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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Best starting Cthulhu Mythos game rss

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Jules Redmand
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Looking to get into Lovecraft themed games and to say that I'm overawed by the amount of Cthulhu themed games out there would be an understatement. I've recently purchased a large book on Lovecraft's works and looking for a game/games to get into this world and so any types of suggestions of where to start and why that would be great and much appreciated.

My criteria is pretty broad in general

1. Makes no difference if it is board game or card game
2. Preferably should have expansions that are still coming out
3. Scenario length is not important and neither is set-up time
3. BUT MOST Importantly needs to be solitaire friendly.

Have put this post in a couple of sections to try and get the best feedback.
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Kelly B
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Dawn Raider wrote:
Looking to get into Lovecraft themed games and to say that I'm overawed by the amount of Cthulhu themed games out there would be an understatement. I've recently purchased a large book on Lovecraft's works and looking for a game/games to get into this world and so any types of suggestions of where to start and why that would be great and much appreciated.

My criteria is pretty broad in general

1. Makes no difference if it is board game or card game
2. Preferably should have expansions that are still coming out
3. Scenario length is not important and neither is set-up time
3. BUT MOST Importantly needs to be solitaire friendly.

Have put this post in a couple of sections to try and get the best feedback.


Ramblin' reply incoming...

As someone who has what are probably the "Cream of the Crop" of Cthulhu-based games I can confidently say that anything from FFG will fit the bill for you. Arkham Horror the Card Game is currently my favorite and will likely hold that place for a very, very long time. I've played it solo and with others and enjoy the experience equally. It is also easy to teach even non-gamers.

You can find plenty of impressions of Eldritch Horror and Arkham Horror board games so I'll spare you my opinions of those. While those can be played solo, Arkham Horror the Board Game no longer has expansions coming out and I prefer EH with a group.

There are of course Elder Sign, Cards of Cthulhu, and--as you've seen--tons of other games. Cthulhu Wars isn't meant for solo play. Shadows of Brimstone only has tangential references to Cthulhu. Mansion of Madness 2.0 is definitely something I'd look at.

It really comes down to how much narrative you want with your game. Of all of these, Mansions of Madness Second Edition and Arkham Horror the Card Game have the strongest narrative. Both of them have expansions coming out and both are very much soloable and (IMO) damn fun.

If you are into heavier games that focus more on mechanics and less on narrative, take a gander at Hornet Leader with the Cthulhu Conflict expansion. This is a solo-only game but is also far more complex than any of the aforementioned titles.
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Regarding theme, from what I've read, the LCG is your best bet. All other games published by FFG are a lot more pulpy in feel and execution. They are, however, all solo-compatible...

Other games - maybe you could look into Mythos Tales, which is rather more like a puzzle than a regular game. Also can be played solo.

Other than that, there are a lot of games out there, but the real horror theme, especially that of Lovecraft's writings, is very hard to incorporate (of at all possible)...
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Emily Dickinson
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I haven't played Arkham Horror LCG or Mansions of Madness 2 yet, but both look very good for solo play and the smaller scale Haunted House/Damned Village aspect of Lovecraftian Horror.

I really like the way the "story" of Eldritch Horror plays out - that's the one that feels the most like a Great Old One is awakening and the world is about to be devoured. The large scale makes it feel more like an Indiana Jones/James Bond adventure, but it allows the monsters and catastrophes to keep increasing without feeling ridiculous. The detail that allows you to find a defeated Investigator dead or dying or insane is a brilliant touch that feels very true to Lovecraft.

The original Arkham Horror is a great game and even though there aren't new expansions being made, there are more than enough expansions already. It doesn't work quite as well as Eldritch Horror as a solo game, but it's certainly doable.

When you say you've purchased a book "on" Lovecraft, that's a bit ambiguous. I highly recommend a good collection (there are many editions) of Lovecraft's own works as a starting point - the various attempts to create a coherent Lovecraftian Mythos are not as interesting as his own prose.
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Mythos Tales. Plays solo. Try the free download on the Mythos Tales KS!
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Christopher Best
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I've played pretty much every Cthulhu game including the new Arkham LCG and I would say that Arkham horror is still the best Cthulhu themed board game and the most complete experience.

Mansions and the new LCG are the hotness right now but I was really underwhelmed with them both.

