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Subject: Arkham Horror or Betrayal at House on the Hill rss

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Robin Ashby
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So, I'm trying to decide between Arkham Horror and Betrayal at House on the Hill.

Here's my pros and cons so far:
Arkham Horror
Pros:
Lovecraftian Horror
Fully co-op
Playable solo
gorgeous art

Cons:
Static board
Play longevity concerns (Great Old Ones Vs. Haunts, static board)

Betrayal at House of the Hill
Pros:
Competitive
Generic/Multi-genre Horror
Modular board
Variety, I've seen mentions of Haunt 33? o.0
Character minis

I think I'm in love with the cards. The oversized Tarot-esque sizing, the backgrounds, the clear text and distinctive symbols...
ahem.
Cons:
Competitive
Character minis means less character variety... not sure what the difference between them is.
bland monster tokens (not that I really care)
House-ruling needed for 2-player play, although I've heard it pretty much works flawlessly. (2 characters. each, when traitor is revealed play switches to 3 characters vs 1)
Not playable solo (or is it?)
Player elimination. This is a pretty big one for me, is there a variant for removing player elimination?

Does anyone have any opinions to share? something I'm missing?
Much appreciated.
 
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Mark McEvoy
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Competitive is both a pro and a con?

Game length probably should factor into your decision. In the time it takes to play Arkham, you could get 3 or 4 games of Betrayal played. Player elimination isn't nearly such a big deal if, by the time any player dies, odds are the game is 10-15 minutes from completion anyway.

To clarify things you seem unsure about:

There are 50 scenarios included in Betrayal.

There are six miniatures, but each miniature matches one of two distinct characters. So it's not always the same six-pack in play.

Solo play would be mostly impossible. Much of the game's fun is the fact that the Traitor knows information the Heroes don't know, and/or the Heroes know some information the Traitor doesn't know.
 
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Casey Rogers
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Without a doubt Arkham Horror. I've played both (Betrayal only once though), and Arkham is the better game. Betrayal has a novel idea, explore the place, then someone becomes the baddie and the game changes. But the scenarios are really unclear and you have to wade through a faq to figure out how each one is supposed to work, and then facing/being the villain really isn't that interesting.

Arkham Horror has lots of characters and big bosses for lots of replay ability. It has a deeper character skill and development system. The game is just so much better on so many levels.
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James
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I own both Arkham and Betrayal. I would personally suggest Betrayal. I just found it more fun. But my wife really enjoys Arkham. She liked the strategy and co-op more to it.

There is one con to Betrayal at House on the Hill that you didn't mention, its rules are a little finiky. I wouldn't say they are "broken". As the traitor, this person is kind of on their own to interpret different rules (as opposed to having help from the rest of the group to figure out what something means). I don't have an example here in front of me at work, but I'll me more than happy to look up an example at home (I'm sure there is something in the general section on the game's page).

 
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James
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Oh and then one other comment with Arkham Horror, why I didn't like it as much. I have a problem with a game that I need a detailed flow chart to understand how the turn goes.
 
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Richard Pakpreo
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I like Betrayal, but some of the senarios are biased towards one group or another. Sometimes it's fun and other times it's just terrible. I need to play Arkham Horror but I rarely have the time to try it.
 
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Pat T
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Arkham for sure. I've owned and played both. Traded Betrayal away. I didn't like it at all. The rules are hinky and the game is unbalances. Maybe my experience with Betrayal is biased, because everytime I played it (and it was a few times) I got eliminated early in the game and then got to sit there and do nothing while everyone else played on.


I like Arham much, much better.

 
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Jeff Adair
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The biggest difference between the two is play time. Betrayal will take about 1-1.5 hours. Arkham Horror is about 3-4 when we played it. Once you know the rules, it may take less.

Betrayal has 50 haunts. Arkham does only have about 10 Old Ones, but they don't have too much of an effect on gameplay unless you have to fight them. Each one has 1 or 2 penaltys that affect the entire game, but that is about it until you fight them, if you even get that far.

Someone else mentioned this, but I'll second it. By the time someone dies, the game is usually almost over. It is impossible to die before the Haunt starts.

No expansions for Betrayal, there are already 3 for Arkham, if that matters to you.

I've heard that some of the Haunts had big problems with them. We never had much of a problem. Winged it if we had to. Be sure to find the FAQ/revised rulebook.

