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Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Card Game
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Subject: Similar to LotR LCG? rss

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Kevin Farr
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How similar is this game compared to Lord of the Rings LCG? I watched fantasy flights simulation play through and it looked pretty similar to LotR LCG - and I didn't care much for that game. I thought it lacked in theme and felt very generic. I'm buying Arkham Horror Lcg this week, but am having second thoughts... any positive feedback would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
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Jack Francisco
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Just buy Eldritch Horror with all of the expansions. It's so much fun, even when you're getting your face kicked in!
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Rob Rob
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"Similar" is subjective. Physically, the distribution model is identical. Mechanically, it's very similar.

In AH, each player is represented by a single "hero" with a player deck composed of a set amount of "sphere" cards. These cards include events, allies, and equipment.

Players earn resources, find clues, suffer terror, and take wounds.

There is a dual time track (similar to LotR's quest deck), one represents the bad things moving forward while the other is your progress in the investigation.

As you progress in the game you use location cards to build a physical representation of the enviroment you are exploring.

One major difference is unlike LotR there are multiple ways to end the game. You can lose a character, fail to discover half the locations, and/or even run a way. Even so, you may still be able to move on to the next adventure.
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Kevin Farr
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Thanks for your inputs here. My main concerns was that I didn't like about LotR LCG was that it felt abstract and very boring. I own Arkham Horror board game and love the Arkham files so I just hope its better than the let down of what LotR LCG was.
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Branko K.
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LOTR:LCG is great, but it's also very 'puzzley' and abstract.

AH:LCG is much more thematic and narrative-driven. On subsequent plays it does become slightly more similar TO LOTR:LCG though, because you know the story and are more focused on 'solving the puzzle'. It never gets as mathy though, and the theme is always much more palatable.
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The main difference is the theme, LoTR is fantasy, AH is Lovecraftian Horror, which I find is more appealing.

But, more importantly, AH LCG is an evolution of the system, FFG streamlining the mechanics, and the fluff serving the gameplay even more than before. Rob Rob above put it succinctly

I chose AH LCG over LoTR just because of these two points, the theme is stronger in my opinion, and the game evolved, which with FFG I find equates to a better game in general.

It really is a matter of personal opinion and taste, watch a few youtube videos of the game being played, tutorials, and reviews to get a better feel for it.
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hawkmns wrote:
But, more importantly, AH LCG is an evolution of the system, FFG streamlining the mechanics, and the fluff serving the gameplay even more than before. Rob Rob above put it succinct.ly
I agree that the AH LCG is an evolution of LotR LCG, but I don't agree that AH LCG is more streamlined.
Some parts are streamlined, but a lot of stuff was added that creates complexity. I mean they've introduced action points, connected locations (basically a board), skill checks, moving characters and enemies. I think AH LCG is more a side-step in mechanisms than a step forward (or backward, depending on how you like the game).
What I think benefits AH LCG is that it's mechanisms are more similar to other games, like dungeon crawls. So they are easier to digest.

A testament to the games complexities are their FAQs. The AH LCG FAQ is already at 8 pages after 1.5 years. The LotR one isn't better at 17 pages, but that's after 7 years.
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Ken Comstock
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I love LoTR, but it is, as mentioned above, puzzly feeling as you play it. AH oozes theme and has nice adders like the dice-like skill checks. I’m somewhat recent to AH LCG, so maybe I’m biased by the newness.

Also, not sure why, but building the decks for AH feels more fun to me. Again, I think is because you have a closer emotional deck tie-in to the investigators in AH than you ever have with the spheres and heros in LoTR.

Intellectually, I know there are similarities, and the developers more or less have called AH LCG an evolution of LoTR, but the games feel quite different to me and I give an edge to AH because of emotional connection to the theme.

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J. Chris Miller
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I didn't care for the core set LOTR too much. They took quite a while for any expansion packs so that didn't help. I also don't care for the LOTR universe that much, so that didn't help. I don't think they play very similarly, personally.

I haven't met anyone who disliked Arkham LCG. If you like the Arkham universe at all, this is pretty much the best experience you can get.
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AH:LCG killed LotR:LCG for me.

