John McCarthy

Connecticut
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Hey all,

I haven't seen as much chatter discussing the new AOs and investigators compared to previous expansion releases, so I thought I'd toss out a post with my opinions and observations:

New Ancient Ones: I really like Atlach Natcha. This AO presents a decent challenge compared to other recent releases. While she doesn't quite rise to Cthulhu level of challenge, she has a unique AO mechanism of spawning additional gates and very little wiggle room in the doom count to support those extra gates. A cool new idea, I think she was a great addition.

As for Hypnos, I'm a little dissapointed in his challenge level. The Dreamlands sideboard is very cool (more on this later), and I actually like Hypnos' mysteries too. I think some of the lack of challenge is that you know exactly where the first three (or more) gates will spawn, and they will spawn somewhat close together- making it easy to eliminate some starting gates. Also, most of his mysteries make it so you want to be in the Dreamlands, so his reckoning effect tends to actually be helpful more often than harmful. I like the way he was designed, but the difficulty isn't there when I've played against him so far.

The new investigators seem pretty cool to me. I've played them all at least twice now. Some may be a little overpowered- Luke Robinson is a gate-closing machine, usually just a more reliable version of Akachi (although his movement ability to jump to gates can be a little harder to use). I really enjoy playing Darrell Simmons as well- he's an animal at picking up clues and his city-focused abilities make him different enough from characters like Mandy so that he feels different in the game. William Yorrick has very cool and very different abilities from anyone we've previously seen- with a little planning and buildup he can milk an arsenal of stuff out of the reserve, and he combos well with many other characters that want specific things from the reserve. Gloria has a small pile of useful abilities to start, probably my favorite new character and I would say very nicely balanced. I'm not thrilled with the doctor and psychiatrist- mainly because in my games resting and salvaging characters is rarely a priority- I go gung-ho after what needs to be done, and sometimes a character is lost in the process. I expect some other people's playing styles may make better use of these two characters though.

The sideboard is very fun, and I think the encounters are interesting and reasonably representative of the Dreamlands. Setting up the dream-portals is weirdly fiddly at the beginning of the game, but it's a small complaint. I wish they had written up encounter cards for the wilderness spaces on the board, which has been a common complaint on the boards. I also wish that the components had included more Dreamlands gates, as they did with the Signs of Carcosa expansion- those gates tend to be the favorites in my group (the bearded priests Nash and Kaman-tha, the cats are very pleased to share their secrets, etc). I was hoping for more like this, and was somewhat dissapointed that there were few new gates. Especially given that the card count was down in this expansion. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they didn't go crazy adding new spells, and new items- those decks are pretty fleshed out as is, and I don't think we need much more at this point. The new spells they did add are pretty cool, and different enough from spells that are already in the game. Find Gate is especially cool, as is the entire mechanic of seeing the top gate.

What do you guys think of the expansion?
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aurelian
United Kingdom
Dorset
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Have only played some of the investigators so far but they seem pretty good on the whole and nicely different from previous characters in their abilities and how they play. The photographer (Darrell Simmons) was becoming quite abusive with his camera and other stuff to gain clues in a couple of my games - fun to play. I actually found the doctor (Vincent Lee) was pretty good - his card looks very dull but the Composed talent he starts with makes all the difference, and he can be built up into a powerhouse quite fast, so long as he doesn't lose his talent along the way. I've found William Yorrick very uninspiring in a couple of games, but maybe still need to find the best play style with him.

Also agree that Atlach Natcha is a great addition to the AOs - was quite scary to play at first, thinking she was mega-strong, but actually gives a well-balanced challenge. Very sadly I can't comment yet on Hypnos or the sideboard - I stick to random selection of AOs and investigators, and somewhat against the odds just can't get Hypnos to come up! Might have to resort to "cheating" soon ...

I have all the expansions and, it's kinda difficult to explain, but I found that when all the Dreamlands components were added in, the game overall feels much more complete and balanced. For example, the dilution meant that impairments and glamor spells weren't quite so annoying in how often they appeared, although still playing a balanced role in the game.

So overall very happy so far, but still working my way through this expansion.
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Andrew Florez
Canada
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Thought i'd make an account and give my two cents here, as the amount of conversation happening around this expansion seems to be quite low.

Right out of the gate, Dreamlands feels MUCH more thematically interesting than Under the Pyramids for me. UtP had too many moments where I felt like I was playing an Indiana Jones game than actual Lovecraft. (Lots of "The Mummy" jokes when we played that one for the first time)

For our first session, we played with a team of 4 against Hypnos. Hypnos borrows Nephran-Ka's "drag you to the side board" mechanic, but unlike UtP he doesn't need to entice people to go there. The "first 3 gates go to the dreamlands" rule does that all by itself, and of course his mysteries are all very dreamlands-centric. This left his reckoning power feeling very low-impact, even more so than Nephran-Ka.

His resting power was the real killer, but thankfully we had the therapist to cancel it out to a certain degree. We also had Amanda Sharpe the talent wizard. Amanda gained a talent that allowed her to get 2 talents every time she earned one, and combined with the new dreamland space that gives talents through encounters and her special ability, we were able to cap all of her stats. It was quite impressive, but without a blessing it was far from unstoppable.

Overall i'd say Hypnos packs a decent punch, but he just doesn't tax people the same way some of the more brutal AOs do. Looking forward to playing against spider queen thing next time, she looks quite crazy.

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Nelvin C.
Germany
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This thread needs to go on!

My very first Eldritch Horror game was against Atlach-Nacha (Yeah, I was a new player at a regular EH meeting group...). It was a 4P4I game.

It was difficult, not entirely because I was new, but mainly because we couldn't find the Artifact that was required by one of the mysteries. Until we finally got the Artifact, it was already close to the awakening!

We didn't have enough clues and/or spells to delay the opening of the gates, and doom was sliding down the track like a roller coaster. It was just rather... out of control from that point onward.

However, I really enjoyed the game and the expansion, so I bought one myself. Recently, I played a game with a gang of absolutely new players against Cthulhu, and I feel that the new sideboard really adds a lot of values to the game. It gives really interesting and fun encounters, and some of the rewards are SO beneficial, it's just worth the effort to go to the sideboard even without Hypnos! [We played with the Otherworldly Dreams Prelude].

Overall, I enjoyed the expansion a lot, and my friends enjoyed the game a lot!
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