More Cooler

December 23, 2006

Cool Board Game

Filed under: General — martin @ 2:12 pm

In case y’all are looking for a good board game for a weekend when you’ve got 2-4 hours to devote to playing, I strongly recommend Arkham Horror. I picked it up a week ago to have something to play with my brother and step siblings over their xmas break, and we’ve already played the hell out of it, so much so that I went back yesterday to pick up the (also excellent) Dunwich Horror expansion.

Based on H. P. Lovecraft’s (as well as many other authors’) Cthulhu Mythos, it’s unusual in that it’s a cooperative game, much like (I think) that Lord of the Rings game some of you played in college. 1-8 players can play, and the game scales its difficulty based on the current number of players. Basically, your goal in the game is to prevent the awakening of a an ancient creature of incredible power and evil, the identity of which is determined by a random draw. Every turn gates to other dimensions open in random spots around Arkham town, and you and your fellow investigators have to enter these portals, survive the horrors waiting beyond, return to Arkham, and seal the gate behind you, all while researching strange events in town, collecting items, spells, and allies to help your quest, fighting strange monsters, and just generally trying very hard not to be torn asunder or driven insane. There’s an incredible number of cards included in the base game (and augmented further by the expansions), meaning that you’ll need to play 10+ games before you’ve a good chance of having seen all the cards. And even then, since you typically pull a card and then only follow instructions based on what area of the board you’re on, you’ve probably not read even half of the actual card text you could possibly encounter.

I wasn’t too impressed with the idea of a cooperative board game at first, I have to admit, since I assumed we’d pretty much always win and it would be pointless, like those stupid games we played in preschool where “everybody wins.” Not so: last night we played our fifth game, and it was the first time we actually managed to finish off the Elder God, and even then it was only possible because we’d drawn Ithaqua, one of the weaker dieties (in my opinion; it’s arguable).

Anyway, figured I’d pass on the info. Also picked up games called Puerto Rico and Memior ‘44, though I’ve yet to play ‘em. I love that Board Game Geek site I linked above; so much info!

9 Responses to “Cool Board Game”

  1. chris Says:

    Well, my copy finally arrived. We will try it this weekend.

  2. martin Says:

    If you pull Cthulhu as your first enemy… Pick again. ^_^

    Oh, and avoid the nun. The developer has admitted that she’s underpowered.

    If you have questions about specific rules, there are some faqs on the remarkably active official forums. I would, however, caution against going there before playing, as it can both spoil some surprises (the fun is in seeing the cards for the first time while playing) and add to the confusion of initially learning the rules.

  3. bryce Says:

    Another important lesson was learned. It’s best to look at your character’s stats as a factor in the selection, rather than just picking one because his name is a cheese.

  4. martin Says:

    lol yes, probably a good idea.

  5. chris Says:

    Cheese boy did OK, up until he went and married a pancake….

  6. bryce Says:

    Good thing that a similar strategy doesn’t apply to picking friends, where it’s still acceptable to pick a friend just because the person’s name is a complete sentence.

  7. bryce Says:

    That’s true. Marrying the pancake was slightly insane.

  8. chris Says:

    Is it more or less insane if the pancake is named a complete sentence?

  9. bryce Says:

    What if the pancake is wearing a fanny pack?

Leave a Reply