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Arkham Horror: The Card Game» Forums » Strategy

Subject: General strategy tips and advice for single core rss

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Alex
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Hi. I’m about 6 plays in. I’ve switched to easy. I can get a perfect first scenario, but still struggle to get 3-4 cultists in the second. Final is a crushing defeat.

Ive checked most threads for newbies here (but for the podcast). Not interested in proxying cards or sticking to the best investigators. I don’t mind losing, but being helpless at the 3rd round of the final scenario and going through the motions is no fun at all.

Ive checked upgrading guides at Arkhamdb. I can beat Mage Knight conquest, I take the odds of the chaos tokens into account, I know how to exploit the game sequences to pull nice tricks with agnes ability. I consider the weaknesses that aren’t out before drawing. I don’t sweat changing my plan and playing for ops a card I’ve been holding for turns in twilight struggle if that’s the needed move. What I mean is that I think I’m not a terrible player that’s at a loss about the mechanics.

And I don’t feel like I, having extremely bad luck (specially in easy), so I suspect I’m just suffering from my bad strategy and general approach.

Those are the kind of tips I’m looking for. Beyond situational and tactical management, which is a lot of the game, of course, what would you suggest?

For example, I’m afraid I don’t assign as many cards during checks as I should.
Should I draw for a cache instead of getting resources when I have a rare spare action?
Should I split investigators often/rarely/never during masks of midnight?
Should I stick to a fixed strategy -like waiting and drawing for weapons and might in the starting location of the final scenario? (This I would hate)
Should I dump and assign the “draw 1 card” bonus skills even for easy checks to improve my drawing?
Should I rush? I’m used to win at ELdritch by “improve your chances first and develop the board state before getting into action”. I think I’m terribly slow at AHLCG. I suspect I should stick to 1 weapon + 1 ally for Roland, for example, and don’t bother in playing anything else until needed.
Also, should I go all-in with ammo and cards to face the dangers now instead of playing conservatively? Is it better to be “wasteful” since a bad board state can spiral out of control in a terrible progression?
Should I bother evading in general?

I know everything is situational, but I’m sure you better players have distilled some general Arkham principles that will help me change my mindset. Thanks in advance.

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Raphael Boily
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In no way do I consider myself a reference, But i've played the game quite a bit and tried a lot of different things... I only play on standard.

Just to answer the few points you've made.

-I always try to commit cards/boost my skill rating to +4 so only the tentacle card make me fail! (But you already know how to deal with the odds ) Don't be afraid to commit cards.
-Draw ­> Ressource. An action for a ressource is the less efficient possible action. Try to avoid it.
-I am no pro of the Midnight mask, But I usually split.
-If you'd hate it. Don't do it. There is many ways to beat a scenatio.
-It depends if you need the draw. I try to keep my hand size at around 6.
-Dont wait too much, time is against you. But if you rush, you might face situations you were not prepared. Also, it depends on the scenario
-Use whatever you have if it would help you. If you die with 4 ressources and 2 ammos. You wasted tempo and potential power on those. Use everything.
-Retaliate? Evade. But usually, to kill something is better than evading it.

Hope it helps.
Luv and sorry for my english!

Cirune.
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Pauli Vinni
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Also some characters just Are not wery good with only one core...
Roland and wendy can manage with one core. Agnes, not so much. Other two Are in between.
Weapon or any way to fight is good, so try to include at least 6 ways to fight in the deck so that you find at least one to your opening hand.
Skill cards Are good because They help when needed. So include two of each in all decks (actually less is ok but needs other ways to deal the checks)
Evading is normally not so usefull that fighting, but there Are exceptions.
You need to collect clues fast, so anything that helps in there ... well helps... speed is essential, and because of that it is important to have enough cards in the deck that you really need! Dynamite can be you friend, and damage boost is often more usefull that skill boost.
Most ways of healing Are too slow... so better win those check than heal afterwards, you lose tempo. The librarian can heal an collect clues, so not bad, but needs to stick with someone who can fight...
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Alex
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Re: Generall strategy tips and advice for single core
Thanks, guys. I think I’m already picking up something from this.

