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Subject: A very complicated FFG game! rss

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Exupery Ether
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Received the game yesterday. I could not wait to jump into it, so to speak.

It took me 65 MINUTES only to set-up the first scenario. 65 minutes set-up for a card game?!

Then another 90 minutes trying to understand / decipher the game mechanics, the confusing rules. Suffice to say, I could not wrap my head around it.

For me, Arkham Horror the Card Game is by very far the most convoluted and tortuous FFG game released in the last few years.

I think I am getting old too fast. I have been playing board games for over 15 years now. It seems I don't have anymore the will to learn heavy rule books nor the stamina to follow tiny written rules in 30 pages books.

As a major Lovecraft acolyte I was very much looking forward this game. I was also hoping to play it together with 8 years old kid. No such chance.

As it is now I will stick to my beloved Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition and Eldritch Horror.

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Sherri Fillingham
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I have to admit that, without yet having my game in hand, I'm worried about this. There have been so many questions about rules that have come up in the last few days and often complicated responses, that I'm seriously wondering if I will ever get this to the table.

Now, I would be playing solo, so at least I'm not wasting other people's time, but my time is valuable too.

Hoping that when I get the game something clicks and I don't find it as complicated as others seem to have found it.
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Paul DeStefano
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Once upon a time, this is the way ALL FFG games were...
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Greg Purcell
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Exupery wrote:
Received the game yesterday. I could not wait to jump into it, so to speak.

It took me 65 MINUTES only to set-up the first scenario. 65 minutes set-up for a card game?!

Then another 90 minutes trying to understand / decipher the game mechanics, the confusing rules. Suffice to say, I could not wrap my head around it.

For me, Arkham Horror the Card Game is by very far the most convoluted and tortuous FFG game released in the last few years.

I think I am getting old too fast. I have been playing board games for over 15 years now. It seems I don't have anymore the will to learn heavy rule books nor the stamina to follow tiny written rules in 30 pages books.

As a major Lovecraft acolyte I was very much looking forward this game. I was also hoping to play it together with 8 years old kid. No such chance.

As it is now I will stick to my beloved Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition and Eldritch Horror.



You should prepare yourself now for people to tell you you're wrong, that up is up and that sideways is backwards: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/24222937#24222937

For what it's worth: yeah, I totally agree with you. The rulebooks are worthless, and, like you, I may be done with the game.
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Oliver Broom
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65 minutes for setup seems excessive - any ideas why it took so long? Was that including putting together the player decks? Even so, it seems like a long time. I have played the campaign now a couple of times and not come anywhere near that for setting up.

I hope you do decide to give it another look (not sure on the point of your post in this case, sounds like you have already moved on? Are you looking for help breaking the game down?)

The best advice I can give is to break it down and just learn each phase as a standalone. Once you get into it, the game is really not that complicated, despite how the rulebook makes it appear.

Following the Learn to Play guide should get you up and running pretty quickly.

On buying this with the intention of playing with 8 year olds, to FFGs credit, they do state 14+ on the side of the box, though I know for sure there will be some 8+ out there more than capable of learning this.

Hope you come back to the fold.
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Scott Hill
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I think setup took maybe 15 to 30 minutes, for my first game. I then spent maybe 15 to 30 minutes reading the rules in the Learn to Play book. Perhaps 45 minutes to 1 hour playing. And 15 to 30 minutes teardown.

In total, from starting set up to finishing teardown, it was almost exactly 2 hours.

And I was taking things slowly, checking, and double checking, what I was doing.

If you dive in to the Rules Reference, sure, then it gets complicated fast, particularly reading those appendices, but you can play the entire first scenario without ever touching the Rules Reference.
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Tom Scutt
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I would say that this game is much simpler than LotR or Warhammer Quest card games (both the rules and actual gameplay).

Unlike the latter, I found that this was easily playable from the Learn to Play guide. Do *not* read the Rules Reference other than to look things up.

What aspect of the game caused problems? (for example in both LotR and Warhammer Quest I found the engagement rules couter-intuitive...they seemed much better in Arkham Horror)

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Donny Behne
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I'm not going to tell you that you're wrong. I disagree with you, but we aren't the same person, we don't learn things the same way. What you want to do is identify the areas where you had difficulty and get some help. If you're going to BGGCON, I'm pretty sure FFG will be there and have this on demo. Get a demo and it'll solve a lot of issues. Find someone at your FLGS, or a friend, who has this and let them do the rules heavy lifting. Once you've played it once or twice, you should be fine.

