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Subject: The Devourer from Below rss

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Crazed Survivor
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This has to be the least fun piece of crap I have played in recent memory.
Aside from the fact that the Priest wasn't killed earlier, are supposed to be able to do anything in this scenario?
Aside from lucking into C3, I don't see a way.

Here, Skids failed a skill-check on turn 1 and had to discard 3 cards + get 2 damage and 2 horror. As usual, Agnes said f... to luck and did her stuff but since Skids drew the Priest + a goat thingy he basically died on turn 2, and Agnes failed her escape attempts later on and got stomped by like 10 enemies.
What the heck?

Did you manage to do anything? Is it me or is this thing awfully design and the best way to not get players hooked?

Can't wait to try Dunwhich to have a more fulfilling conclusion to the campaign... I hope -.-

Also: playing with someone who's not good and complains a lot is nowhere near fun.
 
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MC Shudde M'ell
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That sounds pretty similar to my first experience (including using Agnes and Skids) and I got totally hooked. Closest thing to old school Call of Cthulhu I've seen in years!
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Adam Pogatshnik
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...maybe you need a bit of practice.

I'm sorry you lost, but it's not awful design. The game maybe is just targeted for people who have more experience in co op and/or deckbuilders than you.

To be frank, unless your play improves, I doubt you'll have more fun in Dunwich. Talk with your friend and try to come up with a plan to improve, maybe replay Night of the Zealot. Maybe try different characters (the recommended NotZ characters in the core set rulebook are Roland and Wendy). Make decks that work together. Build your decks together.

Kill the ghoul priest on the first mission, that would help. Try to take down ~4 cultists before resigning on the second scenario.

Usually helps to have 1 player fight and the other focus on clues.

If all that fails put the game on an easier difficulty setting.
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Ian Spaulding
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Really? Devourer is much harder than anything I've seen in Dunwich so far, mostly since pretty compactly intense (it's easier to recover from bad happenings in Dunwich since you have more time for it to balance out, and it also has less strictly good/bad outcomes).
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Teeka
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Razoupaf wrote:
Is it me or is this thing awfully design and the best way to not get players hooked?

IMHO it's great design and a great way to get people hooked.

I did quite well in the campaign and managed to do quite a bit.
But I also made some obvious mistakes along the way and I failed to do certain important things. I was not very focussed while upgrading my deck. These things ended up biting me in the ass.

So now I can play again. Do better. Try to get everything right this time. See if I can beat that boss if I put more effort into it (now that I know what I'm aiming for).

To me it's just like a good RPG video game.
Some bosses will beat you up the first time around when you don't know what to expect. Some will make you wish you had taken the time to find those potion ingredients or armor upgrades that didn't seem so important at the time.

First play, it's about the exciting story, the twists and surprises. After that it's about the challenge, trying to actually win. That's some awesome replayability, I'd say.

But YMMV of course. I'm very sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it.

Razoupaf wrote:
Also: playing with someone who's not good and complains a lot is nowhere near fun.

Yeah, not being good at it, ok, but in co-ops you really shouldn't complain...you win together, you lose together, and it should be about the shared experience first and foremost.
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Crazed Survivor
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Teeka wrote:
Razoupaf wrote:
Also: playing with someone who's not good and complains a lot is nowhere near fun.

Yeah, not being good at it, ok, but in co-ops you really shouldn't complain...you win together, you lose together, and it should be about the shared experience first and foremost.


Indeed. The girlfriend might be the main problem I have with this game. Even crushed I can enjoy the game (as opposed to say, Hero Realms: The Ruin of Thandar).

awp832 wrote:
...maybe you need a bit of practice.

I'm sorry you lost, but it's not awful design. The game maybe is just targeted for people who have more experience in co op and/or deckbuilders than you.

To be frank, unless your play improves, I doubt you'll have more fun in Dunwich. Talk with your friend and try to come up with a plan to improve, maybe replay Night of the Zealot. Maybe try different characters (the recommended NotZ characters in the core set rulebook are Roland and Wendy). Make decks that work together. Build your decks together.

Kill the ghoul priest on the first mission, that would help. Try to take down ~4 cultists before resigning on the second scenario.

Usually helps to have 1 player fight and the other focus on clues.

If all that fails put the game on an easier difficulty setting.


The thing is, I'm a former M:tG player so I'm not new to deck construction, I had a quite potent deck that mostly did everything I wanted it to (that is: screw randomness and get things done anyways, combo damage and control cultists, gather clues quickly), this was my fourth campaign.