I realize I don’t investigate that much except when I’m running Wendy. I always try to use Roland skill, special events, etc. Gonna have to rethink that.

Also, one thing I never know how to handle and happens a lot. One action left, nothing useful at my location. I want to play some asset. Is it better to stay put and improve your character or move to a new location and hope you can deal with the next round encounter with what you got now?

Technically you’re only delaying your move action until the next round, but I feel I’m always so slow...
 
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MC Shudde M'ell
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zosete wrote:
Thanks, guys. I think I’m already picking up something from this.

I realize I don’t investigate that much except when I’m running Wendy. I always try to use Roland skill, special events, etc. Gonna have to rethink that.

Also, one thing I never know how to handle and happens a lot. One action left, nothing useful at my location. I want to play some asset. Is it better to stay put and improve your character or move to a new location and hope you can deal with the next round encounter with what you got now?

Technically you’re only delaying your move action until the next round, but I feel I’m always so slow...


If you have an Asset (especially a Weapon if you don't already have one) and a Location with no Enemies, Play the Asset. It's better to be a little slow than caught by an Enemy with no good option.
 
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Adam Pogatshnik
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Roland's ability is great to pick up some extra clues, but you should definitely investigate as well to hurry yourself along towards the objective. Investigating is very important.

If I have 1 action left in that situation I would probably try to play an asset. Make sure it's an asset you need, of course. There isn't much point in playing out a .45 automatic if you already have a Machete, for example. But if I have something that looks useful and the resources, I would definitely favor playing the card rather than moving, especially since there are many locations in the game which when revealed will trigger something nasty. It's best to go into a new area with an action or two remaining. Not always practical of course, but generally it's best.

Ask yourself "how am I losing the game?" Are you running out of time (agenda-wise)? If that is the case you want to try to be faster, spend more time investigating, maybe less time drawing cards and gaining resources. If you are losing on sanity/stamina way before you get to that point, then it's probably okay to spend a little bit trying to get more powerful.

keep that same question in mind when you are spending your XP. If you are not fast enough to keep up with Doom, try to include some cards in your deck that will save you some actions (or make existing actions more efficient) when spending your xp. If you are losing on sanity/stamina, it might be wise to include a Bulletproof Vest or Elder Sign amulet instead.

good luck! Post a deck list if you want and I'll run through it with you.
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Andrew Burns
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It might be a bit specific but for Masks of Midnight, consider:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

- Not burning down your house; it can make a big difference in this game.
- Consider where you want to go first; Agnes or Wendy should go to the Graveyard to start with.
- Where possible, avoid combat; try to gain cultists other ways.


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John Andrikopoulos
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AndyWBurns wrote:
It might be a bit specific but for Masks of Midnight, consider:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

- Not burning down your house; it can make a big difference in this game.
- Consider where you want to go first; Agnes or Wendy should go to the Graveyard to start with.
- Where possible, avoid combat; try to gain cultists other ways.




Spoiler (click to reveal)
Why not burn down the house? We did that in the 1st scenario so I don't know the outcome if we wouldn't! Note: We proceeded to only interrogate 2 cultists in Midnight Masks
 
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Andrew Burns
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Giannis2 wrote:
AndyWBurns wrote:
It might be a bit specific but for Masks of Midnight, consider:
Spoiler (click to reveal)

- Not burning down your house; it can make a big difference in this game.
- Consider where you want to go first; Agnes or Wendy should go to the Graveyard to start with.
- Where possible, avoid combat; try to gain cultists other ways.




Spoiler (click to reveal)
Why not burn down the house? We did that in the 1st scenario so I don't know the outcome if we wouldn't! Note: We proceeded to only interrogate 2 cultists in Midnight Masks


Okay, at the risk of spoilers:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
... your house is still there in Midnight Masks. It has clues on it, and a relatively low shroud. In short, without moving, you can grab a clue each easily.
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The Waffler
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If you haven't done this already, I would suggest replaying the final scenario (even if you lose the first time). Just re set it up and start over. Until you can figure out a strategy that works for you to win it.