I hope you give it another chance because it is a great game.
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mathew rynich
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My tip is just don't read the rules reference unless you have a rules question. pretty much 90% of the game is in the learn to play rulebook. You can probably get through the first scenario without ever referencing the rules reference.

I didn't think this was any more complicated than Arkham Horror the board game to get into and play, but then in fairness I've played other LCGs and I've played Arkham Horror so I was pretty primed on the concepts presented in the rules.

Another tip is download the pdf of the rules. That way you can do word searches on the rules reference guide rather than scan the pages. The reference guide is written as a reference and therefore doesn't work very well as a straight read. The learn to play book is written as a guide to actually playing the game including an exact rundown of how to setup your first game.
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Seth Stewart
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Setup and ready to play in 10 mins for us... We played a round at Gen Con and watched a intro video. Maybe thats what you should do (intro video).
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Thanee
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Yeah, these days I rarely even fully read rulebooks, anymore.

Just watching introductory videos is so much easier to learn new games.

Bye
Thanee
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Phoenix Bird
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My friend!

This sad news.

My suggestion for anyone wanting to try this game is to watch the video reviews first. As well as reviewing the game they walk you step by step through the mechanics. So when it comes time to read the rules yourself you already have a head start.

Then only read the how to play guide and play the first scenario a few times using the recommended starter decks.

If you have a rules question only look up that question in the reference. Don’t sit down and read the whole thing until after you have played a few campaigns.

Remember Arkham Horror LCG is a Living Cardgame which is a specific genre of game like a wargame or a 4X game. It is going to have more complex rules because of the hundreds of different interactions between the cards.

I was very surprised to find that in the box were the complex rules necessary for resolving timing issues that are unique to this genre. Normally they only appear after organised play events become a thing. How often am I going to need them? Well obviously if I was playing for money or big prizes then sure, micro detail is important but playing at home with friends or solo don’t trouble yourself.

Asmodee aren’t going to kick your door in and beat you with onions or garlic because you have been playing their game wrong. That’s crazy (they use cheese instead).

There are loads of gamers here, I am sure, who poo poo Live Roleplay but they have never tried it. You sir have tried a new genre of game and decided it might not be for you. Well done for being open minded and seeking out new experiences.

If this isn’t the game for you then pop it on eBay and make your money back. Hell if the postage wasn’t $985478547854 I would purchase your copy.

Here are some video reviews that taught me how to play the game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-C50IktqC4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RIQw3jvF_0&t=280s

Phoenix

Oh and introducing 8 year olds to Lovecraft and cosmic horror seems a little dark dude
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Michel Velleman
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Steerpike wrote:
I would say that this game is much simpler than LotR or Warhammer Quest card games (both the rules and actual gameplay).

Unlike the latter, I found that this was easily playable from the Learn to Play guide. Do *not* read the Rules Reference other than to look things up.

What aspect of the game caused problems? (for example in both LotR and Warhammer Quest I found the engagement rules couter-intuitive...they seemed much better in Arkham Horror)



Totally agree with you!

Originally, I WANTEd to get into LCGs and bought Warhammer Quest. Fell very flat and counter narative. Turn a card, adress the card, resolve, rince and repeat. Sold it.
Being a Tolkien fan, I then tryed the LOTR LCG. Really felt over complicated, not that narative and the barrier of entry was way too high for me. Sold it.

This is the first one (for me) that hit the sweet spot: narative enough (I do feel like I'm participating in a story that will grow and unfold in the future) and with combat/movement/etc rules that make sens in the context of the game and don't break my head. It is playable with only the learn to play booklet (but I agree that the documentation is not optimal)and the extra documentation is there for me when I feel I can go deeper. So DID NOT sell it back and enjoying it.
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Raymond Darby
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Maybe prep. is the way to learn... I read the rules online 2 weeks ago, read 'em again the night before the game was delivered, then, come play,I was off! I've hardly used the reference, just the Learn to Play. Sorting the cards first time was a chore; but now it takes me 15 minutes to setup.

Best solo game I've played hands down.

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Exupery wrote:
Received the game yesterday. I could not wait to jump into it, so to speak.

It took me 65 MINUTES only to set-up the first scenario. 65 minutes set-up for a card game?!


