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Arkham Horror: Kingsport Horror Expansion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Case for the Defence rss

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Donal O Suilleabhain
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Kingsport tends to get an unfavourable review here in relation to the other expansions, generally being listed last when recommendations for which expansion to get are being given. I bought it along with all the other expansions last year as I knew I would probably enjoy it regardless. I managed recently to get through 12 games with Kingsport (and one with Kingsport and KiY) so I just wanted to go through the various components and have a look at them.

AO's
These are really good, not just nastier than the original ones but highly imaginative as well. Eihort is the best I have come across so far, his brood tokens making you share gate closing duties around and very wary about taking on Cultists. In the one game I played against him he devoured 2 of my investigators. Y’Golonac keeps you from shopping too much at the Olde Curiosity Shoppe and Yibb’s 5 clue limit is a real nuisance. Atlach Nacha however I found too difficult as it is virtually impossible to get 6 seals against him, and even a gate closure victory is generally impossible for me without one or two bounces on a seal. When I did play I “cheated”, including the KiY expansion as well, making a gate closure victory much more achievable.

Investigators
What a great bunch these are. Rex’s curse and clue collecting abilities are nicely balanced, Daisy is a fantastic spell caster and Wendy’s San/Stam and Evade abilities really suit her urchin character. The only one I really don’t like is Charlie who seems really dependent on a good ally draw to be useful. He also looks like the stereotypical corrupt politician (in fact he actually bears an uncanny resemblance to Dick Cheney).

Monsters
Definitely make the game harder, especially having creatures like the Shan and Moon Beast who can devour an investigator. (When investigators are devoured I do not replace them so this is a big challenge for me).

Heralds & Guardians
Haven’t gotten around to using these yet but Groth looks like he could be a significant drain on clues, combining him with Yibb would be interesting.

Board
Two Other Worlds and 12 Stable Locations doesn’t add the same challenge as Dunwich’s new unstable locations. In addition the 3 locations on the Causeway seem pointless to visit. The only time I traveled there was when forced to by the Mythos card. I don’t think the Changed Cards are worth it, better spending the trophies to be deputized or even for the White Ship Cards. However the value of the board is increased due to the challenge presented by the….

Rifts
I think this is a really great mechanic as it forces you to visit all the locations in Kingsport, except for the 3 Causeway ones. You cannot afford to let the rifts open as it will cause the Doom Track to soar and I have found it necessary to keep an investigator in Kingsport 50 to 75% of the time to manage this threat. A similar mechanic like this for the stable locations on the other boards would be a welcome addition to the game in general. I also like the option of buying the whisky/food cards at the pub.

Epic Battle Cards
I don’t like final battle and never prepare for it, always preferring to go for a 6 seal victory no matter how close the AO is to awakening. This has meant I usually lose the final battles, even against such “weaklings” as Ithaqua. Having said that these cards do make it harder for those who just tool up for final battle and it does make it more interesting.

Mythos Cards
A couple of Gate Bursts here, just enough to make it interesting rather than being a huge threat to prolonging the game. The 3 Rumors are tricky, and 2 of these are double Doomers which I think are always a good thing to have lurking in the Mythos Deck to keep you on your toes.

Spells, Common & Unique Items
Not that impressed with the spells, they don’t bring anything particularly useful to the game. From the Common Items the Elephant Gun is the highlight and from the Unique Items some of the Tomes are interesting.

Allies & Skills
Great skills included with this expansion, I particularly like Mental Fortitude. Was lucky enough in 2 games for Tony and Mark to draw it making them practically unstoppable killing machines. A lot of really interesting and powerful allies here, Granny Orne in particular who would nearly always be my first choice as an ally.