It would be hard if you are resetting the campaign every time you lose, to try and figure out what is the best way to play the last one.

Spoiler (click to reveal)

There are 2 different approaches you can take to the last scenario, you can just sit not advance the act deck. Prepping weapons and and assets to fight the final boss, then do a final showdown with him when he shows up.

Or you can try to disrupt it, in that case I would suggest taking a Cunning Distraction or Dynamite or Elusive or a Cat Burglar, or something like that to deal with the cultists quickly. You also need to make sure you kill the hunting cultist in the Midnight masks, he is top priority above all others.
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Sander van der Drift
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zosete wrote:

For example, I’m afraid I don’t assign as many cards during checks as I should.
Should I draw for a cache instead of getting resources when I have a rare spare action?
Should I split investigators often/rarely/never during masks of midnight?
Should I stick to a fixed strategy -like waiting and drawing for weapons and might in the starting location of the final scenario? (This I would hate)
Should I dump and assign the “draw 1 card” bonus skills even for easy checks to improve my drawing?
Should I rush? I’m used to win at ELdritch by “improve your chances first and develop the board state before getting into action”. I think I’m terribly slow at AHLCG. I suspect I should stick to 1 weapon + 1 ally for Roland, for example, and don’t bother in playing anything else until needed.
Also, should I go all-in with ammo and cards to face the dangers now instead of playing conservatively? Is it better to be “wasteful” since a bad board state can spiral out of control in a terrible progression?
Should I bother evading in general?

I know everything is situational, but I’m sure you better players have distilled some general Arkham principles that will help me change my mindset. Thanks in advance.


This game is all about efficiency. You have a lot of options in this game and the difficulty is deciding which cards/actions are really necessary for reaching your goal(s). This also applies to skill checks. For example, many encounter cards are nasty, but sometimes it's better to just suffer the consequences instead of putting a lot of effort in trying to win the skill test. Now for your questions:
- I rarely assign more than 1 card to a skill check. When I add a card it's usually to ensure that I win the test if I draw a -1 or better. Adding more cards is in almost all situations too costly. Only when I reach the last stretch of a scenario or when the consequences of losing a check are huge, then you should assign (a lot) more cards.
- I rarely use an action for drawing a card or gaining a resource in the first half of a scenario. I'd rather move on. Later in a scenario it sometimes becomes necessary to gain extra resources or cards.
- Yes, you should definitely split your investigators in the Mask scenario. I can consistenly defeat 4-6 cultists in that scenario, but I don't think I would be able to do that without splitting my 2 investigators. Usually it is necessary to combine them later in the scenario for some specific reason (for instance when Wendy is being hunted by a few enemies and has no ways of defeating them or when you want to defeat a strong enemy like the hunting cultist).
- The third scenario is quite hard (with only one core) but I never waited in that scenario. You do need to be prepared in some way to defeat several enemies quickly.
- I would never assign the “draw 1 card” bonus skills for easy checks except maybe when I've lost a lot of cards because of some effect/weakness.
- You don't need to rush, but you should certainly NOT prepare too much. One weapon and one ally is indeed nice. If you have both of them in your starting hand, then perhaps it's best to play them both before moving on, but please do not start drawing extra cards to find a weapon or ally. Just play with the cards that are in your hand and be creative. Don't get me wrong, sometimes a weapon is necessary so if you haven't found one after several rounds and/or many enemies appeared because of encounter cards, you have to start drawing more cards.
- Play conservatively and play your cards at the right opportunity. For instance, using (strong) weapons on easy enemies is usually not a good play. There are always exceptions of course, e.g. killing a cultist before the end of your turn to remove doom.
- Evading is VERY strong. I love playing with Wendy. She also has several cards that cause serious damage to evaded/exhaused enemies. It can also be used against strong enemies to prevent counterattacks.

I hope my answers help you. Don't worry, keep playing and before you know it you will see better and better results when playing these scenarios.
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Alex
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You’re amazing, guys. Thanks for all the pointers. Also, I see some significant divergences in playstyles, which is a good sign about any game, IMHO.