Mechanically, they have some similarities, but there are a bunch of differences too. Locations work very differently, there is no true equivalent to the quest phase, etc. AH is definitely not a retheme of LotR.

I feel the stories are more varied in AH:LCG too. There is a ton of flexibility in how any scenario can be crafted and it really shows.

Arkham Horror (the board game) is a wonderful mess of a game. It is fun, but confusing, especially as you load up on the expansions. Eldritch Horror is a reworking of that system to clean it up and somewhat streamline it. While I like the idea of a town adventure better, EH is just a better game and I'm certain I'll never play AH again despite owning most of it.
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Michael Webb
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I have only played LotR once, but that was after Arkham. In the abstract I would probably prefer the Lord of the Rings theme, but in terms of how the games are implemented I think Arkham is much more narrative-driven due to the multiple narrative resolutions and the campaign style play. I also much prefer the way Arkham has a "board" of locations whereas the LotR game has locations represented in a much more abstract manner.

Some of the core mechanisms are similar, but the games are different enough from one another to definitely make people have strong preferences. I think LotR is inferior for what I'm looking for in a game of this sort (as I want more narrative, like less deck building, and enjoy the chaos bag mechanic a lot) and would encourage you to try it out. I do think LotR is inherently better as a single player game as it seems like it would be much easier to make solo decks that still have the full flavor of the game. Arkham can certainly function as a solo game, but it seems designed for 2 as it makes it easier to build complementary teams. Solo players in Arkham sometimes run 2 investigators to cover for this, but it's not obviously intended in the same way as it is in LotR, where it is the norm to run multi-hero teams.
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Branko K.
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Of course, these are AH:LCG forums so people are more inclined to lean towards AH. I have read at least one thread on LOTR:LCG forums which states AH is rubbish compared to LOTR.

It's best to research both games and decide for yourself.
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baba44713 wrote:
Of course, these are AH:LCG forums so people are more inclined to lean towards AH. I have read at least one thread on LOTR:LCG forums which states AH is rubbish compared to LOTR.
Too bad they are so wrong.

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baba44713 wrote:
Of course, these are AH:LCG forums so people are more inclined to lean towards AH. I have read at least one thread on LOTR:LCG forums which states AH is rubbish compared to LOTR.

It's best to research both games and decide for yourself.
Isn't that the truth.

Although if at all possible I'd suggest to try them both, because on paper I thought I'd love LOTR:LCG to pieces because of the theme and the puzzlyness, but after playing it and AH:LCG a couple of times LOTR:LCG was dead to me and I immediately got all AH:LCG expansions.
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Keith Hammons
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My understanding of LotR is that the system started out with each scenario being a puzzle. Players needed to build a deck to figure solve that puzzle, and extensive deck revision was required between scenarios.

Is the system still like that, or did it evolve in to the AH style, with minimal deck upgrades between scenarios through a campaig? If so, at what point did that happen?

I'd love to play LotR due to the theme and cooperative nature, but I'm not as interested if it required extensive deck tear-downs between each scenario.

Thanks!
 
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Branko K.
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magicbus1966 wrote:
My understanding of LotR is that the system started out with each scenario being a puzzle. Players needed to build a deck to figure solve that puzzle, and extensive deck revision was required between scenarios.

Is the system still like that, or did it evolve in to the AH style, with minimal deck upgrades between scenarios through a campaig? If so, at what point did that happen?

I'd love to play LotR due to the theme and cooperative nature, but I'm not as interested if it required extensive deck tear-downs between each scenario.

Thanks!
If you do not like "solving a puzzle" through deck construction, I'm afraid you will still not like it very much.
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Keith Hammons
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Bummer, I had a feeling but was hoping since AHLCG has become my favorite game. Thanks!
 
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Bernard Ho
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I am a fan of the LOTR literature and HP Lovecraft's stories.

Played AKH first followed by LOTR.

Conclusion:- 1)Game mechanics of LOTR feels clunky. It got kinda of boring and dry.
2) AKH is more exciting and there is a sense of urgency in the gameplay. The narrative is also first class.

Then again, AKH evolved from LOTR and the gameplay had being finetuned by FFG. The expansion packs for LOTR is daunting!

PS- Looking forward to the new Silas Marsh novella (With bonus cards!Yay!) coming in June
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