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Subject: Didn't like Arkham - next step LNoE or Nightfall? rss

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Matt Saldana
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Hey--

So after a few fits and starts, my GF and I have decided to trade in AH, and look for another game to scratch the horror itch. The rules were to complicated, and - perhaps more importantly - the rules/mechanic (dice rolling) didn't evoke the theme for her/us. When it came down to it, the thought of pulling it off the shelf felt like homework. Now, mind you, one of our favorite games is Carson City, so heavy games whose rules match the theme and work "elegantly" are just fine. On the other hand, something like Reef Encounter (also on the trading block) is impenetrable because of the rules' abstraction.

We would still love to try something that is dark/horror/fantasy themed, but are worried that many of the most thematic games - eg Last Night On Earth - use the same mechanics (dice rolling/skill checks/etc).

Should we go the way of more theme with approachable rules(she thought Last Night on Earth looked good, dice be damned) or a different mechanic (eg the deck building of Nightfall)? Is Nightfall even scary or thematic?

One final note is that, above all, she'd prefer a game that plays well "in its class" - so if it's ameritrash, a really good ameritrah game.

Other thematic contenders are cyclades and stronghold (though she thinks stronghold's rules may be too much).

Check out our collection - all our ratings are for two. Top games include Citadels and Innovation. Did I mention she loves cards?

Thanks!
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Richard Linnell
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Last Night on Earth is quite probably the best ameritrash zombie horror style game. Plays very easily, and I would rank it at the top of its class.

Nightfall isn't really a horror game, although it has a horror theme. I personally enjoy it, and quite possibly enjoy it more than Dominion, but if you are looking for the "best in it's class" Nightfall probably isn't it for most people. You might also consider Resident Evil DBG, but I've never played so I can't speak to that directly.
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Todd Dyer
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I agree with Seamus on Nightfall. Nightfall is a brutal, in your face attack-oriented deck-building game. As far as theme? The names of the minions and actions are thematic, but they don't really feel like vampires and werewolves.

Last Night on Earth is fun and very thematic...and that theme is cheesy horror. The game has simple mechanics and varied scenarios, but the game definitely leans toward the zombie player in most scenarios.

If you want a horror game that is heavily themed with simple mechanics and scratches the same itch as LNoE, I would suggest Claustrophobia. The game has a very unique system for determining player and monster abilities for the turn and how damage is inflicted. I find the game to be tons of fun and, like LNoE, there are varied scenarios. Only six scenarios come in the box, but there are twelve more freely available online. I'd suggest checking this one out - it seems to be what you are looking for.

Best of luck.
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TS S. Fulk
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+1 Claustrophobia. There is an expansion (Claustrophobia: De Profundis) coming out soon and the English rules to the parent game Hell Dorado should be appearing in stores any day now.

Other good horror games are Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game (2-player LCG), Ghost Stories (co-op with Chinese Ghosts/monsters) and Witch of Salem (co-op---dubbed "Euro-Arkham").
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Liam
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Hated Arkham... loved the production but the game excludes me from the story rather than including me.

Turn over a location card, something bad happens
Spoiler (click to reveal)
unless you are at the newspaper office
then roll a dice... then move some chits. Then repeat.


I much prefer Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game, while the plot is not as deep as that available to AH, your decisions do matter and the game does not take forever. The excellent b-movie style pictures should keep you interested in the theme... not convinced by the music cd though

LNoE is heavy on dice rolling too but at least you get to be part of the logic that led to the dice rolling.

Having a look at:

Claustrophobia or Ghost Stories is also worth doing.


Word of warning about Cyclades, its a great game but is a total hybrid and DOES NOT WORK WELL WITH 2!
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Sweetgotham
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We are also huge Witch of Salam fans. So, thumbsup on that suggestion.
 
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Matt Saldana
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Thanks -- all great insights.
 
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Eric Spencer
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I'd agree that Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game is probably worth trying. I also own LNoE and AH. For me, AH didn't really work either. I kept hoping it would feel tense and horrifying, but it just never really worked for me. I can see why people like it, but it just didn't hit the sweet spot for me. LNoE, on the other hand, seems to move a little faster, and feels (to me) a little more tense, mostly because it's direct player vs player instead of players vs the game (which is admittedly a personal preference). LNoE does have a lot of dice for combat and movement, but I like how different the scenarios keep the game from play to play.

It does seem like Claustrophobia might also be a possibility, though I haven't played it myself


Also, for horror themes Betrayal at House on the Hill is, I think, nicely thematic. It's a slightly simpler game (and it does involve dice), but it is different every time, and I find it plays pretty well with gamers of different experience levels..
 
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Markus
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There's also Mansions of Madness, probably the best game for scratching the horror itch. But again, it heavily relies on rolling dice for skill and horror checks. And there's the issue with the limited replayability. Great game if you don't mind these points.
 
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Brian M
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LNoE is a lot of dice rolling, but its mechanically much simpler than Arkham Horror, and very thematic. Its not quite as good with two people as with a bigger group; you miss out on the fun interaction.

It is a very, very luck driven game. But its a lot of fun.

For intense but somewhat abstract horror action, if you like co-ops, both Ghost Stories and Witch of Salem are really good.

I suppose Nightfall might be a good game if you really, really want the horror theme, but there are a lot of better deck builders (Dominion, Thunderstone, Puzzle Strike, Ascension: Deckbuilding Game), and the theme in Nightfall is pretty thin anyway. You just think in terms of what colored circles connect.
 
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