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Subject: Second game rss

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Cody Konior
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After our first win with some minor rule mess-ups, we started our second game; my girlfriend as Jenny Barnes and me as Michael McGlen (no more 2nd rate magician for me, I was going to kick some tentacles!) Our ancient one was Azazoth, and I didn't time the game but it took about 2-3 hours.

Our doom track got filled all the way up to 8 this time, and our terror track was on 5; Jenny closed 3 gates I closed 4 (and we sealed 6, one with an elder sign, hence the doom track), and she killed a few really tough monsters and I killed a few easy ones. So, lots of action compared to the last game, thanks to better shuffling of the Mythos deck ;-)

Some high points of the game were:
- For two players our monster limit is 5, it's amazing how many that can seem on the board when they seem to be blocking every which way out of the locations we're both on :-) And then, pulling an environment card that shuts down the street and keeps us staying put for another turn. Yay...

- Every time I ventured into the Woods, some horrible event would happen that ended in me getting beaten up time and again. I swear that place sucks.

- Halfway through the game, I'm in the OW with just enough clue tokens to seal a gate, when I'd have a bad encounter and had to spend all the clue tokens to pass a sanity check and avoid the asylum. But I either had an elder sign from before or gained it in the OW just in time, came through, and discarded my last sanity to seal the game, ending up in the asylum anyway. I was there twice this game (an improvement for me!), Jenny never went. I kept my sanity really low all game and kept throwing last-minute saves in the OW when trying to close gates.

- We were right at the end of the game, with two gates left to seal, and enough clue tokens to do so. But just as we left to the OW, we pulled a Mythos Environment card that made sealing gates impossible, followed by a rumour card that was going to force two-Mythos pulls per deck within the next 5 turns (as we didn't have enough spells to discard to negate it). So our last 4 turns were sitting on the both of our explored gates, pulling Mythos cards and praying for a new Environment card. We got one JUST in time, were able to seal the gates and win.

Some problems we encountered were:
- At various times something would happen to clean up streets and / or Arkham, and had trouble distinguishing where the Outskirts and Sky were. As far as we could determine, the Sky is considered a street and should be cleaned up. We typically avoided cleaning the Outskirts (especially, it's not a location or street; I know that much) but I'm pretty sure some cards gave us a bit of doubt.
- I may not have moved a monster correctly once or twice based on the colour (I may have moved a yellow and not moved a red twice... it's hard to remember, but I almost got it all right this time).
- We sometimes used combat checks on gate closing instead of pure fight checks. That was a mistake I only found today, and will fix next time.
- We also encountered the (after searching, very common question) about if you move to a location with a gate as part of an encounter, do you move through the gate or not, and do you fight the monster there or not. I went straight through the gate after much deliberation. In many cases it seems cards should "override" the rules. In other cases, the rules state they "override" any cards. Then the phases come into it. And then the intention behind the rules. And then the themes. Tough stuff, and hilarious and gut wrenching at the same time to read when your life is depending on a good answer on the board :-P
- Spells still continue to confuse with a lot of obtuse text, but we didn't use any this game so it didn't really matter.
- We weren't quite sure what the deal was with allies; when you discard them from the deck due to terror level are you allowed to see what they are? Are you allowed to look through the deck? Sometimes you have to make a choice that involves an ally, and it's not clear if you can know the outcome of the choice first or not. It wouldn't make a big deal though. We looked ;-)

Anyhoo we finished with a fair bit of time left on the clock, and despite being finger-bitingly tense, it was still an easyish win (and Jenny had SO much money she never spent, too).

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M.C.Crispy
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cody_au wrote:
Some high points of the game were:
- For two players our monster limit is 5, it's amazing how many that can seem on the board when they seem to be blocking every which way out of the locations we're both on :-) And then, pulling an environment card that shuts down the street and keeps us staying put for another turn. Yay...
In our 7-player games we usually manage to keep the streets quite clean (despite two monsters spawning from Gates and the number of monsters that spew into the streets from a Monster Surge); however, it's amazing how often the super-tough monster that nobody can take on will corral us in one neighbourhood!

