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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Arkham Horror – the awesome Adventure but awful Deck Building Game rss

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Ron
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I was so excited when it finally arrived – I preordered it weeks ago! It was delivered on Thursday, and Andrea – my wife – and I planned to play the campaign on Sunday. I read through the rules (the “read first” book) without much trouble; the presentation is pretty good. It seems FFG has learned a lot since they started to divide their rulebooks in two (although the game is not that complicated).

As the rulebook suggests, we searched for the cards for Roland and Wendy – they should be our first investigators in this game. I explained the rules to Andrea and we started.

The first Scenario – be aware: SPOILERS!

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I had the .45 gun in Roland’s opening hand and when the first ghoul appeared, I tried it out and from then on, I was designated the monster killer while Wendy was tasked to gather clues. We quickly found the way out of the study and started with the basement. Piece of cake. The attic was even easier to clean up, but then we suddenly struggled with one ghoul as my gun ran out of ammunition. I had to kill it with my knife. No big deal. We then encountered the ally and the boss monster – now that was really a hard struggle but finally we managed to kill it and thus, win the scenario.


Wow, what a great game, let’s move on and play the next Scenario!

Perfect! That seemed to be the perfect game for us! A heavy story, great cards, familiar characters and – contrary to the similar great Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game – expansions already on the way! So I grabbed the rulebook and tried to find out what to do between two campaign scenarios. And here it started … I sorted out all the upgrade cards and put them on the table between us … we looked through our decks and discussed a little what to do … and then Andrea said out loud what I also felt: “I don’t wanna sort cards, I wanna play the next scenario!

Now, with new scenarios and expansions, surely all those cards will multiply. Many times. So the pre-game and between-scenario deck-building will surely become an important and lengthy part of that game. If not the most important and most lengthy part. And here the game failed for me. I don’t enjoy pre-game deck building at all, and neither does Andrea. I immediately remembered my long gone Magic: The Gathering days, somewhat 20 years ago, when I desperately tried to find 60 useful cards out of a pool of five gazillion cards (give or take a few). We discussed the scenario a little, both heavily agreeing on how cool and how great that game is, but also making it clear that we both don’t want to address to that deck-building part of the game. So I took the most logical step – I turned around to my computer and offered the game on the Geekmarket. It was sold a couple of hours later.

What a pity. Such a great game. But as it seems, Eldritch Horror will stay our number one in the Lovecraftian universe. Arkham Horror the Card Game is absolutely stunning, but has a huge flaw – luckily only for me and my fellow-investigator-wife Andrea. But I’m sure most others will enjoy the game immensely. As it is really good. Really, really good. Without that deck-building thing, it would be a freakin’ 10 on the BGG scale. But so, it had to leave my collection.

Thanks for reading. And don’t bother what I rant, enjoy the game meeple
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Jeremie Miller
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You already sold it, but if you ever decide to buy it again, the deck building between scenarios is no where near the commitment level, in my opinion, of building MTG decks.

After the first scenario I usually have about 6-8 experience, which usually means I buy 2-3 new cards. Select 2-3 old cards to replace. And that is it, play scenario 2.

I got less experience in scenario 2 so had to do even less deckbuilding and moved on to scenario 3.

My experience has been that the actual investigating and card play heavily outweighs the deckbuilding between scenarios.

However, Eldritch is a great game too, so have fun!
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brian
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To me, this is the least focused on deckbuilding of all the deckbuilding games out there. Like you said this will change with more cards as all tend to do. But the focus of it is more on upgrading (like the RPG aspect they are going for) then straight up deckbuilding you see in the similar LOTR.
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Paul Nojima
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Is it really so terrible? You have half a dozen victory points... Which would only really be good for 3-6 card upgrades/swap within the available classes... Is it so hard to look at your cards and say "I wish there was something better than this one card that wasn't very useful to me..." and just spend your VP to get a replacement/upgrade?

Or just bank all your VP, play the next scenario with the same deck... see where your deck failed you (I need more assets!) and THEN go back and upgrade your deck?

I mean... custom deck building is only one part of the game and it's not even required. Just stick with the prescribed deck and lower the difficulty if it's too hard and you just want the narrative.

Loving the game but getting rid of it because of an optional game mechanic seems a bit extreme. =(
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Matthew Sigal
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To reiterate what was stated about, I've looked over the games I've logged on ArkhamDB, and the number of cards changed between scenarios maxed out at a whopping... *six* cards. Generally, it is around three.

