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Arkham Horror» Forums » General

Subject: Did I pass, or fail, my Sanity check? rss

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Dave B
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Our gaming group has played, or attempted to play Arkham Horror on 3 occassions.
Each time we missed many rules, (the game stalled and become less fun than we all anticipated), and the last time it barely got started before mutiny occurred and it was packed away into it's box.

This sort of occurrence is not confined to just Arkham Horror, as other games have experienced similar woes.

In Arkham Horrors case, the game has been put on the table by its owner and the rules read out parrot fashion, in an attempt to teach the game. (Personally, I have a tough time taking all this in and the glazed looks of the other players suggest I am not alone).

So here I am, with a game that is sooo visually appealing, my imagination in overdrive, owned by a member of the group who hasn't got the time to read and understand the rules before attempting to run a game.
Part of me says this game will never become a hit with the group, due to the initial setbacks, and its appearance will be at the whim of the owner.

How to rectify the situation....

SANITY TEST TIME......

I have gone and purchased Arkham Horror, Dunwich Horror and Kingsport Horror in order to read, study, and digest all the rules and defeat the monster that stops me from playing this gorgeous looking game.... (I'm not suggesting the owner is the monster!)blush

Ahh, then I have to explain to the wife that I have just gone mad and spent all that dosh on three games which she may or may not like....shake
She sounds intrigued and so far is keen to see the games when they arrive
Her favourite game is Ticket to Ride, but she loves Agricola, Caylus, Puerto Rico and Railroad Tycoon amongst other games.

Will she like it?

Will I be able to learn all the rules and finally get the group to play an enjoyable game of Arkham?

Did I pass or fail my sanity check?


 
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Dave Wilson
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Crazy_Dave wrote:

Will she like it?


None of the games listed suggest to me that she will. Arkham Horror is very different from those. But if she's "intrigued and keen to see the games", well, I'd say the odds are good. Players have to buy into the experience. If they don't, then don't bother.

Quote:
Will I be able to learn all the rules


Probably. Especially since it plays pretty well solo. You'll be able to read, fondle the bits, and actually walk through the game. That should help.

Quote:
and finally get the group to play an enjoyable game of Arkham?


See my point above about buy-in. I know one of my game groups WILL NOT PLAY IT AGAIN. Others like it. Ah well.

Quote:

Did I pass or fail my sanity check?


Well, let's see. The rules are posted on the Fantasy Flight website. Well, they used to be. I noticed just today they have a "new" website. I'd guess they're still posted there, but I'm no longer certain. The player who owns the game probably would have been willing to loan it to you if you promised to learn the game and report back. (He does have money invested, after all.) Or maybe you could have bought the game from him, helping to recoup at least some of said friend's investment. And I'm not sure that I would worry about the two expansions before tackling the base game alone.

Fail the sanity check? Probably. But it hasn't sent you to Arkham Asylum. Yet. devil

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brian
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Advice #1: In the future, print the rules first before purchasing anything.

Advice #2: Ignore Dunwich and Kingsport for the time being. They just add layers that will confuse you. Best to learn pure Arkham first and then add the expansioins when you have a grasp of the game.

Advice #3: Play solo until you have this game down pat. Any number of newbies can play and enjoy this game as long as one person knows the rules well enough. The game lends itself well to solo play so you can truly grind it out and work out the kinks before turning anyone off on this game.

Advice #4: The game is actually rather simple. The 2nd edition rules are laid out pretty well though they are a bit overwhelming. Ask lots of quesitons on here and you should have this game worked out with a minimal number of plays. Ther eis a great flowchart that will help you walk through your turns until you get it as well.
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/23313
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Hugh G. Rection
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
Advice #3: Play solo until you have this game down pat. Any number of newbies can play and enjoy this game as long as one person knows the rules well enough. The game lends itself well to solo play so you can truly grind it out and work out the kinks before turning anyone off on this game.


This is crucial, since you'll need more than one play of the game to really learn it. Trying it out with all newbies puts a lot more pressure on whoever is reading the rulebook when another rules question comes up. And they will come up.
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Mustafa Ünlü
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Make sure that the first time you try it with your group, you have no more than four players. The sweet spot is three or four investigators. With more investigators it will bog down and it sounds like you do not want that.
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Doug Bass
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Crazy_Dave wrote:
In Arkham Horrors case, the game has been put on the table by its owner and the rules read out parrot fashion, in an attempt to teach the game. (Personally, I have a tough time taking all this in and the glazed looks of the other players suggest I am not alone).


Are you saying he actually read all 20+ pages of the rules out loud? I have no doubt your eyes were glazed over; I hope everyone can focus again by now . You really shouldn't give up on the game, but instead do what your friend didn't do and take the time to learn the rules by playing a single-player game, perhaps over the course of a few nights, taking it nice and slow. That's what I did recently before playing with a group, and it really helped. We still had questions come up, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as what you describe. I would also wait on trying the expansions at least until you've played the base game a few times. If you do this, hopefully you can convince your group to give it another try.

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john Whyte
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Greetings.

I completely agree with the recomendation that you play the game solo. I love the game but there are still a few little rules that I keep ignoring. Since I'm the one in charge of teaching the game its my fault. I suggest you play it once solo, reread the rules, play it a second time solo then reread the rules then try to teach it.

Teaching it I find is quite simple. Once people understand its a role playing game, and that everyone has a turn then the mythos attacks it becomes simplier. The only two ways of having the GOO awake that you need to mention are doom track and open gates. Say that every time a gate opens during the mythos phase doom goes up by one. Then show the two main ways of winning - closing all gates, sealing 6 gates. So a good way of winning is to collect 5+ clue tokens and go try to seal gates. Explain the concept of a skill check and you're away. I find it much easier to teach than some of my other games, like Shadows over Camelot. A lot of the rules are are often weird exceptions (GOO awakening if no monsters left in cup) or infrequent (flying monsters all move when a gate burst card is drawn) or nobody else needs to know (turn order of Mythos card). If they grasp the idea of checks, and getting clues and sealing gates the game can be a blast.
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Dave B
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Thank you one and all for the replies, and lots of helpful advice.

I did download the rules prior to purchasing the games but I often find it easier to learn the rules when the game is also in front of me.

Knowing the potential this game has I wanted to buy it anyway, and the solo playing aspect seems like the perfect solution to grasp all those little rules, which crop up in a game, the answer to which is hidden in the rulebook in plain sight.

Anyway, I am keeping this reply short as I have Arkham set-up and am halfway through a nice little solo test.
 
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Spare Tire
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Well??? How did it go???
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Dave B
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SpareTire wrote:
Well??? How did it go???


ninja



You mean I have to tell ya?


Well, I think I have most of the rules right, and the game was picking up speed once I became more familiar with the phases and what I had to do.

Despite all the great advice I still went ahead and played with both the Dunwich and Kingsport Expansions, although I decided not to use Rifts in the playtest as I was only using two investigators, (Vincent Lee and Joe Diamond) and felt it would be too tough to have one of them spending most of their time on Rift duty.


(Here's a view of my 5' x 3' Kitchen table completely taken over with the game)

As it was I got a few gates closed and things were reasonable but then all hell began to break lose and it became an impossible task to keep things under control.

I guess two investigators was too optimistic to have a hope of winning, but the good thing is it helped me to learn most of the rules.

Today I plan on having another run through and then this evening I have two friends coming over to investigate with me. (One has played Arkham Horror before and the other is a Lovecraft fan but not currently a board gamer.... (Let's see if he succumbs to the dark side!)goo





# Edited to include uploaded image.
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