Quote:
- Every time I ventured into the Woods, some horrible event would happen that ended in me getting beaten up time and again. I swear that place sucks.
If you go down to the Woods today... yup, we steer clear of the place too (unless we're trying to force the appearance of a Gate)

Quote:
Some problems we encountered were:
- At various times something would happen to clean up streets and / or Arkham, and had trouble distinguishing where the Outskirts and Sky were. As far as we could determine, the Sky is considered a street and should be cleaned up. We typically avoided cleaning the Outskirts (especially, it's not a location or street; I know that much) but I'm pretty sure some cards gave us a bit of doubt.
The Sky certainly is considered to be part of Arkham. The situation is less clear for the Outskirts, but when a Gate is closed, you do return Monsters with a matching Dimensional Symbol to the cup from the Outskirts as well as the Sky and Arkham. So I'd say that the Outskirts is also part of Arkham for that purpose. But I'm happy to be corrected.

Quote:
- We also encountered the (after searching, very common question) about if you move to a location with a gate as part of an encounter, do you move through the gate or not, and do you fight the monster there or not. I went straight through the gate after much deliberation. In many cases it seems cards should "override" the rules. In other cases, the rules state they "override" any cards. Then the phases come into it. And then the intention behind the rules. And then the themes. Tough stuff, and hilarious and gut wrenching at the same time to read when your life is depending on a good answer on the board :-P
Just stick to the Phases - you get draw through Gates during the Arkham Encounters Phase (III), so if you arrive on a Gate (or one arrives on you - any phase) then you get drawn through. There's a lot of discussion on this topic, but that's the way I'd resolve it.

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- We weren't quite sure what the deal was with allies; when you discard them from the deck due to terror level are you allowed to see what they are? Are you allowed to look through the deck? Sometimes you have to make a choice that involves an ally, and it's not clear if you can know the outcome of the choice first or not. It wouldn't make a big deal though. We looked ;-)
All the rules say is that you return a random Ally - they don't say "blind-draw" or "return without looking", so I'd say you can look. I play a variant where all Allies (from all expansions) are available, but only 11 may ever be drawn or returned to the box before the stack becomes unavailable - it means that you usually get the Ally for your encounter, otherwise I seldom see an Ally.

It sounds like you're making good progress up the learning curve, hang on in there and keep us posted!
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Bern Harkins
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cody_au wrote:

- Every time I ventured into the Woods, some horrible event would happen that ended in me getting beaten up time and again. I swear that place sucks.


That's pretty much been my experience...

Quote:

- At various times something would happen to clean up streets and / or Arkham, and had trouble distinguishing where the Outskirts and Sky were. As far as we could determine, the Sky is considered a street and should be cleaned up. We typically avoided cleaning the Outskirts (especially, it's not a location or street; I know that much) but I'm pretty sure some cards gave us a bit of doubt.


The Sky is neither a Street nor a Location. (I was mistaken on this point, see posts below).The "Big Storm Sweeps Arkham" Mythos card specifically clears the Sky and the Outskirts, but most such cards do not.

Quote:
- I may not have moved a monster correctly once or twice based on the colour (I may have moved a yellow and not moved a red twice... it's hard to remember, but I almost got it all right this time).
- We sometimes used combat checks on gate closing instead of pure fight checks. That was a mistake I only found today, and will fix next time.


The game takes some practice; I think our fifth game was the first one where I did not find some major or minor rules mistake afterwards.

Quote:
- We also encountered the (after searching, very common question) about if you move to a location with a gate as part of an encounter, do you move through the gate or not, and do you fight the monster there or not. I went straight through the gate after much deliberation. In many cases it seems cards should "override" the rules. In other cases, the rules state they "override" any cards. Then the phases come into it. And then the intention behind the rules. And then the themes. Tough stuff, and hilarious and gut wrenching at the same time to read when your life is depending on a good answer on the board :-P


I'm in the "It's not movement phase, so you don't fight the monster" school of thought.

