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Subject: Which one will you choose? ATOE, AH, FOD rss

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Would owners of A Touch of Evil, Arkham Horror, and Fury of Dracula please tell me why did you choose your game, there is only budget for either one of these game and after reading review after review i'm still indecisive about this.

How strong are the pro's and con's about these games. Is ATOE really not competitive (or are the supergamers talkin)
? Is the arkham horror experience just skill check heavy and do not give you that HP lovecraft experience? Is the Fury of Dracula too easy and the count underpowered make it a dull experience?

What type of gamer will enjoy these games, will constant play diminish the experience (avg 4 times a week).

Extra info: Love LNOE and played it more than 50 times since 5 months ago if the heavy dice rolls in arkham horror is like this game than thats no prob

 
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Beau Bailey
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djay16 wrote:
Would owners of A Touch of Evil, Arkham Horror, and Fury of Dracula please tell me why did you choose your game, there is only budget for either one of these game and after reading review after review i'm still indecisive about this.

How strong are the pro's and con's about these games. Is ATOE really not competitive (or are the supergamers talkin)
? Is the arkham horror experience just skill check heavy and do not give you that HP lovecraft experience? Is the Fury of Dracula too easy and the count underpowered make it a dull experience?

What type of gamer will enjoy these games, will constant play diminish the experience (avg 4 times a week).

Extra info: Love LNOE and played it more than 50 times since 5 months ago if the heavy dice rolls in arkham horror is like this game than thats no prob



I have owned all three games, and currently own two of them. The only one that I would definitely keep in my collection is Arkham Horror.

A Touch of Evil is vastly inferior to the other two in my opinion. It's not too difficult to beat, but it doesn't feel interesting while playing. I found it very boring, but I know others seem to like it.

Fury of Dracula is very good, but is really at its best with 5. It always uses the same number of heroes regardless of the number of players. Something is lost without the discussions between the hero players.

Arkham is long, has a ton of components, and more difficult than the other two. However, I feel the gameplay is stronger, it is more engaging and fun. The expansions also add a lot to the game, though none are "must haves".
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J Kosec
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Can't speak to AToE, so sorry about that.

I own both AH and FoD. I also have the Dunwich Horror and Curse of the Dark Pharaoh expansions for AH.

djay16 wrote:

How strong are the pro's and con's about these games.


Pros for both games:
* Thematic immersion
* Narrative arc
* Tense gameplay

Cons for both games:
* Long (though AH is, in my experience, longer). They're harder for most people to get to the table.
*

I think that AH has much higher overhead: more rules, more interlocking game systems, more to set up. It's the more advanced game of the two, I'd say, and that can really affect how frequently you get it to the table. It's also expandable, which may or may not affect your budgetary considerations. Personally I feel like you don't NEED the expansions--they add layers upon layers of complexity to an already-busy game. But for my part, I really wanted more individual location cards after only a couple plays. AH is really baroque in its presentation, and that may be a total pro or a total con. It's also much more of a "system" game, where you're buying something that is filled with variables, which make it a much more tailorable experience.

With FOD, on the other hand, you pretty much know what to expect when you sit down for a game. The gameplay elements don't shift; the rules are mostly easy to explain (except combat, which is a bit wonky); and the game is not expandable. What changes from game to game are the different strategies employed by the different players moreso than the particular mix of gameplay elements (characters, skills, monsters, opponent, etc).

On cooperation:
Of course, FOD is a semi-coop game, which gives it a bit of a different gameplay dimension than the total coop in Arkham. Arkham seems a bit less puzzle-like than a simpler game like Pandemic, but maybe that's because there's so much happening at any given time. But dynamics within your game group largely determine your experience here: is there someone in your group who likes to direct the action? Do you work together to figure out each player's best move?

For me I think that FOD offers a better cooperative experience for the hunters, because there's a bit more of a mind-game on their part trying to figure out what Dracula is up to. Each Dracula might play things completely differently, so as hunters there's a bit more debate about how he's actually plotting his turn. Of course, that doesn't keep someone from telling everyone else what to do, but having a human-controlled opponent does make the system a bit less game-y. For Dracula, part of the fun is hearing all the table talk.

On length:
Both games are LONG. Arkham Horror takes a long time to set up, a long time to take down, and a long time to teach. It takes a long time to reference rules, too. FoD has slightly less to keep track of, but its game length can emerge when the hunters can't pick up Dracula's trail--then it can seem like you're taking turn after turn without doing anything.

Of course, play time will always get shorter depending on the experience level of your group. But these aren't 1-hour games, or 90-minute games.

djay16 wrote:

What type of gamer will enjoy these games, will constant play diminish the experience (avg 4 times a week).



These are games for gamers or people who are big fans of the subject material. Both provide a pretty great sense of thematic immersion, and both create great stories. But they're not simple games (which you're probably aware of, if you've spent time on the reviews). If you have the time to play either of these 4x a week, though, playtime isn't your enemy here :-).

I don't know that there are many games I would want to play more than 4x a week (excluding faster-playing games), but of the two, I would think that FoD would suffer more from frequent play than would AH, unless you're in a constant rotation of who is playing Dracula. The AH system has just that many more variables to fiddle with. Though again, it bears repeating that if you're going to be playing this often you're going to want the AH expansions more quickly, because you'll start to have seen too much of what the game offers.

djay16 wrote:
Would owners of A Touch of Evil, Arkham Horror, and Fury of Dracula please tell me why did you choose your game, there is only budget for either one of these game and after reading review after review i'm still indecisive about this.



If I had to pick only one to keep, I would pick FOD. I might be in the minority here. AH is definitely more difficult, more scalable, more layered, more tweakable. Both give a great sense of telling a story, though you do feel like you have more of an adventure when you're playing AH.

