Feb 142010
 

Yesterday, Jamie & Eric E. and I descended upon Eric H.’s house for some Cthulhu and cupcakes. After watching Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (which was pretty cool, by the way, and I’ve never been much of a DC fan), we busted out Arkham Horror and set about saving 1920s Massachusetts from Shub-Niggurath (the randomly drawn villain du jour) while stuffing our faces with Eric’s white chicken chili and the aforementioned cupcakes.

Eric H. had never played, I’d only played twice before, but Eric E. and Jamie had a handful of games under their belts so, after picking out and equipping our characters, and some frantic rule-reading (which was a frequent event over the course of the game), the quartet of Carolyn Fern, psychologist (Me), Dexter Drake, magician (Eric E.), Joe Diamond, P.I. (Eric H.), and Kate Winthrop, scientist (Jamie) set forth against the forces of cosmic evil while trying to avoid losing our sanity or being messily devoured.

There are already a couple of reviews of the game so I won’t try to do my own. The setup is fairly involved, and there are tons of cards and game pieces, but once you get rolling the gameplay is pretty smooth. Eric caught on very fast and, by the end of the game, had killed more monsters and closed more dimensional gates than the rest of us! We adopted one house rule to make the game run a little more quickly (characters with remaining movement points can continue moving after an encounter instead of ending their turn there), and made a few mistakes: advancing the doom track more often than necessary (bad!), and not increasing the toughness of the monsters due to Shub-Niggurath’s special ability (oops). Had we done that, the game would have been much more challenging.

As it was, we successfully closed all of the gates before the doom track was more than half-full, leaving Shubbie snoozing peacefully in her corner of the bleak and uncaring cosmos instead of stomping all over the Roaring 20s, presumably in search of bathtub gin. This was celebrated by more snacks, more Justice League and, eventually, a trip to the Detroit Eagle.

I ordered gin.

Nov 202008
 

merksamer asked how well game played, so I’m reposting my reply for anyone interested.

It plays very well, actually, despite the tons of cards and counters. Combat is pretty simple and doesn’t take long to get the hang of. There are all kinds of magic and mundane items, allies, and spells to acquire and different events each turn, but it’s not overwhelming. The monsters that spawn from the gates move on their own, based on the event card that is drawn each turn, so one person can technically play the game solo.

The only problem I had at first was figuring out what the hell I was supposed to do. Initially we were just moving around the board collecting clue tokens. What happens is every turn a gate will open in one of the city locations and spawn some kind of monster, who will usually move away but leave the gate open. The goal is to either close all of the gates so there are none open on the board at the end of any given turn, or seal five locations so a gate cannot open there.

While you’re doing this, one of the Great Old Ones (drawn at random during setup) gets closer each turn to waking up so, if you haven’t closed or sealed the necessary gates, you have to fight it and will probably lose. We drew Cthulhu itself, but a lucky card draw and feverish dice-rolling allowed us to close all the open gates in the same turn, winning the game.

You can get the PDF of the rules here: http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/PDF/AH_Rules_internat.pdf

I added the game to my Amazon wishlist last night, but it’s out of stock from Fantasy Flight’s online store. Haven’t checked Amazon itself yet.

Nov 192008
 

mrimp and odysseyseven showed up around 7:30 with Nick and Brian to play Arkham Horror, a board game based on the Cthulhu mythos and setting. Players take the role of investigators of the occult in 1920s Massachusetts, trying to close gates to other dimensions that pop open at random throughout the fictional city of Arkham, spewing horrible monsters into the waking world, while trying not to die or go insane.

Arkham Horror

jerm_cell noted, “Wow, Monopoly sure has changed!”

Yeah, but in this version, when you land on Boardwalk, it eats you.

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