I think I definitely need to investigate more, but most of the times I see it quite inefficient at veil 4, and my ghost stories reflex tells me not to waste a “roll” in something that’s gonna fail 😛.

Also, when I’m swamped I feel like there’s no good option at all. Why waste two actions in a roll evading if I’m gonna be in the same of worst situation next round? Maybe I should arm even Agnes.

Someone was nice enough to ask about my deck. I’m using this guide as baseline (4 characters in the link) https://arkhamdb.com/decklist/view/671/single-core-xp-guide-....0

I usually tweak them by never running more than 1 knife and 1 flashlight. I still don’t have a good grasp about the “assign 2 to skill” cards. The core suggestions play into maximize your good skill, but I’m usually more about rounding out agility and ¿willpower? -sorry, Spanish cards- to stand a chance in treachery events and evading. I think I need to reconsider this.

Last question: I barely run through half my deck. 2/3 if I get a nice Daisy/agnes tome/heirloom combo. Is this par for the course? I think that my singletons inclusions won’t do..
 
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I am no pro but I think that the core suggestion of maximizing your good stats is a good one. I never play solo so it might be different in solo but every class as a strong stat (evade, willpower, research, fight etc..) and cards that let you use this strong stat for other type of action (mystics can use willpower to investigate or fight with the right card, etc.).
The way you should make your deck is to have cards that help you use your good stat, not trying to have a "balance" character as your bad stats are usually bad upon repair ! You will have one thing you are very good at, and for the things you are not good at you can use cards that use your strong stat.
 
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Adam Pogatshnik
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I didn't mean you should investigate even with bad odds, your instincts are correct there. What I was trying to say is that investigation is an important thing, so you should do your best to make sure you have *good* odds.

Flashlight can be very helpful, I don't know if you're aware, but if you flashlight a location with 2 shroud or less you are automatically successful unless you draw the Red Tentacle token. Your skill can not be reduced below 0, and if you reduce the Shroud value to 0 as well, you can take advantage of the rule that allows Investigators to win ties. I would very much suggest running 2x Flashlight on any character who plans to spend at least a little time investigating. I very rarely replace them with XP cards, they're very handy.

If you need to pad your numbers, that is one thing that Hyperawareness and/or Perception can be good for.

Knife is also a good card. It is hardly ever your dream weapon, but it's cheap, and it is far better than nothing. Don't overlook the discard option to deal extra damage, especially once you get a replacement weapon in hand. I would run 2 Knife in every deck that plans to be doing a bit of direct non-spell combat. Knife is a very good card.

Skill cards: It really is best to maximize your good skills. Willpower can be nice to have, but it's usually cut pretty fast in my decks unless I am relying on it (IE: Mystic class). Agility is pretty unimportant unless you are playing Wendy, or possibly Skids. The reasoning is take a character like say... Roland. Most of the time he is going to be attacking monsters directly, he doesn't need Evade, because he wants to be using Combat to deal with monsters instead. The other problem is that even if Roland commits a Manual Dexterity to evade, that still only puts him at a 4 skill. That is a place he can easily fail from against most monsters. It's better to include Overpower in his deck, allowing him a boost against monsters with higher combat values, and allowing him to use his higher base combat skill.

It is completely normal not to draw through your entire deck. Sometimes you will see your singletons, and sometimes you won't. It's just how it goes.

To clarify, are you playing this 4 player? I thought you were doing it solo. Unless you are doing it 4-handed solo? That would be impressive, I can barely keep track of everything in 2 handed solo mode.

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Alex
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Nope. Two handed. I only have a single core. Otherwise, I’m the kind of guy that plays Eldritch solo with 8 investigators and won’t go below 6. I’m glad the core stinginess forces me to a 2 player limit

I read the autofail and the added modifiers rule a thousand times due to “lucky”, but haven’t realized the 0 veil thing until now. Thanks!
 
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zosete wrote:
Should I draw for a cache instead of getting resources when I have a rare spare action?


Generally the draw a card action is a little stronger than the take a resource action, though this will sometimes stop being true if the odds of drawing a particularly painful weakness become too high.