I would pick FoD, though, because I think that at the end of the day its more pared-down approach is, in a way, more complete than the world set forth by AH. It feels more honed, smoother, more polished. I love the cat-and-mouse gameplay, which is at the core of the experience. I like having what amounts to two different games to play (one as the hunters and one as Drac).

But FWIW, I am glad to own both.
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J Kosec
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badweasel wrote:

Fury of Dracula is very good, but is really at its best with 5. It always uses the same number of heroes regardless of the number of players. Something is lost without the discussions between the hero players.



FWIW, I personally think that both AH and FoD scale quite well. It is more complicated to control more than one character in both games, but one isn't necessarily more difficult than the other in that regard (though each character has slightly more stuff to track in AH). Some people think FoD really loses a lot with less than the full complement of hunters, and just falls apart with only two players, but I would disagree. I like the game a lot with two, because the hunters' moves are perfectly coordinated. This results in less table-talk (- fun) but more tension for Dracula as he faces a more well-coordinated foe (+ fun). It also has the benefit of reducing playtime (+ fun).

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Tim Maloney
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Arkham Horror is long in a good way.

Fury of Dracula is long in a bad way.
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Hugh G. Rection
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Ranking

1: Arkham Horror
2: Fury of Dracula
3: A Touch of Evil

Arkham Horror is very challenging as a co-op game, and has tons a replay value via the sheer number of cards, and multiple expansions.

Fury of Dracula is also challenging in that up to 4 players are going against a human opponent - preferably a devious one. Replay value is limited to what's in the box, since there's nothing to expand it, but still quite good.

A Touch of Evil co-op is about as satisfying as a premature ejaculation. There's barely any pressure to seek out the big bad guy until the heroes are uber-equiped, and the limited exploration locations with small decks become ho-hum very quickly. Don't buy AToE based on enjoying Last Night on Earth, because you will be really, really disappointed.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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ATOE: Bleh. After the boring play of Last Night on Earth, never again. Maybe that doesn't fit you.
AH: Tells a story. Somewhat strategic, somewhat luck.
FOD: Is really a semi-cooperative deduction game with a combat system added on for excitement.
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Adam Tucker
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My preference for those games is quickly determined by looking at my play counts or ratings for those games:

Game________________Rating____Plays
Arkham Horror__________8_______119_
A Touch of Evil________6________3__
Fury of Dracula________4_______(none listed)


Some notes: I only really successfully started recording game plays as of the start of 2009 (I have actually played Fury of Dracula at least a couple of times, have probably played A Touch of Evil a good 5 more times than listed here, and there are likely at least 50 or so unrecorded plays of Arkham - if you check, you will see that over a hundred are recorded in 2009 alone).
I rate no game higher than an 8, and only 1 game (not expansion) earns that rating from me. I rate no game higher than an 8 due to the (in my estimation silly) mouse-over guidelines for rating provided by BGG.

As to why my preferences are the way they are:

A Fury of Dracula is essentially a variant of Scotland Yard, somewhat "Ameri-trashed" up. There are some highly unbalanced cards (somewhat dependent on when or where [what game state] they are drawn during the game) for both sides, and for all the complexities of combat, it pretty much comes down to "at night"=Drac wins; "sunlight"=Drac's dead. I much prefer the stripped down mechanics of Scotland Yard where there aren't such dramatic swings in play balance.

A Touch of Evil is often touted as "Arkham Light", unfortunately it takes a bunch of mechanisms out of the game (or combines/condenses them) takes a significant portion of the fun with it, but leaves the amount of playtime. We have frequently had co-op games of A Touch of Evil last as long, if not (considerably) longer than our games of Arkham. Now in all fairness, we play a lot of Arkham, and we pretty much always play with all the expansions (which tend to reduce the play time of game, given a modicum of familiarity), so our Arkham games are likely somewhat quicker than the average Arkham group. However, replays of A Touch of Evil feel vastly more similar than additional Arkham Horror plays, and it's tough to justify spending just as much time (or even a comparable amount of time) to play a game that we enjoy significantly less. This is not to say that A Touch of Evil is a bad game, it just spends the same amount of time attempting to scratch the same itch that Arkham would scratch but is nowhere near as successful.
A Touch of Evil does have a couple of other knocks against it as a co-operative game in comparison to Arkham Horror: there is only one way to win in A Touch of Evil face the big bad guy and beat him, which if you get your investigators equipped well enough (which hasn't shown to be too difficult yet) seems like it will often prove relatively easy; whereas in Arkham the Ancient Ones seem so formidable that you want to avoid facing them at all costs and it proves exceedingly difficult to defeat them in the final battle (especially with the final battle cards from Kingsport - once you get the Kingsport expansion, don't play without them, even if you're not using the Kingsport board, unless you're taking it easy on some players that are new to Arkham).
Now, since you were looking for a comparison, I assumed you wanted information on the co-op version of A Touch of Evil, but it seems pretty clear from the plays we have, that A Touch of Evil is a competitive game with a playable (but perhaps not yet fully balanced and/or play-tested) co-op game tacked on.

I would be hard pressed to recommend anything other than Arkham Horror. The only real detraction to the game that I can see is that eventually the base game will become "solvable", in that a certain strategy (or set of strategies) will eventually become evident that will allow you to win the vast majority of games when playing with only the base game, and you will need to purchase an expansion to increase the replayability of the game. There are countless threads on the geek regarding which expansions to get first and the general consensus is along the lines of Big Boxes: Dunwich, then Innsmouth, then Kingsport; Small Boxes: King in Yellow, then Black Goat of the Woods, then Curse of the Dark Pharaoh. The good news is that the expansions are in general excellent, especially the Big Box expansions (which each add something great to the game whether you play with the boards for those expansions or not) and all increase replayability tremendously.
 
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