Skids was a dead weigh through the whole campaign. He got insane on game 1, leaving me alone with a Priest I couldn't fight alone and injured. On game two I managed to control the Cultists but ultimately we had to give up because Skids couldn't fight and I had too many on my backs. On game 3 Skids drew the Priest super early then got ganged up by monsters, managed to not do enough, went down, and 3 rounds later Umordoth wrecked me. Lita was at the very bottom of my deck so there was nothing I could do.

And yes, it would appear the blame is to be put on Skids. It went much better when I was controlling both Agnes and him myself.

But still, between the priest, the first 3 fatalities and the potential for discard 2 random cards and the fact that I was indebted, this chapter is very, very painful. Not to mention cultists arriving en masse near the end.

I think I need to solo this game to really enjoy it... Which is a shame since we bought it to co-op together.
 
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Teeka
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Razoupaf wrote:
The girlfriend might be the main problem I have with this game. Even crushed I can enjoy the game

Yup, that's how I've also enjoyed the Arkham Horror board game for years now. I often introduce that one as "the game that's fun to lose". If being able to win in the end means the difference between fun or no fun for somoeone, then a game like this isn't a good choice.

Though as I said, IMO being this hard means it's a lot of fun to play again so you actually get a lot out of just the 3-part base campaign.

Razoupaf wrote:
I think I need to solo this game to really enjoy it... Which is a shame since we bought it to co-op together.

That would be a shame indeed. I think this game's amazing to play together. Sure you can play about any co-op solo, but this one has that whole "helping each other without having full knowledge" thing that is really interesting.

But as for your girlfriends's attitude to something like this, well that's personal preference and how do you change that?
There have also been tons of threads on BGG where people state they hate co-ops because they want to defeat their friends or because they experience 'alpha player' problems. If it's not your thing, then it's not your thing.

But maybe it will help if you emphasize beforehand that these games should be about the story/experience, and not the actual winning. I think you really need to have that mindset before you go into something like this.
...Or maybe starting out with another, less difficult/complex co-op first, to learn what it's like (if you haven't already)?
 
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Aaron White
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Regarding co-op, a memory of a Q&A about Arkham Horror The Card Game stuck out in my mind. They asked one of the designers what their favourite gameplay moment was and they said it was the time their "partner" blocked the exit out of a room with a monster in it. I feel like this game has the potential for lots of these story moments in two player.

Granted the cultist and devoured scenarios are really hard. I struggle too, often doing well in one or two scenarios then doing terribly in one.
 
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Crazed Survivor
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I feel I should clarify a few things:

- I love co-op games.
- I don't necessarily like traitor mechanics in co-op games.
- I like slaying other players. Just not in co-op games.
- I like slaying monsters. Period.
- I don't mind losing, sometimes to an absurd degree. I mean, I enjoy playing Space Hulk: Death Angel. That should be enough to prove I like suffering.
- This is far from being my first co-op, or my first hard co-op. I've been enjoying Aeon's End to no end, I'm playtesting Unbroken and haven't won a single game yet, I've Kingdom Death: Monster waiting for me, I've played through Dark Souls: the Board Game 14 times (some I've won, some not). These are not necessarily light or easy games

As for her:
- She's more into competitive games.
- She's not into card games that much.
- She's a sore loser. I am too but on my way to redemption.
- She's got a nasty habit of whining when things don't go her way. I have to but I'm getting better (being utterly destroyed solo helps a lot actually!)
- She's got no M:tG background.

As for us:
- We didn't help each other out that much. I tend to do things on my own, I don't like relying on others.
- I'm usually a combo machine or a control player. Hence Agnes, who does both.
- I told her we shouldn't expect to win. I sure don't. That's not the problem (she still expects to win. I still hope I win
- I've tried to tell her "(I think) you should have included Dynamite in your deck" (I'm building a Guardian deck with the new guy who can get any lvl 0 Tactic cards. I didn't include Tactic cards -.- They don't look very appealing.) Her reaction was not very encouraging.
- I've told her to build a Rex Murphy character to investigate since I'll be swinging rifles around, mostly. Hopefully we do better. The vietnamese? girl looks interesting too though.

With that being told, I still hate this very scenario (The Devourer), not because we lose, but because how utterly crushing defeat is, and twice clearly apparent on turn 1.

For Dunwhich, I'll have to skim through her deck before starting.

By the way: when should I include Rogarou and Carnevale?
 
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Kevin
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my recommendation is just make the game easier. It's not a competitive game, it's supposed to be fun and for a card game it has an awesome narrative running through each scenario.

I always play on easy mode but that is still a real challenge. The game is 50 percent luck, so why beat yourself up about losing. You can make all the best strategic plays, spend ages on deck building etc but if you pull out the tentacles at the "wrong" time, due to bad luck then all that goes out of the window.