I like both. Arkham if we have time, Betrayal if we don't.
 
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Eddie the Cranky Gamer
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Betrayal is a board game.

Arkham Horror is a light and rigid mini-RPG.

If you have the stomach for it, Arkham is a blast. However, Betrayal is easier to get going, easier to play, and easier to have casual fun with.

Arkham is a commitment that not all players may be ready for.
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John W
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This should be a very simple determination for you, between those 2 games.
They are VASTLY different in gameplay, length of time, and cost.

I would guess that you know enough about both of them to decide which you would prefer already, but if you don't, simply read up a bit on each game - it should become clear.

I'd think it depends which are most important criteria for you:
If length of play, complexity of play, and cost of game are the prime factors in your decision, the obvious choice is Betrayal.
If in-depth game system with many layers that rewards analysis is more important, than go with Arkham.

For my gaming dollar and time, Batrayal is far and away the better game that fits our group's limited gaming opportunities.
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Merric Blackman
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I like both, but I think Betrayal is the much better *game*. AH as a multiplayer game takes way, way too long.

You won't be able to get rid of the elimination aspect of Betrayal - it's part of the game - but players can't be eliminated until the Haunt begins.

Betrayal gives a widely varying play experience, as there's a lot of randomness in it; but, to be fair, so does AH.

Cheers,
Merric
 
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Jeff Wood
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Also, in some of Betrayal's Haunts, deceased characters rise from the dead as monsters in league with the traitor, decreasing the eliminations.

 
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Kelly Bass
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My subjective take on 1 play of AH and 5 of BHH:

I should probably say that I'm a Lovecraft fan too and would really like to like AH.

Anyway, Betrayal is simply more fun to play. In AH, there were several times where characters were stuck in portals, or had no real choices to make. Granted, in BHH, there were times where characters' moves were obvious, but at least with the possibility of new rooms (modular board), there was interest/hope in what would happen and the turns seemed faster.

I'd certainly download the updated Haunts, and yet if certain rooms or omens are present or not, it'll really push the balance for or against the Traitor. I think you've got to play this for the roleplaying fun of it and not bitch if it's not fair.

 
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Bill the Pill
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If you like Lovecraft or enjoy the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game on occasion, you want Arkham Horror. If the above doesn't apply, you want Betrayal. I own both, but if I had to own one it would be AH because of my enjoying of Lovecraft stories and CoC.
 
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I say go with Betrayal. Only because unless someone picks it up and reprints it, once it's gone, it's gone (at least until someone here trades for it.)

As mentioned before Arkham has a great following and it's going on expansion number 3. I don't see this one going away anytime soon, and I won't be surprised if there is at least one more big box expansion as well as one more card expansion.
 
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Michael Bachelor
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One of the bigest problems (which has been previoulsy mentioned) is that comparing the 2 games is very hard. While they have a similar theme, the games are so different in feel and function that it's hard to compare.

Betrayal is a much lighter game, with simpler mechanics, a shorter playing time and fewer pieces. Betrayal is a game of SUSPENSE. Waiting for the scenario to occur is part of the game. When the scenario DOES occur, it may not invlovle direct combat. In a sense, Betrayal feels like a movie - characters enter the house, build up the suspense, the conflict occurs, gets resolved, with one side winning and one side losing.

AH is a cooperative horror strategy game. There are lots of bits, more game mechanics, and a rather long playing time. AH is a game of PRESSURE. Characters have limited resources to get an impossible job done. AH feels more RPG ish as players collecet various weapons, spells, and items with which to combat the dark horrors.

I don't worry about solo play for games - the only time I play a game solo is when I am trying to figure out how to play. If I want a solo horror game experience I will grab Dark Corners of the Earth for the Xbox or PC (which I did and enjoyed immensely)

So the question I would ask is "What do your friends enjoy?". Do the people you tend to game with enjoy combat oriented games (Battlelore, Hex and counter games, etc). Do they enjoy heavy strategy games like Civilization and Caylus (I have never played Caylus - but I was trying to think of a popular in print game that fits the description). If so AH might be your cup of tea.

In most cases though, Betrayal will see more gameplay. It's shorter game time and fewer pieces make it a lot more acessible. It is much easier to set up than AH, and might fill a creative niche as players might think of thier own scenarios to try.

From a personal perspective - the people I gamed with 15 years ago would play AH over Betrayal. The people I play with today would pick Betrayal over AH.
 
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