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Kelly B
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I would have mentioned Mythos Tales but I don't recall that there will be ongoing expansions for it, which was one of the OP's criteria.
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Richard A. Edwards
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Arkham Horror the Card Game is great solo or cooperatively and is just releasing soon with years of expansions to come. My review is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1653902/

Eldritch Horror is a great board game set in the mythos with a couple of expansions out and no doubt at least a few more coming. Where the other games focus mostly on a smaller scale, EH has you roaming the world on a more strategic scale. It takes longer to play and can host a larger group.

Elder Sign is a good dice game (and there's an app) that can be played solo (in fact, I almost prefer it solo) or cooperatively. There are expansions and more coming.

Mansions of Madness 2nd edition is a board/miniatures game that can be played solo or cooperatively. 2nd edition is a relatively new release so I'd expect expansions. The scenarios can be very long, but the art and miniatures and even app audio make for a compelling experience.
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Jules Redmand
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Firstly thanks for all the recs and your own opinions on these games, as it's much valued to get personal insights on these games. I've already decided that Arkham Horror card game and Mansions of Madness will be two definites and then possible a toss up between either Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror.

Will also point out that narrative is a strongpoint for me and so that is a another deciding factor.

Also for the person that asked about the book I have, some time ago somebody bought me The New Annotated H.P Lovecraft so that has started my interest.
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Ian K
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1 Player guild


Given your final point, this is all you need. Second largest guild and friendliest place on BGG.

Look for the peoples choice top 100 solo games 2015 as a starter. Can't recall if it is directly linked off the guild home psge or in the solitaire resources link.

EDIT
Forget that, its on the guild front page under gaming awards


Ian
 
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Christopher Best
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Dawn Raider wrote:
Firstly thanks for all the recs and your own opinions on these games, as it's much valued to get personal insights on these games. I've already decided that Arkham Horror card game and Mansions of Madness will be two definites and then possible a toss up between either Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror.

Will also point out that narrative is a strongpoint for me and so that is a another deciding factor.

Also for the person that asked about the book I have, some time ago somebody bought me The New Annotated H.P Lovecraft so that has started my interest.


Definitely go with Arkham Horror if you like narrative then, it generates the strongest story of any of the games.
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McCrank wrote:
Dawn Raider wrote:
Firstly thanks for all the recs and your own opinions on these games, as it's much valued to get personal insights on these games. I've already decided that Arkham Horror card game and Mansions of Madness will be two definites and then possible a toss up between either Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror.

Will also point out that narrative is a strongpoint for me and so that is a another deciding factor.

Also for the person that asked about the book I have, some time ago somebody bought me The New Annotated H.P Lovecraft so that has started my interest.


Definitely go with Arkham Horror if you like narrative then, it generates the strongest story of any of the games.


Agreed. However, the Ai/Mythos phase can be difficult to execute well and takes a bit of time. You'll want to get Universal Head's play aid for it.
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Kelly B
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Jorune wrote:
McCrank wrote:
Dawn Raider wrote:
Firstly thanks for all the recs and your own opinions on these games, as it's much valued to get personal insights on these games. I've already decided that Arkham Horror card game and Mansions of Madness will be two definites and then possible a toss up between either Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror.

Will also point out that narrative is a strongpoint for me and so that is a another deciding factor.

Also for the person that asked about the book I have, some time ago somebody bought me The New Annotated H.P Lovecraft so that has started my interest.


Definitely go with Arkham Horror if you like narrative then, it generates the strongest story of any of the games.


Agreed. However, the Ai/Mythos phase can be difficult to execute well and takes a bit of time. You'll want to get Universal Head's play aid for it.


I would argue (sorry!) that AH the Card Game has better narrative than AH the board game and this is coming from someone who LOVES the board game with a lot of passion. In the card game the narrative is shoved in your face while in AH board game one needs to hold a story in their head.

The AH books that FFG publishes are excellent for story! Highly recommended.
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Jules Redmand
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Now I've actually been looking at the weight level of these games and Arkham Horror has the highest complexity, is this an accurate assessment?
 
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Bradford Lounsberry
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Dawn Raider wrote:
Now I've actually been looking at the weight level of these games and Arkham Horror has the highest complexity, is this an accurate assessment?


Yes. The rules can be cumbersome. There is a flowchart in the files section for Arkham Horror that really helps. As well as many other reference sheets and such. Learning Arkham Horror is very rewarding though.
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Jules Redmand
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ralsar wrote:
Dawn Raider wrote:
Now I've actually been looking at the weight level of these games and Arkham Horror has the highest complexity, is this an accurate assessment?


