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Subject: Is this broken with 7 players? - or are there too few monster? rss

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Michael Weber
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Hi,

yesterday we played Arkham Horror for the first time - with seven players. We had a lot of fun, but after about 3 hours the game just kept dragging on and we never ever got on the brink of a "catastrophe-feeling). At the end of the game the terror level was still at "0" as we closed gates quickly and and with two monsters popping up per "no gate here" turn there is just too few monsters to reach the 10 monsters limit to send them into the outskirts.

I am not sure, but I have the feeling that this game is definitefely "broken" when it is played with seven or more players - the players' poll seems to indicate so.

Any suggestions?

One question: Is it correct that an investigator in an area with more than one monster can fight them one by one?

THanks

Mixo
 
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Andy
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The game definitely does get easier with more players, however there was a rule correction (mentioned in the Dunwich expansion I think) regarding monster surges, which goes some way to remedying this... When a mythos card is drawn that opens a gate where there is already one open, then a monster surge occurs instead. The number of monsters added to the board is the larger of "number of gates on the board" and "number of players"... in your case, you would probably be adding 7 monsters most times there was a surge.. this would dramatically ramp up the number of monsters in Arkham and the outskirts.. pushing the terror level up.

You are correct that an investigator does fight monsters one by one.. however he must deal (either fight or evade) EVERY monster in the space. This could be quite tricky, if, during a surge, 7 monsters are appearing on say 2 gates... that means 3 or 4 monsters together in each location, which, even fighting them individually, is pretty tough (especially if they are Hounds, Elder Things, Gugs etc.)



By the way... if you were closing gates pretty quickly.. were you 'closing' or 'sealing' them? Sealing would have the effect of reducing the gates and monsters that appeared, but would speed the end of the game as victory by sealing 6 gates. If you were merely Closing gates, then the doom track should have filled up pretty quick, and that would have sped the end game, with the GOO awakening.
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brian
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I have not played it with that many but the game is supposed to scale well. As many have pointed out, the more investigators you have the easier the game, but the harder the final battle.

Keep in mind that more monsters may be on the board and less in the outskirts. As Grimwold pointed out, not only is there 2 monsters revealed per gate per Mythos phase, a Monster surge occurs when a gate is already open and indicated as "reopening" ona Mythos. That pumps 7 monsters in per turn.

Clues are also spread out more so you are less likely to seal gates -0 which is different than closing them.

So make sure you place a doom token for every gate that opens. make sure you are placing the right number of monsters. And make sure your outskirt limit is correct. For every 2nd monster going in, the Terror Level should raise.
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Michael Noakes
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Quote:
So make sure you place a doom token for every gate that opens. make sure you are placing the right number of monsters. And make sure your outskirt limit is correct. For every 2nd monster going in, the Terror Level should raise.


So am I right in assuming that if you're playing an 8-player game, where the Outskirts is 0 (unless you've got Nodan as a Guardian), that if there was a full 11 monsters on the board, and a monster surge happened--that the Terror Limit would immediately jump up by 8? Wow, rough.

-M.
 
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brian
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Yep, that sounds right. You raise the terror when the outskirts exceeds capacity. So for every monster placed there, it would go up. If the board was full and you had a monster surge, the terror level would jump to 8.

Once it reached level 10 though (say with a second surge), the outskirts are eliminated and the game would go to final battle once 22 monsters were on the board.

Rough, but with 8 investigators, you shouldn't be letting the board get that out of hand.
 
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Weloi Avala wrote:
So am I right in assuming that if you're playing an 8-player game, where the Outskirts is 0 (unless you've got Nodan as a Guardian), that if there was a full 11 monsters on the board, and a monster surge happened--that the Terror Limit would immediately jump up by 8? Wow, rough.

-M.

Think of it this way thematically: a few investigators might be able to keep their doings quiet, but by the time you have eight of them tramping around Arkham battling the Mythos, word gets out pretty quick and terrified citizens leave Arkham in droves. Shop early and often.
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Michael Weber
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Grimwold wrote:
The game definitely does get easier with more players, however there was a rule correction (mentioned in the Dunwich expansion I think) regarding monster surges, which goes some way to remedying this... When a mythos card is drawn that opens a gate where there is already one open, then a monster surge occurs instead. The number of monsters added to the board is the larger of "number of gates on the board" and "number of players"... in your case, you would probably be adding 7 monsters most times there was a surge.. this would dramatically ramp up the number of monsters in Arkham and the outskirts.. pushing the terror level up.


As I own the second edtion, the monster surge is already included I even remember reading somewhere in the rules that the "surge rules" has been introduced with the Dunwich expansion, but was incooperate4d into the 2nd edition rules.

