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 Arkham Horror - First Playthrough 
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Post Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
I'm not a huge fan of Lovecraft, but after seeing everyone having a lot of fun playing Arkham Horror at FtC3 I figured that it was worth giving it a shot. Fortunately for me I live near a very good used book store and I was able to turn some old unused 3.5e supplements into a brand new copy of Arkham Horror (yes, the book store even has a good board game section).

Today I had a few friends over and we got to play the game for the very first time. I figured it would be fun to record my thoughts on the subject.

First of all, none of us had played before. I was the one with the most experience, and that was limited to seeing everyone play it a couple of times but not paying a ton of attention. I did know a few nice house rules (drawing two investigators and picking one) but that was about it. The first two or three rounds were really slow, as we were constantly checking the rules.

But once things got going it was quite fun. My wife had to bow out after a few rounds as she wasn't feeling well, so we started with 4 investigators but then dropped to 3 pretty quickly.

We actually managed to win out without too much trouble (we won by sealing 6 gates) and no one died, went insane, got devoured or sent to another dimension. We had the Gangster, the Private Eye, and the Drifter as characters. We played well together and I have to say that it was a kick in the pants. In some ways we felt that it was a bit too easy, but we may have just gotten some lucky draws.

There are definitely plans to play again soon. Now I'm wondering if we should pick up another expansion or two. Which expansions are worth the money? Which ones add the most to the game for the smallest cost?

Any tips for new players? Any common misconceptions or mistakes that new players make that we might have made? We're pretty sure we did everything right, but maybe we missed something simple.


Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:11 am
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
You won easily with three investigators? Wow! We have only played a handful of times but generally get our ass handed to us if we play with out a big crowd of friends.


Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:38 am
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
Too Tall wrote:
You won easily with three investigators? Wow! We have only played a handful of times but generally get our ass handed to us if we play with out a big crowd of friends.

Hence why I think we might be doing something wrong. Granted our GOO wasn't all that tough (the lizard guy) and we got lucky enough to get THREE elder signs near the beginning of the game. But I still feel like we did something kind of wrong.

The other thing is that portals kept opening in sealed locations. We had two or three turns where no monsters at all appeared.


Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:26 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
My friends were doing it wrong at first. We were closing the gates with Combat values. The rule states to use Fight values. It was kind of strange to close a gate with a tommy gun.

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Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
Save-vs-DM wrote:
The other thing is that portals kept opening in sealed locations. We had two or three turns where no monsters at all appeared.


The last time we played we had a monster surge like every third turn it was just brutal!
You add that to having to spend two full turns closing each gate and we just could not keep up! Of course we did keep forgetting when you closed a gate all the matching monsters are taken of the board. So that didn't help. And my character was real weak on sanity... the gangster I think.

Edit: Save-vs-DM you are allowing the gateways to open on locations that have had CLOSED gates as opposed to SEALED gates right?


Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:49 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
Too Tall wrote:
Edit: Save-vs-DM you are allowing the gateways to open on locations that have had CLOSED gates as opposed to SEALED gates right?

Indeed we have, though it wasn't applicable in our game. We managed to seal them outright the first time. Or do you have to Close and then Seal a gate?


Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:41 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
Save-vs-DM wrote:
Too Tall wrote:
Edit: Save-vs-DM you are allowing the gateways to open on locations that have had CLOSED gates as opposed to SEALED gates right?

Indeed we have, though it wasn't applicable in our game. We managed to seal them outright the first time. Or do you have to Close and then Seal a gate?


My understating of the rules they are the same thing but you need..... I think 5 clue tokens or an elder sign and it is sealed instead of closed


Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:27 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
You guys drew 3 elder signs?!! That is amazing I have only seen 1 a game tops! Usually I never see the blighter's.

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Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
I love Arkham Horror and own all the expansions. They definitely make the game tougher, so I would play it a few more times before buying any expansions. You may want to start with the Dark Pharaoh, Yellow Sign, and Black Goat of the Woods, which don't add another board to the mix.

I strongly suggest that you check out Fantasy Flight's Support page for AH at

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite_sec.asp?eidm=6&esem=4

It has a lot of links to rules clarifications. The FAQ is particularly useful. It helped me find out what I was doing wrong.

Hope to play it with you next Fear the Con! ;)


Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:11 pm
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Post Re: Arkham Horror - First Playthrough
I'm getting ready to play this on Friday, I have a few things I still don't quite understand:

The 'Other World' spaces on the board all have little coloured circles on them. What are those for? They seem to have colours that correspond with the monster colours for movement

A monster can come out of a portal that it doesn't share a symbol with right? You don't keep drawing until you get a monster that matches the symbol, correct?

Locations that have special text: do you activate that text instead of drawing an encounter card, or in addition to? And you activated it on the 'Arkham Encounters' phase, right?

Thanks in advance for any input.

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Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:32 pm
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