Yes. The rules can be cumbersome. There is a flowchart in the files section for Arkham Horror that really helps. As well as many other reference sheets and such. Learning Arkham Horror is very rewarding though.


Out of interest how much easier in complexity is something like Eldritch Horror compared to Arkham Horror?
 
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Bradford Lounsberry
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Dawn Raider wrote:
ralsar wrote:
Dawn Raider wrote:
Now I've actually been looking at the weight level of these games and Arkham Horror has the highest complexity, is this an accurate assessment?


Yes. The rules can be cumbersome. There is a flowchart in the files section for Arkham Horror that really helps. As well as many other reference sheets and such. Learning Arkham Horror is very rewarding though.


Out of interest how much easier in complexity is something like Eldritch Horror compared to Arkham Horror?


EH is easier to learn and flows smoother. The rules are more somewhat more intuitive then AH. You'll be up and running with EH faster than AH for sure.

Which game is better is something that will be argued and debated for years. I like both and I'm happy that I own both.
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Emily Dickinson
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ralsar wrote:
EH is easier to learn and flows smoother. The rules are more somewhat more intuitive then AH. You'll be up and running with EH faster than AH for sure.

Which game is better is something that will be argued and debated for years. I like both and I'm happy that I own both.


The one thing I would add is that they are certainly the two FF Lovecraft games that are most similar to each other (maybe even counting MoM 1 and MoM 2). Arkham Horror LCG, for example, is a very different game from Arkham Horror Board Game, despite the shared name. Eldritch Horror has a different map and some important rule changes, but it's not that different from Arkham Horror, sort of the way "2nd Editions" reimagine games.
 
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Richard A. Edwards
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ralsar wrote:
EH is easier to learn and flows smoother. The rules are more somewhat more intuitive then AH. You'll be up and running with EH faster than AH for sure.

Which game is better is something that will be argued and debated for years. I like both and I'm happy that I own both.

Exactly.

Which is why Eldritch Horror gets to our table more often. It's easier to learn, flows well, and plays more quickly. And personally I like the global scale better.

Though, as has already been said, as far as narrative, you won't beat the upcoming Arkham Horror the Card Game.
 
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Christopher Best
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happycatmachine wrote:
Jorune wrote:
McCrank wrote:
Dawn Raider wrote:
Firstly thanks for all the recs and your own opinions on these games, as it's much valued to get personal insights on these games. I've already decided that Arkham Horror card game and Mansions of Madness will be two definites and then possible a toss up between either Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror.

Will also point out that narrative is a strongpoint for me and so that is a another deciding factor.

Also for the person that asked about the book I have, some time ago somebody bought me The New Annotated H.P Lovecraft so that has started my interest.


Definitely go with Arkham Horror if you like narrative then, it generates the strongest story of any of the games.


Agreed. However, the Ai/Mythos phase can be difficult to execute well and takes a bit of time. You'll want to get Universal Head's play aid for it.


I would argue (sorry!) that AH the Card Game has better narrative than AH the board game and this is coming from someone who LOVES the board game with a lot of passion. In the card game the narrative is shoved in your face while in AH board game one needs to hold a story in their head.

The AH books that FFG publishes are excellent for story! Highly recommended.


I mean that's a fair enough point. The problem is that the narrative is a mess (at least from what comes in the core box).
 
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Keith Little
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Wondering why there is no mention of Pandemic Cthulhu...

edit: realized no expansions for this so nevermind. Great game though...
 
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happycatmachine wrote:
I would have mentioned Mythos Tales but I don't recall that there will be ongoing expansions for it, which was one of the OP's criteria.
The KS version of the game explicitly mentioned an expansion will be forthcoming as there is a piece that is unusable with the standard rules. Not sure if this is in the retail version or not.
 
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Scott Sexton
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McCrank wrote:


Definitely go with Arkham Horror if you like narrative then, it generates the strongest story of any of the games.


I'm not sure if I could possibly disagree with you more on this point. If you want a coherent narrative (as opposed to disjointed and random), Mansions of Madness 2.0 and Arkham Horror LCG offer the strongest narrative experiences in FFG's catalog.

I totally dig Mythos Tales, but I hesitate to say that it feels as much like a Lovecraft game as FFG's Arkham Files games. MT feels a lot more like a supernatural procedurals show (Supernatural, The X-Files) then a Lovecraft story. The Asylum story from Time Stories feels far more Lovecraftian then anything in Mythos Tales.
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