However, if you really need resources to play something, which does happen, you're definitely better off doing the take a resource action than drawing and hoping to find emergency cache.

zosete wrote:
Should I split investigators often/rarely/never during masks of midnight?


Personally, I think it's a good idea to keep investigators at least fairly close to each other so they can help each other out. I don't like having the investigators end their turns multiple spaces away. Enemies are often much easier to deal with in groups, and boosting each other's defenses against treacheries is also very useful (particularly on lower difficulties). It's really wasteful if the Guardian has to spend an entire turn moving across the map to go kill a monster for the Seeker. Still, you will have to split up a little bit sometimes so investigators can go to locations that suit their talents.

zosete wrote:
Should I stick to a fixed strategy -like waiting and drawing for weapons and might in the starting location of the final scenario? (This I would hate)


Definitely only play the game the way you find fun! It's definitely possible to win without a predetermined plan.

zosete wrote:
Should I dump and assign the “draw 1 card” bonus skills even for easy checks to improve my drawing?


You should look for situations where the +2 from the skill card helps *and* your final odds of succeeding end up being very good (e.g., it takes you from +0 to +2 on Easy, or +2 to +4 on Standard). Since you test these skills all the time, these will come up naturally.

zosete wrote:
Should I rush? I’m used to win at ELdritch by “improve your chances first and develop the board state before getting into action”. I think I’m terribly slow at AHLCG. I suspect I should stick to 1 weapon + 1 ally for Roland, for example, and don’t bother in playing anything else until needed.


This is key. AHLCG is a rush game. Play only the bare essentials (1 weapon and 1 ally is about right for Roland) and get going ASAP.

zosete wrote:
Also, should I go all-in with ammo and cards to face the dangers now instead of playing conservatively? Is it better to be “wasteful” since a bad board state can spiral out of control in a terrible progression?


My philosophy is to be pretty aggressive about spending cards and resources to deal with problems as soon as they crop up. But this one will vary a lot between investigators and scenarios.

zosete wrote:
Should I bother evading in general?


Evading is generally really weak. It takes actions just like fighting, so you're spending precious resources whenever you do it. And evasion is pretty lame against monsters that are worth VP (you'd much prefer to kill these), have hunter (you'd much, much prefer to kill these), or accumulate doom (you will lose if you don't kill these!). Most monsters do one or more of those things. Of those that don't, most are really weak, so you could dispose of them in one action by fighting just as well as by evading.

That said, evasion occasionally is more efficient than fighting, and occasionally is helpful to avoid damage. But it shouldn't be your primary plan for dealing with monsters. Fighting is much more useful.


Here are some other rules of thumb that might be helpful:

--On Easy, try to get to +2 on all your important checks (or sometimes +3, depending on the special tokens). With a well-designed deck this is totally doable. On higher levels +4 or +5 can become the target.

--Perception, Overpower, Guts, and Unexpected Courage are some of the best cards in the game. The first three grant an extremely helpful bonus and then (usually) pay back their entire cost! Excellent. And Unexpected Courage's flexibility is extremely important.

--Be very, very wary of assets that require you to spend actions but don't directly help you win by finding clues or killing monsters. Think Burglary, Alchemical Transmutation, Scrying, First Aid, Clarity of Mind, and the like. I'm not saying these cards could never be useful. But I think spending a lot of actions on stuff that isn't advancing the Act Deck is a good way to lose the game.

--Cards that get you game-winning stuff (clues and damage to monsters) without a skill check are some of the best in the game. So are cards that make your successful skill checks better. In the first category we have stuff like Working a Hunch, Look What I Found!, Dynamite Blast, Drawn to the Flame, Evidence!, etc. Getting stuff without having to depend on the chaos bag is amazing. In the second we have stuff like Machete, Vicious Blow, Deduction, Shrivelling, Rite of Seeking, Double or Nothing, etc. All these cards make your successes count for more than they otherwise would, which again means less skill tests and less dependence on the chaos bag.

--Cards that just flat-out save you or grant you actions--like Shortcut or Leo de Luca--also tend to be top tier.
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