Usually you have a certain amount of XP, and you find cards that maximizes that amount. It is really straightforward, and I'm sorry you ditched the game without even giving it a chance.
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Katharine
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I guess people here are going to tell you that you didn't give it a fair chance, but I'm going to take the opposite view and say: This is deck-building game. It's not an "optional" mechanic, as another poster wrote; it's baked into the game mechanics. If you don't enjoy building decks before you play (and you're right - with every expansion those choices are only going to get more complex and varied!), then you won't enjoy this. Unless someone else can build your deck for you
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SmallRobot Painting
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ktrick wrote:
I guess people here are going to tell you that you didn't give it a fair chance, but I'm going to take the opposite view and say: This is deck-building game. It's not an "optional" mechanic, as another poster wrote; it's baked into the game mechanics. If you don't enjoy building decks before you play (and you're right - with every expansion those choices are only going to get more complex and varied!), then you won't enjoy this. Unless someone else can build your deck for you


No way would i call this a deck builder.

Maybe a deck 'slighty changer'

The limitations on each on each investigator makes the pool of cards so minimal its not really deck building at all, its literally as stated above a chance to slightly refine your deck between scenarios, I think i have only bought a couple of cards during my first play through.

MTG is worlds apart from this and there is no comparison.
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Matthew Sigal
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ktrick wrote:
I guess people here are going to tell you that you didn't give it a fair chance, but I'm going to take the opposite view and say: This is deck-building game. It's not an "optional" mechanic, as another poster wrote; it's baked into the game mechanics. If you don't enjoy building decks before you play (and you're right - with every expansion those choices are only going to get more complex and varied!), then you won't enjoy this. Unless someone else can build your deck for you


Regarding that last statement - it isn't really actually that farfetched! We have published decks for every investigator posted up on arkhamdb!
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Michael Dursch
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I don't think I've ever read a post on here that has ever dumb founded me the way this one did...

You rated the game a 10, you loved the game play... but something so insignificant as changing 1-2 cards between missions forced you to abort mission and purge your copy of the game?

You could have so easily skipped the upgrade and carried on without noticing.

I still feel like this is a troll post as absurd as this has been to read.
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Emily Dickinson
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I have no idea why you didn't go ahead and play the next scenario with the decks you had.
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Bobby Marino
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In fairness, deck building is a part of the game, and will only grow in importance as more expansions are released. While anyone can argue it is a small part and not important, it is important enough to change from a pick up and play game to one you have to think about and plan prior to playing. If the OP knows it's not for them, better to get out now.
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Paul Nojima
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supermarino wrote:
In fairness, deck building is a part of the game, and will only grow in importance as more expansions are released. While anyone can argue it is a small part and not important, it is important enough to change from a pick up and play game to one you have to think about and plan prior to playing. If the OP knows it's not for them, better to get out now.


Yes and no... The point is the manual tells you exactly what cards to use to build your first deck. Sure, you can tweak it later on and upgrade, but the point is from the word "go" you can play without having to "deck build" at all. It's optional enough to be considered genuinely "optional".
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Ron
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Fyxsius wrote:
I don't think I've ever read a post on here that has ever dumb founded me the way this one did...

You rated the game a 10, you loved the game play... but something so insignificant as changing 1-2 cards between missions forced you to abort mission and purge your copy of the game?

You could have so easily skipped the upgrade and carried on without noticing.

I still feel like this is a troll post as absurd as this has been to read.

Accusing me of trolling is a new for me after all my years on BGG! Well, I guess there's one in every crowd meeple

At least read before you judge! I said the game play is a 10, but I actually rated the game an 8.
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Ron
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Esgaldil wrote:
I have no idea why you didn't go ahead and play the next scenario with the decks you had.

Well, continuing with the "starter decks" is surely not the thing the designers, developers and playtesters had in mind. Also, with the huge number of expansions announced (and already on the boat), we simply decided not to dive in. I'd have wanted more scenarios, but not more cards to choose from. Even if the actual 6 XP we had would only have upgraded two or three cards, the prospect of having 200 cards in the pool after a couple of expansions was simply not attractive to us.

Of course, I can pass on all future expansions, but then the game will become boring after playing the campaign two or three times.
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Michael Dursch
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PzVIE wrote:
Fyxsius wrote:
I don't think I've ever read a post on here that has ever dumb founded me the way this one did...

You rated the game a 10, you loved the game play... but something so insignificant as changing 1-2 cards between missions forced you to abort mission and purge your copy of the game?

You could have so easily skipped the upgrade and carried on without noticing.

I still feel like this is a troll post as absurd as this has been to read.

Accusing me of trolling is a new for me after all my years on BGG! Well, I guess there's one in every crowd meeple

At least read before you judge! I said the game play is a 10, but I actually rated the game an 8.


The game play is a 10, but rated the game an 8 due to the one game breaking mechanic. I can understand the 8 as an opinion. I honestly can.

It's the rest of it that saddens me because it has such great potential but abruptly tossed out for such a small portion of the game. Flabbergasting as it can be, I can at least agree that Eldritch horror is just as awesome a fall back as ever there could be one. The Dreamlands is so close, I can visualize it already vein here ;p
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Michael Dursch
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PzVIE wrote:
Esgaldil wrote:
I have no idea why you didn't go ahead and play the next scenario with the decks you had.