I'm even tempted to miss out the chaos token that not only has negatives but usually allows a monster a free attack as its often even worse than the tentacles.

As for the scenario's that put in tokens with -3 and more then I dont add them.

that way i find the game more enjoyable (for me) and thats what I'm looking for in a game.
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Crazed Survivor
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chainsaw_ash wrote:
my recommendation is just make the game easier. It's not a competitive game, it's supposed to be fun and for a card game it has an awesome narrative running through each scenario.

I always play on easy mode but that is still a real challenge. The game is 50 percent luck, so why beat yourself up about losing. You can make all the best strategic plays, spend ages on deck building etc but if you pull out the tentacles at the "wrong" time, due to bad luck then all that goes out of the window.

I'm even tempted to miss out the chaos token that not only has negatives but usually allows a monster a free attack as its often even worse than the tentacles.

As for the scenario's that put in tokens with -3 and more then I dont add them.

that way i find the game more enjoyable (for me) and thats what I'm looking for in a game.


I get it but I'm not too fond of bending the rules, and I find it thrilling when you overcome a challenge. Besides, I wanted to see if two cores made Standard manageable. It doesn't make it easy is all I can say

So far i've only houseruled 7th Continent because I hate hunts. And my group has resetted Pandemic Legacy after we lost game 1 with two players not even having a turn. Mh.

We'll Dunwhich on easy I guess cool
Are you telling me that we'll experience defeats as crushing as the Devourer's?
 
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Pietro Pomella
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Well, we found all the Dunwich scenarios to be more interesting than the core ones, so defeats at least do come at the end of a more charming ride, let's say

Also, Devourer can be a very tough scenario, so you shouldn't experience brutal difficulty spikes compared to that one, no (Can't necessarily say the same for Carcosa <3).

That being said, there is one scenario where you might experience some... discomfort at the resolution, and another that might hurt you in the feelings with a particular event. Lovely stuff to be fair.
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Crazed Survivor
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I was considering soloing it first but it wouldn't be the same for her if I did know the story beforehand.

Though I'm asking you again: when would be a good time to wander through the Rogarou and the Carnevale during this campaign?
 
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Pietro Pomella
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Both are pretty awkward to fit thematically in the timeframe of the story, but many people have suggested that they could be treated as flashbacks, or inserted at a very late point in the story that might make them make sense (don't want to spoil that here).

If you don't mind the thematic dissonance and are only concerned about difficulty curve and stuff like that, my personal experience has been that they can both be fairly long and hard (some variance in setup for Carnevale in particular can really mess you up). Rougarou only costs you 1XP and has some potentially very interesting rewards, and we found it to be easier overall (again, your mileage may very based on investigators and setup), so I would pick that earlier than Carnevale, which has some not-so-amazing rewards and costs you 3XP on top of being potentially quite hard.

That being said, given their satisfying and self-contained narrative arc and juicy nature, I found them both to be amazing stand-alone scenarios.
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Crazed Survivor
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Oh. Maybe we could play them standalone to get a hang of our characters before the campaign then, and see whether they make sense to include or not.

Too bad I already sleeved scenario 1-A :'(
 
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Pietro Pomella
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You could still play 1A and 1B to get a taste of Dunwich and get used to the current investigator team, and then take a break to play around with the standalones

Happy investigating and good luck!
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Crazed Survivor
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Thank you
 
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Robert
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Just because I haven't seen it explicitly mentioned here yet: Skids is probably the worst investigator printed so far. He's mediocre at combat, bad at investigating and liable to run out of sanity very quickly.

Agnes is better, but she's dependent on finding certain key cards to be effective (Shrivelling, Rite of Seeking, Forbidden Knowledge) - if you're going to use her, you want a partner who can help you find them (Daisy), or can cover for her during the games where they're sat at bottom of her deck.

For Dunwich I'd encourage you to either try a team of two investigators who are reasonable at both combat and investigating (e.g. Roland + Jenny), or one combat powerhouse and one dedicated investigator (e.g. Rex + Mark). That's definitely not the only viable way to play, but it is the most straightforward and consistent!

(Also, make sure you play on standard or lower difficulty - hard difficulty is a bit potluck without the strongest investigators and well-tuned decks)

With respect to The Devourer Below:
- This scenario is pretty tough without sacrificing Lita, especially with the random encounter set you got (bad luck!).
- Unintuitively, the easiest way to beat it is to ignore the act deck and just wait at the start, tooling up to kill the boss when it appears.
- If you're going for the investigation resolution, you can't afford to waste much time setting up - drop a key asset (weapons, allies) or two then get moving.

