth a look. It's a very tactical dungeon crawl using a rondel action selection mechanism. While not Lovecraftian, youaare fighting cultists and monsters bent on summoning an insectoid god. No dice at all, instead, enemies draw from a deck of numbered cards while heroes also have their own decks so there is a much better way to assess risk and make less chancy decisions.
 
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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Ashgrove wrote:
Most games of that type will have that element of "chance."


Out of curiosity, why do you think that? And how does A Study in Emerald overcome that challenge?

I never bothered looking into A Study in Emerald because I thought it was another random skill check game with Lovecraft setting but now I'm getting interested.
 
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CARL SKUTSCH
United States
New York
New York
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Check out Clockwork Wars. It's a pretty darn good dudes on a hex map Euro'ish steampunk game. Quick and fun.
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nhjelmberg wrote:
Ashgrove wrote:
Most games of that type will have that element of "chance."


Out of curiosity, why do you think that? And how does A Study in Emerald overcome that challenge?

I never bothered looking into A Study in Emerald because I thought it was another random skill check game with Lovecraft setting but now I'm getting interested.

First, A Study in Emerald is super out of print. The game you'll get is A Study in Emerald (second edition). There is no skill checking in ASiE. It's area control with a bit of deck building and some funky assassination rules. Key factor is that it's a team vs team game but only a single player can win. Fun for 4 or 5, not great 2 or 3 imho.
 
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Felix Brause
Germany
Duisburg
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Chaos in the Old World is considered pretty dark by some people
 
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Mark B
United States
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Witch of Salem is awesome but out of print. If you are in or near Philadelphia, or know someone here that can ship to you, there was a copy sitting on the shelf of the local comic book store, brave new world. It might be worth giving them a call to see if they still have it and could ship.

Please note that Witch of Salem does have a die and some luck, but it is mostly strategy. If you can tolerate dice used as part of the puzzle with many ways to mitigate the results (like in Troyes or Castles of Burgundy) I would also recommend Kingsport Festival, it's like Kingsburg with a Cthulhu theme and I would check out Darkest Night (First edition).
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
Netherlands
Zaandam
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Mark B wrote:
If you can tolerate dice used as part of the puzzle with many ways to mitigate the results (like in Troyes or Castles of Burgundy) I would also recommend Kingsport Festival, it's like Kingsburg with a Cthulhu theme and I would check out Darkest Night (First edition).

Unless I made a terrible rules error (or my memory is going at last) there is little to mitigate as in Troyes or CoB! The die simply says 'lose that token' (or 'inch closer to insanity', or 'have the bad guy move forward to the endgame yet again'), and if it happens to be part of the set you need to kill off something nasty then well, shit happens, move on, too bad about wasting that action. If it happens too often... you lose.

Of course incorporating the expectation value of 1D6 into your plans is strategy. Unfortunately, you won't roll the die sufficiently often to see whether you got the calculation correct. That's not strategy, just bloody annoying.
 
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Nicholas Hjelmberg
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skutsch wrote:
First, A Study in Emerald is super out of print. The game you'll get is A Study in Emerald (second edition). There is no skill checking in ASiE. It's area control with a bit of deck building and some funky assassination rules. Key factor is that it's a team vs team game but only a single player can win. Fun for 4 or 5, not great 2 or 3 imho.


Thanks for the clarification!
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New York
New York
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"Arrange whatever pieces come your way." Virginia Woolf
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Not sure how "dark" you'd consider it (thought there is a 'minor abomination' card as well as 'slime' and other things), but Dungeon Crawler might be worth a look. Puzzly card game that is only luck-based if you consider random card draws can be 'lucky' or 'unlucky.'

This one is about maximizing the use you make of your hand of cards to combat the dungeon (another 'hand' of cards).
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Rauli Kettunen
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skutsch wrote:
First, A Study in Emerald is super out of print.


I know of a copy (twice played) up for sale for €40, hell, it started at €60 and hasn't sold yet. Tempted for once to pick up a second copy, already close to 100 plays of the first edition copy I have.
 
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