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The Arkham Horror Project
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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One of my game related resolutions for this year involved building a system for my wife's Arkham Horror set. At the end of last year she decided she really wanted to own all of the expansions to FFG's Arkham Horror game. Between Christmas and some trading at the beginning of 2012 we were able to secure for her nearly all the expansions (the only thing she doesn't have is the revised edition of Curse of the Pharaoh). So we set about trying to figure out the best way to combine everything. This is that story...
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1. Board Game: Intelligent Design vs. Evolution [Average Rating:1.33 Overall Rank:10957]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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This first step was to pull everything apart, scour the rules, and figure out the best way to deal with all the expansions. I know there are some groups that just throw everything on the table all at once, but we weren't sure that was the best way to go for us. We ended up going through all the rules and creating a list of what rules seemed to fit individual modules and what rules could be used as more plug and play. It seems that many of the expansions were designed as a kind of story or adventure. For example, the lurker at the threshold introduces the lurker and his devil's bargains story that all works together, but it also introduces relationships that can be used when playing through any adventure.

Now that we had a diagram of the parts of the game, we could go about figuring out a way to put it all together...
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2. Board Game: Arkham Horror [Average Rating:7.42 Overall Rank:135] [Average Rating:7.42 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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We went through lots of different ideas including deck boxes, cored out books, and better organizing of the game boxes. Then, as we strolled through a local craft store, we discovered the perfect solution.



I wish I had taken some in process pictures, but I didn't so you'll have to try and imagine what we started with. We found two chests that were half as big as the one pictured here. We also picked up some balsa wood, a few different fabrics, dowels, fabric paints, cording, and some odds and ends.

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3. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Dunwich Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.88 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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The concept, was to have a complete set that was:

1) Portable, with everything in once place.
2) Playable out of the box with as little set up time as possible.
3) Looked nice and was Lovecraft themey.

I started by taking apart the two chests. The goal was to create a double stacked chest with a drawer and a flip lid. Some of this involved carefully cutting apart the wooden sides and face in order to reassemble them later. I drilled holes in the top of the bottom frame add the bottom of the top frame. Using dowels and wood glue, I attached the two frames to create one box.



I used some additional wood and parts taken from the box to create a drawer in the bottom. Later I added some handles pulls, latches, leather straps, and tacks from the hardware store.

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4. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.48 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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In order for it to be playable out of the box, we needed a good way for the cards to be sorted and accessible. The box is designed to meet this need. I cut pieces of wood to create files for both the big and small cards. Then I covered the interior with a dark red velvet fabric so nothing would get marred. The top is designed so that one person can be in charge of pulling out cards and handing them to people throughout the game. This system works great, especially since we play with the house rule that encounter cards just go to the bottom of the deck rather than shuffling it in. We do still need to label the black dividers, but that one is my wife's job (since her handwriting is way better than mine).



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5. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Innsmouth Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.98 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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Another consideration was set up time. You have to know your way around the box a little bit, but once you do, set up is a breeze...

1. First decide what expansion(s) you're using and then decide on a GOO. The rules summery cards and GOO+Heralds are all in the handy elastic pouch in the top lid.



2. Next, pull out any special tokens and cards. The tokens are all sorted, labeled, and bagged in the bottom drawer.

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6. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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3. Next pick your investigator. Our house rule has always been to pick two and choose one. We have so many investigators now that we just divide the stack in half and roll a d20 on each stack to randomly pull out two. The bottom half of a cheap plano box made a handy sorter for the investigators and their related set up tokens. We always play with the investigator back stories so those are sorted in with the investigators. We played around with putting together all the starting items for each investigator, but decided there were just too many things that would be depleted from the main supply.

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7. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The King in Yellow Expansion [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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4. Next, take setup tokens. We wanted something that could be passed around that had all the tokens people needed to regularly grab throughout the game. Craft store to the rescue again! The paper mache book was originally meant to sit on your shelf and look like an American classic, but some paint thinner, cloth lining, and gold embossing, and all of a sudden it's an ancient tome full of cardboard arcane.

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8. Board Game: Arkham Horror: The Black Goat of the Woods Expansion [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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Through the course of this project, not only did we have to do some woodworking, but there was also a few sewing projects too. The two things that demanded bags were the gate tokens and the monsters. I never did like the idea of a "monster cup" and figured a dedicated bag could house everything.

Here's the bag for the gate tokens. There are few enough tokens that we can easily switch them out or mix them up depending on what expansions we're playing.



Here's the bag for the monster tokens. Originally, I was going to sew the same kind of bag for the monsters as for the gates. But then we realized just how many monsters there are when you combine all the expansions. We needed a bigger bag. A trip to the fabric store discovered "Monster skin" fabric (...it's actually fake emu skin, but who would ever need that?...), which was perfect for a monster bag. After doing some mock ups, the final bag ended up being pretty awesome, though too big to fit in the box.

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9. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Curse of the Dark Pharaoh Expansion [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.35 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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We took some of the left over "monster skin" and used it to sew a slip case for the boards. The footprint of the game boards was too big to fit into the box. We kicked around ideas of how to attach something to the box, but ultimately decided that if they had their own carrying case, that would work fine. A leather strap, some snaps, and the game boards were ready to go. As an added bonus, the monster bag easily hangs off the leather strap, so for portability, one only has to carry the box and the slipcase/monster bag carry.



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10. Board Game: Arkham Horror: Miskatonic Horror Expansion [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.93 Unranked]
Nathan Ehlers
United States
Cleveland
Ohio
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We've played a couple games using the box now and it's worked fantastic. There are some details that could be cleaned up, but I feel pretty good about how everything has turned out.

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