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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: Deck building feels less fun rss

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Danny Frahm
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Just my opinion, but when I started deck building this game it didn't feel fun to do. I'd had a lot of fun deck building in netrunner. But that was to defeat an unsuspecting opponent. Maximising my deck strength in a competative environment. My inclusion of a card like "Archer" was a key strategy of my whole game. There was a fun in creating something to best someone.

My first thought - Because I'm playing against an AI campaign it feels like I'm subverting the experience with optimal decks. A kind of "of course I won, I had all the best cards". I'd solved the puzzle before the game had started.

My second thought - Optimal decks may also be boring decks. Deck building here feels like I am making my decks less diverse and interesting. When I started making an Wendy Adams deck there were instantly 4 cards I wanted to cut after one play. I then said to myself. "Yeah, I'll never want these in any deck." This felt like a bit of a waste to me. I knew also I'd start to have a more 'same-same' experience each time I played with my fully optimised deck.

Thoughts?

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Robert Leonhard
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I suspect it will improve with expansions. If they are designed right, there will be opportunities to use all cards at one point or another.

I enjoy the deck-building--what little I've done so far. Playing the Curse of the Rougarou, I decided to let each investigator have 9 points of upgrades--the maximum allowed before having to take on another weakness. Trust me, you need those upgrades. The scenario is very hard.
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Pascal Lefebvre
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There's also very limited variety in term of card design so far. Each faction has their unique stuff, but there's a lot of very basic cards that "repeat" in every faction, so it's not quite there yet. With the first deluxe and cycle, I feel like it'll be easier to build decks with more personality.
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Michael Webb
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This is really one of my only complaints about this game so far, but I believe it is just a function of the game being young and of FFG wanting to give players several characters to choose from at the start.

I guess they could have given a lot of extra cards and only allowed players to use 2 specific characters out of the box, but instead they decided to give some breadth but with very limited depth.

Of course, buying a second core does allow players the opportunity to immediately prune out individual cards for duplicates of the better ones. I'm not convinced that that is truly necessary in the long term though, as each large expansion is going to add more options to the point where this will really no longer be an issue. At least that's what I'm telling myself every time I think about buying a second core laugh

Really though, Dunwich alone should take care of that. It is going to add a significant number of new cards and each of the new characters is mono class, which would not be possible unless the card pool was deep enough to allow for it post expansion.
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Nigel McNaughton
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AH is going to have a similar issue to LOTR. Most of the published cards are not going to be player cards, so options are going to expand rather slowly, possibly even slower with cards having levels, eating up even more player card slots in each Mythos Pack.
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Chris G
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I think the strength of deck building comes in taking on higher difficulty levels and as the game matures is suspect further campaigns or bonus scenarios will also push the deck building.
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Richard Poole
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Just +1ing to what everyone else has already said: the base set is not nearly enough to differentiate the classes when the player-half of the cards is split between 5 classes and neutrals.

Making Skills as important as they are (rather than having a global discard bonus, like Spycraft's bravado or Star Wars's destiny) means that 9 card slots are taken up by cards that you never actually "play" (you commit them instead). Plus the inclusion of those cards then limits the amount of other cards you can reasonably put in a deck. Then you have the issue that every class needs a way to "solve" combat and investigation, so you print a lot of cards that do similar things in different classes.

Most constructed deck card games have cards that won't be used in any optimized deck. I won't get into the argument over whether that has to be the case, but it's certainly not something that makes Arkham LCG worse than other similar games. It just hurts extra bad right now because of how few cards exist now and some of them are spent on dead weight.
 
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Scourn1
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Netrunner has the competiveness with it. So there were in fact just plain better cards as expansions went on and on. That's the nature of that beast.

With co-op games, there is hardly ever the case of "best cards". Sure, your core set is going to have some of the most useful cards. If you've ever played LOTR LCG, to this day still there are corset cards you really want in your deck. But there wont be better cards over time, just cards that do different things or good for different situations. The AI of this as the uncertainty of what can happen. You can try to minimize all the worst stuff but because its Arkham, your going to run into crazy stuff.