Conclusions
I love this expansion, my favourite so far, although Innsmouth remains unopened on my shelf to date. I played it 13 times with a 11/2 Win/Loss ratio but it adds so much more to the game in terms of new mechanics, threats and the ability to deal with them. A 9 for me.
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Jason Sherlock
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This is usually the first expansion that I recommend to people. The epic battle cards alone make it worthwhile. The skills, equipment, monsters and new investigators are just icing on the cake.
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Freelance Police
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Thematically, each of the other expansions are tied in with a specific AO. So, if you're OCD about theme, you can "only" play KH with AO's that don't have their own set. IIRC, The MH expansion has some KH cards that enliven the KH board a bit.
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Bern Harkins
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We seldom use the actual Kingsport board anymore, but I can't imagine playing Arkham without the rest of the expansion- it contains many of my favorite game elements.
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Brian Mc Cabe
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What is your take on Atlach Nacha? Arkham is made for variants and house rules, so I wouldn't accuse myself of cheating.

Try this:

1) Six seals

2) Bursts do not negate the fact the location was sealed. Instead, a doom token is added to the track.

3) A total of eight gates must be either closed or sealed, with a minimum of six seals.

4) The players must have as many gate trophies in their possession as investigators.

This has worked out quite well; although MH has really made the game tougher, and I've lost eight games in a row to him. For a long time, I was hovering right around 50/50.

I was going to make the first six gates seals and no closures until that happened, but the first game, two investigators were pulled into OW without enough to seal, and I had to abandon that idea.

Brian
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Donal O Suilleabhain
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apatheticexecutioner wrote:
What is your take on Atlach Nacha? Arkham is made for variants and house rules, so I wouldn't accuse myself of cheating.

Try this:

1) Six seals

2) Bursts do not negate the fact the location was sealed. Instead, a doom token is added to the track.

3) A total of eight gates must be either closed or sealed, with a minimum of six seals.

4) The players must have as many gate trophies in their possession as investigators.

This has worked out quite well; although MH has really made the game tougher, and I've lost eight games in a row to him. For a long time, I was hovering right around 50/50.

I was going to make the first six gates seals and no closures until that happened, but the first game, two investigators were pulled into OW without enough to seal, and I had to abandon that idea.

Brian



I just think Atlach Nacha is too hard to beat and you might as well tool up for final battle instead. It wasn't so much cheating I did as include KiY expansion so I could get access to Arcane Insight which for me is a spell that practically ensures victory....it's the single most powerful card in the game (even more so than an elder sign for me).

As regards house rules, I haven't introduced any yet.....too busy playing through the game and all it's possible combinations so far. The only one I use is the Sister Mary clue token reroll for her blessing as it really makes sense to me in terms of her character.
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Donal O Suilleabhain
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jackalope wrote:
This is usually the first expansion that I recommend to people. The epic battle cards alone make it worthwhile. The skills, equipment, monsters and new investigators are just icing on the cake.


I can understand why you say this, but personally I hate final battle and am usually unprepared for it, so much so that in a lot of cases I just concede.

The skills, investigators, AO's, board and rifts add a huge amount to the game for me.
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Chester
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Donalsligo wrote:
jackalope wrote:
This is usually the first expansion that I recommend to people. The epic battle cards alone make it worthwhile. The skills, equipment, monsters and new investigators are just icing on the cake.


I can understand why you say this, but personally I hate final battle and am usually unprepared for it, so much so that in a lot of cases I just concede.

The skills, investigators, AO's, board and rifts add a huge amount to the game for me.

I used to play this way, and try to always win by gate seal. Then we tried to deliberately prepare for final battle at the expense of the gate sealing (though still closed gates at times). It was a fun strategy, and I feel like it gives us more options, playing to characters' strengths, etc. You can stay flexible for the first 1/4 of the game, but then you really need to commit one way or the other. I find that there is more strategy in AH than at first meets the eye.
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Nick Bolton
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It is a great expansion, as you say. I think you will enjoy Innsmouth too.
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Freelance Police
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Donalsligo wrote:
I just think Atlach Nacha is too hard to beat and you might as well tool up for final battle instead.


AN "encourages" you to go for the closed gates victory. Close / seal only the least common gates first, then sit on top of the most common gates.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_foros_discusion.asp?e...
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