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Subject: Arkham Board only with expansions rss

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Eric Hendershott
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Illinois
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I am looking for advice on expanding the basic Arkham Horror game with expansions, while only playing with the board that comes in the basic game.

I have read the reviews of the game and the expansions, etc.

Based on those, here is what I am thinking (please chime in with alternate suggestions)

My initial thought would be to get Dunwich Horror and Lurker at the threshold. Remove all of the location specific stuff from Dunwich. Then use everything that is left with only the Arkham board.

Mostly, I want to do this because I just dont have the space to set up multi-boards, but I want more options and variability (hopefully without dilution) and difficulty in the main game.

Plus, if I ever play somewhere that has enough space for multiple boards, I can easily add in dunwich.

So, would this work? Is there a better combination of expansions to use for this? Can I add in more stuff from either the mini or full expansions without diluting themes?

I guess what I am looking for is a way to make a better (more variable, more challenging) version of the basic Arkham Horror game.

Any advice and suggestions are welcome.
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brian
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If you want to just play with the basic board, I would suggest just trying out the smaller expansions to see if that gives you what you were hoping for.

The large expansions are very modular and it is easy to take a little of this and a little of that and keep it mixed in "permanently." But if you were just buying it to get the little bit extra it provides besides its namesake, then it might be too expensive for what you get. Madness and Injury cards are great and should be mixed into the base game, but paying $40 (or whatever a large box is going for these days) isn't a good deal for just those decks.

On the other hand, the expansion board only add 33% to the board so it isn't that much more to squeeze on the table (or bring an extra small table to your game area just to hold the board).
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Eric Hendershott
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Thanks for the suggestions!

I am not ruling out bringing in the expansion board when I have the chance, but I would imagine that I would mostly be playing with the Arkham board only.

With that in mind, which expansions would experienced players suggest? I have heard that Dunwich has the most things that enhance the base game, but I am not sure which small expansion (or expansions) can be added to improve the base without making the game worse via dilution.

I like the idea of injury and madness cards. Gate bursts seem very cool. Im not sure which expansions add what.

Are Dunwich and Lurker at the Threshold a good pairing for this?
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brian
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Dunwich was the first to add Gate Bursts. But they are also tied to Dunwich locations so some of the gate bursts would be removed if you weren't playing on the Dunwich board.

Lurker is the only small box to have Gate Bursts as well. So if you are interested in those, both are great for that.

Dunwich is pretty much the universal standard recommendation for a big box, especially your first big box, followed by Innsmouth. Lurker is probably the 2nd most recommended small box with King in Yellow usually getting the nod.

Dunwich also adds in more investigators, more Ancient Ones, more monsters, more Arkham Location cards (though a lot of the specific events are duplicates, most are new). More of all the little cards like Allies, Skills, Spells, Items, Rail passes (which are only good if you have more than 1 board).

Lurker adds in a very small set of the small cards. Relationship and Dark pacts cards are the "new thing" in this expansion. It also adds new Mythos (with gate burst), Location cards, and Other world cards. Reckoning is the new "mythos" mechanic introduced.
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Dan Wojciechowski
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Dunwhich and Lurker (in that order) were my first two expansions. I highly recommend both. I now have the (Revised) Curse of the Dark Pharaoh and it feels like a winner as well. I say "Go for it!"
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Eric Hendershott
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Awesome advice.

So Dunwich seems like a must for me.

What does the King in Yellow add (if I were to choose that one over Lurker) The reason why I ruled that one out was because of comments about how much difficulty that expansion added (I dont want the game to be frustrating, merely challenging)

Also, If I was planning to add Dunwich, is there an expansion which makes Dunwich more active? (I have heard that the horror almost never awakens) Perhaps I have gotten the wrong impression from the reviews that I have read,

Thanks again for the responses.
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brian
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acseric wrote:
Awesome advice.

So Dunwich seems like a must for me.

