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Deck Building Games

Arkham Horror LCG Playthrough – Night of the Zealot – The Gathering Chapter 1

This is chapter one of our playthrough of Night of the Zealot – The Gathering, and of course, there is nothing but spoilers in this episode. 🙂

We made a major error in this playthrough, I misread the rules and didn’t understand that when you evade a monster, it re-engages when the monster refreshes.  While I say major, in actuality while we made decisions that don’t make sense because the monster should re-engage, I think if you look closely, that it didn’t affect the game by pure luck.

 

With that said, we understand in the next playthrough, so we shouldn’t be doing it again.

We’re playing Roland and Agnes, but I end up with one mental trauma so soon enough, I might end up switching to the convict.

Staring Cthulhu in the Eye – An Arkham Horror the LCG Game Review

Arkham Horror the Living Card Game is like a tabletop roleplaying game lite.  Similar to other RPG-lite games like Heroquest, Warhammer Fantasy Quest, or of course, its titular game Arkham Horror, what makes Arkham Horror the Living Card Game unique is that rather than miniatures and random puzzle piece map pieces, instead you use cards and almost a deck-building mechanic to explore the storyline and advance your character.

What is a Living Card Game?

If you’re new to the Living Card Games, this is for you, otherwise, feel free to skip to the next section down. J  Living Card Games are a response to people who like the idea of a growing supply of cards to choose from for building their decks but who DO NOT like the inherit unfairness that the Collectible Card games possess in the sense of different players have access to a different collection of cards to build their decks from.  In general, Living Card games sell sets, and each set contains every card from each set.  Lately, each set often contains the maximum number of each card that you can put in your deck, an improvement over previous generations where you might have to buy 2 or 3 of each set to be able to build the perfect deck.  Essentially, while there is still a money component to the games, there is a fixed cost of entry so that everyone knows how much it costs to keep up with the latest and greatest cards.

RPG Lite

First of all, the boxed set contains enough cards to create two characters and run through three adventures.  There are five characters to choose from, characters that will be familiar if you’ve played other games in Fantasy Flight Games “Lovecraft”-themed games.  Each of these characters feel distinctly different due to both the exact starting combination of cards along with their stats and abilities.

The boxed set contains one campaign, which contains three scenarios.  The campaign, Night of the Zealot, is creepy, full of flavor, and really makes me want to rush through to see what happens to “my” character.

As you play, you fill out this cool campaign log which tracks the experience you acquired going through the game along with any trauma you’ve picked up from dealing with the sanity-breaking monsters of the Mythos.

Campaign Guide

The idea of writing on the back of the book sends chills down most of my friend’s backs in its own way. 😉  “What?!  But how do you play again?” Well…honestly, for me, I probably never will.  Once I play this campaign, I’m unlikely to play it again, I’ll want to buy more campaigns like the Curse of the Rougarou or the Carnevale of Horrors.

BUT, if I “did” want to play again, you can download the campaign logs from their website and print more.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/arkham-horror-the-card-game/

Dice

Instead of using dice, like most RPGs, this game does have a random mechanic, but it’s a bit cooler than dice IMO.  Each campaign has you choose a difficulty level then populate a bag of tokens.  The tokens have either numbers or special symbols, the meaning of the special symbols varies depending on your investigator and the campaign you’re currently exploring.  Personally, I like the results of each action being more customized to who is doing the action and where the action is taking place, and there is a tactile element of reaching into the chaos bag and pulling out your success or failure.

Replayability

This is where I’m uncertain, is this game replayable?  Does it even matter?  Anna and I recorded our lets play, and I thought to myself for the price of the game, to have effectively 3 game sessions, maybe it’s a little expensive.  But looking at the math, and the amount of play-time you get out of the box, its cheaper than going to the movies, so maybe its workable.

Then I talked to Lydon, and he was saying he was sad I ended up recording the game with Anna, so we might record us playing it again ourselves.  So at this point, I’ve already played the first chapter twice, and I might play it a third time.  Maybe this game is more replayable than I thought.

Have any of you ever replayed a D&D module?  I’ve played Red Hand at least three times, the campaign is “that” good IMO, so honestly I have to say this is going to change on a case by case basis.  Each of you will have time figure out whether you’re likely to replay it, and if not, is the price of admission worth the three games you’ll get out of it.

Conclusion

In my opinion, this game is awesome! Fun, intriguing, and I’m really looking forward to getting the expansions after I’ve played through all 3 chapters at least once each.  What do you think?  Let me know below!

DC Deck-Building Game – Forever Evil Playthrough

Ramsey, Lydon, and I got together to play one of our favorite DC Deck-building games Forever Evil.

This is part 1, part 2 is here.

If you want to check out the boardgamegeek page for this game, check it out here.

 

Draconis Invasion Review | Is it the deck building game to rule all deck building games?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been playing quite a few games of Draconis Invasion.   This is a kickstarter project that has a lot of hype going into it.  Is it worth all the hype? Well lets get into it.

The game seems most like Dominion combined with maybe a bit of the combat mechanics of a game like Legendary.  It is a competitive game where you’re goal is to end the game with the most points, and like many Euro games, there are multiple conditions that can possibly trigger the ending of the game (none of which indicate who won).

I liked the parts of the game that felt like Dominion.  The random decks that give you a different gameplay experience each time.  The other similarity are cards like the wealth cards which help you buy better cards later force you to make a decision around how long you’ll spend building up your deck’s purchasing power vs pursuing points.  I also like the artwork as well as the hints towards a “lord of the rings” type story.

The game is very quick, with no one sitting too long before the game comes back to their turn again.  Its also quick to setup, and quick to tear down.  This makes the game a good “after a stressful day at work” type of game.

What I don’t think anyone cared for too much, is the combat mechanic.  There are monsters called “invaders” which ultimately are how you score points.  All combat cards are called “defenders”.  Most of the defender cards you purchase cost gold to purchase and then later gold to use.  This requirement to spend gold each time you attack means that many times you’ll spend all of your gold to purchase a powerful warrior, only to discard that same warrior later when you don’t simultaneously get enough gold to actually play the warrior.

The other aspect that can further aggravate the feeling of “useless hands” is the Terror card mechanics.  The longer you play, the more terror cards you tend to acquire, with no way to get rid of them.  These terror cards are your typical “blank” card that many deck building games have, but unlike other deck building games that give you an ability to “clean up” your deck, Draconis Invasion has an entire aspect of the game dedicated to using the Terror cards to help force the game to end.  I’m assuming this Terror card ending the game is to prevent people from turtling too long, but in our experience, the game could still drag out which is bad, but also having the players feel like the terror cards waste their turns, which is also bad.

These two aspects can combine to have turn after turn after turn of the players having nothing meaningful to do.  The turns go quick, which is pretty cool IMO, but there is very little reason for the players to interact with each other and often many reasons to just throw your hands away.

To wrap it up, I like a lot of the game, and I’d definitely play it again.  But I don’t really have high expectations out of the game.  Its easy to setup, its quick to play, but some of the glamour is gone.