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Subject: culling the unique artifacts deck rss

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Scott Blakely
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Hi all,

We play AH with the DH and Lurker cards mixed in, as well as some Miskatonic stuff.

We have other expansions, but we pull DH to put them in.

Do you to cull the unique items deck? The reason is that even with these additions, it seems like the elder signs rarely come out and we march up he doom track way to fast.

I will add that my son and I have only just started playing.
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James
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You're playing with some good expansions. I think many here would say that the cumulative Unique deck you've assembled, with less chance of drawing Elder Signs, actually improves the game. It removes the temptation to focus too singularly on a shopping strategy and gets you having more encounters in quest of clue tokens, producing a more thematic experience.

Keep playing; I'm glad you and the next generation are enjoying this great game.
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Jefferson Krogh
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There's no one correct way to do it. Some people just leave all the items in from all the expansions they own, and only remove the town boards they're not using. Me, I only include the items and monsters for the expansions I'm actually playing with. In the end, it comes down to what works best for you, and how much you enjoy sorting cards when you change expansions.
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David Jones
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As previously said, you can do whatever you feel is appropriate. In some sense, I feel that Arkham is a "sandbox" game that is meant to be configured to your taste.

Having said that, I would opt for not culling the unique items deck. One reason the base game is easily winnable is that its too easy to fish at the shop for Elder Signs. Its much more interesting to beat the game via "the adventure" rather than camping out at one location.

The only deck I've thinned out so far has been the spell deck. With Innsmouth and all the small box expansions, there are a LOT of spells and it becomes difficult to pull the useful ones (namely, the combat spells). For most of the spells I've simply taken out half of each kind so I'm ensuring diversity without otherwise altering the proportions of each spell.
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Jason Sherlock
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You should get Kingsport. There is one more Elder Sign in it (plus lots of good unique stuff). Still, Elder shouldn't be looked at as a strategy, they are just a lucky bonus that can sometimes fall in your lap.
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Scott Blakely
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Thanks all.

I was holding off on KH because of the mediocre reviews on it and Innsmouth.

SO perhaps what I should have asked is, what are some effective strategies to manage the Doom Track.

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James
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Innsmouth is a fantastic, thematic expansion but it will increase the difficulty of the game; you probably do want to hold off for a while.

It occurred to me that you mentioned that you are playing with your son. If you are only playing two investigators, the game will be very tough. There are mechanisms to scale difficulty, of course, but four investigators seems to be the sweet spot. If he's up for it, I would play with two investigators each. That makes the game a little easier and it also offers many of the collaborative combinations of investigator movements, actions, sacrifices, etc. which make the game really shine.

If you're still having difficulty with four, you might consider rolling back to the base game and going after the most unstable locations. Without DH, you wouldn't have to worry about gate bursts. When you have more games under your belt, you could crack the expansions open again. Have fun!
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Scott Blakely
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I haven't introduced the bursts yet. Monster surges are plenty for the moment.

I could run 2, but I don't think he is ready for 2. So I also tweak the game to one of the easy configurations.

So far we are struggling to win, but having fun.

What I could do is run two and give him a turn every other one, so he take two moves with the same investigator - DO you think this would work or would it throw somthing off?


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James
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Hmm. The most balanced response I would offer then would be for you to play with three investigators and your son with one. The game just seems best balanced with four. This might be a little less fun for him, though, as you are in the game three times as much as he is. Maybe you could tell you son that these two extra investigators are played by both of but you could quietly take the lion's share of decision making. Your son could make a suggestion if and when it occurs to him, "Hey, could Joe come over here and give me that pistol he has?"

Some players will tell you, "I always play with two and I love it!" but you were asking to see if there were a way to increase your management of the doom track. Two investigators does make that tough; three makes it a little easier.

I've heard of some players only drawing a Mythos card every other turn (pretending each turn is day or night thematically, I suppose). This would definitely give you more breathing room, but I have not tested this modification. I'll be quiet and let others chime in to speak to this idea or add their own.
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Paul W
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A few rules checks:

- are you adding a doom token to the track only when a gate opens? Monster surges and gate openings blocked by seals should not add a token to the track.

Beyond that, your priority should be sealing gates: the more gates sealed, the slower the doom track advances. As a corollary, you generally don't want to close gates unless you can seal them (a common beginner mistake). If you close a gate, that's one more location that will add a doom token to the track...leaving it open and taking the monster surge is usually the better choice.
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Jim Kiefer
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Major SNAFU wrote:
I haven't introduced the bursts yet. Monster surges are plenty for the moment.

I could run 2, but I don't think he is ready for 2. So I also tweak the game to one of the easy configurations.

So far we are struggling to win, but having fun.

What I could do is run two and give him a turn every other one, so he take two moves with the same investigator - DO you think this would work or would it throw somthing off?


I play like this every weekend. I skip every other Mythos and every other Upkeep phase. Also I treat all rules the refer to investigators/players as if there are four. This means the monster limits and the rumor rules. We win about half the time. It's really just like playing a four player game with two sets of twin invesitgator.

One caveat. If you are playing with particularly good investigators like Mandy, Joe, Patrice, Wendy it will make the game quite a bit easier.
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Alex F
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Just to expand on fizzmore's post, it can sometimes be quite beneficial to merely close gates at infrequent locations, like Science Building, The Silver Twilight Lodge and Historical Society in cases where gates appeared there prior to the usual "hotspots".
This way you'll be conserving clues for sealing the more active locations like Unvisited Isle.

I suppose it's common sense, but I just wanted to add that.
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Jason Sherlock
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magmaxtic wrote:
Just to expand on fizzmore's post, it can sometimes be quite beneficial to merely close gates at infrequent locations, like Science Building, The Silver Twilight Lodge and Historical Society in cases where gates appeared there prior to the usual "hotspots".
This way you'll be conserving clues for sealing the more active locations like Unvisited Isle.

I suppose it's common sense, but I just wanted to add that.


I prefer to seal the less active gates. The Science building Hibs and Silver Twilight never gate burst, and the graveyrd doesn't burst with the frequency of Independance square or the woods.
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Chris Schafer
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I like playing with all the expansion stuff.

Elder signs should be a boon, not a crutch or a strategy all their own.
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sonny sonny
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we play "unique items are unique" - only one copy of each. that allowed me to put an elder sign into the deck again =) with all of them it was quite boring.

in the end it gets down to personal taste. you can give investigators elder signs as their unique start items if you want =)
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