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Subject: I'm new, and I have many questions. Help please? rss

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Becky B
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Played this game for the first time the other day. It was a lot of fun, but none of us at the table had ever played Arkham Horror before. Naturally, I have a few questions. For reference, there were 4 of us playing.

1. Are some locations more prone to gates opening on them? During our first three Mythos phases, the gate was supposed to open on the Woods, prompting monster surges that we were not prepared for. Throughout the course of the game, we noticed that most of the gates opened in the Woods, the Graveyard, and the Unvisited Isle (or was it the Unnamed?). We sealed the Woods as fast as we could, but the others were tricky. We found it difficult to gather enough clue tokens to actually seal the gates, because the clues were indicated to appear at locations with open gates, so we couldn’t claim them. None of us were strong fighters, so we frequently evaded monsters instead of fighting them, and that lead to our Terror Track filling up quickly with all the monsters piling up on the board and in the outskirts.

2. We played that anyone who went through a gate (whether intentionally or being sucked through a gate opening on the investigator’s location) was delayed a turn. I’m now realizing that was wrong, and if someone intentionally went through a gate, they should not be delayed. Is that correct?

3. Spell casting questions. I was playing as Harvey Walters, who has the special ability that any sanity losses are reduced by one. I had a spell, the Voice of Ra, that cost one sanity normally - so Harvey could cast it for free, right? And the spell is cast during the upkeep phase. Say I cast the spell and succeed. We play through the turn. When the next upkeep phase comes around, I refresh the Voice of Ra spell. It is still the upkeep phase. Can I again cast the Voice of Ra during the same phase that I refreshed the spell? Basically, what I want to know is can Harvey attempt to cast this spell every turn without penalty? Later in the game, I happened upon a second Voice of Ra spell. Can these spells be stacked for a +2 for all skill checks in a turn?
3a. Again with sanity costs related to spells. If I’m using a spell during combat, and the sanity cost of a spell would drive me insane, would I still get to finish the battle, or do I immediately go to the asylum upon casting the spell? Likewise, if this were happening in the fight against the Ancient One, would I be immediately devoured before getting a chance to hit the beast?

4. Some of the pieces that came with the game were never used, nor was any reference made to them in the rules. They are hexagons with the numbers 1, 2, and 3 on them. Are these for something we missed? Or is it something for one of the expansions?

5. Not a question, just an observation. It is very easy to evade zombies. I find this extremely entertaining. It would be funnier if they had a special power such that instead of hurting your stamina if they hit you, they should hurt your sanity, symbolically "eating your brains." BRAINS.

6. Since I’m on the topic of monsters, I just want to clarify - monsters can ONLY move if their symbol is on the Mythos card for that turn, right? Including Flying monsters? And yellow monsters NEVER move, correct?

7. The Final Battle. We were fighting Hastur (Hostur? Can’t remember), whose modifier is -X to combat, where X = the current Terror Track level. We had maxed out the Terror Track, so our big bad had a -10 combat modifier. None of us had enough fight skills to hit him, so we just... lose, right? Because that’s how we played.

Thanks for the help. I’m sure you guys see questions like this all the time, so I appreciate you taking the time to read this and answer my questions. I know some of them are probably going to be addressed elsewhere in this forum, but I thought it would be easier to ask my questions directly. Sorry if this is not proper BGG etiquette, I’m new here! I just want to make sure we’re playing the game correctly.
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1) Yes, different locations have different frequencies of gates appearing.

2) Correct, they are only delayed if an encounter card or a mythos card opens a gate on them. They are not delayed if they go through of their own accord.

3) There are losses and there are costs. A spell costs sanity to cast, which cannot be prevented by Harvey. A monster can cause sanity damage which is a loss that Harvey can prevent.

The instructions give the specific order of the upkeep phase, but I believe the first thing that happens is "refresh". Than you can use cards that occur in the upkeep phase. So you can cast on the same turn they are refreshed. And similar spells will stack.

3a) If it is a spell that causes a later effect (like a bonus to combat) than you will go insane before you can use its effect. If the spell has an immediate effect (for example, it would kill the monster immediately), then spell will take effect and then you would go insane.

4) The number tiles are to keep track of locations that are special due to a mythos card, such as Darke's Carnival card that let's you earn clues at a specific street location. Rumors also often have a specific location associated with it that you can use these to mark them in order to remember them easier.

6) Correct, they only move if their symbol comes up, including flying monsters, and fast monsters (red). Yellow monsters never move, and green monsters often have special movement or instructions that they do when their symbol comes up. In some expansions are mythos cards that cause gate bursts, when a gate burst card is drawn, ALL flying monsters move no matter their symbol.

7) You would have lost to Hastur, just like any fight that you don't have enough dice to do damage and can't escape from. Remember, that a clue token always adds a die, no matter how 'negative' the attack modifier.
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Becky B
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Thanks!

Ok, so it looks like I was making things a bit easier for Harvey than they should be - I didn't think to pay attention to the subtle difference between "loss" and "cost." I will remember that for the next time we play with Harvey. But I was right about 3a, because I figured Harvey would go insane before actually getting to use the combat spell (it was one that gave +9 to combat checks which would have actually been usable in that fight against Hastur, but Harvey was down to 1 sanity, and the spell cost 2 sanity to cast).

7) I didn't even think about using the clue tokens in the final battle. Though I doubt we had enough left at that point to actually kill him...

We were so exhausted by the time we reached that final battle (we had been playing for over 8 hours) that I think we were all relieved to find out that he would just wipe us out and end the game.
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Yeah, fighting the ancient one is tough, and it takes 1 hit per investigator to remove a doom token (not to say ever investigator must hit, just that many hit points. So 4 investigators x 11 doom tokens means 44 hits to win).

As you get more experienced with the game, you will definitely shave that playtime in half or better. There are 4 of us that play every other week, and I spend about a half hour setting up before they come over. Once we start, we can get through the game in about 2 and a half hours.
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Jeff Hascall
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On #1, If you want to know the exact distribution of the gates in the game, there is an excellent spreadsheet here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/46725/ah-clue-gate-distrib...

Of course, it's also fun to keep the Mythos/encounter cards 100% mysterious by only looking at their contents during a game and then wondering "Am I going crazy or are the Woods a super-highway for all things evil?" I personally like the mysterious approach as you feel more like an investigator reaching into the unknown until you play the game long enough to know most of the Mythos/encounter cards.
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William Norris
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Very cool... I kind of noticed an imbalance of gates opening. It didn't really occur to me.

I'm going focus more on sealing those active places in the future!
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Becky B
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FunkyMunkster wrote:
On #1, If you want to know the exact distribution of the gates in the game, there is an excellent spreadsheet here:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/46725/ah-clue-gate-distrib...

Of course, it's also fun to keep the Mythos/encounter cards 100% mysterious by only looking at their contents during a game and then wondering "Am I going crazy or are the Woods a super-highway for all things evil?" I personally like the mysterious approach as you feel more like an investigator reaching into the unknown until you play the game long enough to know most of the Mythos/encounter cards.


I love spreadsheets. This is awesome. But I also love the mystery aspect, as well, so I'm not going to study the spreadsheet - but it's comforting to know that I wasn't crazy to think there were a lot of gate openings in the Woods!

Thanks everyone for your replies.
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