|| by fabio 05/26/2011, 12:06pm PDT
1.) Random monster pool. You can get a large and moving Torg on the first turn, which at worst crushes your team and at BEST blocks off certain areas of town forever. This is the biggest complaint of my friends who play rarely. It's just unfair.
2.) There's only 9-12 turns per game before a massive boss fight occurs, which isn't enough turns to get into the "feel" of things. There's HUGE stacks of adventures to be had in Miskatonic U, a haunted house, a greasy spoon, a foreboding forest, a lunatic asylum, a waterfront, and more. Sounds like fun! However, the strategy boils down to (a) get the retainer from the newspaper, (b) hang around the curio shoppe making money and buying up weapons while (c) sending the Gypsy or your spellcaster through gates and (d) winning.
9-12 turns? Usually the rule of thumb is the turn length is around 1.5 times the number of doom token spaces on the ancient one's sheet.
There's a big problem with the base game bosses in that most of them were way too easy to kill in battle. There's also a problem with the later expansion (Innsmouth) bosses being way too hard to kill in battle (almost statistically impossible). Cthulhu, Yog, and the "auto lose" guy (Astrathoth?) are the only base bosses that strike the right balance. After that the Dunwich and some of the Kingsport bosses are the best (though the giant rat god and spider are ridiculous).
Once you get a boss tough enough to want to avoid fighting, the rest of the game changes away from weapon shopping. You can prolong the game by never closing gates you can't seal (except to avoid "too many gates open" to wake up the boss), as that increases the chance of a monster surge which avoids adding doom tokens.
This is the biggest complaint of my friends who play often(ish), because we spent about a hundred bucks on this stuff with the expectation that we'd have a variety of fun adventures in a great setting and instead it turns into the same thing over and over. The expansions add even more cards and locations that look super interesting but I'll never know because I'm in the fucking curio shoppe preparing for Astatoth. Even in the base game, there's plenty of things that require ~5 turns of dedication before they become useful (deputy, Silver Twilight Membership, Ma's Boarding house), during which your character isn't helping the team very much so these always get skipped.
While the expansions add a lot of good stuff, I'm really not a fan of the expansion town boards. They just"banish" one or two players to running errands up there where they feel totally disconnected from the rest of the game (plus all the base game characters just weren't designed with the speed to be town hopping via the horrendously inconveniently placed train station). I'd recommend leaving them out.
3.) 4+ hours is too long considering how few things happen. "Ashcan Pete went to the Misk U., found a spell he couldn't cast, lost a fight to a vampire, recuperated in the hospital, went to the Dreamlands, found a motorcycle, and then got devoured by an Elder God. It took four hours." "Gilda got a retainer from the newspaper, bought an elder sign at the Curio Shoppe, went through two gates, sealed one, recuperated at the Asylum, and got devoured by an Elder God. It took four hours." All my friends are old faggots so the idea of playing a 4 hour game with a 30% chance of anybody winning is a hard bargain.
The longest game I've ever experienced was 3 hours, and that included setup time. Have everyone just move and do encounters at the same time.
4.) The rules are hard to follow because there are a ton of exceptions at all times. Even my most experienced team (we've played a dozen games) still need the rulebook and wiki open to make sure we aren't skipping or overlooking some situational detail, yet we still miss certain things.
Yeah that gets kind of ridiculous.
Do you have suggestions on any house rules to fix these? I could slow down the doom track to allow more time for exploration, but the game already takes 4+ hours even with players who know the rules. I could stagger the monster pool (having an 'easy' cup for the first few rounds and a 'hard' cup for later, or having a 'draw two monsters, play one') but that seems pretty cheap. I don't know! So far, the house rule is "Eh, let's play something else instead."
Most strong monsters are faily easy to sneak past. The only real bitches are Gugs and the star vampire, or when some special card dumped "strong, but immobile" monsters into the streets.
I'd recommend playing with the Dunwich and King in Yellow expansions. The injury/madness cards are a great help in not losing all your shit when you die, the ancient ones are faily baalanced, and the terror level is now a source of tense danger. Kingsport has some good things in it (mostly the final battle cards to add some spice and unpredictability to the boss fights) and might be worth it. You can safely ignore the other expansions, although Innsmouth adds ONE great thing with the personal mission cards (help balance out the older "obsolete" characters).