Quote:
- Spells still continue to confuse with a lot of obtuse text, but we didn't use any this game so it didn't really matter.


Many players fault the spells in the game for being weak and specialized. Personally, I love the thrill of using imperfect resources; don't ignore spells, they can be very handy. (But don't go out of your way to obtain them.)

Quote:
- We weren't quite sure what the deal was with allies; when you discard them from the deck due to terror level are you allowed to see what they are? Are you allowed to look through the deck? Sometimes you have to make a choice that involves an ally, and it's not clear if you can know the outcome of the choice first or not. It wouldn't make a big deal though. We looked ;-)


Let's talk decks in general for a moment.
Discards go face down on the bottom of their respective decks. Decks are not shuffled during the game, unless some card text orders it OR the deck is searched (for instance, searching the common item deck for food or whiskey as the result of an encounter). A just searched deck is always shuffled.

The Ally deck may be examined by players at the start of the game, as per the rules in Dunwich Horror, after which it is shuffled. It is my belief that discards and cards returned to the box can be viewed, although I can't find a reference for this. Since we don't care to memorize the Ally deck each game, we allow players to check if a particular ally is in it at any time. We reshuffle after this, which certainly changes things, but keeps the players from having any information on the order of cards.* Similarly, the Ally deck is reshuffled after an ally is chosen using Ma's Boarding House.

Nice report, thanks for sharing it.

*There is one wrinkle in this process; since this is an outside-the-rules shuffle, if any allies have been discarded (usually due to the "The Stars are Right" Rumor), they are set aside before shuffling and put back on the bottom of the deck.
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M.C.Crispy
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Radulla wrote:
cody_au wrote:
- At various times something would happen to clean up streets and / or Arkham, and had trouble distinguishing where the Outskirts and Sky were. As far as we could determine, the Sky is considered a street and should be cleaned up. We typically avoided cleaning the Outskirts (especially, it's not a location or street; I know that much) but I'm pretty sure some cards gave us a bit of doubt.


The Sky is neither a Street nor a Location. The "Big Storm Sweeps Arkham" Mythos card specifically clears the Sky and the Outskirts, but most such cards do not.

That's a good point Radulla: so The Sky is part of Arkham, but is neither a Street, nor a Location! So careful reading of the text of the card to determine the scope of its effect should tell us whether the Sky is affected. I wish I could find such definitive statements on the status of The Outskirts.

Quote:
Quote:
- We weren't quite sure what the deal was with allies; when you discard them from the deck due to terror level are you allowed to see what they are? Are you allowed to look through the deck? Sometimes you have to make a choice that involves an ally, and it's not clear if you can know the outcome of the choice first or not. It wouldn't make a big deal though. We looked ;-)


Let's talk decks in general for a moment.
Discards go face down on the bottom of their respective decks. Decks are not shuffled during the game, unless some card text orders it OR the deck is searched (for instance, searching the common item deck for food or whiskey as the result of an encounter". A just searched deck is always shuffled.

The Ally deck may be examined by players at the start of the game, as per the rules in Dunwich Horror, after which it is shuffled. It is my belief that discards and cards returned to the box can be viewed, although I can't find a reference for this. Since we don't care to memorize the Ally deck each game, we allow players to check if a particular ally is in it at any time. We reshuffle after this, which certainly changes things, but keeps the players from having any information on the order of cards. Similarly, the Ally deck is reshuffled after an ally is chosen using Ma's Boarding House.
Yup, that's our approach too - even with our "named Allies are always available" variant. It's important to make draws both blind and unpredictable.
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Bern Harkins
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mccrispy wrote:
Yup, that's our approach too - even with our "named Allies are always available" variant. It's important to make draws both blind and unpredictable.


