Saturday, 11 January 2014

Eldritch Horror

Played Eldritch Horror again last night and it was a good session. I think in our first game we brought some misconceptions with us from our play of Arkham Horror. This is not surprising as there are many elements in both games that sound alike but have different practical execution, like monsters and clue tokens.

In our first game we took on Yog Sothoth. Our problem was that we focused too much on monsters, who are not as aggressive and dominant as in AH, while it left us stranded on unclosed gates for which we were then punished on the doom track. We also underestimated the negative effects of rumours, so we waited to long resolving them, which hampered our the main mission, ie getting the clue tokens on the mysteries. The result was a rather dismal three hour defeat with no mystery solved.

The second game yesterday against Azatoth went much better. Better cooperation and specialisation, fewer unnecessary steps on the doom track for open gates and more focus on solving rumours quickly. Especially the sugar daddy and clue generating and dispensing specialisations proved beneficial as they ensured that players were equipped with enough gear and clues to take on the serious monsters and then close gates.

It still was a close run game which ended with the doom track on two (thanks to an added step that delayed it) and a few turns in hand. There were some ways in which that could have gone worse.

My first character in the 2nd game, just before he was
devoured to fulfill another player's Dark Pact
We were quite cavalier with taking on Dark Pacts. That served us rather well in general (although two investigators were devoured).

It has been said in several places that EH is AH without the convoluted bits and so plays smoother and faster, but I'm not convinced yet of either claim. We played 4 and a half hours with six players, which is not better than AH, and there was a period in the game where it felt gamey, and our energy levels fell and interest in the game sagged.

But it is a fine game. Good cooperation is rewarded and it still captures the mood of Lovecraftian horror.

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