I personally like the deck building of Arkham. Its less cards then LOTR, and only 2 of a card per deck. Its quick and easy. Id rather not sit all night deck theorying
 
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Bloody Cactus
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I dont think any meaningful deck building can really be done until the first expansion is completed (deluxe+its 6? mythos packs). it took LoTR quite a while to get going. With each mythos pack only adding a couple of cards per class, its going to take a while to get to the point where you actually have to choose between things and such.

the core just doesnt have anything in it to really build off.
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Jeffrey Secrest
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I wasn't interested in a game with a heavy deck building focus. The split of 5% deck building and 95% playing the game suits me fine!
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mathew rynich
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I really didn't feel like I had many great options for deck building in just the netrunner core. Yeah you had a very free system to include out of faction cards in that game, but only really a few optimal choices. This will get better with more expansions.

As for your concern that a completely optimal deck will feel less fun for this game I totally agree. Considering the game has an easily adjustable difficulty setting and multiple possible ways to traverse each scenario there is no reason to really power game here. I'd much rather make decent decks that feel thematic. My opinion of course. Power gamers will always disagree with that stance and say creating top tier decks and destroying the scenario gives them great joy If that's what they like to do then more power to them.
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Richard Poole
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The four difficulty levels ARE the reason to really power game.
 
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Danny Frahm
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Escapade wrote:
The four difficulty levels ARE the reason to really power game.


I'm currently doing OK in a two player game on the hardest difficulty with the default decks. Only the first adventure though We'll see how I got next game.
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Thanee
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FinalAttack wrote:
Thoughts?


Highly limited card pool.

In Lord of the Rings the deckbuilding is very interesting and fun. This will get there, too.

Bye
Thanee
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Michael Webb
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I guess the one thing I will bring up that is a legitimate issue with the pool though: it does tend to make the game more random. The more redundant you can make your deck (which in this case means giving 2x copies of good cards through a second core) the less likely you are to get hosed by the random element of the order that you draw the cards. The chaos bag is always going to have some randomness, but a deck with as many singletons as the initial ones have is going to naturally make for some big variance. This makes it a more variable experience, but for some people that is going to not be something they want.

Deck building was something I didn't really notice until I'd already played the campaign once and was starting over. I wanted to tune the base decks a bit but use the same characters as my gf is not a heavy gamer and I thought it would be easier for her that way. Literally the only option I had with the Roland / Wendy pair was for us to swap a couple of skill cards so that Roland had the fight bonuses and Wendy had the flight bonuses. I understand that not everyone is going to want a huge amount of customizability, but it would have been nice for FFG to release a small bonus pack with just extra player cards for those of us who would like a bit more space to tinker without buying a full extra box.
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Robbie M.
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I think it's important to note that the deck building is limited but it's limited by design. This game, unlike any other LCG, is designed to emulate the class and level design of a Role Playing Game. The most popular example being Dungeons & Dragons. In a point-buy RPG, you are given a set amount of points and then purchase you skills, talents and attributes. Class and level RPGs are a journey from zero to hero. You start out fairly basic and earn points during play that you can use to level-up. So you kill some monsters and take their stuff and now you go from level 1 to level 2. Congratulations, you get one more spell now. It's a slow grind and I expect this is what the designers intended to emulate.
So yes the deck building is limiting but since it's supposed to be then I wouldn't really knock the game for it. It's meant to be that way. Expansions will give you more options but you are still starting out with 30 level 0 cards and you'll earn xp 1 or 2 points at a time.

The Call of Cthulhu LCG (which was PvP, not co-op) is what you would want if your goal was to build a focused, powerful deck. Sadly it is no longer in print.

Don't forget you can also try LotR LCG. It's co-op and you can deckbuild for days. The Saga sets play out like a campaign and even the chapter packs in order play out like a mini campaign. I play and enjoy both games.
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Andy Leighton
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FinalAttack wrote:
My second thought - Optimal decks may also be boring decks.


Maybe. I am certainly not going to even try and build truly optimal decks, I will try and build the best decks that I feel fit with the character. For example giving Wendy a bullet-proof vest seems somewhat off - even in the pulp world of AH.
 
