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Subject: Going the "all in" route - any suggestions, advice, warnings, hints? rss

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Michael
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Medford
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Hi all,

Over the past couple weeks, I purchased both MH and the revised CotDP, completing my AH collection. I am now the proud (and slightly insane) owner of the core game and all 8 expansions, totaling an impressive 2,415 cards.

Previously, I was keeping everything separate by expansion. This meant having to sort cards after every game into their respective pile. I dreaded any games where we'd add more than 1 expansion :-\

My initial reaction after purchasing MH was to integrate all the MH cards into their respective expansion, but to still keep everything separate - AH cards would be together, KiY cards would be together, etc. After realizing this would still make sorting after a game a nightmare, I've decided to go the "all in" route. This means - all Mythos cards together, all Gate cards together, all AH location cards together, etc. I've determined that there are 15 types of Ancient One cards (Mythos, Innsmouth Location, Act cards, etc.) and 35 types of Investigator Cards (Spell, Unique, Injury, Dust, etc.).

What suggestions do all of you have for someone doing this? Any advice on how to use "all in" piles of cards (e.g., if you pull a Gate card but aren't using that board, would you just read the "Other" text)?

The best way would obviously be to check the symbol on the card to see if it applies to the game that night (does it have an Innsmouth icon but there's no IH board?). The problem I have with this is that about half of my AH group really isn't that attentive (or doesn't care but not in a mean-spirited way). For example, one guy that plays in my group always mumbles when he reads a Mythos card, stares at it for 30 seconds, then hands it to me to interpret it. Another guy always reads the Mythos cards in the wrong order (for example, he'll read monster movement before saying where the gate pops up). My counter to this would be to have someone (myself, for example) act as a "DM". I would pull all the Mythos and Gate cards, and discard them if the expansion symbol didn't match up. I'm not sure though it this would enhance or worsen the gameplay.

I look forward to your ideas.
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Matthias Desbois
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Aix en Provence
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Hey Michael,
I have all my expensions mixed regarding cards (inssmouth, Dunwich, Black goat and Lurker). if i don't play one expansion and a card i draw is specific to it, i just draw another one. most of the time, cards are expansion independant regarding the events (or am I lucky?).
In any case, it is more simple doing that than tidy all the expansions decks after each games...
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Matt Sanderson
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Thornhill
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With the vast amount of cards mixed together as the result of this, and the time it would take during a full game to sort through individual cards in each deck until you get one that applies to the expansion you're currently playing, would it actually be any quicker doing it this way than just sorting the cards before and after the game? I'd think it'd slow the actual game-playing down, making it less enjoyable when it actually counts. I'd just sort the cards.
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Joe Pilkus
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South Riding
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Michael,

From my first encounter with the game, two-and-a-half years ago, I've gravitated quite naturally to the "all in" type of set-up. Now, admittedly, I have the luxury of a 6' x 3' table solely dedicated to the game. Currently, I use the Base Game AH + every expansion except Innsmouth Horror (IH), though my games do include an an element from the expansion.

Regarding the expansions, there are two exceptions to the "all in" concept. First, I use only the Personal Stories from IH (actually borrowed from a friend). Second, from the revised Curse of the Dark Pharaoh (CotDP), I've added some elements (use both the original and revised elements), retained (original version) other elements, or replaced other elements.

Added: Exhibit Items (for a total of 44), Spells (for a CotDP total of 42), Arkham Encounter Cards, Other World Encounter Cards, Ancient Whispers Marker, and Patrol Markers;
Retained: Allies (preferring the original Allies over the revised version) and Benefits and Detriments Cards; and
Replaced: Mythos Cards

Now, in addition to the aforementioned expansion exceptions, I don't play the game by strict canon, either. I'm looking for a challenging game, not one that will always end in a loss if I pull the wrong Rumor card, or wreak havoc due to ill-defined rules (Kingsport Rifts opening in Dunwich, causing monsters to be hurled into vortices). Thus, these are my three basic rules:

1. Randomly select four (4) Investigators and the GOO
2. Treat all "# of Investigator effects" other than Final Combat as "2" (3 boards: Arkham, Dunwich, and Kingsport)
a. Maximum Gates Open: 8 (awakens GOO)
b. Monster Surge: Place # of Monsters = to the greater # of Gates or Investigators
c. Maximum # of Monsters In Arkham: 5 (2 + 3)
d. Maximum # of Monsters In Outskirts: 6
e. Rumors: Place 'x' items, where 'x' = 2 Investigators
3. Place a Rift Progress Marker on the Rift Track only when a Gate opens (including Gate Bursts), but not Monster Surges, with a Rift opening in Kingsport based on the last placed Rift Progress Marker on the Rift Track

Hope this helps.
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Freelance Police
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The "DM" approach works *very* well. I regularly use it at conventions. It really does speed up the game when you only need one person to be attentive, and the cards are near him. See if you can add the "make a decision before reading the rest of the card" gameplay to the Encounter cards as well!
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Michael
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Sam and Max wrote:
The "DM" approach works *very* well. I regularly use it at conventions. It really does speed up the game when you only need one person to be attentive, and the cards are near him. See if you can add the "make a decision before reading the rest of the card" gameplay to the Encounter cards as well!


I am a bit tempted to go this route. The way we've been playing is that everyone reads their own encounter/mythos/gate card. Some people mumble when reading the card, and then look completely lost. Others know what the result of their skill check will be, which kills the suspense.

We did try the "you read someone else's gate/encounter card" method once, but that only lasted for a few turns. I don't know exactly why.

As a "DM", I could stop reading the card when the player needs to make a decision, then read the rest after a roll was made. This would add in a lot of uncertainty to the game (which is something I'd want). Also, as one of the more experienced players in my AH group, I am familiar with all expansion symbols and can quickly discard a card if it doesn't apply.

Going this route, I would definitely go the "everything together" route, so I wouldn't have to worry about sorting cards after a game. However, it would mean stacks of Mythos cards 300+ high. It would also mean I'd have to figure out what to do with Gate cards, since I'd have to find both the right color and right expansion symbol. I could always read "Other" if it doesn't apply, though I'm not sure if any of the "Other" text is expansion-specific (e.g., add a Dunwich Horror token but we're not using Dunwich).

The other concern is that would be a LOT of speaking in one night for me, which might kill my voice the next day.
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