Still with seven investigators there are enough people around to bash the monsters and even with a surge the likelyhood that the surge will lead to 12 monsters on the board (7 players+3=10, the maximum number in Arkham, one can stay in the outskirts, the twelvth one causes the terror level to raise) is not very high, as there is mire than enough investigators around that can take care of monsters...


Grimwold wrote:

By the way... if you were closing gates pretty quickly.. were you 'closing' or 'sealing' them? Sealing would have the effect of reducing the gates and monsters that appeared, but would speed the end of the game as victory by sealing 6 gates. If you were merely Closing gates, then the doom track should have filled up pretty quick, and that would have sped the end game, with the GOO awakening.


We were closing (not sealing) them - our big bad boy made us pay 8 clues instead of five to seal a gate. And and with 7 players the clues are hard to get in these high numbers considering that only one clue enters the game each turn and clues cannot be traded. Then we decided that we don't want to go on with the game as it began to drag, we decided that the BIg Bad Boy would appear NOW - at that time the doom track was on 8 (we had 8 turns with new gates and 3 or 4 monster surge turns. As I said we had a lot of laughs in the "roleplaying-department", but after that the game began to get boring...
 
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Michael Weber
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bill_andel wrote:
Weloi Avala wrote:
So am I right in assuming that if you're playing an 8-player game, where the Outskirts is 0 (unless you've got Nodan as a Guardian), that if there was a full 11 monsters on the board, and a monster surge happened--that the Terror Limit would immediately jump up by 8? Wow, rough.

-M.

Think of it this way thematically: a few investigators might be able to keep their doings quiet, but by the time you have eight of them tramping around Arkham battling the Mythos, word gets out pretty quick and terrified citizens leave Arkham in droves. Shop early and often.


Good explanation here - too many GHOSTBUSTERS! in town....

Anyway I doubt that you can get into the situation with 8 (!) investigators where you still have 11 monsters on the board when it comes to the Mythos phase - there is just too many investigators on too little space for too little monsters as I see it. And each and every of these investigators is eager to get those monster trophies as you can trade them in for something yummy like a blessing or so....
 
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I think that seven is just too many for the game. It drags with more than 4-5 and loses a great deal of its challenge. Even pulling two monsters per gate to up the difficulty doesn't help to much since when someone's fighting a monster, six other people are sitting around.

I think it's best with 4, OK with 5, and time to get a second game going with more than that.
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The sweet spot for nail-biting is four players, with everything after that (five to eight) getting progressively less tense. I've played lots of six-player, and one eight-player, and they were truly dull compared to the four-player games. I'll never do eight again--by the time my turn came around there was literally nothing to do. Everyone else had either handled it, or was in a wait-state for handling something. My turn would start with every clue gone, every monster either dead or slated for death by the designated monster hunters, every gate with an investigator in it.

We hit that mid-game dead space where we were waiting for gates to open, but they kept bonking on Elder Signs (never had any gate bursts). After four hours, my single contribution to the win was closing one gate.

Never again.
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Richard Feather
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Yep, that sounds right. You raise the terror when the outskirts exceeds capacity. So for every monster placed there, it would go up. If the board was full and you had a monster surge, the terror level would jump to 8.

Once it reached level 10 though (say with a second surge), the outskirts are eliminated and the game would go to final battle once 22 monsters were on the board.

Rough, but with 8 investigators, you shouldn't be letting the board get that out of hand.


This is not the way we have been playing the monster limit and the terror track and I'm wondering if we've been playing it wrong. The rulebook has some ambiguity that has led me to a different interpretation.

We've been playing with 4 investigators which gives us an Arkham monster limit of 7. Once we're at that limit we start adding monsters to the outskirts, up to a total of 4. Once a fifth monster is added to the outskirts then we toss all 5 of the outskirts monsters back in the cup and raise the terror level by 1. OK so far.

The rule comes into question when you have monsters entering the game at the same time which raise the outskirts level by more than 1 over the limit. In this case, we play that if we have 7 monsters in the town and 4 monsters in the outskirts and then we have a monster surge of 4 more monsters then they all go into the outskirts at the same time. At that point the monster level in the outskirts is exceeded (by 4) and all 8 of those monsters go back into the cup and the terror level increases by 1. The outskirts are now empty and we start again.

Should we have been playing that in this scenario we should have returned 5 monsters to the cup and left 3 in the outskirts and raised the terror level by 1? The rulebook states "When the number of monsters in the Outskirts exceeds this limit return all of the monsters in the Outskirts to the monster cup and raise the terror level by 1." If the game designers intended the outskirts to fill and empty potentially multiple times in one phase, ratcheting up the terror level at an alarming rate, shouldn't it be more clear in the rules? What do you think?
 
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rlux202 wrote:
Should we have been playing that in this scenario we should have returned 5 monsters to the cup and left 3 in the outskirts and raised the terror level by 1?


Yes.
 