Edit: If you're building Mark, two of the tactic cards, Shortcut and Elusive are very efficient mobility effects and worth a second look.
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Crazed Survivor
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Wow, thanks, that will make her feel better about her former character
I know it does make me

For now I've loaded Mark with allies and weapons + some healing and encounter disruption (negating attacks and resolving cards by himself). We'll see how it goes. She hasn't built her deck yet.
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Jacek Deimer
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The Devourer is extremely luck dependant, especially when playing solo.

1. It depends which Agents set you get (Cthulhu and Shub are much easier and manageable than other 2 - especially for Roland).

3. The Woods locations matter quite a bit - I remember a game where Roland got stuck on Twisting Path for several turns and died miserably there.

3. On top of that you random draws from player deck, encounter deck and token bag. Especially solo this can generate both very favourable and impossible scenarios.

Just to sum up, I managed to get R2 with Roland (and Shotgun) using only single core. On the other hand I failed the same scenario when playing with 2 core sets. Both plays were on standard difficulty. So, yes, luck plays a huge role in this scenario.


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Crazed Survivor
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Reid666 wrote:
The Devourer is extremely luck dependant, especially when playing solo.

1. It depends which Agents set you get (Cthulhu and Shub are much easier and manageable than other 2 - especially for Roland).

3. The Woods locations matter quite a bit - I remember a game where Roland got stuck on Twisting Path for several turns and died miserably there.


1.We had the one with 100% monsters, 3 of which give everyone a horror upon death. I'm not familiar with the sets' names, only the icons, and even that whistle It's not the one with the lock and key!

3.Is this the one that forces you to do a skill-check to leave? If so then Agnes never made it out either. She's not good at investigating.

 
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Robert
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You had the Agents of Shub Niggurath set (https://arkhamdb.com/find?q=m:agents_of_shub&sort=set&view=l...), which is easier for Guardians but a pain for Agnes/Skids - the monsters are too big for Skids' mediocre stats and too frequent/tough for Agnes' limited combat resources.
 
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AngryMollusc wrote:
You had the Agents of Sub Niggurath set (https://arkhamdb.com/find?q=m:agents_of_shub&sort=set&view=l...), which is easier for Guardians but a pain for Agnes/Skids - the monsters are too big for Skids' mediocre stats and too frequent for Agnes' limited combat resources.


Yes that's pretty much how it felt

Looks like our legendary tough luck (ie we lost the first game of Pandemic Legacy before 2 of the 4 players even took a turn) was at work once more.

Maybe I should weigh the KD:M dice set before playing whistle
 
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Side question:

So with the agents of the four sets, and
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Yog being in Dunwhich
and
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Hastur being in Carcosa
does that mean that for the two next cycles we're looking at
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Shub and Cthulhu?


Wonder what well be after that.
A new house to store all those cards?
 
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Jacek Deimer
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Razoupaf wrote:
Reid666 wrote:
The Devourer is extremely luck dependant, especially when playing solo.

1. It depends which Agents set you get (Cthulhu and Shub are much easier and manageable than other 2 - especially for Roland).

3. The Woods locations matter quite a bit - I remember a game where Roland got stuck on Twisting Path for several turns and died miserably there.


1.We had the one with 100% monsters, 3 of which give everyone a horror upon death. I'm not familiar with the sets' names, only the icons, and even that whistle It's not the one with the lock and key!

3.Is this the one that forces you to do a skill-check to leave? If so then Agnes never made it out either. She's not good at investigating.



1. Yes Shub is the one with all monsters, but they are quite easy to deal. Cthulhu ones are also easy to deal with. Hastur and Yog have very difficult monsters and on top of that very nasty/devastating treacheries for low Sanity/Willpower character.

3. Yes that's the one.

About Dunwich, which character is your girlfriend going to play? Not all of them are equally difficult or interesting to play.

Myself I found Seekers and Rogues quite boring to play. Seekers because generally you do only one thing entire game. Rogue's because you are generally bad at everything and it takes ages to build up your engine. So you are very vulnerable at the beginning of scenario.

On the other hand I feel that Mystics and Survivors are a bit more tricky to play than the others.


About the future of the series. We are going to go to:
1. Egypt
2. Antarctica/Alaska (or other snow covered area)
3. Dreamlands
4. Travel around the word (each scenario taking place in different country)
5. South America/Amazonia
6. Maybe an Asian themed cycle
7. Cycle themed around Silver Twilight Order

Of course those are just wild guesses, but all the games in the series revisit those or similar areas.

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