Well, continuing with the "starter decks" is surely not the thing the designers, developers and playtesters had in mind. Also, with the huge number of expansions announced (and already on the boat), we simply decided not to dive in. I'd have wanted more scenarios, but not more cards to choose from. Even if the actual 6 XP we had would only have upgraded two or three cards, the prospect of having 200 cards in the pool after a couple of expansions was simply not attractive to us.

Of course, I can pass on all future expansions, but then the game will become boring after playing the campaign two or three times.


You know, this actually makes a great amount of sense. Unless you planned to play all new scenarios with the same 5 starter decks or if there were new starter decks in the future, it could get tedious.
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Roberto Ruiz
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PzVIE wrote:
Esgaldil wrote:
I have no idea why you didn't go ahead and play the next scenario with the decks you had.

Well, continuing with the "starter decks" is surely not the thing the designers, developers and playtesters had in mind. Also, with the huge number of expansions announced (and already on the boat), we simply decided not to dive in. I'd have wanted more scenarios, but not more cards to choose from. Even if the actual 6 XP we had would only have upgraded two or three cards, the prospect of having 200 cards in the pool after a couple of expansions was simply not attractive to us.

Of course, I can pass on all future expansions, but then the game will become boring after playing the campaign two or three times.


each pack will add like 3-6 cards mostly to an investigator since there are 5 factions and each investigator can only use 2. Just saying I respect that you don't like the game for 1 aspect of it.
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Kim Solberg
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When I build my deck for the campaign, I already know roughly how much XP I'm gonna get after the game. I know what I want to do with the deck, so I build it with the upgrades in mind, and bring them sort of like a sideboard (as you do in Magic: the Gathering). I know what cards I'm gonna switch beforehand, so it only takes a few seconds between the games.

But of course, the initial pre-campaign deck building will be more complex over time.
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Fernando Santos
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I think you both should really try Pathfinder the Cardgame.
Progression without much tinkering in deck building!
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Ron
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Facsantos wrote:
I think you both should really try Pathfinder the Cardgame.
Progression without much tinkering in deck building!

Yes, this one has already raised my interest meeple
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Fernando Santos
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PzVIE wrote:
Facsantos wrote:
I think you both should really try Pathfinder the Cardgame.
Progression without much tinkering in deck building!

Yes, this one has already raised my interest meeple


Go for it, me and my fiancee went by Rise of the Runelords and are now on chapter 5 of Skulls & Shackles.

We also play LOTR LCG but in there deck building is HUGE of course!

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Oliver Paul
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Facsantos wrote:
I think you both should really try Pathfinder the Cardgame.
Progression without much tinkering in deck building!


Yeah, but that has almost the same amount of deck-building as this one (although it will increase over time for AH:TCG). At the end of each scenario (that you win) in PACG you have maybe 3-5 cards that you have gained during that scenario, and you decide what to keep, and then you have to decide what to throw out of your deck.

To me, that's very similar to what AH:TCG does.
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Fernando Santos
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murksofus wrote:
Facsantos wrote:
I think you both should really try Pathfinder the Cardgame.
Progression without much tinkering in deck building!


Yeah, but that has almost the same amount of deck-building as this one (although it will increase over time for AH:TCG). At the end of each scenario (that you win) in PACG you have maybe 3-5 cards that you have gained during that scenario, and you decide what to keep, and then you have to decide what to throw out of your deck.

To me, that's very similar to what AH:TCG does.


Not really, the choice is much smoother and easier (concerning the number of cards and the powe/type!) as you have only those cards to choose from, it would be diferent if you would choose between cards outside of those.


 
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Emily Dickinson
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PzVIE wrote:
Esgaldil wrote:
I have no idea why you didn't go ahead and play the next scenario with the decks you had.

Well, continuing with the "starter decks" is surely not the thing the designers, developers and playtesters had in mind. Also, with the huge number of expansions announced (and already on the boat), we simply decided not to dive in. I'd have wanted more scenarios, but not more cards to choose from. Even if the actual 6 XP we had would only have upgraded two or three cards, the prospect of having 200 cards in the pool after a couple of expansions was simply not attractive to us.

Of course, I can pass on all future expansions, but then the game will become boring after playing the campaign two or three times.


That all makes sense for the long term and for the review, but if it's Sunday afternoon and my significant other says "I wanna play the next scenario" of a game that rates a 10 for me, we'd be playing the next scenario. It just looks like a missed opportunity. I'm probably just a little sad because you didn't sell the set to me, and my order hasn't shipped yet.
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Bradford Lounsberry
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Deck building is such a small, small, small part of this game. Finish a scenario, grab a couple upgrades, start next scenario. Easy peasy.
 
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