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Emily Dickinson
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roborob wrote:
I think it's important to note that the deck building is limited but it's limited by design. This game, unlike any other LCG, is designed to emulate the class and level design of a Role Playing Game. The most popular example being Dungeons & Dragons. In a point-buy RPG, you are given a set amount of points and then purchase you skills, talents and attributes. Class and level RPGs are a journey from zero to hero. You start out fairly basic and earn points during play that you can use to level-up. So you kill some monsters and take their stuff and now you go from level 1 to level 2. Congratulations, you get one more spell now. It's a slow grind and I expect this is what the designers intended to emulate.


Very much agree, plus one more thing - the Investigators of Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu and FFG's Arkham have always been much more humble than the epic heroes of D&D and other Role Playing Games - Call of Cthulhu is the RPG we break out when we want to see a bunch of ordinary guys mostly in over their heads and going insane and dying at a very high rate. Upgrading Agnes to an Archmage, even if it takes eight Scenarios, would feel very much contrary to the spirit of Arkham's Investigators. I really hope that even in a full size Campaign, it will be less about accumulating awesomeness and more about trying to mitigate the accumulation of Weakness and Trauma.
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Phoenix Bird
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FinalAttack wrote:
When I started making an Wendy Adams deck there were instantly 4 cards I wanted to cut after one play. I then said to myself. "Yeah, I'll never want these in any deck."Thoughts?

Well I am thinking what were those cards?

Maybe after a few campaigns your opinions of them may change.

I was pleased how little “filler” cards I found in the core set.

Phoenix

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Danny Frahm
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Phoenix_Bird wrote:
FinalAttack wrote:
When I started making an Wendy Adams deck there were instantly 4 cards I wanted to cut after one play. I then said to myself. "Yeah, I'll never want these in any deck."Thoughts?

Well I am thinking what were those cards?

Maybe after a few campaigns your opinions of them may change.

I was pleased how little “filler” cards I found in the core set.

Phoenix



Switchblade, Leather Coat, burglary, opportunist (but I can see this being arguable in easy/normal difficulty). None of these are worth a card slot in a Wendy deck.

I'd also argue a number of other cards are a little bit dead weight, a couple of the evasion cards, but those four stand out as the easiest to cut.
 
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Phoenix Bird
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FinalAttack wrote:

Switchblade, Leather Coat, burglary, opportunist (but I can see this being arguable in easy/normal difficulty). None of these are worth a card slot in a Wendy deck.


Switchblade.
Yep, she has no business fighting. Wait, you don’t give her a baseball bat do you?

Leather Coat
It doesn’t compete for a slot and is +2 HP for zero cost? She doesn’t get access to First Aid or Medical Texts so why not? Until Bullet Proof vest arrives.

opportunist
How often does anyone succeed by 3 or more? AmIRite?

burglary,
This is surprising. Initially I discounted it but had to take one of my pickpockets out to put it back in.
How are you paying for all those events you are recycling?

Thanks for the reply.

Phoenix
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mathew rynich
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I mostly agree except Burglary is amazing especially if you are spending resources to pump talents or require a lot of resources to play expensive assets. There are tons of 1 shroud locations in the core campaign so it's pretty easy to use. Of course you are gambling a bit with your actions, but that I feel is thematic for the Rogue faction.

Switchblade maybe will make sense for some future investigator, but I've never put it in a deck after the starter decks. The others I've all slotted in at one point or another. This game has thankfully very few truly useless cards.
 
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David Williams
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roborob wrote:
I think it's important to note that the deck building is limited but it's limited by design. This game, unlike any other LCG, is designed to emulate the class and level design of a Role Playing Game.


I also think it's important to note that the letters "LCG" are no where on this game. I also personally like that they are publishing decklists for all 5 investigators.
 
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The Old Man wrote:
I also think it's important to note that the letters "LCG" are no where on this game.


...um, their LCG logo is displayed on the box in its usual place as on their other LCGs. It's also on the rulebooks, again in the usual place, and their official preview articles refer to it as "Arkham LCG".

Aside from that, I guess you're right?
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mathew rynich
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I wonder how many other people bought into this game not knowing it was an LCG.
 
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