If you need the game to be easier then get the Beyond the Threshold expansion, because holy shit it almost breaks the game helping you.
Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/26/2005, 10:56pm PDT
Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/27/2005, 12:08am PDT
Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 3:30am PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 6:47am PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 11:52am PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 1:43pm PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 2:40pm PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 2:56pm PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 3:01pm PDT
laudablepuss says dice are random NT by 04/27/2005, 4:57pm PDT
Like football! I also said that. Also ballooning. And then I said comma. NT by 04/27/2005, 5:09pm PDT
Re: Volume 2, right now! by 04/27/2005, 12:10pm PDT
Wow by 04/28/2005, 12:27am PDT
ARE YOU GOING TO TAKE THAT FABIO NT by 04/28/2005, 12:43am PDT
*shrug* NT by 04/28/2005, 12:54am PDT
Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/27/2005, 7:54am PDT
Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/28/2005, 2:44pm PDT
Fortress America in ACTION! by 04/29/2005, 1:20pm PDT
Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/27/2005, 11:56am PDT
Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/27/2005, 1:52pm PDT
Scott Orr disagress with you! by 05/09/2005, 9:20pm PDT
Man who made game that sucks, sucks :( NT by 05/09/2005, 11:10pm PDT
Memoir '44 by 01/24/2012, 9:50pm PST
No Dark Tower? No Stop Thief? by 04/27/2005, 12:31pm PDT
Re: No Dark Tower? No Stop Thief? by 04/27/2005, 1:02pm PDT
Re: No Dark Tower? No Stop Thief? by 04/28/2005, 2:45pm PDT
yes. by 04/28/2005, 3:20pm PDT
Mark's Boardgame Roundup part 1 by 04/27/2005, 12:50pm PDT
For the love of God can no one stop these boardgame roundups??? by 04/27/2005, 1:16pm PDT
Re: Mark's Boardgame Roundup part 1 by 04/27/2005, 1:22pm PDT
Mark's Boardgame Roundup part 2 by 04/27/2005, 6:11pm PDT
Settlers counter rebuttal by 04/27/2005, 6:35pm PDT
Re: Settlers counter rebuttal by 04/27/2005, 6:47pm PDT
actually that was me (that's the new mysterio name? I thought he was a poster) NT by 04/27/2005, 6:47pm PDT
Re: Settlers counter rebuttal by 04/27/2005, 7:55pm PDT
Re: Settlers counter rebuttal by 05/10/2005, 11:14am PDT
I can't believe I never heard of Arkham Horror before. by 04/28/2005, 9:28pm PDT
Re: Boardgame roundup: Vol. 1 by 04/28/2005, 12:32am PDT
Vol. 3 by 05/09/2005, 11:29pm PDT
Thanks! by 05/10/2005, 7:21pm PDT
suggestions by 05/10/2005, 9:20pm PDT
Dark Tower sells for hundreds on ebay? by 05/12/2005, 4:08pm PDT
I shot mine full of BBs. Along with all my classic GI Joes. :( NT by 05/13/2005, 11:11am PDT
I demolished my star wars toys in my sand box or fed them to my guniea pig :( NT by 05/13/2005, 1:58pm PDT
"Putting away childish things" turned out to be a really stupid idea. by 05/13/2005, 4:47pm PDT
Mine sold for $130 by 05/26/2011, 11:14am PDT
Arkham Horror: Making Pen & Paper games obsolete by 02/13/2008, 9:51pm PST
That should read 1d8 people :( by 02/13/2008, 10:05pm PST
Wait'll you discover "How to host a murder mystery!" NT by 02/13/2008, 10:22pm PST
^ roleplaying =( NT by 02/14/2008, 4:20am PST
My group hit a bunch of obstacles with Arkham Horror. by 05/25/2011, 7:14pm PDT
Re: My group hit a bunch of obstacles with Arkham Horror. by 05/26/2011, 12:06pm PDT
