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The Buffalo Boardgames Meetup Group Message Board › Adding some horror to Arkham

Adding some horror to Arkham

East Amherst, NY
Post #: 172
I have enjoyed my 3 plays of Arkham Horror greatly. However, much like Isaac, I am concerned about the game's ability to ever pose a real challenge. In order to up the difficulty a bit, I shuffled over to boardgamegeek and looked up some variants. It seems we arent the only group with the problem of spanking the pants off the game. Here are a few of some of the better varients that I could find. I'm interested in everyone's opinions.

#1) Doesnt get much simpler than this
If people are still winning against certain AOs by closing/sealing all the gates before they have a chance to awaken, just increase the amount of Doom tokens on the Doom track at the beginning of the game by how many Doom tokens your group keeps winning by (approximately). eg. if you last defeated Azethoth by sealing 6 gates and there were still 4 Doom tokens to go before he awakened, then start the next game against Azethoth with 4 Doom tokens already on the Doom track (including the first one drawn when they first mythos card is picked up).

This changes no rules of the game and works similarly to the Sauron track difficulty levels from Lord of the Rings (the Sauron track itself is quite similar in principle to the Doom track in AH).

#2) Weakend Elder Signs
For each Gate that attempts to open where there is an Elder Sign, put a stamina token on that Elder Sign. This represents the strain on the Elder Sign from preventing the Gate from opening. When an Elder Sign accumulates 3 Stamina Tokens the Elder Sign is too weak to prevent it from opening. The Elder Sign shatters allowing a Gate to appear as per the normal rules.

#3) The "Stormknight" Variant
We've found that Arkham Horror tends to have the opposite feel that it should - in the begining, there is a frantic rush to seal gates. Later on once you have a few gates sealed, you can move at a very relaxed pace. In fact, it often becomes apparent there is no way for Old One to appear at all, since there aren't really enough gate locations to build up enough Doom tokens, which also leads to the problem that its actually very BAD to close (without sealing) a gate, since it just lets more Doom tokens appear!

We tried changing things a bit, and really liked how this worked out.

When you draw a gate at a location with no gate, place a gate and a monster as usual, but DO NOT add a Doom token.

When you draw a gate at a location with an active gate, add a monster at the location and ADD a Doom token, but do not place extra monsters.

When you draw a gate at a sealed location, do not place a gate or doom token, but place one monster at every open gate (as you would have when a gate opened where there already was an existing gate in the normal rules). (This represents dark forces mobilizing in direct response to your investigator's efforts).

This seems to nicely alter the flow of the game. Early on, the Doom isn't building up, and you can actually afford to close gates. As more gates build up, the Doom track builds up faster. Seal gates, and its a big boon - but you will face more of a threat. And there's never a "safe" point where you know the Old One will never appear.

My personal thoughts:

#1 Adding more doom tokens -- I think this may be an easy difficulty modifier without the possibility of breaking other rules. Would be hard to establish a fair # of additional doom tokens to start on the track tho. With our 1st run against Yig, he actually almost awoke (we were at 7 of 10 doom tokens), but against Hastur there was no way in hell he was ever going to awaken (I think we were at 7 or 8 of 13!).

#2 Weakened Elder Signs -- I think this adds a bit of difficulty, but not enuff by itself to have much of an impact. Would prolly be a good addition to other variant rules. Maybe run #1 and #2 together.

#3 "Stormknight" Variant -- I think this has a lot of possibility. I think it also has a high probability of breaking the game. It seems there has been some playtesting done and it holds up well. I would be interested in trying it, but I think I would like to try some simpler variants 1st.

There are also a number of other minor variants I will prolly start employing. Like making Unique items actually Unique and somesuch.

What do you guys think?

**Note to Isaac**
If you are ever hankering for a real challenge, let me know and we can sit down to a game of Doom: The Boardgame. Both Don and Joel get this slightly unhinged look in their eyes when I mention that game now........ wink
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 111
I think the doom track might help, but what about upping the number on monsters on the board. If it says you can 7, we allow 10 or 12. We would have more things to fight, obviously more obstructions, and you could still be putting some in the outskirts. With the doom number raised already at the beginning and the extra monsters, it might be little more interesting. Let me know when you want to try a varient. I could do this Thursday. I have to take a friend to the airport at 5:30, but I can make 6:30.
East Amherst, NY
Post #: 173
Thats not a bad idea Bobbie, as long as we perserved the monster limit. If we up the total monster limit (monsters in Arkham and in the Outskirts) we actually make the game easier by making the terror track harder to fill. Tho in both games we played the terror track never got above 1.......
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 43
I do not get unhinged when you mention Doom. I actually enjoy the game quite a bit. If you and Issac run it let me know. I am happy to play. I can not speak for Don. When have you mentioned playing Doom?

Regarding Arkham, I think weaking the elder sign is a good idea, since there are open gates still on the board the power is still flowing against the previous gates, monsters should be able to sense and open gate and appear on the board.
East Amherst, NY
Post #: 174
Twas just a joke, Bro. I know you guys dont get an unhinged look in yer eye..... Terrified is more like it!!! Mua Mua Muahahahahah!!!
Buffalo, NY
Post #: 115
I realized I only half of my idea up when you pointed out the doom track problem.
If you upped the number of monsters on the board, it would keep us busier and if you moved the number of monsters for the Doom track from 5 to 3 for a point, it should make things much more interesting.
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