Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arkham Horror: Never let a Magician do man's job!

A few nights ago One Angry Gamer and I got together at The Wandering Dragon Game Store in Plainfield IL to play some Arkham Horror by Fantasy Flight Games.

For those unfamiliar with the game or the source material, Arkham Horror is a board game based on the works of pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft It is a cooperative game that pits the players against the old gods and their minions trying to invade earth by coming through dimensional gates. The players must stop this by closing the gates quickly or Arkham will be overrun and there will be no stopping them. Since it is horror based, sanity and losing your marbles is an important facet of the game as it was in Lovecraft writings. For more information on this great game, check out Boardgame Geek:

Now then, for our game.

Here’s the picturesque (???), sleepy (???) town of Arkham. Kinda like Mayberry if Clive Barker was the city planner.

Angry wanted to be the Dexter Drake the Magician (because that character  is of course “badass”).

I chose the Indy rip off character Monterey Jack.

Here was the game’s big boss that we randomly chose: 

If we didn’t close and seal six gates before Arkham was overrun with monsters we would have to confront this Old One in hand to hand combat (NOT A GOOD IDEA).

Immediately Angry’s Magician Dexter was faced with a nearby gate but it had a pretty tough monster guarding it. Since you have to either kill the monster or sneak past it there was some debate as to whether or not he should attempt this or not. Still, the game calls for quick action or else so off he went.

With predictable results:

Meanwhile, Indy, err Monterey actually accomplished something and closed a gate.

See Dexter next to him on the left? He’s in Arkham Asylum getting psychiatric help. He did that even before the game.

And sadly, things went downhill rather rapidly. One bad event caused a huge influx of monsters that our hapless heroes were unable to kill thus triggering the fight with Nylar. And since the game had just started we did not have near enough gear to stand a chance.

Thus the world was overrun. Monterey decided to join the cult of Cthulhu (“Throw me the Kool-Aid and I'll throw you the idol!”) while our Magician friend started a profitable mail order business selling...

Although the game was short we had a hoot playing it. The mechanics are easy to pickup and game flow is smooth and suspenseful. It's pretty hard to win with just two players but considering the subject matter that just lends to the fun.

Footnote: The Wandering Dragon is an excellent game store. The owner is a nice guy who understands what gamers want and don’t want in a game store. Great selection of games too! Truly a gem establishment! Worth the drive just to see it.

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