My group is having fun now with a play-by-email setup in google docs. by 07/27/2011, 9:16pm PDT
Boardgame roundup: Pandemic, Longshot by 05/26/2011, 10:33am PDT
+1 on Pandemic, it's very fun by 08/07/2011, 6:14pm PDT
Apparently the expansion is worth it if you like the core game NT by 08/07/2011, 8:29pm PDT
Battlestar Galactica by 08/03/2011, 9:09pm PDT
Re: Battlestar Galactica by 08/04/2011, 12:58am PDT
Re: Battlestar Galactica by 08/04/2011, 5:41am PDT
Re: Battlestar Galactica by 08/04/2011, 8:31am PDT
Re: Battlestar Galactica by 08/05/2011, 4:32pm PDT
Tried Exodus by 08/25/2011, 11:52am PDT
Citadels by 08/04/2011, 6:26am PDT
Needs the expansion by 08/04/2011, 8:40am PDT
The expansion comes with every version of the game currently available by 08/05/2011, 4:04pm PDT
Totally worth it by 08/27/2011, 7:44am PDT
Cosmic Encounter by 08/28/2011, 5:23pm PDT
Re: Cosmic Encounter by 08/28/2011, 5:31pm PDT
The best board game review by 01/24/2012, 8:34pm PST
War of the Ring by 01/24/2012, 10:09pm PST
Age of Wonders - Positive! by 01/31/2012, 10:29am PST
*80% to 120% NT by 01/31/2012, 10:31am PST
I liked this one by 01/31/2012, 7:30pm PST
Review request: REX by 02/24/2012, 5:56am PST
Haven't played it, but I have no faith in FFG NT by 03/13/2012, 8:33pm PDT
Why's that by 03/14/2012, 5:42am PDT
Going Cardboard by 02/24/2012, 7:10am PST
Ever wish there was a simplified version of Arkham Horror? by 03/23/2012, 12:41pm PDT
REX, aka Dune 2.0, aka Cosmic Encounter Obsolescence by 04/12/2012, 8:01pm PDT
UPDATE: default rules broken, needs fixing NT by 08/23/2012, 8:42am PDT
Ticket to Ride: Steam edition by 08/23/2012, 8:47am PDT
How is that different from the boardgame version? by 08/23/2012, 9:14am PDT
Never played the boardgame version by 08/23/2012, 10:49am PDT
Oh, I have the version set in Europe and they fixed that. by 08/23/2012, 1:42pm PDT
Great, no one ever plays the other maps online =( NT by 08/23/2012, 5:43pm PDT
Vassal by 05/04/2013, 2:43pm PDT
Fucking iPads by 06/11/2013, 3:32am PDT
Did you want to like Arkham Horror but couldnt? by 12/12/2013, 8:02pm PST
Thanks, I'll get it. NT by 12/13/2013, 8:44am PST
Alhambra - Positive! Guillotine - Positive! by 12/13/2013, 9:00am PST
board game review: Twin Tin Robots by 12/13/2013, 10:33pm PST
Board Games? More like...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT...SNORE-d games! by 12/19/2013, 9:54pm PST
In the land of the video gamer, the board gamer is king by 12/19/2013, 10:47pm PST
I'd invite you over but I only have one game port on my soundbalaster :( NT by 12/20/2013, 12:29am PST
Review: Incognito (Board Game) by 03/24/2014, 12:55am PDT
Shadow Hunters is fun by 03/24/2014, 1:08am PDT
Review: Libertalia (board game) by 06/17/2014, 11:52pm PDT
Gaming with family by 08/04/2016, 7:07am PDT
Re: Gaming with family by 08/04/2016, 8:45am PDT
Re: Gaming with family by 08/04/2016, 8:47am PDT
There is no reason to ever play Ticket to Ride or Dixit by 08/04/2016, 3:56pm PDT
The reason is that they're great family games by 08/04/2016, 5:28pm PDT
The Pink Panther remake is a great family film! NT by 08/04/2016, 9:48pm PDT
Fabio has never had to game with relatives and it really shows. NT by 08/05/2016, 6:06am PDT
What kind of family get togethers mandate boardgames? by 08/13/2016, 6:16pm PDT
The kind where we're inside and just need an activity to do? NT by 08/13/2016, 7:54pm PDT
Hey this game is coming out with an expansion. Look at the scenario writers by 08/13/2016, 7:59am PDT