While your experiences are obviously true for yourself, I have to say I was there at Arkham Nights, where hundreds of people were tearing into the game for the first time ever in the world. And within 10 minutes or less, there were dozens of groups of them happily playing the game, and that continued for the rest of the weekend.

The game might not be for you, but it doesn't seem excessively complex for most of the players.
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Scourn1
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Not going to slam the OP (or at least try not to)but this is pretty baffling. Granted, everyone learns differently, so I get that.

The times given though seem almost trollish.

65 min for set up? The book describes how you set up and what you need to immediately start playing. This is a 10 to 15 min ordeal, as all the cards for the two decks are in order, along with the mission cards. My biggest issue was one of the cards was way out of place, so that took extra set up time, but besides that this shouldn't be to long.

The learn to play book also tells you step by step what to do so that you can jump right in. 90 Min for this? Im sorry, but I don't think your being truthful. The mechanics are very easily laid out, along with printed reference cards for each player. Learn to play gets you going in maybe 15-20 min.

From what it seems like, there is some part you didn't get, it set you off on the game, and you exaggerated your times here.

We also live in a digital age (and have been for years) which is one thing I cant understand people NOT watching a game review from Dice Tower or WatchitPlayed (or other third parities) on how the game works. And as a caveat, age has nothing to do with not doing this, as I know many seniors who watch how to play vids. Its really plain ignorance not to do this as a Step 1.

If its not for you, its not for you. But you should change your posting title to "A very complicated FFG game for me!" as pretty much most people I know from here, in person, and FB have no problems
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Rayne Smith
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I'm kind of surprised that you find this more complicated than Eldritch Horror and Mansions of Madness... Are you new to cardgaming and LCG's? I've played this game with the starter decks once and am already in love with it!
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Greg Purcell
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scourn1 wrote:
Not going to slam the OP (or at least try not to)but this is pretty baffling. Granted, everyone learns differently, so I get that.

The times given though seem almost trollish.

65 min for set up?


You are literally telling the OP that he didn't experience what he experienced. That's trolling. In a bizarre form of English.

For our part, we played with two experienced gamers, one of whom is competitive in Netrunner. While we both had nice things to say about the game, we spent half of our three hour playtime staring at our phones and the rulebook, trying to figure out rules.

"Resign" is a rule specific to the campaign, for instance, which has no meaning elsewhere, though it appears cold in the introductory scenario as a (seemingly) essential element of a card flip. It took us a very long time to figure out why we should or shouldn't resign for the purposes of an introductory scenario which told us specifically to lay down the book and not read the part about Resigning.

Stop attacking the OP. His concerns are absolutely legit.
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Scourn1
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GorillaGrody wrote:
scourn1 wrote:
Not going to slam the OP (or at least try not to)but this is pretty baffling. Granted, everyone learns differently, so I get that.

The times given though seem almost trollish.

65 min for set up?


You are literally telling the OP that he didn't experience what he experienced. That's trolling. In a bizarre form of English.

For our part, we played with two experienced gamers, one of whom is competitive in Netrunner. While we both had nice things to say about the game, we spent half of our three hour playtime staring at our phones and the rulebook, trying to figure out rules.

"Resign" is a rule specific to the campaign, for instance, which has no meaning elsewhere, though it appears cold in the introductory scenario as a (seemingly) essential element of a card flip. It took us a very long time to figure out why we should or shouldn't resign for the purposes of an introductory scenario which told us specifically to lay down the book and not read the part about Resigning.

Stop attacking the OP. His concerns are absolutely legit.


The book tells you to not worry about it, so you waste time...to worry about it as you learn to play the game? Yea that makes sense.

You don't dive right into a campaign without first knowing how the game flows and works. I cant fathom why youd be so worried to spend that much time trying to figure it out.

Any my posting said he should change the title, cause as many have said its not that hard or long, just he has issues. Not FFGs fault.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Steerpike wrote:
I would say that this game is much simpler than LotR or Warhammer Quest card games (both the rules and actual gameplay).

Unlike the latter, I found that this was easily playable from the Learn to Play guide.



That's funny, I found WHQ:ACG much easier to learn from the Learn to Play, whereas the rulebook seemed useless to me for Arkham LCG and I only got it via Let's Play videos.

Maybe because for a LCG I feel like I need to understand what all the cards in my deck do before I even delve into it, whereas WHQ:ACG has only 4 options for actions every... single... turn, and they're all pretty self-evident where things like Evading and Engaging in Arkham are... counterintuitive.
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Kaic wrote:
I'm kind of surprised that you find this more complicated than Eldritch Horror and Mansions of Madness... Are you new to cardgaming and LCG's? I've played this game with the starter decks once and am already in love with it!


