Yes, I am an Arkham Noob. I have all the expansions (except King in Yellow) and am in love with the game - from the chits to the characters to the whole atmosphere (a ginormous city map doesn't hurt).
I don't have a clue what to do. I tried to play the game once - brought it all out onto the table. Looked through the whole manual (I think it was the 2nd edition one). Pulled out all the chits and slapped down 4 characters with all their abilities. Put gobs and gobs of cards out all over the table - I think there were at least 14 or 16 stacks - from other dimension stacks to location stacks, to little mini card stacks ranging from allies to weapons to spells to um... at least 4 other things.
So I think I completed one turn (all confused), and at the end some card told me it was raining. And the rain did something, I forgot. Then turn 2 started and monsters were moving around because the cards told them what direction to go. And I got in a fight and rolled a die. Hey! Sorta like Runebound. Except it was one die and it had 6 sides instead of 10. And my character was a nun so she was blessed.
I think someone even bought an item, and people got clues and sanity (gained or lost I don't recall), and my magician got a fireball! Well, ok, maybe not a fireball but it could whack monsters. Oh, and speaking of whacking - I had a gangster as a character! And he had a pistol!
I think I got to turn 3 before my head literally blew up and evil Cthulu chuckled through one of the dimensional portals.
So, let the "Total Arkham Noob Primer" begin - what do I need? What should I ALWAYS carry with me on my trips to Arkham? What should I print, what should I use, what should I do? Helpful hints for gameplay? No house rules please! This is for OFFICIAL rules done right (and not as mindblowingly complex). And no expansion talk please... not till "The Total Arkham Noob Primer v2.0" - this is for the main game without Curse of the Dark Pharaoh/Dunwich Horror/The King in Yellow.
Thank you! I plan on leading some friends into Arkham and I'd like the trip to be as pleasant as possible (well, as pleasant as losing sanity and closing dimensional gates can be!).
IF you can't find someone to show you how the game is played (the easiest way to learn IMHO,) biggest hint I can give is to go back and read the rules again.
You've missed something.
Now go back and read them again, for I've forgotten to tell you about all the other stuff you missed the first two times.
Now that you've memorized the rule book like your social security number, I can give you the second best hint (*WARNING SLIGHTLY GAMEY SPOILER*):
All locations are not created equal!
Certain locations have a LOT more gate activity than others, and need to be your top priority for sealing. Others just have one or two mythos cards, and be closed without problems. The locations break down as such:
Slv. Twl. Lodge
Sealing locations in this order will SERIOUSLY cut back on the monster problem, and make the investigators job a whole lot easier!
*Just to note, I do not know how the expansions effects this, because I only own the core game.
#1 Advice: Only play with the basegame. Do not try to mix everything together until you are familiar with the game.
#2 Advice: Reread the rulebook
#3 Advice: Its all about sealing the gates. Try to seal gates instead of just closing them.
I am a recent noob in this game myself but had to learn it for myself. First off, degamer underestimates the reading of the rules! Read them as much as you can, going over each phase of the game individually until you have it down.
Second, use this 5-page flow chart. This is an older version that has only the base game.
Third, read the rules again, with the flow chart next to you, until you have an understanding of each phase.
Then play the game phase by phase turn by turn. Play with at least 4 characters regardless of the number of players. Our first game was 2-player with 1 character each. While we got through it OK and almost beat it, we didn't get to experience a lot of what the game had to offer. In the 2nd game, we each played 2 characters. We then got to focus on each characters strengths which took us to more of the board and allowed us to explore more of it. Plus, the repetition of multiple characters helped reinforce the rules (and since it is truly a cooperative game with no one becoming a traitor, let Player A play his 2 characters in a row, then Player B play her two if you happen to be doing a 2-player game).
When you boil the game down to its basic phases, it really isn't that difficult.