We also use "named Allies are always available". Getting an ally from an encounter is rare enough without limiting yourself to the deck of eleven... though when using Ma's, you just get to choose from what's left of the eleven, of course.
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Cody Konior
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In the current printing of the manual, it says, "The sky is considered to be a street area that is connected to every street area in Arkham". So, when the feds raid the streets and clear up the monsters, I don't know why you'd think the sky isn't a street area that should be included (except the mention of that specific mythos card which mentions the sky... hmmm).
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Bern Harkins
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cody_au wrote:
In the current printing of the manual, it says, "The sky is considered to be a street area that is connected to every street area in Arkham". So, when the feds raid the streets and clear up the monsters, I don't know why you'd think the sky isn't a street area that should be included (except the mention of that specific mythos card which mentions the sky... hmmm).


I stand corrected! Thanks.
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Gareth Roberts
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cody_au wrote:
In the current printing of the manual, it says, "The sky is considered to be a street area that is connected to every street area in Arkham". So, when the feds raid the streets and clear up the monsters, I don't know why you'd think the sky isn't a street area that should be included (except the mention of that specific mythos card which mentions the sky... hmmm).


Surely it can't be?

If that were the case you would be able to move investigators into the sky from street locations.

Not that I am arguing with the rulebook....! I mean does it also say that the sky is a street you can't move to?

edit

Crisis averted, investigator can only move along yellow lines, so this all makes sense and the feds do indeed bring anti air guns when they come to Arkham!

edit2

beat me to it!
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Bern Harkins
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ilovedawkins wrote:
cody_au wrote:
In the current printing of the manual, it says, "The sky is considered to be a street area that is connected to every street area in Arkham". So, when the feds raid the streets and clear up the monsters, I don't know why you'd think the sky isn't a street area that should be included (except the mention of that specific mythos card which mentions the sky... hmmm).


Surely it can't be?

If that were the case you would be able to move investigators into the sky from street locations.


Nope; you can only move between areas that are "connected by a yellow line on the game board".
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Radulla wrote:
cody_au wrote:
In the current printing of the manual, it says, "The sky is considered to be a street area that is connected to every street area in Arkham". So, when the feds raid the streets and clear up the monsters, I don't know why you'd think the sky isn't a street area that should be included (except the mention of that specific mythos card which mentions the sky... hmmm).


I stand corrected! Thanks.
A quick refresh for me and I also stand corrected - so The Sky is affected by events that affects Streets and Arkham, but not by events that affect Locations

Anyone found similar clarity for The Outskirts?
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Bern Harkins
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mccrispy wrote:


Anyone found similar clarity for The Outskirts?



I don't know about clarity. The closest I can find is a line from the Game Board Breakdown on page 21 of the rulebook:
"Monsters on the board in excess of the limit wander out of
town to the Outskirts where they terrorize the inhabitants."

Now the line "out of town" seems to imply that the Outskirts are NOT part of Arkham... but it's hardly precise language.
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Cody Konior
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I wonder if game designers wake up in cold sweats thinking about this stuff after they've published the game, "Are the outskirts of a town still part of the town?" ARGH! Or if they just think everyone will home rule it. I generally don't want to home rule, because once I start down the path of tweaking a brand new game it feels like cheating :-D
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Interesting - and well spotted on that unusual wording.

It's fairly clear to me from the symmetry of the various mythos cards that the Sky isn't intended to be affected by "Feds Raid Arkham", and the wording in the rulebook is wrong. "Like a street but not actually a street" is probably the intended meaning.

If you think that the rulebook is literally correct, here's some more examples to show that the designers do not believe the Sky to be a street in general terms, but merely act like one for the purposes of being able to contain monsters.

Can an Investigator return from LiTaS to the Sky? "any street or location", remember. If all it has is a Mi-go and a Byakhee, you might well want to! They can then parachute to the real streets - or Devil Reef - for one movement point next turn.

"The Streets are Flooded" environment turns all streets into Aquatic locations - so can Silas Marsh move to the sky for two movement? (It's really, really wet...) What if "Strange Creatures seen on Shore" comes up with that environment - would you place a monster in the aquatic Sky? What does that monster then do if it's not a blue-bordered one?) Or when Silas gets there, can the Hunting Horror chase him?