Again, Eldritch Horror is one of the simplest games I can think of in the "Arkham Files" collection (besides Elder Sign), you basically have a very limited number of options a turn (Travel, Prepare, Acquire Assets, Focus, etc) and everything else is basically on rails and happens to you as opposed to necessitating conscious choice, whereas for an LCG or CCG you basically need to understand 33 cards before you even begin the game so that you can make your first meaningful decision (effectively mulliganing your starting hand). I can see how AP might take over here where I think Eldritch is a game I could teach a (bright) 10 year old.

The fact that I've been a competitive CCG player for over a decade actually seemed like something that made the game *more* difficult to get into, not less, because a part of me just needs to learn the whole "metagame" before even starting.
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Greg Purcell
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scourn1 wrote:


The book tells you to not worry about it, so you waste time...to worry about it as you learn to play the game? Yea that makes sense.

You don't dive right into a campaign without first knowing how the game flows and works. I cant fathom why youd be so worried to spend that much time trying to figure it out.

Any my posting said he should change the title, cause as many have said its not that hard or long, just he has issues. Not FFGs fault.


Ah, sorry. Was that written in English? I literally can't discern your point, because it's written like an FFG rulebook.
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Rayne Smith
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
Again, Eldritch Horror is one of the simplest games I can think of in the "Arkham Files" collection (besides Elder Sign), you basically have a very limited number of options a turn (Travel, Prepare, Acquire Assets, Focus, etc) and everything else is basically on rails and happens to you as opposed to necessitating conscious choice, whereas for an LCG or CCG you basically need to understand 33 cards before you even begin the game so that you can make your first meaningful decision (effectively mulliganing your starting hand). I can see how AP might take over here where I think Eldritch is a game I could teach a (bright) 10 year old.

The fact that I've been a competitive CCG player for over a decade actually seemed like something that made the game *more* difficult to get into, not less, because a part of me just needs to learn the whole "metagame" before even starting.


There are a lot off interactions in Eldritch horror outside of just your actions. Especially after a few expansions, I feel it's more complicated that AH:LCG. The set up time for Eldritch Horror it is also *a lot* worse.

As for needing to understand 33 cards before you even begin the game.... I definitely disagree. For your first introductory game, you should learn the cards as you draw them. Once you start building decks, that is when you need to understand all of your cards. If you try and learn all of your cards before your first introductory game, then I agree that this is the more complicated to learn *and* the 65 minute set up time makes sense if all the cards were read beforehand.
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i also found Warhammer Quest a much easier game to learn and get playing than both LOTR and Arkham. i think its a lighter variant overall but does have more direct co-operation going on.

i didnt find any real set up problems though in Arkham, it was all laid out in a series of bullet points in the learn to play guide, even your starting deck was specified. It gets easier once you have sorted the decks into their categories. Just get the cards into piles and play. That said i learnt as i went so i didnt read any player cards before starting other than the 5 i was dealt.

having played LOTR a lot i think this actually worked against me learning Arkham as i was looking for ways to trigger player cards much more often, especially when engaging an enemy, but that is where the two games differ, in LOTR you are immediately reacting to cards being dealt out, whereas Arkham is more about long term planning and solving locations.

I am keeping all 3 games, i love them all for different reasons and i mainly play solo.

I dont think Arkham is much harder to get to grips with than Eldritch Horror, but then i think anyone can find a game that they cannot get their head around - i tried twice buying Mage Knight and whilst i understand it all, i always felt i had missed a rule combination here and there and could never confidently wrap my head around the ice and fire fighting - others will say its easy but my brain didnt want to know so i gave up.

LCG card games can become second nature to play after a while though and set up is already very quick for me.
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GorillaGrody wrote:
scourn1 wrote:


The book tells you to not worry about it, so you waste time...to worry about it as you learn to play the game? Yea that makes sense.

You don't dive right into a campaign without first knowing how the game flows and works. I cant fathom why youd be so worried to spend that much time trying to figure it out.

Any my posting said he should change the title, cause as many have said its not that hard or long, just he has issues. Not FFGs fault.


Ah, sorry. Was that written in English? I literally can't discern your point, because it's written like an FFG rulebook.


What he wrote was all very easily understandable, as you know, so there was no need for that at all.
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