What does the King in Yellow add (if I were to choose that one over Lurker) The reason why I ruled that one out was because of comments about how much difficulty that expansion added (I dont want the game to be frustrating, merely challenging)

Also, If I was planning to add Dunwich, is there an expansion which makes Dunwich more active? (I have heard that the horror almost never awakens) Perhaps I have gotten the wrong impression from the reviews that I have read,

Thanks again for the responses.

The main mechanics in KiY are the Act cards which are triggered by the mythos deck and the Blight cards, which turn people against you in encounters. KiY can get diluted if you add in too many expansions which is why Miskatonic changed up the trigger slightly. But it shouldn't be too diluted to with itself and Dunwich.

Dunwich triggers off the monsters moving into the Vortices on that board. So anything not adding monsters to Dunwich directly will lessen the chance of the Horror showing up. All of the expansions make the game more challenging - some by outright difficult cards but more by offering you up more plates to spin before everything comes crashing down. The point is to seal gates and everything they add just distracts you from the goal.
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Jim Kiefer
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
The point is to seal gates and everything they add just distracts you from the goal.

Not everything distracts.
Madness and Injury cards help.
The Lurker helps.
The Guardians from Kingsport help.
Many investigator cards help (nearly all).
The Ancient Whisperers helps (maybe not).

To the OP: The Miskatonic Horror Expansion makes Dunwich more active.

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brian
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mageith wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
The point is to seal gates and everything they add just distracts you from the goal.

Not everything distracts.
Madness and Injury cards help.

Nah, it's a double edged sword. You are trading the immediate deep cut for the long annoying paper cut.

Quote:
Many investigator cards help (nearly all).

Yes, but these mostly add to existing decks so really not a new mechanic and the context of my statement.

Quote:
The Lurker helps.
The Guardians from Kingsport help.
The Ancient Whisperers helps (maybe not).

OK, somethings help. But my comment wasn't about helping or hurting but more about "distractions" - they are still taking away from your focus of what you need to do. I even think locations are distractions, though helpful ones mostly. They still tempt you away from sealing. Which is why 1, and 2 player games don't see much exploring of the game board and a big focus on just closing and sealing.
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Matt
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The only other advice I would add is that I feel Lurker can be included in every game. I like the alternate gates (they can up the difficulty a fair bit, because of their "abilities", higher penalties to close, and because there are fewer of them, so having the AO awaken from running out of gates is more possible), and the Relationships are a nice add-on. The Herald, should you choose to use him, adds an interesting spin (not necessarily more difficult, just different), too.

I don't have KiY yet (but plan on getting it eventually), and went with Lurker first because KiY is more "thematic" while I felt Lurker was more easily incorporated into every game. I guess I just felt I would get more mileage out of Lurker (and I've loved it!).

I have Dunwich too, and you certainly won't be sorry getting it, as it adds more investigators, items, spells, AO's, and gate bursts, in addition to the Injury/Madness cards (which I agree should be a part of every game). So not using the expansion board, you will still get your money's worth, IMHO.

I'd be interested in hearing if people find the revised Curse as good or better than KiY, since I know before it was revised, KiY always got the nod. Right now those are the two I'm deciding between, and they are roughly the same cost.
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David Jones
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I think I expanded my game in a different order than most people. I bought Lurker and Pharoh first. I mainly just wanted more encounter cards as the 12 per location that come with the base game will cycle and become repetetive very quickly. Both expansions are great if you're just looking to add more variety without too many more mechanics.

After that, I got Innsmouth which I really didn't want for the map. It just has the most investigators and GOOs than any other expansion. I've only played it four times since acquiring, but again the variety is nice. I haven't yet beat the game with the extra map in play, but I think that is laregly because I haven't figured out how to adjust my gameplay to all of the changes.

I know most AH fans will cry heresy, but I'm rather happy with the setup I have and don't really feel the need to buy Dunwich. There are enough variants here that it will take me quite some time to explore them all.
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