Yeah, honestly the plastic coin sleeves for the tokens (you do have those, right Tom??) are a pretty amazing, cheap upgrade to the game right there.
You bet! I got them because of you posting about them. I can’t imagine NOT having them, not just because they protect the tokens, but because they give the game some cool tactile heft.
On the strength of this thread, I went ahead and picked up the base game for my birthday. My wife and I just played through the first scenario. Sadly, we were both defeated, but we both loved the experience.
I was playing Roland, and drew the auto-fail token on the encounter card that loses you one sanity per point failed. Ouch! That proved to be too big a hole to climb out of, and my wife (as Wendy) wasn’t even able to manage to escape the finale after opening the last room.
There were lots of memorable moments in the game, and we’re looking forward to scenario two tomorrow.
Thanks so much for the recommendation!
Aww, glad to hear that! Roland is very strong, but has a bit of a glass jaw to horror. Try to build in ways to fight back against that, bearing in mind that Guardian is also a very resource poor class. It’s a challenge to be sure, but your reward is an investigator with strong stats in the two most important things you need to do- fight and investigate!
I guess I may as well report on the second scenario. What a disaster! I think play time was less than setup time, and yet we still had fun.
I had an amazing mulligan draw, ending up with the special reward from the first scenario and my character-specific weapon in hand. Turn one I laid those down and headed off to target an Acolyte, while Wendy stayed in the starting location to prep.
The first Mythos phase resulted in the big-bad from the first scenario dropping on Wendy in the starting location (terrible luck). I moved back and did some damage (3 damage per hit with a +4 skill check is pretty nice), but also pulled the auto-miss, which resulted in me hitting Wendy (for 3!!) and taking damage myself due to retaliate. Wendy evaded and ran.
Next round, I figured I could finish the bad guy off with 3 attacks. The first two succeeded, bringing him to 9 damage, then I pulled the auto-miss token again, and the retaliate finished me off (due to starting the scenario with a horror token).
At that point, my wife decided to run rather than try to pull something out. In retrospect, she probably should have tried to do the one more point of damage to finish off the monster. The 2 VP plus not having it in scenario 3 would probably have been worth the risk.
We expect to fail the final scenario miserably (we never found any of the objectives, plus the big-bad from scenario one will be back, plus I’ll be starting with 2 horror). But, it’ll be fun, and then we’ll try the campaign again.
Don’t count yourselves out! A couple horror alone won’t necessarily prevent you from winning. Even an extra bad guy might not matter. Go for it!
I’m about 80% of the way to grabbing the core set of this to give it a go.
I played Arkham Horror the boardgame, but found it really fiddly, even though I likes the theme and ideas.
This seems far more streamlined and engaging and I love deck building.
Unfortunately, I will be playing mostly solo… Is it a pain to setup? Are the rules pretty easy to absorb and then recall if you have to take a break from the game for a couple months?
I only ask because I’m a 1/3rd way through a Gloomhaven solo run, but pulling it out and setting it up has kind of burned me out.
Dude, compared to Gloomhaven, anything you play will be a cake run!
But, no, setup is not a major ordeal with the Arkham Horror card game. It also stores easily, once you figure out whatever card storage solution you’re going to use. You do realize you’re going to have to come up with a card storage solution, right? Fantasy Flight is just dumping cards in your lap and leaving it up to you. I use these and love them:
Yeah, it’s very easy to set up.
Each scenario has an Agenda Deck and an Act deck that typically consist of 3-6 cards. You lay them out and the card art makes it look like a book. You the investigators you control (if you’re playing solo) try to advance the Act deck. The game is trying to advance the Agenda deck. Pretty basic, but effective.
Your first scenario in a campaign can be a bit of a setup, as you build your investigator decks – especially if you’re playing two investigators as a solo game. For the first playthrough of the scenario in the box, go ahead and take the recommended starter decks they give you. They’re not perfect decks, but they work OK…and as a bonus, help to give you ideas about how you’d build BETTER decks the next time.
From there, the scenario setup is basically pulling cards. Having a good way to keep the various cards sorted when you store them is essential to making this easy. Basically you pull out certain cards to build a mythos deck (which is how the game fights back at you each turn) that’s unique to each scenario. You also pull a handful of location cards to lay out on the board. Some get put out immediately, some have to be revealed.
The last part of setup is throwing some chaos tokens into a bag, depending on how difficult you want your playthrough to be.
I’ve got a pretty good system for organizing my cards, and can get a game to set up and ready for turn one in 10 minutes or so, if I’ve already got my investigator decks built from a previous scenario.
Finally, there are a bunch of good learn-to-play videos online.
Here’s the official Fantasy Flight tutorial, which doesn’t cover everything, but is well done and will get you close:
And here’s the video for the very first scenario in the core box I linked up-thread. It’s a really basic, tutorial scenario that holds your hand a lot, but even so, that first time you play it can feel like “OK, so…whatnow?” I love this video because the players are learning the game with one experienced player who absolutely has the rules down cold (I LOVE it when a video playthrough of a board game has no rules flubs.) It’s just a terrific way to grok how the game works, and while it’s obviously spoilery…it’s the first scenario of three. Things get a LOT more involved in the next two!