The Sky and Outskirts probably don't count generally as "in Arkham". Monster Limit is defined as "Arkham board" + "Sky", Monster Banishing from gate closure is defined as "in Arkham" + "Sky" + "Outskirts". The wording of the "Mi-go Brain Case" Unique Item I think confirms this for both. (Note that the definition of "in Arkham" generally means "in Arkham, Dunwich, Kingsport, or Innsmouth", except for calculating the Monster Limit where it doesn't)
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__cim__ wrote:
Interesting - and well spotted on that unusual wording.

It's fairly clear to me from the symmetry of the various mythos cards that the Sky isn't intended to be affected by "Feds Raid Arkham", and the wording in the rulebook is wrong. "Like a street but not actually a street" is probably the intended meaning.

If you think that the rulebook is literally correct, here's some more examples to show that the designers do not believe the Sky to be a street in general terms, but merely act like one for the purposes of being able to contain monsters.

Can an Investigator return from LiTaS to the Sky? "any street or location", remember. If all it has is a Mi-go and a Byakhee, you might well want to! They can then parachute to the real streets - or Devil Reef - for one movement point next turn.

"The Streets are Flooded" environment turns all streets into Aquatic locations - so can Silas Marsh move to the sky for two movement? (It's really, really wet...) What if "Strange Creatures seen on Shore" comes up with that environment - would you place a monster in the aquatic Sky? What does that monster then do if it's not a blue-bordered one?) Or when Silas gets there, can the Hunting Horror chase him?


The Sky and Outskirts probably don't count generally as "in Arkham". Monster Limit is defined as "Arkham board" + "Sky", Monster Banishing from gate closure is defined as "in Arkham" + "Sky" + "Outskirts". The wording of the "Mi-go Brain Case" Unique Item I think confirms this for both. (Note that the definition of "in Arkham" generally means "in Arkham, Dunwich, Kingsport, or Innsmouth", except for calculating the Monster Limit where it doesn't)


Im inclined to say you are correct here, thinking about this in the context of other rulings and what makes sense.

But.. Just a point, if you returned to the sky from LITAS you would be stuck because there is no yellow line leading from the sky to the real streets.

Clearly if the sky became aquatic or other exceptions arose you would be able to escape.

This whole scenario reminds me of a map hole in a computer game; you get to where you weren't intended to be by exploiting the rules, the physics/game rules weren't written to cover where you reach and you become stuck.

On the other hand I like the image of Silas sailing a little boat 'up.'
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Quote:
Let's talk decks in general for a moment.
Discards go face down on the bottom of their respective decks. Decks are not shuffled during the game, unless some card text orders it OR the deck is searched (for instance, searching the common item deck for food or whiskey as the result of an encounter). A just searched deck is always shuffled.


Also, the Arkham Location decks are reshuffled before a card is drawn each time. A lot of players overlook that rule.
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ilovedawkins wrote:
But.. Just a point, if you returned to the sky from LITAS you would be stuck because there is no yellow line leading from the sky to the real streets.


Well, you could get out (and in) if you had the Patrol Wagon, if the Sky is treated as a "street area in Arkham". Apparently as well as being amphibious, it also flies...
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Cody Konior
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Well the whole moving into the sky thing is funny, if you think about it, you could access the sky from any street location by jumping into the air.
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cody_au wrote:
Well the whole moving into the sky thing is funny, if you think about it, you could access the sky from any street location by jumping into the air.
I've always thought of "The Sky" as being aerial patrol height, you know: birds of prey seeking lunch, height. The monster, finding no lunch at Street level, screams in rage and reaches for the heights, spiralling upwards until the prey is spotted and swooping down onto unsuspecting Investigators exposed in the Streets of Arkham.

So jumping in the air would only succeed in making you a target rather than transport you to The Sky.
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mccrispy wrote:
So jumping in the air would only succeed in making you a target rather than transport you to The Sky.


Ah, so that's what my Sneak 0 Investigators are doing wrong.
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