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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » General

Subject: essence of this game - luck mitigation? rss

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Garyp
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I am very much a fan of all things Cthulhu and the Lovecraft novels and from all accounts Arkham Horror: The card Game has brought lots of theme, excellent mechanics and high quality components to the table. Someone has described it as the best gaming implementation of the Cthulhu mythos.

But at the end of the day, is the basic mechanic of this game passing skill tests which ultimately gets down to the luck of the dice (or chit draw from the bag).

Note that I accept that all the components and thematic implementation is excellent - I am asking what is the basic game mechanism.
 
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m Vlad
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Deckbuilding probably. Since the prebuilt decks can only get You so far and that's only in the easy and standard difficulty.
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philippe lachance
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I see where you're coming from with is, regardless of how good your deck is, you might still draw the auto fail token. But the thing is, the effect of losing a test isn't necessarily major for you, so the deckbuilding process is more about covering your blind side and havin a (evolving) startegy than about not failing a single test. So, if im playing roland bank for exemple, I might want to make sure I don't fail too much sanity test as my stat is so low, so I'll inculde some cards for it even though I'm more about strength and intellect tests.
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Jeremie Miller
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Although building decks to cover weaknesses isn't the only strategy. I have focused my decks on character strengths and found those decks more successful than trying to protect my weaknesses.

My investigators run pretty close to insanity and death most scenarios because of this, but I have managed to avoid trauma in most of the games I have played.

With all of that said I haven't played Roland much, so my strategy may not work with him very well. It did work ok with Skids.

So there are lots of options for deckbuilding, I think, even with the more limited starting card pool.

After deck building a large part of the game is using those cards to control the luck (and bad luck) that comes from the chaos bag. But this is what adds a lot of the interesting decision making for me.
 
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David Jensen
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Card games in general are all about probability odds (luck mitigation).

It's a bit more complicated with cards plus an additional randomizer (chaos bag).

so yes in general it's quite a bit probability odds driven (luck).
*You are playing poker with Cthulu - not chess
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Richard A. Edwards
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notyetsuperman wrote:
Card games in general are all about probability odds (luck mitigation).

It's a bit more complicated with cards plus an additional randomizer (chaos bag).

so yes in general it's quite a bit probability odds driven (luck).
*You are playing poker with Cthulu - not chess

And how do you factor in that this game, with location cards and hunters, acts and clues, agendas and encounters, has a lot of board game decisions from action choices to strategic movement.
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Milen Krastev
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couteaupapillon wrote:
I see where you're coming from with is, regardless of how good your deck is, you might still draw the auto fail token. But the thing is, the effect of losing a test isn't necessarily major for you, so the deckbuilding process is more about covering your blind side and havin a (evolving) startegy than about not failing a single test. So, if im playing roland bank for exemple, I might want to make sure I don't fail too much sanity test as my stat is so low, so I'll inculde some cards for it even though I'm more about strength and intellect tests.


Good point. Also the small deck size and the need to include cards for skill test purpose mainly, not for their main abilities gives another level of deck construction.
All this is exciting and at the same time might be annoying if your luck destroy your entire game plan devil

 
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David Boeren
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There is no single "essence". There are many types of decisions to make in the game both before and during play and good decisions will help you in all of them.
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MC Shudde M'ell
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garypgary wrote:
I am asking what is the basic game mechanism.


Luck mitigation is a huge part of this game, no question, but time and resource management are also important mechanics. How much time you spend building up your Investigator, whether or not to put time into something like Roland's Cover Up or other optional side quests, when and whether to use the Resign mechanism - I love that Resign (i.e. "run away") exists not as a way for a bored or hopeless Player to quit the game, but as a reasonable course of action that may be your Investigators' best move. There's even a meaningful exploration game, especially in the second Scenario.

I suspect that it is true that the 50th time you play a Scenario, most of your brain is going to be thinking about relative odds from the decks and the bag. In that sense, yes, this is a game about figuring out the odds and playing to them.
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James
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mvl4d wrote:
Deckbuilding probably. Since the prebuilt decks can only get You so far and that's only in the easy and standard difficulty.


So Arkham Horror the LCG is actually a deck building game? I was really hoping it wouldn't be.
 
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Sam Cook
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I used to think Wendy's built in luck mitigation ability was the best ability in the game, but after playing a campaign with Skids I think it's typically better to just have lots of actions so you have the potential to succeed multiple times.

Even better is to just have cards that make you avoid tests altogether. Like pretty much any event that discovers clues automatically without making any tests are auto includes for me now.

I can see though that what is good could vary wildly on any given scenario. Like Wendy ability is better when there are lots of skill test encounter cards. Also if there was a scenario where you only had one shot at an extremely difficult test, Wendy is going to be your best bet.
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Rosen Crantz
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grahamj wrote:
[q="mvl4d"]
So Arkham Horror the LCG is actually a deck building game? I was really hoping it wouldn't be.


It's not as heavy as fantasy flight's other LCGs. And if you really want to play but are against the deck-building, FFG also has pre-built decks and strategies for every investigator in the core set so you can simply enjoy the adventuring/RPG aspect.

But, yes, deckbuilding is par for the course with any of FFG's line of LCGs. So if you really hate deckbuilding, maybe go for mansions of madness. Still a narrative experience, but as a modular board game.

Found under player resources from FFG's product page:
https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/15/ed...

 
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Danwarr
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grahamj wrote:
mvl4d wrote:
Deckbuilding probably. Since the prebuilt decks can only get You so far and that's only in the easy and standard difficulty.


So Arkham Horror the LCG is actually a deck building game? I was really hoping it wouldn't be.


Compared to FFG's other LCG offerings, Arkham:LCG is more restrictive. Deck size is 30 cards, limit 2 copies per deck, and each investigator has more restrictions on top of that based on their faction.

However, where the deck building does get a bit interesting is in the experience mechanic where one can add more powerful cards to their deck between scenarios during a given campaign. Obviously right now things are extremely limited by only having the Core Set options, but I would expect things to open up significantly by the time the entire first cycle is complete.
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Danwarr
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Donkler wrote:
I used to think Wendy's built in luck mitigation ability was the best ability in the game, but after playing a campaign with Skids I think it's typically better to just have lots of actions so you have the potential to succeed multiple times.

Even better is to just have cards that make you avoid tests altogether. Like pretty much any event that discovers clues automatically without making any tests are auto includes for me now.

I can see though that what is good could vary wildly on any given scenario. Like Wendy ability is better when there are lots of skill test encounter cards. Also if there was a scenario where you only had one shot at an extremely difficult test, Wendy is going to be your best bet.


I've only played Wendy since opening the box and I think she's great, especially her "re-roll" ability as well as the "auto-win" pull on her amulet, but primarily I think the Survivor cards are pretty amazing, especially Lucky and Look What I Found. Additionally, Wendy gets access to Luce, which is arguably one of the better, if not the best all around cards in the game at the moment.

However, all of the Core Set investigators are very good as they help mitigate one portion of the game or another pretty well.
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Paul S
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garypgary wrote:

But at the end of the day, is the basic mechanic of this game passing skill tests which ultimately gets down to the luck of the dice (or chit draw from the bag).


No.
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Garyp
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Thanks everyone for those insights. It does seem that mitigating the odds is the core of the game but it has been rapped up in so much theme so as to make it an interesting and enjoyable experience.
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