Thanks all! I will stop badgering with random questions in two threads here now!
I did watch the BoardGameGeek YouTube crew play over a 3.5hr video, so have a good sense of how the game flows. Ive just mainly been confused at the over arching concepts of how the game handles solo and how scenarios work from game to game
Thanks again for all the responses
Ha! Ask away! I’m on a total Arkham Files game binge of late, and love talking about them. In fact, tonight I did the LCG night at the local games store and we played an Arkham Horror LCG scenario that was a standalone I wasn’t familiar with, and had a blast.
I’m also happy to answer questions! I really love this game.
That said, it did take me a while to set up and play my first (solo) game. It just took a little getting used to. But now that I’ve got my cards organized, I can get going a lot faster – for a new campaign, maybe 10-15 minutes to build a new deck, 15 minutes to set up.
One question with solo play is whether to play single-handed or two-handed. So far I’ve played only two-handed, as this way I can get to know more investigators and more cards, and I can have a clue-getter and a monster-beater. But soon I’d like to try single-handed.
Also, the suggested starter decks are fine, but they do have a couple iffy choices. Even in my first game, I wasn’t thrilled seeing Roland draw “Mind Over Matter,” a card that lets you use intelligence instead of combat for your attacks, as Roland is already good at combat (and no Einstein). But I suppose it was good for me to think about the card.
Anyway, enjoy! It’s a great game. :)
I think you’re going to be disappointed. The game is only half as rich with a single character. It’s simple math. :) I like to think of Arkham Horror as a party-based RPG that relies on different characters playing different roles.
I find it pretty tough to fit decent fighting skills and a halfway-decent clue-finder into a single deck with a single character ability. That’s not even including some sort of card draw and resource generation.
Apparently, it can be done, but then it becomes more of a deckbuilding puzzle game, and that’s not really where my interest lies.
So I’ve played the first scenario a couple of times with the suggested starting decks for the Fed and the Orphan (?) characters. It’s felt pretty much impossible to win. I understand that the campaign is meant to carry on even if you fail. What I’m curious to know–without serious spoilers–is whether you think that scenario was specifically designed to defeat newbies to get them accustomed to the idea of carrying on with the adventure after losing one scenario? Or do I just suck?
The starter decks can be pretty inconsistent, but I’ve been able to win the first scenario more often than not.
What problem are you having specifically? Are you timing out from the time it takes to get clues/kill enemies, or are you losing investigators to damage?
I had trouble with that scenario my first couple times. But you don’t have to “win” it to win the campaign; it might just mean that an extra bad guy will persist into the later stages, say. That won’t necessarily doom you. A few tips:
Roland should mulligan hard for a weapon before the game starts. I don’t remember Wendy’s highest-priority cards.
On turn 1, there won’t be any enemies out yet, so it’s a good time to play assets – especially weapons for Roland, clue-gathering enhancements for either, and maybe an ally for either. Maybe action 1 is play an asset, then actions 2-3 are investigate. Or first two actions are to play stuff. Once monsters start appearing, it’s hard to get assets down, as monsters get an Attack of Opportunity if you don’t choose a Fight or Evade (or Resign) action.
Wendy often can help more by evading (and thereby exhausting) the enemy than fighting it. If she successfully evades, she can then investigate or equip stuff or draw a card or whatnot. And the exhausted monster won’t attack in its enemy phase.
My first time, I completely forgot Wendy’s special ability – a free re-roll at the cost of a discard. It’s not always a good idea to use it, but if the game’s on the line, go for it.
Likewise, I forgot Roland’s special ability.
You don’t always have to kill monsters to win the game, though in the first scenario, it helps, lol.
The first scenario can be beat with the starter decks, but those decks do have their flaws. As I mentioned, for example, “Mind over Matter” doesn’t seem like a good card for Roland. If you had two core sets, I’d give Roland a second Machete or gun, too. (Yes, it’s annoying that you need two core sets to double up on some cards.) But even without two core sets, I’d spend a little time thinking about whether you’d be happy to draw the cards in your decks. You don’t have to spend a lot of time doing this; there are relatively few choices in the core set.
Hope this helps some.
This is important. There are scenarios where a “defeat” in one scenario actually takes you down a more interesting adventure path in later scenarios.
It’s hard to let go of the gamer’s “I must beat this” instinct, but it doesn’t necessarily apply to this game.
Wendy with the Baseball Bat, the Hard Knocks skill, and some cash can do some major damage too, if you need some extra punch.
There’s a YouTuber playing through the NotZ campaign using every investigator (solo) and with their suggested starting deck. I’d imagine you can pick up a few tips by watching the Roland and Wendy ones.