Friday, June 17, 2011

First Impressions Friday (2): Arkham Horror

First Impressions is a meme hosted  at Within Pages where we take a look at all things, mostly booky, and reflect on our initial thoughts. Non-bloggers, non-book bloggers, and everyone alike can participate on any topic you'd like. Feel free to drop your links or thoughts in the comments!

Arkham Horror is a board game based on the Cthulhu mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. In doing some research about the game, I found out that it was originally released by Chaosium in 1987 and was based on their newly released Call of Cthulhu role playing game. The version I played, however, was from 2005 and was released by FantasyFlight games publisher of Battlestar Gallactica and most recently Mansions of Madness. Arkham was also one of the first board games to be released as a cooperative board game, the entire group works together to complete the game.

Arkham Horror is set in Lovecraft's fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts in 1926. The game board is comprised of many locations in Arkham and it the player's job to stop portals from spawning monsters into the city and ultimately defeat an Ancient One while losing the least amount of stamina (health) and sanity as possible. If you're familiar with Call of Cthulhu games, then you'll know that sanity plays a large part in the game play. The more you're exposed to the supernatural elements of the game, the higher the chance is for you to slowly (or not so slowly) go crazy and succumb to the madness that is prevalent in the mythos.

I played this game on Saturday June 11 during open board gaming at Amazing Wonders Gaming & Hobby Center. Of our party, only one had previously played the game before, but it had been about two years so the rules were a bit rusty for her. Ultimately, we were all learning it for the first time. We opened the box to find many different types of tokens and cards as well as the game board. I won't explain this all in detail, however we began to pour over the rules so we could understand how to set everything up. About an hour and a half later, we were ready to play.

Each player chooses an investigator from a possibility of sixteen. Each investigator has their own strengths and abilities. I chose Mandy Thompson, the Researcher, who is able once per turn to reroll any unsuccessful dice rolls. That's a pretty sweet ability and aided us in the final battle with Nyarlathotep. Game play for us took about an hour and then we failed quite miserably, but at least we kind of understand what's going on now. It was really fun and I hope next time I play, we are able to get a bit more accomplished, like actually pick up clues and defeat monsters. We ended up just having some bad luck with our Mythos cards.

First Impression of Arkham Horror: Wow, it took forever to set up, but it was really fun!

For more information about Arkham Horror, check out Board Game Geek and Fantasy Flight Games.

Check out my last First Impressions Friday: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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