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After winning the base game 6 out of our first 6 tries, we got the Dunwich expansion and promptly got our ass kicked for about 5 games in a row. My GF and I played most of the games together and we played either one character each or two characters each. My GF then raised the common complaint about the pacing being all wrong and how she felt we had to almost follow a script from the beginning or lose. She felt this was particularly true for Dunwich, since gates are opening up all over the place, and when the gates and monsters get out of control in Dunwich, things get dicey quickly. We found that controlling the doom track wasn't so much a concern anymore because the max number of open gates was getting hit first.

In summary, she wanted a game that had more than one clear path to victory and encouraged more character development. Otherwise, she felt like the game had limited replayability.

So our goal over the last few plays has been to do that without making the game too complicated. I've read through the SK variants for the base game, and frankly 1) it's hard to fully understand the implications of these changes on the game, and 2) even if they are good, they seem to require too much extra book keeping. We make enough mistakes already by not remembering some GOO adjustment, environment card, upkeep, or rumor cards.

What we have tried is this. For two characters total, we tried drawing a mythos card ever other round. This turned out to have a better pacing for us. It allowed some character development, but still created some tension. We sealed our 6th gate with doom track at one less than max. The only problem seemed to be that there was a lack monsters coming out to make it "dangerous" enough around town. We were thinking about still only opening a gate every other round, but drawing a mythos card to move and place monsters (say at the gate indicated on the card) every round.

We also tried it with 4 characters total where we skipped a drawing a mythos card at the end of the 1st and 3rd turns (we of course drew one at the start of the game), and after turn 4, we draw one every time. We had a pretty fortunate game, and sealed 6 gates without much trouble. So we decided to ignore that rule and go for the alternate win condition (all gates closed and 4 gate tokens in hand). This proved more of a challenge, and it caused the dunwich horror to appear and the doom track to creep one below the max before we finally closed the last gate. It was a LONG game (4-5 hrs), but that's a tradeoff we are happy with. For us, we'd like to feel that we can go take a "fun" encounter at a stable location for no particular reason without feeling like it cause the game to go to hell.

Another thing we did was predistribute 1 or 2 task cards to the characters to encourage exploration.

Does has anyone tried anything similar without overly complicating the maintenance?
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Jim Kiefer
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waxeater wrote:
We also tried it with 4 characters total where we skipped a drawing a mythos card at the end of the 1st and 3rd turns (we of course drew one at the start of the game), and after turn 4, we draw one every time. We had a pretty fortunate game, and sealed 6 gates without much trouble. So we decided to ignore that rule and go for the alternate win condition (all gates closed and 4 gate tokens in hand).
...
Another thing we did was predistribute 1 or 2 task cards to the characters to encourage exploration.

I developed some smaller Old Ones to shorten the game a bit and ran into some of the same problems and had slightly different solutions.

For example, for an 8 doom token Old one I rolled a die and on a 5 or 6 ignored the gate on the mythos card, but resolved everything else. Same problem as you -- not enough monsters. So when the gate was ignored, I had what I call a "Gate Surge" which is the old surge when each open gate gets a monster (instead of the higher of investigators or gates).

Another thing I do is I have a deck of cards for all the stable locations (made from Strange Eons, easy as pie). Whenever a clue is called for that would hit a gated location, I draw one of the stable location cards and place a clue there. This increases the clues a bit and encourages encounters at out of the way locations.

I like your idea of distributing a task and mission. Usually I randomly distribute rail passes, inner sanctum and Sheldon gang cards. Next game I'll probably turn up one of the Condition cards face up, none of which have even been face up in a regular game.

There's so much to this game that never gets used.
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Alex
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My wife and I have exactly the same concerns - and no easy fix (which is why I'm sifting through these forums in the first place). Thanks for starting the thread. I'd be interested to hear how only opening a gate every other round but placing and moving monsters every round works, if you have tried it yet.

mageith wrote:

There's so much to this game that never gets used.


This is the very truth. Wish there was a way to change this.
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Jim Kiefer
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The way is using strange eons to change the rules so things get used.

For example I've made 4 investigators who's personal story is to bring up one of the 4 condition cards. But then I found out you couldn't give away two of them for free as they are written (Velma's diner one and Library one.). So I had to change the condition cards to make them worthy.

Then I made three invesigators who start out as the Beloved of Bast, Captain of the White Ship and the Changed One. Thy don't have personal stories since their life's goal has been achieved.

I hesitate to post this stuff because even though I am quite adept with Strange Eons I can't see to figure out how to post stuff to this forum and usually someone asks me to.

I hate to say this but some of the stuff isn't worthy of being used. The biggest example is the Cult of the Black Goat. The meagre rewards of membership (even if you can get one) aren't worth the effort, so I had to change all the Corruption cards and most of the Cult Encounter cards. Each investigator starts out as an undercover agent trying to stop the cult.

The other example is the Lurker. Allegedly a Herald but when used properly (that is abusing it) makes the game way, way too easy. Miskatonic helped some. But essentially I had to rewrite all Mythos and location cards and I mix it in with the basic deck and offer great enticements to join.

Same is true for Kingsport. My Kingsport is barely the same game since all the Mythos cards are rewritten and the goal is to prevent the moving rifts from colliding because if they do they bring a real additional gate which now has to be closed and sealed.

In short, if you love Arkham Horror or at least the theme of Arkham horror she needs to be massively tweaked in order to explore her deeply.
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Alex
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I had not heard of Strange Eons before - thanks. I'm glad I googled it. It looks like a fun tool to mess around with.

But I had noticed that a fair bit of the content, while interesting when it happens, is not that useful. Even something as relatively common as Silver Twilight Lodge memberships don't seem worth the work.
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