Phase 1 - Upkeep - check all your items to see if they need to be tossed (like curses, bank loans, etc); Look what you plan to do this turn and focus on your skills (fighting a monster - increase your strength; going through a portal - increase lore - or whatever you need to pass those skill checks)
Phase 2 - Movement - If you are in the other world, move from A to B; if you are on B, then move back to a matching open gate in Arkham. If you are in Arkham, move to where you want to go. If you end on a spot with a monster, deal with it (evade or combat). Know what your monster is about before going there. Can you beat it? Can you evade it? If not, then don't go there.
Phase 3 - Arkham. Have the encounter if in a neighberhood. Either take the printed encounter (if available) or the card draw. Deal with the monster if it comes. If it is too powerful, try to evade and it will disappear. If a gate, then go to the other world. If you're back from the other world, close the gate - and better yet - seal it. If you don't have elder sign cards, then make sure you have accumulated 5 clue tokens.
Phase 4 - Other World. Have the encounter. Deal with the monster if it comes. If it is too powerful, try to evade and it will disappear.
Phase 5 - Mythos. Probably the most difficult phase just becasue a lot is going on. For whatever reason, it is easier to work from the bottom of the card up to the top. Place the gate if you can. If it has been sealed, ignore the gate. If it is a new one, place the gate, a monster, and place the doom token. If it is already open, monster surge. Check your levels in the city and the outskirts. I have found it best to take a couple of d8's to mark what my levels are. Set one die to the number of monsters allowed in the city/sky, one for the max level in the outskirts, and another for the maximum open gates. This gives you a better sense of what your priority should be - closing gates or fighting monsters - if you don't want to fight the ancient one yet. Then move the monsters. Then put into effect the text of the card. If it is a an evironment card, it removes the previous environment card and stays in play until the next environment card. A rumor card is similar except the old one stays in place if a new one is drawn - can usually be discarded when a certain condition is met. It is possible to have both a rumor and an environment card in play.
Once you get to the final battle, it is like fighting a typical monster except that your hits are accumulated. Know your Ancient one and work towards facinf him. If you get cursed automatically when you enter battle, try to be blessed before the final battle. If he is immune to physical weapons, stock up on magical ones. If he attacks your sanity, make sure you are fully sane before going into battle. In your first few games, pick the easier ones to go after. This might mean shorter life (like Yig) or a decent global effect (like Ithaqua).
And when you are done, read the rules again.
Putting on the ritz!
Now don't inhale until the tip glows...
ColtsFan76 pretty much summed up the core of the game.
I found that once you've got the turn cycle bedded down pat you'll only be reaching for the rules to clarify the finer points of the rules such as what the definition of a "combat check" is, the definition of "Arkham", how flying monsters move, what monsters actually count towards the monster limit, etc.
After the movement/combat phase, the Mythos Phase is the busiest phase of the turn . The key is to be methodical in resolving that phase.
I usually resolve it as follows:
1. place a new gate (and remove the clue there) or apply a monster surge;
2. place new clues;
3. move monsters. This is the fiddliest part of the Mythos Phase by far and you need to resolve it systematically, This is because moving creatures may trigger other events (eg moving creatures to the Outskirts may raise the terror level and close locations and remove allies, the Dunwich Horror may be activated, the Color from Space may damage investigators, etc). Remember that if a creature moves into an investigator's location then any evasion/combat is usually resolved in the movement phase of the next turn; and
4. apply the other effects printed on the card.
If you have to learn the game on your own and you've got the Dunwich Horror Expansion then I'd recommend that in your early solo learning games that you always have the Handyman, even if you only use the base game because:
- he's a simple to administrate;
- he's got excellent movement with his motorbike;
- he's well armed from the beginning;
- he can alter his focus infinitely; and
- perhaps most importantly, he can pick up clue tokens from risky locations such as the Black Cave or the Graveyard and the usually dangerous encounter at that location by instead just taking $1.
I'd also suggest using Azathoth as the Ancient One. The main reason is that Azathoth is relatively simple to administrate and there's no prospect of a final combat with him/her/it. An alternative could be Yig.
Universal Head's excellent rules summary http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/22286/ArkhamHorror_rules.p... also makes it easier for newbies to reduce the amount of time they spend on referring to the rules while playing.
- Last edited Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:35 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:25 am