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Andy
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rlux202 wrote:
The rule comes into question when you have monsters entering the game at the same time which raise the outskirts level by more than 1 over the limit. In this case, we play that if we have 7 monsters in the town and 4 monsters in the outskirts and then we have a monster surge of 4 more monsters then they all go into the outskirts at the same time. At that point the monster level in the outskirts is exceeded (by 4) and all 8 of those monsters go back into the cup and the terror level increases by 1. The outskirts are now empty and we start again.
You leave the excess in the outskirts.. so in your example, 5 go in back in the bag, and the other 3 stay in the outskirts.
The rulebook is a little unclear, but this has been cleared up in a FAQ (http://new.fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Arkham_Horror/...).. you add monsters to the outskirts one at a time, regardless of how many you are adding in total.

edit - add FAQ citation
 
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Richard Feather
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Thanks for the clarification. So many rules and rulebooks to look through to get the right answer. The right answer might have occured to us earlier if we really had been drawing monsters from the cup individually and not in great fistfulls. Hopefully that's the only thing we've been getting wrong.
 
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rlux202 wrote:
Thanks for the clarification. So many rules and rulebooks to look through to get the right answer. The right answer might have occured to us earlier if we really had been drawing monsters from the cup individually and not in great fistfulls. Hopefully that's the only thing we've been getting wrong.

Probably not, because it's Arkham. But don't feel bad—I still screw up some things, and new things get created or revealed that need to be officially clarified all the time.
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Mixo wrote:
Hi,

yesterday we played Arkham Horror for the first time - with seven players. We had a lot of fun, but after about 3 hours the game just kept dragging on and we never ever got on the brink of a "catastrophe-feeling). At the end of the game the terror level was still at "0" as we closed gates quickly and and with two monsters popping up per "no gate here" turn there is just too few monsters to reach the 10 monsters limit to send them into the outskirts.

I am not sure, but I have the feeling that this game is definitefely "broken" when it is played with seven or more players - the players' poll seems to indicate so.

Any suggestions?

Suggestion 1: Add one monster to gates for each player over 4. A victorious game lasts about 20-25 turns. With four players thats 80 to 100 turns. Adding a monster per gate adds about 8-10 monsters (which equals turns for somebody) per games. And that's only if you slay them easily. Add in healing time and that should keep excess investigators busy.

Suggestion 2: When I play with less than four players, we treat the game as if there are four players. So if we play 3 players, we skip the Mythos phase every 4th turn. We do this randomly with an 8 sided die. I've wanted to try this same principle with more than 4 players. In other words, have an extra mythos phase based on the number of players. So with 7, you'd hav a 2 mythos phases 3 out 4 times. I'd roll an 8 sided die and have an extra full mythos phase on a 1-6. This will bring in more monsters, more gates and/or more monster surges. (If I tried this I wouldn't add an extra monster at the fifth player level.)

3: Suggestion 3: I think most players forget about the victory condition of closing all gates. It's far from impossible. In fact, its probably more possible with more players. The clues flow remains fairly stable no matter the number of players. So my current goal is to seal 4 major gates and then begin closing the rest. This suggestion might make the game less tense, however and will probably shorten it.


 
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mageith wrote:

Suggestion 1: Add one monster to gates for each player over 4. A victorious game lasts about 20-25 turns. With four players thats 80 to 100 turns. Adding a monster per gate adds about 8-10 monsters (which equals turns for somebody) per games. And that's only if you slay them easily. Add in healing time and that should keep excess investigators busy.

Suggestion 2: When I play with less than four players, we treat the game as if there are four players. So if we play 3 players, we skip the Mythos phase every 4th turn. We do this randomly with an 8 sided die. I've wanted to try this same principle with more than 4 players. In other words, have an extra mythos phase based on the number of players. So with 7, you'd hav a 2 mythos phases 3 out 4 times. I'd roll an 8 sided die and have an extra full mythos phase on a 1-6. This will bring in more monsters, more gates and/or more monster surges. (If I tried this I wouldn't add an extra monster at the fifth player level.)

3: Suggestion 3: I think most players forget about the victory condition of closing all gates. It's far from impossible. In fact, its probably more possible with more players. The clues flow remains fairly stable no matter the number of players. So my current goal is to seal 4 major gates and then begin closing the rest. This suggestion might make the game less tense, however and will probably shorten it.




Thanks for sharing these ideas :-)

Regarding suggestion 1 and particularily 2: I think we will give this a go IF we will ever toss this game onto the table with 7 players again - it sounds good to me but we are by far more likely to be 3-5 next time we play the game.

Regarding suggestion 3: yeah, we even CLOSED all the gates two times, but you still have to have 7 "gate closed" tokens amongst all players to call it a victory. Cosodering that the tokens are very valuable in trading this s not very likely....

(typo edit)
 
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